Curious about the garnish on your plate, or what makes your favorite meals taste so good? Herbs are not only easy to grow, but they have amazing health benefits + can make the flavor of your food really *shine*. If you’ve ever wanted to start an herb garden, but aren’t sure what to do with the herbs once they’ve grown, consider these potential benefits —
Herbs are anti-microbial, which means that they help fight against harmful germs + bacteria. The polyphenols [chemical micronutrients] in the herbs causes them to be anti-microbial. Two herbs that have the highest concentration of anti-microbial properties are oregano + dill — enjoy oregano in your next chicken dish, on a burger, or with beans, ++ try pairing dill with some roasted potatoes or even in mac + cheese!
2] FULL OF ANTIOXIDANTS
Berries are usually known as a go-to source of antioxidants, but they’re not the only foods that contain them! Herbs get their antioxidant properties also from the polyphenols in the herbs. Antioxidants are beneficial because they bind to free radicals in your body + are known to fight off chronic diseases, reduce inflammation, ++ build immune strength.
3] ADD FLAVOR
Herbs can do a lot for your physical + mental health, but besides this, they can make your food taste amazing! : ) Herbs like rosemary, thyme, ++ sage have a *piney* // *woodsy* sort of taste + pair well with meat + potatoes, while basil has more of a licorice flavor + works well in sauces + pesto. Adding herbs to meals + desserts can be a delicious way to amp up the nutritional value of your dishes!
Many herbs have traditionally been used to treat + heal wounds // illnesses. It can either be consumed or applied directly to the skin. Herbal medicine can be in the form of plant extracts, teas, capsules, or tablets, + can be used to treat anything from burns to inflammation, stomach aches, or colds! Many people see herbal medicine as a way to naturally heal the body, however, if you have any concerns or questions about herbal supplements, talk to your doctor before taking any to be on the safe side!
HERBS TO ADD TO YOUR DIET
Anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, ++ can help with digestive issues. A yummy addition to eggs, soups, meats, homemade pizzas + sauces, ++ salads. : )
Alleviates nausea + digestive problems. Although it’s most commonly consumed as part of a tea blend, any CHAARGie who likes to experiment in the kitchen can try adding mint to meals + desserts as well!
A gluten-free way to thicken dips, soups, sauces, ++ baked goods. It can be easily digested, which is especially helpful for people with IBS.
A member of the mint family, thyme contains the antioxidant thymol, that can be used to treat wounds + gum infections. It can also be used to make a homemade natural spray cleaner. If cooking with thyme, add the herb towards the beginning of cooking, because it releases its benefits slowly throughout the cooking process!
Contains high levels of the antioxidant carnosol, which has been researched as a cancer treatment + has been shown to help with digestion. It can add flavor to meats, soups, ++ potatoes, or can even be made into soap!
There are so many herbs out there that you can surely find at least one [or three ; ) ] that will pair well with your dish. Whichever herbs you decide to try, you are doing your health a favor by adding them to your diet! Do you have an herb garden, or have a favorite recipe including any herbs? Share with us @CHAARG on Instagram + #CHAARGeats! : )
++Ashleigh Monaco [ashvm_inchaarg] // University of Iowa