Some herbs and spices–including cinnamon, cloves, lemonbalm, marjoram, oregano, and peppermint–are so rich in antioxidants that just a small pinch can go a long way.
Dried Indian gooseberries may be the healthiest snack on the planet. Two hundred times the antioxidant content of blueberries. So, most antioxidant content per serving, but ounce for ounce, dried herbs and spices pack, on average, the greatest antioxidant punch. For example, herbs and spices may max out at ten times the antioxidant power of nuts and seeds. But, look, it's easy to eat an ounce of nuts. Not so easy, an ounce of nutmeg. So, but look, some herbs and spices are so off-the-chart amazing, that even just a small pinch can go a long way.
Here's the antioxidant power of a bowl of spaghetti  and marinara sauce . Let's make that whole wheat spaghetti . And maybe a few florets of steamed broccoli on top, and you have a nice 142 antioxidant unit meal. But sprinkle one little spoonful of dried oregano on top , and you nearly double the antioxidant power of that meal.
Here's a bowl of oatmeal . Here's a bowl of oatmeal with just a half teaspoon of cinnamon on top , dramatically boosting the nutrition.
Now whenever I eat anything, I always try to think of ways I can add something to boost the nutrition in the end. Can I throw in some greens or beans? Can I sprinkle herbs or spice on top? But which are the most powerful? Here's a teaspoon of oregano -- one of the best. And cinnamon. But both beaten out by marjoram, which is in the oregano family, but more than 50% more powerful than oregano. So if instead of oregano, you sprinkled marjoram, you'd be up to here .
Next: allspice. Then, dried lemon balm, which makes a really nice tea. I used to grow it in my garden. And speaking of tea: dried peppermint. Try sprinkling dried mint on salads, foccacia, tabouli, it goes good in Indian dishes... It's always a good idea to have some around.
And then finally, the leader of the pack: cloves! Here's that unassuming oatmeal with a half teaspoon of cinnamon  and just a pinch of cloves .
In a few minutes, you can microwave a sweet potato , mash it up with some cinnamon  and cloves  for a nice kind of pumpkin pie taste, and you have a cheap, simple, easy snack -- snack! -- with more antioxidants than some people get all day long! For example, Egg McMuffin for breakfast , Big Mac for lunch , then an 8-oz. filet mignon for supper , even with a few sprigs of parsley on top  . Our "pumpkin pie" sweet potato may have the antioxidant power of nearly a week's worth of the Standard American Diet in one healthy snack.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is transcript contributed by Bruce A. Hamilton.
To help out on the site please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check back for the other videos on herbs and don't miss all the videos on spices. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!
For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Acai to Zucchini: antioxidant food rankings, Antioxidants in a Pinch: Dried Herbs and Spices, Top 10 Most Popular Videos of the Year, Increasing Muscle Strength with Fenugreek, Plant-Based Diets for Metabolic Syndrome, Hibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?, and Cinnamon for Diabetes