5 Nutritious Herbs To Cook With This Spring


Whether it be from your garden, planter box or farmers market, fresh, nutritious herbs are a wonderful addition to any diet this time of year!  Outside of their beautiful green color, fresh herbs contain abundant amounts of nutrients and healing properties, increasing the nutritional value of your meal along with the flavor.

Here are 5 herbs you may want to try this spring!

Mint

A favorite herb among many, mint is a delightful flavor to enjoy as the weather gets warmer.  Being a hardy and somewhat invasive plant, mint should have its own planter box when growing since it has the tendency to take over gardens.

Nutritional benefits:

Mint is used often to treat indigestion; it can be helpful in relieving cramps, nausea and bloating.  It also contains an abundance of trace minerals and antioxidants and is known for having a stimulating effect on the brain, increasing focus and memory.

Add mint to a fresh pot of boiling water to make your own mint tea!  Fresh mint leaves are great to include in summer salads, and are a wonderful addition to smoothies, like this refreshing Chocolate Mint Smoothie.

Parsley

Known for it’s beautiful bright green leaves, parsley is often used as a garnish to accompany meals, but this little green herb has much more to offer then visual enjoyment!

Nutritional benefits:

Parsley is high in Vitamin C and Vitamin K and offers twice as much iron as spinach.  It can be used as a digestive aid and has a detoxifying effect on the body, helping to purify the blood and stimulate the bowels.

Add parsley to salads and smoothies for a refreshing flavor.  Garnish meats and fish with chopped parsley leaves.  And don’t forget to use parsley as a natural breath freshener – simply chew a few raw sprigs!

Cilantro

You either love it or you hate it, but if you’re a lover of cilantro, there are endless ways to utilize this zesty herb!

Nutritional benefits:

Cilantro is known for its detoxifying effects, particularly in removing heavy metals from the body.  This herb can also be helpful in relieving digestive pain and is often used to treat nausea and headaches.

Add cilantro to homemade salsas, like this refreshing Avocado Salsa paired with grilled salmon for a simple spring dinner!  Fresh cilantro compliments any grilled chicken or fish, and can be particularly tasty with coconut milk and fresh lime juice – poached cod anyone?

Basil

One of the most well-known herbs, basil is a classic whether dried or fresh – and nothing screams springtime like the scent of fresh basil!

Nutritional benefits:

Fresh basil is known as one of the most nutritious herbs, containing Vitamin K, Vitamin A and an abundance of antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body. It contains a number of trace minerals, has antibacterial properties, and helps to decrease inflammation throughout the body!

Add basil to salads of all kinds!  It goes wonderfully with arugula, kale and spinach, and is the perfect addition to any type of fruit salad.  You can also add fresh basil to your favorite salad dressings, such as this Lemon Basil dressing.  Fresh basil also works wonderfully in smoothies or green juices such as this Green Mojito Juice.  It is the perfect garnish for any meat or gluten free pasta dish, such as our Spaghetti Squash and Tomato recipe.

Chives

A durable and quick-growing plant, chives are a simple way to add a subtle onion and garlic flavor to many dishes!

Nutritional benefits:

Chives are surprisingly high in Vitamin K, which is essential for bone health and nerve support, and Vitamin A, which is essential for immune health.  Chives also contain an abundance of antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber.

Add chives to scrambled or baked eggs, like this delicious Egg Baked Acorn Squash recipe, or mix in with any potato dish (baked, mashed or potato soup!).  They are a wonderful garnish for baked or grilled fish and compliment many sauces containing butter or vinegar.  

We have so many delicious recipes containing fresh herbs on the Be Well Healthy Living Pinterest page, so make sure to check them out and learn more ways to utilize these fresh herbs all spring and summer!

Amanda is a Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach working to help individuals improve their health in a simple and attainable way. By gradually introducing healthy eating habits and living practices specific to their body and lifestyle, Amanda helps her clients take control of their health. Most important, she works together with them to create a personalized plan of action that supports their short and long term health goals.Amanda received her training from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is accredited by The American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She works as a Health Coach at the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and runs her own health coaching practice and wellness blog. Amanda is passionate about sharing her personal story along with all she has studied in hopes of empowering others to transform their relationship with food, their body and their health.