Health Benefits of Basil
Basil are small aromatic leaves used for seasoning. Basil provides a fresh and vibrant look to various cuisines and is used in soups, salads, pastas or even eaten raw. Let us look at the nutritional and health benefits of basil.
Nutritional Health Benefits of Basil
Basil is a highly nutritional herb. It provides around 20 calories for 100 grams of its consumption. It contains essential oils which provides soothing aroma and health benefits. It is a source of dietary fibre, protein and contains mostly water. Various vitamins like Vitamin-A, Vitamin-B, Vitamin-C, Vitamin-E and Vitamin-K can be found in it. Basil is also a good source of minerals like zinc, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron and potassium.
Health Benefits of Basil – Anti-Bacterial Properties
Basil shields the body from various bacterial attacks. It contains various oils like stragole, linalool, cineole, eugenol, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene which help in preventing bacterial infections. These oils have pungent strong aroma that kills microorganisms in the body.
Basil enhances Cardiovascular Health
Basil has been found to be very beneficial for heart. It contains magnesium which helps in increasing the flexibility of blood vessels and improves blood flow. It contains anti-oxidants that help in lowering down the LDL cholesterol level and increases HDL cholesterol. Basil is also a source of Vitamin-A and contains beta-carotene which protects epithelial cells from radical damages and prevents oxidation of blood in the body. It prevents plaque formation and accumulation of fats in the artery walls.
Health Benefits of Basil – Prevents Common Cold
Basil is beneficial in keeping fever and cold at bay. It is often added in tea to get a strong flavour and it provides heat to the body. Basil leaves are a source of Vitamin-C which helps in decreasing mucus in bronchitis and prevents cough and throat infections. It has been found to be effective against dengue and malaria.
Basil leaves inhibit Cancer
Basil are rich source of antioxidants which restrict the growth of cancer cells. It contains polyphenolic flavonoids like orientin and vicenin which protects from harmful free radicals and prevents the process of oxidation in the bod. This helps in decreasing the occurrence of skin cancer. The antioxidants do not cause any harm to normal cells and damage the cancer cells in the body. Various vitamins like Vitamin-A and Vitamin-E also aid in preventing cancer. Breast cancer can also be prevented by it.
Basil enhances Memory
Basil helps in enhancing the retaining power of a person. It is high in corticosterone which helps in improving memory. Basil helps in triggering cerebral circulation thus lowering brain damages. It also aids in strengthening the nervous system. Basil is known to relieve stress.
Basil is Beneficial for Skin
Basil has anti-microbial properties which makes it really beneficial for skin health. It can be directly applied on insect bites, cuts, wounds and can be also used in treating leucoderma. Various antioxidants and essential oils present in basil help in delaying the process of aging and skin blemishes. It protects from free radicals and nourishes the skin. Because of its anti-bacterial properties it can be directly applied on pimples and is also effective against eczema.
Other Health Benefits Of Basil
- Basil leaves have anti-inflammatory properties and it restricts the activity of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase. Eugenol helps in preventing the activity of this enzyme and thus prevents diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Basil is rich in carotenoids namely Zea-xanthin which gets absorbed into retinal macula lutea and prevents UV-radiation from entering into the retina. Basil also helps in preventing macular degeneration in old people.
- It is a source of iron and aids in increasing haemoglobin in blood.
- Kidney stones and mouth ulcers can be prevented by its consumption. It helps in removing the stones from the urinary tract.
- Basil leaves can be chewed to prevent bad odour and is known to relieve toothache and gum inflammation. It restricts germs build up in the mouth and can be used as a mouth freshener. Pyorrhoea can be treated by its consumption.
- Basil can be consumed by the diabetes type-2 patients as it has various essential oils like eugenol, methyl eugenol and caryophyllene which enhances pancreatic beta cell function and triggers insulin secretion. It is known to regulate blood sugar. It also relieves oxidative stresses.