Herbs are My New Greens

Can you imagine you can’t eat the vegetables that said to be good for you?

If you have Autoimmunity issues, some of you might know this.

Since childhood, I always love eating vegetables regardless their look, taste and smell. At least, I would give it a try.

My grandmother grew her own food and vegetables her entire life. My mother and she used to make LAO salad, called Mieng. The dish was loaded with wild organic vegetables, fruits and herbs from our farm and garden that looked similar to picture below. I will share the recipe with you in my next post if you request.

My modern Mieng, made up of what are available in Melbourne, Australia. The main focus of this dish is the sauce paste. It’s made of lemongrass, ginger, chili, salt and lemon juice. If you get the paste right, all is good. However, I believe you can modify the ingredients and taste to your liking.

After I was diagnosed with Systematic Scleroderma, I found out I couldn’t eat some of my favorite vegetables and fruits, I was devastated and in denial. I continued to eat them although I knew they hurt my body. The impact though was excruciating.

The side affect includes joints pain, itching skin, swelling hands and feet, acid reflux, fatigue and brain fog.

The vegetables and fruits I can’t eat are

Eventually, I learned that my external physical pains and swelling actually is associating with my lung fibrosis condition, which led me to stop eating those listed vegetables and fruits besides grains all together. I realized that whenever I have joints pains, swelling hands and feet, I would at the same time get serve shortness of breath, dry cough and fatigue. The dry cough will continue for weeks. This also means that the scarring in my lung is deteriorated. This condition usually have to be treated with antibiotics. This means money out of my pocket and my health is deteriorating.

My vegetables and fruits list for consumption is getting limited. I am desperately looking for more alternative vegetables I can eat, and I discovered herbs are actually my friends. They are now my new favorite greens. I literally use herbs in my cooking to make up for what I miss out such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, onion and garlic etc. In my youth years, I love to eat onion and garlic!!!! because they are so flavorful. I even made onion curry! Now, whenever I eat them, the bloating and reflux is instant and lasted for hours. The worst though, joints pain and swelling,?which could take weeks to recover with the help of body detox.

Herbs

The herbs that I can eat in big quantity as vegetables are

  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Mint
  • Parsley

The Benefits of herbs

The benefits of eating plenty of herbs is very obvious for me. I get all positive side affect from herbs. When I consume herbs daily while excluding gluten, dairy, msg and sugar. I generally feel very energetic and has minimum inflammation. I intended to look into the value of the four herbs that I like to eat often and found the distinctive facts and values about them.

Basil

There are variety of basils: Sweet Basil, Thai Basil, African Blue Basil and Holy Basil also known as Tulsi.

Basil is high in Vitamins A and K. It’s also has substantial amount of magnesium, manganese and iron.

Basil are offered along with other herbs and fresh vegetables at any noodles store and restaurant in Laos
Basil are offered along with other herbs and fresh vegetables at any noodles shop and restaurant in Laos

Different type of Basils suitable for particular dishes and ways of cooking. So take time to experiment your cooking with them.

Sweet basil has more subtle taste than other type of basils. It goes well with almost every dish, eat raw or slightly cooked, stir fried or soup or salad. I prefer Sweet basil with Salmon, avocado dips and making pasta sauces.

Salmon and Sweet basils salad with Turmeric lemon macadamia sauce

Thai Basil has lightly stronger flavor than sweet basil. It has purple branches and darker green leaves. Thai Basil is good with noodles soup, Asian Salad and sour soup like Tom Yum.

Holy Basil (Tulsi) has very strong aroma and flavor. It’s good for tea and stir fried dishes such as chicken basil cashew stir-fried and Pork basil.

I have never seen or eaten African Blue Basil. However, it’s known to have very strong aroma and good in pesto. It’s one thing I am going to look out for in the future and put it on my next to taste herb.

Dill

I considered dill as a medicinal herb. It has properties for anti-fungal and antibacterial.

I believe dill provides great benefits for a person with scleroderma like myself because one of the suspecting factors that causes scleroderma is overgrown yeast or fungus, and bacterial infections. Therefore, including dill in your diet might help to eliminate unwanted parasites from your body. It also contains 90% of iron, 84% of fibers, 64% of magnesium and 16% of protein. It sounds like perfect green, especially for vegetarians.

Dill has strong aroma. It’s wildly used in Asian cooking, especially very compatible with fish dishes.

Mint

It’s very well known herb and wildly used in households as well as in commercial kitchens . In the west, mint is wildly used as decorative herb in fine dining and in recent years this herb gained its popularity as one of detoxing elements along with lemon and bi-carb soda.

My Detox lemon mint soda water

However, this aromatic herb has been used and consumed daily for thousands of years in Southeast Asia as one of main ingredients in salad such as meat, chicken, fish salads called LAP

Mint has high Vitamins A, C and moderate

Mints and vegetables with LAO Laksa (Kao Poon)

Parsley

Parsley is my favorite herb and green because of its sweet and subtle flavor. I cooperate this herb in almost every dish I make.

There’s so much benefits parsley has to offer. It’s loaded with Vitamins and minerals. It contains 221% of vitamin C, 168% of vitamin D, 34% of iron and only 2% of carbohydrates. So it’s perfect green to consume during weight management. It’s also mentioned to have an effect of producing type of hormones called Oxytocin. Oxytocin hormone promotes cervix and uterus stretching, improves mood and social bonding. Pregnant woman shall be cautious of excessive consumption of parsley as it may causes miscarriage or premature birth.

In summary, all these herbs are loaded with Vitamin A and C. They have substantial amount of minerals such as magnesium, calcium and iron. They contain very low carbohydrates except dill.

The best part though, these herbs can be consumed together at the same time such as Mieng or Lao Salad. The flavor might be a bit intense if you are not used to eating them. But you will develop the taste just like I did. So keep it a try. After all these herbs are like medicines with great health benefits.

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