Japanese cuisine fans know that this seven-spice blend--chili, orange or tangerine peel, black and white sesame seeds, and seaweed--is a great seasoning for fish, chicken, or noodles. It dates back to the 17th century, is packed with heart-healthy antioxidants, and includes no salt.
You may have tried the Middle Eastern condiment--an herb-and-spice mix including sumac, salt, oregano, and sesame seeds--on chicken or flatbread. Za'atar has been around since the Middle Ages, and its ingredients--rich in flavonoids, thymol, and carvacrol--have antioxidant, antiseptic, and fungicidal properties.
Though it varies from recipe to recipe (and some variety was used more than 4,000 years ago in India), common ingredients include turmeric and cinnamon, for controlling blood sugar level; fenugreek for cholesterol management; ginger, an anti-inflammatory and digestion aid; and coriander, which may help remove lead and mercury from the body.