It’s time to wake up and feel the warm breeze of vibrant health this May! Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. Now is as good a time as any to start on your journey to vibrant health and The Food Evolution is here to help kick start your adventure.
Revitalizing, rejuvenating and detoxifying your body are some of the key goals when approaching the summer beach-body season and one of the best ways to start is with food! As Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Little did Hippocrates know, his powerful statement would be a key phrase today for those searching for a healthier lifestyle.
Some of the most underrated yet nutrition packed components to revving up a healthy lifestyle are fresh herbs! These mini dark leafy greens provide more than decoration to a pretty plate at a restaurant. Fresh herbs pack healing, energizing and cleansing qualities that not all foods can boast.
Unique anti-oxidants, essential oils and tons of vitamins packed into these small greens equip our bodies to fight against germs, toxins and boost our body’s immunity. Check out some of our favorite fresh herbs below for more information and tips on their nutritional and medicinal uses!
The Beauty of Basil
This little herb, famous for its addition to many Italian dishes, packs a nutritional punch! Incorporating Basil leaves into sauces, pesto or atop a tomato salad does more than intensify the flavor. Basil is a disease-preventing and health promoting herb, low in calories and rich in vitamins and minerals. Sounds great right?
The essential oils found in the leaves of Basil have been proven to inhibit bacteria that have become resistant to common antibiotic drugs. Volatile oils in Basil provide symptomatic relief for those with inflammatory health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, proving that Basil is a natural medicinal remedy stronger (and cheaper) than prescription drugs!
Basil boasts exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene which protect the body from free-radicals that provoke aging and diseases such as diabetes, colon cancer and atherosclerosis. Among other prominent vitamins found in basil is vitamin K, which promotes bone and blood health. If this isn’t enough, basil ranks high in a good source of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium which promotes cardiovascular health.
Basil is most widely known for its inclusion in various pestos and sauces due to its fragrance and flavor. It’s also a great addition to any grain, seafood or veggie platter, but when cooking be sure to add it at the last minute in order to retain its essence and flavor.
For a quick, satisfying basil fix, try out our Featured Recipe of the Month. It’s a great way to revitalize your day and as an added bonus, local raw honey is great for seasonal allergies! Enjoy warm with your breakfast or chilled for a refreshing summer drink.
Don’t Pass on the Parsley!
Wondering what the deal is with that little sprig of parsley on the edge of your entree? Well, this petite leafy green is worth much more than just decoration!
Parsley is a fragrant, nutrient rich herb known for numerous health and medicinal benefits.
This powerhouse herb boasts a wide array of vitamins that aid in disease prevention. Thevitamin A and beta-carotene in parsley are strong anti-oxidants that reduce the risk for diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Parsley also houses numerous essential B vitamins which play a vital role in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism as well as heart health. That’s right, disease prevention and a metabolism boost in one small sprig of green!
Suffering from joint pain? Add a little extra parsley to your dish! The vitamin C in parsley prevents inflammation which is essential in protecting against arthritis. Parsley has also been found to inhibit tumor formation thanks to its essential oils.
The next time parsley appears on your plate, instead of brushing it aside incorporate it into your meal and let it improve your health! Sprinkle it onto your veggies or save a leaf to chew on after dinner to cleanse your palate and eliminate that lingering garlic breath. Parsley, like many fresh herbs, is also valuable for your outer body as well. If you’re suffering from a small itchy rash or a bug bite, whip up a fresh parsley paste and dab it on. Pound fresh parsley leaves into a paste and mix with a little water for an instant itch-be-gone!
Cleanse with Cilantro
Nothing zests up the flavor of a black bean burger quite like cilantro. The delicate leaves of this herb contain not only a strong, pungent flavor but powerful cleansing agents as well! You may want to re-think dissing cilantro for it’s sharp (yet refreshing!) flavor when you check out its numerous health benefits.
Cilantro is known for being effective in toxic metal cleansing. It is an inexpensive and natural way to cleanse your body of heavy metal like mercury, arsenic which can accumulate in tissue, unfortunately due to environmental and dietary exposures. Add a handful of cilantro to your next green smoothie and let it do it’s natural work!
This little flavor-packed herb is also a strong anti-oxidant, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.The anti-oxidant properties of cilantro, like many other fresh herbs, protect against diseases like cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Those caught under the wrath of thecommon cold will be happy to find that the organic alcohol, borneol, in Cilantro destroys the viruses and germs usually carried with the cold or flu. Create your own natural antibiotic! Add two teaspoons of cilantro leaves in one cup of hot water may help do the trick!
Cilantro’s leaves are found to have digestive and carminative properties as well. Carminative is very useful for expelling gases of the digestive tract which reduces bloating, alleviates colic, and prevents gas, heartburn, nausea and stomach cramps.The muscle-calming qualities of cilantro can relieve stress and tension in muscles and joints which may aid in promoting digestion.
Cilantro is a versatile, low-cost, natural remedy for detoxifying and disinfecting your body and promoting optimal health! What more can you ask for in such a zesty little herb?