In recent years, nutrition studies have revealed the incredible wellness potential that’s packed into plants. Rich vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and unique compounds live in vegetables and herbs — each with an important role to play in our bodies.
These 8 herbs and vegetables are considered the healthiest plants on the planet — ones that you should be incorporating into your regular diet to maximize your health.
Lavender is an aromatic herb with gorgeous purple flowers.
Although it is edible (try this lavender lemonade recipe), lavender is most known for it’s aromatherapeutic and applied oil effects.
Lavender is the ultimate de-stressing agent. This study shows that lavender works to decrease anxiety, improving mood generally and reducing stress.
Additionally, lavender acts as a mild sedative. If applied topically or inhaled directly, it can help you sleep or soothe nerves.
Rosemary is a woodsy, elegant herb that tastes delicious and smells like fall. Rosemary is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that prevent cell damage and boost your immune system. (Historically, it was prescribed to cure colds!).
Rosemary also contains a chemical called carnosic acid. This chemical is guessed to boost brain activity and reduce damage by free radicals.
More studies are needed, but rosemary shows potential as a preventer of Alzheimer’s disease.
You don’t always have to consume it! Simply the smell of rosemary is shown to offer human health benefits — especially in improving memory. Take a rosemary bath and enjoy the health boost!
If you’re looking to fight off infection, basil is the plant you want. Its leaves inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeasts, and molds. It also boosts your immune system function by increasing certain immune cells in the blood.
Basil may also contain antioxidants that help the body protect its tissues against free radicals — byproducts produced by the body that create oxidative stress.
Mint is a wonderful herb that’s distinctly refreshing and crisp. It’s perfect for tisanes, chocolate desserts, and more.
Health-wise, peppermint is shown to soothe upset stomachs. One study showed that women who sniffed peppermint after surgery reported less nausea than those on anti-nausea medication or placebos.
It’s also shown to reduce irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) pains. This is hypothesized to be because mint reduces bloating and relaxes the muscles in the colon; therefore reducing the symptoms of IBS.
Garlic is used in cuisine throughout the world to flavor and add spice to meals. It’s also a health powerhouse — it’s one of the healthiest plants you can consume.
Garlic contains a specific compound called allicin.
Allicin is scientifically proven to lower your chances of heart disease. It can also be an aid for reducing high cholesterol and high blood pressure
Note: To get the benefits of garlic, you have to chop or crush the cloves. Allicin only forms once garlic cells have been crushed!
Spinach is the original superfood — and for good reason.
Like many of its leafy green siblings, spinach is packed with nutrients, vitamins, and more.
Spinach has tons of beta-carotene, lutein, and xanthene in it—all of which are very beneficial for your eyesight and helpful in reducing eye ulcers, eye itching, and dry eyes.
Consuming spinach can also help prevent cataracts due to the presence of zeaxanthin.
For a veggie, spinach has tons of easily digestible protein, which helps in muscle growth, our body’s ability to heal, and our metabolic efficiency. There’s also thylakoid in spinach, which is suggested to be able to curb hunger and cravings.
If you regularly consume spinach, the potassium, folate, and various antioxidants in the veggie are known to boost your brainpower. It’s specifically linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Check out the health benefits of the other major leafy greens here.
As basic as it might seem, carrots are actually one of the healthiest veggies out there.
They contain Vitamin A galore: one cup of carrots contains 428% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A. They also are rich sources of beta-carotene — the myth that carrots are good for your eyesight holds true!
Additionally, carrots have been linked to a decreased risk of cancer. One study showed that participants who ate carrots decreased their risk of prostate cancer by 5% as compared to those who did not.
Otherwise, carrots are good sources of Vitamins C, K, and Potassium.
Here’s our complete guide to growing carrots – it has harvesting tips, storage tips, & even links to carrot recipes.
Ginger is nature’s nausea remedy. With a sharp smell and distinctly spicy taste, it’s been long proven to be a potent and effective way to reduce motion sickness.
Ginger also has strong anti-inflammatory properties which have been shown to be helpful for lupus, arthritis, and more. These effects work on a large scale — like lupus — but also on a small scale — like in the case of minor bloating.
Ginger may also aid in the treatment of diabetes. One study showed that, within 12 weeks, ginger supplements were effective in decreasing blood sugar levels.
Get these plants in your life!
As per our estimation, these 8 herbs and vegetables are the healthiest plants on the planet. They’ll improve your quality of life — from mood, to digestion, to eyesight, and more.
The healthiest plants in the world are homegrown ones! You can grow your own garden kit today! Whether you want to grow an herb garden or a vegetable container garden you can experience the #IGrewThat feeling and have the freshest herbs & veggies you can have!