The idea of oregano probably brings up images or thoughts of the dried herb flavoring spaghetti sauce and other Italian dishes and we probably don’t think about it as a source of healing powers. But oregano offers a wide variety of disease-fighting properties. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, and an antimicrobial/antibacterial agent.
Its volatile oils thymol and carvacrol are potent inhibitors of bacteria and thymol and rosmarinic acid, also found in oregano, act as strong antioxidants that help to prevent damage done by free radicals. In fact, oregano’s antioxidant capacity is even stronger than blueberries! Yet, how many of us think about ways to include oregano into our daily diets?
Although oregano is best eaten fresh for better flavor, just two teaspoons of dried oregano provides the following micronutrient profile:
% daily value
Vitamin K 23
Dietary fiber 5
Omega-3 FA’s 5
Vitamin A 4
Vitamin C 3
Although I’m not one to pick apart foods for their nutritional value and would rather look at them in terms of their overall nutrition, I list the above nutrients to demonstrate how powerful oregano is as a source of valuable vitamins, minerals, and even fats. Can you see the value of including herbs in meals on a regular basis? Oregano enhances our health while adding flavor and aroma at the same time. There isn’t a multivitamin out there that can do that.
To take advantage of oregano’s powers, experiment with it by adding it to any dish you would normally add herbs:
- combine it with other fresh herbs in egg dishes,
- add it to sauces and soups,
- mix it into vegetables,
- use it in marinades and dressings
Can you think of another use for oregano, either fresh or dried? I’d love to hear your favorite dishes that include oregano!!