All You Need to Know About Dill!

Dill is an herb that’s found throughout
European and Asian cuisines. Also called dill weed, the plant has slender
stems with alternating soft leaves and brown, flat, oval seeds. While the leaves have a sweet, grassy flavor,
dill seeds are more aromatic, with a slight citrus flavor that’s similar to caraway
seeds. As herb and spice, dill is commonly used to
elevate the flavor of various dishes. It’s often paired with salmon, potatoes,
and yogurt-based sauces. In addition to culinary uses, dill is rich
in several nutrients and has traditionally been used to treat various ailments, including
digestive issues, colic in infants, and bad breath. This video reviews the nutritional and health
benefits of dill, as well as ways to use it in cooking. Nutritional profile! One cup (9 grams) of fresh dill sprigs provides
approximately: Calories: 4,
Vitamin C: 8% of the Daily Value (DV), Manganese: 5% of the DV,
Vitamin A: 4% of the DV, Folate: 3% of the DV,
Iron: 3% of the DV. Fresh dill is very low in calories, yet a
surprisingly good source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C,
manganese, and vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that is
important for maintaining vision and supporting a healthy immune system. It also plays a role in male and female reproduction. Similarly, vitamin C is vital for your immune
system and helps with bone formation, wound healing, and metabolism. Additionally, it has been shown to be a potent
antioxidant that helps protect your cells against damage caused by unstable molecules
known as free radicals. Dill is also a good source of manganese. While needed in very small amounts, it is
an essential mineral that supports normal functioning of your brain, nervous system,
and metabolism of sugar and fat. Furthermore, fresh dill provides 1–2% of
the DV for calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, and zinc. However, as fresh dill is usually consumed
in smaller quantities than 1 cup (9 grams), the amount of nutrients you get from sprinkling
it over your food will be considerably less. As for dill seeds, they have many similar
nutritional benefits. One tablespoon (6.6 grams) of seeds provides
8% of the DV for calcium, 6% of the DV for iron, and 1–5% of the DV for magnesium,
manganese, phosphorus, and potassium. Potential benefits of dill! With its name derived from the Old Norse word
“dilla,” which means to soothe, dill has been used since ancient times to treat colic
in infants and digestive diseases, as well as to help with breastfeeding. While these more traditional uses have not
been supported by research, dill has been shown to have other potential health benefits. Rich in antioxidants! Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds
that help protect cells against damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals. As a result, research suggests that consuming
foods rich in antioxidants may help reduce chronic inflammation and prevent or even treat
certain conditions, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain
forms of cancer. Both the seeds and leaves of the dill plant
have been found to be rich in several plant compounds with antioxidant properties, including:
Flavonoids. These plant compounds have been associated
with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, and some forms of cancer. They may also play an important role in brain
health. Terpenoids. These compounds are found in essential oils
and may protect against liver, heart, kidney, and brain diseases. Tannins. Responsible for bitterness in many plant foods,
tannins have been shown to have potent antioxidant properties, as well as antimicrobial effects. Additionally, dill is a good source of vitamin
C, which has also been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties. May benefit heart health! Heart disease is the leading cause of death
worldwide. However, the World Health Organization estimates
that nearly 75% of heart disease cases could be prevented by reducing risk factors like
poor diet, smoking, and lack of exercise. Additional risk factors for heart disease
include elevated blood pressure, triglyceride, and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, as well
as chronic inflammation. Flavonoids, like those found in dill, have
been shown to protect heart health due to their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
properties. Furthermore, animal studies have suggested
that dill extract may have cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering effects. However, research in humans in more mixed. One study in 91 people with high total cholesterol
and triglyceride levels found that taking 6 dill extract tablets daily for 2 months
significantly improved total cholesterol and triglyceride levels but did not change HDL
(good) cholesterol levels. Yet, another study in 150 people with high
cholesterol and triglyceride levels observed no significant changes in cholesterol or triglyceride
levels after 6 weeks of daily dill tablet intake. However, it’s important to note that most
studies looking at the effects of dill on heart health have used extracts. As a result, it’s unclear how fresh or dried
dill in your diet could affect heart health. Overall, while the antioxidants in dill extracts
may benefit overall heart health, more studies in humans are needed to assess the effectiveness
of dill on cholesterol and triglyceride levels. May help lower blood sugar levels! Having chronically high blood sugar levels
is concerning as they can increase your risk of conditions like insulin resistance, metabolic
syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Dill has been suggested to have blood-sugar-lowering
effects. In fact, several studies in animals with diabetes
have shown a significant improvement in fasting blood sugar levels with daily doses of dill
extract. Still, research in humans is limited. May have anticancer properties! Monoterpenes are a class of terpenes, which
are naturally occurring plant compounds that are linked to anticancer, antiviral, antifungal,
and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re commonly found in essential oils
of plants like dill and have been associated with anticancer properties. More specifically, d-limonene is a type of
monoterpene that studies have shown may help prevent and treat lung, breast, and colon
cancer. As dill is high in monoterpenes, particularly
d-limonene, it may have anticancer properties. However, there’s currently no research on
the effectiveness of dill or dill extract on the risk or treatment of cancer. Other potential benefits! Dill may benefit your health in the following
ways as well: Antibacterial properties. Essential oils in dill have antibacterial
effects which fight potentially harmful bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumoniae and Staphylococcus
aureus. Bone health. Dill contains calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
— all of which are important for bone health. Menstrual cramps. Essential oils in dill may help relieve pain
from cramps during your period. However, research is currently limited and
mixed. Potential side effects! Dill is generally safe for consumption. However, in rare cases it has been shown to
cause allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, an itchy mouth, swollen red bumps on the tongue,
and throat swelling. Additionally, it’s recommended to avoid
dill pills or extracts during pregnancy and breastfeeding as there’s limited research
of their safety. Uses for dill! Dill is a flavorful ingredient that’s easy
to add to your food. Here are some ways to add fresh dill to your
meals: Use it as a garnish for soups or roasted vegetables. Sprinkle it on top of cold cucumber salads. Use it in potato salads or on baked or roasted
potatoes. Place it over gravlax. Stir it into yogurt-based dips like tzatziki. Chop and add it to salads. Use it to add flavor to fish, lamb, or egg
dishes. Add it to baked breads. Incorporate it into sauces, marinades, or
salad dressings. Dried dill can also be used to add flavor
to dips, marinades, and potato, chicken, or tuna salads. As for the seeds, dill seeds can be used whole
or crushed and added to bread, soups, or vegetable dishes. They can also be used to make dill pickles. How to store dill! To store fresh dill, you first want to lightly
spritz the leaves with fresh water, wrap the sprigs loosely in a paper towel, and then
place them in a zip-top plastic bag. Store the dill in the vegetable drawer of
your fridge for up to 1 week. For longer storage, you can also freeze fresh
dill by rinsing and then placing the sprigs in a single layer on a cookie sheet in the
freezer. Once frozen, transfer the sprigs to a freezer-safe
bag and return to the freezer for up to 6 months for best flavor. Frozen dill can be used in cooking without
thawing first. Dried dill and dill seeds should be stored
in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for 6 months to 1 year.

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