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4 Unexpected Health Benefits of Basil

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4 Unexpected Health Benefits of Basil

While you might only think of basil as “nice in a pasta sauce,” would you believe that basil is not only delicious, but could help protect your heart? Read on to learn about the wonderful health benefits of eating basil!

Vitamins and other important nutrients in basil:

Vitamins: Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A.*

* Basil is either an excellent or very good source of all of these nutrients and vitamins. There are many other nutrients, minerals and vitamins present in basil that are not listed here such as omega-3 fatty acid and vitamin C.

Health benefits of basil:

DNA Protection: Basil leaves come complete with an array of antioxidants and other wonderful phytonutrients. Some of these phytonutrients, orientin and vicenin, which are in the flavonoid family, have been found to “protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.” – whfoods

Anti Bacterial Properties: The antibacterial nature of basil is linked to its volatile oils (essential oils) such as: estragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene.

“Essential oil of basil, obtained from its leaves, has demonstrated the ability to inhibit several species of pathogenic bacteria that have become resistant to commonly used antibiotic drugs.” – whfoods

Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Eugenol (one of basil’s volatile oils) can also help block the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the body. This is important because COX is the same enzyme that anti-inflammatory medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen are formulated to help block, making basil a natural anti-inflammatory.

Cardiovascular Health: Basil comes complete with vitamin A (through beta-carotene), magnesium, and many other nutrients that can help protect cell walls from free radical damage (in the blood system and other body structures), improve blood flow and help stop cholesterol from oxidizing in the blood stream.

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

203 comments

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10:04AM PDT on Jul 27, 2014

I add basil to my morning shake for the taste and the inflammatory properties. Love it. And I make lots of pesto.

6:45AM PDT on Jul 7, 2014

I love basil :) I grow sweet basil every summer and use it in most of my cooking.

11:47PM PDT on Jun 27, 2014

Thank you for the info.

9:15AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Basil and oregano are my favorites and use both on most things. Thanks for the information, very good.

8:26AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

I would get another one, but I believe i would also hammer on moderation to her. LOL! I am sure the plant would love you for it.

8:17AM PDT on Jun 26, 2014

Got a basil plant this summer. It has taken off like gang-busters! The only problem is that once my daughter gets home, I'm pretty sure she'll harvest the life out of it. Maybe I should get another one this afternoon...Thanks for the article.

5:38PM PST on Nov 9, 2013

i loooove basil so delicious!

11:01PM PST on Nov 3, 2013

i wish we could grow Basil here in warm, humid Singapore!

6:03AM PDT on Oct 26, 2013

My hubby went to a specialty garden shop and bought 4 varieties of Basil at the beginning of Summer. I just hope they will make it through the winter since they are huge now!

Not only are they healthy, but they are a nice looking plant for the garden!

8:11PM PDT on Oct 15, 2013

Basil is yummmm and easy to grow in a sunny window to have a fresh supply on hand.

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