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Oregano is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. The leaves can be used in cooking fresh or dried. There are many different varieties including sweet marjoram. Oregano can be used to top off your entree by stripping the leaves atop your food or by using the entire stem when baking so it can be removed later. Oregano is packed with flavor, nutrients and minerals.

How Can Oregano Benefit Your Health?

Fresh oregano is a great antibacterial agent. It has phytonutrients which can help to fight infections. It’s loaded with antioxidants that help prevent cell damage, and is an excellent source of Fiber, Vitamin K (1) (helps with wound healing and bone health), Manganese(4) (a mineral that aids in functions such as metabolism, blood sugar regulation, and decreasing inflammation), Iron (2) (3) (aids in protecting vital functions including energy levels and our immune system), Vitamin E, and Calcium. Simply adding a tablespoon of fresh oregano leaves to your meals regularly can contribute needed micronutrients and minerals to your diet.

How to Use Oregano

There are many ways to get creative with herbs. They can be used as toppings, for baking casseroles, and in salads to name a few. The more you use fresh herbs the more creative you will be with what dishes to add them to and when combining different herbs. Fresh or dried oregano can be used to top you pizza, pasta, or other entrees. I often integrate oregano as well as many other herbs such as thyme and cilantro into my salads. The entire stem (including the leaves) can be used when cooking potatoes and other vegetables as well as chicken or burgers. When we made soy burgers this summer we incorporated fresh herbs into the patty mixture prior to cooking so that the flavor was infused into the soy burger while cooking

Note: this article is intended to inspire the use of fresh herbs in home cooking. This article is not intended as medical advice. It is important to consult with your physician prior to making changes in your diet or if you have concerns about using a new ingredient.