Is Cinnamon Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Cinnamon is Paleo!is cinnamon paleo

Cinnamon and Its Types

Prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years, cinnamon is a brown, sweet and savory spice obtained from the inner bark of various species of trees and is native in Asia Minor. Its strong flavor and scent comes from its aromatic essential oil cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon is used in cooking to add flavor and aroma to food. It is commonly used in savory dishes, soups, chocolates, coffee, pies, buns, desserts, candies, teas and liqueurs.

There are multiple varieties of cinnamon but the two main types are Ceylon or true cinnamon and Cassia cinnamon. Cassia cinnamon is the cheaper variety that can be found in local grocery stores because the trees come from China and more widely available. It has a stronger flavor with less sweetness. Its color is darker, red brown. Cassia sticks are also hardy.

Ceylon cinnamon on the other hand comes from the inner bark of cinnamomum zeylanicum tree that grows in Sri Lanka and Thailand. It is rarer and more expensive compared to Cassia cinnamon. The taste of Ceylon cinnamon is lighter, sweet and delicate and its color is brown. The Ceylon cinnamon sticks are thinner and more brittle too.

While often seen in jars as flavoring, cinnamon is a nutrient dense spice and is known for its healing properties. It contains high amounts of fiber, manganese, calcium and potent antioxidants. Cinnamon has been used as remedy to combat inflammation and reduce levels of blood sugar and cholesterol. In traditional medicine, cinnamon has been used to treat cardiovascular, gynaecological and respiratory illnesses.

Proven Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Cinnamon contains special compounds that have noteworthy health benefits. It is best obtained when cinnamon is in extract form when all the active components are concentrated in high doses.

  1. Heart Health

Cinnamon has the ability to regulate blood lipids and prevent plaque from building in the arteries. It can lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels in the body. Cinnamon is found to be a blood coagulant that has anti-clotting effects. It also increases blood circulation.

  1. Manage Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon is known to control blood sugar levels and increase insulin production that may prevent diabetes. It works directly on the muscle cells forcing them to remove sugar from the bloodstream. Polyphenols in cinnamon boost the levels of certain proteins responsible for glucose transport, insulin and inflammatory response.

  1. Powerhouse of Antioxidants

The high concentration of antioxidants in cinnamon, such as polyphenols, can help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals that can lead to inflammation, cancer and other diseases. It can also slow down the aging process.

  1. Anti-viral, Anti-fungal, Antibacterial Properties

Cinnamon is a natural antimicrobial, anti-fungal and antiviral agent. These properties come from the substance called cinnamaldehyde which gives cinnamon its aroma. Cinnamon has the ability to boost immune system and fight against harmful infections and viruses. Cinnamon oil has been effective in treating respiratory tract infections caused by fungi. It has anti-microbial effects that may help prevent tooth decay and reduce bad breath.

  1. Fights Inflammation

Study shows that cinnamon contains antioxidants that have potent anti-inflammatory effects which can help lower risk of certain diseases. Cinnamon can reduce both systemic and specific inflammation that leads to chronic diseases such as arthritis.

  1. Improves Cognitive Function and Memory

Another benefit from the antioxidants found in cinnamon is that they can protect the brain against neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases by activating neuro-protective proteins that guard the brain cells from mutation.

  1. Lowers Risk of Cancer

The cinnamaldehyde in cinnamon has anti-carcinogenic properties that can protect against DNA damage and inhibit cell mutation and tumor growth, therefore lowering the risk of certain cancers.

Be Cautious of Your Cinnamon Intake

While cinnamon offers a lot of health benefits, it is to be considered the right type to incorporate into your diet. Both types of cinnamon, Ceylon and cassia contain a compound called coumarins which are believed to potentially damage the liver when consumed in excessive amounts. With the two types of cinnamon, Ceylon contains lesser amount of this compound compared to cassia. It has been a better option in producing cinnamon extracts especially in high doses.

Unfortunately, Cassia is the more available type of cinnamon found in groceries. Nothing to fear though because cinnamon is not consumed in high amounts anyway. Unless you are eating the powder itself, then that can cause a big problem!

What Experts Say About Cinnamon

Although cinnamon isn’t always effective against insulin resistance, it can reliably attenuate the insulin resistance resulting from sleep loss. Plus, cinnamon is delicious, so there’s that. – Mark Sisson

Besides its versatility in sweet and savory foods, cinnamon has been shown to have health benefits ranging from lowering cholesterol and blood sugar to preventing yeast infections. – Robb Wolf

All you ever wanted to know about Cinnamon and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. Smart Spice: Cinnamon

Mark’s Daily Apple. Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices

Robb Wolf. The Paleo Table: 8 herbs & spices you should get to know

Paleo Plan. Is Cinnamon Paleo?

Primal Pal. 10 Awesome Herbs and Spices to Add Flavor to Your Paleo Recipes

Paleo Diet News. Spices and Herbs for the Paleo Diet

The Paleo Mom. Cinnamon

Paleo Porn. Is Cinnamon Paleo?

Authority Nutrition. 10 Proven Benefits of Cinnamon

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photo credit: ion-bogdan dumitrescu cinnamon craze!

