Herbs can be used in an unlimited number of ways. The more you use herbs, the more adventurous you will become. Besides boosting the flavours, smells, looks and textures in your meals, the more herbs you try, the wider the variety of potential health benefits you are likely to receive.
Consuming herbs may help to prevent and manage heart disease, cancer and diabetes. It may also help to reduce blood clots and provide anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour properties. Research is ongoing but studies have shown that:
Garlic, linseed, fenugreek and lemongrass may help lower cholesterol.
Garlic is useful for people with mildly elevated blood pressure.
Fenugreek can help control blood sugar and insulin activity (as can linseed, flaxseed and cinnamon).
Garlic, onions, chives, leeks, mint, basil, oregano, sage and many other herbs can help protect against cancer.
Herbs are rich in antioxidants, especially cloves, cinnamon, sage, oregano and thyme, by helping to reduce low-density lipoproteins ('bad' cholesterol).
Fresh herbs often contain higher antioxidant levels compared to processed or dried herbs but if you are using herbs in order to harness their health-promoting aspects first and foremost, aim to add your fresh herbs at the end of cooking or as you serve to preserve these properties.
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