Acai, cacao, camu camu….almost every week a new fruit, plant or other edible substance is dubbed a superfood. But it turns out that one of the oldest herbs known to mankind may actually be one of the most powerful superfoods of all. And that’s Oregano Oil!
“Superfoods have gained momentum in the field of nutrition research these last few years. An increasing number of herbs, plants, seeds, and other unprocessed foods are beginning to show promise for alleviating a variety of health issues,” says Dr Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM. “Since superfoods are usually loaded with antioxidants, they may be helpful for fighting disease, delaying the aging process, and keeping systemic redness at bay. Some superfoods, because of their nutrient content, may also be helpful for promoting cardiovascular health and normal blood sugar.”
According to Despina Hyde, a registered dietician at New York University’s Langone Medical Centre, “superfoods don’t have their own food group.” At least not yet. However, doctors are proposing a classification system that would list around 41 powerhouse foods – or superfoods – for the purposes of nutrition education and dietary guidance. Some of the most potent superfoods are goji berries, blueberries, wheatgrass – and oregano.
Superfoods tend to be nutrient-dense and bursting with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation and decrease the damage caused by free radicals, thus warding off disease and premature ageing. These molecules occur naturally, and in varying in amounts, in fruits, vegetables and herbs, and they can also be man-made.
Oregano’s secret is that it’s extremely rich in polyphenols. These are phytochemicals that, according to Dr Barry Sears, “help support digestive health, reduction of inflammation, slowing of aging, cognitive function, athletic performance, healthy blood sugar, and reduction of oxidative stress.
Polyphenols are act as antioxidants in the body and oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, and 4 times more than blueberries. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, oregano has 3 to 20 times the antioxidant activity of any other herb studied, meaning it has the highest antioxidant power of any herb available today. In addition, oregano is rich in niacin, beta-carotene and copper, is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and boosts the immune system and improves digestion. As we approach hayfever season, oregano (in the form of Oregano Oil) can even be used as a natural anti-histamine to help prevent seasonal allergies.
by Precious Williams.