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Thyme

14 Amazing Benefits Of Thyme For Skin, Hair, And Health


It’s thyme.

It’s thyme we understood the great stuff residing inside our kitchen cabinets and refrigerator shelves. Because that’s where the secret to health lies.

And it’s thyme you read this post – because here we tell you why .. well .. read and you will know.

Table Of Contents

What Is Thyme?

Scientifically known as Thymus vulgaris, thyme belongs to the mint family, and it is a relative of the oregano genus Origanum. It is an evergreen herb and is used for medicinal, culinary, and ornamental purposes.

Also called ‘thym’ in French, ‘thymian’ in German, ‘tomillo’ in Spanish, and ‘timi’ in Indonesia, thyme is usually measured as sprigs – a sprig of thyme might give you half a tablespoon of leaves when peeled off. Of course, this again depends on the size of the stems. The word ‘thyme’ has been derived from the Greek word ‘thumus’, which means courage. Since ancient times, thyme has been associated with bravery and even used as a natural anti-depressant.

Thyme comes in different varieties as well. Here, we look at them in brief:

French or Common Thyme, which is the most common variety of thyme.

Red Creeping Thyme, whose tiny leaves have very little flavor or scent. Hence, it is mostly used for ornamental purposes.

Lemon Thyme, which is a spreading subshrub that can grow a foot tall. It is best used for cooking and is also one of the most fragrant of the lot.

Caraway Thyme, which is a creeper that grows 2 to 5 inches tall. It comes with pink flowers.

Thyme does have a rich history. Before we get to the benefits, it is important we know about it.

What Is The History Of Thyme?

While the ancient Greeks used it as an incense in temples, the ancient Egyptians used thyme for embalming. The Romans went a little ahead and used thyme for flavoring their alcoholic beverages. It said that thyme was even offered as a cure for people who were shy or melancholic.

Hippocrates, also called the Father of Western Medicine, recommended thyme for respiratory ailments (way back around 370 BC). And when the black death invaded Europe in the 1340s, posies of thyme were said to have been worn for protection.

Thyme had also found its way into the classic and aromatic Benedictine liqueur developed in 19th century France.

Thyme was pretty much a big deal back then. And it still is today. But wait, before we head to the most important part of this post, there is something else we need to address.

Thyme Vs. Oregano – What’s The Difference?

Thyme and oregano are cousins. Or close brothers, probably. Because the similarities are striking. But there are a few differences too.

Thyme 

  • Richer in vitamins A and C.
  • Natural diuretic.
  • Stimulates appetite.
  • Commonly taken orally for treating conditions like bronchitis, whooping cough, arthritis, and colic.

Oregano 

  • Richer in potassium, calcium, and iron.
  • Used for disorders of the GI tract, like bloating and heartburn.
  • Also treats menstrual cramps and headaches and certain heart conditions.

Now, coming to why we talk what we talk about thyme – it’s the benefits, obviously. The herb is made of some of the most powerful nutrients.

 

 

 

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Thyme?

 

THYME (DRIED)

 

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 tsp of ground

Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat 1 Calories 4

% Daily Values*

Total Fat 0.1g

0%

Saturated Fat 0.038g

0%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.017g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.007g

Cholesterol 0mg

0%

Sodium 1mg

0%

Potassium 11mg

Total Carbohydrate 0.9g

0%

Dietary Fiber 0.5g

2%

Sugars 0.02g

Protein 0.13g

Vitamin A 1%

Vitamin C 1%

Calcium 3%

Iron 10%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18

< 1%

of RDI* (4 calories)

Calorie Breakdown: Carbohydrate (70%) Fat (23%) Protein (7%)

* Based on a RDI of 2000 calories

 

One ounce of thyme contains about 28 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 3.9 grams of fiber, and 1.6 grams of protein. It also contains 6.8 grams of carbohydrates. Other important nutrients in thyme are:

  • 45 milligrams of vitamin C (75% of the daily value)
  • 1330 IU of vitamin A (27% of the daily value)
  • 5 milligrams of manganese (24% of the daily value)
  • 113 milligrams of calcium (11% of the daily value)
  • 45 milligrams of magnesium (11% of the daily value)
  • 171 milligrams of potassium (5% of the daily value)

 

And finally, here’s why you must include thyme in your daily routine.

What Are The Benefits Of Thyme?

 

  1. Improves Heart Health

Studies are aplenty to back this up. The extract of thyme was found to reduce heart rate significantly in rats with high blood pressure (1). And we can expect similar results in humans as well. Thyme was also found to lower cholesterol levels.

What you can do is replace salt with thyme in your meals. This can protect you from the ill effects of high blood pressure.

Another study talks about how thyme can help treat atherosclerosis,  one major form of cardiovascular disease (2).

  1. Helps Fight Cancer

One Portuguese study had revealed that thyme could prevent cancer, especially that of the colon. These properties can be attributed to its constituents – some of which include oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, lutein, and beta-sitosterol (3).

Thyme also had a beneficial effect on breast cancer. The herb had improved cell death, aiding in the treatment of breast cancer.

Another major component of thyme essential oil that helps prevent cancer is carvacrol – one study found that carvacrol can inhibit the proliferation and migration of cancer cell lines. The compound exhibits therapeutic effects towards the treatment and even prevention of cancer, especially colon cancer (4).

  1. Treats Inflammation

Studies have shown that thyme oil can suppress COX-2, which is an inflammatory enzyme that leads to several inflammatory ailments. Carvacrol, the major chemical in the oil, was found to play a role in this (5). Carvacrol was found to suppress inflammation like resveratrol – another powerful compound in red wine that has been linked to several health benefits.

Another study talks about how carvacrol and another compound called thymol in thyme essential oil can fight inflammation (6). The oil is also used to ease the painful symptoms of arthritis and gout.

 

  1. Boosts Immunity

Thyme is packed with vitamin C, and that explains everything. It also is a good source of vitamin A – both these nutrients help boost immunity and stop that oncoming cold right in its tracks.

Thyme also supports the formation of white blood cells, thereby boosting the immune system. And its anti-inflammatory effects also help boost immunity. Given its mild scent and flavor, it can be used in a steam tent for help with cold and congestion (7).

Thyme can also accelerate wound healing. Its local application can help achieve this (8).

 

  1. Aids In The Treatment of Dyspraxia

Also called Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD), dyspraxia is a neurological disorder that affects movement. Thyme has been found to improve the symptoms of this disease, especially in children.

Thyme oil was also one of the oils used in a study to find the effects of essential oils in the treatment of neurological ailments like dyspraxia (9). And the results of the study showed promise.

However, we need more studies to form a concrete base in this regard.

  1. Improves Digestive Health

Thyme oil stimulates the elimination of toxins and other harmful bacteria, and this inadvertently improves your digestive system. Thyme tea is also known to relieve indigestion and related issues like gas and bloating. This effect can be attributed to the volatile oils in thyme that offer carminative (reducing gas) properties. Thyme also works as an antispasmodic and helps relieve intestinal cramps.

  1. Treats Respiratory Issues

Remember what Hippocrates told 2300 years ago? Yes. And we already discussed this. Thyme boosts immunity, and this helps treat most respiratory issues. And even otherwise, thyme has been used traditionally to treat respiratory ailments like bronchitis and cough. In fact, thyme has been approved by The German Commission E (a governmental regulatory agency) for its use in treating respiratory discomfort (10).

One study suggests the use of thyme and ivy leaves for alleviating cough and other symptoms of acute bronchitis (11). Drinking thyme tea the next time you have a cough or a sore throat can offer relief.

 

  1. Helps Relieve Menstrual Issues

One study tells us how thyme can help treat dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation that involves abdominal cramps) (12). Thyme might also help treat a yeast infection, especially that of the vagina.

However, we don’t have enough information on this. Hence, consult your doctor before using it for this purpose.

  1. Improves Vision Health

Thyme is rich in vitamin A, one nutrient particularly beneficial for vision health. The deficiency of vitamin A can lead to night blindness. Thyme might also help prevent other issues related to vision – including macular degeneration.

Studies show that thyme might have properties to improve your vision (13).

 

  1. Enhances Oral Health

Studies have shown how thyme oil can help relieve infections of the oral cavity. The oil displayed great efficacy against bacteria that had grown resistant to antibiotics (14).

You can also use thyme as a mouthwash for maintaining your oral health. Simply add one drop of the oil to a cup of warm water. Swish in your mouth and spit it out.

As per another study, thyme oil can also act as an effective antiseptic treatment against oral pathogens (15). A few other oral issues thyme can help with are gingivitis, plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath. The antibacterial and antiseptic properties of thyme help achieve this. And thymol, the component in thyme, can be used as a dental varnish to protect the teeth from decaying.

  1. Can Help Heal Headaches

The carvacrol in thyme gets the credit here. This compound inhibits COX2 (like we saw), pretty much like an anti-inflammatory drug. You just have to dab a few drops of thyme essential oil on your temples and forehead. Gently rub into your skin and stay put for a while until you feel relief.

Thyme oil is also said to relieve migraines – though there is no concrete research. The oil can relieve stress – the antioxidants in it protect your cells from stress and toxins.

Thyme essential oil might also boost your mood if inhaled.

  1. Improves Skin Health

Given its antibacterial and antifungal properties, thyme oil can protect your skin from related infections. It works as a home remedy for acne. The oil also heals sores, wounds, scars, and cuts. It even relieves burns and acts as a natural remedy for skin rashes.

Thyme oil can cure eczema as well – the embarrassing skin condition with dry and itchy scales that blister and crack. Eczema is often caused by poor digestion and stress – and since thyme improves the two conditions, it can help heal eczema as well.

And since thyme is high in antioxidants, it can slow down the aging process and give you healthy and glowing skin.

For treating acne, you can use thyme along with witch hazel. Steep the two in hot water for about 20 minutes. Then, use a cotton ball to apply to the affected areas. Wait for 20 minutes and then wash off with warm water.

  1. Cuts The Risk Of Food Poisoning

There is no substantial research in this regard. But since thyme has antibacterial properties and can act against several types of bacteria, it can help relieve the serious effects of food poisoning. Do talk to your doctor before using it, though.

One small study shows how certain food-poisoning bacteria had become more sensitive once exposed to thyme (16).

The goodness of thyme is not limited to its benefits alone. It has other uses that make it all the more indispensable in your kitchen.

  1. Could Be Good For Hair

Thyme, when combined with other herbs, can cure hair loss. You can simply apply lavender oil mixed with thyme on your hair – certain studies show this method can improve hair growth by 44% in 7 months.

Thyme tea can also be used as a hair rinse as a cure for dandruff.

Any Tips To Use Thyme?

 

  • Thyme is safe when added to foods.
  • It can be taken as a medicine for short periods.
  • This can sometimes upset your digestive system, so steer clear if you are already experiencing any issues.
  • Thyme oil is safe to apply on the skin.
  • You can even use thyme for seasoning your dishes.
  • Avoid it if the oil causes skin irritation.
  • Thyme is also safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women in normal amounts, but make sure to check with your doctor first.
  • It should not be taken in larger amounts.
  • Oregano allergic people can also be allergic to thyme.
  • Avoid using thyme two weeks before surgery.
  • In case you are wondering how to pick the right kind of thyme the next time you head to the store, this is it.

 

 

How To Select And Store Thyme

Selection

Ensure you pick thyme that is not wilted, dried out, or bruised.

Storage 

You can store fresh thyme in a plastic bag in your refrigerator. You can also stand the thyme sprigs in a glass of water and put it on the refrigerator shelf.

And if you plan to use thyme for cooking, there are a few things to remember.

Any Tips On Cooking With Thyme?

  • Be aware that one fresh sprig of thyme is equal to half a teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • Ensure you crush the leaves between your hands before you add them to your recipe.
  • If you want to dry thyme, simply hang bundles of sprigs upside-down in a warm, dry, and airy area for about 10 days.
  • Store dried thyme in a cool and dark place. Or best – in an airtight container. Dried thyme must be stored for no more than 6 months.
  • It is recommended that you strip the leaves from the stems before using thyme in your recipes. This is because the stems can sometimes be woody. One easy way to do this is placing the stem between the teeth of a fork and pulling it in the direction opposite to that of leaf growth. Or you can simply use your fingers to pluck the leaves out.

Cooking with thyme is simple. Which is why we also want you to try these sumptuous recipes out.

Any Popular Thyme Recipes?

  1. Honey-Mustard Glazed Salmon With Thyme

What You Need

  • ¼ cup of Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup of whole-grain mustard
  • ¼ cup of honey
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of freshly chopped thyme
  • 4 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets
  • Canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Take a medium bowl and whisk together the mustards, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and thyme.
  2. Preheat a grill pan and oil it. Brush the salmon fillets with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon fillets (skinned side down) over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Turn the fillets and grill for 3 more minutes.
  3. Brush both the sides of the salmon with the honey mustard mixture generously and grill for about a minute.
  4. Transfer to a plate and serve.
  5. Thyme Chicken Salad

What You Need

  • 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (cut into strips)
  • The zest and juice of a lemon
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 150 grams of mixed salad leaves (you will get them in a bag)
  • 1 small halved and thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • A handful of pitted and halved black olives
  • Pepper and salt as required

Directions

  1. To a bowl, add the chicken pieces, lemon zest, thyme, and black pepper and salt to taste. Mix well with your hands.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of olive in a pan and fry the chicken for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, you can spread the leaves and onion over a large platter.
  3. Add the garlic and olives to the pan and fry for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the oil and lemon juice. Stir well.
  4. Check the seasoning and then pour it over the chicken and salad.
  5. Serve with crusty bread.
  6. You can also prepare thyme tea. Simply steep the leaves in boiling water. Drain the leaves and have the tea.

How about having some fun? These thyme facts are sure to keep you entertained for a while.

Any Fun Facts About Thyme?

  • The ancient Egyptians used thyme in mummification.
  • There are over 100 varieties of thyme.
  • The Greeks often said that someone ‘smelt of thyme’. Well, they said that when someone appeared refined and stylish. In fact, they even sprinkled thyme in their baths.
  • Thyme was often placed in coffins to ensure passage to the next world.
  • In the Middle Ages, people placed thyme under their pillows to prevent nightmares during sleep.
  • There’s one 17thcentury recipe containing thyme, which claims to enable people to see fairies.
  • In case you are wondering where to pick your favorite thyme sprigs from…

Where To Buy Fresh Thyme

You can get your sprigs from the local farmer’s market or online. Dried thyme is available on Amazon and Walmart. You can also buy thyme plants from Growers Exchange. You can also buy thyme seeds here.

You can buy thyme tea bags here.

All great. But there are certain things about thyme that are not so great.

Any Side Effects Of Thyme?

  • Issues In Children

In medicinal amounts, thyme is fine in children. But we don’t know how safe thyme oil is – whether taken orally or applied topically. So, avoid its use.

  • Issues With Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

It is safe when taken in normal food amounts. But we don’t know what happens if thyme is taken in larger doses. So, stay safe and stick to small amounts.

  • Bleeding Disorders

As thyme can slow down blood clotting, it might increase your risk of bleeding if taken in large amounts. This is why you also need to keep off from thyme at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

  • Issues With Estrogen Exposure

 

Thyme might act like estrogen in your body. If you have any condition that gets worse with exposure to estrogen (including breast cancer, uterine and ovarian cancer, and endometriosis), don’t use thyme.

Conclusion

There is no wrong time for thyme. Have it regularly. It will do you more good than you thought.

And tell us how this post onthyme benefits has helped you. Just leave a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to prepare thyme oil?

You just need half a cup of fresh thyme and 8 ounces of some carrier oil (like olive oil). Wash the herbs and then pat dry them. Crush them using a pestle and mortar – this releases their natural oils. Now, add the crushed thyme, its oil, and the olive oil to a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool. Pour it into a glass container and store in a cool and dry place.

Any substitute for thyme?

Oregano, any given day.

What is the use of thyme-infused water?

It is pretty much like thyme tea. It offers the same benefits as thyme does.

What is the recommended dosage of thyme tincture?

One-third to one teaspoon, thrice daily.

What does thyme taste like?

Thyme has a slightly minty flavour.

 

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Rosemary

26 Most Impressive Benefits Of Rosemary


The most interesting health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, prevent Alzheimer’s and cancer, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and protect the immune system. The herb also helps stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.

 

What is Rosemary?

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial woody evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has fine needle-like leaves with a silver touch and pink, purple, white, or blue flowers. It is one of the most commonly found herbs in a spice rack. The herb has a warm, bitter, and astringent taste but yet it gives a wonderful flavor and aroma to soups, sauces, stews, roasts, and stuffing. It can be used in dried powder form or as fresh leaves. Its leaves can be used to prepare teaessential oil, and liquid extract.

The herb is considered to be sacred by ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, as well as Hebrews and is particularly prevalent in Italian cultural cuisine. It is also called as ‘Dew of the Sea’ or ‘Old man’.

Rosemary Nutrition

According to USDA, fresh rosemary has a very high reserve of vitamins such as vitamin Avitamin Cvitamin B6, thiamin, folate, as well as minerals like magnesiumcalciumcopperiron, and manganese[1] It has abundantantioxidants in its phenolic compounds such as diterpene, carnosol, and rosmarinic acid, as well as in its essential oils such as cineol, camphene, borneol, bornyl acetate, α-terpineol, and α-pinene. [2]

The herb has high dietary fiber. It is low in cholesterol and sodium but high in saturated fats.

Health Benefits of Rosemary

The top health benefits of rosemary include:

Hair Growth

The oil of rosemary promotes hair growth, prevents baldness, slows graying, treats dandruff, and dry scalp. A comparative study published in 2015 shows that rosemary oil is better than minoxidil 2% when it comes to treating androgenetic alopecia (permanent balding) cases by boosting hair growth. [3] It also promotes healing by increasing microcirculation of scalp and decreases hair loss after shampooing.

Enhances Brain Function

One of the earliest documented uses of rosemary for health reasons was as a cognitive stimulant. [4] It helped improve memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus.

Prevents Alzheimer’s

Rosemary prevents beta-amyloid plaques and suppresses acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which are primary causes of Alzheimer’s, ataxia and dementia[5] It has also been linked to stimulating cognitive activity in the elderly as well as those suffering from other acute cognitive disorders. [6] [7]

A research titled “Brain Food for Alzheimer-Free Ageing: Focus on Herbal Medicines” suggests that rosemary is one of the best foods you can include in your diet. [6]

Neurological Protection

The carnosic acid in rosemary has neuroprotective properties. A 2016 study suggests that it helps to reduceoxidative stress and overstimulation in nerve cells, ultimately protecting the nervous system. [8] [9] It is alsoknown to protect certain parts of the brain from tissue damage such as ischemic injury, heals nervous tissue, and reduce blood clots[10] [8]

Liver Detoxification

Rosemary has been linked to lower levels of cirrhosis and a faster healing time of the liver, which is one of the slowest organs to heal. It also reduces plasma liver enzymes, which may cause type-2 diabetes. Carnosol prevents liver tissue distortion. It also prevents depletion of liver glycogen, the energy storage molecules.

Reduces Stress

A study conducted on the anti-depressant effects of rosemary concluded that the aroma of rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood and clearing the mind. [11] It has a calming effect on those who suffer from chronic anxiety and depression. Furthermore, it reduces salivary cortisol (the stress hormone) levels, which helps ease tension in the body.

Balances Hormone

Carnosol in rosemary balances androgen and estrogen hormones in the body. It also lowers the release of  DHT (dihydrotestosterone) hormone, which helps improve prostate health and enhance hair growth.

Prevents Cancer

The Nutrition and Cancer journal has published a study in 2015, which suggests that rosemary extract is very helpful in treating cancer. [12]

Manganese, carnosol, rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, and other rosemary extracts have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative, and anticancer properties. [13] [14] They selectively kill cancer cells. [15] It has shown promising results in the treatment of various cancers including colon, blood, breast, prostate, ovarian, cervical, liver, lung, bladder, and pancreatic cancer. [16] [12]

Skin Care

The antioxidants in the essential oils of rosemary help improve the quality of the skin. [17] It has a potent anti-aging effect and helps heal blemishes and increase the natural shine. Also, its extracts with citrus supplements prevent skin against UV light damage, much better than the supplements alone. [18]

Dr. Alice L. Pérez Sánchez, in a research on the effects of rosemary extracts on skin damage, has found that the herb actually helps protect you against UV-induced damage. [18]

Reduce Cough

The leaves of rosemary remove the phlegm and mucus from the respiratory system, providing relief from a cough, cold, flu, and even asthma[19] Rosmarinic acid prevents any kind of fluid accumulation in the lungs. [20]

Limits Weight Gain

Rosemary extracts exert anti-inflammatory and anti-hyperglycaemic effects and promote weight loss[21] [22] According to a study, carnosic acid-rich rosemary can be used as a preventive treatment for metabolic disorders.

Antibacterial & Antimicrobial

Rosemary is specifically powerful against bacterial infections. [23] It is linked to preventing staph infections, which causes lethal boils and blisters, and is highly contagious. It also eradicates various gram negative and gram positive bacteria completely.

Prevents Blood Clot

Due to its abundant antioxidant profile, rosemary has an anti-thrombotic effect and helps prevent blood clots. [24]

Antiulcer

Rosemary intake has been shown to prevent the growth of H. pylori bacteria, a dangerous pathogen that can cause stomach ulcers.

Boosts Immunity

The active components in rosemary are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic in nature. This represents a three-pronged attack against many different diseases and pathogens that could threaten the immune system or damage the integrity of the body. [25]

Other Benefits

Other benefits of rosemary include:

Maintains Gut Health

Rosemary increases bile flow and keeps the gallbladder functioning at its optimal best. [26] [27] This, in turn, helpsmaintain gut health and fight gut diseases like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colitis. [28] [29]

Aids Digestion

Rosemary, with strong anti-inflammatory properties, has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for upset stomach, constipationgas, bloating, and diarrhea[30] Adding it to your diet can help you regulate your bowel movements and your gastrointestinal system. [31]

Freshens Breath

As a natural antibacterial agent, rosemary works as a wonderful breath freshener that improves your oral health. [32]

Steep rosemary leaves in a glass of hot water and then gargle or swish the water in your mouth to eliminate bacteria, and you will have naturally fresh and clean breath all night!

