Is Basil Healthy?

Is Basil Healthy

Is Basil Healthy? Basil, native to India, Asia and Africa, is a fragrant herb considered sacred by the Greeks. It is such a natural herb in the kitchen that we often don’t even realize that it is also very healthy.

The well-known culinary herb basil has surprisingly many health benefits and was considered sacred by the Greeks. The modern term “basilikon” literally means “royal”.

There are over 60 varieties of basil, but sweet basil is undoubtedly the most commonly used. The leaves of this green herb are round and can range from pointed to flat.

However you use it – in food or in tea, these leafy greens are a must in every kitchen. But is basil healthy and how do you use it in the kitchen? We list all the advantages of this leafy vegetable.


  • Is Basil Healthy?
    • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Health Benefits of Basil
    • Basil can lead to food poisoning
  • Buy and keep
  • dried

Is Basil Healthy?

Basil is packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. For example, it contains riboflavin (vitamin B2), which helps keep you healthy by fighting free radicals with its antioxidants.

Vitamins C and K are also found in basil, which aid in the formation of your bones and help your blood to clot. Calcium, iron and potassium round out the list of vitamins and minerals in basil. Pretty impressive for something so tasty!

Vitamins and Minerals

Basil is not only an herb, but also a mineral-rich vegetable. It is high in vitamins K and A, as well as potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium. Don’t forget the iron! That makes this a good addition to any balanced diet.

Nutritional values ​​and vitamins and minerals in Basil per 100 grams

Vitamins & Minerals in Basil Nutritional values ​​per 100 grams RDA* in percentage
Water 92.1 grams
Energy 48 kcal
carbohydrates 5.1 g
Dietary fiber 3.9 g
Protein 3.15 g
Vitamin B2 0.31mg 22%
Vitamin C 26mg 33%
Vitamin K 0.4mg 553%
Calcium 250mg 31%
Iron 5.5mg 39%
Potassium 300mg 15%

*(RDA) Recommended daily allowance per 100mg for adults. Source: Food Data Central

Health Benefits of Basil

Did you know that basil can also keep your body healthy, there are tons of health benefits in that little green leaf we throw in our tomato dishes. This aromatic plant has healing properties for your skin, hair and even your heart. In fact, it is one of the most popular herbs that can be grown in your home garden as well as commercially.

Good for eyesight

Basil also contains vitamin A (Zeaxanthin), which makes this plant good for your eyes. Zeaxanthin has the additional effect of blocking harmful UV radiation from the sun, so that the retina can continue to function optimally.

Which can also be used as a dietary supplement, but it is generally always healthier to eat whole plants than extracts.

Stress Reduction

According to a study, basil has an antidepressant effect, it also reduces anxiety. Similar to diazepam and antidepressants.

One study found that people who took 500 milligrams (mg) of the extract of this leafy vegetable each day felt less anxious, stressed and depressed.

Taking basil daily has the following health benefits:

  • Less stress.
  • Fewer sleeping problems.
  • Less forgetful.
  • Less exhausted or fatigued.

It is mainly the essential oil that has the strongest effect. However, only use this oil under the guidance of a therapist or doctor. There is no problem using this herb regularly after speaking to an expert.

Better immune system

In general, it is also a plant that fights many harmful bacteria, while providing the immune system. Which ensures that many diseases and ailments are prevented.

In Africa and South Asia, the tropical basil herb has been used for centuries against colds. In countries such as India, it is customary to make basil tea when someone has a cold. A natural alternative that we often do not do in Western countries.

Basil can lead to food poisoning

During a study, it was tested whether certain E. Coli and Salmonella bacteria can survive on basil. Because this herb is kept at room temperature, it is an ideal place for bacteria to survive.

“The infective dose of the pathogenic germs will vary based on the bacterial strain, the consumer’s health status and the levels in which Salmonella is present. Precisely because it is a ready-to-use product that is not heated before consumption, the good survival of these pathogens entails a (limited) risk of food infections” Dr. Boussemaere 

Of course, in this study they tested whether bad bacteria stay good, but it does show how important hygiene is.

Buy and keep

Fresh basil will keep the longest if you store it at room temperature in a sealed jar. It can last up to 7 days longer.

If you have a large harvest of basil that you cannot use in one sitting, you can make tea from it, for example. What also happens a lot is that it is finely chopped and mixed with oil, which you can use again during cooking.

What basil is most often used for is pesto. You can of course use pesto for everything: in your pasta, or spread on your bread and of course mix it with a salad. If you still can’t finish it, you can always freeze your pesto.


Fresh basil has more aroma and flavor and essential oils than when you dry this bone. You can get the fresh variant as a plant in the supermarket these days, and keep it very well for a very long time.

If you buy the dried variety, pay attention to the production and best-before date on the packaging when purchasing.

Make sure that the packaging is tightly closed, preferably in a vacuum. Often during drying, the plants are irradiated, which can lead to a significant reduction in vitamin C.

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