Basil is one of my favorite herbs! It is a staple in my kitchen and grows year ‘round in my household. Not only does it offer a fresh and unique taste to many dishes, but it also comes with many health benefits. A win-win for chefs and healthy eaters alike! Here are 4 unknown health benefits of basil that may just get you to start win incorporating this tasty herb into your cooking and diet.
Basil is an excellent source of vitamin K and manganese; a very good source of copper, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids such as beta-carotene), and vitamin C; and a good source of calcium, iron, folate, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids making it quite nutrient rich!
Flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level. Orientin and vicenin are two flavonoids that protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.
Basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. These anti-bacterial properties are associated with its volatile oils, which have been shown to protect against a wide variety of bacteria.
Basil's volatile oils have been shown in studies to have anti-inflammatory properties by blocking the activity of an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase (COX). Many over the counter pain relieving medicines work in the same manner as COX. Therefore, basil can be an important food for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.
Now you know how healthy basil is, here are a few tips on how to use it.
How To Use Basil
Basil is easy to use and because of its versatility, can be added to many different types of dishes, as well as waters and even teas. Here are a few easy and simple ways to get more basil in your diet: