5 herbs to add to your diet and their health benefits

Rosemary cuts through the greasiness of roast meats to give a fresh, aromatic flavour.
Rosemary cuts through the greasiness of roast meats to give a fresh, aromatic flavour. PHOTO: THE BUSINESS TIMES FILE

(SHAPE SINGAPORE) - Condiments add a depth of flavour to a dish and herbs do just the trick, along with awesome health benefits too.

Read on to find out about the healing goodness of our favourite herbs. 

1. Basil

One of the most common herbs, basil is an aromatic condiment that is used in just about everything – soups, sandwiches, pasta and salad. It is found in many Mediterranean dishes such as Caprese salad – slices of mozzarella cheese topped with fresh basil leaves and drizzled with olive oil.

Basil is also used as an essential oil, as it is a good remedy for headaches and insomnia.

2. Parsley

Stock up on this everyday herb that is chock-full with nutrients. Parsley has proven to be a medicinal plant that is used to treat a range of diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases.

Parsley’s rich potassium content can also help to flush out toxins from your system to reduce water retention. Chop or shred parsley and mix it with butter as a simple sauce to drizzle over fish or vegetables.

3. Rosemary

Rosemary goes wonderfully with roast meat. It cuts through the greasiness of the meat to give a fresh, aromatic flavour.

Rosemary is also able to withstand long cooking time, making it a perfect pairing with poultry.

This woody herb also has anti-inflammatory compounds to boost your immunity and fend off illnesses.

4. Mint

Known for its cooling properties, mint has a slightly sweet tone and cool aftertaste.

The cooling effect comes from the compound menthol that breaks down phlegm and mucus, making it easier to expel. Drinking brewed mint tea helps to soothe throat irritation.

Mint is a refreshing addition to both sweet and savoury dishes – blend into fruit smoothies or toss with your salad. A sprig of mint leaves goes a long way.

5. Oregano

Dried oregano is more readily available than fresh ones, as its high oil content makes it dry well. Use half as much of dried oregano as you would for fresh ones since dried oregano is more concentrated. Too much oregano will leave a bitter aftertaste.

Oregano is an excellent seasoning in savoury dishes like poultry and eggs. It goes especially well with pasta dishes.

Health-wise, oregano helps to build up your body’s defence against colds and the flu.