Upping your nutrition quota

If aesthetics aren’t a good enough reason to grow herbs, consider the fact that many herbs are good for you, too. According sugar-surplusto the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), a teaspoon of dill seed contains 32 milligrams of calcium; a teaspoon of ground basil contains 6 milligrams of magnesium. But when it comes to nutrients, the herbal champ is the chili pepper: One tea-spoon of chili powder contains potassium, sodium, ascorbic acid (vitamin C),  niacin, and vitamin A. (However, if you decide to substitute chili powder for  your multivitamin, we recommend taking each teaspoon with a gallon of milk  to offset the heat of the chili.)
A few culinary herbs have recently made the news because of their antioxidant levels. Antioxidantsare chemicals contained in plants that are thought  to play a role in preventing some forms of cancer, as well as in helping to  slow the aging process. In one study researchers tested the antioxidant levels of a variety of herbs and found the highest levels in oregano, sage, peppermint, and thyme. They concluded that herbs are an important source of  dietary antioxidants, right up there with red wine and green tea.

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