You probably already know how much you should be eating fruits and veggies, especially leafy greens such as kale and spinach.
But what about the secret group of greens that no one pays much attention to? A group of greens that also a group that offers secret health benefits for your brain.
What is this secret group of foods? Herbs!
Herbs are incredibly nutrient-dense greens that are normally just considered to be a mere condiment, but they’re so much more than that.
Fresh herbs can be used in common recipes like smoothies and salads in heartier amounts than just a topping.
They can also benefit you greatly if you suffer from any type of ailment, such as anxiety or digestive problems. They can even enhance your longevity by protecting your brain and heart.
There are 10 specific herbs that you can find at any supermarket in fresh form which you can even grow at home. So what are you waiting for? Add a few of these to your dishes and you’ll be amazed at what they can do for you!
Brain-Boosting Properties: Relaxation, Focus, Vitality
Rosemary has been used for hundreds of years as an anti-anxiety and naturally calming remedy. It’s commonly used in many entrées to bring this property into the dinnertime meal, such as in Thanksgiving recipes, for example.
Rosemary also contains powerful compounds that can help you focus and maintain a sense of vitality and strength. The herb originates from the Mediterranean and is a great source of calcium and Vitamin B6, two especially calming nutrients.
Rosemary is a family member of the mint group of plants and provides benefits for the heart and digestive system as well.
Brain-Boosting Properties: Anti-Stress, Happiness, Focus
Have you ever popped a mint or piece of mint chewing gum when you needed to focus during the afternoon or at work or school? That’s no surprise because mint is an exceptional herb to use to combat stress and help you focus.
Fresh mint is much better than gum or candied mints, however. You can find fresh peppermint or spearmint at any supermarket in the produce section where fresh herbs are sold.
Mint is also a great herb to use to boost your sense of happiness. It can even help soothe a headache or tummy ache, and it makes for a great addition to chocolate flavored green smoothies and fruit-based salads.
Brain-Boosting Properties: Calm, Collected, Passion
Basil is also technically a member of the mint family, although it has more of an earthy, herb-like flavor that’s much different than mint’s bright and slightly sweet flavor. For this reason, basil and mint are used very differently in recipes, but they can both provide similar benefits for the brain.
Basil is a natural herb used to bring a sense of calm and collected into your day. It’s also a well-known herb to boost one’s season of passion and has been considered an aphrodisiac for hundreds of years.
Basil even helps combat infections and is considered a natural anti-microbial.
Keep in mind, a little basil goes a long way, though, so be sure to only use a few leaves of basil to start when you’re using it in a new dish. It works very nicely in salads with bitter lettuces, sweet fruits, or it can be used in soups, stews, Italian dishes, and some people even love it in smoothies.
Brain-Boosting Properties: Focus, Relaxation, Anti-Stress
Parsley is one of the best sources of Vitamin C which makes it a natural anti-stress and relaxing herb. It’s also high in chlorophyll, the pigment that gives it its bright and vibrant green color and anti-inflammatory properties.
Parsley is also useful for improving focus due to the way it uplifts and brings attention to any dish it’s added to.
Parsley is even one of the best sources of Vitamin K, which helps improve blood flow to the brain which enhances focus even further. It makes a fantastic addition to smoothies for a fresh, fun flavor and it’s also great in salads, entrées of any kind, or on wraps and in savory breakfast dishes.
Brain-Boosting Properties: Energized, Anti-Stress, Vitality
Cilantro is a bright and lively herb that’s especially energizing and revitalizing. It boosts detoxification of the liver which naturally lowers stress levels and enhances a sense of well-being.
Because the herb is in the same family as carrots, celery, and parsley, it’s also great for reducing water weight and combatting the negative effects of too much sodium. Like parsley, cilantro is also high in Vitamin C making it a natural anti-stress remedy.
Cilantro can be used in any dish, sweet or savory, so don’t limit the use of it to your best guacamole recipe alone!
Brain-Boosting Properties: Calm, Focused, Happiness
Oregano is an ancient herb used to bring a sense of calm, focus, and happiness into any dish it’s added to. It’s a well-known natural remedy for depression and reduces anxiety because it’s high in Vitamin B6, one of nature’s most powerful antidepressants.
Oregano is also a natural source of chlorophyll and magnesium, two other important nutrients that produce a sense of calm and happiness.
The herb can even be used as a digestive aid due to the way it enhances the relaxation process in the body and reduces acidity in the digestive tract. This is one reason it’s commonly added to heavier dishes, such as in Italian recipes and hearty stews.
Brain-Boosting Properties: Calm, Relaxation, Anti-Stress
Sage isn’t just useful for making delicious holiday recipes; it’s also a powerful food to use for optimal brain health. Sage may just be one of the best herbs with secret health benefits for your brain, in fact. The herb has been linked to reducing symptoms of menopause, depression, anxiety, and is a natural herb used for combatting stress and improving relaxation.
Clary sage and rubbed sage can be bought in ground form, but if you ever get a chance to buy the fresh herb, definitely do so.
Fresh sage is higher in compounds that are even said to enhance wisdom, making it a great herb to use to enhance focus and learning.
Brain-Boosting Properties: Focus, Vitality, Anti-Stress
Tarragon is packed with brain-boosting benefits and nutrients that combat stress as well as enhance vitality.
It’s a well-known remedy for anxiety and has been used as a natural sedative throughout history, similar to the ways that sage has. As a bonus, the herb is also great for digestion and improving blood flow, which can also improve your mood and enhance your sense of vitality.
The herb isn’t used much, except in French cooking, but it’s delicious in any type of cuisine you enjoy making. Savory and sweet recipes can both benefit from the use of tarragon, which has a light, peppery, and almost sweet finish.
Try tarragon in your next smoothie, salad, stir-fry, or bowl of soup; just a few leaves of this herb is all you need!
Brain-Boosting Properties: Focus, Happiness, Calm
Thyme is a well-loved herb among many. The herb is packed with anti-aging properties as well as secret health benefits for your brain. It is even useful for aiding digestion, something that’s very important for your mood and mind.
Thyme is high in natural compounds that boost your sense of happiness and produce a sense of calm with just one whiff. You can even steep thyme in hot water with lemon and then use it as a natural potpourri to boost your sense of focus, similar to the ways that cinnamon is used.
Or, just add thyme into your next entrée. Although fresh thyme is higher in benefits than dried thyme, the dried, whole form is still a potent source of nutrients you can benefit from in small amounts.
Brain-Boosting Properties: Focus, Vitality, Collected
Marjoram is used in many Italian herb blends and is used in various Mediterranean recipes because it’s similar in health benefits to oregano. It’s another member of the mint family of plants, so it also comes with some of the same benefits as other mint family members.
Marjoram is a powerful herb that can improve your sense of vitality, enhances focus, and it makes you feel calm and collected. A little marjoram goes a long way, however, so don’t go overboard with this powerful spice.
Marjoram isn’t always easy to find in whole form, so feel free to use the dried varieties if that’s all you can find.
More Benefits of These Herbs:
Like other greens, these herbs that come with secret health benefits for your brain are also exceptional foods to eat for an overall healthy body.
Each one of these herbs can enhance digestion, improve your skin and cardiovascular function, reduce high blood pressure, and reduce inflammation. So be sure to add a few of these herbs to your plate this week and see how you enjoy them.
For more foods that can benefit your health, check out these foods that you can eat for healthier skin in no time!