‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry!  The foods, spices and herbs we are highlighting today are steeped in tradition and are an integral part of our winter holiday celebrations.  These ingredients not only support our health, but warm the soul and please the palate.  So this holiday season, feel free to indulge in these delicious culinary delights!


  • Nutmeg – lowers cholesterol and maintains insulin levels.  It also helps form tissues, bones, and sex hormones.
  • Cinnamon – a great blood sugar stabilizer, it also contains antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
  • Cloves – often times used for upset stomach and as an expectorant.  Clove oil is used to treat diarrhea, hernia, and bad breath.  Clove and clove oil are used for intestinal gas, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Cardamom – used for digestive problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas and spasms, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, liver and gallbladder complaints, and loss of appetite.  It’s also used for the common cold, cough, bronchitis, sore mouth and throat.
  • Ginger – aids in digestive upset, nausea, motion sickness, and is a metabolism booster.
  • Rosemary – a delicious herb that rejuvenates the hair and skin, reduces headaches, and acts as a mild diuretic.
  • Raw honey – used to treat allergies, hamper the growth of food-borne pathogens (such as E. coli and salmonella), and to fight certain bacteria, including staphylococcus aureus and pseudomonas aeruginosa, both of which are common in hospitals and doctors’ offices.  Raw honey also helps to heal wounds.
  • Vanilla – treats intestinal gas, prevents tooth decay, is rich in antioxidants which can help prevent free radical damage and benefit the skin.



  • Cranberries – these dark and delicious berries have the highest level of antioxidants compared to any other fruit, and their fiber content helps to lower “bad” cholesterol.  Cranberry extract is also used to fight off UTI’s.
  • Cacao – best used in its raw state, cacao is rich in antioxidants and magnesium.  It can also block LDL formation and is beneficial for your heart health.
  • Pumpkin – this scrumptious squash contains heart-healthy fiber for weight loss and vitamin A for a strong immune system and better eyesight.  The seeds contain plant sterols that help to lower the LDL “bad” cholesterol and tryptophan to elevate mood.  The beta carotene in pumpkin has anti-aging properties.  It’s also high in potassium for workout recovery and vitamin C for skin and the immune system.
  • Peppermint – aids with symptoms of IBS, reduces gastrointestinal spasms, indigestion, infantile colic, respiratory illnesses, hay fever, cold sores, as well as dental cavities, bad breath, and muscle spasms.  It’s also a stress reducer and energizer.
  • Chestnut – high in fiber and B vitamins, as well as manganese which is a trace mineral that helps support the immune system.



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photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/garver/234872046/”>theogarver</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>