Good Morning Weekenders:
Last week one of my clients brought me some Oregano from her garden. This week, she brought me Rosemary. So, today’s obvious installment will be about the health benefits of each.
Being Italian, I have had a love affair with Oregano ever since I can remember. Even as a young “Guido”, I would put it on everything from pizza (of course) to salads and pastas.
So, when I received this “gift”, while extremely excited to use, I immediately wondered what “good” it did. Well, here’s what I discovered:
First and foremost, Oregano is an excellent source of Vitamin K and a very good source of iron, manganese and dietary fiber. If you remember, or, should I say, if you don’t remember, Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps protect your cardiovascular system with several heart-related issues and may even help keep calcium out of your arteries. It is also important for bone health to help stave off osteoporosis and it is vital for proper blood clotting. The good news is that K is found in many foods, so supplementing foods with Oregano for this purpose is not necessary. But I was surprised to see it listed as a nutrient found in that herb.
Iron carries oxygen to blood cells. Manganese helps ensure healthy bone structure and, of course, dietary fiber provides bulk to one’s system which aids in proper elimination.
Oregano is also high in Omega-3 fatty acids which can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. It has been know to help relieve symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments. Some research has even shown that Omega-3s can boost the immune system and help protect against an array of illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamins A and C are also prevalent in Oregano. A promotes eye health and C addresses concerns of the heart.
Take caution though, when buying Oregano, purchase fresh leaves instead of the dried variety. While it’s easier and more convenient to buy it by the “shaker”, you will miss out on those beneficial anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant oils. Fresh oregano is pretty inexpensive. In fact, it’s very easy to grow yourself!
Now, I have to say, until I met Anna, Rosemary has never been a regular part of my herbal regimen. However, I do like it.
While the sent of it can improve one’s memory, drinking tea mixed with some Rosemary can reduce water retention in the abdominal region.
Sore after one of my workouts? Rub Rosemary leaves on your muscles to help loosen them up.
Rosemary is useful for stimulating the body’s immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion.
Rosemary contains antioxidants that can reduce up to 92% of the levels of cancer-causing substances in grilled food. So tomorrow (Memorial Day) make sure your Grill Chef has plenty on hand! And as soon as the items come off the “barbie”, slice ’em and toss on a few dashes of Rosemary before serving! Your nose, mouth and body will thank you.