The plant which has green oval leaves, great aroma and can be found everywhere – the basil. We should use it more often because it has many benefits for our health. The basil has sixty species all different in taste and appearance all around the world.
It has an antioxidant properties which are very strong and the antioxidants play a very important role in our health and the healthy lifestyle. They can protect the body from many free radicals, from formation of different kind of cancer and prevents the aging process.
The beta-carotene is converted in the body as a vitamin A. As a part of the antioxidant group, it prevents the oxidation of the cholesterol and therefore protecting the blood vessels and the heart. The beta-carotene is good as a prevention from many diseases like rheumatoid, asthma, osteoarthritis, arthritis and all these is a result of the free radicals everywhere.
Great for heart and blood vessels
The basil is full with magnesium and vitamin B6. This vitamin can prevent the growth of harmful substances like homocysteine, while the magnesium can lead to strengthen cardiovascular system and it is good for preventing the attacks. It can reduce the risk of arrhythmia and relaxes the muscles of the blood vessels in order the blood flow to be free.
A research showed that the oil of basil has very beneficial effect on the immune system of the body. We can use it as treatment for infections because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
Basil in cooking
This spice is used as a part of every dish since it goes with everything and many cuisines combine it in the meals. As a preserver of the taste, it is added at the end of the dish. It has stronger taste if it is used in fresh condition, but if you do not have any you can use the dried version.
The dish that contains basil is the most popular pesto Genovese full with pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and green basil based sauce. The sauce can be made by freshly chopped basil, some garlic and olive oil and you are ready to serve it as a side dish of various dishes like rice, bruschetta and pesto.
It can be used as a dessert ingredient as well, for example a basil ice cream. Use lemon juice, water and sugar cane together with freshly chopped basil and freeze it in a form of cube. If it is completely frozen, use the blender to chop it finely and serve this ice dessert as a refresher.
Another recipe with basil is an Italian salad with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves which is delicious, fresh and polychrome at the same time.
Another refreshment is the basil tea made by pouring hot water over some fresh basil leaves previously chopped. Leave it for 8 minutes and strain it. Take your tea chilled and with some honey.
Try some of the recipes and share with friends since you can make party in Mediterranean style and have fun while staying healthy at the same time.