Is Cumin Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Cumin is Paleo!is cumin paleo


Cumin is a dried, pale green seed of the plant from the family Apiaceae, which is closely related to parsley and is native to East Mediterranean region. The seeds can both be used in whole or ground form. It has a very distinct, sharp, nutty flavor and is widely used in Mexican, Spanish and Indian cuisine since ancient times. Cumin has been a staple in most curry powders and spice blends and used in savory recipes such as taco seasoning, chilli, stews, meats, fish and vegetables.

Traditionally, cumin has been used a natural remedy to certain illnesses and is considered as a medicinal plant. It is used as a diuretic, a treatment for swelling and sore throat.

Nutritional Profile

Like most spices and herbs, cumin contains significant amounts of vitamins B and C, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.

Health Benefits of Cumin

Cumin is great flavoring to foods but its potential health benefits are impressive too, from anti-glycation, anti-carcinogenic, anti-osteoporotic and much more.

Digestive Support

Cumin can help stimulate the pancreatic enzymes that are necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation. The aroma of cumin comes from cuminaldehyde, an essential oil that activates the salivary glands and facilitates food digestion. Cumin is also caminative, which relieves from gas problems.

High Antioxidants

The high amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants in cumin can prevent the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Vitamin C acts as a natural antioxidant and  it defends against other infections and toxins as well, further boosting the immune system.


Cumin has been found to have a powerful effect in preventing diabetes and reducing chances of hypoglycemia. It is effective in increasing insulin sensitivy especially for people suffering from diabetes.

Cancer Prevention

Cumin has detoxifying and anti-carcinogenic properties. The cancer-protective effect of cumin is due to its potential free radical scavenging abilities.


The presence of iron, vitamin C and essential oils are helpful in boosting immune system and stimulating the function and activity of the white blood cells. Vitamin C and antioxidants can fight against the effects of free radicals, preventing certain diseases.

Respiratory Health

Cumin has anti-asthmatic properties and acts as a bronchodilator. It suppresses the development of coughing by drying up the excess mucus. Cumin contains caffeine which is a stimulating agent. This makes cumin as an anti-congestive and expectorant.

Cognition and Memory

The iron found in cumin can lead to cognitive performance and decrease risks of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Cumin is also found as protective against memory loss.

What Experts Say About Cumin

As is usually the case with spices that have been in use for thousands of years, cumin appears to provide a number of potential health benefits, from anti-glycation agent to antioxidant to anti-osteoporotic, and much more. – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Cumin and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. Cumin

Mark’s Daily Apple. Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices

Robb Wolf. The Paleo Table: 8 herbs & spices you should get to know

Primal Pal. 10 Awesome Herbs and Spices to Add Flavor to Your Paleo Recipes

Paleo Diet News. Spices and Herbs for the Paleo Diet

Paleo Porn. Is Cumin Paleo?

The Paleo Mom. Cumin

Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Cumin

Wellness Mama. Cumin Herb Profile

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photo credit: Daniel Kulinski Cumin via

Are Spices Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Spices Paleo!are spice paleo

What’s with Spices?

A spice is a seed, bark, fruit, root, berry or vegetable substance used to flavor, color and preserve food. It is a flavorful dried or ground plant food. It differs from herbs in a sense that herbs are usually the leafy part of some plants and used as a flavoring or garnish in dishes. There are a lot of spices used in many cuisines. Not only that spices are used in cooking, they are also used as medicine, cosmetics and perfume production.

With the many varieties of spices, they can be categorized according to their source of plant part: Leaves, fruits or seeds, roots and bark. Leaf types include bay leaf, rosemary and thyme. Examples of fruits or seeds spices are coriander, fennel, mustard, nutmeg and black pepper. The roots or bulbs type include garlic, turmeric and ginger. While the bark spices are cinnamon and cassia.

Spices are natural ingredients to add flavor, aroma and color to Paleo meals. They are used in preparation of soups, sauces and sometimes used as main ingredient in dishes like curries. Most spices boast antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Though spices, like herbs, are used in small amounts, regularly incorporating them to meals can help obtain optimum health.

Top 7 Paleo Spices

There are many types of spices used in cooking but below are the top favorites in the Paleo diet.

  1. Cayenne

This powerful spice is made from dried and ground cayenne peppers. Cayenne is known to be an appetite suppressant and metabolism booster because of its capsaicin content that can increase blood flow and metabolism and reduce hunger.

  1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon works well with sweet and savory dishes. It is common in pies, stews and baked products. Cinnamon contains polyphenols which help boost level of certain proteins responsible for glucose transport, insulin and inflammatory responses. It is also a great sourse of fiber, magnesium, calcium and antioxidants.

  1. Curcumin

Also referred to as poor man’s saffron, curcumin is a mildly woody spice popular in Indian, Persian and Thai cuisines. It contains curcumin, an active ingredient that can aid in preventing diseases like Parkinson’s, diabetes, arthritis, heart illnesses and even cancer.

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its golden color. Its active ingredient is also curcumin, an anticancer agent and known to fight inflammation. Turmeric is one of the most traditionally used medicine in India.

