We all like to add herbs to our food. They improve the taste, can give a dish that extra something it’s been missing and can be used to make a meal look nicer as garnish. Other than these great benefits, did you know that most herbs & spices also have amazing health benefits?
Low on calories (100 grams of contain only 30 calories), chives are rich in dietary fiber, with 100 grams containing 7% of your daily intake, chives are also rich in anti-oxidants, such as allicin, which is shown to reduces cholesterol production and also has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial & anti-viral properties. Allicin also helps reduce blood pressure and will help prevent strokes, coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular diseases.
Chives also contain vitamin-A and antioxidants such as carotenes, zea-xanthin, and lutein and together, these compounds offer the human body protect from lung and oral cancer. Add to that the fact that chives are one of the best sources for vitamin-K in nature, which helps limit neuronal damage to the brain and is essential for treatment in Alzheimer’s.
Packed with minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc & calcium, these leafy greens contain several vital vitamins such as B-6, B-5, B-3, B-2, and B-1 in healthy proportions.
Cilantro contains many of anti-oxidants, essential oils, vitamins and dietary fiber which help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL). The leaves & seeds contain oils such as borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene, and terpinolene, and the stems are rich in polyphenolic flavonoids (such as quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and epigenin).
Cilantro is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium, which help control heart rate and blood pressure. It is also rich in many vitamins like folic-acid, B-2, B-3, vitamin-A, beta-carotene and vitamin-C (all are essential for your health). 100 grams of cilantro leaves provide 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C (which is a powerful antioxidant).
Vitamin-A is required for maintaining the skin and the health of mucus membranes. It is also essential for vision, and like chives - cilantro is also rich in vitamin-K.
Basil contains oils such as eugenol, citronellol, linalool, citral, limonene and terpineol which have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Basil is very rich in beta-carotene, vitamin-A, cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthin. These help protect against free radicals (that play a role in aging and various disease processes). Zea-xanthin was found to filter harmful UV rays and protect your eyes' retina.
Basil contains a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, all of which help control heart rate and blood pressure. Basil leaves are an excellent source of iron, a component of hemoglobin inside your red blood cells.
Dill sprigs & seeds contain many essential oils (d-carvone, dillapiol, DHC, eugenol, limonene, terpinene and myristicin) and have been used as a local-anesthetic and anti-septic. Dill was also found to reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Oil extracted from the seeds has anti-spasmodic, carminative, digestive, disinfectant & sedative properties and is rich in B-9, B-2, B-3, vitamin-A, beta-carotene & vitamin-C.
Dill is a great source of minerals such as copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Copper is essential for many of the body's vital enzymes (like cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase).
Zinc is an essential component in many enzymes that regulate the body's growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is important for cell and body fluids that assist in controling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is essential for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Thyme has disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. It contains thymol, an essential oil, which has been found to have antiseptic & anti-fungal characteristics. Thyme contains flavonoid phenolic antioxidants like zea-xanthin, lutein, pigenin, naringenin, luteolin, and thymonin.
Thyme leaves are one of the best sources for potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium, and selenium and are a rich source for many important vitamins such as B-complex vitamins, beta-carotene, vitamin-A, vitamin-K, vitamin-E, vitamin-C and B-9.
Thyme provides about 27% of daily recommended intake of vitamin-B-6 - a beneficial neurotransmitter in the brain that helps in reducing stress. Fresh thyme is one of the richest in antioxidant levels among herbs.
Turmeric has been in use since ancient times. Known for its anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent and anti-microbial properties, it also contains essential oils such as termerone, curlone, curumene, cineole, and p-cymene.
Curcumin is the pigment that gives turmeric its orange color. Studies suggest that the curcumin may have anti-tumor, anti-oxidant, anti-arthritic, anti-amyloid, anti-ischemic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is rich in anti-oxidants and dietary fiber, which help control bad cholesterol levels.
Turmeric is a rich source of many vitamins such as B-6, choline, B-3, and B-2 and more. B-6 is used in the treatment of CBS Deficiency, anemia and even radiation sickness. B-3 helps prevent dermatitis and B-2 helps the body convert crabohydrates into sugar which gives us energy.
Fresh Turmeric root contains high levels of vitamin-C, which helps the body develop immunity against infections and remove harmful free radicals. Turmeric also contains healthy amounts of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, and magnesium.
Rosemary leaves contain certain phyto-chemicals that are known to have disease-preventing & health-promoting properties. The herb parts, (especially flower tops) contain phenolic anti-oxidant rosmarinic acid as well as numerous health benefiting oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, alpha-pinene, and more. These compounds are known to reduce irritations & inflammations, have anti-fungal, anti-allergic, and antiseptic properties.
Rosemary contains very good amounts of vitamin-A and is exceptionally rich in many B-complex groups of vitamin, such as B-9, B-5, B-6, B-2. It also contains high levels of folates which is important in DNA synthesis, and, when given during the per-conception period - can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
Fresh rosemary leaves are a good source of vitamin-C, which is required for the collagen synthesis in the body (collagen is required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones). Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps protect the body from scurvy, boosts the body's immunity and help clear free radicals from your body.
Fresh or dried, rosemary is a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium, and it is an excellent source of iron (a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, which determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood).
Parsley contains essential oils like myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene, as well as flavonoids, including apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin. Many of these (particularly myristicin) have been shown to inhibit tumor formation in the lungs.
Myristicin also activates the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps attach the molecule glutathione to oxidized molecules that can be very harmful for the body. The oils in parsley qualify it as a "chemoprotective" food, meaning it can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens.
The flavonoids in parsley (especially luteolin) function as antioxidants, halting the damage from free radicals to the body. Additionally, extracts from parsley will help increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood.
Parsley is an excellent source for vitamin-A & vitamin-C and is helpful in preventing recurrent ear infections or colds.
Beta-carotene (another important antioxidant in parsley), is known to reduce risk for the development and progression of conditions like diabetes, atherosclerosis and colon cancer. It may also be helpful in reducing asthma attacks and some forms of arthritis.