Healthy herbs have always occupied a vital role in our overall well-being, deeply cherished through the ages. In today's world, their significance has only grown, as we increasingly rely on them to cleanse not just our bodies but also our minds and spirits!
Undoubtedly, we all incorporate various herbal elements into our daily routines, whether it's for their delightful flavors, their therapeutic qualities, or to enhance our culinary creations. The advantages of herbs are numerous, serving purposes ranging from spiritual enrichment to tantalizing our taste buds, or even serving as home remedies for common afflictions like the common cold or a nagging sore throat. Herbs truly cater to the diverse needs of each individual!
|Mediterranean sweet basil
|Aloe vera plant
While herbs have been a part of our diet since ancient times, it is only in recent years that they have gained significant attention in the field of nutrition science due to their potential health benefits and detoxification properties. Herbs and spices primarily enhance the flavor of the food we consume, rather than adding substantial substance.
|Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Photo courtesy: NatalieMaynor
Herbs boast unique antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phytosterols, and various other plant-derived nutrients. These elements fortify our body's defenses against germs and toxins, while enhancing our immunity. In essence, herbs serve as medicinal agents in small dose!.
The essential oils within herbs exhibit anti-inflammatory properties by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), which plays a pivotal role in the body's inflammatory responses. This inhibition makes essential oils from herbs valuable for providing relief from symptoms in individuals with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis.
Several novel compounds found in healthy herbs have demonstrated the ability to lower blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes.
Controlled epidemiological studies have revealed that specific compounds, such as allicin, present in garlic, can significantly reduce total cholesterol and blood pressure. This reduction, in turn, mitigates the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
Curcumin, in conjunction with other antioxidants found in turmeric, possesses anti-amyloid and anti-inflammatory properties. This suggests its potential in preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer's disease.
The volatile oils, vitamins, and antioxidants within herbs exhibit cytotoxic effects against cancer cells in the prostate, pancreas, colon, and endometrium.
Herbs' chemical compounds demonstrate a range of effects when consumed in appropriate doses, including anti-spasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, deodorant, digestive, antiseptic, lipolytic (promoting fat burning and weight loss), stimulant, and stomachic effects.
Herbs make a wonderful culinary enhancement. They not only impart unique flavors and spicy nuances to dishes but also possess numerous antimicrobial properties that safeguard your food from harmful agents. Typically, chefs apply a blend of herbs and spices in modest quantities to coat raw ingredients, such as meat and fish, for marination.
Here are some serving tips:
Add fresh herb leaves into soup and green sauces.
Diced fresh herb leaves can add depth to both vegetable and fruit salads.
In addition to other flavorful ingredients, certain nutritious herbs are employed to elevate the taste and aroma of vegetable, chicken, fish, and lean meat dishes.
Herbs like mint and ginger, along with other plant components, are increasingly utilized to infuse juices and create revitalizing beverages.
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1. Stanford School of Medicine Cancer information Page- Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk.