Herbs & spices are the secret superheroes of the kitchen, wielding not only incredible flavours but a potent dose of nutrition.. Here, Melbourne dietitian Melanie Marino tells Lifestyle News why she started her own spice range - and how it can improve people's health.
Q: Tell me about your journey to create your spice range Bespezie
A: I was attending a presentation as a dietitian on herbs and spices at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. I realised how herbs and spices are highly nutritious but often underutilised and misunderstood.
Take away and processed food are reducing the quality of people’s diet and I felt strongly that herbs and spices could be the perfect way to compensate for this.
They are also the ideal way to add flavour and nutrition to food instead of salt.
During the Covid lockdown I started my mission to improve people’s health through the consumption of a greater variety of spices and herbs.
I wanted to create a product that meant more herbs and spices could be understood for their health benefits; easily used every day, retain their nutrients, and taste delicious.
I studied and tasted hundreds of herbs and spices to produce the Bespezie blends. These blends have layers of flavour and science behind them.
I wanted to create a blend that wasn’t a powder or synthetic supplement but made of organic, pure, whole plants.
Bespezie blends contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will boost everyday health.
Bespezie comes from a place of genuinely wanting to help make a difference to people’s health and well-being and ultimately their everyday lives.
Q: Do you think people underestimate the health benefits from spices?
A: Yes. Spices and herbs are a perfect combination of nutrients and flavour. The benefits of herbs and spices are drenched in scientific studies and yet their use is often restricted to a couple of common spices uses sporadically in monotonous meals.
As a group, herbs and spices contain more than 2000 different phytochemicals.
One group of phytochemicals that predominates in herbs and spices is polyphenols, which may have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and other potential beneficial health effects.
Cloves which are a Bespezie favourite have been shown to have an antioxidant capacity that is 400 times greater than blueberries.
Adding herbs and spices to food and drink is an easy way to add nutrients to your diet.
Q: As a dietitian, do you think people generally need to boost the nutrition in their diet?
A: People definitely need to boost the nutrition in their diet. Processed food makes up over half of a typical person’s diet in 2023.
Chemically processed foods often only contain refined ingredients and artificial substances, with little nutritional value.
They tend to have added chemical flavouring agents, colours, and sweeteners. Bespezie was created to return nutrients to people’s diet.
Australians are eating more pre-packaged foods, refined grains, red meat, processed meat, high-sugar drinks, sweets, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, and high-fructose products.
They’re also consuming low amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
These foods are important sources of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants, which are essential for optimal health.
Low intakes of these foods have led to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Due to the deterioration of the Australian diet people aren’t consuming enough micronutrients and antioxidants to give them magnesium, potassium, iron, vitamins B6, B12, A, and C, carotenoids, and flavonoids.
These nutrients which are in Bespezie may reduce inflammatory processes, which has consequences such as improving mental health, increasing beneficial bacteria in the gut, enhancing mitochondrial function, and boosting our immune system.
Q: Tell me about your range.
A: Bespezie has five healthy herb and spice blends to choose from. All the Bespezie mixes have been carefully, created by a dietitian and are based on scientific evidence.
They are designed to use in all your food and drink according to taste. The more you use the more nutrition you add to your diet.
There aren’t any limitations because Bespezie consists of balanced blends of natural whole plants without any additives.
BeRested is an organic, natural blend of 12 herbs and spices to help you sleep and feel restored. BeWell is an organic, natural blend of 12 herbs and spices that makes you healthy and well. BeEnergised is an organic, natural blend of 12 herbs and spices that will boost your vitality, energy, and focus.
BeFit is an organic, natural blend of 12 herbs and spices to sprinkle before your workout so you can do your personal best.
BeHappy is an organic, natural blend of 12 herbs and spices that will boost your mood.
Q: Is your range organic?
A: All the Bespezie range uses organic herbs and spices that are packed with care in Australia.
This means that Bespezie herbs and spices are more nutritious; contain lower levels of chemicals and are better for the environment. Bespezie blends are vegan, keto friendly and eco-friendly.