Kale. Quinoa. These superfoods have gone from relative unknowns to the star of many a dish once their health potential was realized.
If you're a little bored of kale and quinoa by now or just want to broaden your healthy eating horizons, try ashitaba. This herb is loaded with minerals and vitamins. It's also quite nutritious and tastes delicious.
Want to know more?
We'll tell you everything you need to know about this healthful herb, including where it comes from, its many benefits, what it tastes like, and its nutritional content. Read on!
What Is Ashitaba?
Also known as "tomorrow's leaf," ashitaba was once only used as a medicine. All parts of this herb are useful and can be consumed, including the stem, leaves, and root.
The herb proved to be quite adept when treating the symptoms associated with hay favor, constipation, gout, stomach ulcers, and heartburn. It could even ease food poisoning, reduce cancer pain, and lower blood pressure.
Today, this herb is consumed as a food much more often than it's used for medicinal purposes. The leaves are the only parts of this plant that are eaten. They're mashed into a powder and then consumed on their own or mixed with other foods.
Ashitaba has many health benefits. It's mostly known for its high vitamin B content, particularly vitamins B6 and B12.
Vitamin B6 helps you get more Zzzs at night. Vitamin B12 promotes healthy nerves.
You can also find antioxidants in this plant.
Those are some of the benefits. There are several other ones to be aware of. They are as follows:
- Powers the brain: The Vitamin B12 in this plant helps you concentrate and work harder. It could even stave off memory loss.
- Treats the stomach: We already mentioned how this herb was used medicinally for stomach ulcers and poisoningsoing. Besides those uses, you may have improved digestion and less constipation with regular consumption.
- Better metabolism: Want to lose weight? With more proteins, this plant makes for a healthy choice if you want to shed some pounds and maintain a fitter physique.
- Diabetes management: If you have diabetes, you may be able to better manage your blood sugar levels by eating this plant. Your kidney and liver will also be healthier.
- Healthier blood: Besides the vitamins contained in this plant, it also has potassium, calcium, and iron. That can reduce and even treat anemic symptoms.
- A better heart: As mentioned, you could enjoy lower blood pressure with this herb. You can also avoid blood clots, which can be fatal if they reach the heart.
- Better immunity: If you have the flu or a cold, this is the herb you want to take. It's antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory, too.
Where Does It Come From?
Ashitaba originates in Japan, particularly its central region. It's estimated that the plant has grown there for 400 years or more.
With so many benefits, it's no wonder this herb has gone from a medicine to a superfood.
What Does This Herb Taste Like?
You have to admit, your interest is piqued. You would love to eat ashitaba as part of a healthy diet today. There's just one important question you need answered first.
What does it taste like?
The taste isn't as strong as you might think. Eaten on its own, some have compared to it eating guava leaves or celery root.
If you're not sure whether you'll like this plant on its own or not, try mixing it in with other foods and beverages. Since it's often manufactured and sold as a powder, you can pour some into a fruit smoothie or even a glass of water.
If you'd prefer to eat this plant, many fans love it in casseroles, soups, and salads. Be adventurous and add this herb to your own favorite foods and beverages.
Plenty of people also put this healthy herb in their tea. The taste is described like green tea.
Now that you know what the taste is like, where can you find this herb? You can always buy it online. You can also grow your own (but do be aware that blooming takes a year or more).
If you dedicate yourself to that, you'll have your own endless supply of leaves, roots, and stems.
What Is the Nutritional Content of Ashitaba?
We've already outlined the many health benefits of ashitaba. Just how healthy is it, though?
Here are the nutritional facts for this herb:
- Calories: 33 calories per 100 grams
- Fat calories: 5 calories per 15 grams or 1 piece of the plant
- Vitamin A: 66 ug
- Vitamin E alpha tocopherol: 0.39 mg
- Vitamin K: 75 ug
- Vitamin B1: 0.02 mg
- Vitamin B2: 0.04 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.02 mg
- Vitamin C: 6.15 mg
- Niacin: 0.21 mg
- Folate: 15 ug
- Panthothenic acid: 0.14 mg
- Sodium: 9 mg
- Potassium: 81 mg
- Calcium: 9.75 mg
- Magnesium: 3.9 mg
- Phosphorus: 9.75 mg
- Iron: 0.15 mg
- Zinc: 0.09 mg
- Copper: 0.02 mg
- Manganese: 0.16 mg
Besides those nutritional facts, it's worth mentioning that ashitaba has 0.84 grams of fiber. That makes sense considering this herb helps with digestion and painful stomach issues.
Ashitaba is an herb that originates from Japan. Its uses date back hundreds and hundreds of years. At that point, it was favored for medicinal reasons.
Today, people gladly eat this plant because it's so healthy. It has tons of vitamins and offers many health benefits, including cardiovascular and immune system perks.
While this herb is most often consumed in a powder, that's not always the case. Its leaves can also be eaten. Some may want to make tea out of the powder or mix in water.
You can also cook with this plant, adding it in soups and salads. Those who eat this superfood have differing opinions on the taste. As a powder though, taste shouldn't be an issue.
Low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals, this is one food you definitely want in your diet.
We love to inform and educate people about the importance of this herb and other natural herbal remedies. To learn more or buy the tea today, check out our catalog!