Stimulates Blood Flow

Rosemary acts as a stimulant for the body and boosts the production of red blood cells and blood flow. [33]

Relieves Pain

As an analgesic substance, rosemary is topically applied to the affected area to soothe the pain. [34] When consumed orally, it acts as a pain reliever for headaches and migraines. It also relieves menstrual and stomach cramps, as well as kidney pain.

Anti-inflammatory

Carnosol and carnosic acids are two powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary that have been linked to reducing inflammation of muscles, blood vessels, and joints. [35] [30] This makes it an effective treatment for many things, including blood pressure, goutarthritis, and injuries sustained during physical exertion or surgery. It is effective in oral or topical form. Furthermore, the reduction in inflammation in the cardiovascular system can help boost heart health and prevent atherosclerosis from appearing.

Detoxifies the Body

Rosemary is slightly diuretic in nature, meaning that it can help flush out toxins efficiently during urination. [36]Furthermore, by increasing the rate at which water leaves the body, it can also help push out pathogens, salts, toxins, and even excess fat when consumed regularly. It helps cure uremia, majorly seen in people with thyroid dysfunction.

Rich Source of Antioxidant

Antioxidant compounds in rosemary make a secondary line of defense behind the body’s own immune system. A significant amount of antioxidant in it include rosmarinic acid, caffeic acid, betulic acid, and carnosol.

Macular Degeneration

The presence of carnosic acid in rosemary helps to prevent age-related macular degeneration, which affects the outer retina of the eye. [37]

Reduces Spasms

Antiepileptic properties of rosemary help reduce spams of involuntary muscles such as the heart.

Increase Movement

Cineole in rosemary boosts body activities by enhancing locomotion, according to a study. [38]

Side Effects

Although rosemary plant is classified as safe by the FDA even at higher concentrations, its long-term excessive use has side effects like:

  • Vomiting
  • Skin irritation
  • Itchy scalp in bald patients
  • Increase blood glucose level in diabetics
  • Induce convulsions like epilepsy
  • Muscle spasms
  • Coma
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Rhubarb

12 Amazing (But Little Known) Health Benefits Of Rhubarb


Though there is a debate whether it is a fruit or a vegetable, rhubarb is well sought after in ancient Chinese medicine for soothing stomach ailments. Today, it is quite popular in all of Europe and North America and is known for strengthening the bones and boosting brain health. Well, it has a host of other benefits. Read this post – you will get to know.

Table Of Contents

What Is Rhubarb? How Is It Good For You?
What Are The Health Benefits Of Rhubarb?
Why Does Rhubarb Taste So Sour?
Is Rhubarb Poisonous?
What Are The Side Effects Of Rhubarb?

What Is Rhubarb? How Is It Good For You?

Rhubarb looks like red celery (kind of), but has large leaves and is often considered a fruit (there’s some confusion here, but we will get to it later). The stem of the plant is usually cooked, which can be eaten raw as well.

One serving of rhubarb meets 45% of your daily vitamin K needs – the nutrient supports bone health. The vitamin C in rhubarb wards off infections, and the vitamin A and lutein in the fruit (or veggie, whatever) boost vision health. There are other ways it can be quite good for you and your family. We will get there now.

 

Did You Know?

Though rhubarb is botanically a vegetable, in 1947, the United States gave it a legal designation as a fruit to avoid the high tariffs levied on imported vegetables.

 What Are The Health Benefits Of Rhubarb?

  1. Rhubarb Relieves Constipation

Being a natural laxative, rhubarb can be used to treat constipation. Studies show that rhubarb possesses antidiarrheal effects, thanks to its tannin content (1). It also contains sennosides, compounds that act as stimulative laxatives (2).

Rhubarb also contains high amounts of dietary fiber that can boost digestive health.

  1. Strengthens The Bones

We already saw that rhubarb packs a good dose of vitamin K, which plays a role in bone metabolism and helps prevent osteoporosis. Vitamin K is also important for bone formation. One study talks about how vitamin K can reduce fracture risk (3).

Rhubarb is also a decent source of calcium (one cup meets 10% of the daily requirement), another mineral crucial for bone health.

  1. Boosts Brain Health

The vitamin K in rhubarb limits neuronal damage to the brain – and this can happen to the point of preventing Alzheimer’s. As per a study, rhubarb can help in the treatment of inflammation in the brain (4). This makes it a preventative measure against Alzheimer’s, stroke, and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

  1. Rhubarb Aids Weight Loss

Rhubarb was found to reduce bad cholesterol, and since it is a low-calorie food choice, it sure can be a great addition to a weight loss diet. It also contains catechins, the same compounds in green tea that give it its beneficial properties. Catechins are known to boost metabolism, and this also helps burn body fat and aid weight loss.

Rhubarb is also a good source of fiber, another nutrient important for weight loss. Because of its laxative properties, rhubarb is a prominent ingredient in certain weight loss formations (5).

  1. Helps Combat Cancer

Animal studies have shown that physcion, a concentrated chemical in rhubarb that gives its stems their color, can kill 50% of cancer cells in a matter of 48 hours (6). We need more research on this before we come to a conclusion, though.

The cancer-fighting properties of rhubarb are particularly enhanced when it is baked – baking it for 20 minutes has shown to dramatically increase its anti-cancerous properties (7).

  1. Might Aid Diabetes Treatment

Some research has shown that compounds found in the stems of rhubarb can help improve blood sugar levels and even lower cholesterol. The active compound, called rhaponticin, was found to be beneficial to diabetics.

  1. Protects The Heart

Being a good source of fiber, rhubarb has shown to lower cholesterol levels. Consuming rhubarb stalk fiber was found to reduce bad cholesterol by 9% (8).

Other studies talk about the active compounds in rhubarb that protect the arteries from damage, which might otherwise lead to cardiovascular disease. Some sources say that rhubarb can also lower blood pressure.

  1. Rhubarb Can Improve Vision

There is less information on this. However, rhubarb contains lutein and vitamin C, both of which work well for vision.

Did You Know?

Rhubarb reached Europe through the Silk Route in the 14th century. And it was brought to North America by the European settlers in the early 1800s.

  1. Can Aid Kidney Health

One study shows how rhubarb supplementation can improve the therapeutic effects in the treatment of stage 3 and stage 4 chronic kidney disease (9).

But since rhubarb contains some oxalic acid, it can cause or aggravate kidney stones. Hence, please consult your doctor before you consume it.

  1. Relieves PMS Symptoms

Studies show that rhubarb can relieve hot flashes, and this is especially true in the cause of perimenopause (10). Rhubarb also contains phytoestrogens, and some research says such foods can help relieve symptoms of menopause.

  1. Delays Skin Aging

Rhubarb is a storehouse of vitamin A. This natural antioxidant helps in neutralizing free radicals and delays the symptoms of aging (like wrinkles and fine lines). Thus, rhubarb keeps your skin youthful and glowing by preventing the cell damage by free radicals.

Rhubarb is a natural antibacterial and antifungal agent and helps protect your skin from various infections. Raw rhubarb, in the form of a paste, had been advocated by alternative medicine practitioners as a topical application for various skin infections. You can make a paste of rhubarb stems and apply to your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and wash off with cold water. Repeat every morning.

  1. Rhubarb Works As A Natural Hair Coloring Agent

Rhubarb root contains a good dose of oxalic acid that is known to render a light brown or blonde hue to the hair. The presence of oxalic acid makes the hair colour last longer and does not harm the scalp.

Add about three tablespoons of powdered rhubarb roots to two cups of water and simmer it for 15 minutes. Allow it to rest overnight. Strain the liquid in the morning and rinse your hair with this mixture for an awesome hair colour.

These are the benefits. Adding rhubarb to your diet can be a good idea after all. But we have one important question to be answered.

Why Does Rhubarb Taste So Sour?

Not just sour – but excruciatingly sour. In fact, it is the most sour-tasting vegetable out there. And this is because of the high amounts of malic acid and oxalic acid in it. Malic acid is commonly found in most fruits and vegetables, and it imparts the sour taste to most of these foods.

Quite interestingly, growing rhubarb in darkness was found to make it less sour.

Well, okay. But did you hear anyone say that rhubarb could be poisonous? They are not completely wrong.

Is Rhubarb Poisonous?

The leaves are. Not the stalks that we recommend you to eat. The leaves are very rich in oxalic acid (more than the stems), and this makes them toxic. Other compounds in rhubarb leaves, called anthraquinone glycosides, can also make the leaves toxic.

Symptoms of toxicity include a burning sensation in the mouth and throat, eye pain, difficulty in breathing, diarrhea, weakness, and even vomiting. Death can occur, although it is quite rare as one needs to consume too many rhubarb leaves for that.

So, how do you eat rhubarb?

Simple. Just focus on the stalks. You can eat the stalks raw. Just dip them in some sugar or honey. You can also juice it. Or even make rhubarb tea – by steeping the stalks in hot water for 20 minutes and then draining the liquid.

Talking about dosage, 20 to 50 milligrams of rhubarb per 1 kg of body weight is considered safe.

All good. But like everything else, rhubarb has its share of side effects that you must know.

What Are The Side Effects Of Rhubarb?

  • Can Be Harmful For Children

Even though rhubarb stalks contain very less oxalic acid, they still can be harmful for children under 4 years of age.

  • Issues With Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Rhubarb can be unsafe if used in quantities more than those found in foods.

  • Might Aggravate Diarrhea Or Constipation

Excess of rhubarb can aggravate these conditions.

  • Kidney Stones

Due to the presence of oxalic acid, rhubarb might aggravate kidney stones.

  • Liver Problems

Rhubarb can make the problem worse in people who have liver issues.

Conclusion

Don’t worry about the leaves – just focus on the stalks, and you are good to go. Rhubarb is one of those veggies you just can’t miss out on. Include it your diet. Stay happy. Stay healthy.

Tell us how this post has helped you. Just leave a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to select rhubarb?

Look for rhubarb with firm and crisp stalks and shiny skins. Avoid stalks that have split ends. Go for the one with smaller leaves as they indicate a younger plant. Don’t eat the leaves, though.

Can rhubarb leaves kill you?

Yes, but only if you eat 11 pounds of the leaves at a time, which is highly unlikely. Even otherwise, we suggest you don’t eat the leaves.

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Parsley

35 Amazing Benefits Of Parsley For Skin, Hair, And Health


Parsley is probably one of the most under-appreciated vegetables we know. But let us tell you, if you know the benefits of parsley, you will start appreciating it like no other.

Which is why we have this post – here, we discuss the benefits of parsley and how it can make your life better. Keep reading!

Table Of Contents

 

 

What Is Parsley?

 

Also called ‘Ajmood’ in Hindi, ‘Achu Mooda’ in Kannada, and ‘Kothambeluri’ in Malayalam, and scientifically known as Petroselinum crispum, parsley is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region and widely cultivated as a spice, herb, and vegetable.

The plant is widely used in Middle Eastern, European, and American cuisines. It is usually bright green and is a biennial plant in temperate climates and an annual herb in tropical and subtropical areas.

That’s a little about the plant. But really, who cares? What’s the big deal?

Is Parsley Good For You?

 

That’s the entire deal. Its vitamin K content is what will really impress you. It contains 574% of the daily recommended value of the nutrient. And the vitamin C it contains is more than thrice the amount found in oranges. It is also rich in other essential nutrients like vitamin A, iron, copper, and folate. And by the way, parsley contains twice the amount of iron in spinach. But do keep in mind this iron found in plants, called non-heme iron, is not as bioavailable as that found in animal sources.

These comparisons will tell you how incredible a food parsley is.

Ah yes, it also contains a unique combination of volatile oils and other compounds that make your life easier. Like, say, eugenol – it works as a local anesthetic and an antiseptic to prevent gum diseases. And there are many others – we will cover them as you read on.

The bottom line – parsley is really good for you. And here’s a little something for you – parsley comes in different types.

What Are The Different Types Of Parsley?

Three types, broadly speaking.

Curled leaf – Also called common parsley, this type of parsley is the most common. It is often used as a garnish in soups, stews, and other dishes.

 Flat leaf – Also called Italian parsley, it has more flavour than curled leaf parsley. It is also used in stews and soups and even in salads and sauces.

 Hamburg – Also called turnip-rooted or German parsley, is a lesser-known variety. It is used not for its leaves but its turnip-like root, which is roasted or fried or chopped up to be added to soups or stews.

 Hold on. Parsley has a history of its own. And you got to know it.

 

What Is The History Of Parsley?

 

Parsley has been cultivated for more than 2,000 years now. And before being used in cooking, the plant was utilized for medicinal purposes. The ancient Greeks considered parsley to be sacred – they used it to adorn the victors of athletic contests and to decorate the tombs of the deceased.

 Using parsley as a garnish in food items can be traced back to the Roman civilization.

 The history of the plant is not as important as its future – which lies in its constituents. Now, we look at the composition of parsley – the nutrients that make parsley, parsley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Parsley?

 

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

36 Kcal

1.5%

Carbohydrates

6.33 g

5%

Protein

2.97 g

5%

Total Fat

0.8 g

3%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

3.3 g

8.5%

VITAMINS

Folates

152 µg

38%

Niacin

1.313 mg

8%

Pantothenic acid

0.400 mg

8%

Pyridoxine

0.090 mg

7%

Riboflavin

0.098 mg

7.5%

Thiamin

0.086 mg

7%

Vitamin A

8424 IU

281%

Vitamin C

133 mg

220%

Vitamin E

0.75 mg

5%

Vitamin K

1640 µg

574%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

56 mg

4%

Potassium

554 mg

12%

Minerals

Calcium

138 mg

14%

Copper

0.149 mg

16.5%

Iron

6.20 mg

77.5%

Magnesium

50 mg

12.5%

Manganese

0.160 mg

7%

Phosphorus

58 mg

8%

Zinc

1.07 mg

10%

PHYTO-NUTRIENTS

Carotene-ß

5054 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

5561 µg

 

Let’s head to what parsley is known for – its benefits.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Parsley?

 

  1. Fights Cancer

 

A team of research scientists from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology had stated that the compounds in parsley could help fight cancer (1). Parsley contains a compound called carnosol that has been found to prevent cancer. The compound has also been linked to the treatment of cancers of the breast, skin, colon, and prostate (2).

 Parsley is also a significant contributor of flavonoids, compounds that can inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Another compound parsley is rich in is luteolin, a cancer-preventive agent. It interferes with most of the characteristics of cancer cells, aiding in their destruction. It also inhibits the metabolism of those carcinogens that generate active mutagens in liver chromosomes (3).

 Yet another compound in parsley, called apigenin, has been found to kill over 86% of lung cancer cells in laboratory studies (4). It is important to note that cooking can destroy most of parsley’s beneficial nutrients. Hence, use one teaspoon of raw parsley every day (5).

 

  1. Fights Inflammation

 

The apigenin in parsley also has anti-inflammatory properties. And the flavonoids in the vegetable, as per research, are some of the best natural substances to fight inflammation (6).

Parsley is also used to treat inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, which might also lead to stones and gravel. And the high levels of vitamin C contribute to fighting inflammation.

Parsley contains quercetin (also found in apples) as well, another superb antioxidant that fights inflammation. More importantly, it stabilizes the cells that release histamine (a compound that is released in the body in response to injury) in the body – thereby stopping inflammation right in its tracks. uercetin can also be used in conjunction with standard medical therapies to treat a condition called prostatitis, which is the inflammation of the prostate (7).

 

  1. Boosts Immunity

 

The abundance of vitamin C in parsley makes it the absolute go-to food for boosting the immune system (8). The essential oils it contains can also suppress an over-stimulated immune response.

These immune-boosting properties of parsley also help heal wounds rapidly.

  1. Protects The Heart

 

Parsley can be a good low-salt addition to your seasoning mixtures, especially if you are using them for seafood. Low salt, as we know, means heart-healthy. You can combine parsley flakes with thyme and garlic powder for a delicious yet healthy seasoning (9). Studies suggest that parsley can be used to treat arterial hypertension, and the resultant cardiac diseases (10).

 

  1. Promotes Bone Health

 

Parsley contains extremely high levels of vitamin K (we already saw this) that is essential for maintaining bone density and fighting fractures. This mineral works along with calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, and phosphorus – other nutrients important for bone health.

Parsley also inhibits bone resorption (the process where bone cells break down the tissue in bones and release minerals, leading to the transfer of calcium from bone tissue to the blood), which has beneficial effects on the skeletal structure of an individual (11). Though bone resorption is vital, excess of it can lead to complications.

The formation and maintenance of bones are carried out by two types of cells – osteoblasts (that form the bones) and osteoclasts (that resorb bones). An imbalance between these two cell types leads to bone metabolic disorders like osteoporosis and osteopetrosis. Apigenin in parsley can prevent these disorders (12).

 

  1. Aids In Anemia Treatment

 

Parsley is rich in iron, which explains its role in anemia treatment. Garnishing your dishes with parsley is a simple way to increase your iron intake. One of the easiest ways to achieve this is to begin your day with a parsley smoothie.

Studies show that parsley leaves have potent antianemia properties (13).

Adequate vitamin C levels also support iron absorption. Parsley is rich in vitamin C, promoting better iron absorption – which, in turn, helps treat anemia (14).

 

  1. Exhibits Antibacterial Properties

 

According to an Egyptian study, parsley exhibits antibacterial properties, especially against the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (15). Even the essential oils from organic parsley can offer antibacterial (and antioxidant) properties (16).

Parsley was also found to be effective against gram positive and gram negative bacteria (17). The plant can be considered a potent antibacterial agent, and, as per research, can be used for medicinal purposes.

 

  1. Supports Gland Health

 

Parsley plays a role in gland health too. Studies show that it has a remarkable ability to reduce swollen and enlarged glands. It can also expel watery poisons and excess mucoid matter.

The herb can also calm adrenal glands. And according to another Egyptian study, the root of parsley contains calcium, iron, and B-complex vitamins – all of which nourish the parathyroid glands (18).

 

  1. Rejuvenates Blood Vessels

 

Studies show that parsley juice can soothe the blood vessels, particularly the arterioles and capillaries. However, there is little research on this. Do consult your doctor for more information.

  1. Treats Diarrhea

 

The leaves, seeds, and even the roots of the parsley plant are known for being powerful relievers of diarrhea. Certain studies say that drinking parsley as tea can work better for treating diarrhea. The tea enhances the digestion of fats and proteins and even improves intestinal absorption.

  1. Aids Digestion

 

Parsley is used to treat indigestion and other related conditions like flatulence and colic (19). The pro-digestive abilities of parsley can also be attributed to its fiber content. The fiber helps the food move smoothly through the digestive tract (20).

Parsley is also known to support circulation. And the herb’s laxative and diuretic properties aid digestion (21). Apiol, the oil extracted from parsley seeds was also found to aid digestion.

 

  1. Regulates Cholesterol Levels

 

One reason parsley works great in regulating cholesterol levels is its fiber content. Studies show that aqueous extracts of parsley possess hypocholesterolemic properties, which can be attributed to the flavonoids the herb contains. Flavonoids decrease the biosynthesis of cholesterol and help lower blood cholesterol levels as a consequence (22).

 

  1. Improves Ear Health

 

Parsley is one of the herbs that can help clear inner ear fluid. As parsley naturally moves mucous throughout the body, it can help the fluid flow out of the ear more effectively. Drinking raw parsley juice can offer the beneficial effects. But consult your doctor first as the juice was found to cause an upset stomach in some people.

  1. Treats Edema

 

Being a natural diuretic, parsley flushes out excess water from the body. It also flushes out excess salt from the body, which otherwise leads to edema.

One Iranian study suggests that parsley can even help treat renal disorders caused by an extreme case of edema (23).

It is also important to talk to your doctor about fluid retention as it can be caused by different conditions. Parsley sure can help with sodium and water retention, but exercise caution before taking any kind of supplements (24).

 

 

 

  1. Improves Kidney Health

 

Since parsley is a diuretic and helps flush fluids out of the body, it sure can have a beneficial effect on the kidneys – as it can also flush out germs in the process. Two ingredients in parsley oil can be credited for the herb’s diuretic properties – apiol and myristicin.

The herb can also help rid the body of kidney stones and gallstones.

But keep in mind that excessive use of parsley oil can put your kidneys at risk.

  1. Improves Liver Health

 

Parsley can exhibit excellent hepatoprotective effects, especially in the case of diabetic individuals. In one Turkish study, diabetic rats treated with parsley showed significantly lower levels of blood glucose and enhanced liver health (25).

According to another nutritional report, parsley helps open the obstructions in the liver and spleen (26).

 

  1. Treats Menstrual Problems

 

The two volatile oils in parsley, apiol and myristicin, are responsible for its emmenagogue effects. Though there is no strong evidence that says if parsley can stimulate menstrual flow, one study of a Russian drug containing 85% parsley juice states that it could be used for inducing labour. However, numerous herbalists and practitioners of alternative medicine use parsley for treating menstrual issues.

  1. Treats Night Blindness

 

Night blindness is caused by a deficiency in vitamin A, and parsley, being rich in this vitamin, can aid in the treatment of the condition. According to the University of Rochester Medical Canter, retinol, which is a metabolite of vitamin A, combines with opsin to form rhodopsin. Opsin is a pigment in the eye retina and rhodopsin is a chemical involved in night vision (27).

 

  1. Improves Oral Health

 

Though more research is required, certain studies have shown that parsley can help reduce bad breath through a process called enzymatic deodorization. Another set of studies says that parsley might be a temporary cure for bad breath, but it may not offer a permanent solution.

More interestingly, bad breath is also caused by a number of intestinal disorders. Some of these include systemic diseases like gastrointestinal or upper respiratory tract disorders and microbial metabolism from your tongue – and parsley might help treat a number of these conditions, indirectly improving bad breath, too (28).

 

  1. Good During Pregnancy

Parsley is a good source of iron, a mineral important during pregnancy (29). The herb also can ease constipation (thanks to its fiber content), which is a common issue during pregnancy.

 

What Are The Benefits For Skin?

 

The skin care properties of parsley are not much recognized and are highly underrated. The skin benefits of this herb can be attributed to its antioxidant properties and high amounts of vitamin C it contains. The herb helps heal wounds, has anti-aging benefits, and even helps prevent acne and zits.

  1. Reduces Wrinkles, Fine Lines, And Scars

 

Since vitamin C is not naturally present in the body, we need to consume it in sufficient amounts through food. The high amount of vitamin C in parsley nourishes the skin from within to reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. It achieves this by boosting collagen production, by positively interacting with the amino acids in the collagen cells.

