5 reasons why ORIGANO isn’t just for pizza!

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    There is probably no kitchen in the world that does not have oregano “reserves” in the spice cabinet.

    Oregano is known primarily as an indispensable spice for all kinds of pizza.

    However, its nutritional value goes far beyond the “ordinary” seasoning of pizzas. This spice really deserves our attention, and below we will see why this is the case.

    Oregano is a flowering herb from the mint family, Laminaceae. There are over 40 varieties, but the best known oregano, which also has the best health potential, belongs to the species Origanum vulgare.

    It gains worldwide popularity along with pizza, but in the past oregano was mainly used in Italian, Turkish and Greek cuisine, which are close to our traditional cuisine.

    So it originates from the warm parts of the Mediterranean, and in the USA, for example, it came only after the Second World War.

    Oregano leaves are used as a fresh, dried spice, and essential oil is extracted from them. For centuries oregano has been used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of health problems. It has a specific aromatic, warm, sometimes acrid flavor that depends largely on the climate and composition of the soil in which it is grown.

    Recently, science has confirmed a number of effects for which oregano was used in the past.

    Although the best health effects are obtained by using the oil, the frequent use of the most common dry / fresh spice has a particularly positive effect on our organism.

    The nutritional value

    All types of oregano have excellent nutritional value (dried, fresh, oil). Let’s see the nutritional value of dried oregano, which is the most commonly used.

    6 g of oregano, which is about 2 tablespoons, contain:

    2.6 g of vegetable fiber
    up to 30% of the daily iron requirement
    31% of the DV for vitamin K
    7% of the daily requirement for vitamin E
    5% of the daily requirement for vitamin B6
    10% of the P for calcium
    5% of the DP for magnesium
    13% of the DP for manganese
    2% of the DP for potassium

    In addition, oregano also contains slightly lower concentrations of other important nutrients such as vitamins of the B group (especially folic acid), vitamin A, copper, zinc, etc.

    Why is it important to use as many different spices as possible?

    The habit of regularly using different spices is extremely beneficial, firstly, because spices have an excellent nutritional composition and numerous positive effects on health that result from it.

    Secondly, because different spices make healthy food more attractive and thirdly, no less importantly, they also reduce the need to salt meals!

    Excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect

    Due to its excellent nutritional value and outstanding antioxidant potential, oregano can easily be called a super spice in the family of spices.

    Antioxidants are the body’s defense mechanism against free radicals – harmful components that are constantly produced as metabolic waste in the body and cause oxidative damage to various cells and tissues. The organism has mechanisms to produce a certain percentage of the necessary antioxidants, but it still depends on the intake.

    The constant oxidative damage leads to chronic inflammatory processes, which in the long run are one of the main causes of chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, various neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular problems, etc.

    Oregano is particularly rich in flavonoids and phenolic antioxidant phytochemicals. Analyses show that among hundreds of herbs, oregano is among the top 3 with the greatest antioxidant effect (it has 3 to 20 times stronger effect than other spices)!

    It is considered the best source of thymol, an extremely important phenolic antioxidant that stimulates the optimal work of digestion and also has an antimicrobial effect.

    Other important antioxidants of oregano:

    Carvacrol
    Tocopherol (vitamin E)
    Ocimen
    Lemon
    Terpinene
    Caryophyllene (which is responsible for the specific taste)
    In animal studies, oregano shows strong beneficial effects in diseases directly related to inflammatory processes, such as rheumatoid and autoimmune arthritis and asthma.

    However, these results are for concentrated versions of oregano (the oil), and human studies are still needed to conclude that oregano is good for these diseases.

    Strong antimicrobial effect

    Besides the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect, oregano in all its forms (especially the oil) also has an antimicrobial effect.

    Numerous studies point to this fact. For example, according to one study, oregano oil has particularly strong antibacterial properties against

    E.coli bacteria, which would mean that oregano could be used as a complementary treatment for problems associated with these bacteria. Perhaps in lower concentrations, but the antioxidant components that enable this effect are also present in oregano spices.

    The powerful antioxidant carvacrol mentioned earlier has shown significant antiviral effects in research that could help prevent and shorten the duration of certain viral infections.

    Antidiabetic effect

    Numerous components of oregano contribute significantly to the successful control of diabetes.

    One study shows that oregano extract helps with:

    Reducing insulin resistance
    Regulating the expression of genes related to fat and carbohydrate metabolism
    The restoration of damaged kidney and liver tissue.
    In addition, there are animal studies that indicate that oregano extract can improve the condition of type 1 diabetes (an autoimmune disease).

    It is believed that oregano may help improve the condition of:

    Cough
    Allergic reactions
    Bronchitis
    Urinary tract infections
    Headaches
    Increased cholesterol level

    The essential oil of oregano, for:

    Acne
    The first
    Psoriasis
    Varicose and varicose veins
    Muscle and joint pains
    Insect bites
    Wounds
    Warts
    Diseases of the gums

    While there is no solid evidence that oregano can directly help with most of the diseases listed, reputable health institutions such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health (U.S. Department of Health) recommend the frequent use of oregano because there is evidence that it can be helpful. On the other hand, oregano cannot harm us in any form.

    Tips for use

    Except for pizzas, you can use fresh and dried oregano:

    Salads and salad dressings
    Pasta
    Roasted and boiled vegetables (soups)
    Soups and dishes made with various legumes (lentils, beans, peas, chickpeas…)
    Preparation of fish
    Marinades
    Roasted meat
    Oregano combines well with: extra virgin olive oil, dried garlic, sage, thyme, pepper, basil, etc.

    To fully appreciate the flavor, but also the nutritional value, add the oregano only at the end of the roasting process. Finely chop the fresh oregano and add the spice gradually to know when it is enough.

    Before using oregano essential oil, always consult your doctor, especially if you have a specific health problem.