Smoked paprika brings a pop flavor to any dish. “It’s an especially good ingredient for bringing a smoky depth to vegan food, almost like bacon,” shares Linda Shiue, MD, an internal medicine physician and the Director of Culinary Medicine with Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. “This is made from capsicums/peppers and contains vitamin A, beta-carotene and other carotenoids. As antioxidants, carotenoids prevent cellular damage that can lead to chronic health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis.”
Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, similar to pharmaceutical Cox-2 inhibitors like Celebrex, says Dr. Shiue. “This is the golden orange spice ingredient that forms the base of curry powders. It can help with inflammatory conditions like arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease,” she says.
A whole-wheat grain with a nutty taste that has been parboiled and then dried, bulgur can be prepared very quickly just by soaking in boiled water. “It can be used any place you’d use rice, and it can also be served cold as a grain salad base,” Dr. Shiue says. “Bulgur also a great food for diabetics because bulgur is high in fiber with a very low glycemic index, with little impact on blood sugar, unlike white rice.”