Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Dearest Gramcracker and Why a Heart's Important

On January 1, 2010 my dear Mama Bird made the hardest decision of her life. Just a short 48 hours earlier my Gramcracker (Mama Bird's Mama Bird) suffered her second heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where she was admitted to the ICU and placed on life support. On New Year's Day the doctors said Gramcracker's chances of surviving were slim and she would have to remain on life support to sustain her heart. Knowing this is no life Gramcracker would want to live, Mama Bird prayerfully requested for her dear Mama to have the chance to meet her Maker.

(Here's my sweet Gramcracker with the love of her life, Grandpa John)

(Mama Bird, her sister, and dear Gramcracker)

In honor of my sweet Gramcracker and the Red month of February for hearts, love, and Women's Heart Awareness, I decided to share the benefits of common kitchen spices that are heart healthy. We often hear so much about heart-healthy foods, but these little additions can go with any meal!

The Manila Bulletin Publishing Company published an article with the seven super spices according to McCormick, one of the most renowned spice marketers in the world. 
Cinnamon, ginger, oregano, thyme, red peppers (like the flakes), curry powder (specifically turmeric), and rosemary are rich in antioxidants which help prevent cancer as well as keep your heart healthy and clean by keeping you blood flowing through your veins and arteries with little trouble! 

So, although spices can seem expensive (I admit at first I struggled with the price of owning them!) they are well worth the investment. Why? I propose three reasons (1) a little goes a long ways so they last for a long long time, (2) they add flavor to every dish that you use them in, and finally, quite possibly most importantly, (3) the effects of these spices are life sustaining and life long - again, a little goes a long ways!

Find a couple recipes that have these spices in them and get in the kitchen to help your heart and fill your hungry tummy! While you're enjoying your newly spiced meal, think about your heart this month and about the things you can do to help it, whether it's a relaxing bath, a walk to destress after a long day at work, or stirring some spices into your favorite recipe!