Consuming parsley stimulates the production of collagen in the skin and promotes cell reproduction and repair. This leads to faster growth of new skin, which results in blemish-free, even, and smooth skin – and more importantly, elimination of wrinkles and fine lines.

Parsley also contains a high amount of antioxidants, which protect our skin from free radical damage and delay the signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.

 

  1. Improves Wound Healing

 

Parsley contains beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A for proper maintenance and skin repair. Thus, eating parsley improves the skin’s elasticity, which delays wrinkles and speeds up the wound healing process.

  1. Erases Under-Eye Dark Circles

 

 

Parsley works wonders to erase under-eye dark circles. It contains a high amount of vitamin C, chlorophyll, and vitamin K, which help to lighten the skin under the eyes and even reduce puffiness. Using parsley for this remedy is quite simple.

Just squish a handful of parsley to release its juice. Mix with a teaspoon of yogurt and apply the mixture to the regions under your eyes. You can even soak cotton balls in parsley juice and keep them under the eyes for 10 minutes.

Do this twice a week to reduce dark circles.

  1. Provides Antibacterial And Antifungal Protection To Skin

 

The volatile oils in parsley, eugenol particularly, provide antibacterial and antifungal effects that are useful for treating acne, pimples, and skin infection and disinfecting pores. Parsley oil is easily available in the market. Never apply parsley oil directly to the face as it can burn the skin.

Dilute it with a carrier oil like olive or almond oil and then apply it to the face. Leave it on for 30 minutes and then rinse off. Make sure you check with your dermatologist in case you have sensitive skin.

  1. Offers Clear And Glowing Skin

 

Consuming parsley abundantly helps to balance excess sebum secretion in oily skin. It further helps to clear the pores, which might otherwise lead to acne outbreaks. The zinc in parsley controls skin inflammation and promotes skin regeneration. It also reduces redness and diminishes acne blemishes.

You can also prepare a parsley toner to get glowing skin.

Take a bundle of parsley leaves and mash them using a fork to extract the juice. Add distilled boiling water to it and leave it aside to let it cool. Now, add one tablespoon of lemon juice, three drops of tea tree oil, and three drops of rosemary essential oil to it. You can even store it in the refrigerator. When required, dip a cotton ball in the toner and apply it to the face in circular motion.

This toner is highly clarifying. It helps to balance the pH levels of the skin and kill acne-causing bacteria. It will also treat oily skin and skin inflammation. Do check with your dermatologist before using parsley for this purpose.

  1. Improves Overall Skin Health

 

Parsley contains minerals like calcium, potassium, manganese, copper, and zinc – which are essential for maintaining healthy skin. Extract the juice from the leaves and mix it with 200 ml of water. Drink this concoction daily to get healthy skin.

  1. Prevents Acne And Zits

 

Individuals with combination and oily skin types can prepare this homemade toner to prevent acne and zits.

Take some parsley in a bowl and mash it using a spoon or fork. Add two teaspoons of honey to it and mix it thoroughly till the honey turns green. Apply it to the face and wash it off after 10 minutes. Follow it up with a moisturizer of your choice.

Both honey and parsley contain antibacterial properties that treat pimples and keep the skin smooth and nourished. Use fresh parsley leaves instead of dried parsley for preparing this pack.

  1. Can Be Used As A Homemade Facial Treatment

You can also use dried parsley as a facial treatment.

Take a spoonful of dried parsley leaves and add them to 200 ml of water. Boil for at least 20 minutes. Remove from the stove and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

You can use this water to rinse your face once or twice a day. Prepare a fresh rinse daily to obtain maximum benefits.

  1. Prevents Dark Spots And Skin Discoloration

 

Parsley is beneficial in reducing the appearance of dark spots and skin discoloration. A face pack containing parsley, honey, and lemon juice can effectively erase dark spots and treat skin discoloration.

Take one medium-sized bundle of parsley leaves and soak it in warm water. Chop finely and then crush in a mortar. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of raw honey and mash well. Cleanse your skin with a gentle cleanser and then apply this pack to the face, focusing on the blackheads. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse. This face pack will refresh and revitalize the skin.

  1. Acts As An Effective Cleanser

 

Blend a handful of parsley leaves with yogurt. Grind thoroughly to form a smooth paste. Add one teaspoon of oatmeal and a few drops of tea tree oil. Apply the mask on a clean face and neck and leave it on for 15 minutes. Wash it off and pat dry.

Apply this face pack thrice a week to remove dead skin cells and accumulated dirt from the face.

  1. Soothes Irritated Skin

Rub dried or fresh parsley leaves on irritated skin or insect bites to soothe skin irritation. When dealing with boils, boil parsley leaf in water and apply it on the affected areas for a few hours. It also helps to fade freckles and spots. Application of parsley seed oil can help to heal bruises.

 

What Are The Benefits For Hair?

  1. Controls Hair Loss

 

Parsley is rich in other important nutrients that address a number of nutritional deficiencies that lead to hair loss or weak hair. Parsley has been traditionally used as a hair tonic to disinfect the scalp and control hair loss. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant flavonoid that controls hair fall through the regulation of TGF-beta1 gene.

Puree a handful of parsley sprigs and add 100 ml of water to it. Apply this tonic to wet scalp, wrap your hair in a towel and allow it to sit for an hour. Wash it off with shampoo. And since you are using something new on your hair, do consult your dermatologist.

  1. Helps Maintain Natural Hair Colour

 

Parsley contains a high amount of copper, which helps to retain the hair’s natural colour. It can be applied topically or can be added in large amounts to your diet.

  1. Promotes Hair Growth

Parsley is highly beneficial in promoting hair growth.

Rub powdered parsley seeds on the scalp and massage your scalp gently with it. This will stimulate scalp circulation and promote hair growth. Repeat this method twice a week for two months to get long and straight hair.

  1. Helps Treat Dandruff

Wash your hair with an infusion of parsley leaves to get rid of dandruff.

You saw the ways parsley can make your life better. But what about selecting the right kind of parsley? How about storing it?

How To Select And Store Parsley

Selection

 

Both fresh and dried parsleys are available throughout the year in all supermarkets. Choose fresh parsley over the dried one as fresh parsley is superior in flavor and aroma. Choose parsley that is dark green, has firm stems, and looks fresh and crisp. Organically grown parsleys are the best as they are not irradiated and are free from potentially harmful pesticides and insecticides residue. Avoid buying parsley with wilted or yellow leaves, mold, and dark spots.

Storage

 

It is very important to store parsley properly. Otherwise, the herb can become slippery and wilted. Do not store parsley under direct sunlight as it can dry its leaves. Wash the leaves under running water thoroughly to remove pesticide residue, dirt, and yellow leaves. Repeat the washing process again and then shake excess water off the leaves. Lay them on a kitchen towel and gently dab them to remove the remaining water. Place the leaves in a ziplock or plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. This will keep the leaves crisp, and they will easily last for 10 days. Whenever you require it, just open the bundle, take out the parsley you need and then rewrap it and keep it in the refrigerator.

You can also keep it immersed in water in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for a longer period. All you need to do is cut off the small section of the parsley stem. Take a glass of water and place the leaves in the water with the leaves standing upwards. Do not wash the parsley leaves before immersing them in the water. Replace the water every 2 to 3 days to prevent bacterial growth.

Wash the parsley thoroughly before using it every time. Place it in water for a while to allow the sand and dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the bowl and then wash them with clean water. Parsley can be stored for around two weeks in the refrigerator.

Selection and storage are one part. Using parsley in cooking is another.

How To Use Parsley For Cooking

 

Parsley is commonly used in soups, salads, savory and baked dishes to add flavor and aroma. It can add color and flavor even to the most ordinary and basic dishes. Parsley is an essential component in French cuisine as it is extensively used to prepare soup, stew, and stock. It is also used as a garnish in Middle Eastern cuisine like hummus, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh. It is a staple in Italian cuisine and is used in the preparation of pizzas, pasta, pesto, and lasagna. Parsley leaves are also added to homemade spaghetti and salsa sauce. It makes the food look more appealing and appetizing and brings out the flavor of fresh vegetables.

Flat leaf parsley is mainly used for garnishing purpose as they have a stronger aroma, while curled parsley is used for adding flavor to soups and stews as they blend easily with any type of soup. Curly parsleys are also added to salads and sandwiches because of their crunchy texture. Discard the stems and finely chop the leaves before adding it to your dish. Parsley should be added towards the end of cooking process to retain its taste, color, and nutritional value. It is one of the only herbs that taste worse when cooked.

Now that you know how to use the herb for cooking, how about checking out a couple of popular recipes?

Any Parsley Recipes?

  1. Parsley Tea

What You Need

  • 250 ml of purified water
  • ¼ cup of fresh parsley leaves

Directions

  1. Bring the purified water to a boil using a tea kettle.
  2. Rinse the fresh parsley leaves under cool, running water.
  3. Steep the leaves in the boiling water for about 10 minutes.
  4. Strain the leaves and enjoy.
  5. Almond-Crusted Salmon

What You Need

  • ½ cup of almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon each of sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of grated organic lemon zest
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 4 cups of spinach

Directions

  1. Grind the almonds in a food processor.
  2. On a plate, mix the almond powder with parsley, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
  3. Dredge the salmon in the almond mixture on both the sides.
  4. Over medium heat, heat the oil on a large skillet. Add the salmon and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Serve topped with lemon juice.

All of that is the serious side of parsley. But how about checking out the fun side of the herb?

Any Fun Facts About Parsley?

  • The ancient Romans loved parsley so much that no salad was ever served without it.
  • The ancient Greeks believed parsley sprung from the blood of Archemorus, a hero who, according to legend, was killed by a dragon.
  • In the ancient times, corpses were sprinkled with parsley to eliminate the stench.
  • Parsley arrived on the British shores in the 16th
  • Since parsley is difficult to grow, it was believed that the herb could be grown only by witches or the evil.
  • You can even feed tiny amounts of parsley to dogs to freshen their stinky breath (cross check with a vet before you do so).

The facts are fine. But where can you get parsley from?

Where To Buy Parsley?

You can find parsley in your nearest supermarket. Look for the crisp and dark green variety.

We saw all that is good and glorious about parsley. But this super-herb does have its share of side effects.

What Are The Side Effects Of Parsley?

Parsley can have side effects if consumed in excess. Following are the side effects.

  • Skin Sensitivity

Applying parsley seed oil to the skin can make it sensitive to the sun and cause rashes – in certain individuals. Hence, check with your doctor before use.

  • Issues Regarding Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Though safe in normal amounts, excess intake of parsley during pregnancy or breastfeeding can cause complications.

  • High Blood Pressure

In certain cases, parsley might hold on to excess sodium in the body and elevate blood pressure levels. Hence, practice caution and consult your doctor if you have problems with blood pressure.

  • Kidney Disease

Though parsley does improve kidney health, certain studies show it can worsen the condition. Talk to your doctor.

  • Interactions During Surgery

Parsley might lower blood glucose levels and interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop use at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

  • Other Drug Interactions

The high vitamin K content in parsley can interact with drugs like Coumadin. Please check with your doctor.

Conclusion

Let’s not keep parsley under-appreciated any longer! Include the herb in your diet – it would be one of the wisest decisions in your life.

Also, tell us how this post has helped you. Do comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How much parsley is safe to drink daily?

There is no specific amount as such. But you can consume up to 2 to 3 cups a day. Consult your doctor for further details.

Is parsley good for cleaning your kidneys?

It sure is. But in certain individuals, the herb can aggravate kidney disease. Take precautions.

Can parsley be eaten raw?

Yes.

How to use parsley as a diuretic?

You can simply take parsley tea.

 

PRICE VARIATION OF THE YEAR – BETWEEN $ 5.33 AND $ 7.94
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Pak Choy

11 Amazing Superb Health Benefits of Pak Choy For Better Life


Bok Choy

 

Did You Know...

Bok Choy is also called Chinese cabbage and pak-choi and has been grown in China for more than 6,000 years! It can be eaten raw or cooked.           

 

How to Select

Choose firm bok choy stalks without brown spots and fresh leaves (not wilted).

 

How to Store

Store bok choy in a plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator for up to a week. Wash immediately before serving.

 

Nutrition Benefits

Fat free, saturated fat free, cholesterol free, low sodium an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C and a good source of folate.

Top 10 Ways To Enjoy Bok Choy 

 

  1. A Layer of Flavor.Add cut bok choy or baby bok choy to your favorite salad for a new layer of flavor.

 

  1. Sick of Celery?Fill raw bok choy stalks with anything you would use to fill celery sticks. Try peanut butter, cream cheese or guacamole.

 

  1. A Simply StylishCut some baby bok choy in half and braise with a mixture of your favorite stock, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and red pepper flakes for an elegant side dish.

 

  1. Salads & Sandwiches.Use raw bok choy leaves in salads or on sandwiches. It has a sweet flavor and is a tasty addition to spinach or mixed green salads.

 

  1. Add to Your Apps!Add raw stalks of bok choy to your favorite vegetable tray!

 

  1. A Leftover Makeover.Add chopped bok choy and onion to any leftover meat and pre-cooked veggie or rice mixture then toss in a skillet over medium-high heat. Scramble one egg for each person to be served, and toss over the veggie-meat mixture. Stir it all up and stir.

 

  1. Grill It! Cut baby bok choy in half, drizzle with olive oil and toss it on the grill. Add just a sprinkle of salt, turn once and enjoy. 

 

  1. Great as Garnish.Use the tops of bok choy leaves as an attractive garnish when serving appetizers at your next party or get-together.

 

  1. Turbo-Charge Your Soups.Besides its enticing flavor and vibrant color, bok choy is great for adding last-minute nutrition to homemade or canned soups.

 

  1. Stir-Fry.Make an Asian-inspired stir-fry using chicken, snow peas, peppers, onion and bok choy. Clean the stalks, then give them a rough chop before adding to the wok. 


Bok Choy is packed with impressive health benefits that includes fighting cancer, supporting healthy bones, supporting healthy cardiovascular system, maintaining blood pressure, fighting anemia, supporting healthy eyes, supporting healthy immunity, enhancing the skin, supporting healthy digestion, promoting healing and fighting inflammation.

What is Bok Choy?

Bok Choy is considered to be one of the healthiest forms of leafy green vegetables. This vegetable belongs to the brassica family and is closely related to cabbage.

It is a staple in Asian cuisine and is an important part of dishes such as stir-fry and hot pots. China is one of the largest producers of multiple varieties of this vegetable. Bok Choy, like many other vegetables from its family, has the same sweet, but peppery flavor. The most popular variety has short pure white stems with contrasting rich green leaves.

In some countries outside of Asia, bok choy is referred to as Chinese cabbage or Chinese white vegetable. Bok choy has been recorded for its medicinal uses in the early fifth century in China. Archeologists have dug up evidence of seeds closely resembling those of Bok choy in the yellow river valley of China; these seeds are thought to be about 6,000 years old.

Bok choy is packed full of flavor and is a delicious way to keep up with the intake of vital vitamins such as vitamin A and C. It is a moderately priced vegetable and its cultivation has increased dramatically over the past decades as it is easy to grow and can persevere the harshness of cold weather.

Ancient Chinese healers used the benefits of bok choy to treat fever, cough and other ailments in this category. It is thought to have a cooling effect and can also be used to calm inflammation both internally and externally – on the skin.

Bok choy has travelled with immigrants all around the world; its seeds were being sold in America during the 1800’s. Bok choy can be eaten raw, but is ideally cooked in the Chinese cuisine. The baby bok choy variety is easier to eat raw, much like spinach. Here are some amazing health benefits of eating of incorporating this vegetable in your daily diet:

11 Amazing Health Benefits Of Bok Choy

 

  1. Anti-cancer

Bok choy and other members of its family have shown fairly positive effects on preventing cancer. They contain other-wise hard to find sulphur-based compounds such as isothiocyanates, which turn into glucosinolates, which promote cell death in free radicals. The folate present in bok choy is excellent to repair the DNA and prevent cell damage. The beta-carotene in bok choy is a powerful antioxidant that has been observed to reduce the risk of breast, prostate and lung cancer.  Bok choy is an excellent source of selenium, which is a tumor- inhibiting compound and stops the formation of cancerous tumors.

  1. Healthy Bones

Healthy bones and maintaining bone density becomes essential as age progresses and bok choy can do the trick for you. The nutrient-dense composition features vitamin K alongside calcium that can help you maintain your bone and teeth health. Other minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus promote the production of collagen between joints to keep them working like a well-oiled machine. Vitamin K deficiency has been linked to greater risk of fractures and weaker bones. The combination of vitamin k and calcium promote a well-balanced bone matrix and also balance the amount of uric acid in the body.

 

  1. Healthy Cardiovascular System

Bok choy is a leafy green vegetable with a good serving of fiber combined with minerals such as phosphorus and magnesium. This makes for a powerful heart protecting composition that clears out the arteries, flushing all that bad cholesterol out of your system, promoting heart health. The vitamins along with potassium are effective in controlling the levels of homocysteine, which is a compound that can damage blood vessels.

  1. Blood Pressure

Blood pressure can be the basis of various diseases and can adversely affect how your heart functions, leading to hypertension or low blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause blood clots in the brain, which can cause a brain hemorrhage. Bok choy is one of the best sources of potassium combined with vitamin A and C. The magnesium in bok choy has a calming effect on nerves and promotes adequate blood flow. Potassium is what keeps the heart healthy and functioning; the daily requirement for potassium for an adult is 4700 milligrams.  Bok choy is naturally flavourful and has absolutely no sodium, which is especially healthy for the heart.

 

  1. Anti-Anemia

Anemia is caused due to the deficiency of iron in the body and can have severe consequences for your health, especially in women who are expecting. It can be harmful to the cognitive development of the fetus. Bok choy hosts an impressive combination of folate and 0.8mg of iron per 100 grams of raw serving. Folate helps the body absorb iron more efficiently, which in turn leads to increased production of red blood cells by the body. Keeping the hemoglobin in check is another benefit that bok choy provides through the delivery of iron.

 

  1. Healthy Eyes

The constituents found in bok choy are excellent for overall eye health. The beta-carotene, seleniumVitamin K, and vitamin C, combine to maintain eye health. The beta-carotene specifically protects the coronary tract of the eyes and provide protection against the formation of cataracts and glaucoma. Bok choy has been observed to reduce macular degeneration and slow it down to a large extent.

 

  1. Healthy Immunity

A healthy functioning immune system is necessary to prevent any chronic disease from entering the body. The idea is quite simple to eat foods that are rich in nutrients and especially in vitamin C to prevent your immune system from going haywire as autoimmune disease are no jokes. Adding bok choy to your salads, stir fries and even instant noodles will promote the production of white blood cells in the body. Immunity is the body’s barrier not only against chronic illness, but also infections and seasonal viruses.

  1. Healthy Glowing Skin

Taking care of your skin externally is necessary to remove dead cells from clogging the surface, but what you are eating is going to impact the appearance of your skin largely. Bok choy is an excellent source of vitamin C white is the holy grail of vitamins for skin health. It keeps the skin glowing from within and promotes the production of collagen in the body.

 

  1. Healthy Digestion

In ancient medicine, it was believed that all diseases originate in the gut and that is quite true. Bok choy has been used to treat digestive disorders for centuries, it was added to broths and food to bulk up the stool and heal diarrhea.

 

  1. Promotes Healing

Bok choy contains a healthy amount of vitamin K that enhances blood clotting, helping to heal open cuts, bruises and wounds faster. This is excellent for people who are recovering from surgeries and other injuries.

 

  1. Anti-inflammatory

Bok choy is a source of choline which is an inflammation reducing agent and is linked to improving learning skills and memory. It also calms inflammation and reduces the chances of inflammation-related diseases such as arthritis and joint pains.

 

Bottom Line

The vast list of benefits is reasons enough to add this delicious vegetable to your meal. It can be used to amp up even the simplest of meals can be added to your morning omelet along with spinach.

 

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Oregano

26 Amazing Benefits Of Oregano For Skin, Hair, And Health


Every time that you order a pizza, the one thing you most likely reach out for is that small jar of oregano? It tastes yummy and adds that extra life to your food. Well, if that is how it has been popular till now, it’s time you heard of its other and more important benefits as well.

What is Oregano?

 
Oregano is scientifically known as Origanum vulgare and belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). In Greek, oregano is called “joy of the mountains.” It is also known as wild marjoram. The oregano plant is a perennial which grows up to two feet. It is found in the mountain regions of Greece and other Mediterranean countries. These are also cultivated in Mexico.

The Mediterranean oregano is milder than the Mexican oregano. The oregano plant has tiny leaves which have a pungent aroma. These leaves are widely used in various Mediterranean cuisines. The plant bears pink or purple flowers. These flowers are also edible and are used in some rice dishes, pasta, pizza and any broccoli dishes.

Oregano leaves are used in a fresh or dried form. Dried oregano has a stronger flavor than fresh ones. The chemicals that give the herb its unique flavor are thymol, carvacrol, ocimene, limonene, pinene, and caryophyllene. Apart from their culinary usage, these herbs have been used in medicines for thousands of years with a number of health benefits.

Nutritional Facts

 

Per 100 grams oregano contain 4.3 gm fat, 25mg sodium, 1,260mg potassium, 69gm carbohydrates, and 9gm protein, including vitamin A (34%), calcium (159%), vitamin C (3%), iron (204%), vitamin B6 (50%) and magnesium (67%). Oregano contains no cholesterol.

Oregano Benefits

 

Given here are the amazing oregano benefits for skin, hair, and health. Let’s have a look at its health benefits first:

Oregano Health Benefits

 

Some of the most popular health benefits of oregano are listed below.

