(NaturalNews) Dill is a common herb that is often added to many main dishes. Dill weed is a member of a unique family of herbs that uses both the seeds and the leaves as a means of seasoning. Dill seeds are similar in taste and appearance to caraway seeds. The flavor and aroma of these light brown, oval seeds is citrus and sweet with a slightly bitter edge. In addition to its usefulness as a spice in foods, dill has a number of health benefits. A few of them are explained below.
Loads of vitamin A
Vitamin A is an important source of valuable beta carotene, a natural flavonoid antioxidant. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining good eyesight as well as maintaining healthy skin and mucus membranes. It can also play a positive role in protecting against cancer of the oral cavities and the lungs. Just 100 grams of dill sprigs offers 257 percent of the necessary daily levels of vitamin A.
Low in calories and has no cholesterol
While big on flavor, dill has no cholesterol and is low in calories, making it the ideal way to season a variety of foods. Some of its other properties, such as its many antioxidants, like pyridoxine and niacin, as well as dietary fiber, help control the amount of cholesterol in the body.
Excellent source of vitamin C
Fresh sprigs of dill contain a great deal of vitamin C. This antioxidant is necessary not only as a way to boost the immune system, but also as defense against the harmful free radicals that accumulate within the body. For each 100 grams of fresh dill, a person can count on consuming about 85 mg of vitamin C. This equals about 140 percent of the recommended daily amount of this crucial antioxidant.
Rich in other important vitamins
In addition to being a key way to obtain vitamin A and vitamin C on a daily basis, dill also packs a powerful punch of other vital vitamins. Riboflavin, folic acid and niacin are just a few of the other crucial antioxidants that are contained within dill. Consuming an ample amount of these each day is important for the body's metabolism.
Flavonoids are components that serve as antioxidants. They provide a crucial role in a body's health. Dill contains four of these flavonoids, including quercetin. Quercetin helps to prevent and reduce inflammation. In addition, this component could help guard against cancer. Dill is a powerful way to get such a flavonoid as just one tablespoon of fresh dill provides one milligram of quercetin. This is equal to the same amount that is provided in half of a cup of green peppers.
While using fresh dill in the preparation of foods is the preferred method of obtaining its health benefits, though it is possible to get some of the same benefits using the comparable amount of dried dill weed.
About the author: Sofiya has written articles on most health-related topics, including traditional medicine, alternative and naturopathic and natural treatments, wellness, medical marijuana, diets and fitness.