Herbs to Boost your Health
Struggling to find a way to jazz up your meals? Most of us reach for our herbs and spices to solve this problem but, herbs are much more than a way to season your food. Herbs are a way to increase the nutritional value of your meals and make leading a healthy and balanced diet even more delicious! Keep on reading to discover some of our favourite herbs!
Containing numerous phytochemicals, you’ll wish you’d been using this herb all the thyme! It contains the phytochemicals called thymol and carvacrol, which are suggested to have anti-inflammatory properties. Thyme may also strengthen your immune system and protect you against cancer. This herb is fab for your blood health as it has strong antioxidative properties that can help to lower cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. Containing energy-boosting manganese and supporting your digestive system by stimulating the liver to produce digestive enzymes, this herb really is an all-rounder!
A useful source of iron, rosemary helps to support your blood health. Rosemary is a great source of iron, which our body needs to build the red blood cells that carry oxygen. If you’re feeling super tired this may mean that your iron levels are low, so make sure to stock up on rosemary! It also contains the phytochemical cineole, which is suggested to prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine enables nerve cells to communicate and its decline with age is thought to be the cause of memory loss and memory agility. The phytochemical carnosic acid can be found in rosemary and is believed to neutralize free radicals before they can cause damage in the brain. The various phytochemicals in rosemary may help to prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Rosemary is a fab source of iron, which our body needs to build the red blood cells that carry oxygen.
Apart from adding flavour to many recipes, basil also has lots of health benefits. Basil contains disease-fighting antioxidants that help to protect your body from pesky free radical damage as well as protecting DNA structure and cells. It contains orientin and viceninare, flavonoid antioxidants that help protect white blood cells that are responsible for immune function. Antioxidants found in basil help to prevent free radical damage and slow down the effects of ageing. Basil has antibacterial properties that can provide protection against the growth of harmful bacteria, as well as antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and infections.
Fresh parsley provides a massive amount of vitamin K, which enables the body to incorporate more calcium into the bones. This nutrient is essential for maintaining bone density and fighting fractures and bone breaks. Parsley contains the antioxidant vitamin C that helps to provide protection for the skin against free radical damage. Vitamin C also maintains a healthy gut environment, which is where the majority of the immune system is located. Parsley contains a host of flavonoid antioxidants that have heaps of disease-fighting benefits. These antioxidants include beta-carotene and lycopene, which help to fight free radical damage, inflammation and slow the ageing process. Free radical damage contributes to major diseases such as cancer and heart disease, so make sure to load up with antioxidant-rich foods! This herb contains iron and the B vitamin folate, which are both needed for the creation of red blood cells. This, in turn, helps to balance hormones as folate helps to prevent symptoms of PMS and improve fertility.
Loaded with vitamin K, coriander is a great addition to your diet to help maintain strong bones. Consuming high levels of vitamin K has been linked to a decreased risk of osteoporosis. Coriander contains carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These phytochemicals have antioxidant properties that help to protect your eyes from free radical damage and reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Coriander is also great for your digestive health as it can help obstruct the growth of heterocyclic amines, carcinogenic compounds that are created when meat is cooked at high temperatures.
This herb is great for boosting your immune system. Containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory rosmarinic acid, fresh mint can help to relieve hayfever symptoms. It also contains the natural decongestant menthol, which provides relief from cold and flu symptoms. Mint is a fab source of folate, which helps support your blood health. Mint has stomach-soothing properties due to their menthol content, this helps to relax the muscles in the digestive tract to provide relief. It is suggested that mint may also be beneficial for people with irritable bowel syndrome, as mint can reduce symptoms of constipation, abdominal pain, cramps, nausea and bloating.
What are your favourite herbs and how do use them as part of a healthy and balanced diet? Tweet us @UKBiteClub with your answers!