  1. Eating fresh oregano leaves on a regular basis can help boost the immune system.
  2. Oregano is a good source of vitamin A, iron, and manganese.
  3. Oregano is a rich source of Vitamin K, a vital vitamin that is quite often ignored. Vitamin K is known to promote cardiovascular health and is integral to keeping calcium out of the arteries. It effectively helps in the bone development and promotes proper blood clotting too.
  4. Dry oregano, when ingested, acts as a health tonic. Rich in essential oils such as carvacrol, thymol, limonene, pinene, ocimene and caryophyllene, the leaves and flowering stems of oregano have strong antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, carminative, cholagogues (aids in gall bladder secretions), diaphoretic (sweat production), expectorant and stimulant properties. It aids in the treatment of colds, mild fevers, influenza, indigestion, stomach upsets and painful menstruation symptoms.
  5. Recent research reveals that a gram of oregano has 42 times more antioxidant properties than apples since it is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. Hence oregano acts as a protective scavenger against free radicals that play a role in aging and various skin diseases.
  6. Rich source of dietary fiber of oregano helps to control cholesterol levels in the blood.
  7. Thymol and carvacrol, two active compounds of oregano, increase digestion power. Thymol is also known for its antibacterial and antiseptic activities.
  8. Thymol and carvacrol can relieve fever, influenza, and abdominal pain immediately.
  9. Thymol also soothes the body during sleep.
  10. This herb is an excellent source of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, and calcium.
  11. Potassium helps control heart rate and blood pressure caused by high sodium.
  12. Magnesium and calcium are important elements for bone metabolism.
  13. Manganese is a potent source of antioxidant and iron helps prevent anemia.
  14. Oregano oil helps to relieve congestion. A common solution to congestion is to add three drops of oregano oil in a glass of juice or warm water and drink this daily for four or five days.
  15. It is an effective aid for irregular menstruation and reduces the negative effect of menopause.
  16. Oregano oil provides sedating effects on the hypersensitivity of allergies.
  17. Oregano oil is a potential antioxidant.
  18. It stimulates the flow of bile in the digestive organs. In the case of mild indigestion, you can drink a glass of milk, juice, or warm water that is mixed with two or three drops of oregano oil.
  19. Oregano oil helps to cure itches, skin infections, and irritated gums. But always mix it with olive or coconut oil before applying. Usually, one tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil per one drop of oregano oil is ideal for the skin.
  20. Oregano oil acts as an excellent medicine to treat cold or a sore throat. Mix three drops of oregano oil into a glass of juice daily, especially during winter season once daily. You can feel the result within few hours.

 

 Oregano Skin Benefits

 

  1. Oregano benefits the skin by treating acne or pimples. It has amazing antifungal, antiseptic and antioxidant properties. Oregano is widely used in medicated skin care products such as foot creams, skin toner and face wash. You can also make an easy DIY face mask and skin toner at home.

 

Face Mask

 

  • Mix ¼ cup Aloe Vera, one tablespoon cucumber juice and three drops (not more) of oregano oil.
  • Mix them well.
  • Apply the mixture on the affected area.
  • Leave it for five minutes and then rinse off with cold water.

 

Make sure your skin is not allergic to oregano oil by applying it on your hand. If your skin feels itchy, don’t use this mask.

  1. If you have an oily skin and suffer from acne, this homemade oregano toner can be a great help.

 

  • Take some dried oregano leaves and boil them in 3 cups of drinking water for ten minutes.
  • Allow them to cool.
  • Pour them in an airtight glass container through a strainer and store it in the fridge.
  • Apply this toner on the affected area or all over the face.
  • Besides treating acne, this toner will also give you an oil free and tighter facial skin.
  • You can use this homemade toner for seven days.

 

Oregano Hair Benefits

 

  1. Oregano oil is used in a wide range of hair care products for its multitude of medicinal and therapeutic properties.
  2. If you have an itchy scalp, oregano oil might be a good option as it has many antibacterial properties.
  • Just mix two to three drops of oregano oil with any hair oil.
  • You can use olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil and apply to your scalp.
  • Wash your hair with a medicated shampoo after 45 minutes.
  • This is good for color treated hair too.
  1. Oregano oil also fights against dandruff.
  • Mix two or three drops of oregano oil in your shampoo (use a mild and medicated herbal shampoo).
  • Apply it all over your hair.
  • Allow this for two or three minutes.
  • Then wash your hair with lukewarm water.
  • Repeat this procedure once again.
  1. Be careful about the lather so that it doesn’t come in contact with your eyes.

The above-mentioned home remedies can be used for hair loss treatment too. You can apply the following hair mask as a Hair Detangle.

  • Mix two tablespoons dried oregano or ½ cup fresh oregano leaves, one tablespoon vanilla extract and one cup water.
  • Warm this mixture for 45 seconds on low heat. You can also microwave it for 30 seconds.
  • Allow the mixture to cool.
  • Pour it into an airtight container or put in a spray bottle.
  • Store it in the fridge.
  • Use this mixture all over hair after you’ve finished your shampoo and conditioner.
  • Comb your hair after it is towel dried.

 

You can use this mixture for up to seven days.

Oregano leaves extract or oregano oil is used in producing perfumes. Due to its natural aroma, it is especially used in men’s perfume or aftershave lotion.

A Common Confusion

 

Oregano is often confused with marjoram, a perennial herb that looks like oregano. But marjoram is sweeter than oregano. Also, its leaves are slightly hairy, and they are gray-green in color.

Oregano Cooking Tips

 

  • Oregano leaves go well with artichokes, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, pasta, chicken, fish, lamb, etc.
  • Fresh oregano is best to use in cooking. Before using them, strip the leaves from the stem and crush them in your palm, so that essential oil can release.
  • Do not use too much oregano leaves in any dish. It can make your food bitter.
  • Mix one tablespoon dried oregano powder to two tablespoon chili powder. Use this mixture when you are preparing any vegetable or meat dishes.
  • If you are going to use dried oregano leaves in your cooking, simply crush them in your hand before adding. It will enhance the flavor of your food.
  • Both dried and fresh leaves are used in pizza and pasta sauce.
  • Italian vinaigrette sauce is incomplete without oregano leaves.
  • Oregano leaves make an outstanding marinade for chicken, lamb, or beef.
  • Add oregano leaves at the end of cooking, especially when you are about to prepare some vegetable dishes such as zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, cauliflower.
  • Spread some cheese or butter on your bread and sprinkle some crushed dried oregano leaves on it. Microwave it for five minutes.
  • This is a great appetizer.
  • Oregano flowers are also edible. They can be used in various salads for their spicy flavor.

How To Prepare Dried Oregano

 

  • Cut fresh oregano stalks and hang them upside down in a dry and airy room with access to sunlight.
  • Let them dry for a week.
  • Separate the flowers from the leaves when they are dried enough.
  • Now separate the leaves from the stalk by running your hand up and down the branch. Discard the stalk.
  • Turn dried leaves into powder by crushing them into your palm. You can use this dried oregano for up to six months.
  • Pour this powder into an airtight container.

If you are running short of time, just separate the oregano leaves from the stalk and place the leaves in a flat dish. Microwave them on low heat till they are dried. Allow it to cool and crush them so that they become powdery. Store it in an airtight container.

How To Store Fresh Oregano

 

  • Always buy oregano leaves that have a bright color.
  • Tie the stalks together at the base with a piece of thread.
  • Keep it in a plastic bag.
  • Store them in the fridge to retain the freshness.

Frozen Oregano

 

  • Chop some oregano leaves.
  • Make a paste out of it.
  • Place this paste in an ice cube tray.
  • Now allow this paste to freeze.
  • You can use this paste for up to one year.

 

How To Make Oregano Sauce

 

  • Take one onion (diced) and cook it for five minutes (do not let it get brown).
  • Add a bit of salt and black pepper.
  • Add two tablespoon garlic paste and one and a half cup tomato paste.
  • Stir it for two minutes.
  • Now add some dried oregano powder according to taste.
  • Again add some salt and black pepper.
  • You can add a little bit of sugar if you wish.

 

2 Easy And Healthy Recipes Using Oregano

 

Here are two easy and tasty yet healthy recipes which you can make at home.

  1. Baked Chicken With Lemon And Oregano

Ingredients

 

  • 500 grams thinly sliced the potato.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 pieces chicken thighs
  • 8 shallots
  • 1 lemon, (sliced)
  • 5 oregano sprigs
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 200 ml chicken stock

 

Method

 

  1. Marinate the chicken thighs with lemon juice and salt.
  2. Coat the potato slices with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  3. Roast them for twenty minutes in microwave 200/220 degree Celsius.
  4. Now add the marinated chicken along with shallot, lemon slices, oregano.
  5. Drizzle with remaining oil.
  6. Again place this baking tray in the oven.
  7. Cook it for 20 minutes.
  8. Pour over the wine and the chicken stock.
  9. Finally, cook it for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

 

  1. Fresh Tomato Pasta With Oregano

Ingredients

 

  • One packet penne pasta
  • 100 grams boneless chicken (boiled)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Three tomatoes seeded and diced
  • Four garlic cloves, minced
  • One or two tablespoons pine nuts lightly toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

 

Method

 

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions written on the packet.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and fry the boiled chicken for ten minutes.
  3. Add cloves, tomatoes, pine nuts, oregano, red pepper and black pepper one after the other.
  4. Add some salt and sugar according to taste.
  5. Stir it for five minutes or until the tomatoes get tender.
  6. Once done, toss it with the cooked pasta.
  7. Serve it with parmesan cheese.

 

Oregano Side Effects

 

Oregano oil may reduce the body’s ability to absorb iron. Hence, it is advised to take oregano oil with regular consumption of iron supplements. Women are advised not to take oregano oil during their pregnancy. Anyone allergic to mint should avoid oregano oil or oregano since this herb belongs to the mint family. It is preferable to consult your doctor to discuss on oregano benefits and side effects before its consumption.

We hope you enjoy this beneficial herb as something more than just your pizza topping. Give it a shot and tell us about it! Stay fit, stay healthy!

 

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Mint

13 Amazing Health Benefits of Mint Leaves


Mint Leaves health benefits includes aiding digestion, treat dizziness, treating nausea, treating headaches, treating nasal congestion, improving dental health, preventing dandruff and head lice, relieving nipple pain due to breastfeeding, act as colic in infants and improving blood circulation, relieving muscle pain, enhancing the skin, promoting eye health, supporting weight loss and boosting immunity.

 

What is Mint Leaves?

Mentha, or commonly known as mint leaves, is an herb from the genus Lamiaceae. There are roughly 20 species in the mint family including peppermint and spearmint, the two most common types. Mints are herbs that can be found in different environmental conditions, but they thrive best in moist areas. The mint family are among the most popular herbs due to their cooling properties. Mints provide a unique fragrance and mildly sweet flavour that has a cool aftertaste. People are long familiar with mint as a breath freshener. Mint leaves are extracted to produce essential oil or menthol. Mint essential oil and menthol are incorporated into chewing gums, toothpastes, breath sprays, mouthwash, etc. The compound L-carvone is responsible for the mints’ distinctive aroma and flavour.

Mint leaves are used in Middle Eastern, British, and American cuisines as a necessary ingredient in their dishes. In fact, Arab countries use mint on their lamb dishes and teas. Mint is also added into ice creams, chocolates, etc. by food manufacturers. Traditionally, this herb was used for aromatherapy. It was first known as a room deodorizer and thus earned the title: ‘herb of hospitality.’ Consuming mint leaves were also used to treat several common ailments in traditional medicine.

Nutrition Info of Mint Leaves (per 100g)         

Nutrition info is quotes per 100g, even though you are unlikely to consume this amount at one sitting.                       

Energy                                70 Kcal                                3.5% RDA
Carbohydrates                  14.79 g                               11% RDA
Protein                               3.75 g                                  7% RDA
Total fat                             0.94 g                                  3% RDA
Dietary fiber                      8 g                                       20% RDA
Folate                                 114 mcg                             28% RDA
Niacin                                 1.706 mg                            10.5% RDA
Pantothenic acid              0.338 mg                            6.5% RDA
Pyridoxine                         0.129 mg                            10% RDA
Riboflavin                           0.266 mg                            20% RDA
Thiamin                              0.082 mg                            7% RDA
Vitamin                               A 4248 IU                           141% RDA
Vitamin                               C 31.8 mg                           53% RDA
Sodium                               31 mg                                  2% RDA
Potassium                          569 mg                               12% RDA
Calcium                              243 mg                               24% RDA
Copper 329 mcg – 36% RDA
Iron 5.08 mg – 63.5% RDA
Magnesium 80 mg – 20% RDA
Manganese 1.176 mg – 51% RDA
Zinc 1.11 mg – 10% RDA

13 Amazing Health Benefits of Mint Leaves

 

  1. Aids in Proper Digestion

Mint is a flavour enhancer, and its pleasant aroma makes food even more appetizing. Eating fresh mint leaves or any dish with this herb can help stimulate the salivary glands in your mouth and trigger the glands responsible for increased bile secretions that aid in faster digestion. According to the University Of Maryland Medical Center, mint enables more efficient bile flow and helps relax the muscles of your digestive tract. This way, digestion is enhanced from stage 1- oral digestion of carbohydrates via the action of amylose/amylase.

Mint also has carminative properties, which means it help expel gas and relieve its associated symptoms. Likewise, mint has a mild anesthetic effect which can help relieve pain caused by minor inflammation in the stomach, soothe irritable bowel syndrome, and gastric ulcers. Since mint is fibrous in nature, it can also prevent constipation (if the leaves are consumed whole).

  1. Treats Dizziness, Nausea, and Headache

Mint has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory qualities that can effectively treat dizziness, nausea, and headache. Mint can be taken in capsule form, tea, or by simply crushing mint leaves and inhaling its aroma. The Journal of Advanced Nursing has mentioned the effects of mint leaves as a nausea reliever in post-surgery situations. Likewise, mint leaves help relieve fever, as its cooling properties refreshes the body and dissipate the heat caused by the fever.

  1. Treats Nasal Congestion

Mint leaves also have qualities beneficial to the respiratory system. Inhaling the steam of boiled mint leaves help reduce certain symptoms of asthma and the common cold. The invigorating aroma of the mint can instantly decongest a clogged nose, inflamed throat, bronchi, and lungs. It also relieve irritation caused by incessant coughing.

Mint is an ideal decongestant because it is natural and has no adverse effects. Mint is in fact one of the main ingredients in certain commercially made inhalers and balms due to the menthol it contains. Menthol has anti-inflammatory properties which help open the respiratory tract and relieve bronchial constriction.

  1. Improves Dental Health

Cosmetic manufacturers incorporate mint in various oral care products because of its benefits to dental health.

Chewing on mint leaves is helpful in alleviating pain caused by toothaches. Mint has antiseptic properties that treat infections as well as a chemical called chlorhexidine; a potent anti-microbial compound which prevents bacteria that cause tooth decay and bad breath. Many teeth whitening products also contain mint as one of their primary ingredients.

  1. Prevents Dandruff and Head Lice

Dandruff is caused by an accumulation of excess oil and debris, and sometimes a fungal infection. Moreover, a dirty scalp is a breeding ground for head lice. A good and natural way to prevent dandruff and head lice is to massage your scalp with crushed mint leaves. Mint has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which effectively relieve itching and irritation as it cleans your scalp. Also, it leaves your head feeling cool and fresh. You can apply the mint directly or for more optimal benefits, crush mint leaves and knead until it becomes smooth. It is also a common practice to mix crushed mint into petroleum based products and apply to the scalp as an effective hair dressing that can manage dandruff and have your hair smelling minty fresh!

  1. Relieves Nipple Pain Due to Breastfeeding

Breastmilk is the best nourishment an infant can get from their mothers and it happens to be free. However, a growing number of lactating mothers have refused to continue breastfeeding their children because of the pain and areola cracks caused by their suckling infants. The International Breastfeeding Journal reported that women who often drink mint tea or mint-infused water have lesser risks in developing areola cracks. Alternatively, there are mint based nipple balms that can soothe irritation, although it needs to be wiped off before feeding time.

  1. Colic in Infants

Mint is as beneficial to infants as they are to their mothers. Mint leaves contain simethicone which calms the baby and prevents it from crying inconsolably for hours. Simethicone is an anti-gas agent included in many infant colic drops.

  1. Improves Blood Circulation

Mint provides stimulating effects to the body. As soon as you inhale the vapor of boiled mint leaves or its essential oil, you will get a sudden increase in your pulse rate and blood circulation. This effect causes your body to also increase its metabolism as well as oxygenation of the brain. This whole process is beneficial to your cognitive function and boosts protection from neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. Increased blood circulation also help prevent diabetic individuals from acquiring complications due to imbalanced glucose levels and circulation related disorders.

  1. Relieves Muscle Pain

Mint leaves can be used to relieve muscle pain because it contain antispasmodics agents. These agents relax inflamed or tense muscles, with its cooling properties also contributing to its efficacy. Mint also relieves intestinal muscle spasms, and explains its utility in digestive disorders.

  1. Skin Care

Dull skin is due to the accumulation or delayed turnover of dead skin cells. Mint has Vitamin E and Vitamin D which help promote skin rejuvenation. Plus, it has salicylic acid which is useful in addressing certain skin conditions and fungal infections. Salicylic acid also helps hasten the turnover of dead skin cells. The mint’s astringent effect also help shrink pores and invigorates the skin by eliminating excess sebum.

  1. Promotes Eye Health

Mint also has vitamin A which is vital in maintaining the proper function of the eyes. Adequate intake of this vitamin is crucial for the formation of a photoreceptor pigment present in the retina and maintenance of epithelial tissues. Deficiency of this vitamin results in xerophthalmia, night blindness, and other eye disorders such as premature. Macular degeneration

  1. Helps Weight Loss

Mint stimulates the digestion of fat. It acts as a trigger for digestive enzymes to quickly absorb food nutrients and convert them into usable energy.

  1. Boosts Immunity

Mint can provide the vitamin C your body requires to combat common ailments. It is general knowledge that vitamin C is a potent Immunity booster, and luckily mint leaves offer decent support in this department.

Conclusion

Fresh mint leaves add a distinctive taste and invigorating aroma to any dish. It can also be eaten fresh. However, these herbs’ antioxidant powers are often ignored. Mint is more than just an ingredient to a certain dish, drink, or toothpaste. Apart from culinary purposes, mint leaves provide a list of health benefits and help prevent certain ailments. The tiny herb possesses several key vitamins and minerals that your body needs for proper functions and increased immunity. Peppermint is among the most common members of the mint family and is proven extremely beneficial.

 

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Lettuce - Roquette
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$7.78
Lettuce - Romaine
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$8.06
Lettuce - Red Oak
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$7.78
Lettuce - Red

Secrets of the Superhuman Food Pyramid: Pros and Cons of Red Lettuce


Red lettuce is a distinct looking leaf vegetable because of its red- or purple-pigmented leaves. Red lettuce is classified as a loose-leaf lettuce because it doesn’t have a tight core, quite unlike other types of lettuces where the leaves grow tight around the stalk. It is suitable for practically all types of salad dishes because of its delicate taste, making it easy to integrate into one’s diet. But while this is the case, reasonable consumption of this leaf vegetable is advised for a variety of factors.

Red Lettuce Benefits:

Much like other salad greens such as romaine lettuce and bok choy, red lettuce is very low in calorie as well, with one 85-gram serving containing only 14 calories. Red lettuce contains lots of fiber and water as well which help in making one feel full easily. This high-fiber, high-water content aid in facilitating elimination, too, and so provides protection against colorectal cancer.

High-fiber vegetables like red lettuce have heart-protective properties as well through its bile acid- binding activity. Bile acids, which are manufactured by the liver to assist in the fat storage process, are primarily made up of cholesterol. When you eat red lettuce, its fiber binds with bile acids and both get eliminated from the body. The liver will then have to create more bile acids by drawing from the body’s cholesterol reserves, resulting in the overall lowering of cholesterol levels.

The heart-protective properties of red lettuce go far beyond its bile acid-binding activity. In a South Korea-based study, laboratory rats purposely kept at a high-cholesterol diet were given red lettuce for 28 days. As it turns out, the phytonutrients in this salad vegetable have direct antioxidant action as well as function as inducers of antioxidant enzymes and conventional antioxidants like glutathione and beta-carotene, and overall provided support not only to the heart but to the liver and kidneys as well.

Lettuce has been found to have anxiolytic activity, too. In a study conducted in India, laboratory mice were subjected to a variety of behavioural tests. Those given the hydro-alcohol extract of lettuce showed marked decrease in physical and biological symptoms of anxiety and panic, and so this leaf vegetable may just prove to be useful in managing these conditions.

 

Red Lettuce Risks:

Vegetables typically eaten raw like cucumbers and lettuces have been in the news due to pathogen contamination. Red lettuce, for instance, was identified as the source of an E. coli outbreak. Because these vegetables are eaten raw and therefore don’t go through the cooking process, they do not get subjected to heat that aid in eliminating pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella. These vegetables are often sold sliced, rinsed, bagged, and ready to eat as well, and so consumers have no way of knowing just how properly these prepared salads were handled.

In an effort to curb foodborne illnesses, applying radiation to produce like red lettuce is now being done as it was found that it’s effective at killing E. coli and inactivating Salmonella. It is crucial to note that studies on the negative effects on both the irradiated produce and the health of those who eat these food items are sparse, and so it might be best to err on the side of caution and steer clear of these altogether.

 

Red Lettuce Practical Uses:

Minimizing your exposure to pathogenic bacteria is crucial. One way to achieve this is to choose a reputable source of organically grown red lettuce. With industrial farms, you’ve no way of knowing whether the animal manure, which by the way is a potent carrier of pathogens, has been properly processed prior to using it as fertilizer. Organic farms, on the other hand, are mandated to use adequately composted animal manure.

Opting for whole, unwashed red lettuce is a better idea than going for the rinsed and bagged salads as well. To wash, first remove by hand each red lettuce leaf from its stalk. Wash each side under running water, making sure to pay attention to the petioles or leafstalks as well as the crinkly portions of each leaf. Pop in the salad spinner to remove the excess water, and cut to desired serving sizes prior to serving in a salad bowl.

In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of iceberg lettuce and how to moderately use it in your quest to Become Superhuman.

In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the vegetables on Superhuman Food Pyramid:

 

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Lettuce - Lollo Rosso
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Lettuce - Iceberg

5 Incredible Super Benefits Of Iceberg Lettuce For Better Life


Iceberg Lettuce

 

Did You Know...

Originally called Crisphead Lettuce, this veggie was renamed in the 1920’s.      

 

How to Select

Choose iceberg lettuce heads with fresh, clean outer leaves and compact inner leaves.

 

How to Store

Rinse head upon purchase; dry on paper towels. Refrigerate in plastic bag for use within 1 week.

 

Nutrition Benefits

Fat free; saturated fat free; very low sodium;
cholesterol free; low-calorie.


Iceberg lettuce is one of the main ingredients in salad preparations and is known for its crunchy texture. It has comparatively fewer nutrients than other greens you may find in salads.

