Weekend Feature: Health Benefits of Oregano

Oregano is a bitter, perennial herb that can also be considered a super food for all of its powerful ingredients and abilities. If you haven’t been using oregano in your cooking before, you’re going to want to start now.

 

Oregano
Source: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8159/7606792640_b30eafdb9c_o.jpg

Oregano is also used medicinally to treat a number of ailments. Read on for an eye-opening look at this little wonder.

Inside Oregano 

Oregano is most often packaged and used in its dried form, but in its raw, fresh form it is a beautiful, flowering plant that grows up to 80 centimeters tall. Oregano is a great source of potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, beta carotene, pyridoxine, dietary fiber and antioxidant flavonoids like lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin.

Reportedly, just 3 ½ ounces of oregano packs an incredible amount of nutrition that is near impossible to beat. You get 550% of the recommended daily amount of iron, 518% vitamin K, 230% vitamin A, 203% manganese, 107% dietary fiber, 93% pyridoxine, 83% vitamin C, 69% folate, and more than 4,000 micrograms of beta carotene!

What Makes Oregano a Super Food? 

The eye-popping amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in oregano exponentially increase the power they usually have in other foods.

The huge amount of dietary fiber in oregano helps to keep cholesterol and blood sugar levels down; keep the heart, bowels and immune system functioning well; keep the appetite under control; and lower your risks for cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

The antioxidant flavonoids in oregano seek out and destroy free radicals that speed up aging, and cause disease and cancers.

Vitamin C in oregano strengthens the immune system, bones and teeth. It also boosts energy, fights infections and cancer, and clears up the skin.

A chemical in oregano called thymol is believed to have antifungal and antibacterial abilities as well.

The leaves and stems of oregano provide even more amazing benefits:

  1. They can be used medicinally as an antiseptic to clean wounds, burns and cuts.
  2. They can suppress muscle spasms in the body.
  3. They help to stimulate the production of blood in the pelvic region, which is especially beneficial to women who may have light, irregular or stagnated menstrual periods.
  4. They encourage the production of mucous secretions where there is congestion, so you can breathe better and feel better, especially if you have a cold or upper respiratory infection.
  5. They act as stimulants, giving you that needed energy boost or feeling of alertness and clarity as you go about your day.
  6. They help to tone stomach muscles and facilitate better stomach function, which aids in the treatment of indigestion, stomachaches, and other stomach-related conditions.
  7. They help with the elimination of bile from the body, which keeps the liver running well.
  8. They keep gas in the body down to a minimum, so you have fewer embarrassing belching or flatulence issues.
  9. They encourage bodily perspiration, which eliminates fevers and keeps the body at a cool and normal temperature.
  10. They invigorate and strengthen the body.

So for that wow factor, great flavoring, and a flood of health benefits, reach for oregano.

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