Disease Fighting Plants for Your Garden
Gardens can provide delicious fruits and vegetables for your dinner table. At the same time, they can also yield a number of nutritious, disease-fighting plants that can improve your long-term health. Before you scatter seeds this coming spring, learn which medicinal herbs and antioxidant-rich vegetables pack the most punch.
Smart Options for Your Garden
You don't have to have a green thumb to turn your backyard into a health food store. The following herbs and vegetables offer major benefits and are relatively easy to grow.
Garlic: Antifungal, antimicrobial and antibacterial, garlic has been proven to reduce inflammation. Research has shown that it can also reduce the risk of osteoarthritis, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Some studies also indicate that garlic can lower blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Broccoli Sprouts: Johns Hopkins University researchers dubbed broccoli sprouts the most powerful cancer-fighting food around. Packed with a full profile of vitamins, enzymes and minerals, this garden super food has also been shown to protect against heart disease by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.
Mint: A growing body of research suggests that mint may fight against liver and prostate cancer, thanks to a chemical compound called peryllyl alcohol. It also contains rosmarinic acid, which lowers inflammation and attacks free radicals.
Asparagus: Rich in iron, selenium, manganese, zinc, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate and B vitamins, asparagus is a powerful inflammatory. It also contains high levels of glutathione, which can help cleanse the body of free radicals, carcinogens and toxins.
Basil: With anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant properties, basil can help protect human cells from inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma and heart disease.
Chamomile: Another powerful antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory garden herb, chamomile has been proven to speed wound healing, protect against bacterial infections, ease stomach problems, calm muscle spasms and promote better sleep.