  1. Ginger

An ancient spice used for its healing properties, ginger is commonly used as digestive aid. It can relieve nausea, bloating, heart burn and acid reflux. Fresh or dried, ginger is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is common in soups and stews and can be used as tea.

  1. Cardamom

This fragrant spice has a pungent and sweet taste. It is used in curries, milk-based preparations, cakes and desserts. Cardamom is known to treat indigestion. It contains volatile oils cineol, terpinene, limonene, sabinene and terpineol which have therapeutic properties.

  1. Garlic

Garlic is one of the most common spices used. It comes in powdered or fresh forms. It works well with many dishes. The aroma of garlic comes from its sulfur compound allicin which gives its medicinal properties. Garlic is known to help lower risk of heart diseases and reduces cholesterol levels.

Health Benefits of Spices

Spices are common in Paleo dishes not only because of its aroma and flavor but because of its health benefits. They contain zero carbs, sugar and fat but rich in nutrients. They may be consumed in small quantities but the trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they have make an important contribution to a healthy diet.

  1. Spices contain plant-derived chemical compounds which are proven to prevent diseases and promote health. Aside from their culinary purposes, spices have been used since ancient times for their antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-flatulent and carminative properties.
  2. Many spices have the ability to improve blood sugar level and blood lipids. Cinnamon is an example. It can also regulate the cholesterol levels in the body, lowering the risk of heart diseases.
  3. Spices can help prevent nutritional degradation of food during storage.
  4. Turmeric is a spice that has the ability to improve gut flora function. It can relieve symptoms of IBS and other digestive-related problems.
  5. Most spices have been used as remedy for certain illnesses. One is ginger which is used to treat nausea.
  6. Capsaicin in cayenne has metabolism-boosting effects and suppresses hunger.

Storing Your Spices

Spices don’t easily spoil but it loses its strength overtime.  The chemical compounds found in spices are sensitive to oxidation. It is important to properly store spices to retain their potency. Buy fresh and whole spices whenever possible. Try to source out from local market instead of groceries to make sure the spices are fresh. It’s much cheaper too. Store spices in air tight containers away from heat. Keep them in cool dark place. Whole spices keep the longest so you can grind your spices each time you need them for a longer shelf life.

What Experts Say About Spices

“Besides adding flavor and protecting against microbes, herbs, spices, and extracts provide outstanding levels of antioxidants – some of the highest values found in any food.” – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Spices and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices

Robb Wolf. The Paleo Table: 8 herbs & spices you should get to know

Primal Pal. 10 Awesome Herbs and Spices to Add Flavor to Your Paleo Recipes

Paleo Hacks. 5 Paleo Super Herbs You Should Be Eating

Paleo Diet News. Spices and Herbs for the Paleo Diet

The Ultimate Paleo Guide. Are Spice Paleo?

Paleo Leap. Health Benefits of Spices

The Paleo Mom. Spices on Autoimmune Protocol

Nutrition and You. Healthy Spices Nutrition Facts

Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Spices

Reader’s Digest. 10 Healing Herbs and Spices

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photo credit: Schub@ Ingredients

Is Coriander Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Coriander is Paleo!is coriander paleo

Herb and Spice in One

Also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. All parts of coriander are edible and both the fresh leaves and dried, ground seeds are used as herb and spice in cooking. The taste of coriander leaves is soapy to most people and the seeds have an earthy, lemony flavor.  It is most popularly used in pickling, curries and spice blends.

Coriander is one of the oldest herbs and spices and its origin dates back to 5000 BC. It is most popular in Indian cuisines and is often used in preparation of garam masala and curries. The slight citrusy flavor of coriander makes dishes taste a little sweeter. Coriander can also be paired with anything from salad dressing to barbecue rub.

Nutritional Facts on Coriander

Like many other herbs and spices, coriander contains fair amounts of vitamins and minerals, essential oils, phytonutrients and flavanoids. The nutrients from the coriander leaves differ from the seeds. Coriander leaves are rich in Vitamins A, C and K while the seeds contain significant amounts of dietary fiber, calcium, iron, selenium, magnesium and manganese.

Health Benefits of Coriander

Spicing up your meals can do you a good favor when it comes to overall health. Coriander, like other herbs and spices offers health promoting benefits.

Anticancer Properties

Coriander is known be anti-carcinogenic. It can inhibit HCA (heterocyclic amine) formation in meats during cooking. HCA are chemicals formed when meat is cooked in high temperatures and consumption of foods containing HCA are associated with higher risk of cancer.


Coriander is one of the herbs and spices that contain high amounts of carotenoids beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin and flavanoids quercetin and kaempferol which have antioxidant effects. Food rich in antioxidants can decrease the risk of certain diseases by preventing the damage caused by free radicals. 

Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Level

Coriander is known to be anti-diabetic. It can help stimulate the secretion of insulin, thus lowering blood sugar levels. This is extremely beneficial to people suffering from diabetes. Coriander contains linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid which are effective in lowering the levels of cholesterol in the blood. They can also reduce the levels of bad cholererol that causes serious cardiovascular problems including atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

Antibacterial Properties

The volatile oils found in the leaves of coriander are known to have antimicrobial properties and can be a natural means to fight against Salmonella, a food borne disease. Both the leaves and seeds of coriander contain dodecenal, a compound that has been tested twice effective than antibiotic in killing Salmonella.


One of the essential oils present in coriander is cineole. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce swelling caused by arthritis. It is also found to be effective in reducing skin inflammation.

Blood Pressure

Consumption of coriander has shown positive effects in lowering blood pressure.

Digestive Support

The rich aroma of coriander that comes from its essential oils aids in the proper secretion of enzymes and gastric juices in the stomach that stimulates digestion and peristaltic motion. The essential oils borneol and linalool also aid in digestion, proper functioning of liver and bonding bowels, reducing diarrhea.

Bone Health

Calcium and other minerals found in coriander are responsible for healthy bones. It can help in the growth and durability of the bones, preventing degradation associated with osteoporosis.


Coriander has a strong antihistamine property that can reduce allergic reactions from plants, foods and other substances that has effect on skin. It can reduce effects of allergies and rhinitis.

Eye Health

Coriander is also rich in vitamins A and C and beta carotene which are essential for promoting good eye sight. It can reduce risk of eye problems such as macular degeneration.

Other Names for Coriander

Cilantro, Chinese parsley

What Experts Say About Coriander

Common Indian spices such as coriander, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have been studied pretty extensively for their health-promoting properties. One useful property is that they can reduce lipid oxidation, so using spices in cooking is a great way to protect delicate fats and cholesterol. – Chris Kresser

All you ever wanted to know about Coriander and Paleo

Chris Kresser. Health Lessons from International Cuisines: India

The Paleo Gut. Health Benefits of Cilantro and Coriander Seeds

Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Coriander

Medical News Today. Coriander: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

Paleo Porn. Is Coriander Paleo?

Did we miss anything?

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photo credit: Emily Barney Whole Coriander Seed

Is Mint Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Mint is Paleo!is mint paleo

It’s Mint for your Diet…

Mint or mentha is a plant from the family Lamiaceae together with oregano and thyme. It is has a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Its leaf colors vary from dark green to pale yellow. The fresh or dried leaf of the mint plant is the source of the mint herb. Fresh mint herb is usually preferred than the dried one. Mint is often used in beverages, teas, jellies, syrups, candies, desserts and ice creams. It is also popular in Middle Eastern cuisines especially on lamb dishes.

Apart from its culinary uses, mint has been traditionally used as remedy to treat stomach, head and chest pains, nausea, depression, asthma, skin problems and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The oil of mint is used for flavorings in breath fresheners, antiseptic mouthwash, toothpaste and aromatherapy. Mint obtained its aroma and taste from the substance menthol L-carvone and pulegone.

Nutritional Profile of Mint

Herbs are frequently ignored when it comes to building a nutritious meal but herbs like fruits and vegetables comprise a wide variety of important nutrients that can contribute to a healthier diet.

Fresh mint contains significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can contribute to the overall health of the body. Mint is rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It also has one of the highest antioxidant capacities among any food. All these nutrients are essential for the body parts to function correctly and achieve optimum health.

Powerful Health Benefits of Mint

Although mint is an herb and herbs only make up small part of one’s diet, there is plethora of reasons to consume mint. Besides its nutritional value, it comes with remarkable benefits.

  1. Potent Antioxidants

Mint like other herbs is rich in antioxidants. Peppermint for example has rosmarinic acids which can help prevent and treat certain diseases.

  1. Digestive Health

Mint especially peppermint acts as carminative. This means that it can help ease gas and other associated symptoms. It helps in the efficient secretion of bile and relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, hence, easier digestion. Mint is also an effective treatment for IBS. The menthol in mint can help protect the stomach lining, preventing gastric ulcers.

  1. Respiratory Health

Menthol is a natural aromatic decongestant that helps relieve respiratory disorders such as congestion and asthma. It has a cooling effect that eases sore throat.  Mint is also an expectorant that aids in the elimination of mucus from the airways, lungs and trachea.

  1. Anti-inflammatory effects

The antioxidant rosmarinic acid eliminates free radicals that causes allergy. It has anti-inflammatory effects that can relieve seasonal allergy.

  1. Anticancer properties

The enzymes found in mint may help in the prevention and treatment of certain cancers. An example is peryllyl alcohol that inhibits growth of cancer cells.

  1. Skin Care

Mint has been traditionally used to treat acne. It acts as an antiseptic that soothes the skin and helps cure infection and itching. The calming and cooling effect of mint is helpful in reducing pimples and insect bites.

  1. Nausea and Headache

The strong and refreshing aroma of mint makes it a good remedy for nausea and headache. Mint has a natural soothing substance that can alleviate inflammation associated with headaches and migraines.

  1. Oral Care

Mint has been used as a breath freshener and as ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash and other dental products. This is because of its antimicrobial properties that restrain bacterial growth inside the mouth and cleans the teeth and tongue.

