Laparoscopic Associates of San Francisco

Add Flavor with Herbs: Basil and Mint

August 27th, 2013 Posted in Bariatric surgery, Diabetes, Duodenal switch, Eating healthy, gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, heartburn, LapBand, News, Nutrition, post weight loss surgery tips, Post WLS tips, Protein and calories, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, San Francisco weight loss center, surgical weight loss, Vertical gastrectomy, weight loss plan, weight loss surgery

On the last blog post, we talked about green smoothies and how a green drink could be beneficial for good health and weight maintenance. We discussed the various ingredients that could be used to make healthy and delicious green smoothies. Briefly, it was mentioned that in addition to some of the main ingredients, we could always throw some herbs into our green drinks to make it tastier such as basil and mint. Besides their scent and taste, those herbs also have some health properties that we may not already be familiar with.



Mint leaf is a herb that is known all over the world, from the Western Europe to various Asia countries, and widely used in many products such as chewing gums, candies, tea, even toothpaste or mouthwash. When people think of mint leaf, most of them would relate its benefits limited to dental health and breath freshening. Not many people are familiar with other nutritional benefits it can provide.

Mint is always known for its sweet flavor with cool sensation after eating it. Either fresh or dried, mint can be used in a lot of food and drinks such as tea, salads, soup, and of course, our lovely green smoothies. Some studies have revealed mint can benefit our digestive system. First, its cooling property has the ability to calm the stomach and further, its aroma could activate our salivary glands to produce digestive enzymes, which could help our body to digest the food even better. Whenever you experience an upset stomach, pour yourself a cup of warm water along with few mint leaves into it and it would make your stomach feel better.

Nutrient content of mint leaves:  100 g of fresh mint leaves contains: 70 calories, 0.94 g of fat and 8 g of dietary fiber. Mint is high in vitamins, with 28 % of Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for Folate, 141 % RDA for vitamin A, and 53 % RDA for vitamin C.



When we think about basil, one thing that may come up into mind is Italian cuisine as it is often used in a lot of Italian dishes. From garnishes to sauces, gravy, a lot of people love to put basil into their dishes because for aroma, taste and texture. Recently, we discovered that when you put basil into your green smoothie, it is kind of like adding mint into it and give your green smoothie a little kick.

Besides its delicious aroma and taste, this popular culinary herb also has benefits to the body. Some studies showed that basil promotes a healthy heart. Basil is rich in beta-carotene and other carotenoids, which act as powerful antioxidants that could protect us from free radical damages and prevents high LDL. More than that, basil is also showed to have anti-cancer properties as well as immune booster that could fight back against bacteria. Moreover, basil also promotes a healthy gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The anti-inflammatory property of this herb can provide relief from gastrointestinal conditions including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Basil is also reportedly helpful in treating constipation, indigestion, stomach cramps, and more.

Nutrient content of basil: 100 grams of fresh basil contains: 22 calories, 0.6 grams of fat, and 6 % of dietary fiber. It also has 8 % of potassium, 105% of vitamin A, 30% of vitamin C. 

Ideas to incorporate that: sprinkle some into your soup, julienne into a tomato salad, and add to green smoothies.

You must be logged in to post a comment.