Basil

Easy to grow and great for your health to eat everyday. Great for digestion and relieves stomach problems. The stem carries most of the nutrients.

Basil as an "anti-inflammatory" food that can provide important healing benefits along with symptomatic relief for individuals with inflammatory health problems like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel conditions.

Add a good helping of basil. Basil is a very good source of vitamin A (through its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene). Called "pro-vitamin A," since it can be converted into vitamin A, beta-carotene is a more powerful anti-oxidant than vitamin A and not only protectsepithelial cells (the cells that form the lining of numerous body structures including the blood vessels) from free radical damage, but also helps prevent free radicals from oxidizing cholesterol in the blood stream. Only after it has been oxidized does cholesterol build up in blood vessel walls, initiating the development of atherosclerosis, whose end result can be a heart attack or stroke.

Basil is also a good source of  magnesium, which promotes cardiovascular health by prompting muscles and blood vessels to relax, thus improving blood flow and lessening the risk of irregular heart rhythms or a spasming of the heart muscle or a blood vessel.

Basil has been shown to provide protection against unwanted bacterial growth. Consuming fresh basil leaves may boost immune system function. The chemical compounds in basil may improve production of infection-fighting antibodies by up to 20 percent, according to Castleman. Basil may also help destroy viral cells that cause flu and the common cold.

Basil may help prevent acne outbreaks and speed the healing of acne lesions. The oil in fresh basil leaves may help clear bacteria from the skin that contribute to clogged pores, according to Michael Castleman, author of "The New Healing Herbs." However, consuming fresh basil may not help clear or prevent acne -- it must be applied to affected areas of the skin to help destroy bacteria

The aroma of basil may help relieve sadness, fatigue and lack of mental clarity.

A great way to use basil is in pesto.

A great recipe from Body Chef Chris

Thai Basil Chicken with Brown Rice

Thai Basil Chicken with Brown Rice

1lb ground chicken 2 cups basil 5 cloves garlic 1/2 cup soy sauce 3 tb chili paste 1 small onion red chili flakes 1 cup brown rice

In stir fry pan add garlic onions with light olive oil add chicken lightly brown then add sauce with chili paste and chili flakes, lastly add fresh basil and serve over brown rice

serves 4 365 calories 40 grams protein 5 grams of fat 40 grams carbs

I like to also use ground meat instead of the chicken and it comes out great. This is a quick and easy dish.

 

Source

World's Healthiest Foods

Body Chef Chris

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