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Basil is simply gorgeous, but this delicate, herbaceous leaf comes in a wide variety of tastes and scents and contains a wide variety of health properties making it a must for any menu.

🍃Its antioxidants help fight free radicals in the body that can lead to cell damage and increase risk for health conditions, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.

🍃Its essential oils can help lower cholesterol and triglycerides.

🍃Magnesium, also found in basil, can help improve blood flow by allowing muscles and blood vessels to relax.

🍃Tulsi basil is a popular herb in Ayurvedic medicine, and research has shown that, among its benefits, it can help improve mental health as it has compounds that can help to alleviate anxiety and depression.

🍃Its antibacterial properties may help to fight bacteria in people with respiratory, urinary, abdominal, and skin infections.

So how can you incorporate it into your diet? Here are some ideas:

  • Layer basil with fresh tomato slices, adding some cold pressed olive oil, balsamic vinegar and some cracked black pepper and kosher salt

  • Top off homemade pizza or pasta

  • Purée it into dips, soups or sauces

  • Add it to homemade pesto

  • Mix it into a salad or wrap

  • Use it as a garnish in a summer fruit salad in place of mint

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