 

Nutrition Facts

Iceberg lettuce is an excellent source of potassium and manganese. It also contains significant amounts of ironcalciummagnesium, and phosphorus, as well as small traces of sodiumcopper, and zinc. This lettuce is rich in vitamin A, K, C, thiamin, vitamin B6, and folate (vitamin B9). It contains 14 calories per 100 grams. Water and dietary fiber make up most of it. It has a very low content of sodium, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

Health Benefits of Iceberg Lettuce

There are many health benefits of iceberg lettuce that include weight loss, prevention of birth defects, and reduced risk of cancer and heart diseases. Let us discuss these in detail:

Weight Loss

Iceberg lettuce has a high-water content and it is very low in calories. Therefore, it encourages weight loss efforts.

Improved Health

It is rich in vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin required for healthy eyes and the growth and development of bones. It also strengthens the immune system.

Birth Defect Prevention

Iceberg lettuce is a good source of folate. Intake of folate-rich foods by pregnant women helps prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. [1]

Blood Clotting

Iceberg lettuce also contains vitamin K, which aids in the production of proteins required by the body for normal blood clotting. [2]

Fights Diseases

It is considered that owing to the folate content, iceberg lettuce also helps in fighting cancer, heart diseases, and strokes. [3]

Select & Store

Always select lettuce that is fresh and has crisp leaves. Avoid buying the ones that are slimy or wilted. Wash well before use to avoid any foodborne illness and store it in a cool place.

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Lettuce - Green Oak
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Lettuce - Green

16 Best Benefits Of Lettuce For Skin, Hair, And Health


Probably the leafiest and greenest of the leafy greens, lettuce is ‘The King’ when it comes to packing a punch of antioxidants and vitamins, which is why it is the second most popular vegetable in the US.

But there is more to it that one must know. And hence this leafy, but not lengthy, post. Keep reading.

 

Table Of Contents

What Is Lettuce?

What Is The History Of Lettuce?

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Lettuce?

What Are The Benefits Of Lettuce?

What Are The Different Types Of Lettuce?

Romaine Lettuce Vs. Iceberg Lettuce

How Do We Select And Store Lettuce?

Any Tips On Usage?

Any Popular Recipes Using Lettuce?

Any Interesting Facts About Lettuce?

Any Side Effects Of Lettuce We Should Know?

 

What Is Lettuce?

Scientifically called Lactuva sativa, lettuce is an annual plant that belongs to the family Asteraceae. This vegetable is often used in salads and other kinds of foods like sandwiches, soups, and wraps. It can also be grilled.

Lettuce is easily cultivated, and it requires low temperatures to prevent the plant from flowering quickly. It is a rich source of vitamins K and A.

Though lettuce looks like cabbage, one difference between the two is the water content – cabbage has less water and is also tougher than lettuce. Lettuce is crunchier.

The history of this leafy veggie is quite interesting.

 

What Is The History Of Lettuce?

It was originally cultivated in ancient Egypt for the extraction of oil from its seeds. There is evidence of the plant appearing as early as 2680 BC.

It also appears in various medieval writings from 1098 to 1179 and is specifically mentioned as a medicinal herb. Lettuce travelled from Europe to the Americas with Christopher Columbus in the late 15th century. And books published in the mid-18th and early 19th centuries spoke of the various kinds of lettuce found today (we will discuss them too).

No matter how much we know about lettuce, it is incomplete without knowing the nutrients it contains (and the benefits they offer).

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Lettuce?

 

Cholesterol 0 mg

0%

Total fat 0.2 g

0%

Saturated fat 0 g

0%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.1 g

Monounsaturated fat 0 g

Amount Per 1 leaf inner (5 g)

Calories 15

Sodium 28 mg

1%

Potassium 194 mg

5%

Total Carbohydrate 2.9 g

0%

Dietary fiber 1.3 g

5%

Sugar 0.8 g

Protein 1.4 g

2%

 

Vitamin A

148%

Vitamin C

15%

Calcium

3%

Iron

4%

Vitamin B-6

5%

Vitamin B-12

0%

Magnesium

3%

 

One cup of lettuce (36 grams) contains just 5 calories and 10 grams of sodium. It doesn’t contain cholesterol or any kind of fat. Other important nutrients include:

5 grams of fiber (2% of the daily value)

5 micrograms of vitamin K (78% of the daily value)

2665 IU of vitamin A (53% of the daily value)

5 milligrams of vitamin C (11% of the daily value)

7 micrograms of folate (3% of the daily value)

3 milligrams of iron (2% of the daily value)

1 milligrams of manganese (5% of the daily value)

The vitamin A in lettuce is in the form of provitamin A carotenoid, which the body converts into retinol to offer the benefits.

Now, let’s see what these nutrients are important for – the benefits.

What Are The Benefits Of Lettuce?

Lettuce is particularly rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and other nutrients like vitamins A and K and potassium. This leafy green veggie helps fight inflammation and other related diseases like diabetes and cancer.

The benefits only get better if you use the Romaine variety of lettuce – as not all lettuce is created equal. Also, the darker the lettuce, the more nutrient-dense it is.

  1. Fights Inflammation

Certain proteins in lettuce (or Romaine lettuce), like lipoxygenase, help control inflammation.

This has been proven in one Iranian study. According to the study, lettuce has been used in folk medicine to relieve inflammation and osteodynia (pain in the bones) (1).

According to Arthritis Foundation, vegetables (like lettuce) that are rich in vitamin K can dramatically lower inflammation (2). You can usually include two cups of raw leafy greens in your diet on a regular basis. Other vitamin K-rich veggies include kale, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage.

And the darker the lettuce, the more antioxidants it has – which further contribute to its anti-inflammatory properties.

As per another report, lettuce is one of those pain-safe foods (3). This means the veggie never contributes to arthritis or related painful conditions.

  1. Aids Weight Loss

One major reason lettuce can be an ideal weight loss food is calories – one serving of lettuce contains just 5 calories. Moreover, lettuce helps bridge the micronutrient gap that is otherwise hard to achieve on a low-calorie diet.

Lettuce is also low in energy density. This is especially true with Romaine lettuce, which is 95% water and offers 1 gram of fiber per cup. Fiber keeps you full and discourages binging. We recommend you to opt for darker varieties like Romaine lettuce as it is the highest in nutrient content. Or you can also try a mix.

Lettuce is also extremely low in fat and hence makes a weight loss meal all the more meaningful. Adding one large leaf of Romaine lettuce to your lunch can be a good idea (4).

  1. Promotes Brain Health

Extreme cases of brain harm can lead to the death of neuronal cells, leading to severe brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. The lettuce extracts, as per numerous studies, had controlled this neuronal cell death due to its role in GSD or glucose/serum deprivation.

As per another study, lettuce is also rich in dietary nitrate. This compound is converted to nitric oxide in the body, which is a cellular signaling molecule that promotes endothelial function. The reduction of endothelial function contributes to cognitive decline and other neurological disorders related to aging (5). Intake of lettuce stops this.

  1. Boosts Heart Health

Romaine lettuce is a good source of folate, which is a B vitamin that converts homocysteine. Unconverted homocysteine can damage the blood vessels and lead to the accumulation of plaque, thereby damaging the heart. Lettuce is also a rich source of vitamins A and C, both of which help oxidize cholesterol and strengthen the arteries. These two nutrients also improve blood flow and prevent heart attacks.

Including two servings of romaine lettuce in your diet daily can keep your heart healthy.

Lettuce also contains potassium that lowers blood pressure and prevents heart disease. Lettuce consumption can also increase HDL (the good cholesterol) and reduce the levels of its bad brother, LDL (6).

Lettuce intake is also associated with improved cholesterol metabolism as per another study. It also increases the antioxidant status in the body. All of this means that regular consumption of lettuce can protect one from cardiovascular disease (7).

  1. Help Fight Cancer

Lettuce consumption has been linked to a lowered risk of stomach cancer, especially in parts of Japan where the vegetable is taken regularly (8).

One report by the World Cancer Research Fund suggests that non-starchy veggies like lettuce can protect against several types of cancers – like those of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and stomach (9).

Another study was conducted in Japan on smokers suffering from lung cancer – and the findings revealed that intake of lettuce could offer protective effects (10).

  1. Cuts Diabetes Risk

Studies have shown that greens, especially those like lettuce, reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. This can be attributed to the low glycemic index (the effect of a particular food on your blood sugar levels) of lettuce, which means it doesn’t cause much of a rise in blood sugar levels.

Also, one cup of lettuce contains just about 5 calories and 2 grams of carbs. This fact also makes it a healthy addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Reports recommend romaine lettuce over any other variety as it contains essential micronutrients (which is why it is darker).

Lettuce also contains lactucaxanthin, an anti-diabetic carotenoid that lowers blood glucose levels and can be a potential treatment for diabetes (11).

  1. Promotes Vision Health

Lettuce (especially Romaine lettuce) contains zeaxanthin, a super antioxidant that boosts vision health like no other. It is found to prevent age-related macular degeneration (12).

As per a report by the American Association of Opthalmology, dark greens like lettuce contain both lutein and zeaxanthin – one deadly combination to prevent serious vision diseases (13). One study had shown that women on a high-lutein diet were 23% less likely to develop cataracts as they aged.

Romaine lettuce is also a good replacement for spinach (another veggie good for the eyes) (14). Several other studies have shown the importance of lutein and zeaxanthin in boosting eye health and preventing cataracts and other eye diseases. In fact, those two seem to be the most powerful nutrients when we talk about eye health (15).

  1. Promotes Digestive Health

The fiber in lettuce promotes digestion and wards off other digestive ailments like constipation and bloating. It also can relieve stomach pain.

Lettuce is known to help the stomach process different types of food. It also improves intestinal health.

  1. Helps Treat Insomnia

This has got do with lactur carium, a substance in lettuce that sedates the nervous system and promotes sleep (16). You can Add lettuce to your late night salad in case you have a difficulty dropping off at night.

Lettuce also contains another substance called lactucin, which induces sleep and relaxation. This veggie was used even in the medieval times to relieve insomnia (17).

  1. Enhances Bone Health

Vitamins K, A, and C are important in collagen production – which is the first step in bone formation. And lettuce is rich in all three of them. Vitamin K helps build cartilage and the connective tissues. Vitamin A helps in the development of new bone cells, the deficiency of which can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures (18). Vitamin C fights bone depletion, which is one of the aging factors.

We need to refer to vitamin K again since lettuce is replete with it and also as it is not known to many as a bone saviour. Insufficient vitamin K can lead to osteopenia (reduced bone mass) and an increased fracture risk, and supplementation of this vitamin reduces bone turnover and enhances bone strength (19).

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, vitamin K is also important for proper bone mineralization (20).

  1. Boosts Immunity

Though there isn’t a lot of research in this aspect, the presence of vitamins A and C in lettuce make it a good food for the immune system. Lettuce also has antimicrobial properties.

  1. Good For Pregnancy

Much of the benefits of lettuce for pregnancy spring from its folate content. This nutrient can reduce the risk of birth defects. And the vitamin K in the veggie can reduce the incidence of hemorrhaging – which is another benefit during childbirth. And the fiber in lettuce can prevent constipation, which is one issue pregnant women usually face.

Half a cup of romaine lettuce contains about 64 micrograms of folate (21).

  1. Improves Muscle Strength And Metabolism

The potassium in lettuce enhances muscle strength as well. Low potassium levels have been linked to muscle weakness. One Swedish study had found that eating greens, especially lettuce, can boost muscle strength. Now we understand, Popeye!

Lettuce is also known to improve metabolism and even act as a source of energy. However, there is not enough information on this.

  1. Improves Skin And Hair Health

The vitamin A in lettuce revitalizes the skin, and this increases cell turnover. The potassium in lettuce improves circulation, thereby supplying oxygen and other nutrients to the skin. And the vitamin C in the green veggie can protect the skin from UV radiation. It also delays the signs of aging. The fiber in lettuce is also good to detox your system, and this naturally translates to glowing skin.

Simply washing your face with lettuce extract or juice in the morning can improve your skin health.

The vitamin K in lettuce has various benefits for the hair as well. It boosts hair strength and can prevent hair fall. And again, the potassium the veggie contains might prevent premature graying of hair. You can wash your hair with lettuce juice before shampooing as usual. This boosts hair health.

And yes, the omega-3 fatty acids in lettuce greatly benefit your skin and hair.

  1. Fights Anemia

Lettuce contains modest amounts of folate, an important nutrient to combat anemia. Folate also helps fight what is called megaloblastic anemia, which is another type of anemia where the blood cells are very large and underdeveloped (22).

Romaine lettuce can also aid the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia (23).

  1. Keeps You Hydrated

Lettuce (especially iceberg lettuce) is 95% water (24). So, there you go – this veggie can keep you hydrated just like water.

That’s that with the benefits. And like we said, romaine lettuce is the most nutritious of all. But lettuce is of different types.

What Are The Different Types Of Lettuce?

Butterhead, which has loose leaves and a buttery texture. This variety is widely cultivated in Europe

 Celtuce, also called the Chinese variety. It possesses strong-flavored leaves that are long and tapering.

 Crisphead, which forms tight and dense heads and resembles a cabbage. This is also called the iceberg lettuce, given its high water content. Another form of crisphead is butter lettuce or butterhead, which resembles a cabbage. Boston lettuce is another form of butter lettuce.

 Looseleaf, which has flavorful leaves that are tender and delicate. A couple of variants include the green oak leaf and the red oak leaf.

 Romaine lettuce, which has a long head of sturdy leaves. This is the most nutritious and the most popular type of lettuce used in the USA. Romaine lettuce is also called cos.

 Summer crisp, which forms moderately dense heads that have a crunchy texture. This is an intermediate between the crisphead and looseleaf type.

 Lamb lettuce, which has long spoon-shaped dark leaves and a tangy flavor.
As we saw, romaine has the highest nutritional value. And iceberg is said to have the lowest. And these two types of lettuce are quite common. Which begs for the need to know a little more about their differences.

 

Romaine Lettuce Vs. Iceberg Lettuce

One difference is their appearance, and we already saw that. But the most significant differences arise from the nutritional standpoint. Let’s look at them in detail.

Vitamin K

Most forms of lettuce contain vitamin K – that’s a given. But romaine lettuce contains 48 micrograms of vitamin K (and it is much darker) while the iceberg variant contains just about 17 micrograms.

Vitamin A

 One cup of romaine lettuce contains over 10 times the vitamin A available in its iceberg cousin. The former contains over 4,094 IU while the latter just has 361 IU. Now that’s some difference!

Other Nutrients

 Romaine lettuce contains slightly higher amounts of fiber and protein as well.

 Water Content

This is where iceberg lettuce enjoys an upper hand (although only slightly). Iceberg lettuce has 2 ounces of water per serving while the romaine variety has 1.5 ounces.

 You saw the varieties. But what if you want to buy any? And what about the storage?

 

 

How Do We Select And Store Lettuce?

Selection

Proper selection plays a vital role in ensuring that you are buying fresh vegetables.

Always prefer whole heads of lettuce over loose lettuce leaves as they are fresher and more nutritious.

Ensure that the leaves are crisp, tender and brightly colored. Lettuce can be best enjoyed if it is fresh and crisp.

Dark green veggies are great sources of vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, iron and dietary fiber.

Therefore, try to look for dark colored leaves.

Lettuce is delicious as long as it is fresh.

While shopping for lettuce, you should avoid bunches that are limp, wilting, brownish or have rust, spots or holes on them. You might find romaine lettuce that is slightly brownish along the edges of the outer leaves. This does not matter as long as the rest of the head is fresh and green.

You can buy your lettuce from your nearest farmer’s market or supermarket store.

Storage

Lettuce is a delicate vegetable, and proper storage is crucial for maintaining its freshness. Storing lettuce is quite an uphill task as its leaves are prone to bruising if roughly handled. Moreover, greens do not last for long. Hence, you should give up the idea of stocking lettuce for future use.

Iceberg and romaine lettuce can be stored for up to 10 days and red and green leaf lettuces for about 4 days.

The best way to store lettuce is to keep it unwashed in an airtight container or plastic bag and store it in the crisper section of the refrigerator.

Make sure to keep it away from ethylene gas producing fruits such as apples, bananas or pears as they accelerate the deterioration of lettuce by increasing brown spots on the leaves and causing spoilage.

Bunches of lettuce should be checked for insects and the leaves having roots should be placed in a glass of water with a bag over the leaves and stored in the refrigerator.

The most difficult part about storing lettuce is maintaining the moisture level. Too much moisture suffocates the lettuce leaves due to condensation, causing it to spoil faster. More moisture also results in more production of ethylene gas, which speeds up decay and spoilage. Some moisture, though, is necessary to ensure that the leaves stay crisp and do not dry out. Lettuce should be kept moist by wrapping it in a slightly damp paper towel or zip top bag. This enables it to absorb excess water without dehydrating the leaves. The crisper section of the refrigerator is the best spot for storing lettuce due to controlled and consistent humidity.

How else can you use lettuce?

 

Any Tips On Usage?

The dark, richly colored varieties of lettuce such as dark green, red or purple ones are the richest in nutritional value, indicated by the presence of vitamin A and other antioxidants such as carotenoids and lutein, which is why it is considered as one of the world’s most popular vegetables.

Eating

Lettuce is mostly eaten raw, so before serving, remove any brown, slimy, wilted or decayed leaves. The leaves should be washed thoroughly and dried to remove any dirt or insects. Lettuce is most commonly used in salads by regular eaters. Given below are certain tips for preparing lettuce before serving it in the form of salad.

Wash the leaves in cold water. Avoid washing them in running water as it might damage them. Gently pat the leaves to dry them.

Place the bunch on the chopping board and pound the core hard. This will loosen the leaves and make them easier to remove.

Holding the core firmly in one hand and the lettuce in another, twist the core to separate the leaves from it.

Place the leaves in a salad spinner to dry. Tear them instead of cutting with a knife so that they do not get bruised.

Any dressing to the salad should be added just before serving it so that the leaves remain crisp.

Ensure you add a fat medium to lettuce, like a dressing of olive oil. This fat liberates the fat-soluble nutrients to be used by the body.

Cooking

Apart from being added to salads, lettuce can also be cooked and made into dishes that can serve as a delightful treat. Being crisp, mild, soft, and buttery, lettuce can suit all tastes and form a part of many dishes, making them more interesting.

This wonderful vegetable can be braised, steamed, sautéed, and even grilled to create something that is pleasing to the taste buds besides being nutritious. Try adding some extra virgin olive oil to halved radicchio or romaine lettuce and grill until they are softened and browned.

Lettuce can be easily used along with other vegetables in burgers, sandwiches, and wraps.

You can try using an entire head of lettuce in a smoothie. It is advisable to add the fruits and blend them first and then add lettuce leaves to the smoothie. You can make a smoothie using fruits like bananas, strawberries or mangoes in combination with an entire head of romaine lettuce.

What fun would it be if we don’t know how to prepare some amazing stuff with lettuce? And here, we have some amazing stuff!

Any Popular Recipes Using Lettuce? 

  1. Green Raspberry Smoothie

What You Need

1 cup of lettuce leaves

½ cup each of frozen raspberries and blueberries

1 ripe banana

½ cup of milk

2 tablespoons of oats

1 tablespoon of sugar

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add a cup of ice and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Serve immediately.

  1. Lettuce Caesar Salad

What You Need

1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces

6 cloves of peeled garlic

¾ cup of mayonnaise

5 minced anchovy fillets

6 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

¼ cup of olive oil

4 cups of old-day bread

Ground black pepper and salt, to taste

Directions

Mince three cloves of garlic. Combine them in a bowl with mayonnaise, anchovies, two tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and lemon juice.

Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Mince the remaining three cloves of garlic and add to the hot oil. Cook and stir until they turn brown, and then remove the garlic from the pan. Add the bread cubes to the hot oil. Cook until they are lightly browned on both sides. Remove the bread cubes and season with salt and pepper.

Place the lettuce in a large bowl. Toss the remaining Parmesan cheese and seasoned bread cubes with the dressing.

Serve.

You can also use these ingredients to make lettuce wraps, which will make for a healthy evening snack.

How about something light and fun?

Any Interesting Facts About Lettuce?

Lettuce is one vegetable that is pretty much immune to any kind of preservation.

Iceberg lettuce takes about 85 days from sowing to maturity.

Lettuce is the second most popular fresh vegetable in the United States, only behind potatoes.

Thomas Jefferson had 19 varieties of lettuce growing in his garden in Monticello.

China is the world’s largest producer of lettuce.

Lettuce could be green and great and glamorous. But it does have a side we must know.

Any Side Effects Of Lettuce We Should Know?

 Excess Vitamin K

Excess of vitamin K can cause problems in people on blood thinning medications like warfarin. Excess of lettuce can decrease the effectiveness of warfarin. So, if you are on blood thinning medication, talk to your doctor before consuming lettuce.

Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Lettuce is safe in normal amounts. But we don’t know what will happen with overuse. Hence, avoid excess intake.

Issues With Prostate And Vision (Wild Lettuce)

Wild lettuce is another variety of lettuce, but it is very less commonly consumed. It must not be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding (it can lead to complications; more research is warranted). It also can lead to an enlarged prostate and narrow-angle glaucoma. So, avoid consuming it.

Conclusion

Leafier, greener, and we guess even healthier – that’s lettuce for you. Add it to your diet. That’ll be one decision you will be happy about.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What is Devil’s lettuce?

Weed and marijuana are also called Devil’s lettuce in some places.

What about rocket lettuce?

It is a leafy green and edible plant that is also called arugula.

 

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Leeks

17 Best Benefits Of Leeks (Hara Pyaz) For Skin, Hair And Health


Ranking high on the nutritional chart, leeks are a popular remedy for several ailments. They are highly nourishing, inexpensive and plentiful. Used in various forms, from soup to beurek, leeks can add aroma, flavour and richness to almost any recipe. Its syrup, seeds and juice also have a distinct place in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

 

With the unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, leeks make an important component in your diet. Scientifically known as Allium porrum, leeks belong to the family of onion, garlic, shallots and scallions.Leeks are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and dietary fiber.

It is widely consumed in many parts of Europe, America and Asia. Though they are available throughout the year, they are at their best during the early part of the spring season.

Nutritional Value Of Leeks:

Leeks contain an impressive amount of flavonoids, particularly kaempherol, and considerable amounts of sulfur. In addition, they are quite rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, and low in calories. Their nutritional chart is explained below.

