Dill is a popular herb used in European cuisine and Asian cuisine. It is native to Mediterranean countries and southeastern Europe. This weed with slender stems and soft leaves has a sweet, grassy flavour. However, it's the aroma of seeds that makes it popular. Similar to many herbs used in cooking, dill is also known for its nutritional profile and health benefits.
Dill weed may not be packed with vitamins and minerals like fruits and vegetables. But, it works its magic by treating many ailments and making the body stronger. One cup of fresh dill sprigs provides 8% of the RDI of vitamin C, 5% of manganese, 4% of vitamin A, 3% of iron, and 3% of folate.
The aromatic seeds and leaves of the plant have been proven to be rich in plant compounds like ethanol and acetone which have antioxidants like flavonoids, terpenoids, and tannins. The vitamin C in it also has antioxidant properties. Adding dill to your soup or curry or salads will help the body cells against damage caused by free radicals. It will also save you from chronic inflammation and lower the risk of heart diseases, arthritis, and neurodegenerative diseases. If anyone in your family has a history of Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer's, using dill to season or garnish your food can work out in your favour.
Flavonoids found in dill can lower inflammation that affects heart health. Some animal studies have shown that dill has the ability to lower cholesterol and triglyceride. It also provides the dishes with a good dose of vitamins and minerals that promotes the maintenance of heart tissue.
One of the most popular benefits of dill weed is its ability to regulate blood sugar and keep diabetes at bay. Dill leaves possess a bioactive ingredient called eugenol that can alleviate blood sugar levels. When you eat a dish with dill, pancreatic cells become active and produce insulin. This aromatic weed will also lower the breakdown of starch into glucose and avoid sugar rush and further formation of fat in the body.
Dill has plant compounds called monoterpenes which are linked to antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Experts have been studying the essential oil of dill weed for antibacterial properties as well that can fight off harmful bacteria. The same compound is being researched for anti-cancer properties. Some studies have shown that it may help prevent and treat lung, breast, and colon cancer.
Nutrients in dill weed - calcium iron, vitamin D, riboflavin - are known to fortify bones. Regular intake of dill weeds will promote bone cell growth, regeneration, and calcium absorption. While these enhance structural development, dill also lower bone loss and lower the risk of conditions like osteoporosis. Women start experiencing minimal bone mass loss after the age of 30. It gradually increases as you get close to menopause. During menopause, it is natural to go through rapid bone loss. You will be prone to fractures and arthritis at the time. The only way to cope is to keep the bones as strong as you can in the beginning. Once you get close to 30, make it a point to include dill in your diet.
Dysmenorrhea aka painful menstrual cramps is one of the common problems experienced by women. This problem is often exacerbated by long sitting hours at the office and skipping exercise. Essential oils in dill weed are known to relieve this pain. It is said to be as effective as over the counter medication. While you can use the oil to massage your abdomen and stomach, eating dill also helps. A study suggests that eating 1000 mg of dill for five days (starting two days before the cycle) will ease menstrual cramps.
Dill weed is rich in vitamin A which happens to be great for your eye health. Regular addition of dill to your foods will prevent retina damage as well as improve sight. It will also lower the risk of diseases like macular degeneration and cataract. The beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are also beneficial to eye health.
Insomnia is one of the most common problems among youngsters, especially those who are in college or working. It can lead to exhaustion and lethargy. In the long term, your physical and mental health will also be at risk. Dill is rich in flavonoids and b-complex vitamins. They have a calming effect on the brain. Dill also activates the secretion of certain hormones and enzymes in the body which lowers the level of cortisol. While sleeping pills are a quick fix, dill will facilitate the body to naturally relax and fall asleep.
One of the most popular benefits of dill weeds is better digestion. Similar to most aromatic spices, dill weed can also treat digestive anomalies and soothe the system. In ancient days, it was used to treat colic in infants. It is a potent appetiser and has anti-flatulent properties. Adding fresh dill sprigs to food will reduce the formation of gas, bloating, and abdominal distension. Since it is rich in fibre, you do not need to worry about constipation as well. The fibre in it stimulates peristaltic motion and expels wastes out of the intestines. Dill is also known to act as a remedy for acidity and heartburn.
Dill is rich in vitamin A which boosts reproductive health in men and women alike. Dill has been used to comfort breastfeeding women as well. Eating dill during pregnancy is known to eliminate the risk of anemia. However, you should not use concentrated dill oil as it can cause contractions. On the other hand, eating a dash of dill pickle or a pinch of garnish will not harm you. Eating dill during pregnancy will ward off harmful bacterial infection, neutralise free-radical activity, detoxify the body, cures dysentery caused by fungal infections, and aids fetal growth by providing zinc to the body.