Vegetables and Vegetables

Health Benefits of Basil

Its scientific name is Ocimum basilicum , but everyone knows it as basil , the one from the traditional song of St. John. With roots in India, the Middle East and the Mediterranean region, this plant with a strong aroma is an herbaceous plant of the mint family.

With flavors that range from bitter, spicy or sweet, and aromas that can range from aniseed and citrusy to cinnamon, basil is a multifaceted vegetable. And with its aromatic and taste properties, it is used in cooking in many countries, as a seasoning for pasta, stews, meats and salads.

Its unmistakable scent comes mainly from the essential oil Anetol – the same component as anise. In addition, basil has in its curriculum a differential that makes people jealous: one of its essential oils, linalool, is used in the manufacture of several famous perfumes such as Ô, by Lancôme.

What not everyone knows is that in some countries like India, basil is considered a sacred plant. This is because it is believed to have “magical” powers, bringing positive energy, harmony and family reconciliation.

BASIL IN BRAZIL

Also called basil or basil, basil is very successful as a seasoning in Brazilian cuisine, especially in Italian food, where it is present in pizzas, pastas and pasta sauces. Unlike Asian countries, for example, which prefer to use it as a complement to rice, fish and soups.

TYPES OF BASIL

Anyone who sees (and tastes) basil in cooking is unaware that it has about 150 varieties, which differ slightly in size, color (from light green to darker shades) and flavor (sweet, fluted, lemonade, anisate, camphorated or clove).

Among the best known are:

  1. Sweet basil: widely cultivated in Brazil, it has light green leaves and a strong aroma.
  2. Thai basil: presents shades of green and purple.
  3. Mediterranean: This is the most common type and has a spicier flavor.
  4. Asian: its color is dark burgundy and the flavor resembles cloves.
  5. Lemon basil: has a light citrus aroma, often used in Thai cuisine.
  6. Italian basil: the best known species in the world, also widely used in pesto sauces, salads and pâtés.
  7. Aniseto or aniseed basil (also called atroveran): native to Brazil, its essential oils exude anise aroma. Used in liqueurs and digestive teas.

BASIL PROPERTIES

In addition to being valued as a seasoning, basil also has numerous medicinal properties. In ancient Greece, it was already used as a detoxifier, antiseptic and protector against infections.

Rich in vitamins A, B6, C and K, it also contains several minerals, such as Potassium, Manganese, Copper, Calcium and Iron, in addition to the enzymes cryptoxanthin, lutein and zea-xanthine, which fight free radicals and premature aging. Add to that its high content of Omega-3 fats and beta-carotene and we’ll find, in just a few basil leaves, a lot of benefits for your health.

This tasty leaf is also rich in essential oils used worldwide to make perfumes and medicines:

  • Eugenol (antiseptic)
  • Citronellol (natural repellent)
  • Linalool (fragrance fixation and anesthetic effect)
  • Citral (flavoring), limonene (flavoring) and terpineol (antioxidant)
  • Estragol (used in perfumes and as a food additive to add flavor)

BENEFITS OF BASIL

Why look for expensive medicines and treatments, when the solution to a health problem may be within our reach, in fairs and supermarkets? With essential vitamins, proteins and enzymes, basil is very indicated in the treatment and prevention of various diseases.

WHAT IS BASIL FOR

1.With antioxidant properties, it fights the growth of cancer cells.

2.Rich in Iron, helps fight anemia.

3.With high vitamin A content, prevents aging, protects against skin and eye problems.

4.With diuretic action, stimulates kidney function.

5.Helps in digestion and fights heartburn and intestinal cramps.

6. Relieves stress and anxiety.

7. Acts as an antibiotic and natural anti-inflammatory.

8. Because it contains Potassium, it helps to prevent heart problems and control blood pressure.

9. During breastfeeding, used in compresses, it helps to prevent the breasts from becoming sore or cracked.

10. Powerful expectorant, it is widely used to treat colds, flu, cough and tonsillitis.

Now, the next time someone asks what basil is for, they can say: for digestion, for the skin, for colds and flu, and for a multitude of situations.

BASIL: HOW TO USE

With a strong aroma and unmistakable flavor, basil gives a special touch to several dishes, in addition to being good for the body. And there are several ways to use it.

– In cooking: in soups, vegetables, fish and pasta and as the main ingredient in pesto sauce.

– In low-calorie diets: one of the components of green juice, with therapeutic and slimming properties.

– In syrups and teas: together with honey and watercres, it relieves sore throats and strengthens the immune system.

– In medicinal baths: helps you relax and get a good night’s sleep.

Choose your way of using basil and enjoy all the benefits it brings to your life.