Other Names for Mint


What Experts Say About Mint

“As for its health benefits, peppermint oil was more effective than placebo at treating irritable bowel syndrome, a meta-analysis of the clinical literature found, and it was equally effective as pharmaceutical treatments.” – Mark Sisson

“Berries, plums, almonds, mint (especially peppermint), and cacao are also exceptionally potent sources of antioxidants.” – Loren Cordain

All you ever wanted to know about Mint and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. 6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)

Paleo Porn. Is Mint Paleo?

The Paleo Diet. Ultimate Antioxidant Paleo Breakfast Bowl

Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Mint

Medical News Today. Mint: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks

Healthy Juicing. Health Benefits of Mint Leaves

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photo credit: chotda Lemonade w/vanilla, mint+rosemary, recipe in @hughacheson’s “a new turn in the south”

Is Basil Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Basil is Paleo!is basil paleo

It Is What Makes Up Pesto!

Basil is a culinary herb that comes from the Lamiaceae family together with rosemary and mint. It is native to India but is familiar to the Mediterranean region. Basil is prominent in Italian cooking and plays a main role in Southeast Asian cuisines. It has a sweet, strong aroma and flavor and sometimes may taste like anise. The leaves of basil are green and often rounded and pointed that it can look like peppermint.

There are over 60 varieties of basil but the three main types are sweet, green and purple basil. Sweet basil has large green leaves and bright and pungent taste. Greek ones have smaller leaves and peppery undertone. Purple basil has dark leaves and a milder flavor.

The highly fragrant leaves of basil are used as seasoning for varieties of dishes but it has become most popular as the main ingredient of pesto, a green Italian oil and herb sauce. Basil is also used to season meats, fishes, sandwiches, salads and soups.

Nutritional Profile of Basil

Basil is another nutrient-dense herb that contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. It is also rich in calcium, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. Basil also contains essential oils that have antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Health Benefits of Basil

Considered as one of the healthiest herbs, basil has benefits that we are not even aware of. We thought of it as just a simple add on or garnish in food but it is not. Below are the reasons why you should include basil in your diet:

  1. Rich in antioxidants. Basil contains flavanoids and essential oils such as estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene. These have antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can protect up to cellular level. They are capable of controlling the growth of harmful bacteria, including E.coli. Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant in basil that helps boost immune system and fights against diseases.
  2. Good for the heart. Vitamin A in the form of carotenoids is abundant in basil. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cell lining from free radical damage. It also helps in preventing blood cholesterol from oxidizing therefore preventing heart attack, atherosclerosis and stroke. Vitamin K is also present in basil which is important in blood clotting and blood pressure regulation.
  3. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Eugenol is a compound in basil that has anti-inflammatory characteristics and can relieve problems like rheumatoid arthritis.
  4. Natural stress reliever. Holy basil has anti-anxiety effects, thank you to phytonutrients that can lower cortisol, a hormone that is secreted by the body when it feels stress.
  5. Good eye health. Basil contains zeaxanthin, a carotenoid that is absorbed by the retina. It acts as antioxidant that protects the eyes from macular degeneration and promotes good vision.

What’s Not to Like About Basil?

Basil indeed is one healthy herb. Besides it being nutrient-dense, it offers protection for the body, boosting immune system, promoting heart and eye health. The antioxidants have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce risk of certain diseases. There’s no reason not like about basil. So start incorporating it in your diet and be healthy!

Other Names

Saint Joseph’s wort, royal herb

What Experts Say About Basil

“And as is usual with the herbs, basil displays some protective attributes against fatty acid oxidation.” – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Basil and Paleo

Ultimate Paleo Guide. Are Herbs Paleo?

Paleo Leap. Cooking with Fresh Herbs: The Hows and Whys

Primal Pal. 10 Awesome Herbs and Spices to Add Flavor to Your Paleo Recipes

Mark’s Daily Apple. 6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)

Paleo Porn. Is Basil Paleo?

The World’s Healthiest Foods. Basil

Food Facts. Mercola. What is Basil Good For?

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photo credit: H. Sparkman 081228 mmm basil

Is Oregano Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Oregano is Paleo!is oregano paleo

And it is More Flavorful When Dried!

Oregano, known as Origanum vulgare, is a widely popular herb used for the flavor of its leaves that enhances the taste of food. Its name means mountain joy and has been a symbol of happiness of the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Oregano is a small shrub with multi-branched stems covered with small spade-shaped olive green leaves and small white or pink flowers.  The strong taste of oregano comes from the  chemical compounds  carvacrol,  thymol,  limonene,  pinene, ocimene, and caryophyllene. Its flavor is more powerful when it is dried, compared to other herbs.

Oregano is closely related to mint. The leaves of this herb are the most commonly used part of the plant. Oregano has a warm, balsamic, aromatic, robust taste and is perfect for Mediterranean and Mexican dishes. It is native in Eurasia and has been used both for culinary and alternative medicine purposes for thousands of years.

