Fiona HunterFresh herbs will liven up your dish with aroma and flavour, creating wonderful tasty meals that are healthier for you.

If you have a pot of fresh living herbs in the kitchen or a pack in the fridge here are some easy tips that will help you make more use of your herbs and make the most of their natural flavours, helping to reduce the need for salt.

Fiona’s Top 5 Healthy Ways With Herbs

1. A healthy seasoning

Herbs can be used to add flavour and interest to all sorts of food, which can help reduce the amount of salt you need to use. A high salt intake is believed to be a major factor in the development of high blood pressure.

2. Livens up healthy veg

Many of us struggle to eat enough vegetables to reach the recommended five portions of fruit and veg a day, but plain steamed vegetables can sometimes be a bit dull. Adding fresh herbs such as thyme, chives, coriander or mint is a good way to enhance the flavour of vegetables and make them a bit more interesting.

3. You don’t need Fat to add flavour

If you use plenty of fresh herbs in your cooking, rather than adding butter to vegetables, try adding a sprig of fresh mint when you are cooking peas, some finely chopped chives to new potatoes or some finely chopped coriander to carrots.

4. Herbs for digestion

Fresh herbs contain essential oils which in some herbs can help aid digestion. Adding fresh mint to hot water makes a refreshing drink after a heavy meal. Herbalists prescribe mint tea to improve digestion, soothe the stomach, to ease stress and relieve tension headaches.

5. Antiseptic and antibacterial

The essential oil content of some herbs is known to have mild antiseptic properties. Thyme is prescribed by herbalists to ease sore throats and coughs and to help strengthen the immune system. Coriander also has antibacterial and antifungal properties and is prescribed by herbalists to soothe digestion.