 

LEEKS (A. AMPELOPRASUM VAR. PORRUM), NUTRIENT VALUE PER 100 G

(SOURCE: USDA NATIONAL NUTRIENT DATA BASE)

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

61 Kcal

2%

Carbohydrates

14.15 g

11%

Protein

1.50 g

3%

Total Fat

0.30 g

1%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

1.8 g

5%

VITAMINS

Folates

64 µg

16%

Niacin

0.400 mg

2.5%

Pantothenic acid

0.140 mg

3%

Pyridoxine

0.233 mg

18%

Riboflavin

0.030 mg

2%

Thiamin

0.060 mg

5%

Vitamin A

1667 IU

55%

Vitamin C

12 mg

20%

Vitamin E

0.92 mg

6%

Vitamin K

47 µg

39%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

20 mg

1%

Potassium

180 mg

4%

MINERALS

Calcium

59 mg

6 %

Copper

0.120 mg

13%

Iron

2.10 mg

26%

Magnesium

28 mg

7%

Manganese

0.481 mg

2%

Phosphorus

35 mg

5%

Selenium

1 µg

2%

Zinc

1.2 mg

11%

PHYTO-NUTRIENTS

Carotene-ß

1000 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

1900 µg

 

 

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are one of the most abundant macronutrients in leeks. A medium-sized leek provides about 10-12 gms of carbohydrates. Out of these, 3 gms are sugars and the rest is complex, slow-digesting carbohydrate. Leeks are also a good source of fiber which is a non-digestible form of carbohydrate. This fiber aids in digestion and helps prevent certain cancers and heart diseases.

Vitamins: Leeks contain plenty of folates and vitamin C. Raw leeks provide twice as much of these vitamins as the same amount of cooked leeks. They are also excellent sources of vitamins K and B6. The folate found in leeks is partly present in the bioactive form of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF).

Minerals: Leeks are rich in minerals like potassium, calcium and phosphorus. Potassium is vital for nerve function and energy production whereas calcium and phosphorus help strengthen your teeth and bones. Leeks also contain iron which is vital for hemoglobin synthesis and enzymatic reactions related to energy production.

Protein: Leeks are relatively low in protein. 100 grams of leek, including the shaft and lower leaves, provides just about 1 gm of protein.

Fat: Leeks are extremely low in fat with a medium-sized leek providing less than half a gram of fat. Moreover, the few fats it contains are mostly polyunsaturated fats which are beneficial for your heart and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Benefits Of Leeks:

Leeks are rich in dietary fiber, folic acid, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. They are easily digestible as compared to onions. Now, let’s look at the leeks benefits.

Skin Benefits Of Leeks:

Being a good source of vitamin C and A along with several antioxidants, this vegetable is great for your skin. Their several skin benefits are as follows:

  1. Detoxifies Your Skin:

Leeks are a natural diuretic and detoxify your skin by trapping harmful substances and flushing them out of your body. They perfect cleanse your body, making your skin look radiant.

  1. Sun Protection:

The green leaves of leek contain 100 times more beta-carotene and twice as much vitamin C as in the white parts. This combination of vitamins A, C and E as well as other powerful antioxidants in leeks protects your skin against damage by free radicals and harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

Hair Benefits Of Leeks:

Leeks are a good source of minerals like manganese, iron, vitamin Cand folates. Consumption of leeks adds health to your hair.

  1. Promotes Hair Growth:

Leeks are an important source of iron which helps the hair follicles to grow. They are also rich in vitamin C that promotes the absorption of iron by the body. Deficiency of iron can cause anemia which is one of the causes for hair loss.

Health Benefits Of Leeks:

Packed with abundant essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, leeks offer a variety of health benefits. They are explained here below:

  1. Protects Blood Vessels:

Leeks contain a flavonoid, kaempherol, which protects the linings of the blood vessels against free radicals. Kaempherol stimulates the production of nitric oxide which acts as a natural dilator and relaxant of the blood vessels. It allows the blood vessels to rest and decreases the risk of hypertension. Leeks contain a generous amount of vitamin K which benefits every tissue in your body. Low levels of vitamin K can induce bleeding and adversely affect blood circulation.

  1. Bone Health:

High content of vitamin K in leeks activates osteocalcin, a protein that is vital for bone health. A cup of leeks provides about 42 microgram of vitamin K which is 47 and 34 percent of the daily recommended amount for women and men respectively.

  1. Good For The Heart:

High levels of homocysteine in the blood can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis. Leeks contain a bioactive form of folate called 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, which has been shown to lower the concentration of homocysteine in the blood. Kaempherol present in leeks also improves heart health by reducing the production of nitric oxide.

  1. Reduces the Risk Of Chronic Inflammatory Diseases:

Chronic inflammation is detrimental for heart health. Vitamin K has anti-inflammatory properties that can fight against chronic inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, obesity and rheumatoid arthritis. Abundance of vitamin K in leeks prevents chronic inflammatory diseases and unwanted calcification of the arteries. Besides vitamin K, vitamin B6 in leeks also provides anti-inflammatory benefits.

  1. Aids Digestion:

A prebiotic, leekshelp in digestion, and stimulates and strengthens the stomach, kidneys and gut. Fibrous vegetables like leeks enable you to eat slowly, hence properly digest your food. This prevents overeating and makes you feel full.

  1. May Prevent Cancer:

Leeks are a good source of allyl sulfides which can inhibit pathways associated with the formation of malignant tumors. Like other members of the allium family, they may play an important role in preventing certain types of cancer. They can also reduce the risk of prostate, colon and ovarian cancer.

  1. Promotes Weight Loss:

Leeks help in weight loss and fight obesity as they are low in calories and fat-free. Leeks are a natural appetite suppressant. Their high fiber content suppresses your hunger by providing a feeling of fullness. Both soluble and insoluble fibers present in leeks regulate intestinal activity and reduce bloating. It can also be added to your recipes to get that extra flavor without adding calories, proving beneficial for those who want to slim down.

  1. Improves Vision:

Leeks are a good source of lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds are vital for healthy eyesight. They protect your eye tissues from the harmful oxidation of DNA and cell membranes, by filtering out harmful light rays while they enter your eyes. The consumption of leeks in adequate amounts protects your eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

  1. Beneficial During Pregnancy:

Leeks are rich in vitamin B9, also known as folate (folic acid). Folates form an important part of the diet of pregnant women. They are essential for the production of new DNA which is needed for formation of new cells. Folates also promote healthy neural tube formation, adequate birth weight and proper development of the face, heart, spine and brain.

  1. Maintains Healthy Cholesterol:

Fiber plays an important role in reducing cholesterol levels by promoting easy bowel movements. It also helps to flush out the extra cholesterol from the body and reduces the production of cholesterol in the liver. Leeks have antiseptic properties that help the body fight infection. Thus, they help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. Here is another good post on home remedies for reducing cholesterol.

  1. Acts As An Antioxidant:

Leeks are valuable sources of antioxidants such as polyphenols. These antioxidants help fight against free radicals, preventing ageing and many chronic diseases. A serving of 100 grams fresh leeks provides about 3 mg gallic acid equivalents (GAE).

  1. Aphrodisiac:

Leeks along with onions, garlic and celery are knownfor centuries, for their aphrodisiac effects.Make a juice with leeks and celery, and you will be surprised to see the difference.

  1. Balsamic Action:

Due to the presence of volatile oils, leek juice has a balsamic action on the respiratory tract. Thus, it can relieve the symptoms associated with flu, cold and hay fever.

  1. Nervous System:

Magnesium, phosphorous and folate are important nutrients needed for healthy functioning of the nervous system. Leeks being rich in these vitamins and minerals help improve concentration, memory and the brain’s ability to process information.

Quick And Easy Ways Of Including Leeks In Your Daily Diet:

Cut it into thin slices and addto a variety of salads.

Make leek juice from the stalk, bulb, and leaves.

Prepare soups, pottages, broths, omelettes and sauces.

The stalks can be steamed and sautéed along with other vegetables in stir-fry recipes.

Boost Your Health With Leeks Today!

To get the maximum benefits of eating leeks, here’s a quick recipe you can try at home. Here is the link to the recipe of an appetizing potato and leek soup:

What’s Required?

To make this soup, you need leeks, potatoes, butter, olive oil, white pepper powder, salt, cream and bay leaf.

How To Prepare?

Chop 1-2 leeks(including the stalk and leaves) into thin slices and then wash them thoroughly to clear soil and dirt.

Also, cut 2-3 medium sized potatoes into small cubes.

Heat some butter and olive oil in a pan and put the cut leeks into it.

Add some salt as per your taste.

When the leeks become soft, add the potatoes and turn them around for a minute.

Then, add some home-made chicken or vegetable stock (proportionately) to it.

You can add one bay leaf and a half teaspoon of white pepper powder to the soup.

Once the soup comes to a boil, turn it down to a gentle simmer and then cover it with a lid.

Let it simmer for about 45 min until the potatoes become tender.

Then, blend the mixture and add a little bit of cream to enhance the taste.

Your yummilicious, healthy soup is ready to serve! Try this great appetizer for extracting the best health benefits from leeks.

Leeks are wonderful in taste and rich with amazing health benefits. Include them in your recipes to enhance taste and boost the nutritional value.

 

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kale

16 Amazing Benefits Of Kale For Skin, Hair, And Health


It is also called the new beef and the queen of greens. Well, we don’t care what you want to call it. Just eat it. Fair enough? That’s kale for you. It has whatever it is that you need, only if you are willing to slide it down your throat.

But before you do so, read this post.

 

Table Of Contents

 

What Is Kale? Why Is It Good?

Also called leaf cabbage, kale belongs to the plant species Brassica oleracea. The kale plant has green or purple leaves, and unlike cabbages, the central leaves do not form the head.

Okay.

But why is it good?

Because kale is low in calories. And it is high in fiber and contains zero fat. All of these, we can say, are the pillars of good health.

But that’s not all.

It is replete with nutrients (oh yes, most foods are, so what’s the big deal?) – several vitamins and minerals like magnesium and folate. It is loaded with beneficial compounds that possess remarkable medicinal properties.

It is called the Queen of Greens, given its exceptional nutritional profile (1). Which is why it is a big deal.

There are four popular types of kale:

Curly kale, which is the most common variety. It has a pepper flavour and is very pleasant to the palate.

Lacinato kale, which is also called the Tuscan kale or Tuscan cabbage or Dinosaur kale. It has dark green and narrow leaves.

Redbor kale, which has ruffled leaves ranging from deep red to purple.

Russian kale, also called Siberian kale, which has flat and fringed leaves, and is the hardest to find.

Before we proceed, let’s first understand where this veggie had come from.

What Is The History Of Kale?

Worry not. We are not going to bore you with too much of history.

Kale was the most common green vegetable in Europe until the end of the Middle Ages. It was also used as medicine. Disocorides, a Greek physician and botanist, wrote in one of his books that kale can be used to treat bowel issues as well.

Kale arrived in North America in the 16th century, where it was brought in by the colonists. At a later point in time, Russian kale was introduced (by the Russian traders) to Canada and the United States.

It is but important to know what kale contains, as what it contains is what makes it what it is.

 

What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Kale?

 

PRINCIPLE

NUTRIENT VALUE

PERCENTAGE OF RDA

Energy

50 Kcal

2.5%

Carbohydrates

10.01 g

8%

Protein

3.30 g

6%

Total Fat

0.70 g

3%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

2.0 g

5%

VITAMINS

Folates

29 µg

7%

Niacin

1.000 mg

6%

Pantothenic acid

0.091 mg

1.5%

Pyridoxine

0.271 mg

21%

Riboflavin

0.130 mg

10%

Thiamin

0.110 mg

9%

Vitamin A

15376 IU

512%

Vitamin C

120 mg

200%

Vitamin K

817 µg

681%

ELECTROLYTES

Sodium

43 mg

3%

Potassium

447 mg

9.5%

MINERALS

Calcium

135 mg

13.5%

Copper

0.290 mg

32%

Iron

1.70 mg

21%

Magnesium

34 mg

8.5%

Manganese

0.774 mg

34%

Phosphorus

56 mg

8%

Selenium

0.9 µg

1.5%

Zinc

0.44 mg

4%

PHYTO-NUTRIENTS

Carotene-ß

9226 µg

Crypto-xanthin-ß

0 µg

Lutein-zeaxanthin

39550 µg

 

One cup of raw kale contains about 34 calories. It contains 2.2 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, and 1.3 grams of fiber. Other nutrients it contains include:

– 547 micrograms of vitamin K (684% DV)

– 10300 IU of vitamin A (206% DV)

– 80 milligrams of vitamin C (134% DV)

– 0.5 milligrams of manganese (26% DV)

– 0.2 milligrams of copper (10% DV)

– 0.2 milligrams of vitamin B6 (9% DV)

– 91 milligrams of calcium (9% DV)

– 299 milligrams of potassium (9% DV)

– 1.1 milligrams of iron (6% DV)

– 22.8 milligrams of magnesium (6% DV)

– 19.4 micrograms of folate (5% DV)

Before heading to the real deal, how about some fast facts about kale?

 

Any Interesting Facts About Kale?

  • Most of the kale in the United States is produced in California.
  • In Spanish, kale is called col rizada.
  • Cooking kale doesn’t destroy any of its nutrients.
  • Kale farming grew by a staggering 57% from 2007 to 2012.
  • Hollywood celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, and Jessica Alba are known to consume kale not just to feel better but also to maintain their sleek physiques.
  • After frost, the kale plant becomes sweeter.
  • Thomas Jefferson is believed to have experimented with several varieties of kale in his garden way back in the early 1800s.

That’s with the facts. Now let’s talk about what we are here for – the benefits of kale.

What Are The Benefits Of Kale?

Kale is super-rich in antioxidants, vitamins K, A, and C, and other minerals like iron. The antioxidants and other phytonutrients help prevent dangerous ailments like cancer, heart disease, and inflammation. Vitamin K preserves bones while vitamin A enhances vision health. And the antioxidants and vitamin C improve the health of your skin and hair.

  1. Fights Cancer

The chlorophyll in kale (and other green vegetables) helps prevent the body from absorbing compounds called heterocyclic amines. These are chemicals associated with cancer, which are produced while grilling animal-derived foods at high temperatures.

Here’s the trick – the human body can’t absorb much of chlorophyll. So when this chlorophyll binds with the carcinogens, it prevents them from getting absorbed as well.

According to the National Cancer Institute, cruciferous vegetables like kale help fight cancer. They also contain substances called glucosinolates, which have a role to play in cancer prevention (2).

  1. Promotes Heart Health

Kale contains compounds called bile acid sequestrants, which are known to lower blood cholesterol levels (3). Kale is also exceptionally rich in vitamins C and K (more than spinach) and contains omega-3 fatty acids as well. All of these nutrients are healthy for the heart (4). They even help lower bad cholesterol and elevate the levels of good cholesterol.

The lutein in kale, as per a Los Angeles study, can offer protection against the early stages of atherosclerosis. Another uncommon compound in kale is glucoraphanin, which activates Nrf2, a special reactive protein. This protein creates a coating in your arteries and prevents plaque accumulation.

The potassium in kale helps lower blood pressure levels, which otherwise might lead to a heart attack. The magnesium in the veggie also helps in this aspect.

  1. Aids In Diabetes Treatment

One cup of freshly chopped kale contains about 0.6 grams of fiber, a nutrient that lowers blood glucose levels in patients with type 1 diabetes. Even those with type 2 diabetes can see improved blood sugar levels.

According to a Japanese study, intake of kale can suppress increase in postprandial (after a meal) blood glucose levels (5).

  1. Fights Inflammation

This could be the most beneficial property of kale. We know the importance of a balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in our body (6). Kale promotes this balance. It contains both omega-3s and omega-6s at nearly a 1:1 ratio.

These anti-inflammatory properties of kale also make it an ideal food to ease arthritis symptoms (7). In yet another study, intestinal cells affected by inflammation had shown improvement on exposure to kale and other vegetables from the cabbage family (8).

  1. Offers Antioxidant Benefits

It could be an understatement when we say kale is packed with antioxidants. In fact, it overflows with ’em. The antioxidants in kale include vitamin C, beta-carotene, and other flavonoids and polyphenols (9). Other important antioxidants in kale are quercetin and kaempferol. All of these antioxidants neutralize the harmful free radicals, which otherwise can accelerate aging and even lead to serious ailments like cancer and heart disease.

The antioxidants in kale can also help boost mood and combat depression (10).

  1. Aids In Detoxification

This can be attributed to the fiber in kale. It promotes regularity and helps the body detox. And not just kale, consumption of plants, in general, can aid in detoxification and improve liver health (11).

  1. Improves Bone Health

Given that kale is rich in potassium, it preserves bone mineral density. Research also suggests a deficiency in vitamin K can be linked to a higher risk of fractures. Kale is wonderfully rich in vitamin K, with one serving offering about 684% of the daily value. The vitamin C in kale also improves bone health – it gives structure to the bones.

We saw kale contains beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A. The body converts it into vitamin A for use. Vitamin A plays an important role in bone health. However, beware of excess consumption of vitamin A as it has been linked to an increased risk of fractures (12). Otherwise, beta-carotene is the best form of vitamin A that works great for bone health.

  1. Promotes Digestion

Kale is high in fiber and water, and both are imperative to proper digestion. They also prevent constipation and enhance the health of the digestive tract. And the B vitamins and vitamin C in kale promote iron absorption – another nutrient that helps release energy from food.

But do consult your doctor before taking kale for treating digestive issues. Certain individuals reported indigestion post kale consumption, which was attributed to its high levels of fiber.

  1. Promotes Vision Health

According to the Centre for Disease Control, kale is one of the foods that can promote vision health (13). This is because of the presence of lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants for vision health (14). If the sad part is that these two antioxidants aren’t synthesized in the body, the good part is that kale is rich in them. These two antioxidants help prevent severe eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Another survey had shown that individuals between the ages of 40 and 59 can cut their risk of macular degeneration by introducing kale (and other such leafy greens) to their diets (15).

  1. Enhances Brain Health

This is self-evident. We don’t have to stress on the importance of omega-3s for brain health. And omega-3s are the kind of fats present in kale. We also saw that omega-3s can help lower blood sugar, which otherwise ages the brain cells and deteriorates neural health.

And then, we have vitamin K in kale. This nutrient is required for the production of sphingolipids, which are specialized fats responsible for the structure of brain cells.

We also have vitamin B6, iron, and folate in kale – all essential for the production of dopamine and serotonin (both of which can help fight depression). So, yes, kale is a brain food. Hence proved.

Again, since kale is rich in folate, it helps in brain development of infants. Eating kale can also help prevent birth defects. It supports the formation of neural tubes and ensures the proper development of the face and heart.

  1. Eliminates Fatigue

Fatigue sure doesn’t feel good. Never. And remember we spoke of a special protein called Nrf2? Well, that can take your fatigue issues by the horns. Kale and other cruciferous veggies contain is thiocyanates, which activate Nrf2. And Nrf2 generates mitochondria, a part of the cells that converts glucose into ATP (a compound in a cell that regulates its energy).

Alright, that’s a little too much of biology. In simple terms – the more mitochondria you have in your system, the better your muscles will work, and the less fatigued you will feel (16).

  1. Boosts Immune Health

It all boils down to your immune system, ultimately. If your immune system is strong, your cells are going to be okay. And if they are okay, you will be okay.

The high levels of vitamin C are what we must look at when we want to boost our immunity levels. And the folate in kale is another immune booster.

Here’s a quick tip – the darker the kale leaves, the more antioxidants it contains (which, in turn, boost your immunity) (17). You can jazz up your salads with dark green kale.

  1. Aids Weight Loss

It is but a matter of common sense that one needs to consume fewer calories than they expend to lose weight. And eating foods with low calorie density can help in this aspect – which is what kale is. One cup of kale contains just about 33 calories.

Apart from that, the dietary fiber in kale suppresses your appetite and discourages overeating. More importantly, kale is nutrient-dense. If you are on a weight loss diet, you are going to restrict yourself from eating this and that – and this might mean losing on some very important nutrients. With kale on your plate, things are going to be just fine.

And yes, the darker the kale, the more the nutrients it has (18). Let’s remember that.

Talking about weight loss, this simple kale recipe can be of help. All you need are 1 sliced banana, 2 cups of chopped kale leave, ½ a cup of almond milk, honey, and ice cubes (as required). Put them all in a blender and serve. The fiber in banana and kale plays a role in weight loss. It can keep you full and discourage overeating throughout the day.

  1. Promotes Healthy Pregnancy

The vitamin K keeps the blood vessels strong, and this is particularly important during pregnancy. The added blood flow to the uterine area is quite important, which becomes easier with stronger blood vessels.

And the vitamin C, like we saw, enhances immunity. The nutrient also nourishes the baby inside, and it gives the mother added vitality.

The calcium in kale can ensure your baby can develop strong bones and teeth. However, remember that the calcium found in plants is less bioavailable than that found in dairy products and other fortified foods (19). So, ensure you also take dairy products (and calcium supplements, after checking with your doctor) during pregnancy.

Also, like we discussed, the folate in kale is quite important during pregnancy. It ensures the baby is healthy and is born without any defects.

  1. Supports Urinary Health

As kale is rich in calcium, it can help prevent kidney stones and support your urinary health. The calcium binds to the oxalates in the digestive tract and prevents them from getting absorbed. This, otherwise, can lead to calcium oxalate stones.

For quite a while, critics had been shunning kale and accusing it of causing kidney stones. But studies have proven otherwise. Kale is really low in oxalate. So unless you have the ability to eat unreasonable amounts of kale (unless you are the cousin of Gregor, The Mountain, from Game of Thrones), you are safe (20).

Kale is also rich in iron, another nutrient essential for kidney health. Studies have found that most individuals with kidney disease are also deficient in iron (21).

  1. Improves Health Of The Skin And Hair

The vitamin C content in kale helps boost your skin health. The collagen fibers in your skin need vitamin C for strength. Low amounts of vitamin C can weaken your collagen fibers and affect skin health. And since vitamin C also offers antioxidant protection, it sure does save your skin from the harmful UV radiation.

And then, we have vitamin A in kale, the deficiency of which can negatively impact your oil and sweat glands.

Kale, or even kale juice, works well for enhancing skin and hair health. In one study, merely drinking kale juice had improved wrinkles (22). The juice also acts as a very good skin cleanser. As it detoxifies your skin from within, it, by default, keeps your skin healthy.