The concentrated oil of oregano is used to treat several conditions. It is used as an antimicrobial, fighting off colds and as treatment to muscles aches and sores. In culinary, it is normally used in salad dressings, pizzas, vegetables, soups, curries and meat dishes and is best combined with spicy foods. Not only that oregano can add taste to a dish, but in some countries like in the Philippines, it is used to eliminate the odor of carabao or wild buffalo when boiled.

Nutritional Profile of Oregano

As with many herbs, oregano contains high levels of vitamins, minerals antioxidants and flavanoids which make it a nutrient-dense herb. Oregano contains vitamins A, B6, C and K and minerals calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and zinc. It is also a good source of fiber.

Oregano has been thought to have more antioxidants compared to some fruits such as apples. The chemical compounds found in oregano, carvacrol for example, have antimicrobial properties that can boost immune system. Other compounds present in oregano have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties too.

Health Benefits of Oregano

Aside from its medicinal purposes, oregano has health benefits that not most people know.

Antibacterial Properties

Oregano has high levels of antioxidants and antibacterial compounds that are effective in killing E.coli and staph bacteria. It contains volatile oils including thymol and carvacrol which can inhibit growth of bacteria in the skin, gut and other parts of the body. Oregano acts as a stimulating agents that increases the production of white blood cells and speeding up recovery from illnesses.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Beta-caryophylin is a substance found in oregano that is known to inhibit inflammation and reduce risk of osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.

Anti-Cancer Properties

The high amounts of antioxidants and flavanoids in oregano can protect the body from certain cancers. Carnosol is a phytochemical found in oregano which has been evaluated for its anti-cancer property. Rosmarinic and thymol in particular can prevent damage of oxidative stress in the body.

Immune System Health

Like rosemary. Oregano contains rosmarinic and thymol compounds which are strong antioxidants that support immune system health. It helps in reducing oxidative stress in the body and keep the body away from diseases.

Digestive Health

Oregano contains loads of fiber which is helpful in providing bulk in stool for easier elimination. Fiber also helps in maintaining gut health and increasing nutrient uptake in the body.

Heart Health

Fiber-rich foods can also lower levels of bad cholesterols and reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system. This includes oregano. It has a natural form of omega-3 fatty acids that improve heart health, preventing heart diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke.

Bone Health

Oregano provides significant amounts of vitamin K and minerals calcium, iron and manganese which are essential for healthy bones and structure. These can protect against osteoporosis.

Other Names for Oregano

Wild marjoram

What Experts Say About Oregano

“Oregano is a strange herb in that its dried form confers a more potent taste than the fresh leaves, so don’t feel too bad about using the dried stuff. It works just fine, and it retains most of its antioxidant capacity even when dry as a bone. And a bountiful, impressive antioxidant capacity it is, what with its ability to reduce the formation of carcinogenic and atherogenic compounds when added to cooking hamburger meat.” – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Oregano and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. Oregano: 10 Natural Health Benefits & Healing Uses

Mark’s Daily Apple. 6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)

Paleo Porn. Is Oregano Paleo?

The Paleo Mom. Oregano

Cavewoman Cafe. Oregano: The Herb of the Love Goddess

The World’s Healthiest Foods. Oregano

Mercola. What Are The Health Benefits of Oregano?

Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Oregano

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Is Bay Leaf Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Bay Leaf is Paleo!is bay leaf paleo

The Aromatic Bay Leaf

Bay leaf or Laurus nobilis is a pleasantly aromatic leaf and is one of the most commonly used culinary herbs since the early times. It is a member of the Lauraceae family and originated from Asia Minor where it spread to the Mediterranean region.

Not usually eaten, bay leaf has a strong aroma with a sharp, bitter taste. Like other herbs and spices, the fragrance of bay leaf is more obvious than its taste. Bay leaf is almond-shaped and has a thick, feathery texture and glossy green color. It has yellow or greenish white, star shaped flowers that appear in clusters.

Bay leaf can be used both in fresh and dried form but the dried ones have a stronger flavor. It gives most recipes a pleasing, sweet aroma. It is a staple ingredient in sauces, stews, soups and as stuffing in meats. Bay leaf is sometimes ground into powder and used as spice.

Uses of Bay Leaf

The bay leaf has been used in many different ways. Throughout history, not only it was used for culinary dishes, but it also served well as a medicinal plant.

In culinary, bay leaf is a good addition to meat and vegetable dishes because of its flavor and aroma. It is an essential in sauces like bread sauce, tomato sauce and béchamel. Bay leaf has been used as ingredient in bouquet garni together with other herbs such as thyme, sage, basil and celery. The dried form of bay leaf is brewed into herbal tea.

Bay leaf has medicinal uses too. It has been used as astringent, appetite stimulant, diuretic and diaphoretic (a substance that promotes sweating) and pain reliever. It is rich in eugenol, a natural anesthetic substance known to alleviate pain including headaches and migraines. This herb is also used to soothe stomach ulcers and aid in relieving flatulence. The essential oils found in bay leaf have been used as treatment for arthritis, IBS, muscle pains, bronchitis and flu.

