Five Nutritious Herbs and How to Use Them
When it comes to nutrition, much attention is given to fat, carbohydrates, and protein. While these macronutrients are certainly important, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and other micronutrients are also tremendously important when it comes to health and wellness. Often thought of as merely a flavoring agent, herbs are actually a tremendous way to add much needed micronutrients and their accompanying health benefits to your daily diet. Here’s a look at five top herbs and the way they can enhance your health and nutrition with their super powers.
- Garlic: Garlic is widely hailed as one of the best foods out there. In large part this stellar reputation is due to garlic’s natural antibiotic Garlic’s antibiotic properties are so potent that it has been used in this capacity for centuries. Even better, garlic does not seem to build up resistant bacteria as commercial antibiotics.
Incorporating Garlic into Your Diet: Bring garlic into your own kitchen by roasting bulbs of garlic and using it to flavor a variety of savory dishes ranging from eggs to pasta and everything in between. Raw garlic can also be finely crushed to flavor dips, spreads, butter, soup, and more.
- Parsley: It’s time to move parsley from a mere decorative garnish to a regularly consumed herb. Parsley contains potassium; calcium; iron; and vitamins A, C, E, and loads of vitamin K. It’s parsley’s natural diuretic effects make it especially helpful for kidney health.
Incorporating Parsley into Your Diet: Use parsley to flavor dishes like roast chicken, or try a parsley tea to reap its many benefits. Parsley also compliments juices and smoothies.
- Dandelion: If you only think of dandelion as an unwelcome weed, you’re missing out on all the antioxidants, vitamin C, luteolin and more this humble herb offers. Dandelion also has a compound in it that help to stimulate the liver and move bile, making it key for liver support.
Incorporating Dandelion into Your Diet: Dandelion leaves are terrific in salads or sautéed. Because of its nutty, slightly bitter flavor dandelion tea is an excellent, caffeine free alternative to coffee.
- Stinging Nettle: If you are looking to reduce your use of anti-inflammatory medicines, incorporating stinging nettle into your dietary regime may be the answer. Full of potassium, fiber, iron, magnesium, and more, stinging nettle also has the power to reduce inflammation and interfere with pain signals.
Incorporating Stinging Nettle into Your Diet: Stinging nettle is most often enjoyed as a tea, but you can also cook the greens if you presoak them to remove the sting of the fine hairs on the leaves.
- Horseradish Root. If you’ve ever felt as though the pungent flavor of horseradish helped to clear out your sinuses, you were right! Along with aiding in digestion, this cruciferous vegetable has glucosinolate and is an expectorant, to clear out mucus secretions.
Incorporating Horseradish Root into Your Diet: Horseradish root is best used blended into condiments.