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24 Foods That Can Save Your Heart - #1 - Fresh Herbs

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


February is Heart Month both in the US and Canada, and unfortunately, most of us know someone who has had heart disease or stroke. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States; one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day. And in Canada, heart disease and stroke take one life every 7 minutes and 90% of Canadians have at least one risk factor. Scary stats indeed and so it seems timely to look at some foods that can indeed help fight heart disease.

www.webmd.com/heart-dise
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save-your-heart?ecd=wnl_hy
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tells us about using -

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs make many other foods heart-healthy when they replace salt, sugar, and trans fats.

Fact: Rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme contain antioxidants.

These four herbs all contain rosmarinic acid which has been found to have antibacterial, ant-inflammatory and antioxidant functions. In fact, the antioxidant activity of rosmarinic acid is stronger than that of vitamin E and it helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, thereby reducing the risk for cancer and atherosclerosis.

ROSEMARY:
www.whfoods.com/genpage.
php?tname=foodspice&dbid=75
tells us that
- Rosemary is a good source of the minerals iron and calcium, as well as dietary fiber. Fresh has 25% more manganese (which is somehow lost in the process of drying) and a 40% less calcium and iron, probably due to the higher water content.
- Whenever possible, choose fresh rosemary over the dried form of the herb since it is far superior in flavor. The springs of fresh rosemary should look vibrantly fresh and should be deep sage green in color, and free from yellow or dark spots.
- Fresh rosemary should be stored in the refrigerator either in its original packaging or wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. You can also place the rosemary sprigs in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Dried rosemary should be kept in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
- Quickly rinse rosemary under cool running water and pat dry. Most recipes call for rosemary leaves, which can be easily removed from the stem. Alternatively, you can add the whole sprig to season soups, stews and meat dishes, then simply remove it before serving.
- A Few Quick Serving Ideas
• Add fresh rosemary to omelets and frittatas.
• Rosemary is a wonderful herb for seasoning chicken and lamb dishes.
• Add rosemary to tomato sauces and soups.
• Even better than butter—purée fresh rosemary leaves with olive oil and use as a dipping sauce for bread.

SAGE:
www.whfoods.com/genpage.
php?tname=foodspice&dbid=76
tells us that
- Sage contains a variety of volatile oils, flavonoids (including apigenin, diosmetin, and luteolin), and phenolic acids, including the phenolic acid named after rosemary—rosmarinic acid. It is also an excellent source of vitamin K.
- Whenever possible, choose fresh sage over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh sage should look fresh and be a vibrant green-gray in color. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing.
- To store fresh sage leaves, carefully wrap them in a damp paper towel and place inside a loosely closed plastic bag. Store in the refrigerator where it should keep fresh for several days. Dried sage should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
- Since the flavor of sage is very delicate, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process so that it will retain its maximum essence.
- A Few Quick Serving Ideas
• Mix cooked navy beans with olive oil, sage and garlic and serve on bruschetta.
• Use sage as a seasoning for tomato sauce.
• Add fresh sage to omelets and frittatas.
• Sprinkle some sage on top of your next slice of pizza.
• Combine sage leaves, bell peppers, cucumbers and sweet onions with plain yogurt for an easy to prepare, refreshing salad.
• When baking chicken or fish in parchment paper, place some fresh sage leaves inside so that the food will absorb the flavors of this wonderful herb.

OREGANO:
www.whfoods.com/genpage.
php?tname=foodspice&dbid=73
tells us that
- Oregano is an excellent source of vitamin K and a very good source of manganese, iron, dietary fiber, and calcium. In addition, oregano is a good source of vitamin E and tryptophan.
- Whenever possible, choose fresh oregano over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh oregano should look fresh and be a vibrant green in color, while the stems should be firm. They should be free from darks spots or yellowing.
- Fresh oregano should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. It may also be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Alternatively, you can freeze the oregano in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Dried oregano should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
- Oregano, either in its fresh or dried form, should be added toward the end of the cooking process since heat can easily cause a loss of its delicate flavor.
- A Few Quick Serving Ideas
• Next time you enjoy a slice of pizza, garnish it with some fresh oregano.
• Oregano goes great with healthy sautéed mushrooms and onions.
• Adding a few sprigs of fresh oregano to a container of olive oil will infuse the oil with the essence of the herb.
• Fresh oregano makes an aromatic addition to omelets and frittatas.
• Sprinkle some chopped oregano onto homemade garlic bread.
• Add oregano to salad dressings.

THYME:
www.whfoods.com/genpage.
php?tname=foodspice&dbid=77
tells us that
- Thyme is an excellent source of iron, manganese, and vitamin K. It is also a very good source of calcium and a good source of dietary fiber.
- Whenever possible, choose fresh thyme over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. The leaves of fresh thyme should look fresh and be a vibrant green-gray in color. They should be free from dark spots or yellowing.
- Fresh thyme should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. Dried thyme should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place where it will keep fresh for about six months.
- Thyme, either in its fresh or dried form, should be added toward the end of the cooking process since heat can easily cause a loss of its delicate flavor.
- A Few Quick Serving Ideas
• Add thyme to your favorite pasta sauce recipe.
• Fresh thyme adds a wonderful fragrance to omelets and scrambled eggs.
• Hearty beans such as kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans taste exceptionally good when seasoned with thyme.
• When poaching fish, place some sprigs of thyme on top of the fish and in the poaching liquid.
• Season soups and stocks by adding fresh thyme.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOSNACKER-57 2/2/2013 6:25AM

    I have been wanting to start an herb garden, I think I will follow thru with that thought!

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DEELB1 2/2/2013 2:01AM

  emoticon

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DEE107 1/30/2013 12:11AM

    and basil too thanks for sharing this

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PLATINUM755 1/29/2013 9:42PM

    Parsley is another good one to keep handy.

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JOANNS4 1/29/2013 6:27PM

    emoticon

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PEPPYPATTI 1/29/2013 1:33PM

    Thank you for sharing all the information! emoticon emoticon

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JTREMBATH 1/29/2013 1:03PM

    The only fresh herb I have in the garden is Rosemary, so I have to use dried herbs.

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NELLJONES 1/29/2013 9:43AM

    I use herbs to improve taste. If they have any healthy properties it's an extra.

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GABY1948 1/29/2013 8:12AM

    I LOVE your blogs...so glad another is starting! emoticon

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PLAYFULLKITTY 1/29/2013 7:07AM

    Another one I love but not listed is Cilantro. It's one of those that you either love it or hate it..i love it :)

Thanks Val for posting this :)

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GLAMNGLOWDIVA 1/29/2013 1:14AM

    I just bought a bunch from the grocery store today. They are so great to spice up your meals.

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PATRICIAAK 1/29/2013 12:44AM

    also, more tasty!

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