Not only do they add flavor, they also contain many good ingredients: fresh herbs. However, they should be eaten in moderation – otherwise there is a risk of stomach problems.
Parsley, cress, dill & Co. – herbs are more than a spice and a nice topping for a meal. They are also very healthy on their own. “Herbs score with secondary plant substances as well as vitamins and minerals,” says Silke Restemeyer from the German Society for Nutrition (DGE).
Secondary plant substances can have an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect in the body or even lower blood pressure. Last but not least, the essential oils contained in herbs, which are among the secondary plant substances, are good for the organism. “If, for example, basil or thyme smell extremely, this indicates a high proportion of essential oils,” explains Daniela Krehl from the Bavarian consumer center.
Depending on the type of herb, the essential oils can have an appetizing or calming effect. Or prevent bloating.
These are the seven most common herbs and how they score:
– Parsley: In addition to vitamins C and K, it also contains minerals such as iron and beta-carotene. The body converts this plant pigment into vitamin A. According to Silke Restemeyer, it has an antioxidant effect and stimulates some functions of the immune system.
– Coriander: Coriander contains essential oils that, according to the DGE, stimulate the appetite and help against digestive problems such as a feeling of fullness, flatulence and gastrointestinal cramps. It also contains vitamin C.
– Basil: In addition to beta-carotene, it also contains magnesium and iron. Basil has an appetite-stimulating, draining and blood pressure-lowering effect. It has a reputation for helping with digestive problems.
– Lovage: B-group vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium are in here. The type of herb stimulates the appetite and, according to the DGE, should also be diuretic.
– Sage: The tannins it contains promote digestion and reduce flatulence. They can also be antiperspirant. Sage also has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect.
– Dill: Dill contains beta-carotene, but also vitamin C, calcium and potassium. According to the DGE, the herb helps as a remedy for flatulence. It also supports the regeneration of cells in the body.
– Thyme: Contains iron and calcium. Because thyme has an antiviral and expectorant effect, it is not only a popular spice, but is also often drunk as a tea for coughs and sore throats.
No snack for in between
Taken together, these examples provide good reasons to reach for fresh herbs more often. But are parsley & co. also good as a healthy snack in between? Can you put a bowl down for a snack?
DGE expert Silke Restemeyer is rather skeptical. “They don’t really fill you up,” she says. And as a sweet treat, they are only suitable to a limited extent, since it can even be harmful to eat too many herbs at once, says Daniela Krehl. “The essential oils contained in many herbs can irritate the stomach lining and ultimately lead to stomach problems.”
Well dosed, fresh herbs can always be used more often as an accompaniment to other healthy snacks. “For example, a few basil leaves on a cheese sandwich or quark with fresh herbs on a slice of wholemeal bread,” says Restemeyer.
This is how purchased herbs stay fresh
Good to know: Herbs are real mimosas, so highly sensitive. Therefore, they should be eaten as soon as possible after purchase. “To keep them fresh for a few days, you can chop herbs, wrap them in a damp cloth and put them in the fridge,” says Daniela Krehl. An alternative: store the herbs slightly moistened in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator.
If you want to keep the green cabbage for longer than a few days, you can dry or freeze it. So you can hang bunches of herbs in small portions like on a clothesline. “However, not all herbs are suitable for drying,” says Krehl. It doesn’t work with cress or chives, for example.
When freezing, wash and chop the herbs beforehand. They come with a few drops of water in ice cube trays and then in the freezer. The herb cubes are then added to stews or meat dishes without being defrosted.