This plant is regarded as a holy herb, which usually grows in tropical climates and offers a plenty of health benefits. But, it can be grown indoors and outdoors and is very easy to maintain.
In addition, basil is one of the healthiest herbs known to mankind. Basil is highly versatile, so it can be used in a variety of ways, and has a pungent flavor. What’s more important, it has one of the highest sources of vitamin K and only two tablespoons of basil actually provide 29% of the RDI of this nutrient.
The herb abounds in beta-carotenes and vitamin A, which are two strong antioxidants, preventing free radical damage, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, too.
Basil also contains iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, calcium, flavonoids, and great antibacterial properties.
Here are basil’s health benefits
1. Antioxidant properties
It has been scientifically confirmed that basil can protect from various chemicals and carcinogens.
2. Natural antibiotic
It can serve as potent antibiotic, helping in the treatment of various diseases. When combined with garlic its effects are even more enhanced.
3. Blood vessel cleaner
Its effectiveness in preventing various cardiovascular diseases is thanks to its capacity to clean the blood vessels from bad cholesterol, medicinally referred as LDL cholesterol.
4. Other excellent health benefits
Basil helps in cases of a cough, flu, warts, diarrhea, parasites, kidney problems, constipation, and so on.
How to use basil?
Even though the exact amount has not been established yet, but it is worth mentioning that herbs and spices are a perfect addition to the total antioxidant intake obtained from the diet. Namely, basil is calorie-free but rich in vitamins, calcium, zinc, magnesium, dietary fiber, and potassium.
Moreover, chopped basil can be used instead of cheese or salt to flavor dishes or spice up dull greens. Also, it goes well with soups, spicy curries, tomato-mozzarella salad, and pasta sauce.
If you are hesitant and cannot decide between dry or fresh basil, try the latter to reap the most benefits since the drying process actually destroys much of its antioxidant compounds and essential oils. Although other options are not as effective, but you can also use basil oils and teas.
To sum up, there are a number of ways to include basil into your daily diet and add flavor to your dishes, so that it provides an incredible health boost.