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THYME IS ON YOUR SIDE IN BATTLE FOR HEALTH.

Byline: Gemma Williams

VARIETY is the spice of life - and it could be said that spice is the variety of life.

Adding a few herbs and spices to your cooking could be a simple way to ensure a healthier future.

Apart from adding flavour to meals, without the dreaded salt or fatty sauces, the likes of garlic, basil and turmeric could help you stave off illness and disease.

Herbs appear to play a role in the prevention and management of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

But more research is needed to confirm their exact health benefits.

In the meantime, why not try experimenting with herbs? You have nothing to lose and you may even have some health gains.

# Garlic, linseed and lemon grass may help lower total and LDL cholesterol. Garlic may also be useful for people with mild hypertension and, together with onions, linseed and ginger may help prevent blood clots.

# Fenugreek, linseed/flaxseed, cinnamon, garlic, onions, bay leaves, cloves, cumin, turmeric may help improve glucose control or insulin activity.

# Garlic, onions, chives, leeks, mint, basil, oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley, linseed, ginger, turmeric, dill, celery, coriander, fennel, cumin, anise, caraway may help protect against cance r.

# Garlic and onions have also been shown to protect against the development of stomach and colon cancer.

# Lemon grass and mint can help block the production of cholesterol.

# Generally, herbs are delicately flavoured, so add them to your cooking in the last few minutes. It helps to taste test.

Too few herbs will contribute nothing to your dish.

On the other hand, too many will overpower the other ingredients.

They can be added to virtually any recipe, including desserts.

Culinary herbs shouldn't be confined to main meals, such as the perennial rosemary lamb roast.

They can be used in a variety of creative ways, including soups, marinades, sauces, salad dressings and drinks.

If a recipe calls for certain herbs that you don't have stocked in your kitchen, just use a combination of others.

The more you use herbs in your cooking, the more adventurous you will become.

CAPTION(S):

SPICE IT UP Herbs, such as the fresh basil on Jamie Oliver's pizza, right, and the dill used to add a distinctive flavour to fish, are not only a tasty way to enhance meals but also good for you. As is garlic, which is being sold, above, at a French-themed market in Newport.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 7, 2003
Words:400
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