A dusting of spices can do far more than add flavor to your food. They can actually retard microbial growth. Scientists at Cornell University found that allspice and oregano (as well as onions and garlic) killed 100 percent of bacteria they came in contact with, while thyme, cinnamon, cumin and tarragon killed 80 percent of bacteria [source: Cornell Chronicle].
Turmeric, an essential ingredient in curry, is widely known as a rock star of the spice world, thanks to both its bold flavor and antibacterial properties [source: Turmeric for Health]. The spice owes its "oomph" to the essential component curcumin, which research has shown to aid all stages of wound healing. As if that's not enough, curcumin is a known anti-cancer agent, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, to name a few [source: Akbik et al.]. Pretty impressive for a simple yellow powder!
Author's Note: 10 Foods That Contain Antibiotics
When one of my kids has strep throat I'm all about the antibiotics. In my food? Not so much, unless they are natural. I've been trending toward being more of a label reader in recent years, so I'll continue to keep a sharp eye on certain products. On the flip side, it's nice to know that some foods are actually not out to get me. Thank you, mushrooms!
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- Alvez, MJ, Ferreira IC, Dias J, Teixeira V, Martins A, Pintado M. "A review of antimicrobial activity of mushroom isolated extracts and compounds." PubMed. Nov. 2012 (Oct. 12, 2014) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23023950
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- Katz, David M.D. Telephone interview. Oct. 15, 2014.
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- Kwakman, PHS, te Velde AA, de Boer L, Speijer D, Vandenbroucke-Grauls, CMJE, Zaat SAJ. "How honey kills bacteria." The FASEB Journal. 2010 (Oct. 21, 2014) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630111037.htm
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- Mercola. "Eat Mushrooms During Winter to Radically Reduce Your Risk of the Cold and Flu." Dec, 31, 2011 (Oct. 21, 2014) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100630111037.htm
- Munro, Margaret. "Canada phasing out antibiotic use in livestock." Canada.com. April 11, 2014 (Oct. 21, 2014) http://o.canada.com/uncategorized/canada-phasing-out-antibiotic-use-in-livestock
- Neuman, William. "F.D.A and Dairy Industry Spar Over Testing of Milk." The New York Times. Jan. 25, 2011 (Oct. 13, 2014) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/26/business/26milk.html?_r=1&
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- PBS. "Antibiotic Debate Overview." 2014 (Oct. 13, 2014) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/overview.html
- Quigley, Delia. "30 Foods & Herbs With Natural Antibiotic Properties." Care2. Sept. 19, 2013 (Oct. 13, 2014) http://www.care2.com/greenliving/common-foods-herbs-with-antibiotic-properties.html
- Schueller, Greta H. "Antibiotic-Free Food Labels to Look For." Eating Well. 2014 (Oct. 12, 2014) http://www.eatingwell.com/food_news_origins/organic_natural/antibiotic_free_food_labels_to_look_for
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- U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). "Phasing Out Certain Antibiotic Use in Farm Animals." Dec. 13, 2013 (Oct. 21, 2014) http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm378100.htm
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- Williams, J.E. "Top 5 Medicinal Mushrooms." RenegadeHealth. June 21, 2013 (Oct. 15, 2014) http://renegadehealth.com/blog/2013/06/21/top-five-medicinal-mushrooms
Fruit juices from concentrate are loaded with sugar. HowStuffWorks looks at why juices are touted as healthy when they have as much sugar as soda.