Sprinkling meals with your favourite herbs doesn’t just work as a garnish and flavouring for the food it also adds a bunch of nutrients to it. Take a look and see what you didn’t know a handful of green leaves can do and why these herbs are health food in themselves.
It has anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-viral and anti-carcinogen properties. Whew! Oregano has a good dose of Vitamin K which when mixed with other herbs like rosemary; thyme and basil create quite a powerful healthy sprinkling for your pizza. Did you know it is also used as cure for dandruff and a natural mosquito repellant?
Just like its use, the benefits you can get from this famous herb are also endless. It helps greatly in detoxification of the kidney, controlling blood pressure and reducing fatigue. The next time you find yourself really stressed or tired just sip on a cup of warm parsley tea and find your woes disappear with each gulp.
Dill: Calcium Dose
This feathery herb is great for those who need an additional burst of calcium in their diet. A great digestive, the gripe water that soothes colicky babies is an extract of dill. Try to eat these in its raw form to secure the most of its nutritive benefits.
Larger, thicker and more fragrant than tulsi, its Indian cousin basil offers some serious benefits to your mind and body. Right from curing common colds and coughs, busting stress and acne to providing you with Vitamin A, Beta carotene and antioxidants this fragrant leaf is a one stop solution to a fit you. For menstruating women, basil helps restore lost iron and sooth cramps.
You can’t finish cooking an Indian meal without a healthy sprinkling of fresh coriander and we are so glad about it. Coriander as an herb helps produce insulin and manage cholesterol by lowering the levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL levels (good cholesterol) in the blood. With its anti-inflammatory properties it aids in curing health conditions like arthritis.
This one is a favourite not only because of the fabulous taste and because you can’t make a bloody Mary without a celery stick stirrer, but because eating a stick of celery negates calories. Yeah! You burn more calories than you gain while eating it. Also has a substantial vitamin C content and generous amount of fibre and bulk.
A natural stimulant - mint helps the body and mind in several ways. Right from curing fatigue to boosting brain power, to stimulating enzymes in the digestive system to zapping zits, this herb is great to have in your kitchen or some might say even in your medicine cabinet and beauty kit.
This native Mediterranean herb with beautiful grayish green leaves are great in treating Alzheimer’s, digestive difficulties, hot flashes in menopausal women and in controlling cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body. The more than pleasing aroma also makes it a favourite ingredient in natural soaps and cosmetics.
Dried Fenugreek leaves: Glowing skin
Dried fenugreek leaves are a great way to control diabetes and that is no secret, but did you know that it also aids weight loss, prevents constipation, other digestive disorders and helps you have beautiful glowing skin. Also if scanty hair and hair loss are the larger of your worries in life, then fenugreek leaves and seeds are your savior.
It helps every woman’s dream of looking younger as they age because it has enzymes that aid cell regeneration and firmer skin. Besides being a fabulous flavouring rosemary helps in boosting memory, reducing stress, improving blood flow, liver detoxification and in general as an immunity booster.
Thyme infused water is like magic water – sipping it will solve all types of problems in your mouth - everything from tooth aches to blisters and bad breath too. In fact thyme extract is the main ingredient in several popular mouth washes like Listerine. How about a herb butter?
One of our favourite things to make this these leafy wonders is herbed butter. Pick your favourite herb or a fusion of more than one and mix it up really well with some softened salted butter. Shape this into a log and freeze to use whenever you need to. Little disks of herb studded butter glams up the most ordinary dishes with flavour, oomph and now as we know plenty of nutrition too!
Recommended Recipes: Herb Risotto with Leftover Rice, Pesto Quesadillas, Warm Potato Parsley Salad, Potato and Rosemary Focaccia, Fresh Herbs and Spicy Bread Loaf, Cheese and Coriander Parantha, Fish in Dill and Tomato Sauce, Kale and Mint Taboulleh, Herb Salad, Tomato and Fresh Basil Soup
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.