Herbs…..O how I love them. So small, yet so powerful. Ever since I started growing my own garden, I have come to thoroughly enjoy snipping off a few fresh herbs and returning to my kitchen with a delicious bunch of green goodies for cooking, blending and sautéing. Nothing beats the fresh garden flavor!
Adding herbs into your diet is a simple way to eat an abundance of greens, which means more nutrient diversity of vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-oxidants. Many even have healing properties as cancer fighters and inflammation busters. Others are proven to detox the body, cleanse the blood and rejuvenate the system.
With my powerful herbs in hand, I created my Top 6 Best for health, nutrition and taste. For each herb, I highlight key aspects, benefits and easy ways to incorporate them into your diet.
So here goes…my top 6 picks for best herbs:
BASIL – Not just for Italians!
- * Potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties
- * Great source of iron, vitamins (A, B1,B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E and K), plus calcium, manganese, magnesium, potassium, folate, copper, phosphorus and zinc
- * Rich in flavonoids which prevent cell damage
- * Detoxifies by targeting the kidneys, helping to remove waste and toxins
Favorite uses: Everything!!! Salads, stir-fry’s, homemade pizza, sauces (especially pesto!), soups and omelets
CILANTRO – Love it or Leave it?
- * Powerful detoxifier that binds to heavy metals and removes them from the system
- * Richest herbal source of Vitamin K which improves bone and blood strength
- * Also contains beta carotene, vitamins (B1,B2, B3, B5, B6,C, E) folate, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, zinc and selenium
- * Digestive aid, diuretic and cholesterol reducer
Favorite uses: Salad, soups, garnish, sandwiches, guacamole and tangy citrus fruit smoothies
Parsley – More than just a garnish!
- * Strong immune system and cancer fighter
- * As a diuretic, it helps flush excess fluid from the body
- * Powerful breath freshener
- * Rich in vitamin A, C, K, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, folate, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, zinc, selenium, sodium, fiber, chlorophyll and carotenes
- * Used in treating urinary tract infections, kidney stones, various gastrointestinal disorders, osteoarthritis and anemia
- * Targets build-up in bladder, kidneys, liver channels and helps to flush out toxins
Favorite uses: Chop and sprinkle onto any dish, plus great in salad, soup, stir-fry’s, rice dishes, dressings, sauces and sandwiches (This is my favorite herb to eat raw and directly out of my garden!)
ROSEMARY – AKA Dew of the sea.
- * Potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents
- * Antiseptic and antimicrobial plus a tonic and diuretic
- * A good source of vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E), folate, iron, copper, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, zinc, magnesium, omega 3+6 fatty acids
- * Memory enhancer, mood elevator, migraine killer, immune booster and improver of digestive health
- * Contains an anti-cancer compound that encourages cancer cells in tumors to stop reproducing and eventually die
Favorite uses: Chop and sprinkle on top most dishes, baked on conscious meats, poultry and fish for those non-veg, cooked with roasted corn
Mint – The miraculous herb.
- * Helpful in treating a number of digestive ailments, especially irritable bowel syndrome
- * A great mouth freshener, antiseptic and breath cleanser
- * Provides relief in respiratory disorders like asthma and colds
- * Contains beta carotene, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C), folate, copper, magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese, phosphorus, calcium and zinc
- * A phytochemical in mint leaves has been found to cut off the blood supply to cancer tumors, resulting in their untimely death
- * Helps to flush out toxins quickly, preventing build-up
Favorite uses: Fresh lemonade, tea, plus in salads, stir-fry dishes, smoothies like this one, juices and desserts
OREGANO – The ultimate healer.
- * Antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties effective against some forms of food-borne illnesses, colds and flus
- * Found to be effective against yeast-based infections like vaginitis and oral thrush
- * Used to treat respiratory tract and gastrointestinal diseases, menstrual cramps, and urinary tract infections
- * Helps clear up a number of skin conditions, such as acne and psoriasis
- * Contains beta carotene, folate, vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6,C, E, K)
Favorite uses: Sprinkle liberally (fresh or dried) over homemade pizza, add to the pot when making sauce from abundant garden fresh tomatoes
So give it a try and see how easy and delicious herbs can be!
Special thanks to my husband and incredible artist, Sebastian Alappat, for the custom artwork.