At the beginning you need to know that there are numerous reasons why need to include basil to your meals more frequently.
Basil (lat. Ocimum basilicum) is a very aromatic plant, with oval and usually green leaves. In addition you need to know that there are about sixty species of basil, and they all are different in appearance and taste.
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.
One of the antioxidants is beta-carotene. Now you should know that the beta-carotene in the body converts to vitamin A. In addition, you should know that beta-carotene protects blood vessels and heart, by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol. Also you should know that beta-carotene is excellent for the prevention of diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, which in most cases occur due to free radicals.
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
Basil is an essential condiment in various cuisines, and goes well with a variety of dishes. Basil is always added to the dish at the end, in order to preserve its taste. If you have a choice, always choose fresh basil because it has a stronger taste. The most famous dish that includes basil is pesto Genovese’s, which contains green sauce of basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. 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.