April - Food
April - Food
April - Food

Spice Up Your Veggies and Salad Greens


Story at-a-glance -

  • Herbs and spices have been long-valued in many cultures for their therapeutic and culinary applications. Adding them to meals helps you get more nutrients and flavor out of every dish you eat
  • Find another way to enjoy veggies – better yet, blend in other herbs, spices and healthy ingredients for a more interesting twist

Here’s a simple and tasty recipe to serve over any favorite vegetables or salad greens to spice them up!

Mix together:

  • 1 tablespoon of Dr. Mercola’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (Sweet or Spicy)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic, minced
  • Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper to tast
  • 1 finely chopped habanero pepper (optional: only if you are adventurous

The Many Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

Consuming vegetables every day is essential to help keep your body performing at its best. The downside is that you may find them bland as time goes by. Why not inject new life into your salads by creating a tasty dressing? Try out the recipe above and the reignite the spark in your healthy diet.

Adding Vinegar to Your Diet Brings Strong Benefits to the Table

Vinegar can be virtually made from any carbohydrate that can be fermented, such as coconuts, potatoes, beets and grapes. However, apples are arguably the best ingredient because the resulting product has plenty of potential health benefits. This is why apple cider vinegar (ACV) is becoming more popular nowadays.

Adding ACV to your diet may be one of the easiest ways you can optimize your health. Adding it to foods or even taking it on its own may help:

  • Manage blood sugar levels: It is believed that the acetic acid found in vinegar may help control glucose levels by preventing the complete digestion of complex carbohydrates. As a result, your blood sugar levels don’t spike as high after a meal.1
  • One study supports this claim. According to the researchers, vinegar helped improve insulin sensitivity by 19 percent for people with Type 2 diabetes.

  • Boost heart health: In one study, researchers discovered that acetic acid in vinegar helped relieve hypertension in rats, lowering blood pressure.2
  • In another rodent study, vinegar helped lower very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol among test subjects.3 VLDL cholesterol is known to increase your risk of a heart attack.4

  • Facilitate weight loss: Research has shown that apple cider vinegar may help reduce overall calories consumed. In one related study, participants who took vinegar alongside a fixed diet consumed 200 to 275 fewer calories per day, which roughly translates to 1.5 pounds lost every month.5

Remember to purchase organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar for therapeutic purposes. That’s because murky vinegar contains an ingredient called the “mother,” which is an indication that the product is made from high-quality ingredients and natural manufacturing processes.

Herbs and Spices Can Add Flavor and Aroma to Your Foods

Herbs and spices have been long-valued in many cultures for their therapeutic and culinary applications. Adding them to meals helps you get more nutrients and flavor out of every dish you eat. It’s one of the most cost-effective methods to making your food healthier and taste better.

Basil, for example, is known for its floral aroma. If you’ve tried pesto before, you’ve definitely tasted the herb because it’s the core ingredient in making the sauce. Basil is rich in various vitamins, minerals and flavonoids that may help:

  • Fight pathogenic microbes: Modern research has shown that basil has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties that may help lower your risk of developing pathogenic infections.6
  • Maintain mental health: It may help ease anxiety and depression, according to a study published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology.7
  • Manage inflammation: Various studies have shown that basil has anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its collection of essential oils.8,9,10
  • Control diabetes: In a study published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, researchers discovered that basil may be useful in treating diabetes by managing glucose levels.11
  • Improve blood clotting: Vitamin K, which is abundant in basil, is an essential nutrient that may help improve clotting and prevent excess blood loss, should you suffer from an open-wound injury.

Meanwhile, chili peppers such as habaneros are known for their spiciness, which can lend well to a variety of dishes and sauces. The source of the heat comes from an active ingredient called capsaicin and is generally concentrated on the seeds and the white inner membrane.

What’s interesting about capsaicin is that aside from its spicy flavor, it may actually have positive effects on your health, such as helping with pain relief. Capsaicin depletes your body of substance P, a chemical in your nerve cells responsible for transmitting pain signals to your brain. Other studies have also found that capsaicin may help boost your immune system,12 reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease13 and manage your blood sugar levels.14

Garlic, on the other hand, is known for its strong, pungent taste and aroma when eaten raw. Once it’s cooked, though, it mellows and sweetens, giving dishes a delicate, nutty flavor.15 The smell is largely attributed to garlic’s sulfuric compounds, mainly allicin.

Interestingly, allicin happens to be the source of garlic’s potential health benefits, such as helping reduce inflammation, boosting immune function and improving cardiovascular health. Research has shown that it may also reduce your risk of various cancers, such as colon and stomach cancers.

Go Ahead and Try This ‘Vegetable Hack’ Today!

Almost everyone can certainly benefit from consuming apple cider vinegar, vegetables, and herbs and spices in their regular diet. The real challenge, however, is to combine them in such a way that entices you and your family to consume them not just for the sake of their health benefits, but also for their delicious flavors as well.

Give the dressing recipe above a try, and you’ll surely find another way to enjoy veggies – better yet, blend in other herbs, spices and healthy ingredients for a more interesting twist!

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