7 Reasons Why You Should Add Bay Leaves In Your Diet

An Indian spice with a variety of uses comes with many health benefits as well. Here are 7 health benefits of bay leaves and ways to use them.

Charu Sharma
Written by: Charu SharmaPublished at: Jun 05, 2021
7 Reasons Why You Should Add Bay Leaves In Your Diet

A spice which hasn’t been given credit to make your favourite biryani even better with its distinctive flavour and fragrance. A spice which no matter if it is dried or fresh, never fails to create magic with its fragrance, but do you know that apart from making your food flavourful this spice has many health benefits as well. From improving digestion to managing diabetes, bay leaves can do it all. So without a further ado let us jump in and see 7 health benefits that bay leaves can provide with insights from Nutritionist Roshni Sanghvi, popularly known as "Vegan Khaleesi"

1# Aids Digestion

Bay leaves stimulate  urination as well as diuretic and have a very strong effect on your gastrointestinal system. It decreases the toxicity in the body and has been proven effective in settling upset stomachs and curing the symptoms of Celiac’s disease.

“The antioxidant power of fruits and vegetables are well known. But what’s surprising is that adding a pinch of fresh herbs like Bay leaves to your food can quadruple the effects of antioxidants in your dish. Herbs and spices like bay leaves protect us from long term chromosomal damage and suppress the growth of even certain cancer growth,” suggests Nutritionist Roshni Sanghvi.

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Also Read: Saffron Health Benefits: Learn About the Myriad Benefits of the ‘Expensive’ Spice, Side-Effects and Dosage

2# Acts as a stress buster

One of the most common conditions, stress is rapidly increasing around the globe ever since the pandemic has hit us. Bay leaves are enriched with linalool which helps you to fight stress by lowering the amount of stress hormones in our body. As bay leaf has eugenol and myrcene which are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, it’s smell can help you relax.

How to use

  • Take a clay bowl and place 1-2 bay leaves in it. 
  • Burn the bay leaves and let their smoke flow around for a while.

3# Keeps your heart healthy

Bay leaves consist of organic compounds such as rutin and caffeic acid. These compounds help in strengthening the capillary walls  and eliminating the bad cholesterol from your cardiovascular system which in return keeps your heart healthy. The antioxidants in bay leaves provide protection against the free radicals by lowering the inflammation and as a result lowers the risk of heart diseases.

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How to use

  • Take 2-3 fresh bay leaves and cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Add these into a pan and pour 2 cups of water into it. 
  • Simmer it on the stove for 3-5 minutes.
  • Steep it overnight.
  • Strain it using a strainer the next morning and drink it right away.

4# Heals wounds naturally

A natural remedy to heal your wounds in no time. Bay leaves are enriched with antimicrobial and antifungal properties which helps to reduce inflammation in the wounded area. 

  • How to use: Include bay leaves in your daily diet to boost up the healing process.

5# Can help with diabetes

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It is always said that a diabetic patient needs to be extra precaution about what they eat. As bay leaves consist of phytochemicals and essential oils, its consumption on a regular basis is proven to improve insulin and glucose metabolism. The presence of polyphenol in bay leaves helps to regulate glucose levels and improve the lipid profile of the patient.

How to use

  • Take 2-3 fresh bay leaves and cut them into smaller pieces.
  • Add these into a pan and pour 2 cups of water into it. 
  • Simmer it on the stove for 3-5 minutes.
  • Steep it overnight.
  • Strain it using a strainer the next morning and drink it right away.

6# Protects from inflammation 

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, bay leafs has phyto-nutrient and parthenolide in it which helps in reducing inflammation and lowers the risk of arthritis. Bay leaf when combined with olive oil can help you relieve pain.

How to use

  • In a bowl take 250 grams of olive oil.
  • Add 30 grams of dry, crushed bay leaves in it.
  • Soak it in for 2 weeks.
  • After 2 weeks strain it and transfer to a bottle.
  • Gently apply on the affected area whenever required.

Also Read: This Leaf, Extensively Used In Indian Cuisine As A Spice, Has Medicinal Properties. Know What Is It

7# For better sleep

Bay leaves help you to relax your body , get better sleep and prevent insomnia.They also help to calm down the brain’s functioning.

How to use

  • Mix a few drops of bay leaf essence in a cup of water.
  • Stir it well.
  • Drink this before bedtime for a good night’s sleep.

Read more articles on Healthy Diet 

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