Oregano, a staple herb in many people’s kitchens, has not only a unique flavor and aroma, but powerful health benefits too. Highly rich in antioxidants, with strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, oregano is, in fact, one of the healthiest herbs on the planet.
1. Oregano and Antioxidants
Oregano contains a surprising amount of antioxidants, and studies have shown that that two of those – thymol and carvacrol – are especially beneficial against chronic diseases and even cancer. Antioxidants are also important for heart health, as they prevent the build-up of arterial plaque and help reduce LDL, or ‘bad cholesterol’.
2. Reduces Inflammation
Thanks to a bunch of antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds, oregano has been shown to reduce chronic and acute inflammation. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals and reduce their negative impact on the body.
3. Has Anticancer Properties
As mentioned, oregano’s high antioxidant content has powerful health benefits, including offering the protection against cancer. Several studies have shown that oregano extract not only helps in cancer prevention, but may actually help destroy cancer cells.
4. Has Antibacterial and Antiviral Properties
Oregano is nature’s antibiotic – research has shown certain compounds in this herb have antibacterial and antiviral properties, which makes it particularly beneficial for people who suffer from frequent bacterial infections. Also, if you’re very prone to common colds and flu, oregano may help.
5. Improves Heart Health
Oregano is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which makes is perfect for improving the lipid profile of people suffering from high cholesterol and bad heart health. Regularly consuming oregano can reduce the inflammation in the cardiovascular system, reduce LDL levels and increase HDL (‘good cholesterol) levels.
How to Add Oregano to Your Diet
Oregano is easy to add to anyone’s diet. This herb is highly versatile, so you can sprinkle some on various dishes, including whole grain pasta, pizza, stews, soups, etc. And if you want to really up your oregano consumption? Try making a simple oregano tea that you will drink every day.
- 3 tsp fresh oregano OR 1 tsp dried oregano
- 300 ml water
Boil the water and remove from heat. Now add either the dried or fresh oregano in the pot, cover it, and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. If you want a stronger tea, steep for 20 minutes, and if you want a milder tea, steep for 10 minutes max. Oregano has a rather bitter taste, so the longer you steep it, the more intense the flavor will be. Finally, add a teaspoon of raw honey to sweeten the tea and drink up!