One of my most favorite herbs to grow is basil. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of the days I would spend at my grandparent’s. My grandfather and I would pinch basil leaves off his huge sweet basil plant and then head straight to the kitchen to add them to whatever we were cooking. I can still hear him telling me that between basil and garlic I had all I needed to live a long and healthy life. While my grandfather would be feeding me raw garlic to ward away disease (…and boys) my grandmother would chirp in, “all in moderation, honey”. Such wise folks, right!
The BENEFITS of Basil
First things first: I’m in no way a medical professional and the information below are personal thoughts and findings based on my readings.
It’s always been important to me to stay on top of the research behind the things I’m eating and feeding my family.
Turns out that my grandfather was a genius! According to several sources within an article at medicalnewstoday.com there’s a long list of basil benefits that you might find really interesting:
- May fight certain types of skin, liver, oral and lung cancer “by increasing antioxidant activity, changing gene expression, triggering cell death, and slowing cell division.”
- May reduce stress, according to a lab study performed on 30 rabbits who were fed 2 grams of fresh basil each day for 30 days. The rabbits had a “significant decrease in blood sugar levels and an increase in antioxidant activity, which helped the rabbits deal better with stress”.
- May help prevent the effects of aging. Can I get a WOOT WOOT!
- May reduce swelling, inflammation and arthritis …by “up to 73% within 24 hours of treatment” according to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
- May reduce the number of harmful bacteria on your plate because studies show that basil may have antibacterial properties
- Basil is rich in vitamin A, K, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, potassium and calcium.
For something that is so easy to grow, it would be insane to not find ways to infuse this green gem into your foods for you and your loved ones, right?
The Perfect Basil Pesto
One of the best ways I bring the benefits of basil to the table is through my famous pesto! I’ve made variations of pesto in the past, but this one is our family favorite. It is so simple to make and takes really only 5 minutes. I like to make large batches of it and freeze it for easy future use. Then, when I need a little pesto I simply grab a frozen cube and defrost. I use pesto on our grilled steak, salmon, chicken, veggies, pasta, pizza, etc… It tastes good and it’s good for you! Win Win!