From broccoli and kale to mung beans and pumpkin, you might be wondering — is there a new superfood I can try? Epazote is the one. This pungent herb is native to Central America and Mexico. It is an emerging superfood rich in organic compounds and nutritional components, making it an excellent addition to your daily or weekly diet.
Allow us to take a closer look at what makes the exotic epazote beneficial to human health.
Improves the Digestive Process
Epazote is an abundant source of dietary fiber, which plays a role in stimulating smooth bowel movement. Fiber reduces several health concerns, including constipation, bloating, cramping, and indigestion. Further research shows that people who eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to develop certain types of cancer.
Strengthens Bones as You Age
The minerals found in epazote may help protect your bones from weakness and thinning. Significant levels of calcium, zinc, phosphorous, manganese, and copper contribute to bone mineral density and ward off osteoporosis. In a nutshell, moderate intake of epazote may keep your bones strong and healthy well into your senior years.
Stabilizes Blood Pressure
A potassium-rich diet provides several powerful health benefits. The amount of potassium in epazote can act as vasodilators, which are medications that open (dilate) blood vessels. Epazote relaxes the blood vessels and reduces the strain on your cardiovascular system. As a result, it lowers blood pressure and the chances of developing atherosclerosis. It consequently protects against heart attacks, strokes, and other ailments of the heart.
Promotes an Active Metabolism
B vitamins are essential to human health. While each member of the B-complex family has different functions, they all have an association with improving metabolic activity. Epazote contains high levels of six different B vitamins, particularly folic acid. One serving of this herb has about 50 percent of the daily recommended amount of folic acid, which is vital for proper development and growth.
Boosts Immunity Against Diseases
Epazote has a moderate amount of vitamin A, along with many other carotenoids and antioxidants. Its immune system-boosting properties assist in neutralizing free radicals that cause various malignancies (cancers) and chronic diseases.
Helps with Weight Loss
If you are trying to lose weight, it might help to know that 100 grams of epazote only has 32 calories. To trim your waistline and achieve a healthy BMI, maintain a diet rich in fruits and cruciferous vegetables, including this fiber- and nutrient-heavy plant.
How to Use Epazote
Some people describe epazote as “medicinal” with a musky flavor comparable to oregano, citrus, and mint. Older leaves may taste stronger compared to younger leaves with a milder aroma. You can add fresh or dried epazote leaves to your cooking, preferably in small quantities since it has a pungent flavor. In addition, you may benefit from epazote by making tea from its leaves and flowers.
As a final word, be careful since excessive consumption of epazote tea may cause adverse effects on your health. As always, it is best to consult your doctor before making any modifications to your diet.