5 Reasons: This is why basil is healthy
In salads, as pesto, or even in strawberry ice cream, basil gives every dish a refreshing taste. But the herb also offers many benefits for our health and is said to be good for digestion, among other things. Find out everything else about calories and nutrients and what exactly makes basil healthy here.
Basil belongs to the Labiates family and is often also known as a royal herb or basil. Especially in summer, green spice is indispensable in salads or other dishes at the barbecue. The slightly sweet and peppery note rounds off the taste of salads, pesto, or sauces. But basil not only scores in terms of taste but also has many valuable ingredients that are good for our health. Ref.
Basil nutritional values at a glance
Basil has a variety of essential ingredients. A first overview of available nutrients is given in the following table:
|BASIL RAW||PER 100 GRAMS|
|Dietary fiber 3||3 g|
#1. Protects against chronic diseases
Basil contains substances that have quite positive effects on our health, which is why the herb is also used in traditional Chinese medicine. In a study, the essential oils were extracted using various methods, and the following were found: Basil has several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (from the essential oils) that can be used to treat a variety of illnesses. This refers to diseases caused by oxidative stress.
In addition, it has now been proven that damage caused by free radicals promotes the development of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular disease, and inflammation.
Free radicals are generated during metabolic processes and are triggered, for example, by cigarette smoke or other harmful substances from the environment. Antioxidant substances, such as those found in basil, counteract these substances and thus protect us from the diseases just mentioned. This is one reason why basil is healthy.
Basil can protect us from chronic diseases such as Parkinson’s due to its essential oils, which have an anti-inflammatory effect.
#2. Helps with constipation
With 3 grams of fiber per 100 grams, basil is one of the high-fiber plant foods and is on par with carrots, for example. It has been proven that a diet rich in fiber can positively influence our health, including digestion.
Thus, scientists have found a positive effect of dietary fiber, specifically in the case of constipation. Accordingly, an increased bowel movement could be observed in patients with these complaints. Although researchers do not agree on a conclusive result, they confirm an increased intake of dietary fiber as a recommendable therapy for constipation.
So it’s worth incorporating the aromatic herb (frozen even in winter, for example) into your daily diet, which explains why basil is healthy.
Basil can help with constipation due to its high fiber content and can also be used as a form of therapy.
#3. May act as a natural antibiotic
The essential oils contained in basil are responsible for this. These have been proven to have an antifungal effect, which means that they counteract the development of fungi. Basil can therefore be used as protection against mycotic diseases, i.e., those caused by fungi.
One study, for example, investigated the extent to which these oils correlate with the development of the well-known coliform bacteria. Astonishing results were found: Regular consumption of basil counteracts the growth of all strains of these bacteria. But basil oil, in particular, can inhibit the development of these bacteria.
Coliform bacteria are initially harmless, as they are found in every human intestine and have several important roles. However, certain strains of these bacteria are harmful to health and can be the cause of various infections when they are located outside our intestines. Meningitis, intestinal infections, or appendicitis, among others, can be the result.
Basil is therefore a natural alternative to antibiotics and can be used against the development of these bacteria. Another reason why basil is healthy It is worth consuming the green plant regularly.
The contained oils in basil inhibit the growth of bad coliform bacteria and thus can serve as a natural antibiotic.
#4. May reduce the risk of cancer
In addition to the mentioned health benefits, basil is also considered to prevent the development of various cancers. Scientists confirm the antioxidant effect of certain extracts in the leaves of the plant. These influence the cell cycle and ensure the occurrence of cell death in many different cancer cells. Thus, regular consumption of basil can be used as a simple method to prevent cancer.
In another study, it was also found that certain contained oils in basil also act against the development of colon cancer as well as against foodborne bacteria. Basil has a high amount of bioactive substances, so it has a high health-promoting effect and can therefore also serve as a preventative measure against the aforementioned cancers. These substances can also be quite useful for the food and pharmaceutical industries. The slightly sweet spice can thus also protect us from cancer, which once again explains why basil is healthy.
Certain extracts and oils contained in basil have been shown to protect against cancer and thus can be used preventively.
#5. Lowers blood pressure
Basil is not only suitable for our diet but is also used as an active ingredient in Chinese medicine. Basil is also used against the development of cardiovascular diseases, that is, those that affect the heart.
A study found that the consumption of basil can also reduce the preliminary stage of cardiovascular diseases, namely high blood pressure. Rats were the subject of this research. Therefore, the scientists point out the need for further research.
Although the scientific data for this is not yet sufficient, you cannot go wrong if you regularly integrate basil into your diet.
Basil has also been reported to lower blood pressure, according to a study on rats. More research is needed, however. Ref.
Knowledge to go
Basil is a true health miracle and is not used as an active ingredient in Chinese medicine for nothing. Due to its essential oils, basil has an antioxidant effect and can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. In addition, the consumption of basil helps with constipation due to its high fiber content.
Another point that makes basil healthy is that it is said to protect against various cancers and even lower blood pressure. So it’s worth incorporating this aromatic spice into your daily diet.