Dill leaves: Health Benefits, Nutrients & Uses

dill leaves benefits

Last Updated on May 5, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta

Origins of dill leaves are unclear, but like many other herbs, it has quite likely originated in the Mediterranean region. Interestingly enough, it is among the most commonly used aromatic herbs in parts of Europe. It is loved more than parsley or coriander in some eastern European nations. Despite its uncommon use in India these days, it has been known to Indian people for a long time. It is called “Sholpa” in Bengali, “Savaa” in Hindi, and “Soa” in Punjabi. One of the issues with dill leaves is that they lose their aroma quite quickly, perhaps due to the volatility of various terpenes. Thus, one should use it as fresh as possible for maximum health benefit.

Source of micronutrients

Aromatic herbs are not consumed in a significant amount, and thus they cannot provide many macronutrients. However, regular use of dill leaves can provide many vital micronutrients. Dill leaves are rich in riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamin C. It is also a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

Reduces stress

It is a less studied and less realised benefit of aromatic herbs. However, it is worth remembering that humans first started using aromatic plants like dill due to their aroma. Its aroma can relax nerves and lower anxiety, improve mood, and boost appetite. These are some of the well-known benefits of dill leaves. 

Considering that anxiety and other mood disorders are becoming all too common these days. Using aromatic herbs like dill leaves could be one of the ways to stay healthy.

Good source of antioxidants

Dill leaves are not just part of the traditional Indian diet, it is also one of the common Ayurvedic remedies. It is quite likely that many of its health benefits are due to its content of antioxidants. 

There has been a considerable increase in interest in antioxidants in recent years, and there is a reason for such a rise in interest. However, these days due to dietary imbalances and mental stress, people are more likely to develop chronic non-infectious diseases.

Thus, antioxidants can help prevent metabolic disorders, heart diseases, brain disorders, and even cancer. But that is not all, and science shows that high dietary consumption of antioxidants is associated with a slowdown in ageing processes.

Researchers have isolated many antioxidants in dill leaves. They contain flavonoids, terpenes, phenolic acids, steroids, and coumarins. Its aroma has lots to do with alpha-phellandrene, limonene, dill ether, and myristicin.

Good for heart health

Heart diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide. However, South Asians are especially prone to the condition. Studies show that Indians are more sensitive to even a slight increase in bad cholesterol and thus more likely to have blocked arteries. Moreover, it is no secret that hypertension is also quite common in India.

Dilli leaves may benefit heart in multiple ways. It can help improve mood, reduce stress, and also appear to have a blood pressure-lowering action.

Additionally, it is rich in flavonoids that are known to have direct cardioprotective action. Moreover, high consumption of antioxidants also helps reduce low-grade inflammation and thus reduces the risk of heart disease.

What is interesting is that dill leaves may also help reduce bad cholesterol levels. There is firm evidence that dill leaves are good at lowering cholesterol. Clinical studies show that dill leaves may reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. However, at the same time, dill leaves can increase HDL cholesterol, which is good cholesterol.

Helps manage diabetes

Diabetes is not a result of just high carb or sugars consumption. It is caused by many reasons like lack of exercise, stress, poor micronutrients consumption, and more. It means that there is no single way to manage diabetes. 

Generally, those living with diabetes should consider broader lifestyle interventions, including significant dietary changes and exercise.

Do not expect dill leaves to significantly reduce blood glucose levels until or unless you are planning to consume them in vast amounts. Nonetheless, studies suggest that adding aromatic herbs like dill leaves could be one of the healthy ways of normalising blood sugar levels.

It is vital to understand that dill leaves help not only due to their influence on blood sugar levels. They are rich in antioxidants. It means that dill leaves can also help reduce the risk of various diabetes-associated complications.

Help prevent cancers

As already mentioned, dill leaves have a lot of benefits and that they are rich in antioxidants and terpenes. New studies show that monoterpenes in the plant can be quite good for preventing cancers. Thus, dill leaves may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, and even lung cancer.

It is pretty likely that the lower prevalence of certain types of cancers in the Mediterranean region is due to the higher consumption of various aromatic herbs.

Other benefits

Science has not sufficiently explored all the health benefits of dill leaves. Nonetheless, some studies suggest that essential oils in the plant can help fight infections. This impact is due to the direct effect of essential oils on the plant and their role in boosting immunity.

Similarly, dill leaves are quite good for bone health as they have an excellent nutritional profile. It may also help reduce menstrual cramps, as an essential oil in dill leaves has some spasmolytic activity.

Final thoughts

One of the ways to stay healthy, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and minimise the risk of various metabolic disorders is to consume more aromatic herbs. However, it is essential not to limit ourselves to the use of just a few herbs. The secret to longevity is using multiple herbs and consuming them more frequently. For maximum benefits, it is also essential to consume them fresh.

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