Nutrition Profile and Health Benefits of Bay Leaf

Bay leaf has many different varieties but the true bay leaf with scientific name Laurus nobilis is the most nutrient-rich variety. It is rich in vitamins A, B6, C and minerals calcium, iron, manganese and dietary fiber. Bay leaf is also a good source of copper, potassium, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Bay leaf contains essential oils that provide remarkable health benefits.

  1. Anti-cancer Properties

Bay leaf contains various phytonutrients including caffeic acids, catechins, eugenol, linalool, parthenolide and quercetin which help protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals. According to a recent study, the extract of bay leaf may help in killing cancer cells by programming cell death.

  1. Digestive Support

The organic compounds found in bay leaf are effective in relieving upset stomachs, IBS and reduces symptoms of Celiac’s disease. Bay leaf contains enzymes that help facilitate digestion and nutrient absorption. Traditionally used as diuretic, bay leaf can decrease toxicity in the body.

  1. Respiratory Health

The essential oils in bay leaf can help alleviate respiratory conditions like bronchitis. The vapors of bay leaf can loosen up phlegm and can therefore eliminate bacteria trapped in the respiratory tracts.

  1. Anti-inflammatory

Like other herbs, bay leaf has anti-inflammatory properties, thanks to its phytonutrient called parthenolide. It has an ability to reduce inflammation and irritation especially in sore joints and muscle pains.

  1. Heart Health

Bay leaf contains caffeic acid, rutin and salicylates which are compounds that promote heart health and lower the risk of cardiovascular illnesses such as stroke and heart attack. Caffeic acid reduces and eliminates bad cholesterol levels while rutin strengthens the heart’s capillary walls.

  1. Blood Sugar Levels

Based on 2009 study in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition, bay leaf was found to have direct effects on blood sugar levels. Bay leaf contains polyphenols that can lower and regulate glucose levels especially on people with diabetes.

  1. Stress and Anxiety

Linalool, a compound found in bay leaf, thyme and basil has been used for calming and aromatherapy. It lowers the levels of stress hormones in the body which can prevent the its dangerous effects in the long run.

  1. Antioxidant and Immune System Health

Bay leaf is rich in vitamins A and C which are natural, powerful antioxidants. Vitamin C can eliminate harmful free radicals in the body. It is also an immune system booster and has wound healing and anti-viral effects. Vitamin A on the other hand is good for eye sight and skin health. Foods rich in Vitamin A helps protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

Caution on Bay Leaf

Bay leaf has many varieties and not all of them are suitable for culinary purposes. Some bay leaves specifically cherry laurel and mountain laurel are toxic. It can damage the central nervous system and can cause respiratory problems. While these bay leaves are not sold as herbs in stores, be mindful of the bay leaf you are purchasing and make sure it is the bay laurel used for cooking.

Other Names for Bay Leaf

Bay Laurel

What Experts Say About Bay Leaf

“Bay leaf is rich in eugenol, a natural anesthetic that alleviates pain.” – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Bay Leaf and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices

Primal Pal. 10 Awesome Herbs and Spices to Add Flavor to Your Paleo Recipes

The Paleo Mom. Bay Leaves

Nutrition and You. Bay Leaf Nutrition Facts

Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Bay Leaves

Paleo Porn. Is Bay Leaf Paleo?

EBSCO Host Connection. Evaluation of the Volatile Oil Composition and Antiproliferative Activity of Laurus nobilis L. (Lauraceae) on Breast Cancer Cell Line Models

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Is Thyme Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Thyme is Paleo!is thyme paleo

You Are Right About Thyme!

Thyme is a delicate looking, fragrant herb from the mint family known for the warm essence it adds to dishes like casseroles, soups, stews, sautéed vegetables and meats. It has small, curled, elliptical leaves, with greyish green and white color. There are over 400 subspecies of thyme and some of its varieties are Archer’s Gold and Rainbow Falls.

This herb is very versatile and has culinary and medicinal purposes. The distinct taste of thyme makes it a culinary staple. The medicinal properties of thyme include the ability to lower blood pressure levels and treatment for acne. During the ancient times, it has been used as an embalming agent to preserve deceased pharaohs in Egypt. Thyme is also used in household to keep moths from linens and as soap, cosmetics, antibacterial cream and perfume.

Thyme is native to Asia, southern Europe and Mediterranean regions and is cultivated in many areas in the world including the America. Fresh and dried thyme are both available all year round.

Nutritional Profile of Thyme

Although thyme is used in small amounts, regular incorporation has proven to increase nutrients absorbed by the body. Thyme is packed with vitamin A, B, C and K. It contains beta carotene, folic acid and minerals iron, manganese, fiber, copper, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Thyme is also rich in antioxidants rosmarinic, ursolic acids and terpenoids, and volatile oils such as carvacolo, bornbeol, geraniol and thymol which have antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic abilities.

5 Health Benefits of Thyme

Thyme has many health benefits, thanks to the high antioxidant levels and nutrients present in it. Here are some of the benefits that thyme has to offer:

  1. Powerhouse of antioxidants

The high levels of antioxidants in thyme have shown to have anticancer properties. They fight free radicals, slowing down the aging process and protecting from the damage it can cause.

