Whether you’re putting it on your wild salmon, in a soup, a salad, or some other dish, dill weed is a great way to flavour your food and add many important health benefits.
Dill is most famous for flavouring pickles, but this flavourful plant has a long history of medicinal uses in Anglo-Saxon England, India, and Greece.
Dill is an annual herb, related to celery, and grows as fern-like stalks that develop umbrella-headed yellow flowers. The flowers produce dill seed, another popular spice with its own list of health benefits.
Dill weed refers to the leaves of the plant, and it’s best used fresh. The leaves start to lose flavour after a few days, and dried dill doesn’t have the same potency as fresh-from-the-garden dill. Dill weed does freeze relatively well, so go ahead and put any dill you won’t be using right away in the freezer to hold its flavour.
You’re not going to eat a lot of dill. It is typically used to garnish, or flavour food, but it isn’t the main ingredient. Fresh dill weed has a strong flavour, which means you don’t need a lot of it to get the desired flavouring. This also means you’re not going to get your daily value of any vitamin from it, but that doesn’t make it any less good for you, and the little bit you do get has some great health benefits.
That really goes for any food. Whether you’re eating the smallest portion or the largest, it is still important to know the nutritional value, and whether it has health benefits, or if it has negative side effects.
Dill Weed Health Benefits
Dill weed contains niacin, copper, phosphorus, zinc, and dietary fibre. It is a good source of calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6. The main vitamins you’ll find in dill weed are vitamin A and vitamin C, which both have anti-inflammatory properties, so that’s a good sign that dill is a good food to have in your diet, even if it’s only in small quantities.
Dill has a powerful anti-swelling and inflammatory effect. It has been shown to significantly reduce the chronic inflammation and swelling around wounds and injuries. This is important because prolonged inflammation can lead to water and salt retention, gastrointestinal intolerance, and bone marrow depression to name but a few of the possible side effects.
Dill weed could help lower cholesterol. A 2015 study found that dill lowered cholesterol levels in rodents. The dill helped inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, which is a reduced function of cholesterol metabolism. If this plant contributes to keeping the metabolic rate of cholesterol at a healthy level in rodents, there is a good probability that it could have a similar effect in humans.
Another study found dill weed to have strong anti-convulsive properties. The study found that dill extract significantly decreased the risk of seizures in mice, and that the extract from the plant could be a natural treatment for epilepsy. (Please be advised, we are not doctors, nor do we recommend changing treatment without consulting a licensed physician).
For all of the men out there, dill weed is also a male aphrodisiac. The plant has shown to increase sex drive without negative side effects to the male reproductive organs or fertility.
Adding dill weed to your diet may help lower your triglycerides. One study found that dill extract significantly lowered triglyceride levels in patients after 12 weeks. This is important because high levels of triglycerides put you at a higher risk of atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Dill weed really is beneficial for your health. Even if you’re only adding small amounts of dill to your diet, it is great to know you’re flavouring your food with good nutrients that have such potential for improving your health.