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Herbs and spices - do we need them?

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  • Herbs and spices - do we need them?

    I know many people love to liberally sprinkle their food with this stuff, but do the Paleo/Primal crowd really need it?

    Historically, many cultures used most of these as herbal remedies when people got sick. Otherwise, they didn't really overconsume. All these studies showing improved health in SAD people SHOULD be showing improved results because those inflicted by a SAD are sick. But should herbs and spices still have a place with those who have completely healed their health through Paleo/Primal? Too much of a good thing resulting in negative health effects?
    My chocolatey Primal journey

    Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

  • #2
    I think they should be there. Obviously, they don't have to be, but they contain to many benefits for me not to want to use them. They contain essentially no calories but have a large amount of vitamins and trace minerals. And they can turn bland food into amazing..amazing food into....

    Some of them even do more amazing things. Turmeric has anti-inflammation properties, which is nice when you have a nagging knee injury. Cinnamon can help with blood sugar response when you're going to be eating a more carb-heavy meal.

    Like I said, they are far from 'necessary" or anything, but I would not go without them by choice.

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    • #3
      Yes. Yes very much. Spices make the world go round and food go in my face
      beautiful
      yeah you are

      Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
      lol

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
        I know many people love to liberally sprinkle their food with this stuff, but do the Paleo/Primal crowd really need it?
        Need vs want. I remember experimenting w/ the simplest (blandest) diet I could devise once a few decades ago, back when beans & rice was daily fare. My unscientific conclusion was that bland food over time led to a bland uninspired outlook on life. I went back to plates & bowls laced w/ spices, flavors & heat on my tongue & my attitude changed along w/ it. And let's not forget that salt is the most basic of all spices, if not flavors. And what would we do without that flavor or effect?

        Originally posted by sakura_girl View Post
        Historically, many cultures used most of these as herbal remedies when people got sick. Otherwise, they didn't really overconsume. All these studies showing improved health in SAD people SHOULD be showing improved results because those inflicted by a SAD are sick. But should herbs and spices still have a place with those who have completely healed their health through Paleo/Primal? Too much of a good thing resulting in negative health effects?
        Who among us in the paleo/primal community can say, honestly, I've 'completely healed' myself w/ this WOE? A few perhaps, but not many in my estimation of the state of the union.

        As for overdoing it w/ turmeric, ginger, garlic & lemongrass, aromatic spices, etc. Sure, there's a tipping point for anything, but the societies that eat the most spices that I've personally encountered, South Indians & Southern Thais, seemed to be just fine to me. I've traveled the massive-spice-intake paths myself in the past many many times, & except for excessive chili consumption, I seemed no worse for wear, top or bottom. I recall reading somewhere that the societies that ate the spiciest foods have the lowest incident of lower bowel & over-all intestinal cancers looked at in that study.
        Last edited by Betorq; 12-19-2012, 05:23 PM.
        "Science is not belief but the will to find out." ~ Anonymous
        "Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart." ~ Gandhi
        "The flogging will continue until morale improves." ~ Unknown

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        • #5
          Too much herbs and spices...


          LOL.
          “You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”
          ~Friedrich Nietzsche
          And that's why I'm here eating HFLC Primal/Paleo.

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          • #6
            Need them? Nope.

            Want them to boost the flavor and yumminess of my meals so I don't lapse into "food boredom?" Hell yes!

            Oh, and they're great for adding antioxidants to your meal.
            "The cling and a clang is the metal in my head when I walk. I hear a sort of, this tinging noise - cling clang. The cling clang. So many things happen while walking. The metal in my head clangs and clings as I walk - freaks my balance out. So the natural thought is just clogged up. Totally clogged up. So we need to unplug these dams, and make the the natural flow... It sort of freaks me out. We need to unplug the dams. You cannot stop the natural flow of thought with a cling and a clang..."

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            • #7
              I noticed that I use less spices since eating primal... the food just tastes better now so not as much need!
              Earthy Mama's Journal

              "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" ~ Hippocrates

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              • #8
                Chinese herbal medicine is often used as a preventative, not to cure things, but to make sure they can't be ill. One of the most famous ancient Chinese doctors (Bian Que or Hua Tuo, I forget which) stated that his oldest brother was the best doctor he knew, and his second brother the second best. His oldest brother would heal people before they got sick. His oldest brother would heal people when they were only a little sick. The hero of this story explained that while he was far more famous than his brothers, it was only because he healed people who were closest to death, and the healing appeared to be a miracle.

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                • #9
                  raw ginger and lemongrass mm mm mm mmmm mmmmmmmm
                  beautiful
                  yeah you are

                  Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
                  lol

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                  • #10
                    Could I live without spices? Yes.

                    Would I want to? No.

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                    • #11
                      Aren't some spices anti-bacterial under conditions of lax refrigeration? I read that the Sami of Lappland used some kind of herb to preserve reindeer milk. I think the herbs and spices have a lot of uses other than just flavor and just medicinal. I do find that eating less processed food--and did you ever notice how it all had the same flavor?--I need a lot less spices and stuff to make things tasty. Salt, butter, onions, garlic and Italian spices go a long way with me.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Betorq View Post
                        Who among us in the paleo/primal community can say, honestly, I've 'completely healed' myself w/ this WOE? A few perhaps, but not many in my estimation of the state of the union.
                        You make a good point. Maybe we just cannot achieve the health of the ancient cultures, but we can at least try, with the help of a little more herbs and spices than what our ancestors used?

                        Originally posted by Betorq View Post
                        As for overdoing it w/ turmeric, ginger, garlic & lemongrass, aromatic spices, etc. Sure, there's a tipping point for anything, but the societies that eat the most spices that I've personally encountered, South Indians & Southern Thais, seemed to be just fine to me. I've traveled the massive-spice-intake paths myself in the past many many times, & except for excessive chili consumption, I seemed no worse for wear, top or bottom. I recall reading somewhere that the societies that ate the spiciest foods have the lowest incident of lower bowel & over-all intestinal cancers looked at in that study.
                        Sounds good to me, with that evidence!

                        Originally posted by jfreaksho View Post
                        Chinese herbal medicine is often used as a preventative, not to cure things, but to make sure they can't be ill. One of the most famous ancient Chinese doctors (Bian Que or Hua Tuo, I forget which) stated that his oldest brother was the best doctor he knew, and his second brother the second best. His oldest brother would heal people before they got sick. His oldest brother would heal people when they were only a little sick. The hero of this story explained that while he was far more famous than his brothers, it was only because he healed people who were closest to death, and the healing appeared to be a miracle.
                        Hehe, prevention is the best medicine? I dig that. Especially if you use a Chinese story as an illustration
                        My chocolatey Primal journey

                        Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog

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                        • #13
                          I have read that dried herbs can be a great source of probiotics.
                          Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

                          http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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                          • #14
                            You could, theoretically, live without bacon, too, but where's the fun in that. Herbs and spices do provide some nutrients, but not enough to count, but the flavor they add to a bland plate is invaluable. I wouldn't be able to choke down most greens without flavoring them.
                            F 28/5'4/100 lbs

                            "I'm not a psychopath, I'm a high-functioning sociopath; do your research."

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Earthy Mama View Post
                              I noticed that I use less spices since eating primal... the food just tastes better now so not as much need!
                              I've noticed this too! I'll cook a meal that I think is super flavorful, but my SAD boyfriend will think is bland. He's so used to being overpowered with salt and sugar and artificial flavorings that he can't detect the subtle, natural flavors of food anymore. This is probably pretty typical of SAD folks. To me, a piece of chicken browned in a skillet with no seasoning at all tastes good, although spices do add variety and interest to a dish.

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