Sage and Health Benefits
Herbs retain their importance due to their indispensable nature in culinary and medicinal usage. Sage can also be counted in the family of herbs bearing these qualities. Sage is a member of the mint family and the relatives of which include rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano. The color of the leaves of the sage plant can vary from gray to green with visible silver lines. Sage herbs have a potent aroma and bitter taste. Sage can be procured in fresh, dried or powdered variety. The categories of sage herbs include clary sage, azure sage, pineapple sage and three-lobbed sage. Greek and Italian preparations widely use sage in their recipes.
Fresh sage leaves are readily available in markets. Leaves flaunting rich color can be chosen. Bruised and discolored leaves are unsuitable for consumption. Organic dried sage is a wiser choice than the non-organic varieties as they are unadulterated. Wrap fresh sage leaves in a wet cloth in plastic bags and store in the refrigerator. Dried sage can be rested in sealed containers in a cool dark corner on the shelf where it is protected from sunlight.
Fresh sage leaves can be rinsed with water after disposing the stems and fibers when readying them for cooking. Dry the leaves with a cloth to clean them further. Tear whole leaves or chop the leaves thinly.
Finely sliced sage leaves can be sprayed on top of preparations for their garnishing. Yogurt-based accompaniments can contain torn sage leaves along with other ingredients such as cucumber and onion. Pizza toppings can include sage leaves. Sage leaves can be packed in parchment paper and placed alongside the chicken and fish during baking for herb-flavored dishes. Vegetable dishes can include sage at the final phase of the cooking process to avoid loss of the herb flavor.
Vital oils in addition to minerals and vitamins share the nutritional worth of the sage herb. Massaging sage oil on the body can soothe the body and calm the mind. Relief from ailments is also imparted with sage oils. The health benefits associated with sage intake is discussed in the following points.
- Nutritional Value
The vitamin count in sage includes vitamin A and vitamin C. Vitamins of the B-complex group are also contained in sage and these are thiamine, folic acid and riboflavin. Minerals stored in sage are calcium, zinc, potassium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium.
Function of organs, bones and blood vessels can be enhanced with vitamin C in sage. The immune system can be developed and protection from the adverse impacts of the free radicals can also be imparted with this vitamin in sage.
- Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Nutritional elements in sage can reduce inflammation of blood vessels and organs. The inflammation inducing elements are combated by the anti-oxidants in sage. Metabolism is assisted by the nutrients and cells are protected from injury. Conditions such as Arthritis and asthma are averted. Also the atherosclerosis condition which arises due to hardening of the arteries can be improved with sage intake.
- Other Benefits
Vitamin A in sage can improve vision due to its anti-oxidant abilities. Cancer prevention is also possible with this vitamin in sage. Skin care can also be enhanced by the vitamin as a result of sage intake.
Relaxation of the bloodstreams is assisted with nutrients in sage. Cardio-vascular health can be encouraged and ailments affecting the heart can be avoided.
Brain cells also receive protection by the nutrients in sage. Memory loss is contained and concentration is improved. Overall brain health is enhanced and ailments such as Alzheimers are resisted.
Digestive issues such as indigestion can be resolved with sage constituents by stimulating the release of digestive juices. Oral hygiene can also be enhanced with sage.