Spices are the most potent DNA protectors. Just one week of eating about two teaspoons of rosemary or sage a day, one and a half teaspoons of ground ginger or cumin, three-fourths of a teaspoon of paprika, or even just a tenth of a teaspoon of cooked turmeric can protect against breakage of our strands of DNA. A daily quarter teaspoon of amla—dried Indian gooseberry powder—was also found to decrease oxidative DNA damage. This is to be expected, as ounce for ounce, dried herbs and spices pack the greatest antioxidant punch.

Herbs and spices max out at ten times the antioxidant power of nuts and seeds, for example. Of course, it’s easier to eat an ounce of nuts than it is to eat an ounce of nutmeg, but some herbs and spices are so off-the-charts that even just a small pinch can go a long way. For example, adding a single teaspoon of dried oregano to a bowl of whole-wheat spaghetti with marinara and steamed broccoli nearly doubles the antioxidant power of the dish. Even just two-thirds of a teaspoon of marjoram would offer the same boost. A half teaspoon of cinnamon more than quintuples the antioxidant content of a bowl of oatmeal, and we have verification of bioavailability. A dozen randomized controlled trials have shown that cinnamon—both cassia and Ceylon varieties—can increase the antioxidant capacity of our bloodstream and reduce free radical damage at doses ranging from just half a teaspoon to one and a half teaspoons a day.

My Daily Dozen recommends at least a quarter teaspoon of the spice turmeric every day, along with any other (salt-free) herbs and spices you may enjoy.

For substantiation of any statements of fact from the peer-reviewed medical literature, please see the associated videos below.

Image Credit: Pixabay. This image has been modified.

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