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Most cooks have a predictable menu of tried and true flavor accents: a sprinkle of thyme, a pinch of paprika. And while many spices are sources of vitamins and antioxidants, some may deliver surprising benefits. We asked Sara Haas, a chef, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, how to upgrade your spice rack.

Swap Parsley for Sage
Both herbs are high in vitamin K (important for blood clotting and maintaining strong bones), but sage wins out with roughly 26 percent more. And research has shown that the herb, a potential home remedy for Alzheimer's patients, can boost memory. When young adults in one small study took a dose of Spanish sage essential oil, they scored higher on tests that required them to recall a list of words. Parsley may make a better garnish, but "sage's warm, aromatic flavor is excellent for pumpkin or squash dishes," Haas says.