Food · Health · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Fruit and Veg A-Z: D is for… What is D for?

I’m feeling closer to being back on track after a few slow days. Yesterday’s total : 7 portions! Still only had one successful 10 A-Day day but back in the right direction and feeling positive about it.

To the letter D. You would not think this would be a hard one but it stumped me, all I could think of pre research was Dragon fruit, which isn’t the most common of fruit around here (but apparently make the most amazing smoothie!)

There were a few others when I looked up including  daikon, dasheen, dates, dandelion and dill.

Not the most inspiring of choices.

I’m going to go for Dill. A lovely green herb, that is delicious with fish, but what good is it doing us? (Source https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/dill.html))
Digestion: Dill itself is an appetizer and therefore extensively used in culinary applications. The essential oils present in dill are stimulating and they activate the secretion of bile and digestive juices. These oils also stimulate peristaltic motion of the intestine, easing the passage of bowel movements and relieving constipation.

Insomnia: The essential oils found in herbs have peculiar and powerful properties. They are simultaneously stimulating, sedative, and hypnotic, that is, they stimulate as well as pacify. The essential oils in dill are no exception. The flavonoids and vitamin-B complex present in its essential oils, since they are stimulating in nature, activate the secretion of certain enzymes and hormones which have calming and hypnotic effects, thereby helping people get a good night’s sleep.

DillBone Health: The calcium content of dill means that it is an important element in protecting you from bone loss and the loss of bone mineral density. Osteoporosis affects millions of people each year, and calcium, along with other essential minerals, are a key component in the proper growth and development of bones, and the repair of injured bones as well.

Diabetes: Dill has long been associated with diabetes and the management of insulin levels. Despite the fact that research is somewhat limited in this area, particularly on human subjects, studies have indicated that they can help reduce the fluctuations of serum lipids and insulin levels in corticosteroid-induced diabetes.

Excess Gas: As a well-known carminative, dill can help prevent the embarrassing condition of excessive gas. It is not only an uncomfortable condition to experience in public, but if gas continues to build up, it can actually be a dangerous situation where it presses on the delicate organs of the chest cavity. A carminative forces gas downward through the digestive tract, and allows it to leave the body in a safe way.

Immune System: Dill has long been associate with antimicrobial activity, and it has been shown to prevent a number of microbial infections throughout the body, both those in various organs and those potential infections that land in wounds or small cuts on the skin.

Hiccups: Hiccups occur for various reasons, but primarily, they occur due to trapped gas and repeated upward movement of gases through the food pipe. The second cause is due to certain allergies, hypersensitivity, hyperactivity and nervous malfunctioning. Dill can actually help in all of these situations. As a carminative, dill helps the expulsion of gases and also reduces gas formation while as a sedative, dill helps to calm down hiccups due to allergies, hyperactivity, or nervous disorders.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea is mainly caused by two thing, indigestion and microbial action. In terms of indigestion, dill can be quite helpful, as it has very good digestive properties. Secondly, dill can help due to the monoterpenes and flavonoids present in its essential oils, which are germicidal or bactericidal in nature. They can help cure diarrhea by inhibiting microbial infections that try to attack the body.

Dysentery: Dysentery is primarily caused due to fungal infections. For this condition as well, dill can help, since its essential oils are disinfectant in nature and help to inhibit fungal infections effectively.

Arthritis: Dill has long been known as an anti-inflammatory herb, meaning that it helps to reduce the inflammation and the associated pain of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and arthritis. Dill has been used since ancient times for precisely this reason.

Menstrual Disorders: The flavonoids in the essential oil of dill are stimulating and Emenagogic in nature, which means that they stimulate the secretion of certain hormones that help maintain proper menstrual cycles in women.

Respiratory Disorders: Kaempferol and certain other components of flavonoids and monoterpenes in the essential oils of dill are anticongestive and antihistaminic in nature and help clear congestion in the respiratory system due to histamine, allergies or coughs.

Oral Care: Dill seeds and leaves are very good mouth and breath fresheners. Apart from that, the essential oils in it are germicidal, antioxidant and disinfectant in nature. Due to these properties, they help end microbial infections in the mouth and their antioxidants minimize the damage caused to gums and teeth by free radicals.

Cancer: Let’s turn our attention to these monoterpense we’ve been talking about. Monoterpenes are chemopreventive, and since they are stimulating by nature, they activate the secretion of an enzyme called glutathione-S-transferase (the radical glutathione is an effective antioxidant) which is very effective in neutralizing carcinogens. It is particularly effective at neutralizing Cyano- and Benzo- derivatives and free radicals, thereby protecting the body from cancer. The other antioxidants in the essential oils of dill also contribute to this cancer protection that people enjoy from adding dill to their diet.

Other Benefits: Dill is a relaxant, increases strength, and increases urination to help in the removal of toxins, excess salts, and water from the body. Furthermore, it is a carminative (helps remove excess gas), antispasmodic (prevents cramps), and an antiflatulent substance. It stimulates lactation (galactagogue) and endocrinal secretions, enhances the libido due to the presence of Arginine and last but not the least, it ensures bone and dental health since it is a good source of calcium.

 

WOW!!! I was not expecting to find all of that! It was really interesting looking up a herb today, a lot of people use herbs medicinally and there are some quite strong claims out there as to what herbs may be able to do for us. Please do your own research and talk to a professional if thinking about using dill (or any herb) as a treatment to any serious problems!

A few serving suggestions:

Combine dill weed with plain yogurt and chopped cucumber for a delicious cooling dip.
Use dill when cooking fish, especially salmon and trout, as the flavors complement one another very well.
Use dill weed as a garnish for sandwiches.
Since dill seeds were traditionally used to soothe the stomach after meals, place some seeds in a small dish and place it on the dinner table for all to enjoy.
Add dill to your favorite egg salad recipe.
Mix together chopped potatoes, green beans, and plain yogurt, then season with both dill seeds and chopped dill weed.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s