This plant, which typically grows in tropical climates, provides a wide plethora of health benefits and it is regarded as a holy herb. The good news is that it can be grown both indoors and outdoors and it is very easy to maintain.
As a matter of fact, basil is one of the healthiest herbs known to mankind. It is highly versatile, it can be used in various ways, and it has a pungent flavor. Amazingly, it is one of the best sources of vitamin K and only two tablespoons of basil provide 29 percent of the RDI of this nutrient.
It is high in beta-carotenes and vitamin A as well, two potent antioxidants which prevent free radical damage as well as atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.
In addition to these vitamins, basil contains phosphorus, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, flavonoids, and antibacterial properties.
Health Benefits of Basil
- Antioxidant properties
It has been scientifically shown that basil protects from various chemicals and carcinogens.
- Natural antibiotic
Basil acts as potent antibiotic which helps treat many different diseases. Its effects are even more enhanced when combined with garlic.
- Cleans your blood vessels
Its effectiveness in preventing various cardiovascular diseases is due to its ability to clean the blood vessels from bad cholesterol, medicinally referred as LDL cholesterol.
- Additional health benefits
Basil helps treat a cough, flu, parasites, warts, kidney problems, diarrhea, constipation, diarrhea, etc.
How to Benefit from Basil?
Although the exact amount has not been established yet, it is worth mentioning that herbs and spices are an ideal addition to the total antioxidant intake obtained from the diet. Basil is calorie-free but abundant in vitamins, zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber.
As mentioned in the very beginning, basil is highly versatile and it can be used in many different ways. For instance, you can use chopped basil in the place of cheese or salt to flavor dishes or spice up dull greens. Moreover, it goes well with spicy curries, soups, pasta sauce, and tomato-mozzarella salad.
In case you are hesitant and cannot decide between dry or fresh, try to stick to the latter in order to reap the most benefits as the drying process destroys much of its antioxidant compounds and essential oils. Even though other options are not as effective, you can also use basil oils and teas.
As you can see, there are many ways to incorporate basil into your daily diet and add flavor to your dishes. Whatever your tastes, basil provides an amazing health boost and improves your diet on many different levels.