As food enthusiast, I am always looking for healthy ways to add taste and color to my dishes. Herbs hit it perfectly. These luscious leaves — basil, cilantro, mint, Tarragon my top 4 herbs to enjoy raw — not only add enticing aroma, fresh flavor and vivid green color to food, but also have remarkable health benefits. You can enjoy the health benefits of these herbs either cooked or in the raw form. Here I will tell you the ways that I like to enjoy them raw, but first lets dig deeper into the top health benefits of each one of these herbs.
Top 4 Health benefits of basil:
Anti inflammation– Basil has a component called (E)-beta-caryophyllene (BCP) that soothes inflammation. A study has shown that basil can reduce swelling by up to 73% in less than 24 hours.
Study shows that (E)-beta-caryophyllene can also help treat arthritis.
High in antioxidant- Basil is rich in Vitamin C, which has been shown to reverse the oxidative damage in cells.
help relieve stress- One Study on rabbit has shown that consumption of fresh basil everyday will significantly reduce stress.
Improve bone density- Basil is a very good source of Vitamin K, 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves contain almost 25 mcg vitamin K 31% of our DV. Vitamin K helps to improve bone density. Research has shown that people who ingest food that are rich in vitamin K have a 65% lower chance of fracturing their hips.
Top 3 Health benefits of Cilantro:
Rids the body of heavy metals- Cilantro, scientifically known as as “Coriandrum sativum”, has been shown to bind toxic metals, Arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, and mercury, together, loosening them from tissue, and facilitating their elimination from the body (1,2).
Protects against oxidative stress- A recent study found that cilantro actually protects against oxidative stress, through its high antioxidant effects.
Protects against colon cancer- Researchers believe that coriander can protect against colon cancer by reducing cholesterol levels, and increasing the excretion of sterol compounds and bile. This process decreases toxic levels in the colon, lowering the risk for cancer.
Top 4 health benefits of mint:
May help with seasonal allergies- Mint plants contain an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent called rosmarinic acid. Rosmarinic acid (RA) has been shown effective in inhibiting seasonal allergies.
May help with common cold symptoms- Mint contains menthol, a natural aromatic decongestant that helps to break up phlegm and mucus, making it easier to expel.
Help with indigestion and gas– mint is well known for its calming and soothing effects, it also helps with upset stomach or indigestion. Mint is thought to increase bile secretion and encourage bile flow, which helps to speed and ease digestion.
May help with gastric ulcers- In a study menthol was found to help protect the lining of the stomach from the negative effects of indomethacin and ethanol, giving it a potential role in preventing gastric ulcers associated with alcohol consumption and regular use of painkillers.
Health benefits of Tarragon:
One of my other favorite herbs is tarragon, Tarragon has many health benefits one of which is helping women deal with suppressed menstruation and can aid in maintaining a healthy female reproductive tract. even though there are not enough studies to back up this claim, it has been suggested to limit consumption of tarragon during pregnancy and breast feeding. some of other health benefits of tarragon include:
Help improving digestion- Tarragon is a good source of carotenoids. Research has shown that herbs are rich sources of carotenoids and that these foods can significantly contribute to the intake of bioaccessible carotenoids.
Eases toothache- Tarragon has high levels of Eugenol. Eugenol is a naturally occurring anesthetic chemical, found in the plant, there fore chewing on fresh tarragon leaves can help ease the toothache.
Suggested way to enjoy these herbs raw:
Here is how I like to enjoy these herbs raw. I add these herbs to my breakfast sandwich in the morning.
Here is what you need:
two slices of gluten free toast (If Gluten causes problems for you) or two slices of Ezekiel sprouted bread
enough goat cheese or feta cheese to spread on your toast, Goat cheese agrees much better with my stomach compare to feta cheese.
a handful of mixed herbs. I usually buy one bunch of each herbs once a week, clean , wash and store them in a produce savor container in my refrigerator.
toast your bread, spread cheese on top of your toast, place a handful of herbs on your toast, and enjoy!
Important points to consider:
Herbs grow very close to the soil, so they may be contaminated with chemicals present in the soil and pesticides. In order to protect yourself from these contaminants choose herbs that are USDA organic certified and wash them very carefully. my favorite products that I use to clean all my fruits and veggies are the honest fruit and veggie wash or veggie wash.
As always stay happy and healthy
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