A healthy diet for women’s fitness consists of all sorts of fruits and vegetables, including herbs and spices. These natural wonders not only add flavor to your food, they provide many health benefits as well. Basil, a fragrant herb that’s found in many Italian dishes, can inhibit the growth of bacteria in the body.
You can add basil to salads or salad dressings to kill any bacteria that might be present. Of course, this doesn’t take the place of washing your veggies prior to eating, but because salads are eaten raw, the extra protection of a bacteria buster, like basil is good to have on your side.
The oils in basil inhibit bacterial growth. These oils include, estragole, linalool, eugenol, cineole, sabinene, myrcene, and limonene. A solution containing just 1% of the oil of basil can be used to rinse vegetables to kill infectious bacteria that cause diarrhea.
Rich in flavonoids, basil is effective in preventing cell damage and with its anti-inflammatory properties can help ease arthritis. An oil in basil acts similar to an aspirin on the body and like aspirin, basil can provide many of the same benefits.
Full of nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and potassium. Basil is an excellent choice for women’s health. It is good for the heart, because it helps to prevent build-up in the arteries and fights free radicals. The magnesium helps blood vessels to relax which increases blood circulation.
It’s not difficult to grow your own basil, for a fun and fragrant touch to your garden. This way you always have fresh basil when you want it. However, it does require care and attention and many women are too busy to devote the time needed to growing fresh basil.
Available at produce markets and grocery stores, you can purchase fresh basil and store in your refrigerator. Select basil that is nice and green with fresh looking leaves. Don’t buy it if the leaves are brown and spotty or droopy. You can always purchase dried basil for a longer shelf life and it tastes almost as good as the fresh. Be sure to keep it in a tightly capped jar in a cabinet.
For some delicious recipes that include basil and other healthy herbs, vegetables, fruits and protein, check out the Healthy Cooking section of Fitness4Her.com. There’s a treasure trove of great meals that the whole family can enjoy. A Fitness4Her Members Only privilege, you can have access to healthy recipes, and energizing exercises that will help you to lose weight if you need to or just get in shape. Dedicated to women’s fitness, your Fitness4Her membership is free. So join now.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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