5 Health Benefits of Herbs As Part of Your Diet
Through the centuries, herbs have been used as natural food additives, teas and even medical treatments. These plants do have multiple uses, but there is one thing we can never doubt: their benefits. And take note, such benefits are fully supported by scientific studies.
The following are the five most common ways herbs make us healthier, whether as food, drinks, or health supplements:
Herbs are anti-microbial, which means they boost our defense against bacteria and other disease-causing microorganisms. This is attributed to the plants’ abundant supplies of polyphenols, a class of organic chemical micronutrients commonly found in plants. Oregano and dill are two examples of anti-microbial herbs known for their anti-microbial potency.
Healthy Salt Substitute
This benefit of herbs is not as much about what’s inside them that make us healthier, but rather how they help us form healthier eating patterns. Whenever we add herbs to our food, we improve its taste and eventually start to embrace a diet of healthy whole foods. This makes us less dependent on salt as a flavor enhancer because now we have seen that herbs can well serve the same purpose without accompanying health risks. Salt isn’t unhealthy on its own, but herbs provide a welcome substitute.
Don’t think that only berries and other fruits are rich in antioxidants – these healthy foods get their antioxidant powers from the same source: polyphenols. Antioxidants in herbs are stunningly effective, making these plants super nutritious ingredients in your food. Antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body and protect you from cancer and chronic diseases.
Herbs have extremely low-calorie content, just like vegetables and other leafy plants. But that’s not the end of it. Compared to store-bought or even homemade dressings, sauces and rubs, herbs are simply superior in all respects. This is even truer if you’re trying to lose weight or eat healthy. Herbs can be your best bud in terms of flavor enhancement.
Finally, herbs are like many spices in that they are also anti-inflammatory agents. As you may know, chronic inflammation wreaks havoc on your health, manifesting as various kinds of diseases and medical conditions such as arthritis and cancer. Herbs’ anti-inflammatory properties come from – you guessed it – its polyphenols. When you add herbs to your everyday meals, you will slowly but surely reduce inflammation in your body. Of course, you don’t expect results very quickly. The idea is to develop a healthy attitude towards food and to carry on with this for life.