If you are looking for a way to incorporate savory flavor into your food, then you don’t have to look much further than rosemary. However, is it just a boost to flavor or do rosemary’s health benefits impress as well?
As we have seen before, herbs can be a great way to add both flavor and a nutritional boost to your foods. If you don’t believe me, check out my previous posts on these healthy additions to you diet:
When I was a kid, I didn’t really have much experience with rosemary. It wasn’t until later that I realized how versatile it could be. It is perfect for hearty soups, stews, roasted meats and vegetables, and pasta sauces (both cream and tomato-based).
However, before I get into all the details about what rosemary can do for you, I always like to give some background as to where our topic originates.
What Is Rosemary, Where Did It Come From, And How Does It Grow?
While it definitely doesn’t grow as tall as a tree, according to Britannica.com, rosemary is technically an evergreen, which is easy to se based on the size, shape, and clustering of its leaves.
It is originally from the Mediterranean area of the world, though it can grow well in many parts as long as it has warm weather in which to thrive. Rosemary is surprisingly also part of the mint family of plants and has been used all the way from ancient times in a variety of ways besides flavoring food.
When you go to the supermarket, like many herbs, you can find it in both dried and fresh varieties. I personally find fresh rosemary much more pleasant to work with. Don’t get me wrong, the scent is great on both, but I always have trouble with the texture of the dried version.
Because it is in the pine family, the leaves are needle-shaped. When you purchase it dried, the needle becomes harder and I inevitably get poked in the gums, even after grinding it up in my hands. That’s why I suggest using fresh instead. However, if you must use dry, try to do it yourself at home because the texture won’t be as harsh.
Growing Your Own Rosemary
Rosemary is one of the herbs I attempted to grow this past summer. I have to say that it went great! We had plenty of delicious leaves and the plant did extremely well in a pot with full sun. Because of its evergreen nature, it also didn’t need as much tending and watering as some other herbs I was attempting to grow.
What is also nice about rosemary is that according to Burpee.com, it is a perennial herb, which means you won’t have to replant it every year. That definitely saves on the overall cost!
Speaking of cost, rosemary can get incredibly expensive to purchase from the supermarket, whether fresh or dried. That’s why, as with other herbs, I suggest growing your own! It isn’t all that difficult and will keep more money in your wallet!
Check out these great video resources that will help you get started just in time for spring!
How to Grow Rosemary:
How to Grow Rosemary From Cuttings:
Growing Rosemary Indoors:
How To Dry Rosemary:
Proper Technique For Trimming Rosemary:
Nutritional Profile of Rosemary – Fresh And Dried
As mentioned previously, rosemary is wonderful in so many types of food and gives a great, woody flavor to most any dish.
Because it can be used in so many ways (like parsley), rosemary is easy to incorporate into your diet. That means more ways you can reap the health benefits of this tasty herb!
Speaking of the health benefits, I think it’s about time that we got to our nutrition report!
As with all my other overviews of foods, I will be checking out the nutrition facts for both the dry and fresh varieties of rosemary based on a 2,000 calorie diet. I used Self.com again to gather the information (which you can do as well, so go check it out if you have some time!).
Fresh Rosemary (1 Tablespoon):
- Calories: 2.0
- Total Fat: 0.1g (0%)
- Saturated Fat: 0.0g (0%)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg (0% DV)
- Sodium 0.4mg (0% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 0.3g (0% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 0.2g (1% DV)
- Total Sugar: 0.0g
- Protein: 0.0g (0% DV)
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 6.2mg
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 6.7mg
- Vitamin A: 43.9 IU (1% DV)
- Vitamin C: 0.3mg (1% DV)
- Iron: 0.1mg (1% DV)
Dried Rosemary (1 Tablespoon):
- Calories: 10.8
- Total Fat: 0.5g (1%)
- Saturated Fat: 0.2g (1%)
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg (0% DV)
- Sodium 1.6mg (0% DV)
- Total Carbohydrates: 2.1g (1% DV)
- Dietary Fiber: 1.4g (6% DV)
- Total Sugar: 0.0g
- Protein: 0.2g (0% DV)
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: 35.6mg
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids: 37.7mg
- Vitamin A: 102 IU (2% DV)
- Vitamin C: 2.0mg (3% DV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.1mg (3% DV)
- Folate: 10.0mcg (2% DV)
- Calcium: 41.6mg (4% DV)
- Iron: 1.0mg (5% DV)
- Magnesium: 7.1mg (2% DV)
- Potassium: 31.0mg (1% DV)
- Zinc: 0.1mg (1% DV)
- Manganese: 0.1mg (3% DV)
What you will notice right off the bat is we have come to our first herb that isn’t a nutritional powerhouse. This was very surprising to me, as I had come to expect that after our first three herbs.
This is especially true of the fresh variety, which is definitely lacking in that department. However, nothing could prepare me for the strange effect drying the herb seems to have on its nutritional content. It goes up in nearly every category, even seeming to gain some vitamins and minerals along the way.
It’s confusing because I generally thought that anything dried experiences a loss in nutrition. Might there be an error on Self’s site? If you have any idea as to why this might be, please let me know! I tried to research it, but couldn’t find a good answer!
Now that we have looked at the nutritional value of rosemary, check out this simple recipe I found where you will learn how to make roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary!
Possible Health Benefits Of Rosemary
While it doesn’t seem that rosemary will give you a nutritional boost, it does look like it can have some benefits to you health. According to Organic Facts, the herb does have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties, can boost your mental function, contains many antioxidants, and has pain-relieving characteristics.
Additionally, Medical News Today lists improving eye health as another health benefit.
Check out the links if you want to read more in-depth about the different potential benefits to using more rosemary in your diet!
Packed With More Flavor Than Nutrition
I have to say that I was a little disappointed with what I found out about rosemary’s health benefits. After my previous articles, I was really hoping it would continue the trend of really adding something to my meals. It is good to know that it can still have a positive effect beyond the vitamins and minerals though and you should, by all means, still use it!
What it lacks in nutrition, it more than makes up for in flavor, so it will be growing in my garden come spring!
Now it’s your turn! What do you think about the potential benefits of rosemary? Were you surprised at its lack of vitamins and minerals?
What is your favorite way to use rosemary? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! If you have any questions about this or any other post on the site, leave those too! I’d love to hear from you!
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If you wish to read more from this series, check out the following articles!
- Oregano’s Health Benefit’s
- Basil’s Health Benefits
- Parsley’s Health Benefits
- The Artichoke’s Health Benefits
That’s all for now! As always, God bless and happy herbing!