3

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spices and flavor enhancers

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 30, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I am starting the paleo diet soon and there are no spices or flavor inhancers on the paleo food lists that I've found. What is ok to use? like salt, pepper, garlic salt,etc. and any salad dressings that are ok?

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 31, 2011
at 03:07 PM

You might investigate vinegar - some is not recommended, I'm not so religiously paleo, so I'll use balsamic, but I believe lemon juice is recommended - also if you have inflammation issues you may have to stay away from jalipeno and chile peppers, and other great tasting really spicy stuff ( I unfortuately can't eat those things, but I do once in a while), and watch our for "soy" sauce - there is a non-gluten tamari sauce that tastes great, however you've got to watch out for the salt content!

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on May 31, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Turmeric and cinnamon have a lot of great health benefits as well! Most of this stuff adds negligible carbs and all kinds of nutrients and benefits. Indian spices and even many prepared Indian dishes (hold the rice, sub sacred cow for the chicken!) can be great highly spiced paleo meals, although you have to watch for sugar in some of them.

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5 Answers

3
Medium avatar

(19469)

on May 30, 2011
at 11:05 PM

If you think about what "Paleo" is supposed to mean (elimination of neolithic agents like wheat gluten, excess PUFA, and chemical colors, "flavors", and preservatives) there is no reason why most if not all common herbs and spices wouldn't be included.

Beyond being "ok to eat", herbs and spices can impart powerful health-boosting effects.

To whit...

(From Marksdailyapple.com)

Spice up your life- Think herbs and spices are only good for adding a little flavor to your food. Turns out many of them also contain high levels of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that can reduce inflammation and dull pain. One spice frequently touted for its anti-inflammatory properties is capsaicin, which is a naturally occuring ingredient in chilli peppers, as well as rosemary, which has rosmarinic acid and ginger which has vanillin and zingerone. Other good sources include basil, bay leaves, cumin, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic, hyssop, oregano, pepper, sage, and thyme as well as goji, graviola, green tea extract, spirulina and willowbark, which contains salicylic acid, one of the active ingredients in aspirin.

E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on May 31, 2011
at 12:39 AM

Turmeric and cinnamon have a lot of great health benefits as well! Most of this stuff adds negligible carbs and all kinds of nutrients and benefits. Indian spices and even many prepared Indian dishes (hold the rice, sub sacred cow for the chicken!) can be great highly spiced paleo meals, although you have to watch for sugar in some of them.

2
A840a825c42276ad05f0a2c0bb2f914e

(46)

on May 30, 2011
at 09:07 PM

Check out robb wolfs blog. he's got a lot of good info and great beginner stuff. Here is a link to his food matrix guide. it will give you some good ideas for seasoning and what to eat...it pretty much gives you a shopping list. Lots of sites out there to consider but just thought i'd throw his out there. Hope it helps!

http://robbwolf.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/thePaleoSolution_FoodMatrix.pdf

1
Medium avatar

(5136)

on May 31, 2011
at 02:10 AM

A source I love and trust is The Spice House in Chicago. I've plugged them a few times here and will continue to do so because I feel like they're responsible for a lot of why my food tastes so damn good and I want everyone's food to taste that good. Anyways, check em out here..http://www.thespicehouse.com/

I've always felt herbs and spices are important. Rosemary oil mitigates issues with meat cooked at high temps, like on the grill. Cayenne pepper has numerous purported health benefits, great for circulation and is actually great if you cut yourself and tend to clot slowly (topically and internally). Cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar and comes in many kinds and flavors. Fennel seed supposedly helps digestion and so on and so forth. Herbs and spices are great and quality versions are amazing at keeping you loving the food you're making at home. Dried shallots and garlic powder are awesome for occasionally lazy cooks (like me) and for quickly and cheaply making your food taste that much better (shallot pepper seasoning from the spice house is magic powder for food.)

edit: oh sorry, when someone says "spices" to me i automatically go to the high quality stuff i keep in my pantry. Stay away from pre made mixes, salad dressings, boullion and other dubious sources. Get a good collection of some good spices and you won't long for anything else. I would stay away from dried leafy green herbs like parsley, basil and cilantro, as even high quality dehydrated versions are very sub par to the real deal. Grow those indoors if possible.

0
E7be2ce38158357f5dacae07b43d1b29

on May 31, 2011
at 12:43 AM

Most salad dressings are made with soybean oil, which isn't your friend. If you do lacto-paleo, you can make dressings with yogurt as the base, or vinegar with spices if not. SOybean and other seed-derived oils are in most salad dressings, which aren't recommended because of PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids). Some feel it's safe to use olive oils, others not. It's probably best to eliminate in the early stages and experiment after a couple of months.

Watch for spice mixes for dressings (like the ranch powder) which often contain MSG and other problematic or unnatural ingredients. The main ingredients in ranch dressing, besides the cream-base stuff, are garlic & onion powders, parsley, basil, dill, oregano and fresh cracked black or white pepper if possible. You could mix equal parts of those ingredients (a bout a teaspoon each, HALF as much pepper or less) with equal parts of vinegar(s) and water. If you want it sweetened, a little bit of raw honey or agave nectar can take the edge off.

D8195c5ae6c967027a3133d74969d0e1

(543)

on May 31, 2011
at 03:07 PM

You might investigate vinegar - some is not recommended, I'm not so religiously paleo, so I'll use balsamic, but I believe lemon juice is recommended - also if you have inflammation issues you may have to stay away from jalipeno and chile peppers, and other great tasting really spicy stuff ( I unfortuately can't eat those things, but I do once in a while), and watch our for "soy" sauce - there is a non-gluten tamari sauce that tastes great, however you've got to watch out for the salt content!

0
05055dcbf12c81f1cce777ec365870af

(1791)

on May 30, 2011
at 11:51 PM

yes, think of herbs and spices as herbal medicine, or medicinal foods. as long as they are processed safely, they will generally be good for you unless you're allergic to a certain type - like chilies for example.

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