Basil A Healthy Herb
A sweet smelling herb, basil is used in worldwide cuisines. It is mostly used by Southeast Asian countries as well as central Africa. Basil is mostly used for its leaves and is grown in warm weather. This plant is easy to grow in summers, and its leaves should be picked quite often to let the plant grow further. Basil is also said to be the mint family member. There are different types of basil that are grown all over the world, including them are purple basil, sweet basil, Thai basil, and lemon basil. Commonly used basil is sweet basil that is used in an everyday pasta recipe. Basil comes with countless health benefits as it is full of supreme nutrients. Some of the different types of basil are listed below.
Types of Basil
- Its strong fragrance makes it different.
- People grow this type of basil usually at homes in a pot.
- It has a mild flavor when used in cooking.
- It looks like a bush with little leaves.
- Sweet basil is grown and used worldwide.
- It is mostly used in Italian cuisine.
- It tastes like a licorice-clove.
- Dried sweet basil is also used in different foods.
- This type of basil also tastes like licorice-clove.
- It is distinguished with soft, wrinkled and comparatively large leaves.
- People use this type of basil in salads and also toss it with olive and tomatoes.
- Cinnamon basil has roots in Mexico.
It smells and tastes like cinnamon.
- It is commonly used beside fried vegetables, legumes, or some spicy food.
- Its flavor is like anise-licorice.
- It belongs to Thai.
- It is mostly used in Southeast Asian cuisine and Thai cuisine.
Nutritive value of basil
Basil is also blessed with various healthy nutrients.
- It is full of macronutrients like vitamin k and calcium.
Basil leaves supply a variety of antioxidants.
Basil plants also contain iron, minerals, and some B vitamins.
There are various nutrients present in one tablespoon of different quantities.
One tablespoon basil
Lutein and zeaxanthin
A healthy herb
Basil leaves are healthy for the human body in numerous ways. It is also used as a medicated herb. Most people deal with plenty of health issues using basil essential oil. Formerly basil plant was used to treat the snakebites, inflammation, and cold, but now basil leaves are used not just for flavor in food but also for many health concerns.
The decrease in oxidative stress basic leaves help the body to remove the oxidative stress by acting as antioxidants. Antioxidants are especially important for abolishing the free radicals that gather in the body. Free radicals are the results of some natural processes in the body like metabolism, and they can also develop due to smoking and consuming unhealthy meals. To remove these free radicals, antioxidants work in the body. If antioxidants fail to work, these free radicals can result in oxidative stress that leads to broken cells and diseases like diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. The human body has the capability to produce antioxidants on its own, but it can also retrieve antioxidants from the food. Basil is a good source of antioxidants that a small quantity should be added to any of the meals.
- For healthy liver
A study in 2015 proved that basil has some healthy effects on the liver. Its detoxification properties keep the liver healthy. The liver has some crucial functions to perform in the body; one of those is to help in metabolism. Basil intercepts the fats that gather around the liver and affects its functions.
- For skincare
Basil leaves can also be used for skin care as it has the quality to remove dirt and cleanse the skin. People struggling with oily skin can be benefitted by basil leaves as these leaves clear up the pores from impurities and dirt. Basil leaves paste along with rose water makes the skin glow and clean. Basil extracts can also be used as anti-aging formulas. It removes wrinkles and roughness. Above all, it hydrates the skin to keep it nourished.
- Works in depression
Basil helps in regulating neurotransmitters that induce hormones related to happiness. Basil oil is considered helpful in anxiety and depression. Basil leaves contain some anti-inflammatory properties that improve the immune system and manage moods.
- Helps in cancer
A research in 2013 proved that basil and tulsi both have the ability to fight against cancer. According to the research, a molecule named phytochemical prevents different types of cancers like liver, lung, oral, and skin. The right number of antioxidants in the body hinder the activity of cell deaths and cell divisions that leads to cancer. Basil has antioxidant properties and can be used to stay away from such fatal diseases.
- Helps in diabetes
Daily intake of the right amount of basil can help diabetic patients as it slower downs the process of releasing sugar in the blood. Basil also manages the balance of sugar in the blood.
- Helps in high blood pressure
A study showed that basil consumption could lower down the high blood pressure in the minimum time. Basil has a eugenol component that balances the blood pressure in the body.
- Improves digestion process
Basil is a healthy herb for the tummy as it regulates the acids and manages the anti-inflammatory process to digest the food properly. The Eugenol component present in basil improves the metabolism process.
Basil cures a variety of diseases, including cough, sore throat, fever, flu, and headache. It is recommended that the right amount of basil should be consumed daily to keep the body healthy.
Best ways to use basil
Basil is a flavored herb that people usually enjoy. There is a variety of basil used all over the world, and all of them present different flavors. Mostly used basil is sweet basil used in various countries. Basil is used in many ways; some of them are written below.
- People usually chop fresh basil and sprinkle it over pizza or use it in wraps.
- Basil is also used to marinade along with garlic and olive oil.
- Basil leaves are also spread over tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in sandwiches.
- Basil is also friendly to soups and sauces.
Fresh basil leaves is the best dressing for any salad.
Healthy basil recipe
There are different ways to get the benefits of basil. Basil is used in various dishes, including pasta, salad, and drinks. Mostly the fresh basil leaves of basil are spread over pizzas, fried chickens, and vegetables, etc.
Following is the healthy basil dressing recipe that is also easy to make at home. The following recipe is from an Italian cousin and only takes 5 minutes to be prepared. Ingredients include.
- Thyme half teaspoon
- Basil half teaspoon
- Dijon Mustard one teaspoon
- Two garlic cloves
- Olive oil one fourth cup
- Salt half teaspoon
- Oregano half teaspoon
- Pepper half teaspoon
- Onion powder half teaspoon
- White wine vinegar three-tablespoon
Further, take a mason jar, mix all of the above ingredients, and shake it well. This recipe can be used as dressing alongside many dishes, and it is suggested to be served instantly. This dressing can be refrigerated for up to one week. Two tablespoons of this healthy basil dressing contain 117 calories, 12.7 grams fats, 0.2 grams protein, 0.2 grams of sugar, and 0.3 grams fiber.
Every food has its pros and cons; that is why it is always recommended that only the right amount of food should be consumed; otherwise, it would lead to disastrous results. The high intake of basil can also affect the health.
Basil is a rich source of vitamin K that plays a key role in blood clotting. The high intake of basil will lead to blood clots in the body. People who are already on any medication should consult the doctor before consuming basil as basil has some negative effects on some of the medicines like warfarin. People who have the issue of thick blood are suggested to avoid basil and consult the doctor first.
Basil is a member of the mint family. Most people are allergic to mint. If symptoms like swelling, hives, or difficulty in breathing appear after consuming basil, one should rush to the doctor.
There are many kinds of basil leaves, and it is an herb. It has some significant nutrients that can help your body to fight against diseases, especially related to the liver. Besides its nutrient significance, its aroma can enhance the taste of your food. The basil is used widely for making herbal teas and some supplements. These supplements are produced majority by adding some sweets to increase the health advantages like controlling blood sugar levels and mitigating the stress, and making you relax. However, there is much research needed to be done on the different types of basil to uncover its health benefits.