7 Miracle Spices With Huge Health Benefits (and Big Flavor)

5. Oregano

Photo via Annie Mueller @ Flickr

When you shake extra oregano onto your slice at the local pizza joint you aren't just adding some classic Italian flavor to your pepperoni-and-mushroom: Oregano is a major source of thymol and carvacol -- two antibacterial agents that fight off infection -- and has quadruple the antioxidants of blueberries. Like thyme, it's easy to grow at home and adds traditional flavor to any dish whether you use it fresh or dried.

6. Garlic

Photo vía felipe_gabaldon @ Flickr

Love garlic or hate it, you can't deny that it's good for you: As a staple of natural remedies and traditional medicine, garlic has anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral effects, and some studies show that it can stop blood clots from forming in your arteries. It's also an easy spice to add into your diet: Try it in pasta sauce, on pizza, roasted with other vegetables, or finely chopped in homemade spreads.

7. Thyme

Photo via Erutuon @ Flickr

The strong flavor of thyme pairs well with comfort food -- think wintry soups, stews, and roasts -- and it's easy to grow at home with full sun and well-drained soil, so you can use it fresh or dried all year-round.

But the health benefits go beyond warm soup on a cold night: The herb's oil is antiseptic and antibacterial, and recent studies show thyme can kill MRSA infections, which are resistant to other antibiotics.

More on Spices
'Killer Spices' Help Organic Farmers Achieve Natural Pest Control
Beyond the Supermarket: Incredible Herbs and Spices
Emeril Green: Say Yes to Spices Instead of Salt

Tags: Diet | Diseases | Fruits & Vegetables | Toxins