5 Herbs That Will Love You Back
Julie Folsom, Paducah’s newest Nutritional Therapy Consultant, has a few tips for using herbs to improve your overall health. From health benefits to recipe suggestions, Julie gives us the low-down on five of her favorite herbs.
Suffering from headaches, stomach disorders, heart disease, inflammation or just the common cold? If so, fresh basil might be just what the doctor ordered.
“Basil is one of the most used and best loved culinary herbs and for good reason,” Julie says. “Basil settles the stomach and improves the appetite. It’s also a natural disinfectant.”
Who knew! Julie suggests using basil in pesto or preparing a simple tomato and basil sandwich.
“The aroma of basil has a magical way of making you feel happy! A pot of basil growing in a window will provide zest to winter dishes and will inspire dreams of summer,” Julie says.
If you’re feeling tired, or working to manage high blood pressure or diabetes, then you might begin incorporating fresh rosemary into your diet.
“Rosemary stimulates the central nervous system and circulation, which is beneficial for helping to lower blood pressure and sluggishness. When rosemary is combined with other natural herbs, it can be a great tool to help manage diabetes as well,” Julie says.
Other benefits of the herb include improving memory and concentration. Julie suggests roasting fresh rosemary with pork, beef and chicken. It also serves as a tasty complement to roasted vegetables.
For centuries, thyme has been used as a medicinal herb. It can help settle the stomach, and relieve aches and pains. It’s also been used as a sleep aid.
“Thyme is one of the best herbs to use as a cough and cold remedy. It acts as an expectorant to clear the lungs of congestion. It can also be used as an antitussive to calm cough spasms,” Julie says.
Julie says an easy way to incorporate thyme into one’s diet is to sample thyme tea. If you’re not a tea drinker, then you might enjoy using it in some traditional southern Italian pasta sauces. It can be a flavor enhancer for vegetables, roasted potatoes and tomatoes.
“Would you believe that oregano is ranked first among the culinary herbs as a potent antioxidant?” Julie tells us. “Oregano’s medicinal properties can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant compounds that it contains.”
According to some clinical studies, oregano contains compounds that could possibly help protect against heart disease, stroke and cancers.
A great place to add oregano is to pizzas, pasta sauces and soups.
Believe it or not, parsley can be used for a lot more than garnish on a platter. It’s high in iron and rich in Vitamins A, B and C. Parsley has a high concentration of boron and fluoride, which some think may protect against osteoporosis and bone thinning. In addition to this, parsley also contains some trace minerals.
Julie says that parsley aids in digestion and can help prevent gas and bloating. No wonder so many restaurants are using this green goddess of the culinary world! So add it to your favorite dishes and reap the rewards.
Midtown Market carries a wide selection of both fresh and dried herbs. If you’re looking for more menu suggestions, pop your head over our deli counter and we’ll give you a list of our favorites as well.