Slide show: A guide to spices and herbs
Photograph of spices paired with fruit
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Spices and herbs add a negligible amount of calories to your food but lots of flavor. And they can help you reduce salt and fat in your recipes. Some spices even boast health benefits because they're good sources of antioxidants.

Spices come from a variety of tropical plant and tree parts, such as seeds, fruits, roots, buds, stems and bark. They're usually available in dried forms. Herbs are the leaves and stems of plants, and are available fresh or dried.

Most herbs have subtle flavor, while spices often have stronger flavor. Don't let that stop you from experimenting — just use herbs and spices sparingly at first so that you don't accidentally overpower a dish.

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