Cooking With Herbs: Health Benefits
Apart from enhancing the flavour of food, herbs are medicinal. Their dried forms are spices. Fresh herbs are flavoursome and are now common, you can buy them from local food stores or from the market.
Now let us look at the health benefits of herbs.
Garlic is known for it's ability to destroy cancer cells. It also helps by disrupting the metabolism of tumor cells. Garlic when consumed lowers cholesterol level and prevents cerebral aging. It is also known to boost immunity. Garlic goes well with meat, and can be stir fired or marinated when using them to cook.
Ginger is the bulb of a perennial plant a member of the lily family. Ginger is used in cooking beef, pork, soup, deserts and teas and it's known for it's ability to decrease nausea and also relieve pain and swelling associated with arthritis.
Sage is used to add flavour to potato and vegetable dishes. Sage when used in food improves digestion, eases lung congestion and helps calm the nerves to reduce stress.
Cinnamon when eaten helps to regulate sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon goes well with savory dishes.It is known for it's ability to lower blood sugar and triglycerides.
Basil is used in making pesto sauce and to flavour meat, fish, vegetable dishes with or without Oregano. Basil contains flavonoids that are known to protect the cells. Basil also provides protection against unwanted bacterial growth. Basil contains high amount of vitamin K and is a very good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. In addition, basil is a good source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, vitamin C and potassium.
Rosemary stimulates the liver to eliminate toxins from the body and improves circulation of blood.
Thyme is known to improve the immune system.
Oregano a light green leaves of the mint family is well known for it's bacteria fighting properties. A small amount of concentrated oregano extract can destroy the Listeria bacteria - shown by research. It has the highest level of antioxidants and slows the aging process. Oregano is used in pizza, salads, all kinds of meat, pasta and sauces.
Tumeric contains an active agent curcumin which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Tumeric has an anti-inflammatory property that makes it a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Tumeric is also known to aid fat metabolism and helps in weight management. It can be used in egg and egg dishes, meat.
Bay leaf is aromatic leaf of the bay laurel plant, which belongs to the Lauraceae family. It's known to provide resistance against different types of cancer. It's used for gravies and grains dishes.
Cilantro is known to be rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids and active phenolic acid compounds, all of which are good for you.
Marjoram when eaten promotes healthy digestion. It's a key ingredient in several classic spice blends like fines herbs and bouquet garni.
Parsley is an excellent source of two vital nutrients that are also important for the prevention of many disease, Vitamin A and Vitamin C - 166mg per 100g (4oz). Parsley is a good source of folic acid, one of the most important B vitamins. Parsley contains more vitamin C than any other standard culinary vegetable, with 166mg per 100g (4oz). It's rich in iron content and it's exceptionally high in potassium, with one whole gram of potassium in 100g (4oz) .
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