Oregano – Power in a Pinch

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What is an OXIDANT? I did a little research and tried to simplify this. An oxidant is an agent that removes an electron from another molecule causing it to become unstable. With an electron missing, the unstable molecule can become a free radical. Free radicals are kind of like they sound: FREE – floating and wanting to attach and RADICAL like wild wicked unstable molecules. They can cause damage by attaching to healthy molecules (like your DNA). We are surrounded by oxidants. Our air, our processed water, our food, the containers for our foods, even our own stress, etc. etc. etc. Cut an apple and watch it oxidize (turn brown) before your eyes. Rust is a type of oxidation. ANTIOXIDANTS donate the missing electron creating a stable, healthy molecule. Oregano is loaded with nature’s antioxidants, as are many herbs and spices.

In HOW NOT TO DIE by Michael Greger, M.D. writes …whole-wheat pasta with marinara sauce has about 80 units of antioxidant power. Add a handful of steamed broccoli and it goes up to 150. Then add a single teaspoon of dried oregano or 3 teaspoons of fresh oregano and you double your meal’s power up to 300 units.

Oregano (Origanum vulgare) is loaded with Vitamin K; two teaspoons of the dry herb give you 14% of the RDA. K is important for blood health, bone strength, And health of cells that line veins and arteries. K helps improve insulin resistance helping prevent type 2 diabetes according to Medical News Today. It also has healthy amounts of Vitamin E, manganese, iron, calcium and fiber.

Andrew Weil writes, “The health benefits of oregano include its antibacterial and antioxidant properties: oregano has been used orally to treat respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal disorders, urinary tract infections, headaches and cardiovascular concerns. One study found that components of oregano may have protective effects against the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), perhaps due to their high content of polyphenols.

The volatile oils from this herb have also been used to treat allergies and sinusitis, earaches, cold and flu, and intestinal parasites. Topically, oil of oregano has been used as an antibacterial to treat fungal infections, dandruff, acne, and mouth concerns like canker sores, toothaches and gingivitis. It can also be used to repel and treat insect bites and stings, as well as for steam inhalation therapy.

AND IMPORTANT — Pregnant women should not take supplements of oregano due to its potential to raise the risk of spontaneous abortion.”  Dr. Weil – Oregano

GROW it! It is so easy to grow in a hot sunny place. It spreads into a beautiful green blanket so be sure to give it lots of room or limit the root area. Pick it in spring before it blooms. In the morning right after the dew has dried, it will have the most pungent flavor. It dries well just rubber-banded in a little bunch and hung in a dry space. You can cover it with a paper circle, like a hat, if you want to avoid dust. Mince it with EVOO and freeze it in clumps. Never be without oregano – your own organic, local variety!

AFTER WRITING ALL OF THIS ABOUT OREGANO I GOT HUNGRY FOR ANTIOXIDANTS…

OREGANO INFUSED Fennel with Chickpeas & Onions

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  • 2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1 c diced fennel
  • 1/2 medium onion cut into crescents
  • 1/2 c cooked chickpeas
  • 1/2 t minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 t minced fresh thyme
  • 5 t minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • 1/4 c water
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the herbs and chickpeas and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the water and simmer until it has evaporated and the mixture slightly caramelizes. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with a teaspoon of ghee, if you like.

I had a delicious lunch! Hope you did too.

Belynda

 

 

 

 

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