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Spice up Your Diet - And Your Health

By Staci Amend
March 30, 2015

Looking for an easy way to add variety to your Jenny Craig menus, without adding fat or calories? Spice ‘em up! These four common spices will not only boost flavor and add interest—studies suggest they’re all rich in health benefits, too. Learn more about our favorite super-spices and how to use them below.

Rosemary is one of the most commonly used spices with a pleasing piney flavor that is surprisingly versatile. Rosemary is especially delicious with chicken dishes. If you’re accustomed to using the dried needles that are in your pantry, fresh rosemary may be something of a revelation to you; mince about 10 leaves’ worth, and sprinkle it over your Chicken Fettuccine or your Chicken Salad Kit.

Ginger’s bright, bold flavors can only hint at its status as a legitimate spice superhero. Widely lauded for its nausea-soothing abilities, ginger is also an accomplished antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, according to multiple studies.Ginger is often used in Asian cuisine, so it will play very well with your favorite Asian-inspired Jenny Craig favorites. Try adding a pinch or two of dried, powdered ginger to your Asian-Style Chicken or Beef Chow Mein.

Turmeric has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries to treat inflammatory, digestive and skin issues; in recent years, Western scientists have been waking up to its many benefits. Studies suggest that curcumin, turmeric’s primary ingredient, exhibits antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial activities. Try blending a half-teaspoon in with your Turkey Chili. It will add just a touch of exotic flavor, without overwhelming the dish.

Allspice, so named because it smells like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and black pepper, is actually ground from the dried corns of a single tree: pimenta dioica. This “warming spice” is rich in eugenol, a powerful anti-inflammatory that is also known to help improve digestion and reduce gas. Its complex, peppery flavors are an excellent complement to beef dishes; try sprinkling a bit over your Lentils with Beef or Salisbury Steak.

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