Neeyaz Zolfaghari is an Integrative Nutritionist, Lifestyle Coach, and Founder of Unspoken Nutrition
The use of herbs has been cherished and respected for thousands of years. Nearly every culture uses various herbs to season their dishes, use for medicinal remedies and some even for cosmetic and beauty purposes.
Using herbs in the kitchen is a sure way of getting a robust amount of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Each herb on its own boasts unique benefits for overall health and when combined, can create aromatic and flavorful dishes.
Here are some of the herbs we love to use in the kitchen and their benefits:
Mint is a gatekeeper to relieving digestive upset and ease respiratory issues. Because it can help clear out sinuses, it’s used often in combination with hot water and honey to relieve sore throats, calm coughs and soothe asthma and bronchitis. Applying mint or peppermint oil onto your temples can also help to soothe headaches.
Fenugreek is often used as a cooking spice, because it has a nutty flavor profile. Just 1 tbsp of fenugreek seeds contains 20% of the daily recommended value of iron and 3 grams of soluble fiber. Because of its high fiber content, fenugreek can help alleviate bloating and constipation. It’s oily properties help ease the digestive system by offering a protective layer over the gastrointestinal tract.
This aromatic herb has been shown to treat gastrointestinal disorders, ease digestion, offer relief from diarrhea and even help to lower cholesterol levels. Consider adding fresh dill to a salad or dried dill in steamed rice with lemony chicken or fish.
When brewed as a tea, rosemary has been shown to help lower blood sugar, making it a staple for those struggling with diabetes or high glucose. It has also been shown that smelling rosemary can help improve brain health, boost memory and act as a protective effect against neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimers. Get to diffusing!
Tarragon is a great source of essential minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and iron. Chewing on fresh tarragon helps relieve mouth and tooth pain and kill germs that can lead to bad breath. It can also be added to sauces, pesto and even in a green goddess dressing.
The story goes that Aphrodite, the goddess of love, grew marjoram and it was ever since used in love potions. While that may or may not be true, marjoram is packed with nutritional benefits also. The fresh herb contains an exceptionally high amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K and potassium. Marjoram compliments well with other herbs, so consider adding it to a vegetable mixture of various root vegetables and baking it until the flavors are well combined. It can also be steeped and brewed as a tea.
However you choose to enjoy them, incorporating these and other herbs into your diet and routine is an easeful way of absorbing more nutrients and thus, supporting your health and wellness overall.