Food As Medicine - Dill & Green Onion
Dill is commonly known for its use in dill pickles and fish, however it is a tasty addition to salads, dressings, sauces and more. I really like the smell of dill, and often eat it fresh from the garden. It’s not just used for an interesting flavour but it has some research on it in helping with heart concerns and even depression. Green Onions, which are part of the Allium (Onion) family, contain sulphur compounds making it helpful for many concerns as well. In a previous post I discussed how sulphur compounds are found in the Brassica family (dark leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli) and have been shown to prevent against cancer.
This week’s focus: DILL & GREEN ONIONS
Health Info: Dill, or otherwise scientifically known as Antheum Graveolens L., contains high amounts of polyphenols (antioxidants) such as quercetin, flavonoids and tannins which have been shown to have beneficial effects on many health concerns (1). It’s also a good source of Vitamin A and C, which are good for the immune system and skin (2).
Use For: Heart Disease & High Blood Sugar. A study of hyperlipidemic (high cholesterol) humans consuming Antheum tablets (dill extract) twice a day showed lowered cholesterol levels after 6 weeks. Animal studies modelling diabetes also led to blood-sugar lowering results after 15 days while using this extract.
Helping Boost Mood. Like lemons and other aromatic herbs, dill contains essential oil compounds such as Limonene (named from Lemon) which has been studied to boost mood and reduce depression. Essential oils are capable of accessing our emotional wellbeing directly through our sense of smell. Very awesome! I knew I loved the smell of dill (and other herbs).
Recipe Idea: I’m a big fan of hummus and hummus-like dips. I’m going to give this cucumber dill hummus a try:
Health Info: Green onions contain many beneficial disease-fighting compounds such as quercetin, sulphur-compounds and other anti-oxidants. These have been researched for cancer prevention, immune support and allergies.
Use For: Immune Support & Allergies. The sulphur-containing compounds have been shown to help the immune system’s defence against cancer by promoting cell death (apoptosis) (4). Steroidal saponins in onions have shown to be antifungal and cytotoxic as well, therefore may help the body fight fungal infections and other bacteria/viruses (5). Another compound in onions called Quercetin, acts as a natural antihistamine by stabilizing mast cells in the bloodstream. Mast cells are what cause an allergic reaction.
Recipe Idea: This isn’t a recipe, because let’s be serious – green onions can be put in pretty much anything. Here’s a way to keep a batch of green onions going and growing more for you!
Want to learn more about the health benefits of seasonal, garden-fresh vegetables? Check out my other "Let Food Be Thy Medicine" posts on my blog here.