Washing your face with fresh kale juice in the morning can be a good way to start your day.

Talking about hair, the iron in kale takes care of your tresses. The veggie also takes care of the elasticity of your hair. The iron in kale strengthens your hair while the other nutrients and antioxidants fight dandruff and dry scalp. You can use kale juice to wash your hair before you rinse and then shampoo.

Kale’s omega-3 fatty acids also nourish your hair and give it a healthy texture.

That’s with the benefits of kale. But do you know how to pick the right variety? What about storage?

How To Select And Store Kale?

Selection

  • Look for kale with dark bunches and small to medium leaves.
  • Moist, crisp, and unwilled kale is best. It also must be unblemished without any tiny holes (these indicate insect damage).
  • Avoid kale with yellowed or brown leaves.
  • Since kale stems are also edible, ensure they also are in good condition.

 

 

Storage

Store kale in a plastic bag and inside the freezer.

Need help with using kale? Okay.

Any Tips On Using Kale?

Kale is a winter vegetable and is known to taste more delicious after the cold season’s first frost. In case you are wondering how to cook kale, keep reading.

  • Young kale leaves taste better while the old ones are tough and bitter.
  • It is highly recommended that you harvest kale while the leaves are young and tender.
  • Cook your kale frozen as it tastes best without first thawing. It needs to be thoroughly washed before cooking, and the leaves need to be gently shaken after washing.
  • Alternatively, you could use a salad spinner to run it through.
  • If you have no plans to immediately use it, carefully store your kale.
  • You could briefly stir-fry young and tender kale leaves, while the mature ones need to be boiled for a few minutes vigorously. This helps soften the stringent cellulose structure.
  • Once cooked, you could season your kale with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and pepper.
  • It could also be used as a pizza topping, or you can finely chop the leaves and make a delicious and nutritious soup.

Sautéing kale is another easy way to have it.

In case you are wondering how to procure your bunch of these awesome leafy greens…

Where To Buy Kale?

Your nearest supermarket must have fresh kale. Go grab a bunch! You can also purchase raw kale powder online.

Okay. You have bought your kale now. But how do you take it?

How To Incorporate Kale Into Your Diet?

Wondering how to eat kale? Here’s how.

  • You can simply add kale to your evening vegetable salad. Steamed kale is healthier.
  • Kale soup can be great too.
  • Or you can add kale to your soup.
  • Use the leaves to have a green kale smoothie or add them to any smoothie.
  • Use it to make kale chips (we will discuss the recipe in a while).
  • You might want to simply prepare a kale smoothie and have it for breakfast.

Or best, you can even prepare one of the few recipes we have listed below.

Any Kale Recipes?

  1. Baked Kale Chips

What You Need

  • A bunch of kale leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350o
  2. In the meantime, line a non-insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. After removing the leaves from the stem (you could use a knife or kitchen shears), tear them into bite size pieces.
  4. Give the leaves a thorough wash and make sure they are nice and dry.
  5. Drizzle the kale leaves with olive oil and sprinkle the seasoned salt consistently.
  6. Bake the leaves for 10 to 15 minutes so that they are brown and not burnt.

This is the most popular kale recipe, and one cup of kale chips contains just about 130 calories.

  1. Roasted Squash And Kale Salad

 What You Need

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 pound of thinly sliced kale
  • 1 peeled cucumber
  • ¼ cup of thinly sliced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon of water

Directions

  1. Firstly, preheat the oven to 400o
  2. Peel and seed and cut the butternut squash into 1-inch chunks.
  3. Toss with olive oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and cool.
  5. Toss with kale, cucumber, and red onion.
  6. In a blender, puree the soy sauce, fresh lime juice, sugar, sesame oil, peanut butter, fresh ginger, and water.
  7. You can drizzle the salad with dressing and serve.
  8. Sautéed Kale With Apples And Bacon

What You Need

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 sliced apple
  • 1 bunch of kale medium kale leaves
  • 1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar

Directions

  1. Get a skillet and put it on medium heat.
  2. Fry the bacon until it is crisp – this could take about six to eight minutes.
  3. Line a plate with paper and transfer the bacon to it.
  4. Let the bacon cool and then crumble.
  5. Add the onion and apple to the bacon oil in the skillet and cook for four to six minutes until tender.
  6. Add the kale and season with three quarter teaspoons of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper, and give it an occasional toss.
  7. Cook this until it turns tender – this could require an additional 8-10 minutes.
  8. Finally, mix in the bacon and vinegar, and enjoy.

That’s everything great about kale we just saw. But anything that we eat, no matter how beneficial, does have some side effects.

 

Does Kale Have Any Side Effects? What Are They?

  • Hyperkalemia

Since kale is rich in potassium, eating it in excess can cause a condition called hyperkalaemia. This can cause chest pain, muscle weakness, and diarrhea.

  • Hypothyroidism

Kale might contain goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid medication. Hence, if you have any thyroid issues, stay away from kale and consult your doctor.

  • Issues During Pregnancy And Breastfeeding

Taking kale in normal amounts can have great benefits during pregnancy and breastfeeding. But we don’t know what might happen if we take it in excess. Stay on the safe side and stick to normal amounts.

Also, where you buy your kale matters. The benefits of kale also depend on where you buy it from. Ensure you are going for organic kale as it is one of the crops exposed to heavy pesticides.

According to the Environmental Working Group, non-organic kale can sometimes contain as many as 51 pesticides (according to studies conducted in 2008).

Hence, ensure you get your kale from a good source. Also, wash your produce thoroughly before eating it. Cooking kale is best – as this eliminates most of the pesticides.

Conclusion

Now you sure can slide it down your throat. Go ahead and do it.

Also, tell us how this post has made your life better. You can leave a comment in the box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

What does kale taste like?

Raw kale usually tastes bitter. Cooked kale might taste like broccoli, but even that can be bitter as well.

What is baby kale?

Baby kale are nothing but the delicate leaves of the young and immature plant.

 

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Green Fennel
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Dill

13 Amazing Health Benefits of Dill Weed


Dill Weed health benefits includes relieving flatulence, stopping hiccups, freshening breath and keeping mouth clean, promoting digestion, curing diarrhea, curing dysentery and reducing menstrual cramps. Other benefits include alleviating depression curing respiratory disorder, relieving pains caused by arthritis, preventing cancer, strengthening bones and promoting restful sleep

 

What is Dill Weed?

Dill is an herb widely cultivated in Eurasia. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean region, Scandinavia, and South Russia. It features tiny dissected leaves, dainty yellow flowers, and slender hollow stems. Dill is also known by its scientific name Anuthem graveolens. It is a type of annual plant and is a member of the genus Apiaceae. For centuries people use dill for culinary and medicinal purposes. Both the leaves and seeds of this particular plant can be used for those purposes. The dill adds a distinctive tang and strong aroma to any dish. It can be used as seasoning, garnish or as a main ingredient to some soups and sauces.

This tiny herb offers big medicinal properties which mainly come from the flavonoids, minerals, and amino acids it contains. Flavonoids include vicenin and kaempferol. Vicenin protects cells from damage caused by radiation while kaempferol holds anti- cancer properties. As for vitamins and minerals, dill is abundant in vitamins A and C as well as minerals such as iron, folate, and manganese.

 

13 Amazing Health Benefits of Dill Weed

  1. Relieves Flatulence

Dill is a carminative. A carminative is any substance that inhibits the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract and expulses any existing gas; hence, preventing flatulence. Being unable to control excess gas can be very uncomfortable and humiliating. It can also be very harmful if excess gas continues to build up within your gastrointestinal tract. Gas buildup can press the sensitive organs of your chest cavity. A carminative such as the dill forces gas downward and promotes its expulsion.

Dill oil obtained through distillation of its seeds is also efficient in treating hyperacidity. A drop of dill oil can suffice.

  1. Stops Hiccups

Hiccups can happen for different reasons and can be very frustrating. A hiccup occurs when there is gas trapped inside your esophagus that goes up and down repetitively. A hiccup also occurs due to certain allergies. Dill can help stop hiccups. Again it is a carminative which expels gas and reduces gas formation. Dill is also a sedative and can relieve hiccups caused by allergies or hyperactivity.

  1. Freshens Breath and Keeps Mouth Clean

The seeds and leaves of the dill plant can be used as an excellent mouth and breath freshener. The essential oils of the dill contain germicidal and antibacterial properties. Due to these properties, dill can effectively disinfect your entire mouth and promote good oral health. The antioxidants of the said herb also minimize the gum and teeth damage caused by free radicals. You can either use its essential oils or chew on its seeds for this benefit.

Dill is also rich in calcium that can help strengthen your teeth.

  1. Promotes Digestion

Dill stimulates your appetite; therefore, is extensively used in preparing meals. Dill has essential oils that can trigger bile and digestive juices. These oils stimulate peristaltic motion of the intestine and relieving constipation as it eases the passage of bowel movements. Traditional Chinese medicine as well as the ancient Romans and Greeks used dill in remedying digestive disorders for at least a thousand years.

Eating cooked foods with dill can prevent constipation. Chronic constipation is a contributing factor to many pro-inflammatory diseases of the colon and intestines including IBS and colon cancer.

  1. Cures Diarrhea

Bacterial infections and indigestion (or malabsorption) are the two main causes of diarrhea. Dill has excellent digestive properties which can be extremely helpful to indigestion. Dill also has flavonoids and monoterpenes present in its essential oils which have germicidal and bactericidal suppressing attributes. Both fight microbial infections that causes diarrhea.

  1. Cures Dysentery

While dysentery is still technically diarrhea, it is actually a much more complex syndrome that afflicts a larger portion of the digestive tract, and is usually associated with blood loss, this can be via vomiting or diarrhea, but at its root cause is often a parasite or microbe. Dill can help kill these parasites, and is already known to possess antimicrobial properties, making it an excellent alternative remedy in some cultures.

  1. Reduce Menstrual Cramps

The dill’s essential oil contains flavonoids that are emmenagogue. These flavonoids stimulate the secretion of hormones crucial in maintaining healthy menstrual cycles in women. The Department of Biostatistics and Demography at Khon Kaen University in Thailand conducted a study among students who suffer dysmenorrhea. Those who took dill in certain formulations were observed to have reduced menstrual cramps and pain associated to dysmenorrhea.

The antibacterial properties of dill also prevent infections of the reproductive organs during menstruation when bacteria are rampant.

  1. Remedies Depression

Depression is a huge problem especially among young adults. Dill can help remedy depression. According to the American Journal of Therapeutics, dill has antidepressant and analgesic attributes. The flavonoids and polyphenol in dill gives a soothing and calming effect. Likewise, it stimulates the production of dopamine, serotonin and other endorphins. These hormones are responsible for providing us with a feeling of satisfaction and happiness- basically euphoria. Dill extracts have shown to have an antidepressant and analgesic effect similar to sertraline and tramadol, but most importantly do not have the addictive potential or risk of side effects associated with these prescription drugs.

  1. Cures Respiratory Disorders 

The dill herb has kaempferol, monoterpenes, and other components of flavonoids that have antihistaminic and decongestant properties that clears up congestion in the nose and lungs due to allergies. Regular consumption of food spiced with dill can prevent common respiratory disorders such as colds and influenza, and may reduce symptoms of asthmatic flare ups.

  1. Relieves Pain Caused by Arthritis

Following an anti-inflammatory diet can effectively suppress chronic inflammation. Arthritis causes some joints of your body to become inflamed, as a result of direct friction between bones or secondary to another condition. Dill reduces the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.

  1. Prevents Cancer

Free radicals are the number one cause of many illnesses that can afflict the body. It can bring about deadly diseases including cancer. Dill contains monoterpenes, a compound which triggers the enzyme Glutathione-S-transferase that aids antioxidant molecules to attach to oxidized molecules that could harm the body. This antioxidant activity is similar to ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol, and quercetin. Dill exhibits both anti-inflammatory and analgesic attributes that combat free radicals. Dill is considered as a chemo protective food that helps in neutralizing carcinogens such as benzopyrenes found in cigarette smoke and charred or barbecued meat.

It is also abundant in vitamin C which boosts the body’s immune system, improving the ability to detect and eliminate pre-cancerous cells.

  1. Strengthen Bones

Calcium is a vital element in the development of strong bones as well as the repair of broken bones. A tablespoon of dill seeds already contains as much calcium as 1/3 glass of milk. Calcium contributes to your bone density and protect you from osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

  1. Promotes Restful Sleep

The Ancient Greeks and Romans used to cover their heads with dill for restful sleep. Dill oil is used as a relaxant and a natural remedy for insomnia. It can reduce nervousness caused by anxiety and relieve stress as well. The flavonoids and vitamin B complex in dill’s essential oils trigger secretions of enzymes and hormones which give a calming effect, thereby helping relaxation and sleep.

Conclusion

The dill herb possesses properties to that make it one of the top functional foods. Not only does the said herb impart flavor and taste, it holds a wealth of vitamins and minerals crucial in treating and preventing certain illnesses. Every part of the herb — leaf and seed can be of some benefit to you, so don’t toss it out quite yet!

 

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Coriander

10 Health Benefits Of Cilantro + Recipes And Risks


Presentation is important – whether it is a business proposal or a culinary masterpiece. Don’t you think so? And what is one of the most common ingredients used to garnish and present a dish? Yes, it’s cilantro. This wonder herb not only has the power to enhance the flavor and feel of a dish, but it can also benefit your health in various ways. Read on to know more.

 

Table Of Contents

What Is Cilantro?

10 Amazing Benefits Of Adding Cilantro To Your Diet

Nutritional Profile Of Cilantro

3 Tasty Treats With Cilantro

Effects Of Cilantro Overdose

 

What Is Cilantro?

A member of the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family, cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is an herb that is popularly known by its Spanish name. This fab ingredient has different names in different parts of the world – coriander, Chinese parsley, dhaniya, coriandolo, kusthumbari, and so on. Which is a testimony to the fact that it is a global culinary sensation.

Cilantro’s origins were traced to southern Europe and the Mediterranean. It is one of the oldest spices in history used since 7,000 years (1). There should be some logic behind its usage for over 70 centuries, don’t you think?

Cilantro is full of nutrients and has a multitude of uses and benefits. Here’s a list of all the favors it does for you and your health.

 

10 Amazing Benefits Of Adding Cilantro To Your Diet

 

  1. Prevents Tumor Formation And Growth

The active compounds in cilantro, like phthalides and terpenoids, induce the production of specific enzymes. These convert the tumor-causing ions and compounds into less toxic forms. This activity stops tumor formation and growth (2).

  1. Detoxifies Your Body

Cilantro has one of the best biochemical profiles amongst herbs that can rejuvenate your body. The terpenoids, polyacetylenes, and carotenoids scavenge the harmful free radicals and reactive oxygen species in the blood. One glass of cilantro crush will flush out all the toxins from your body.

  1. Is A Natural Painkiller And Anti-inflammatory Agent

Cilantro seeds (also called coriander) possess analgesic activity. They reduce pain by acting on the central pain receptors. Linalool is the active compound that gives cilantro this property (3).

  1. Aids Digestion – Cures Stomach Cramps

Coriander seeds stimulate the liver to produce bile juices with higher bile content. They also enable the pancreas to produce digestive enzymes. This ensures quick and efficient digestion of food, with minimal losses before it reaches the intestines (4).

Cilantro essential oil cures stomach cramps due to indigestion or flatulence.

  1. Helps In Weight Loss

According to Ayurveda, coriander seed decoction reduces blood lipid levels. The sterols present in the seeds and leaves inhibit the absorption of dietary cholesterol, thereby preventing weight gain (4).

  1. Has Anti-diabetic Properties

Traditional medicine in Jordan, Morocco, Persia, and Saudi Arabia used cilantro leaves for treating diabetes. The leaves contain higher levels of potent anti-inflammatory flavonols like quercetin, tannins, and sterols, which give the anti-diabetic nature to this herb.

  1. Treats Urinary Tract Infections(UTIs) – Improves Kidney Functioning

Dealing with UTI gets much easier when you have coriander seeds in your kitchen. These seeds enhance the urine filtration rate of kidneys, leading to quicker urine generation. This reduces water retention in the body. Also, your body gets rid of all the toxins and microbes, keeping the urinary system clean.

  1. Works Wonders For Your Skin

Cilantro is known for its antioxidant properties. The leaves and coriander seeds contain terpenoids, sterols, polyphenols, aromatic acids, and carotenoids, which scavenge the free radicals and heavy metals and manage oxidative stress in your body.

Essential oils or extracts of cilantro can cure bacterial or fungal infections of the skin (including pimples and acne) by purifying your blood.

  1. Boosts Memory Power And Brain Functioning

A combination of the antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering activities of this wonder herb bring about this effect on the brain. The neurons get less exposed to oxidative stress, resulting in a better lifespan, leading to better memory.

This cognitive effect of cilantro on memory and the nervous system is being applied to manage patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Is An Antibacterial, Antifungal, And Anthelmintic Agent

Apart from doing all the good to your body, cilantro and coriander seeds have antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thanks to the bioactive compounds, cilantro can also kill parasites in your body (anthelmintic).

This property is exploited not only in medicine but is also applied to food preservation and preventing spoilage (3). That means you can store meat, fish, grain, vegetables, etc. with some coriander seeds or suitable extracts for extended periods.

But what gives cilantro these characteristic properties? Let’s find out.

Nutritional Profile Of Cilantro

The bioactive compounds are responsible for each of the benefits of cilantro. Here’s a glance at its nutritional profile:

 

NUTRITION FACTS SERVING SIZE 4G

AMOUNT PER SERVING

Calories 1

Calories from Fat 0

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 0g

0%

Saturated Fat 0g

0%

Trans Fat

Cholesterol 0mg

0%

Sodium 2mg

0%

Total Carbohydrate 0g

0%

Dietary Fiber 0g

0%

Sugars 0g

Protien 0g

Vitamin A

5%

Vitamin C

2%

Calcium

0%

Iron

0%

VITAMINS

Amounts Per Selected Serving

%DV

Vitamin A

270IU

5%

Vitamin C

1.1mg

2%

Vitamin D

~

~

Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)

0.1mg

1%

Vitamin K

12.4mcg

16%

Thiamin

0.0mg

0%

Riboflavin

0.0mg

0%

Niacin

0.0mg

0%

Vitamin B6

0.0mg

0%

Folate

0.0mg

1%

Vitamin B12

0.0mcg

0%

Pantothenic Acid

0.0mcg

0%

Choline

0.5mg

Betaine

~

MINERALS

Amounts Per Selected Serving

%DV

Calcium

2.7mg

0%

Iron

0.1mg

0%

Magnesium

1.0mg

0%

Phosphorus

1.9mg

0%

Potassium

20.8mg

1%

Sodium

1.8mg

0%

Zinc

0.0mg

0%

Copper

0.0mg

0%

Manganese

0.0mg

1%

Selenium

0.0mcg

0%

Fluoride

~

 

Cilantro has high levels of vitamins A and K along with sodium. If you are taking supplements for folic acid or folate (vitamin B9), you should consider using more of cilantro in your cooking – in the form of fresh leaves or dried ones.

Coriander seeds have lower levels of folate and vitamins A and K but higher levels of calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber.

I was floored when I read about its importance in ancient medicine and housekeeping. Scroll down for more facts about cilantro leaves and seeds and their benefits.

Facts For You

The leaves of the Coriandrum sativum plant are called cilantro, and the seeds are called coriander seeds.

The upper leaves of the plant are thin and blade-like, whereas, the lower ones are denser and defined with smaller incisions.

Egyptian tombs were found to have coriander seeds in their cases, indicating their medicinal properties.

Turkish, Pakistani, and other Middle Eastern countries use cilantro as one of the active ingredients in their herbal formulations.

Cilantro has flavonoids that help in relieving menstrual cramps and muscle spasms.

Did you know that cilantro has insecticidal properties as well?

This is why I love this herb. You can have it in any form and get the maximum benefits – be it a juice, a sauce, a garnish, a dip, in a cooler, or as medicine.

Anything that I cook should be quick, tasty, healthy, filling, refreshing, and relatable. Below, I’m going to share a few of my comfort food recipes with cilantro. You are so going to love them!

3 Tasty Treats With Cilantro

Cilantro Shallot Green Salad: Refreshing And Healthy

 

You’ll Need

2 teaspoons olive oil or sunflower oil

1 cup evenly sliced, sautéed (or crispy fried) shallots

150 g asparagus spears, very thinly sliced

1 fresh big bunch of cilantro leaves and stems

½ teaspoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt (sea salt works best)

½ cup peanut, well-toasted

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Garlic pods, chopped or sliced half (optional)

Let’s Make It!

Boil water in a medium saucepan, add salt generously, and cook asparagus for about 15 seconds.

Drain and quickly transfer them to a bowl of ice. Drain again and set aside.

Trim and wash the cilantro leaves and stems thoroughly. Dry them completely.

Whisk the soy sauce, salt, sugar, and oil.

Place the cilantro, peanuts, asparagus, and sesame seeds in a large bowl.

Drizzle the soy dressing over the contents and gently (but thoroughly) toss the bowl for a uniform spread.

You can add some sautéed cottage cheese cubes if you want a refined texture.

Serve with fresh, warm, homemade (garlic) bread on the side.

Lime Cilantro Rice: Super Quick And Refreshing

 

You’ll Need

1 ½ cups long grain basmati rice (you can replace it with brown rice)

2-3 tablespoons cooking oil (or olive oil)

1-2 pods garlic, chopped or minced

2 ¼ cups water (reduce the water quantity if you are using brown rice)

1 teaspoon salt

Zest of 1 lime

3 tablespoons lime juice, fresh

1 cup chopped cilantro leaves and tender stalks

Let’s Make It!

Heat the cooking oil or olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add garlic and sauté until it turns golden brown.

Add the raw rice and stir well to coat all of it with oil uniformly.

Cook while occasionally stirring until the rice turns brown.

Add water, lemon zest, and salt to the rice. Mix well and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally.

Cover the saucepan and leave it on simmer for about 15 minutes.

Turn down the heat, mix the contents, and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Transfer the rice to a mixing bowl. Add lime juice and chopped cilantro to it. Toss gently to coat the rice uniformly.

Place it in a serving bowl and have it with chicken, shrimp, steak, cottage cheese (paneer) or Asian curries.

Cilantro Chicken: Tasty And Filling

 

You’ll Need

4 boneless chicken breast halves

¼ cup lime juice

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

5-6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon olive oil (cooking oil will do too)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Let’s Make It!