Thyme also contains a variety of flavonoids, including apigeninnaringeninluteolin, and thymonin. These flavonoids increase the antioxidant capacity of thyme.

  1. Antiseptic and Antibacterial Properties

The volatile oils present in thyme have antibacterial, antiseptic, and antimicrobial abilities that could fight against different bacteria and fungi including staphylococcus aureus and E.coli. These are carvacolo, borneol and thymol.

  1. High Levels of vitamin C

Thyme is rich in Vitamin-C, which is a natural antioxidant that helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals.

  1. Lower blood pressure

Thyme has the ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the body. This is because of the high amounts of potassium and fiber it contains.

  1. Respiratory health

Thyme has been used as an expectorant, treating respiratory tract problems such as cough, chest congestion and bronchitis. It prevents the mucus from forming in the lungs, throat and intestines.

What Experts Say About Thyme

“Thyme, however, is worth using, awful jokes aside. I mean, what else but thyme could stave off the oxidative damage done to corn oil under deep-frying conditions for a couple extra hours?” – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Thyme and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. 6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)

Robb Wolf.

Paleo Porn. Is Thyme Paleo?

Food Facts. Mercola.  It’s Definitely Thyme.

The World’s Healthiest Foods. Thyme

Nutrition and You. Thyme Herb Nutrition Facts.

Health Line. 9 Health Benefits of Thyme

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photo credit: Farmanac Thyme

Is Rosemary Paleo?

Short Answer:

Yes, Rosemary is Paleo!is rosemary paleo

Rosemary Overview

Rosemary is one of the most common herbs used in cooking. It is a woody, aromatic, evergreen herb with needle-like leaves similar to hemlock. This herb is native to Mediterranean and is used as flavoring in dishes and as stuffing for meats like lamb, pork, chicken and turkey. It is commonly used in grilled meats and in chocolate desserts. Rosemary can be used dried or fresh. It has a somehow astringent, bitter taste but its aromatic, piny scent complements with almost any dish.

Together with mint, rosemary belongs to the Lamicaceae family. Rosemary is one of those herbs that have multiple purposes. Aside from its culinary use, rosemary extracts are used for skin application to treat skin disorders. Rosemary essential oil is also used as preservative in the food industry.

Health Benefits of Rosemary

The pleasant fragrance of rosemary herb makes it indispensible in every kitchen. Rosemary contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients that have wide range of health benefits. It is a good source of calcium, vitamins A, C and B6, manganese, potassium and iron.

Although rosemary herbs are only consumed in small amounts, regular incorporation in meals will allow deriving accumulation of its benefits. Rosemary has also been used as remedy to alleviate muscle pain, improve memory and boost immune system.

  1. Improve cognitive health memory. Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid, a compound known to improve long term memory. Rosemary is also known to boost cognitive function, improving memory and focus.
  2. Fights fatigue and stress. Carnosol is a compound unique to rosemary. It fights fatigue by eliminating enegy-sapping toxins from the body. It also protects the brain cells from free radicals. The aroma of rosemary alone can help improve mood and relax the mind, relieving stress.
  3. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-cancer properties. Another quality of rosmarinic acid is that it has antibacterial properties. Rosemary also contains essential oils cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate and a-pinene which are also known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer characteristics. Carnosol is an anti-inflammatory compound in rosemary that can reduce inflammation of the muscles, joints and blood vessels. This is an effective treatment for high blood pressure, gout and arthritis.
  4. Boost immune system. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nature of rosemary can protect against diseases that can harm the immune system and damage the body.
  5. Digestive support. Rosemary has antibacterial properties that can fight against bacteria such as H.pylori common in the stomach and causes growth of stomach ulcers. Traditionally, rosemary has been used as remedy for indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.
  6. Pain reliever. Rosemary is also used as analgesic. It has been used to relieve pain such as headaches and migraines.
  7. Blood flow stimulant. Rosemary in nature can act as a stimulant, boosting the production of red blood cells and regulating blood flow
  8. Promotes eye health. Another health benefit of carnosol in rosemary is it promotes eye health by protecting the retina from macular degeneration.
  9. Freshens breath. Rosemary has antibacterial properties that make it a good breath freshener alternative and improve oral health.

Selection and Storage

It is always best to choose fresh rosemary herbs for superior quality and subtle flavor. Fresh rosemary herbs should be stored in clean plastic bags inside the refrigerator. Dried rosemary should be kept in airtight container and placed in a cool, dark, dry storage to keep it fresh for months.

What Experts Say About Basil

“Rosemary-infused olive oildisplayed the strongest resistance to oxidative damage and rancidity, beating out herbs such as thyme, lemon, and basil (although both thyme and lemon improved stability, too).” – Mark Sisson

All you ever wanted to know about Fennel and Paleo

Mark’s Daily Apple. 6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)

Mark’s Daily Apple. Top 10 Favorite Herbs and Spices

The Paleo Diet.  Rosemary Tomato Pork Ribs

Paleo Porn. Is Rosemary Paleo?

Medical News Today. Rosemary: Health Benefits, Precautions, Drug Interactions

Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Rosemary

The Wold’s Healthiest Foods. Rosemary

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