Monthly Archives: November 2011

8 of the World’s Healthiest Spices & Herbs You Should Be Eating

By Kerri-Ann Jennings, M.S., R.D., Associate Nutrition Editor at EatingWell Magazine

As a registered dietitian and associate nutrition editor at EatingWell Magazine, I know thatherbs and spices do more than simply add flavor to food. They let you cut down on some less-healthy ingredients, such as salt, added sugars and saturated fat, and some have inherent health benefits, many of which Joyce Hendley reported on for EatingWell Magazine.


Modern science is beginning to uncover the ultimate power of spices and herbs, as weapons against illnesses from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease. “We’re now starting to see a scientific basis for why people have been using spices medicinally for thousands of years,” says Bharat Aggarwal, Ph.D., professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and author of Healing Spices (Sterling, 2011).


Aggarwal notes that in his native India, where spices tend to be used by the handful, incidence of diet-related diseases like heart disease and cancer have long been low. But when Indians move away and adopt more Westernized eating patterns, their rates of those diseases rise. While researchers usually blame the meatier, fattier nature of Western diets, Aggarwal and other experts believe that herbs and spices-or more precisely, the lack of them-are also an important piece of the dietary puzzle. “When Indians eat more Westernized foods, they’re getting much fewer spices than their traditional diet contains,” he explains. “They lose the protection those spices are conveying.”


While science has yet to show that any spice cures disease, there’s compelling evidence that several may help manage some chronic conditions (though it’s always smart to talk with your doctor). What’s not to love? Here we’ve gathered eight of the healthiest spices and herbs enjoyed around the world.


Chile Peppers
May help: Boost metabolism.

Chile peppers add a much-appreciated heat to chilly-weather dishes, and they can also give a boost to your metabolism. Thank capsaicin, the compound that gives fresh chiles, and spices including cayenne and chipotle, their kick. Studies show that capsaicin can increase the body’s metabolic rate (causing one to burn more calories) and may stimulate brain chemicals that help us feel less hungry. In fact, one study found that people ate 16 percent fewer calories at a meal if they’d sipped a hot-pepper-spiked tomato juice (vs. plain tomato juice) half an hour earlier. Recent research found that capsinoids, similar but gentler chemicals found in milder chile hybrids, have the same effects-so even tamer sweet paprika packs a healthy punch. Capsaicin may also lower risk of ulcers by boosting the ability of stomach cells to resist infection by ulcer-causing bacteria and help the heart by keeping “bad” LDL cholesterol from turning into a more lethal, artery-clogging form.
Don’t Miss: Foods That Blast Belly Fat


May help: Soothe an upset stomach, fight arthritis pain.

Ginger has a well-deserved reputation for relieving an unsettled stomach. Studies show ginger extracts can help reduce nausea caused by morning sickness or following surgery or chemotherapy, though it’s less effective for motion sickness. But ginger is also packed with inflammation-fighting compounds, such as gingerols, which some experts believe may hold promise in fighting some cancers and may reduce the aches of osteoarthritis and soothe sore muscles. In a recent study, people who took ginger capsules daily for 11 days reported 25 percent less muscle pain when they performed exercises designed to strain their muscles (compared with a similar group taking placebo capsules). Another study found that ginger-extract injections helped relieve osteoarthritis pain of the knee.
Must-Read: 5 Foods That Fight Pain Naturally


May help: Stabilize blood sugar.

A few studies suggest that adding cinnamon to food-up to a teaspoon a day, usually given in capsule form-might help people with type 2 diabetes better control their blood sugar, by lowering post-meal blood-sugar spikes. Other studies suggest the effects are limited at best.


May help: Quell inflammation, inhibit tumors.

Turmeric, the goldenrod-colored spice, is used in India to help wounds heal (it’s applied as a paste); it’s also made into a tea to relieve colds and respiratory problems. Modern medicine confirms some solid-gold health benefits as well; most are associated with curcumin, a compound in turmeric that has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been shown to help relieve pain of arthritis, injuries and dental procedures; it’s also being studied for its potential in managing heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. Researcher Bharat Aggarwal is bullish on curcumin’s potential as a cancer treatment, particularly in colon, prostate and breast cancers; preliminary studies have found that curcumin can inhibit tumor cell growth and suppress enzymes that activate carcinogens.


May help: Lift your mood.

