Oregano and chilli flakes- any pizza night is incomplete without asking the delivery guy for extra packet(s) of both of these. The use of these condiments has taken up a boost in the last decade only, from adding it to Italian cuisine made at home to even using it and innovating the OG maggi recipe and what not.
But did you know that apart from adding whole lot of flavour to your dishes, oregano has got multiple health benefits as well? Sounds interesting, right? Let's see what this little condiment has got in store for us.
What is oregano?
Oregano is a herb from the mint or Lamiaceae family, native to the Mediterranean region. It has a strong flavour with a hint of sweetness and is available fresh or in the form of dried flakes and oil.
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We all know that oregano is packed with flavour, but it has got great health benefits too. Some of them are listed below-
Rich in anti-oxidants The buildup of free radicals in the body has been linked to chronic diseases like cancer and heart issues. Anti-oxidants are compounds that help in fighting these free radicals. Oregano is a rich source of these anti-oxidants. Various studies reveal that a gram of oregano contains 42 times more antioxidant properties than apple because it is a rich source of Vitamin A and C.
May fight bacteria Oregano is a great anti-bacterial agent. According to a study conducted to compare the microbial activity of thyme, oregano and sage essential oils, oregano was the second most effective essential oils against bacteria, after thyme.
May reduce viral infections Compounds like carvacrol and thymol found in oregano have been associated with anti-viral properties. Carvacrol fights viruses that cause diarrhea, nausea and stomach pain while according to a lab test, both these compounds together inactivated 90% of the herpes virus within an hour.
Relieves joint pains Oregano oil is recommended to relieve muscle and joint pain, as a remedy for sore throat, poor digestion and nausea.
Improves digestion Oregano is a rich source of fibre which means it can boost our digestive system, if consumed in controlled quantities regularly.
How to include it in your diet?
There are various ways to include oregano in your diet. The most common and easiest one is to sprinkle dried oregano flakes as topping on pizza, pastas, garlic breads, open sandwiches, etc.
You can also add dried or fresh oregano in soups and stews; on salads, steamed and sauteed vegetables; marinate meats. Oregano oil is quite strong as compared to dried flakes and can be used in a very small quantity as a dressing on salads. Well, now you have got even more reasons to love this condiment!