Food As Medicine: Culinary Herbs

In my opinion, fresh herbs are some of the most underrated and under-utilized natural food flavorings!  They are a powerhouse of nutrition and no matter what-all fresh herbs provide us with some kind of phytonutrient health benefit!  Most of us remember to eat more vegetables when trying to promote health but we forget to up our intake of herbs. I’ve provided some easy tips and tricks below on why we should be eating more of these flavor boosters  and how to include more of them into your daily eats!

  • Basil
    • Why? Natural adaptogenic helping to improve our stress response; helps reduce inflammation and pain related to inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis; fights off disease
    • How?
      • Make a healthier salad dressing-try my Basil Dressing recipe: blend together: handful of basil, 1 part apple cider vin to 2 parts olive oil, 1 clove garlic, s + p to taste
      • Add more flavor to your traditional chicken soup recipe by stirring in fresh chopped basil
  • Chamomile
    • Why?  Improves skin health and clarity; promotes healthy digestion and reduces nausea; helps with sleep; reduces inflammation
    • How?
      • Steep 2 chamomile tea bags in a covered mug for 4-5 minutes; the process of covering the tea traps in the volatile oils making this tea a medicinal dose of herbs
      • Add to a smoothie:  Combine 1 cup chilled chamomile herb tea, 1 cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup frozen mango, ½ banana and 1 small piece of ginger; Blend and enjoy!
  • Cilantro
    • Why?  Natural appetite stimulant; fights indigestion; helps with bad breath; natural chelator of heavy metals
    • How?
      • Consume raw vs. cooked for more of the medicinal benefits: chop and sprinkle atop your favorite guacamole recipe
      • Switch up your pesto by using fresh cilantro instead of basil; add to a food processor with walnuts, minced garlic and a squeeze of lemon; blend with olive oil until desired consistency & serve over zucchini noodles
  • Oregano
    • Why?  Potent antioxidant, helps fight of parasites, bacteria and yeast overgrowth, stimulates the immune system
    • How?
      • Make your own tomato sauce instead of buying!  Add fresh or dried oregano to fresh chopped tomatoes and saute with garlic, olive oil and chopped onion until cooked down to a chunky sauce
      • Add oregano to ground turkey or lamb for greek-inspired meatballs
  • Parsley
    • Why?  Naturally helps the body rid itself of toxins, aids digestion by helping to  fight gas buildup in the intestines, supports healthy thyroid function
    • How?
      • Season roasted cauliflower with fresh chopped parsley and himalayan sea salt
      • Add a handful to your favorite green juice recipe to boost detox benefits
  • Peppermint
    • Why?  Helps fight off fever and nausea, aids colic, natural anti-diarrheal, improves headaches
    • How?
      • Sip organic peppermint tea after meals to help with digestion
      • Combine fresh chopped mint leaves, orange sections and raw fennel over greens for a quick and refreshing salad
  • Rosemary
    • Why?  Improves memory function and supports a healthy brain, supports oral hygiene and freshens breath
    • How?
      • Toss cubed sweet potato and chopped cabbage in olive oil and fresh rosemary; roast in the oven until tender
      • Sprinkle avocado toast with fresh rosemary and a squeeze of lemon

 

With Love, GFG

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