Saffron has long been used in traditional Persian medicine as a mood lifter, usually steeped into a medicinal tea or used to prepare rice. Research from Iran’s Roozbeh Psychiatric Hospital at Tehran University of Medical Sciences has found that saffron may help to relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression. In one study, 75% of women with PMS who were given saffron capsules daily reported that their PMS symptoms (such as mood swings and depression) declined by at least half, compared with only 8 percent of women who didn’t take saffron.
Must-Read: 4 Foods to Boost Your Mood


May help: Inhibit breast cancer-cell growth.

University of Missouri scientists found that this herb can actually inhibit breast cancer-cell growth, reported Holly Pevzner in the September/October 2011 issue of EatingWell Magazine. In the study, animals that were given apigenin, a compound abundant in parsley (and in celery), boosted their resistance to developing cancerous tumors. Experts recommend adding a couple pinches of minced fresh parsley to your dishes daily.


May help: Preserve memory, soothe sore throats.

Herbalists recommend sipping sage tea for upset stomachs and sore throats, a remedy supported by one study that found spraying sore throats with a sage solution gave effective pain relief. And preliminary research suggests the herb may improve some symptoms of early Alzheimer’s disease by preventing a key enzyme from destroying acetylcholine, a brain chemical involved in memory and learning. In another study, college students who took sage extracts in capsule form performed significantly better on memory tests, and their moods improved.
Related: 5 Foods to Help Ward Off Colds


May help: Enhance mental focus, fight foodborne bacteria.

One recent study found that people performed better on memory and alertness tests when mists of aromatic rosemary oil were piped into their study cubicles. Rosemary is often used in marinades for meats and poultry, and there’s scientific wisdom behind that tradition: rosmarinic acid and other antioxidant compounds in the herb fight bacteria and prevent meat from spoiling, and may even make cooked meats healthier. In March 2010, Kansas State University researchers reported that adding rosemary extracts to ground beef helped prevent the formation of heterocyclic amines (HCAs)-cancer-causing compounds produced when meats are grilled, broiled or fried.
Don’t Miss: Drink This to Cure a Headache & 4 More Home Remedies From Your Kitchen


What are your favorite herbs and spices?

By Kerri-Ann Jennings

Kerri-Ann, a registered dietitian, is the associate editor of nutrition for EatingWell magazine, where she puts her master’s degree in nutrition from Columbia University to work writing and editing news about nutrition, health and food trends. In her free time, Kerri-Ann likes to practice yoga, hike, bake and paint.


More from EatingWell:


Adapted from:

Cacai UMNO: Manulun dan Anuar Ramli

Cacai UMNO – Mohamad Awang Ngah Syiah

Sisters in Islam – agenda kelompok sekular

Apa itu Sisters i Islam? (SIS).

SIS telah ditubuhkan pada 1988 dan didaftar sebagai Pertubuhan Bukan Kerajaan (NGO) pada 1993 di bawah nama SIS Forum (Malaysia) Berhad, satu entiti perniagaan atas nama syarikat.

Tumpuan SIS pada awalnya adalah untuk mencabar undang-undang dan dasar atas nama Islam yang SIS dakwa sebagai mendiskriminasikan wanita (pre-conception and mind set of  SIS).  Tumpuan SIS kemudiannya diperluaskan kepada isu lebih besar seperti demokrasihak asasi manusia dan perlembagaan (kita akan lihat penglibatan mereka dalam BERSIH, Sesksualiti Merdeka).

Menurut, pada tahun 1988, sekumpulan peguam, aktivis, ahli akademik dan wartawan wanita termasuk Zainah Anwar dan Marina Mahathir– anak sulung mantan perdana menteri Malaysia- bersama-sama menubuhkan satu pergerakan untuk menyelesaikan masalah wanita Islam di mahkamah syariah.

SIS dianggotai oleh wanita bertaraf  profesional  termasuk peguam, doktor perubatan, dan pensyarah. Di awal penubuhannya ia dianggotai oleh sebahagian pensyarah dari Jabatan Ansos (anthropology-sociology), Fakulti Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan UKM.  UKM menjadi sarang penetas telur SIS dan mereka bergerak atas nama penyelidikan dan selalu mendapat geran penyelidikan dari Jerman. Kini sebahagian besar daripada pensyarah berkenaan telah bersara.  Mereka kemudian bergeraka di bawah payung lain di luar universiti. Walaupun terdapat sebahagian ahli akademik terlibat dengan projek-projek penyelidikan di bawah payung SIS di universiti, ahli akademik berkenaan bukan ahli SIS dan ada yang tidak bersetuju dengan prinsip perjuangan SIS yang berselindung atas nama  Islam tetapi sebenarnya mempromosi cara hidup Islam Liberal dan hak asasi dari perspektif barat.

