are a great way to enhance flavor without adding extra sodium and
calories. Did you know that herbs have
some health benefits? Herbs contain
antioxidants, which help to protect your cells from damage, and other nutrients
that may protect against cancer and other diseases.
easy plants to grow. They can be grown
outside in a garden but can also do well in a container, indoors or out. If you don’t have fresh herbs, dried herbs
have similar flavor and health benefits. Make sure to keep dried herbs in an
airtight container and discard after one year or by the “sell by” date,
whichever comes first.
Basil is a good source of Vitamin K,
Vitamin A, manganese and magnesium.
Oils and extracts of this member of
the mint family have been shown to have antibacterial and antioxidant
Try basil in pesto, black bean soup,
fruit ice or sorbet, or add fresh basil to salads. Grill a sandwich with fresh basil leaves,
low-fat mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes.
Dill is a good source of calcium,
fiber, iron, magnesium and manganese.
It contains monoterpenes, which have
been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Dill has also been shown to enhance digestion and bone health.
Try dill in salads, fish dishes,
soups and dips. The seeds (ground or
whole) are delicious in breads, cheeses, salad dressings—and for pickling
cucumbers and other vegetables.
contains the antioxidant rosmarinic acid along with essential oils that have
anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.
It is also a good source of B-vitamin, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and
Use rosemary to flavor soups, baked
vegetables, and potato and meat dishes. Sprinkle fresh rosemary on pizza crust
and drizzle with olive oil and parmesan cheese.
Chives are a good source of Vitamin C
and K, folic acid, and the minerals iron, zinc, and calcium.
Chives contain the antioxidant
allicin, which has been shown to decrease cholesterol. They also have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal
Sweet mild flavored chives can be
added to salads, stir-fries, soups and stews.
Try them in muffins, scones, quiche and pizza.
Oregano contains Vitamin A, Vitamin
C, potassium, calcium and iron.
Oregano’s essential oils have
antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Oregano is part of the Mediterranean
Diet, along with olive oil, fish, lots of greens, herbs and vegetables.
Use oregano in tomato sauce, or as a
Mint is an excellent source of
potassium, calcium, iron, and a good source of Vitamins A, C, E and K as well
as B-complex vitamins.
Mint can be added to salads, sauces,
and drinks. It can be chopped and added
to garlic, lemon juice and plain yogurt for a healthy salad dressing.
Thyme is a source of Vitamin C,
Vitamin A, potassium, iron, manganese, copper and fiber.
Thyme’s essential oil, thymol, has
antimicrobial properties and has been shown to protect against foodborne
bacterial illnesses. It is also used to
Sprinkle thyme on cooked vegetables
to preplace butter or margarine, add to scrambled eggs and salad dressings, and
use in chicken salad and chicken soup.