Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 14 April 2020: Dubai’s premier fresh food market, the Waterfront Market has collaborated with nutritionist, Zeina Maktabi to share a list of the most powerful herbs and spices available at the market, which help increase immunity levels and fight off viruses.
Nutritionist Zeina Maktabi holds a degree in nutrition and dietetics from the American University of Beirut and a master’s degree in Public Health & Health Promotion from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.
In addition to being renowned for fresh food like fish, meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables, dry goods and dates all at reasonable prices, the Waterfront Market also offers an array of herb and spices including healing ones that are suitable for remedies and are worth adding to your meals and should be incorporated in your daily routine.
Zeina Maktabi said: “Your immune system is your shield against any harmful cells, it’s very important to keep it strong at all times and support it to be in its optimal condition in case of infections with viruses or bacteria. I am very happy to collaborate with the Waterfront Market and select my top six herbs and spices from the array on offer at the market and share with you my favourite recipes which are guaranteed to boost your immune systems.”
Herbs available at the Waterfront Market
- Lemon Balm:
Lemon Balm looks like mint, and shares the same family as mint, but has a lemon-scent and flavour. It is high in antioxidants and helps lower inflammation in the body which allows your body to focus on its immune function. Lemon Balm also has anti-viral properties which helps protect the body against viruses. It has a relaxing effect on the body and can help you have a restful sleep when you consume it as a tea.
Try out this recipe:
Honey Lemon Balm Spritzer
½ cup honey
2 cups warm water
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup cold water
1 cup lemon balm (lightly packed cup)
2 cups sparkling water
Mix honey with warm water till dissolved
Then add the lemon juice and cold water
Mash the lemon balm leaves and add
Finally mix in the sparkling water
Place in fridge to cool and enjoy as an afternoon cooling drink
- Holy Basil
Holy Basil is a green leafy plant native to Southeast Asia. It’s been used in Indian medicine as a treatment for many conditions. It has high levels of zinc, iron, vitamin C & A – these minerals and vitamins help boost immunity and it also has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, & anti-fungal properties and is known to help heal wounds.
Ways to have:
- You can make holy basil tea using the leaves or dried leaf powder
- Place 2–3 teaspoons of holy basil in a cup of boiling water and let it steep for 5–6 minutes
- It can also be used when making vegetable stews or soups
Oregano is a commonly used herb especially in Italian and Greek cuisine; it has a strong flavour and brings warmth and slight sweetness to dishes. It has potent antibacterial properties that help fight bacteria and has two compounds, carvacrol and thymol, which have anti-viral properties. It’s also super rich in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
Try out this salad dressing:
Lemon Oregano Dressing
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh oregano leaves (packed) or 2 tbsp dried oregano
Chop the lemon very finely with the skin on. Chop very small pieces but keep some texture.
Place chopped lemon and all other ingredients (except oregano) in a small jar and shake, shake!
Chop oregano leaves finely add to dressing just before serving to keep the green color bright.
- Bay Leaf
Bay Leaf is pleasantly aromatic and gives off a sweet and pleasing aroma to dishes. It is usually used in dried format as a natural flavoring in dishes. As fresh leaves, it contains high levels of Vitamin C, a vitamin that significantly boosts immunity. In both fresh and dried format, it is a great source of zinc and selenium which are two minerals known to help strengthen immunity cells, called Natural Killer Cells, that fight off infections.
Try out this Tea mixture:
Bay Leaves & Cinnamon Tea
3-5 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp cinnamon spice
4 cups water
In a saucepan, bring water to boil
Add bay leaves and cinnamon and let simmer for 20 mins
Strain, add any sweetener, and enjoy.
Spices available at the waterfront Market
Turmeric is a very powerful root that has been studied and proven to have bioactive compounds that protect against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s most active compound is called Curcumin; with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric helps the body fight inflammation & keeps infections at bay. To help absorption of curcumin, always have it with some black pepper.
Try out this muffins recipe:
Golden Muffins Recipe
½ cup melted coconut oil
2 large eggs
2/3 unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cup almond flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
Pinch of black pepper
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
In a large bowl, whisk together coconut oil, eggs, applesauce, maple syrup & vanilla extract
Fold in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and the rest of the spices
Fill the cups of a 12 section muffin tin
Bake for 15-20 mins
Let cool and enjoy!
Can be added to both savory and sweet dishes. It gives a warm, sweet flavor and has been used for centuries. It’s a super food, loaded with anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamaldehyde, one of the main active components of cinnamon, may help fight various kinds of infection especially those of the respiratory tract.
Ways to consume:
There are many ways to use cinnamon whether in baking or in soups and stews.
Tip: You can add 2 cinnamon stick in boiling water & leave it to seep and enjoy it warm in the evening.