Herbs can definitely help boost your immune system but which ones give you energy as well?

Stylist Magazine wrote that throwing a few herbs on a plate of chips won’t make much difference to your immune system, but including them in your diet will help.

From tearing some basil leaves onto your pasta to stuffing handfuls of coriander into a falafel mix, herbs are go-to cooking device. They make even the most bland dish more palatable with their rich flavours and colours. But did you also know that herbs are incredibly nutritious? In fact, some of these little leaves can offer more vitamins and minerals than what you might consider to be “proper” more substantial foods.

Well before we started cooking with mint and parsley, these plants were celebrated for the medicinal properties. Science, however, has now proved that many of them boast incredible health benefits.

“Using fresh herbs and spices in cooking is one way to diversify your plant-based food intake,” explains Tai Ibitoye, registered dietitian and nutritional researcher. This is great because it allows you to “feed gut microbes and increase their diversity.” 

If you were to compare 100g of herbs and 100g of vegetables, “dried herbs and spices average the greatest amount of antioxidants of any food category,” says Bajekal. “While we use small amounts, they may still be important contributors to overall antioxidant intake, especially as they are used liberally in a number of cuisines.”

While herbs may be rich in B vitamins, they don’t contain them at the same level as many veg. “B vitamins are extremely important in making sure that the cells in our body are functioning properly as they help to convert food into energy, create new blood cells and maintain healthy cells,” says El-Shafi. “Replacing vegetables with herbs would mean you’re taking in very little B vitamins and could lead to a weak immune system.”

Your best bet is to use herbs to enhance the nutrition and flavour of dishes without relying on them entirely. We need to be eating them “as part of our diet in addition to fruits, vegetables, wholegrains and legumes,” Ibitoye stresses. “Adding seasoning may enhance vitamins and mineral content of dishes slightly but not significantly as a lot would need to be included in cooking.”

For maximum flavor and nutrition, you want to pick your herbs right before you use them. It’s the same with fresh veg too; if you let fresh produce just sit in your fridge, you’re allowing all those nutrients to die. Bajekal explains: “A good rule of thumb is to choose good quality herbs that have a pleasant smell. Fresh herbs tend to have a shelf-life of around five days (refrigerating them can decrease the vitamin C content) whereas dried herbs have a shelf-life of around six months to up to a year depending on the type of herb and the way it is stored.”







Source: Stylist Magazine


World Chocolate Day is on the 7th July 2021. World Chocolate Day, sometimes referred to as International Chocolate Day, is an annual celebration of chocolate, occurring globally on July 7. The day is celebrated on July 7th because it was on this date in 1550 that chocolate was first brought to Europe. The first World Chocolate Day was celebrated in 2009.

According to Hotel Chocolat it is difficult to pinpoint an exact reason why July 7 was chosen as the day to appreciate chocolate, but according to Wired Magazine, it can be traced back to July 7, 1550, when cocoa was first brought to Europe in large quantities. Some reports state that Christopher Colombus might have brought cocoa to Spain much earlier, around 1504, but the aristocracy held a monopoly on it for centuries before it trickled down to the lower classes and gained widespread popularity.

Although World Chocolate Day is most commonly celebrated on July 7, there is also the existence of International Chocolate Day, which is held on September 13 in the United States. This event is held on this specific day because it is the birthday of Milton Hershey, who founded the Hershey Chocolate Company in 1894.

Either way, World Chocolate day is a fairly modern event, as people only started to celebrate it annually in July around 2009.

People celebrate World Chocolate Day by eating chocolate (obviously) which is of course the best way to celebrate the versatility of chocolate is to sample a flavour combination you’ve never tried before. Fans of fruit and chocolate can experiment in tropical tastes with our creamy and zesty Passion Fruit Chocolate, or try our cocktail-inspired salted espresso martini, covered in our sweet and malty caramel chocolate for a more sumptuous treat.

For the purists, our rare and vintage collection has our single origin chocolate collection, where you can savour specific cacao bean varieties in our lovingly-crafted chocolate bars. For a savoury kick, the deep fruitiness of our Ecuadorian 100% cocoa packs a punch, or if you’re looking for a more mellow flavour, the white chocolate from the Dominican Republic has 42% cocoa butter, giving it a fabulously creamy texture.

If you’re a well-versed chocolate lover, then push the boundaries by using our chocolate in a savoury recipe; melt a square of dark chocolate into your spaghetti bolognese or chili con carne to impart a richer, deeper flavour to the classic dishes.

World Chocolate Day is an opportunity to expand your chocolate horizons and try new flavours. If you find it impossible to make a decision, then why not try one of our chocolate boxes, where you’ll find exciting new flavours nestled among your classic favourites like salted caramel or decadent champagne truffles. Or, get creating and whip up a Mexican hot chocolate with cinnamon and a pinch of chilli, sprinkle some cocoa nibs into your brownies for a salty kick, or go all out and make traditional Mole sauce; it’s World Chocolate Day after all!

Source: Hotel Chocolat, Wikepedia