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Nutrition

Herbs Add Spice and Antioxidants to Food

16 years ago

767  0
Posted on Oct 10, 2002, 4 a.m. By Bill Freeman

As well as adding flavor and spice to meals, herbs are also packed with health-boosting antioxidants, according to researchers from the US Department of Agriculture. Drs. Wei Zheng and Shiow Y Wang discovered that oregano, rose geranium, sweet bay, purple amaranth, dill, winter savory and Vietnamese coriander all contained high levels of the free radical-fighting chemicals.

As well as adding flavor and spice to meals, herbs are also packed with health-boosting antioxidants, according to researchers from the US Department of Agriculture. Drs. Wei Zheng and Shiow Y Wang discovered that oregano, rose geranium, sweet bay, purple amaranth, dill, winter savory and Vietnamese coriander all contained high levels of the free radical-fighting chemicals. The herb with the highest antioxidant content was oregano, with three different types of the fragrant shrub - Mexican, Italian, and Greek - showing the greatest antioxidant activity. Surprisingly, the study also revealed that some of the herbs in the study had better antioxidant properties than vitamin-E and well-known antioxidant-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables. "Supplementing a balanced diet with herbs may have beneficial health effects," Zeng and Wang concluded.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2002; 49:5165-5170

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