Sumac: A Middle Eastern Spice with Loads of Nutrients and Benefits.

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If you are reading this article here, chances are you were or are still very much a Foodie like the staff here at Nature’s First Path. Yes, you can still be a Foodie and care about your health, plant-based nutrition and over all well being; it’s ok, we give you permission.  And with being a Foodie, there is always a never ending quest that we have to discover new tastes, cultures and stories behind many of the foods that we eat.

So in an effort to present new taste and spices that maybe are a little less off the Western radar, we present an extraordinary and nutrient rich spice that often goes under looked these days: the Sumac Berry. Not to be confused with the poison sumac that is located in the Western hemisphere; we are talking about that pungent red berry that can be crushed into powder and which finds its way into many middle eastern homes; as that is a common spice in many of their countries. For those who have never had the pleasure of tasting this sweet little spice, it almost has the flavor of Mexican hibiscus yet with a little more of a heat kick once it goes down. It can be used as a condiment spice and can be made into a healthy herbal drink. Yet in addition to this, did you know the Sumac is very nutritious? Sumac has many health benefits that include:

Being loaded with vitamin c, soothes the Gastro Intestinal tract, is an anti-inflammatory which aides in controlling arthritis pain, assist in controlling bronchitis, regulates blood sugar levels and is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids which makes a great plant based alternative for those seeking to get their Omega-3’s.

Its dark crimson color brings out the flavor in hummus, salads, rice and makes for a flavorful ginger and lemonade drink! So while summer is still in full bloom, take some time to go and visit your local international market and discover new taste and spices; you’ll be glad you did. Here’s to your health!

                      Daud Scott-CPT; CHNP.

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