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30-Day Slim Down Challenge Day 29: The 7 Best Spices for Sprucing Up Your Meals

by
author image Deborah Day
Deborah Day is a lifestyle and entertainment writer and editor. Former editor in chief of Maxim.com and executive editor of Premiere.com, she has been published on EW.com, TheWrap.com, Yahoo.com, LAmag.com and other media sites, as well as in Maxim, Interview and Time Out NY magazines.
30-Day Slim Down Challenge Day 29: The 7 Best Spices for Sprucing Up Your Meals
Begin a meaningful, long-term relationship with your spice rack. Photo Credit Gracie Wilson/LIVESTRONG.COM; Adobe Stock

Eating healthy doesn't mean eating bland, boring food. You should be eating nutritious food that's delicious and satisfying, and there are plenty of spices that can add a kick of flavor to your meals — along with health benefits that will stick around longer than your leftovers.

Herbs and spices can do more than amp up the flavor in your favorite meals; they can also provide protection against health issues like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and inflammation.

The 7 Best Spices for Healthy Eating

  • Cinnamon — adds sweetness without extra calories to drinks and desserts
  • Cayenne pepper — great rub for meat and poultry and adds some heat to sauces and marinades
  • Ginger — adds a spicy kick to baking and desserts, savory sauces and as a spice rub for meat
  • Nutmeg — often found in dessert sauces and baked goods, it also rounds out the flavor in savory sauces or when sprinkled on grilled veggies
  • Garlic — press fresh cloves to add zest to sauces, use garlic powder as a dry rub for meat, mix into burger patties or sprinkle on popcorn in lieu of salt
  • Cumin — gives a smoky, spicy kick to soups, chili or stir-fries, or add it to ground turkey for spicy turkey tacos
  • Saffron — lends a sweet and pungent zip to curry sauces and rice dishes, or add some to Greek yogurt for a sweet treat

Cooking is a great way to ensure your meals are healthy and nutritious, and you'll enjoy and appreciate them more knowing that you created them. And with the right spices, you can make food that will please your taste buds without all the fat, sodium and artificial flavors.

Plus, with some of the most powerful antioxidants available, you'll bring more to the table than just tasty dishes — you'll bring extra health benefits as well!

Get Daily Motivation in Our Facebook Group

For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.COM team members, join our 30-Day Slim Down Facebook Group. We'll share daily recipes, tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.

Sign up for our newsletter if you want periodic reminders to get linked up with helpful LIVESTRONG.COM articles and tips.

With LIVESTRONG.COM’s free MyPlate Calorie Tracker you can track it all.
With LIVESTRONG.COM’s free MyPlate Calorie Tracker you can track it all. Photo Credit LIVESTRONG.COM

Why the MyPlate Calorie Tracker Helps You Lose Weight

Documenting your food and activity might seem like overkill, but it’s not. People who track their calories and physical activities enjoy greater success losing weight and keeping it off for good!

Tracking everything honestly is essential to making the 30-Day Slim Down Challenge work for you. Sometimes you’re not even aware of everything you consume, but once you start tracking it you’ll think twice before you make poor choices. And that’s a good thing.

With LIVESTRONG.COM’s free MyPlate Calorie Tracker — available on desktop and for iOS and Android devices — you can track it all:

  • Daily meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks
    - Exercise and activity
    - Weight
    - Water/hydration
    - BMI (Body Mass Index)

Read These Articles for More Information on Beneficial Spices:

10 Herbs and Spices to Help You Lose Weight
11 Healthiest Spices (& How to Add Them to Your Meal)
Nine Spices That Are Good for You

Readers — Are you joining us in the 30-Day Slim Down Challenge? If so, what is your weight-loss goal? Have you ever done a weight loss fitness challenge group before? How did it go for you? Have you joined our LIVESTRONG.COM 30-Day Slim Down Group on Facebook? Leave a comment below and let us know.

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