Improve your health with homegrown herbs

HerbGarden

This post originally appeared on www.HealthBytesNYC.com

Herb gardens are not only a great way to enhance your dinner dishes, but also your well-being. Here are five ways you can use herbs and gardening to help improve your health:

1. Eat and use herbs
There are lots of vitamins and minerals in herbs that we don’t even realize. Depending on the herb, they can increase circulation, help with digestion, supply rich antioxidants, have astringent and antiseptic properties, and much more. Using a variety will help make sure you get all the benefits. Herbs not only can be ingested for their health benefits, but also can be used for aromatherapy. For example, smelling lavender can help you de-stress and increase relaxation.

2. Have fresh herbs on hand
Fresh herbs are better than artificial flavors or dried seasonings. Not only are fresh herbs more potent and flavorful, but the nutrients in them won’t be lost with processing and packaging. You can grow them outside or inside, and they will always be there for your use. On top of that, you save money and time by not having to buy herbs — you can have all your favorites stocked at home.

3. Start your own garden
Gardening is a great way to get your body moving and soaking up your daily dose of vitamin D outdoors. Even tending your own small herb garden in your window can be therapeutic and help relieve stress. Having plants in your home, even a small herb garden, can clean the air and increase the oxygen level indoors.

4. Share and experiment
Did you know there are almost 30 different types of basil plants? This gives you a lot of options and room for exploring new flavors and expanding your herb garden. You will have more than enough herbs to go around once they start growing, so share the health and wealth with others. Trimming and using the herbs helps keep them growing and healthy.

5. Store your herbs
If you can’t use an herb now, you can store it for later. Preserve your herbs for future use by freezing or drying them. Ice cube trays are a great method for freezing some herb leaves and then using them when you are ready. The benefit of freezing, as opposed to drying, is that the herbs retain more of their just-picked flavor. Either way, it is a great way to use all that you cultivate, and to have great-tasting herbs all year round.

Information provided by Julie Winslow, director health education and outreach at the Karpas Health Information Center at Beth Israel Medical Center.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…