Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Savour That Difference; Unlock Flavour and Share Health Benefits of Using Herbs and Spices

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Savour That Difference; Unlock Flavour and Share Health Benefits of Using Herbs and Spices

Article excerpt

Byline: Megan Sippel

FOR chef Daniel Mosedale, throwing herbs and spices into a meal "enlivens the flavours and changes the taste profile".

For the person sitting down to one of his dishes at Blue Angel Restaurant in Noosaville, however, the benefits of these simple additives might be much more than just being delicious.

Research conducted both in Australia and overseas has shown there are more benefits to herbs and spices than were previously considered and nutritionists and dieticians are singing their praises.

Last year, the US creator of the Mediterranean nutritional pyramid (which, when developed in 1993, was supported by the Harvard School of Public Health and the World Health Organisation) included herbs and spices within the essential frame for good nutritional health.

According to the updated pyramid, every meal should be based on plant foods including fruits, vegetables, grains (mostly whole), beans, seeds, nuts, herbs and spices, and olive oil.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines are also currently under review, due for release in 2010, and leading Australian dietician Karen Inge said herbs and spices might be added in light of new research.

Karen, who is a consultant to Palmwoods-based herb and spice company Gourmet Garden, said the meal additives had been one of "the forgotten foods".

"In the past, there had been some advice in using herbs and spices as an alternative to salt to flavour meals, but they hadn't really been looked at for having nutritional merit," she said.

Now research shows they have a high antioxidant capacity and can increase the antioxidant capacity of meals they are added to, such as if they are included in a salad dressing.

These antioxidant properties are preserved in the Gourmet Garden herb and spice paste range, which Karen said involved herbs and spices being picked and then processed within two hours, capturing the goodness for a longer shelf life.

"Antioxidants protect the body's cells against lifestyle conditions, working in the body to mop up free radicals, the damaging by-products of our modern lifestyle," Karen said. …

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