This holiday season try adding some new spices to your favorite dishes -- they may help you live longer and healthier, according to medical reasearch.
"People who generally cook at home and use fresh spices tend to be healthier and have less disease," said Alison Gernand of the University of Texas School of Public Health.
Here are some spices with potential health benefits, according to Gernand:
Garlic. Research has shown that it can help reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing blood cholesterol. That helps prevents clogged arteries and lowers blood pressure.
Rosemary. Often used to liven up sauces and chicken dishes, rosemary may be good for eye health. "Rosemary, in some studies, has shown that it may help fight cataracts," Gernand said.
Oregano. This staple of Italian cooking has the highest antioxidant level of the 39 different types of spices. "Oregano also may be beneficial against several cancers, including breast cancer and ovarian cancer," Gernand said.
Sage. Regular dashes of this savory space may give your memory a boost.
Thyme. It may help get coughing spells under control.
Ginger. This super-spice has long been lauded for its ability to fight nausea and motion sickness. It also may be good for joints.
Turmeric. Popular in Indian cooking, "it has been shown to slow the spread of cancer cells, specifically prostate cancer," said Gernand.
Other spices with medicinal purposes include cinnamon, which can help lower your cholesterol and blood sugar. Fennel can prevent gas, heartburn, and upset stomach.
ABC affiliate KTRK-TV in Houston prepared this report.