Bay Leaves: Unlocking the Secret Benefits – Chefs and Health Experts Take Note

April 7, 2024
1 min read
Bay leaves

Surely you have heard that bay leaves are excellent for making white rice tastier, or for slow-cooked preparations like stews and casseroles. Indeed, this ingredient is a kitchen ally and offers multiple health benefits.

Its uses and health benefits are numerous, making it a versatile ingredient ideal for seasoning food and taking advantage of its nutritional compounds.

Bay leaves are attributed with medicinal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive, and antirheumatic properties due to their content of tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, linalool, and eugenol, which help to improve intestinal microbiota and metabolic activity.

Bay leaf contains biologically active compounds such as terpenes, terpene derivatives, polyphenols, alkaloids, minerals, and vitamins, according to a study conducted on animals and published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

Meanwhile, another NCBI publication reveals that the application of high doses of bay leaf extract increases the number of probiotic bacteria while reducing the growth of pathogenic bacteria, thereby ensuring a better state of health.

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Bay leaves add flavor to meals, especially when the dried leaves, which contain more flavor, are used.

The bay tree is native to the Mediterranean region, and its cultivation has spread to various parts of the world. Its leaves have traditionally been used as seasonings to enhance the flavor of meals and also as a home remedy to alleviate discomfort.

The leaves of this plant can be used fresh or dry, with the latter having a higher concentration of flavor.

Culinary recommendations indicate that the leaves should be added at the beginning of the cooking process for meat stews, casseroles, fish broths, vegetable soups, and legumes. This is because the longer they are boiled and cooked, the greater the flavor will be.

In case of obtaining fresh leaves, it is recommended to let them dry by placing them in bunches in a warm and dry place, as indicated by the Alimente + section of El Confidencial.

A trick to make the leaves have more flavor and aroma is to dry them in the dark, preventing them from turning brown; once the drying process is completed, they are stored in airtight containers in a dark and dry place.

Bay leaf infusion relieves swelling, and when taken before meals can ease acidity.

A way to take advantage of the benefits of bay leaves is to prepare them in an infusion, ideal for relieving swelling and improving digestion.

To prepare it, take three bay leaves and add them to a cup of boiling water, wait about 5 minutes for it to infuse, and then it is ready to drink.

It is recommended to drink a cup of this preparation before meals to prevent acidity and stomach spasms.

Tejal Somvanshi

Meet Tejal Somvanshi, a soulful wanderer and a staunch wellness advocate, who elegantly navigates through the enchanting domains of Fashion and Beauty with a natural panache. Her journey, vividly painted with hues from a vibrant past in the media production world, empowers her to carve out stories that slice through the cacophony, where brands morph into characters and marketing gimmicks evolve into intriguing plot twists. To Tejal, travel is not merely an activity; it unfolds as a chapter brimming with adventures and serendipitous tales, while health is not just a regimen but a steadfast companion in her everyday epic. In the realms of fashion and beauty, she discovers her muse, weaving a narrative where each style narrates a story, and every beauty trend sparks a dialogue. Tejal seamlessly melds the spontaneous spirit of the media industry with the eloquent prose of a storyteller, crafting tales as vibrant and dynamic as the industry she thrives in.

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