Packed with essential nutrients and powerful anti-oxidants, basil leaves offer a wide range of advantages for both physical and mental well-being. Whether enjoyed in a delicious pesto sauce or brewed into a refreshing tea, incorporating basil leaves into your daily routine can support digestion, boost immunity, and promote overall vitality. Join us as we explore the remarkable health benefits of basil leaves and discover why this humble herb deserves a special place in your wellness regimen.
What are Basil Leaves?
Basil leaves are the green, fragrant leaves of the basil plant (Ocimum basilicum), which is a member of the mint family. Basil is a popular herb used in various cuisines around the world, particularly in Mediterranean and Asian cooking. It has a sweet, slightly peppery flavour that adds depth and freshness to dishes. Basil leaves are often used fresh in salads, sauces, soups, and as a topping for pizzas and pasta dishes. They can also be dried or made into oils and extracts for culinary and medicinal purposes. Basil leaves are known for their rich aroma and are a key ingredient in traditional Italian pesto sauce.
Nutritional Value of Basil Leaves
Basil leaves are not only valued for their flavour and aroma but also for their nutritional profile. Here is an overview of the nutritional value of basil leaves per 100 grams:
- Calories: 22
- Carbohydrates: 2.7 grams
- Protein: 3.1 grams
- Fat: 0.6 grams
- Fibre: 1.6 grams
- Vitamin K: 414% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin A: 175% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 18% of the DV
- Calcium: 18% of the DV
- Iron: 8% of the DV
- Magnesium: 6% of the DV
Basil leaves are particularly rich in vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health. They are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. Additionally, basil leaves contain various beneficial plant compounds, including flavonoids and volatile oils, which contribute to their potential health benefits.
Benefits Of Basil Leaves
- Rich in anti-oxidants that help fight oxidative tension and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
- Supports healthy digestion by promoting the secretion of digestive enzymes and easing indigestion.
- Contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that may help combat infections.
- Supports a healthy immune system due to its immune-boosting properties.
- May help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to various health conditions.
- Contains essential nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin A, and calcium that support bone health.
Most Common Uses for Basil
Basil is a versatile herb that is widely used in various culinary dishes and preparations. Here are some of the most common uses for basil:
Basil is the key ingredient in traditional Italian pesto sauce, made by blending fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. It is commonly used as a pasta sauce, spread, or dip.
Soups and Sauces:
Basil leaves can be added to soups, stews, and sauces, such as tomato sauce or curry, to enhance the flavour and aroma.
Fresh basil leaves can be torn or chopped and added to salads for a burst of freshness and a hint of peppery flavour.
Sandwiches and Wraps:
Basil leaves can be used as a topping or ingredient in sandwiches, wraps, or paninis to add a layer of herbal goodness.
Infused Oils and Vinegars:
Basil leaves can be infused in oils or vinegar to create flavoured bases for dressings, marinades, or dips.
Dried or fresh basil leaves can be used to make soothing herbal teas, which are believed to have calming and digestive properties
Basil leaves offer a treasure trove of health benefits, supporting digestion, boosting immunity, reducing inflammation, and promoting overall well-being. Incorporating basil into your diet adds flavour and nourishment, providing a simple yet powerful addition to your wellness routine. Discover the remarkable health benefits of basil leaves for a healthier and vibrant life.
Q: How healthy is basil for you?
A: Basil is highly nutritious, packed with essential nutrients and anti-oxidants that contribute to overall health and well-being.
Q: Does basil clean the liver?
A: While basil has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for its potential liver-protective properties, there is limited scientific evidence to support its direct role in cleansing the liver.
Q: Can I boil basil leaves and drink?
A: Yes, boiling basil leaves to make a herbal infusion or tea is a popular method to enjoy its potential health benefits, including its soothing and digestive properties.
Basil: Nutrition, Health Benefits, Uses and More, By Marsha McCulloch, on October 17, 2018
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