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Healthy herbs nutrition facts

Healthy herbs have long been held a holistic place in our wellbeing. Prized since ancient times, and today, depend upon them more than ever to purify our body, mind, and soul!

Of course, we all use herbal parts in our daily lives, one way or the other, whether for their pleasant flavor, for their healing power, or in lovely recipes. Herbal benefits are many; be it for spiritual reasons or to spice up your taste buds, or as a home remedy for ailments like cold, or a sore throat; herbs can be handy for each one's need!

mediterranian basil aloe-vera plant
Mediterranean sweet basil Aloe vera plant

Although, the herbs been in use in our diet since antiquity, only recently they have taken the center-stage of the nutrition scientific world for their potential health benefiting and detoxification properties. Herbs and spice, indeed, extend their flavor rather than substance to the food we eat.

healthy herbs
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Photo courtesy: NatalieMaynor

Why add herbs in our diet? Health benefits of herbs:

  • Herbs contain unique antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phytosterols, and many other plants derived nutrient substances, which help equip our body to fight against germs, toxins and to boost immunity level. Herbs are, in fact, medicines in smaller dosages.

  • Essential oils in herbs have been found to have an anti-inflammatory function by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), which mediates inflammatory cascade reaction inside the human body. The enzyme-inhibiting effect of essential oils in herbs makes it a valuable remedy for symptomatic relief in individuals with inflammatory health problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel conditions like ulcerative colitis.

  • Many novel compounds in healthy herbs have been found to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

  • Controlled-epidemiological studies have shown that certain compounds in garlic like those that thiosulfinates (allicin) can bring a significant reduction in total cholesterol and blood pressure, and thereby, helps cut down coronary artery disease and stroke risk.

  • Curcumin, together with other antioxidants in turmeric, has been found to have anti-amyloid and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, it is thought to be effective in preventing or at least delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • The volatile oils, vitamins, and antioxidants in the herbs have cytotoxicity action against prostate, pancreatic, colon, endometrial cancer cells.

  • The chemical compounds in the herbs have been found to be anti-spasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, analgesic, aphrodisiac, deodorant, digestive, antiseptic, lipolytic (fat burning and weight loss action), stimulant, and stomachic effects when taken in a proper dosage.

Culinary herbs

Herbs are a great addition to food. It is not just because they add a distinctive flavor and spicy taste to the food but also contain many anti-microbial substances that help keep your food protected from these agents. Usually, chefs smear herb and spice mixture in small amounts over the raw foods, fish, and meat to marinate.

Here are some serving tips:

  • Fresh herb leaves are being used in the preparation of soups and green sauces.

  • Chopped, fresh herb leaves can impart richness to the vegetable as well as fruit salads.

  • Along with other spicy items, selective healthy herbs are being used to enhance the flavor and taste of the vegetable, chicken, fish, and lean meat dishes.

  • Some herbs and plant parts like mint, and ginger are increasingly being used to flavor juices and refreshing drinks.

Herbs carry unique anti-oxidants, essential oils, vitamins, phytosterols, and many other plants derived nutrient substances, which help equip our body to fight against germs, toxins and to boost immunity level. Herbs are, in fact, natural medicines in smaller dosages.

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Further Resources:

1. Stanford School of Medicine Cancer information Page- Nutrition to Reduce Cancer Risk.

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