One of the major benefits having a garden is fresh produce of your choice. When it comes to things like basil, cilantro, and parsley, I’m quick to add them to a dish if they’re nearby, however, rarely go out and purchase them myself. Working at Hilltop garden has made me realize how much flavor I’m missing out on when I don’t add these tasty herbs. Besides enhancing taste and giving dishes a nice ‘pop’, these plants also provide great nutritional and health benefits.
- High source of vitamin K, iron, calcium, and vitamin A
- Protect body’s cell structures
- Helps stop bacterial growth (such as the strand that cause E. Coli)
- Aids in cardiovascular health
- Is considered an anti-inflammatory food
- How to eat: make pesto, make a Panini using tomato; mozzarella, and fresh basil; add to stir-fry
- Tip: since basil has a high amount of natural volatile oils, cook last to maintain basil’s strong flavor
- A natural cleanser: helps remove toxic agents from the human body such as heavy metals
- Good source of iron and magnesium
- Helps reduce nausea
- Powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that may help symptoms of arthritis
- Helps promote healthy liver function.
- Reduces minor swelling
- Reduces bad breath
- How to eat: add to Mexican dishes; add to Thai dishes; use some in eggs; make homemade salsa or cilantro pesto; garnish soups and salads
- High source of vitamin K (helps bone density and reduces the risk of blood clotting)
- Provides numerous antioxidants such as luteolin which gets rid of free radicals in the body that are caused by stress
- Strengthens the immune system
- Promotes a health heart due to high levels of vitamin B9
- Contains vitamin C which is an anti-inflammatory
- Has twice as much vitamin C as orange juice, more beta carotene than a carrot, and more calcium than milk
- How to eat: add to soups, tomato sauces, fish, and salads; add to Middle Eastern dishes
Hopefully, you’ll know be inspired to add these herbs to your meal next time. Not only will you impress family and friends with your culinary skills, you can also amaze them with your nutritional information!