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Health Benefits of Basil | How to Prepare Basil

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benefits of basil

Health Benefits of Basil | How to Prepare Basil

Basil was once thought to be a sacred and noble herb native to India, Asia, and Africa. The word “basil” is derived from the ancient Greek word “basilikhon,” which means “royal.”

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Ocimum basilicum (basil’s scientific name) is now grown in many parts of the world. Basil is grown in many people’s kitchens and gardens. This fragrant herb is used to season a wide range of dishes and is particularly popular in Italian and Thai cuisines.

Basil comes in over 60 different varieties, with sweet basil being one of the most popular. The leaves of the herb are rounded and often pointed. Although some varieties have purple or red hints in their leaves, it’s a bright green plant.

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Sweet basil has a strong aroma and a distinct flavor. Different basil varieties have slightly different flavors. Lemon basil, for example, has a tangy lemon flavor, whereas mint basil has a refreshing minty flavor.

Basil is a colorful and flavorful addition to a variety of dishes. It can also have significant health benefits.

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Health Benefits of Basil

Many vitamins and minerals are found in basil, as well as antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Many of basil’s health benefits are derived from its antioxidants and essential oils. These compounds are mostly lost during the drying process, so use fresh basil whenever possible to reap the greatest benefits.

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Basil has the following health benefits:

Oxidative Stress Reduction

Antioxidants abound in basil. Sweet basil contains eugenol, while lime and lemon basils contain limonene. These antioxidants, along with anthocyanins and beta-carotene, aid in the fight against free radicals in the body, which can cause cell damage and increase your risk of a variety of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes.

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Cancer Avoidance

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is not the same as the sweet basil used in your favorite recipes. Nonetheless, its phytochemicals have been shown to help protect against various types of cancer, including lung cancer, liver cancer, oral cancer, and skin cancer.

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Blood Sugar Control

Including basil in your diet may help to lower your blood sugar levels. Basil extract was found to help with this in a study on diabetic rats. Basil may also be beneficial in the long-term treatment of high blood sugar.

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Preventing Heart Disease

Basil’s eugenol can block calcium channels, which may help lower blood pressure. The herb’s essential oils can help lower your cholesterol and triglycerides. Basil also contains magnesium, which promotes blood flow by relaxing muscles and blood vessels.

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Better Mental Health

Tulsi is a well-known Ayurvedic herb. According to research, it has numerous advantages, including improving your mental health. It contains compounds that can reduce anxiety and depression, improve your ability to think clearly, and lower your risk of age-related memory loss.

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ReducedInflammation

Basil essential oils, such as eugenol, linalool, and citronellol, can help fight inflammation in the body. These anti-inflammatory properties may aid in the prevention of inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Heart disease and bowel problems

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Anti-Infection Protection

Basil contains antibacterial compounds. The oils in the herb may aid in the fight against bacteria in people suffering from respiratory, urinary, abdominal, and skin infections.

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Per Serving Nutrients

2 tablespoons (5 grams) fresh chopped basil contains:

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  • 1 calorie
  • 0.2 gram protein
  • 0 gram fat
  • 0.1 gram carbohydrate
  • 0.1 gram fiber
  • 0 gram sugar

Basil also contains a variety of other essential nutrients. These nutrients are as follows:

  • Calcium
  • A vitamin
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin K
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Potassium

How to Cook Basil

Fresh basil can be found in the produce section of most supermarkets. If you need dried basil, look for it alongside other dried herbs and spices. When purchasing fresh basil, look for leaves that are vibrant and deep green. Refrigerate it wrapped in a slightly damp cloth or paper towel.

Basil can be used in a variety of ways. If you’re looking for something to add to your diet, consider the following:

  • Combine basil, fresh mozzarella cheese, and tomato slices in a baking dish; season with freshly cracked black pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Finish a freshly cooked pizza or pasta dish with it (whole or chopped)
  • It’s great in homemade soups and sauces.
  • It’s great in pesto or hummus.
  • In a lasagna, combine it with vegetables.
  • Make a salad with it, like grilled corn salad or watermelon salad.
  • Using a couple of small basil leaves, decorate vanilla ice cream.

When cooking with basil, keep in mind that the leaves should be added near the end of the process. Because the oils in the herb are volatile, adding it at the end allows it to retain more of its delicious flavor.

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