Get into the simple, tasty and super-healthy habit of adding herbs to your summer favorites. Herbs add flavorful intrigue to almost any dish (which means we can cut back on added fats, sauces, and salt) and are virtually exploding with a seemingly endless array of beneficial phytochemicals. Here are my favorites:
Parsley – This refreshing herb provides vitamin A, potassium, calcium, vitamin C and can boast a higher concentration of flavonoids than any other food! Flavonoids are potent antioxidants that provide broad-spectrum health benefits including cardiovascular protection and cancer protection. Parsley’s rich supply of flavonoids, vitamin C, and “built in” SPF carotenoids are the perfect trio for protecting your skin from the summer sun. Enjoy touboule – you can make your own or buy it prepackaged. Add chopped parsley to your favorite salads and pastas. Go green with your rice dishes by adding a generous portion of chopped, fresh parsley.
Rosemary – This savory herb contains antioxidant phytochemicals that can reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds known as heterocyclic animes (HCA’s). HCA’s form when the proteins in meats are heated to high temperatures. Rosemary can also enhance insulin sensitivity which can boost your metabolism, slow the aging process and protect broad spectrum health. Add a dash or two of dried rosemary or a tablespoon or two of fresh to your ground meat or chicken before grilling.
Cilantro – This super-flavorful herb contains a natural antibiotic called dodecenal that was recently found in a laboratory study to kill the bacteria Salmonella more effectively than a powerful prescription antibiotic. Salmonella is a common cause of food born illness (especially from summer picnics) – Salsa is a convenient and tasty way to add cilantro to your diet.