These common and easily available herbs not only make your dishes tastier without raising your blood pressure but they also come with nutritional extras that fortify your immune system to ward off disease. So, use them to spice up your favourite recipes!
Key Benefit: Fights Cancer
How it works: Evidence indicates that this leafy herb may inhibit the growth of tumors. A study published in Food Science and Technology Research found that fresh basil is among only seven plants capable of suppressing okadiac acid (a chemical that can turn cells cancerous), slowing its function by at least 80 percent.
Key benefit: Neutralises food-borne bacteria
How it works: If you’ve never cooked with it before, you’ve likely tasted cilantro in Tex-Mex toppers like salsa. Research shows that dodecenal, an antibacterial compound found in this herbs, has the power to negate the effects of salmonella, the bacteria that’s so often the source of food poisoning.
Cooking tip: To make a zesty burger. chop finely and mix with lean ground turkey.
Key benefit: PreventS cell damage
How it works: This herb supplies nearly 30 times the amount of antioxidants in blueberries and 20 times the amount in cranberries – two of the most antioxidant-packed fruits – according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). These dietary compounds help slow cell damage caused by free radicals, a process that can lead to cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Cooking tip: Use to roasted potatoes or blend into soup.
Key benefit: Strengthens your immune system
How it works: Parsley often gets relegated to the side of the plate, so it’s easy to overlook it as a cooking ingredient. but these sprigs are loaded with vitamin C, which promotes wound healing and may lower the risk of breast, colon, and stomach cancers, according to a scientific review in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Cooking tip: Mix plain yogurt, salt, pepper and lemon juice for a veggie dip.
Key benefit – Protects against breast cancer
How it works: When preparing carbohydrate-rich foods, add a dash of this herb. Food cooked at temperatures above 48 degree celsius such as bread form acrylaminde, a chemical linked to breast cancer. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark found that adding rosemary before cooking reduced the amount of acrylamide by 60%.
Cooking tip: Add a sautéed scallops or toss into pasta salad.