Fresh basil is a popular herb used in Italian cuisine. It belongs to the mint family and has a subtle sweet flavor and a strong aroma. Cooking with fresh basil not only adds flavor to your dishes but also provides numerous health benefits. In this article, we will discuss the benefits of cooking with fresh basil.
1. Improves Digestion
Basil contains enzymes that help in the breakdown of food in the stomach, aiding digestion. It also stimulates the production of digestive juices, which further promotes digestion. Consuming dishes that include fresh basil can prevent digestive problems like bloating, constipation, and gas.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Fresh basil contains essential oils that have anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it a great ingredient to add in dishes for those suffering from arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Consuming basil can help reduce the swelling and pain associated with inflammation.
3. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
Basil contains flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants that help protect cells from oxidative damage. These flavonoids also help to maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Including fresh basil in your dishes can help improve cardiovascular health.
4. Boosts Immunity
Fresh basil has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, which can help prevent infections and boost immunity. Basil is also rich in vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system. Adding fresh basil to your dishes during cold and flu season can help keep your immune system strong.
5. Helps in Weight Loss
Basil is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an ideal ingredient for those watching their weight. The fiber in basil helps to keep you feeling full for longer, reducing the urge to overeat. Including fresh basil in your meals can help in weight loss efforts.
6. Promotes Healthy Skin
Basil contains essential oils and antioxidants that make it beneficial for the skin. The antioxidants protect the skin from environmental damage, while the essential oils can help reduce the signs of aging. Using fresh basil in your skincare routine can help promote healthy skin.
In conclusion, cooking with fresh basil has numerous benefits. It improves digestion, reduces inflammation, promotes cardiovascular health, boosts immunity, aids in weight loss, and promotes healthy skin. Adding fresh basil to your dishes not only enhances their flavors but also provides a wealth of health benefits. So, next time you are cooking Italian cuisine, reach for the fresh basil instead of the dried one.