Oregano: There is no better antioxidant herb than oregano. Oregano tops the USDA`s Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) list. Only the spices cinnamon and cloves beat oregano. Oregano`s potency resides in its flavonoids and phenolic acids, used by the plant to protect itself from light damage.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum): Antioxidant action in purple basils comes mainly from anthocyanins and in green basil from other flavonoids. Basil is most effective fresh.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum): Don`t toss a parsley garnish - it contains the antioxidants apiol, myristicin, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin. Both flat- and curly-leaved types appear to have similar nutritional profiles, and parsley is most healthful uncooked.
Rosemary: Rosemary loves sunshine and poor, dry soils - conditions that encourage development of antioxidant phenolics, including carnosic acid. Carnosic acid may protect brain cells as it can penetrate the blood-brain barrier. It is an intriguing potential therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer`s. Unlike more delicate herbs, rosemary retains its healthy properties when cooked.
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