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Monday, 1 March 2021

10 Amazing health benefits of oregano, an herb fit for your kitchen and medicine cabinet

 Whether sprinkled over fresh bread, worked into a flavorful marinade or stirred into a hearty broth, there’s no denying that oregano instantly elevates any savory creation.

Oregano is an aromatic herb that has long been a hallmark of Mediterranean cuisine. Its flavor is most intense during the summer when it is sold in big bundles at a farmer’s market. Fresh oregano leaves pair well with a variety of foods, from lamb to vegetables. Plus, they also boast a wide range of benefits for your health.

The many health benefits of oregano

Oregano is a go-to kitchen herb. But it also doubles as a delicious healing agent, thanks to its abundance of essential vitamins, minerals and powerful active compounds. Below are the science-based health benefits of oregano:

  1. It boosts immunity – Ward off infections and diseases with oregano. Oregano has potent antibacterial and antiviral properties that come in handy if you want to avoid coming down with a cold or the flu.
  2. It combats inflammation – Research suggests that oregano may help treat and prevent inflammatory diseases like arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
  3. It supports healthy heart function – Oregano is rich in potassium, which helps control heart rate. It also helps regulate your blood pressure.
  4. It maintains strong bones – Add more oregano to your foods to keep your bones strong. Oregano contains high amounts of calcium, which is primarily found in your bones and teeth, and magnesium, which helps your body absorb calcium from foods better.
  5. It may help relieve congestion – There is some evidence that oregano oil can help relieve congestion. Just add crushed oregano leaves to a glass of water or fresh juice and drink that until the congestion goes away.
  6. It keeps your skin healthy – Oregano contains carotenoids, which are typically found in orange foods like carrots and pumpkins. These plant compounds help keep your skin firm, clear and healthy. In fact, oregano oil may be applied topically to treat fungal skin infections. Just dilute it first in a carrier oil.
  7. It helps prevent anemia – Anemia is a condition marked by low levels of red blood cells. Oregano can help prevent anemia by promoting the creation of new red blood cells, thanks to its high iron content.
  8. It supports digestion – Oregano promotes the secretion of digestive juices that help break down foods and keep them moving along the intestine. This helps prevent constipation.
  9. It eliminates parasites – Oregano oil is known for its anti-parasitic action. Recent studies have shown that oregano oil is especially useful for eliminating parasites in the digestive tract.
  10. It helps fight and prevent cancer – Oregano contains tons of powerful antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage, which has been linked to cancer.

Roasted chicken thighs with lemon and oregano recipe

Cooking chicken for dinner again? Level it up with oregano, lemon and white wine for a filling main dish that looks as good as it tastes.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 4 large skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Halve the lemon. Very thinly, slice one half and discard any seeds, then cut the remaining half into wedges. Season chicken thighs to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, skin-side down. Cook for 10 minutes or until the skin browns and the chicken is cooked halfway through. Pour off any excess fat.
  3. Scatter half of the lemon slices over the chicken. Scatter the other half on the bottom of the skillet. Those on top of the chicken will soften, while those in the skillet will caramelize.
  4. Transfer the skillet to the oven. Roast for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Transfer the chicken and the caramelized lemon slices to a platter. Leave the softened slices in the skillet. Return the skillet to medium heat and add oregano, shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until fragrant.
  6. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes or until reduced. Add the broth and cook for 3 minutes or until thick.
  7. Squeeze one lemon wedge over it and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of oil and return chicken thighs to the skillet, skin-side up. Serve topped with caramelized lemon slices.

Oregano is rich in many essential nutrients and boasts high levels of powerful compounds to boot. It can enhance the flavor of savory dishes and helps improve your overall health. So incorporate oregano into your diet by adding fresh oregano to your dishes. You should also stock up on dried oregano for when you’re in need of a home remedy.

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