If you want to fight infection and help to prevent or prolong the onset of disease in your body, make sure you get plenty of oregano. Often thought of as just an herb to season tomato sauces or other Italian dishes, fresh oregano is a wonderful source of fiber when eaten in larger quantities. The fragrant smell attracts the olfactory glands and causes that mouth-watering sensation of a hungry appetite.
Oregano has anti-bacterial properties that help to fight infection. It is said that Hippocrates, born around 460 BC used oregano on his patients. He may not have known the full nature of infection, but he was aware that eating oregano could prevent it. This benefit is due to the oils thymol and carvacrol found in oregano.
An excellent antioxidant, it can be compared to the benefits found in apples and blueberries. Like spinach and other leafy vegetables, fresh oregano is nutrient and vitamin rich. A good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, manganese and calcium as well as containing omega-3 fatty acids.
Oregano is one of the few herbs in which the flavor is stronger when it is dried rather than fresh. Most commonly associated with Italian dishes, the smell and savory taste of oregano were the main culprits responsible for the pizza craze that hit this country after World War II.
Oregano is usually purchased dried in spice jars at the grocery store. However, some stores sell it fresh. You can also buy seeds or seedlings and grow your own fresh oregano. When storing oregano, put it in a plastic bag filled with air and place in the crisper of the refrigerator. When using fresh oregano, you will probably need to use three times as much as you would of the dried variety to achieve the same intensity of flavor. Other spices that go with oregano are garlic, parsley, sage, thyme, pepper, basil, and dried onions.
There are many recipes that call for oregano, both fresh and dried. If you’re stuck and looking for some new ideas of what to cook for yourself and your family, I’ve got a treasure chest full of healthy meals to share with you. Many of them include oregano and some of the other spices listed above. Just click on the Healthy Cooking category for your choice of recipes. You must be a member of Fitness4Her to get access, so join today. It quick and easy to do, plus it’s free. So join today and cook up a healthy meal with the savory essence of oregano.
~ Karen Ficarelli
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