Health

Healthy holiday foods: Rosemary

Canadian Living
Health

Healthy holiday foods: Rosemary

Rosemary The season of parties and treats is upon us. And though it might be the happiest time of the year, it’s not exactly the healthiest. Inspired by our December issue’s story on healthy red and green foods (found  here), I decided to come up with some more nutritious red and green foods that are so beautiful and delicious that you’ll want to add them to your holiday table. After all, red and green foods are packed with all kinds of healthy phytochemicals that give them their colours (think lycopene and anthocyanins in red foods, and lutein and zeaxanthin in green veggies). This week, we’re onto healthy green foods for your holiday table. (Check out yesterday’s post on the health benefits of  fennel.) Today's food? Rosemary. Rosemary easily lends itself to Christmas cooking, with its strong woody taste (the sprigs actually look like little Christmas trees!) that steps up the flavour profile of all kinds of dishes. And when it’s in the oven, your whole house will fill with the aroma of savoury holiday food. But there are plenty of health reasons to season your dishes with the herb, too. Why should you eat rosemary? 1. One study found that the antioxidant-rich herb can boost memory and may slow cognitive decline. Extracts from both rosemary and spearmint seemed to show these brain benefits. Some research even says you can get a boost just from the scent! 2. Carnosic acid, which is found in rosemary, can protect your retinas, defending against age-related macular degeneration. 3. Many experts recommend rosemary to boost immunity because its antioxidants seem to promote optimal immune functioning. It also contains antibacterial properties. 4. Rosemary is known for easing stress. One study suggests that its oil can help cut down on the release of the stress hormone cortisol. 5. Rosemary might help those at risk for breast cancer. The herb has the unique ability to help neutralize the estrogen associated with many breast cancers. But be careful: Taking too much can also impact menstrual cycles. Want to get an extra dose of rosemary into your holidays? Here are some recipes: Rosemary Ricotta Crostini Roasted Lemon Rosemary Cornish Hens Rosemary Focaccia and Wild Rice Stuffing (Photography: Thinkstock)
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Healthy holiday foods: Rosemary

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