SIS tidak menggalakan ahlinya memakai tudung atau menutup aurat dan mereka berhujah bahawa dalam AlQuran tidak disebut tentang memaki tudung dan mereka mengatakan mereka berhak sebagai manusia untuk memilih memakai apa sahaja pakaian yang mereka mahu, dan itulah asa kepada hak asasi manusia.

Kebanyakan ahli utamanya menggalakkan gaya hidup single parent, dan bagi mereka perkahwinan merugikan kaum wanita dari sudut harta dan hak bersuara dalam rumah tangga.

Apakah tindakan SIS yang kelihatan salah pada pandangan Islam?

Apalah SIS tidak membela sesiapa?

SIS dalam masa yang mengambil kesempatan di atas beberapa isu terpilih yang menggambarkan seolah-olah SIS membela orang atau kelompok tertindas.

Apakah rangkaian mereka?

Ahli-ahli dalam kumpulan ini diiktiraf dalam masyarakat dalam dan luar negara sebagai idola dalam aktivis sosial. Kerajaan Malaysia juga turut sama mengiktiraf aktiviti mereka dan , sumbangan mereka serta memberi tempat kepada mereka di pelbagai platform termasuk di TV dan Radio arus perdana. Antaranya

  • The Casa Asia Award 2011
  • One of five winners of the Putra Brand Awards 2010 – Special Merit: Community Service – Social
  • One of five winners of the Annexe Heroes 2009 by The Annexe Gallery
  • One of three winners of the 2nd Civil Society Award
    (SIS received the civil society award trophy, RM 5,000 and testimonials)
  • Anugerah Her World  di

Rakan-rakan dalam SIS juga rapat dengan peguam-peguam hak asasi manusia di Malaysia, antaranya ialah Ambiga dan rakan-rakannya. Ambiga juga turut sama membantu SIS dalam beberapa kes yang membabitkan hak asasi manusia seperti hak tukar agama. Dalam masa ahli-ahli SIS juga membantu kelompok peguam hak asasi manusia dalam kes BERSIH 2.0  dalam beberapa kes lain termasuk Seksualiti Merdeka.

MUSAWA, adalah  sebuah organisasi yang berselindung di bawah hak kesamaan dan keadilan dalam Islam dan hak asasi manusia yang diusahakan oleh SIS

Telenisa Hotline Legal ttp:// (nisa, perkataan Arab bermaksud wanita, perkataan in menjadi penarik kepada wanta Muslim yang akan menganggap bahawa SIS ini prihatin terhadap kebajikan wanita Muslim)

Rakan jaringan yang SIS kuasai bagi melaksanakan agenda mereka (atas nama wanita dan hak asasi) termasuklah

Apakah perkhidmatan yang berikan oleh SIS?

  • Bantuan guaman dalam kes terpilih khususnya melibatkan undang-undang Islam yang kononnya didakwa mendriskminasi wanita,  kes perlembagaan dan hak asasi bersuara atau hak asasi manusia dari perspektif barat
  • Menganjurkan kursus, bengkel, meja bula, persidangan, dialog untuk berbincang isu-isu terpilih
  • Membentangkan kertas kerja dalam isu terpilih
  • Membuat kenyataan akhbar/media sebagai advokasi kepada prinsip perjuangan SIS

Siapa yang tidak setuju dengan SIS?

Beberapa pihak yang telah membantah SIS dan mencadangkan kerajaan mengambil tindakan ke atas SIS ialah:

Siapa penggerak SIS?

Antaranya ialah

  • Zainah Anwar, wartawan, tokoh utama
  • Prof.  Dr. Noraini Othman, UKM
  • Norhayati Kaprawi, adik kpd YB UMNO -BN di Johor
  • Ratna Osman, Executive Director Sisters in Islam – SIS Forum (Malaysia)
  • ..akan disenaraikan lagi…

Siapa penyokong SIS yang kuat? Antaranya ialah

  • Marina Mahathir
  • Astora Jabat (bekas ketua pengarang Al-Islam dan bekas kolumnis soal jawab agama di Utusan Malaysia)
  • Malaysian Insider
  • ..akan disenaraikan lagi…

Apa kesimpulannya?

SIS selalu memberi gambaran yang salah dan kekeliruan terhadap Islam  kepada orang Islam dan kepada orang bukan Islam samada di dalam mahupun di luar negara. Kumpulan ini bukan sahaja membayahakan akidah umat Islam tetapi menjadi gunting dalam lipatan dalam negara ini serta boleh merosakkan etika dan moral rakyat Malaysia, tanpa mengira agama, sepertimana yang berlaku di negara barat.

Dimanakah anda boleh baca lagi mengenai SIS?