Oregano is a little plant that is essential both in our kitchen and medicine cabinet. A delicious healing agent, oregano is known for its subtly sweet, herbaceous, and earthy flavor with a slight bitterness that’s reminiscent of the aromatic organic compound camphor thus making it a great addition to a wide variety of dishes.
This member of the mint family is rich in a variety of essential oils, including pinene, limonene, thymol, and carvacrol. Oregano pairs well with basil, garlic, onion, and thyme. It is commonly used in olive oil-based dishes and tomato-centric recipes, like pizza and pasta sauce. Its fresh leaves can also be used as a garnish to add in moderation at the end of cooking, particularly to vegetables like cauliflower and eggplant. It can also be used to season our roasted dishes like roast chicken or Brussels sprouts.
Health Benefits Of Oregano
Fresh oregano is a great antibacterial agent. It contains phytonutrients (thymol and carvacrol), which fight infections such as staph. These compounds can help defend the body against a wide range of bacteria that can affect the skin, gut, and other parts of the body (1,2).
Oregano has calcium, which is required for building healthy bones (3).
Oregano contains rosmarinic acid and thymol, powerful antioxidants that help in reducing oxidative stress in the body. Consumption of it may help improve our immune system. It has 42 times the antioxidants as a medium-sized apple, 30 times more than a white potato, and 12 times more than an orange (4,5).
It is loaded with antioxidants that can help neutralize free radicals and reduce inflammation. Its carvacrol content has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some people rub its oil on inflamed joints and muscles (6).
Simple Recipe Ideas Using Oregano (7)
Oregano Pesto – An alternative take on traditional pesto made with fresh oregano, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
Tomato Pasta with Oregano – A fresh tomato sauce consisting of plum tomatoes, olive oil, minced garlic, chopped fresh oregano, crushed red pepper, and seasonings. Served over cooked pasta with parmesan cheese.
Basic Pizza Sauce – A universal sauce for homemade pizza can be made using tomato paste, tomato sauce, dried oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
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