In this Issue:

Antioxidant Benefits of Herbs and Spices

Herbs and spices are nature's most potent sources of antioxidants. Discover some easy ways to get more of them into your diet.

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I've recently created a handy guide to all of the well-known antioxidants and the best food sources for them. This full-color chart, perfect for display on your refrigerator door, is now available to download and print. See the bottom of this newsletter for full instructions.

Getting Antioxidants from Herbs and Spices

I’m always looking for new ways to increase my intake of antioxidants. For most people, fruits and vegetables are the primary source, although it can be difficult to get enough servings everyday to get the quantity and variety of antioxidants that will give you optimal health. This is where the judicious use of seasonings and spices can make the difference.

Most people don’t think of herbs and spices from a nutritional standpoint, but they have incredible nutritional value, primarily because they're nature's richest sources of antioxidants. A mere teaspoon of spices like cinnamon, cloves, parsley, cilantro and many others contains as much antioxidant capacity as a half-cup of blueberries, one of nature’s most antioxidant-rich fruits.

The health benefits of spices becomes quite apparent when you look at studies of different cultures around the world. Typically, countries where people consume lots of spicy foods also have very low incidences of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer's and most other degenerative diseases that have been so common in the United States and other western cultures.

To get the full benefit of antioxidant herbs and spices, it’s not enough to have a spicy meal a few times a week. People in India, for example, consume 10 times the amount of spices that Americans typically do. Most people probably don’t want to change their diet so radically, so what’s a workable alternative?

There are two strategies I use to get more spices into my meals, aside from my usual use of spices in cooking. First, I add herbs and spices to my green smoothie every morning. Secondly, I make a “pesto” dip that I can eat as a snack.

1. Green Smoothies with Herbs and Spices

My green smoothie recipe has evolved over time, as I experiment with it to improve the taste and increase the nutritional value. Right now, it includes base ingredients like almond milk, a banana, a second fruit, coconut oil and two raw eggs.

For my green ingredients, I use chlorella and spirulina powder, then add a handful of cilantro, basil and parsley. These are all concentrated sources of beta carotene and other antioxidants. Because they’re so concentrated, you don’t have to use a lot, and it’s easier to keep the taste of my smoothie from being overpowered by the bitter taste of too many dark green leafy vegetables.

In addition, I add a spice mixture that I pre-mix and keep handy in a jar. This mix consists of two parts cinnamon and one part each of cloves, allspice and turmeric, some of the most potent sources of antioxidants on the planet. A pinch of black pepper allows your system to absorb the other spices by many times.

You’re probably wondering how this tastes, no? Well, taste is certainly important; if your smoothie doesn’t taste good, you won’t want to drink one every day. My green smoothie doesn’t taste anything like any of the individual ingredients that I put into it, because there are so many of them – it just tastes good! The beauty of smoothie recipes is that they’re very flexible and can be easily adjusted to get a taste that you’ll enjoy. And there’s no better way to get a full day’s supply of antioxidants at one time.

See my page on How to Make a Smoothie for more tips on making healthy smoothies.

2. Antioxidant-Rich “Pesto”

The second method I use to get extra antioxidants is to make a pesto dip starting with a base of olive oil, fresh basil, cilantro and parsley. You can use any other greens in any proportion you like, just blend them all together with the olive oil until you get a thick, smooth liquid. You may need a high-power blender like the Vitamix to do this. I pour this out into a bowl and add spirulina powder to thicken it up. Spirulina is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth, and I like to use it every chance I get, in any way I can. A suggested serving size of just one teaspoon has the antioxidant power of at least 3 servings of green vegetables!

Now that I have my base, I’ll add various spices to it. I like to start with ginger, horseradish and garlic. I may also add a blend of Italian seasonings like rosemary and thyme for even more antioxidants. Keep in mind that a wide variety of antioxidants is just as important as significant quantities of them. Use spices that you enjoy; virtually all of them are great sources of antioxidants.

You can use this paste as a dip or spread it on bread. Because it’s so nutrient-dense, just a tablespoon gives you as many antioxidants as several servings of green vegetables. I like to make a sandwich with the pesto, avocado, tomato, cucumber and sweet onion slices.

You can read more about the Health Benefits of Herbs and Spices on my website. I have new pages on spices for antioxidants, including some of the most valuable ones: cloves, ginger, cilantro, parsley and basil.

Get a convenient
Antioxidant Food Guide
for your wall or
refrigerator door.

I recently created a chart that shows all of the well-known antioxidants that are described on my website and the foods that are the best sources for each one.

This full-color, ready-to-print chart is available for downloading from my website here:

Antioxidant Food Guide

Worthwhile Causes to Support

The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to protect the public from harm due to toxic contaminants. Their website has lots of great information that will help you identify the threats from toxins in your environment. Their website and newsletter make it easy for you to voice your opinion on environmental issues to your congressman and other policy-makers.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is a grassroots, non-profit public interest organization that promotes and supports organic agriculture and addresses issues related to it, including food safety, food politics and GM technology.

The OCA is actively working to stop Monsanto from spreading GM agriculture around the world and gaining control of the world food supply.

You can sign up here to support their campaign, Millions Against Monsanto.

The Institute for Responsible Technology is a world leader in educating policy makers and the public about genetically modified (GM) foods and crops. Founded in 2003 by international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey Smith, the IRT works to mobilize citizens, organizations, healthcare professionals and the media to discover the truth about GM foods.

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Many of the pages on my website have the capability to accept reader submissions. Do you have any experience improving your health or treating a health problem using diet, superfoods or nutritional supplements? Do you have a nutritional guru or book you'd like to recommend? Now you can! Your submission will get its own page on my website, for all to see.

Just pick any page on my site that has a topic you'd like to contribute to; many of them have comment submissions enabled. Submission forms are always located at the bottom of the pages that they're located on.

You could start by asking me a question about antioxidants, health, or nutrition in general at my About Me page.

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That's all for this issue!
I hope you enjoyed reading my newsletter,
and found the information useful.
Have a great month!

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