A highly fragrant herb used as seasoning in many cuisines, Basil has become one of the most recognizable herbs ever since pesto become popular. There are more than 60 varieties of basil, all of which differ somewhat in appearance and taste. While the taste of sweet basil is bright and pungent, other varieties also offer unique tastes.
The name “basil” is derived from the old Greek word basilkohn, which means “royal”, reflecting ancient culture’s attitude towards herb and how they held it to be noble and sacred.
Here’s 10 reasons why we love Basil and why you should consider including it in your diet:
- The unique array of active constituents called flavonoids found in basil provide protection at the cellular level and
- The volatile oils of basil have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It prohibits growth of numerous pathogenic bacteria and provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for inflammation.
- A good source of beta-carotene, a more powerful anti-oxidant than vitamin A that protects the body from free radical damage and oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream.
- A good source of magnesium which promotes cardiovascular healthy by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms or spasms.
- Basil is also a very good source of Vitamin K manganese, copper, Vitamin C, calcium, iron and folate.
- Layer fresh basil over tomato slices and mozzarella cheese to create a traditional colorful and delicious Italian salad
- Add basil to healthy stir-fries or toss it into hot noodle soups just before serving like the Viet’s and Thai’s do.
- Puree basil with olive oil, onions and tomato to create a pesto
- Enjoy a warm cup of invigorating basil tea by infusing chopped basil leaves in hot water
- Basil is so versatile and it goes well with red meat. Use it as a garnish!