Food & Recipes

6 Healthy Herbs

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6 Healthy Herbs

These 6 tasty, fragrant herbs are full of health benefits — here’s how to add them to your diet

Tasty? Check. Fragrant? Check. Healthy? Check. Not only pleasing to the palate and the sniffer, these herbs offer unique health benefits, too, says Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., fellowship director for the Arizona Center of Integrative Medicine, in Tucson. They’ve got minimal calories and zero salt, so go ahead and liberally add these fresh herbs to your favorite foods.

Basil

Toss two teaspoons onto pizza to get 5 percent of your daily requirement of magnesium, a mineral that works to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heartbeats steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.

Dill

Dress up tuna salad and you could be helping your body maintain healthy cholesterol levels at the same time. Named after a Norwegian word that means “to lull,” dill can also have a soothing effect and may relieve indigestion.

Rosemary

Add it to marinades to help cut your cancer risk; its antioxidants may combat potential carcinogens created when meats are broiled or grilled at temps above 400 degrees F.

Cilantro

Stir into salsa to top your tacos for a tasty way to reduce potential bacterial contamination in the meat. The Romans used the herb to preserve meat more than 2,000 years ago! Cilantro is also traditionally used to promote healthy digestion.

Thyme

Sprinkle two teaspoons of dried thyme into a stew or salad dressing to get nearly 20 percent of your daily iron needs. It’s often used in tea or found in cough syrups to ease dry, hacking coughs and to soothe a sore throat, as well.

Parsley

Mix two teaspoons of dried parsley into a salad for 150 percent of your daily vitamin K needs, which is important for healthy blood clotting and bone health. You’ll also be getting a nice dose of vitamin C and vitamin A.