Monday, July 29, 2013

How Fresh Herbs Can Play a Role in Better Health

By Kaitlin Fayle, Cooking Matters Program

If you have ever felt concerned eating high amounts of canned fish or tuna because of high amounts of heavy metals associated with fish, then fresh herbs are the solution so all tuna lovers out there. It turns out cilantro, a commonly consumed herb, most famously served with Mexican cuisine, contains binding agents that allows it to absorb the mercury you consume.

In addition to mercury, lead and cadmium also have the ability to combine with cilantro’s photochemical and allowed it to pass through your system.

Consumption of heavy metals over time can lead to deterioration or neurologic function. Buying a small bunch of cilantro during your trip to the grocery store could not only add a lot of flavor to your dishes but allow you to reap the benefits of fish without the guilt.

Parsley, another commonly used garnish, it contains high amounts of folic acid, and vitamin C; great for healthy immune function and your skin & joints. Parsley is also known as a natural blood cleaner by increases the sodium and water excretion thru urine and increasing potassium re-absorption into the kidneys. This is particularly useful for anyone with poor circulation, swelling, cellulite, and other cardiovascular problems.
So who knew that adding just a little garnish to a dish could lead to such a wide variety of benefits?

I have included a different take on tuna salad that could possible turn into something completely guilt free, it recently has been my go-to lunch

Asian Tuna Salad

  • 1 cans solid white, water packed tuna
  • 1.5 table spoons of olive oil or sesame oil 
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 lime, + zest grated or lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce (low sodium recommended)
  • 1/4 cup minced red or white onion 
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro 
  • 5 cups of shredded cabbage

1. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, lime juice, soy sauce and cilantro.

2. Mix in tuna; try to keep it into large chunks. Add more oil if needed.

3. Shred cabbage and add tuna mixture, let sit for an hour to allow cabbage to absorb flavors.

4. Add to bread to make a sandwich or enjoy salad on its own.
GSFB Network is a blog for partner agencies of Good Shepherd Food Bank focused on feeding Maine's hungry.