In terms of flavors, aromatic herbs are all good! They are not lacking either in terms of their health benefits.
Three good reasons to eat aromatic herbs
Advice from Véronique Liégeois, dietitian-nutritionist.
- Aromatic herbs are low in calories: they do not provide more than 15 to 30 calories per 100 g, which means that they do not weigh anything in the energy balance, especially since more than 20 g are rarely used, i.e. a small bouquet. In addition, they help to limit the addition of salt.
- Aromatic herbs are rich in chlorophyll: this antioxidant substance is essential to fight against the harmful effects of free radicals, responsible for cardiovascular diseases, cancers…
- Aromatic herbs provide vitamin K: This vitamin is essential for blood clotting. It also helps calcium bind to the bones.
Basil, parsley, coriander… Which plant for which benefit?
- Thyme :this aromatic plant contains phenol with antiseptic properties. It helps to fight against respiratory diseases such as coughs or colds.
- Coriander : the antioxidants (phenolic acid, terpenoids, flavonoids, etc.) it contains promote the elimination of heavy metals through the urine.
- Chives : it promotes blood circulation. Its strands contain vitamin C, carotenoids and flavonoids, which protect and strengthen the vein walls.
- The parsley: this aromatic herb contains chlorophyll and phenolic compounds that cleanse the mouth and fight bad breath.
- Rosemary : this Mediterranean plant contains flavonoids with stimulating properties that increase bile secretions, which detoxifies the liver and boosts its proper functioning.
- The Basilic : it helps fight against digestive disorders (spasms, bloating, etc.) thanks to rosmarinic acid, a powerful antioxidant.
Compound in basil may protect against Alzheimer’s disease
A study published in 2021 inFrontiers in Aging Neurosciencehighlights a mechanism associated with the gut microbiome that explains how the fenchol, a natural compound present abundantly in basil, reduces neurotoxicity in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers have found that gut-derived short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that travel in the blood to the brain can bind to and activate free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2), a cell signaling molecule expressed by neurons. Beneficial stimulation for protect brain cells against the toxic accumulation of beta-amyloid (Aβ) protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Among the more than 144,000 natural compounds screened by researchersfenchol was found to be the most potent for mimic the beneficial effect of microbiota-produced SCFAs in activating FFAR2 signaling. However, more research is needed to confirm its beneficial effect on the brain.
- Flavoring salt: place the desired amount of coarse salt in a mortar. Add dried herbs of your choice, pink berries, fennel seeds, etc. Crush with a pestle. Store in an airtight box.
- Dry them well: hang them upside down for several days in a dry, dark place at a temperature between 20 and 30°C. You can also dry them in the oven at 80°C, door open, for 4 hours
- Freeze them well: Once the herbs have been washed, chop them. Spread them in an ice cube tray, cover them with water. They keep their appearance and taste and are used like fresh herbs.
- Perfume oil: scald a bottle for 15 minutes to sterilize it. Take it out and dry it. Place the chosen, washed and dried grass there. Pour the oil. Close tightly. Taste after 15 days, keep cool.
Healthy recipes with aromatic herbs
Looking for inspiration? Here are some healthy recipes that are easy to cook: