We all love sprinkling fragrant basil over pasta or pizza for a yummy herby twist. However, we might not think about the health perks or even the types of basil that exist (yes, there’s more than one). That’s why we suggest trying purple basil, which offers benefits like supplying your body with antioxidants, warding off chronic diseases, and boosting digestion!
Purple basil (or Dark Opal basil) first gained recognition among US gardeners in 1962 as a real standout in herb offerings for its dark colored hue. It’s known for having an earthy, anise-flavor similar to clove, making it perfect for adding in green salads, soups, or pestos just like green basil. Like other herbs, you can grow purple basil at home using plant seeds (Buy at Walmart, $3.69) or find a bundle at your local farmer’s market or specialty grocer. Purple basil is a real gem of a food find and the health perks will make it one of your go-to herbs to cook with!
The basil’s purple leaves carry a lot of nutritional value that will do wonders for your body. A study published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology noted that it’s rich in antioxidant and phenolic compounds including arachidonic, jasmonic, and β-aminobutyric acids. These compounds were linked to having anti-inflammatory effects, which prevent your immune system from getting overwhelmed. This allows your health to stay in tip top shape by fighting off viruses and infections!
The phenolic acids in purple basil also help avoid chronic diseases. Research published in the International Journal of Food Properties credited these antioxidants for reducing oxidative stress in the body, which decreases the risk of cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease.
Another plus of eating this herb is that it will improve digestion over time. A study published in the Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences credited this to its anti-helicobacter pylori effects, which prevents symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating. Who knew one herb could fix those bothersome tummy troubles and provide much needed relief?
With these benefits in mind, it’s time that we all upgrade our basil and start buying this unique purple variety. Plus, we’re getting the best of both worlds by adding a kick to your favorite savory dishes, plus a health boost!
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