Pound the chicken breasts into half-inch thick pieces and place them in a shallow dish.

In a small bowl, mix the lime juice, cilantro, honey, oil, salt, and pepper.

Pour over the breast pieces and turn them to coat the mixture evenly.

Cover the pieces and chill to marinate for at least 30 minutes. Marinate overnight for best results.

Lay them on a grill on medium heat. Turn them occasionally, and cook for 4-6 minutes per side. Do this until the pieces are no longer pink in the center.

If you don’t have a grill, cook them on a frying pan with one to two tablespoons of oil over medium heat.

Serve them hot with some flavored rice, pita bread or boiled, sautéed veggies on the side.

I have made all of these and wished to have more of cilantro in a day. As per the nutrition data, you are allowed to eat about one-fourth cup per day. It has almost zero calories and very less fat.

So, can you eat 10 g of cilantro a day? Or have the cilantro salad thrice a day? Where and when do you draw the line? And if you overate cilantro, what would happen? Scroll down to know the dark side.

 

Effects Of Cilantro Overdose

  1. Interacts With Heavy Metals

Cilantro has chelation effects on the heavy metal ions in your body. The bioactive components interact with mercury, cadmium, tin, and lead and mobilize them – causing their excretion (5).

Any implants (dental, splints, or fracture supports) made of these metals will get eroded if you overeat cilantro.

  1. Might Cause Photosensitivity

Some studies suggest that cilantro and coriander seeds can cause photosensitivity. Your skin becomes very sensitive and almost allergic to sun rays. The exact mechanism of how this works is still not well-studied.

Conclusion

After reading so much about cilantro, all I have to say is, “Get yourself a sapling and grow loads of it in your garden.” You need this herb and the spice in your kitchen for all the above reasons.

Try the recipes and write back to us in the comments section below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How is parsley different from cilantro?

Parsley and cilantro belong to the same family and look similar. However, when you closely examine, parsley leaves have pointed ends, whereas cilantro leaves have curled ends.

In terms of flavor, cilantro is stronger than parsley. Also, the seeds of cilantro, called coriander, are more aromatic and are commonly used in cooking. Parsley seeds have not been used as much.

How to store cilantro for a longer time?

Fill a small jar or glass partially with water. Place the stem ends in the jar. This way, you can store them at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

If you are storing in the refrigerator, cover the leaves of the submerged cilantro with a loose, plastic bag. The leaves will not wilt and stay fresh for about two weeks. Change the water when it gets dirty for better results.

In what forms can you eat cilantro?

You can add the stems and leaves of cilantro to salads, sides, and main courses as garnish. You can grind cilantro to make pesto and dips and add it to juices or coolers. Dried cilantro and coriander seeds can be used in spice mixes too.

Cilantro tincture is used as a part of medical formulations. It is used in combination with other herbs to cure indigestion, respiratory troubles, heavy metal poisoning, bacterial infections, diabetes, and vitamin K deficiency.

 

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Chives
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Celery

15 Super Incredible Celery Benefits


Celery lowers cholesterol levels and arthritis pain, helps in weight loss, detoxifies the body, reduces high blood pressure, and promotes overall health in a vast number of ways. It is rich in vitamin C and hence is extremely beneficial for health.

 

What is Celery?

Celery is a plant of the Apiaceae family and is consumed as a vegetable. It can be found throughout the world and is an integral part of certain cuisines. Its origins most likely trace back to the Mediterranean and North African areas, since what is believed to be a rudimentary variety of species of celery was found in King Tut’s tomb, and a plant closely resembling it is referenced multiple times in Mediterranean myth and history. The plant is now cultivated globally and is a part of every cuisine from America and Ireland to Japan and Australia.

For culinary use, it is most commonly found in soups and salads, or as a garnish to certain dishes. Also, it is commonly eaten as a snack, since it is quite filling but not fattening.

 

Celery Nutrition Facts

According to USDA National Nutrient Database, celery contains minerals such as calciumsodiumcoppermagnesiumironzinc, and potassium[1] It contains fatty acids and vitamins including vitamin A, K, C, E, D, and the B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavinfolic acidvitamin B6, and vitamin B12). It also contains fiber.

 

Health Benefits of Celery

The health benefits of celery include the following:

 

Lowers Cholesterol Level

A research study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that eating celery every day may reduce artery-clogging cholesterol (called LDL or bad cholesterol). [2] The phthalides in this herb also stimulate the secretion of bile juices, which work to reduce cholesterol levels. Less cholesterol means less plaque on the artery walls and a general improvement in heart health. The fiber that is found in it also works to scrape the cholesterol out of the bloodstream and eliminate it from the body with regular bowel movements, further boosting cardiovascular health.

 

Reduces Blood Pressure

Celery contains phthalides, which are organic chemical compounds that can lower the level of stress hormones in your blood. Also, a 2009 study revealed that celery has hypolipidemic effects on your body that allow your blood vessels to expand, giving your blood more room to move, thereby reducing pressure. [3] It also contains potassium, which is a vasodilator and helps in reducing blood pressure. When blood pressure is reduced, it puts less stress on the entire cardiovascular system and reduces the chances of developing atherosclerosis or suffering from a heart attack or stroke.

 

Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

Celery seeds help in the elimination of uric acid because it is commonly used for its diuretic properties, meaning that it stimulates urination. [4] Therefore, it is good for people with bladder disorders, kidney problems, cystitis, and other similar conditions. The seeds also assist in preventing urinary tract infections in women.

A research study titled “Fruit and Vegetable Intake in Relation to Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms and Erectile Dysfunction Among Southern Chinese Elderly Men” claims that celery helps in reducing UTI symptoms in men as well. [5]

 

Lowers Arthritis Pain

Celery is great for people suffering from arthritis, rheumatism, and gout. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Its sticks also act as a diuretic, which helps remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints that can add to the pain and discomfort. It can also increase the regrowth of tissue in inflamed joints. [6]

 

Anticancer Properties

Celery contains phthalides, flavonoids like luteolin, and polyacetylenes. A study conducted at the Molecular Biology and Lung Cancer Program, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, USA suggests that luteolin has cancer-fighting properties. [7] Celery also contains coumarins that enhance the activity of certain white blood cells, which can effectively stave off cancer as well.

In another study led by Gao, LL et al. it was found that that celery seed extract exerts anti-proliferation and effect against gastric cancer and its use may induce apoptosis or programmed cell death. [8]

These antioxidant components seek out free radicals and neutralize them before they can cause conditions such as cancer.

Boosts Immune System

Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, celery greatly boosts the immune system and makes it more active and efficient. [9] Eating this vitamin C rich vegetable regularly can reduce your risk of catching a common cold, as well as protect you against a variety of other diseases.

 

Reduces Asthma Symptoms

Vitamin C present in celery prevents free radical damage and also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma[10]

 

Improves Heart Health

The notable presence of vitamin C, fiber, and other organic chemicals in the roots of celery promotes cardiovascular health.

 

Regulates Fluid Balance

Celery is rich in both sodium and potassium, and both of these minerals help regulate the fluid balance in the body. [11]

 

Relieves Migraines

The presence of coumarins in celery can provide relief from migraines. The exact mechanism isn’t completely understood, but research points to a suppression of nitric oxide release in the brain, which can cause headaches and migraines.

 

Detoxifies the Body

It acts as an antioxidant, and in truth, all parts of celery, including the seeds, roots, and leaves can be used. Eating this vegetable regularly helps to avoid diseases of the kidney, pancreas, liver, and gallbladder.

 

Treats Rheumatism

Celery extracts, which contain 85% 3-n-butylphthalide (3nB), are effective in treating arthritis and muscular pains. [12]

 

Controls Diabetes

Celery leaves are also eaten for treating various diabetic conditions. This is because of their high fiber content, which has been shown to help manage diabetic symptoms. [13]

Prevents Cataracts

Dripping celery tea drops on eyelids is good for certain ophthalmological conditions and can improve your eye health, reduce your chances of developing cataracts, and protect you against macular degeneration.

 

Nerve Tonic

Celery contains high calcium and due to this, it is commonly used to calm the nerves. [14]

 

Weight Loss

Regular drinking of celery juice before meals may help reduce your weight. It is very low in calories and is also filling due to its high fiber content. Therefore, it can help reduce the tendency to overeat and help you keep the weight down without feeling hungry all the time!

 

Other Benefits

Celery helps prevent many diseases and conditions that include neuritis, constipation, asthma, high blood pressure, catarrh, pyorrhea and dropsy, mental exhaustion, acidosis, anemia, obesity, and tuberculosis. It also helps in improving overall health and strength of teeth.

 

How to Select and Store?

It is easily available in markets all over the world. Choose the one which is green in color, has no discoloration, has fresh and crisp leaves. Store it in the refrigerator and use within 5-7 days. Make sure you do not freeze it.

 

Quick Serving Ideas

  • Salad: Add chopped celery leaves to vegetables or meatof your choice. Add salt and crushed pepper to the salad. For dressing, drizzle lime juice and olive oil.
  • Fruit Salad: Mix sliced applesand nuts such as peanuts, raisins, etc. with chopped celery leaves in a bowl. Mix orange juice with mayonnaise and drizzle it over the mixture.
  • Soups: Add celery stalks and leaves to soups, gravies, etc. as per your choice.

 

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Basil

12 Health Benefits of Basil Leaves – King of Herbs


Basil Leaves health benefits includes supporting healthy brain, managing arthritis, managing stress, slowing down aging, supporting bone health, managing epilepsy and aid metabolism. Other benefits include relieving post menstrual syndrome, providing energy, preventing cancer and supporting eye health.

What is Basil?

Basil is a delicious culinary herb that belongs to the mint, lavender and sage family. Basil is a variation of its actual botanical name, Ocimum Basilium. There are texts and other evidence that basil has been cultivated for 5000 years and may have originated in the Hunan region of China. It is an herb that can easily be grown indoors and does not require a large amount of sunlight. This has made it easier for people around the world to grow it in their houses and reap its benefits.

Basil has a very interesting history and many beliefs attached to it. It was thought to have magical powers of healing and strengthened people during fasting. It was also thought to be a royal herb, used in embalming for the mummification process. The Greeks saw it as a symbol of mourning. The Indians believed that Basil was an herb that protected the poor and also a protector in the afterlife.

This herb was used in Crete to ward of the devil and as a way to detect chastity in a woman. There are also some interesting records that show ancient doctors believed it to be poisonous. After being introduced to the western world in the 16th century, it became the centre of much folklore. One Flemish doctor suggested that if the basil plant or leaf is left between two bricks it turns into a scorpion. Some superstitious had people believe that breathing in the aroma will give you hallucinations of a scorpion. Greece is a land of myths and is known for its mythological creatures. One such creature is the basilisk that had a dragon-like appearance. It was believed that basil was the only cure for its bite.

 

Basil and Religion

The basil plant has very deep roots in Hinduism and is considered a very sacred herb, often regarded as the manifestation of the female Goddess Lakshmi.  It is a very sacred plant that is used for worship and no offering is complete without the Tulsi (Basil) leaf.

Basil and Nutrition

Observations in journals have recorded the following information:

One serving of basil contains 0.2g of protein. It is abundant in vitamins and contains 277IU of vitamin A, 0.9mg of vitamin C, 21.8mcg of vitamin K and 3.6mcg of folate. It is also rich in minerals providing 9.3mg of calcium, 0.2mg of iron, 3.4 mg of magnesium, and 2.9 mg of phosphorous, 15.5 mg of potassium, 0.2 mg of sodium and 0.1 mg of manganese.

It is packed full of nutrients. It has had many medicinal uses since the early ages. The components present in basil help fight many diseases and help build immunity. There has been a lot of research to scientifically understand its benefits.

12 Amazing Health Benefits of Basil Leaves 

 

  1. A Healthy Brain

Cognitive decline has become a rampant problem for the elderly today. However, there have been studies that show that basil consumption is very helpful in preventing cognitive degradation. Basil contains minerals such as manganese, which is observed to increase the electronic transmitter activity in the brain. This activity is associated with mental reflexes. The herb also contains copper, which can help stimulate the mind – enhancing its functionality.

Glucosylceramides metabolism is also associated with the brain’s reflexes. Glucosylceramides also known as Sphingolipids are essentially molecules that act as a protective shield for the brain. This shield protects the brain from free radical and oxidative stress.

  1. Managing Arthritis

Arthritis is a painful disease that often leads to physical disability. Basil has been found to contain beta-caryophyllene, as well. These are associated with effective pain-management. They are also anti-inflammatory chemicals helping soothe the burning sensation in your joints caused by arthritis.  A study conducted on rats showed that they were arthritis-free due to the use of basil in their diet.

  1. Stress Management

Basil contains compounds such as adaptogens. These are compounds that help the body deal with both emotional and physical stress. Basil consumption will help the body maintain a balanced functionality even during stressful events. Ocimum Sanctum or holy basil helps reduce hormone levels as well as the corticosterone levels in the body.

  1. Anti-Aging Properties

It is found to be full of antioxidants. Free radical damage to both the skin and the brain can be a major player in looking and feeling old. The antioxidants in the herb will help reduce the effects of free radical cells and prevent the body and mind from enduring oxidative stress.

  1. Strong Bones

Loss in bone density leads to fragile bone development and several bone related injuries and physical conditions.  This is especially true for women because osteoporosis is more common women than men.  As the nutritional facts show that basil is an excellent source of vitamin K, it is extremely helpful in maintaining healthy bones. Vitamin K helps absorb calcium better.

  1. Managing Epilepsy

Its extract has been observed to reduce spasmodic activity in the brain. Another study conducted on animals shows that the eugenol in basil leaves is also beneficial for the nervous system.

  1. Aids Metabolism

A good metabolic rate is essential to keep the body lean and healthy. Basil is a good source of manganese, which helps the body release enzymes that are beneficial in metabolizing amino acids, cholesterol and carbohydrates. It also helps metabolize vitamins that are glucose related.

  1. Post Menstrual Syndrome

That time of the month can be exceptionally painful for at least 3 out of 4 women. Experiencing cramps, depression and fatigue is a of post menstrual syndrome. However, the manganese present in basil helps relieve these symptoms by balancing your hormones. This in turn helps reduce stress and fatigue.

  1. Source of Energy

It contains copper, which is a vital producer of adenosine tri-phosphate. This is a compound that helps in eliminating the effects of fatigue and exhaustion. It is often recommended to use basil in smoothies to help keep the energy levels high.

  1. Anti-Microbial

It contains volatile compounds that have are antimicrobial in nature. In basil these volatile compounds are found as an essential oil. There are many other essential oils such as eugenol that help prevent the effects of fungi and bacteria.

  1. Anti-Oxidants for Cancer

It contains phenolics and anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants. These have been observed to protect the body from reactive oxygen species that are the main cause of cancerous cell formation.

 

  1. Healthy Eyes

It contains beta-carotene. This is an essential compound that helps prevent muscle degeneration. Basil is also a good source of vitamin Aand Ascorbic acids that is known to cure the dry eye syndrome and Stardgart’s disease.

           

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Athu Gowa

14 Amazing Health Benefits of Cabbage (Athu Gowa)


Cabbage health benefits includes reducing risk of cancer, improving brain and nervous system health, promoting bone health, maintaining blood pressure, detoxifying the body, promoting bowel regularity, regulating sugar level and promoting weight loss. Other benefits include improving health of hair, skin and nails, helping prevent or heal acne, healing stomach ulcers, helping care for the heart, promoting healthy pregnancy and boosting immunity.

What is Cabbage?

Cabbage is a favourite of many people worldwide, providing an affordable and tasty option for a variety of meal options. Cabbages are cruciferous vegetables with the name Brassica oleracea, occurring naturally in colours ranging from green, to purple and even white. Their final size can range drastically, being anywhere from 1lb to 9lbs. in weight.

The cabbage seems to have originated in Europe around 1000BC, after which it was introduced into the Middle East and other areas. Today, cabbages can be found all around the world, making is possible for everyone to experience its benefits.

Nutrition Facts. (Per 100g Raw Serving)

Calories-25.0
Total Carbohydrate – 5.8g
Dietary Fiber – 2.5g 10% RDA
Sugars-3.5g
Protein -1.5g 3% RDA
Vitamin A -98.0IU 2% RDA
Vitamin C -40mg 61% RDA
Vitamin K -76mcg 95% RDA
Thiamin -0.1mg 4% RDA
Vitamin B6 -0.1mg 6% RDA
Folate 43.0mcg 11% RDA
Calcium-40mg 4% RDA
Iron-0.5mg 3% RDA
Magnesium-12mg 3% RDA
Phosphorus-26mg 3% RDA
Potassium-170mg 5% RDA
Manganese-0.2mg 8% RDA

14 Amazing Health Benefits Of Cabbage

 

  1. Helps Reduce Cancer Risk

The cruciferous vegetables are among some of the most well-known foods that boost cancer resistance, thanks to the multifaceted way they work. For one, cabbage is rich in a compound known as DIM, which helps breakdown estrogen into less potent forms. This is great news for both women and men, as it can help to reduce the likelihood of estrogen dependent cancers developing. Cabbage also possesses many anti-oxidants nutrients and various phytochemicals that help reduce the impact of harmful waste material on healthy cells.

  1. Improves Brain And Nervous System Health

Although it is a little known fact, Vitamin K has an important protective action of the brain and its neurons. Neurons are wrapped in a fatty sheath which improves insulation and facilitates optimal nerve conduction, but can be adversely affected by diet. Vitamin K is important in the production of this outer sheath, which is composed of a specialized type of fat known as sphingolipids. Cabbages, especially the red variety, are also very rich sources of a group of compounds known as anthocyanin’s. This compound is reportedly a much more powerful anti-oxidant than Vitamin C, and may play an important role in prevention of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, which appears to have a strong inflammatory link.

  1. Contribute To Bone Health

Cabbages contain many of the nutrients essential for the health of our bones, including calciummagnesium and Vitamin K. these nutrients help prevent bone loss or bone resorption, and can offset conditions related to altered bone metabolism, such as osteoporosis. Consumption of cabbages offers excellent support for post-menopausal women as well, who may be at increased risk for accelerated bone loss.

  1. Help Maintain Blood Pressure

Consumption of most vegetables favourably affects blood pressure, with cabbage no exception. Cabbage is a good source pf potassium which helps regulate blood pressure and heart rhythm, but can also make the blood vessels more flexible to the influence of blood flow. Cabbage can be especially useful when you are restricting sodium but need a little bit of assistance to get your blood pressure under control.

  1. Boost Detoxification

As briefly mentioned before, cabbages have the ability to promote detoxification of waste from the body. This is due to the presence of two very important compounds, DIM and I-3-C. These two compounds are very potent anti-oxidants, helping break down waste, and helping the liver to process them. Their benefits are especially useful to a liver that is constantly bombarded with toxins, such as in alcoholics.

  1. Promotes Bowel Regularity

A diet rich in fiber is a necessary pre-requisite to maintain bowel regularity, something which cabbage generously helps with. A 100g serving of cabbage alone supplies approximately 10% of our daily recommended intake of fiber, making it easier to meet your goals. Plus, since most people eat more than a single 100g serving anyway, it can go a long way. Cabbage contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, which help to feed probiotic colonies in your intestines and help bulk waste matter for easier expulsion.

  1. Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Cabbages are extremely low in sugar, yet high in fiber, a perfect scenario for improving blood sugar. Fiber helps to stagger the speed by which blood sugar enters the blood stream, smoothing out rises and drops in insulin as an accompaniment. Try to include healthy fats with your cabbage meal as well for better blood sugar regulation.

  1. Helps Promote Weight Loss

Cabbage is an extremely low calorie food that can easily be incorporated or made into a variety of dishes, via numerous cooking methods. This leaves room for you to experiment with the method you prefer, that can support a calorie restricted weight loss diet. Cabbage consumption will also help keep you filled for a longer time, so that your diet does not go off track from sugar crashes or hunger pangs.

  1. Improves Health Of Hair, Skin And Nails

Vitamin C is found in abundance in cabbage, and is necessary for collagen synthesis, but that is not all it does. Regular consumption of cabbage can also boost production of another protein named keratin, especially concentrated in hair and nails. Deficiency of this protein will inevitably lead to deterioration of these structural proteins and make you appear older than you really are. Even if you do not make your appearance a priority, nobody would refuse a chance to look better than their age!

  1. Help Prevent Or Heal Acne

Collagen is a protein important in the overall health of your skin, but there is much more at play if you wish to retain radiant skin. One thing that even the best among us struggle with is acne, or the scars left behind as a result of it. Cabbage is rich in elemental Sulphur, which can help prevent subsequent breakouts and minimize the appearance of scars. Many people know Sulphur as the element that gives off the characteristic “smell”, and may explain why cabbage has an odor that may initially seem off-putting to many.

  1. Help Heal Stomach Ulcers

One of the key steps to healing stomach ulcers is to reduce acid production, but anything that promotes active healing will help too. Cabbages, while not excellent sources of protein, do have sufficient amounts of the amino acid glutamine, which is important to the health of our stomach. Glutamine is intimately involved with recovery, and has hasten the time and reduce the discomfort your feel while the ulcer is healing.

  1. Helps Care For Your Heart

Cabbage offers excellent support to the heart, due in part to the presence of potassium and calcium but also for its cholesterol lowering effects. The same compounds that help detoxify waste also helps to remove bile acids in feces. As bile acid is removed, cholesterol is recruited to produce more. This lowers circulating cholesterol and favourably benefits health.

13.Cabbage Promote A Healthy Pregnancy

Cabbage is rich in folate, which is an essential nutrient during pregnancy. It prevents neural tube defects and genetic abnormalities from occurring, and helps a pregnancy proceed to full term (reducing likelihood of premature delivery). Cabbage also contains other nutrients that are favourable to healthy pregnancy, such as calcium.

  1. Cabbage Boosts Immunity

Thanks to the presence of multiple anti-oxidants, cabbage is a potent immune booster. Cabbage is actually very rich in Vitamin C, something not many people are aware of. Its phytochemicals round off excellent support for your immune system.

Conclusion

Cabbages are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, some of the most beneficial vegetables on the planet. Though not everyone enjoys their inherent taste and smell, their versatility and high resistance to heat mean that you can experiment with cooking styles till you find a way that you enjoy. Don’t miss out on the benefits cabbage has to offer.

 

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