Herbs grow in my garden in summer and on my windowsills in winter. I can’t imagine cooking without herbs. From the delicately flavored to the really robust, herbs can elevate a dish from the everyday to the sublime. But it’s not just taste that you should consider when deciding to use herbs. This post will show you how to make meals heathier with herbs. Here’s a list of some of the beneficial herbs you should be eating.
Both cilantro and coriander (the seed from which cilantro grows) contain a compound called dodecanal. Dodecanal has been found to be nearly twice as effective as commercial antibiotics at killing salmonella; a bacterium commonly found in raw meats. There are also about a dozen additional compounds in cilantro and coriander that kill other foodborne bacteria.
Aside from adding flavor to your cooking and to drinks, lavender is high in vitamin A and calcium as well as containing respectable amounts of vitamin C and iron.
Cooks in Southeast Asia use this fragrant, citrusy grass in their traditional cuisine. Lemongrass is known to reduce fevers, relieve headaches, muscle cramps, and upset tummies. In addition to these medicinal applications lemongrass has antimicrobial properties that fight E. coli and is bursting with antioxidants.
If you think blueberries have a lot of antioxidants, take a look at oregano! It has twice the antioxidants of blueberries. Among herbs, oregano packs a whopping 20 times greater antioxidants! A single teaspoon of oregano has the same antioxidants as an entire apple. Fresh or dried, this is a really healthy addition to your cooking.
The ancient Greeks thought parsley was an aphrodisiac. But whether they were right or not parsley is very good for you. Get more than 150% of your vitamin K in just two tablespoons of fresh parsley. This vitamin is very important to blood clotting, bone formation, and liver function. Parsley also freshens your breath, which may explain why the ancient Greeks used it for romance.
Placing third behind oregano and sage for antioxidants, peppermint also freshens your breath. And just smelling peppermint can help you lose weight! Wheeling Jesuit University had people smell peppermint every two hours for a week and discovered those people ate 2,800 calories less than the control group who didn’t sniff it. That’s the equivalent of 2 ½ cups of fruit, 3 ½ cups of vegetables, 10 ounces of grains, 7 ounces of protein, 3 cups of dairy, 8 teaspoon of oil, plus an additional 426 calories!
If you want to lower carcinogenic compounds HCAs (heterocyclic amines) formed when meat is exposed to the flames of a grill, cook your meat with rosemary added. Cooking meats with this herb can lower the HCAs by 60 to 80% according to researchers at the University of Arkansas, Iowa State University, and Kansas State University. So the next time you throw a steak on the grill add some rosemary.
Second in the lineup of antioxidant containing herbs, sage is just behind oregano. And sage oil can boost your memory and subject recall. A study published in the journal Pharmacological Biochemical Behavior performed cognitive tests on 45 adults and those on the placebo scored noticeably lower than the people taking the sage oil. And those receiving higher levels of the essential oil scored higher than those getting a lower dose.
A mere 2 teaspoons of thyme meets almost 20% of the daily requirement for iron. It’s also high in manganese which aids in healthy bones, skin, and cartilage formation. Manganese is also helpful in boosting your brain function. The next time you go into a room and forget why, try eating some thyme!