Nice spices for post-holiday diet

December 24, 2007 3:56:41 PM PST
There is a list of some treats you may want to include in your diet long after the holidays are over.After being diagnosed with breast cancer, Barbara Schultz made some changes in her life starting in the kitchen.

She lost 40 pounds in the past by eating smaller portions, and switched to all organic, all-natural ingredients.

"It has to be pure. What you put into your body is what you are. What you eat is what you become," Schultz said.

But it wasn't just the food that was different.

Barbara is convinced it was also the supplements she took; many of them capsule forms of the same spices in her cupboard.

"When you look at a spice rack, you're looking at opportunities for better health," Dr. Glen Aukerman of the Ohio State University Medical Center said.

Dr. Glen Aukerman leads the center for integrative medicine at Ohio State University Medical Center.

He says many of the spices used during the holidays can keep us healthy through the year.

Ginger, for example, can be used to help with digestive problems.

"Ginger actually has been shown and very well demonstrated to stop nausea, stop the fullness and bloating," Aukerman said.

Cinnamon is another holiday favorite.

Aukerman says in pill form it can be taken every day, and could be a key supplement to help your body in several ways.

"Cinnamon is a core item for lowering triglycerides and cholesterols, raising HDLs, so-called good cholesterol. Because, remember, the good cholesterol is a cholesterol we use to move, to burn fat," Aukerman said.

If you do overdo it at the holiday dinner table, peppermint can help.

Dr. Aukerman says peppermint teas or pulls can act as a decongestant if you happen to catch a cold in the winter ahead.