Sunday, May 5, 2013


Greek cuisine is known for being one of the healthiest, especially since hundreds of studies have been published about the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet [1].  One of the unique traits of the Mediterranean Diet is it’s richness in fresh herbs such as basil.  This amazing herb has been shown to be a potent antioxidant and an anti-carcinogen as it detoxifies mutations in the cell [2].  Basil also has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties [3].  That is not all; basil is also an anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating herb [3], which help induce cardiovascular health and rid the body of sickness respectively.

In order to harness all these health promoting properties, it is best to consume the basil leaves as soon as possible.  An easy, cheap way to do this is to grow your own basil plant. It can be grown in a pot in a sunny window or in the back yard.  You can grow it from seed or buy a potted plant at a local famer’s market.  Basil is easy to maintain and grows like a weed.  Just water it every day and make sure it gets adequate sun light.  Then when you need some fresh, fragrant basil just snip some off, chop it up and add it to the dish.


1.            Sofi, F., et al., Adherence to Mediterranean diet and health status: meta-analysis. British Medical Journal, 2008. 337(sep11 2): p. a1344.

2.            Tapsell, L., et al., Health benefits of herbs and spices: the past, the present, the future. Medical Journal of Australia, 2006. 185(4): p. S4-S24.

3.            Lee, J. and C.F. Scagel, Chicoric acid found in basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) leaves. Food Chemistry, 2009. 115(2): p. 650-656.


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