The uses of the herb basil to add flavor to dishes are endless, as it can be chopped, minced, or used in whole leaf form to liven up meals such as homemade pizzas, rich creamy pestos, salads, sandwiches, pastas, and even beverages! What many people don’t know is that basil is not only delicious, but very healthy as well.
What is basil herb good for?
Here are three excellent reasons to add basil to more of your home cooking:
1. Basil is rich in antioxidants
A study published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, “Phenolics Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Sweet Basil,” found that basil extract contained more antioxidant activity than standard antioxidants. (1)
Basil is especially rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, which makes vitamin A for your body to use. In turn, Vitamin A is a critical part of preventing free radical damage, which is a harmful process that causes heart disease and contributes to several other health problems such as arthritis, cancer, and respiratory issues. (2)
2. Basil assists your body in anti-aging efforts
Looking for a natural way to slow down the aging process? Consider the research unveiled at the British Pharmaceutical Conference in 2009, announcing that studies had demonstrated the properties of basil that are key in preventing some of the adverse effects contributed to aging. (3)
In particular, according to the study, what is known as Holy basil extract showed effectiveness at destroying the harmful molecules that can prevent damage from free radicals.
* All links will open in a new window/tab when clicked
- Basil – The World’s Healthiest Foods
- Basil: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting
- Growing Basil – Bonnie Plants
- Basil – Kitchen Dictionary – Food.com
- The Sweet Benefits of Basil – Health.com
3. Got stress? Basil has stress-soothing properties
Basil (in particular) has been shown to have anti-anxiety benefits. James Duke, PhD (author of “ “), contends it has phytochemicals that, according to studies, lower the stress hormone called cortisol. (4)
Acting as an adaptogen, holy basil assists the body’s response to stress and anxiety not as a mood fix, but because it helps you function more efficiently. Several scientific studies demonstrate that supplementation with holy basil can help decrease corticosterone, a stress hormone. (5)
Try using(affiliate link) as aromatherapy to reduce your stress levels. (6)
Another idea is to make a soothing tea infused with basil to relax and de-stress.
Take one teaspoon of dried basil (cut into tiny pieces), add it to one cup of boiling water, and leave it to steep for approximately 20 minutes. Strain and drink while it is warm. You can also add some dried peppermint for extra flavor. (7)
Video: 30 day basil time lapse
Watch this video by Indoor Harvest to see basil do its dance as it matures into a yummy medicinal food source.
This article is reproduced with permission from. Do not republish without seeking and obtaining your own permission.
Sources for this article include:
Image source: flic.kr
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well.