5 Fresh Herbs to Sweeten, Spice and Entice You

Benefits go well beyond lovely scents, flavor

5 Fresh Herbs to Sweeten, Spice and Entice You

When you chop up fresh herbs or tear the leaves, you can smell their potent, wonderful aroma. They vary so much in flavor, from sweet lavender and sage to the sharp, cool taste of spearmint. Chop a few fresh herbs to add to your cooking or salads to not only add amazing flavor, but also an extra nutritional punch. Here are five fresh herbs to love.

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1. Basil5 Fresh Herbs to Sweeten, Spice and Entice You

Basil (or Ocimum basilicum) is one of the most recognizable herbs, so you might not even stop to consider its health benefits. But this “King of Herbs,” first native to India, Asia and Africa packs a powerful nutritional punch. Basil is a powerful antioxidant and a rich source of calcium, potassium and iron. One teaspoon supplies 85 percent of your daily vitamin K intake.

RELATED: Why Basil Should Be Your BFF

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2. Parsley5 Fresh Herbs to Sweeten, Spice and Entice You

Parsley isn’t just a pretty face.  This herb is a brilliant burst of green — chock-full of health benefits that you’ll miss out on if you banish it to the edge of your plate! It offers  vitamin A carotenoids , which protect eye health, and vitamin K , which not only preserves blood health but also prevents excessive bleeding.

RELATED: The Power and Health Benefits of Parsley

3. Rosemary5 Fresh Herbs to Sweeten, Spice and Entice You

Rosmarinus officinalis, or common rosemary, is an evergreen that’s related to mint – with a distinctive piney aroma. But besides its uplifting scent, why should you reach for rosemary when you’re cooking up your next dish? Rosemary supplies polyphenols to help reduce bacteria responsible for bloating and poor digestion. It also contains phytonutrients that help boost immunity.

RELATED: Here Are Reasons to Love Rosemary

4. Spearmint5 Fresh Herbs to Sweeten, Spice and Entice You

While this invasive plant drives many a gardener crazy, spearmint (Mentha viridis or Mentha spicata) can be controlled with a little foresight, so you can put it to good use. It contains powerful antioxidants, including vitamins A and C and relieves symptoms of digestive problems by relaxing stomach muscles and reducing nausea. It even has a pleasant aroma that can play a role in helping you relax.

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RELATED: Why You Should Add a Hint of Spearmint

5. Lavender5 Fresh Herbs to Sweeten, Spice and Entice You

There’s a reason lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is so commonly used in shampoos and body lotions to evoke relaxation and a sense of calm. But that’s not the only way you can use it! Add it to baked good or pair with lemon or honey in bran muffins or whole-wheat bread. It offers polyphenols to help reduce bacteria responsible for bloating and poor digestion and can help support immunity.

RELATED: Why You’ll Fall in Love With Lavender

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