Big food corporations may have us believe that flavor lies in sugar, salt, and fat. But for centuries, humans have relied on herbs and spices to give dishes more complex flavors. Here’s a major plus: They’ve also been popular outside the kitchen as cures for a variety of ailments.
To be sure, more research is needed to prove the healing properties of these natural flavor boosters. But you can bet that any herb or spice is a better alternative to sweeteners or grease. We examined research studies and asked nutritionist Chandis Siwek and registered dietitian and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson Sara Haas to suggest the healthiest herbs and spices to stock in the kitchen.