DOES BASIL TEA LOSE WEIGHT?

You may have heard of the benefits of basil tea, both as an expectorant and to relieve nausea and regulating the menstrual cycle. But does this tea also help you lose weight?

The answer lies in its composition. For starters, it has a diuretic and detoxifying effect, helping the body to eliminate toxins. Furthermore, it is low in calories and can be consumed without fear. Thus, combined with a balanced diet, basil tea can help with weight loss.

How to prepare:

-01 mug of water

-10 basil leaves.

– Bring the water to the fire

– When it comes to a boil, throw the basil leaves over it

– Cover and let stand for about 10 min

BASIL: HEALTH BATH

Another way to enjoy the healing properties of basil is with a nice warm bath. Boil several leaves of the vegetable and use in a bathtub or pour over the body upside down. In addition to being fragrant and relaxing, the basil bath is believed to help energize and drive negativity out of your life.

BASIL: TASTY AND HEALTHY RECIPES

Combine the flavoring value of basil with its therapeutic properties by preparing healthy and tasty recipes at the same time. Here we have selected 02 recipes that are easy to make, practical and delicious.

BASIL PESTO – SAUCE

Basil is the star of the pesto sauce, known around the world. Therefore, this is one of the recipes that you need to include in your “notebook”.

Ingredients:

– Fresh basil leaves

– 02 cloves of garlic

– 03 teaspoons of shelled walnuts (or roasted almonds)

– 100 g of grated Parmesan cheese

– ½ teaspoon of oil

– White pepper to taste

– Salt to taste

How to prepare:

– In a container, mash a garlic clove seasoned with a pinch of salt.

– Add the basil leaves (01 bowl) and the almonds or walnuts and mash.

– After forming a paste, add oil and white pepper to taste.

– The Pesto Sauce is very suitable with pasta, as a salad dressing or as a starter with toast.

TOMATO WITH BASIL CREAM RECIPE

Ingredients:

– 05 persimmon tomatoes

– 01 box of cream

– Fresh and chopped basil leaves

– 250 g of Parmesan cheese (grated)

– Toasted bread slices

– Salt and pepper to taste

How to prepare:

– Cut the tomatoes, removing the skin and seeds, chop into small pieces.

– Season with salt, pepper and basil leaves.

– In 01 Pyrex greased with olive oil, place the toast.

– Place the seasoned tomatoes on the toast.

– Mix the contents of 1 box of heavy cream with salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese.

– Pour this mixture over the tomatoes and bake until it starts to bubble.

Tip: to preserve the properties and flavor of the basil, use it only for the final touch of the dish, as prolonged cooking can cause the evaporation of its nutrients and alter its flavor.

BASIL: HOW TO PLANT

Basil is a perennial herb, that is, it thrives all year round and is very easy to plant and cultivate. So much so that you can do it in a garden in the backyard, garden or porch to harvest directly from the foot, whenever you want.

Before learning how to plant basil, pay attention to the plant’s peculiarities:

Climate – Basil does best in a subtropical climate that is hot and humid and is not resistant to frost.

Sun – Basil likes and needs sunlight to bloom in a healthy way.

Soil – This vegetable should be planted in fertile soil, rich in organic matter, moist (but not soggy).

Maintenance – For it to grow well, cut your flowers regularly, as they take a lot of nutrients from the plant.

A good idea is to use seedbeds as an intermediate stage before planting in the soil or permanent pot. See how to do it:

  1. Place the fertilized soil in the seedbed with 5 to 10 cm in height.
  2. Drill holes in the earth and plant the seeds about 2 cm deep, depositing two or three seeds in each.
  3. Cover with earth and water every other day.
  4. The planting site must receive at least four hours of sunlight a day, as basil needs natural light.
  5. The seedlings will appear between 5 to 15 days after planting, and must be transplanted to the definitive location.
  6. The first leaves should be harvested about 60 days after planting.

BASIL BENEFITS AND HARMS

We already know that basil is excellent as an antioxidant, natural antibiotic, expectorant, among other benefits. But like any food there are some situations where it should be avoided.

– It is not recommended to consume during pregnancy.

– Should be avoided by those who have diabetes, hypertension, thrombosis or who suffer from epilepsy.

– Some people may be allergic to their essential oils.

-The excess of basil can cause gastrointestinal disturbances and also inflammation of the mucous membranes.

 

Related articles:

Benefits and Properties of Salsa

Benefits and Properties of Chives

Benefits and Properties of Onion

Abobrinha Benefits and Properties

Benefits and Properties of Cilantro

Benefits and Properties of Eggplant

Mint Benefits and Properties

Thyme Benefits and Properties

Website | + posts

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *