Your Garden Herbs Have Higher Levels Of Antioxidants Than Fruits

by Polly

Can you guess that your garden herbs, in addition to making food tastier, are an abundant source of antioxidants .

Herbs have higher antioxidant activity than fruits, vegetables and some spices, including garlic, the researchers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture  say.

Antioxidants have become synonymous with good health. They are thought to prevent certain types of chemical damage caused by an excess of free radicals, charged molecules that are generated by a variety of sources including pesticides, smoking and exhaust fumes.

Destroying free radicals may help fight cancer, heart disease and stroke, researchers believe.

The herbs with the highest antioxidant activity belonged to the oregano family. In general, oregano had 3 to 20 times higher antioxidant activity than the other herbs studied.

Oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.

One tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple. And,Even if you’re not into oregano, other herbs also appear to pack a significant antioxidant punch. Among the more familiar, ranked in order, are dill, garden thyme, rosemary and peppermint.

More recently, researchers have begun to formally study the health benefits of herbs and spices. The two differ mainly by source.

Herbs typically come from the leaves of plants. Spices come from the bark, stem and seeds of plants. Both have been used for thousands of years to flavor foods and treat illness.

Now, herbs have emerged as a quick and easy way to get a concentrated source of antioxidants – without all the extra calories of whole foods.

The most active phenol component in some of the herbs with the highest antioxidant activity, particularly oregano, was rosmarinic acid, a strong antioxidant.

Garden herbs can be consumed in a variety of ways. The best way of course is eating them fresh from the garden. Some people prefer to drink herb extracts, which can be made by adding herbs to hot water to make potent antioxidant teas.

Others use concentrated herbal oils available in some health food stories. Most of us prefer a little dash and sprinkle of the familiar leafy or powdered versions to add flavor to our favorite meats and vegetables.

Oregano is a hardy perennial plant that is easy to grow in the home garden. A handful of plants will provide you with enough oregano to use fresh in season and to dry for use throughout the winter.

There are many varieties, but the most common variety for cooking is ‘Greek’ oregano. The more pungent ‘Mexican’ oregano is often used in chili powders. ‘Golden’ oregano is very ornamental, but not as flavorful.

Like most Mediterranean herbs, oregano is very easy to grow and requires little water. Sandy soil is best, but the plant will grow in almost any garden conditions.

It thrives in full sun (leaves may lose flavor when grown in shade) and a location sheltered from high winds. Most species can tolerate a moderate freeze.

Want  to know more  about your garden herbs? Then, click here:

Super Herb Oregano. Strong in Antioxidants. Strong Antiviral & Antibacterial. Strong In Fiber. | Natural Health Solutions

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Yours truly, Polly – Organic Gardener

P.S.

I’ve been a keen gardener for as long as I can remember and love growing tomatoes. After experimenting for many years growing tomatoes I have finally written down what I’ve learnt, which I hope will help others.

To learn how you can grow your own tomatoes go here to get a copy to try yourself:

Gardens To Dig – Grow Big Juicy Tomatoes

And send me your success stories after you get it. I want to hear them!


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sasha May 21, 2010 at 4:57 am

Herbal plants used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine are facing extinction.
Definite cause of concern, as Ayurveda is increasingly being used around the world to treat various disorders such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, ulcers and many others.

Some herbs that have been identified are – Ulteria salicfolia, Hydnocarpus pentandra, Gymnocladus assamicus, and Begonia tessaricarpa.

Conservation of traditional herbs and plants should become a high priority for all. Challenge
becomes more severe as many of these herbs grow in the wild and are not cultivated.

Planet Green (a discovery.com venture) reported on this earlier this month.

More details on the Ayurveda Group blog (http://www.ayurvedagroup.com/blog)

Direct link to the blog post
http://ayurvedagroup.com/blog/2010/93-of-ayurvedas-wild-medicinal-plants-threatened-with-extinction/

Link to planet green site
http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/ayurvedas-medicinal-plants-extinction.html

Organic Herbs September 23, 2010 at 3:12 am

Herbs and spices are usually sterilized, irradiated with toxic gases, after they are harvested to prevent foodborne illnesses and reproduction of the microbes or bugs.This is really informative blog

Shizue Mclendon November 8, 2010 at 8:31 am

Thanks for that. I moved to England when I was really young, and I really want to rediscover my heritage. I’ve been trying out a lot of random greek recipes, and the best I’ve found yet is this greek recipe – it totally remind me of my childhood. I dont remember much of it except for the lovely smells and tasty food on every street corner.

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