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Diet Diva
Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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Super Spice of the Week: Oregano

A bowl of fresh oreganoSpaghetti dinners are one of the quickest and easiest things to prepare after a long day at work -- an added bonus is that my family loves spaghetti night!  As a dietitian, I always try to find ways to make meals healthier and taste better at the same time. I do that with herbs and spices. I love experimenting with them not only for their wonderful flavors but also because they actually double the amount of antioxidants you can get in a meal. What goes better in spaghetti sauce than my super spice of the week--oregano!

Of all the dried herbs, oregano actually has the highest amount of antioxidant levels. It’s crazy to think that just one teaspoon of dried oregano leaves has as many antioxidants as 3 oz of almonds and ½ cup of chopped asparagus, according to the McCormick Spices website. Just think if you had all three of these together? Who knows if that would taste good, but talk about maxing out your antioxidants in a meal.

The active compound in oregano that appears to have the strong antioxidant activity is Rosmarinic acid. Many of the studies on oregano have focused on the antimicrobial properties that help fight the growth of bacteria and parasites. Since oregano is so antioxidant rich, researchers are continuing to explore the use of oregano in various food applications to inhibit bacterial growth, so definitely be on the lookout for more research to come!

Questioning where else you can add oregano besides spaghetti sauce? Well, you can actually add oregano to almost anything, including:


So what are you waiting for? Try adding more spice and more antioxidants to your life by incorporating more super spices to your meals! All you need is one teaspoon! 

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Tags: Antioxidants

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About the Author


Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.