Your Power Pantry Checklist

Upgrading the nutritional value of your meals doesn’t take much work when you have the right ingredients handy. Start by packing your pantry with these powerhouse herbs, spices and staples, then develop the habit of adding a few extra shakes, leaves and crumbles to jazz up the flavor of your food — and your health!

Basil

Helps skin, digestion and detoxification thanks to its vitamins A and K, iron, calcium and manganese.

Cilantro

Cuts risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes while boosting energy and healthy skin and hair.

Ceylon Cinnamon

Acts as an antioxidant superfood to lower your risk of and help manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, while cutting your cancer risk.

Garlic

Revs up your immune system, helps prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and helps prevent cancer.

Ginger

Ranks as one of the “healthiest spices” in the world for its ability to calm inflammation and gastrointestinal upsets, aiding digestion and suppressing nausea and stress. A longtime go-to in traditional and alternative medicine, the versatile root can be used fresh, powdered, dried or in a juice or tea. It even fights the flu!

Mint

Grows easily in kitchen herb gardens and can suppress cold symptoms, boost brain function and energy, reduce bad breath and address irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion.

Onions

Adds spunk to recipes when raw but a mellow flavor when cooked. Renowned for inflammation-suppressing antioxidants, it lowers triglycerides, high blood pressure and “bad” cholesterol levels (thus, lowers heart disease risk), and it improves gut and bone health. 

Oregano

Helps digestion, speeds wound healing, addresses viral infections and may even reduce coughing. Its well-known antibacterial properties and high antioxidant level are beneficial whether eaten dry or fresh. 

Rosemary

Improves blood circulation, strengthens the immune system and “neutralizes harmful particles called free radicals,” according to Medical News Today. A member of the mint family, rosemary is a wonderful source of vitamin B-6, iron and calcium (plus it smells wonderful).    

Sweet Potatoes

Fills you with fiber which promotes gut health, stabilizes blood sugar and satisfies hunger. Research credits the tuber with supporting eye health, fighting cancer and serving up plentiful calcium, beta-carotene, potassium, iron and vitamins A and C.

Thyme

Reduces acne, disinfects wounds, lowers blood pressure and improves both your mood and immunity. It also can help treat yeast infections and prevent pests such as mosquitoes from biting.

Turmeric

Offers anti-inflammatory and other capabilities that increase memory, sooth joint pain, lower blood sugar, support digestive health and fight inflammation.

Featured in: November/December 2022

Author

Kim Strobel

Adventist Health project manager for religion, faith and mission
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