Here's why you should add more fresh herbs to your diet ASAP, and how to do it
You’re a healthy eater. There’s always kale or broccoli in your fridge, you cook for yourself regularly, and you love finding new ways to work fruits and veggies into your diet. But how often do you buy fresh herbs from the grocery store, only to have them wilt and mold away in your fridge like yesterday’s news? We’ve all been there—it’s hard to figure out what to do with all that leftover basil when all you needed was a few leaves for your pasta—but adding more fresh herbs to your diet is not only easy, it’s incredibly healthy for you.
We recently spent some time with farmer Kerry Clasby, owner of Malibu Fig Tree Ranch in Malibu, California, who sells fresh produce and culinary herbs to some of Los Angeles’ top restaurants, including Nobu (Drake’s fave spot) and Gjelina, where Victoria Beckham’s been known to dine. She reminded us that fresh herbs are antioxidant rich, which means they can help fight off the creepy stuff that causes cancer, and they’re also great for gut health.
She’s absolutely right: Scientific American reported in 2010 that one “half teaspoon of dried oregano rivals [the level of antioxidants in] three cups of raw spinach,” and “adding a mixture of herbs and spices to hamburgers reduced the level of carcinogenic compounds created by grilling.” In short, those little greens are powerful.
Even better? Clasby told us how easy it is to get more fresh herbs into your diet—so you’ll never be saddled with moldy basil again.
“Herbs are great in smoothies,” she said. “They can be added to flatbread, wraps, sandwiches, salads, tea—calming mint tea, [for example]. Your taste buds know where each herb will add flavor and not be too strong—follow that.”
You can also add herbs to simple scrambled eggs or frittata, stuff them into goat cheese and smear that on fresh bread, or chop and toss them into your favorite salads.
If you’d like to try your hand at growing your own herbs, Clasby said you should just go for it—even if you live in a tiny apartment. She said, “You can use a small container that will yield so much value. Use your intuition [about which herbs to plant] and go to the hardware store—they have it all. And have fun!”
We met Clasby when she hosted a dinner on her gorgeous farm celebrating Free People‘s partnership with Girls, Inc., an organization that provides programming for girls promoting wellness, independence, and mentorship, which Free People has been involved with since 2016. In partnership with Girls, Inc. and Free People, Clasby will soon host a group of Los Angeles girls on the farm as the school year kicks off.
On their visit, Clasby will talk to the girls about nutrition (and fresh herbs, of course!) but also dig deep to understand their hearts’ desires. “[I’ll] talk to them about what is written in their heart, such as their desired occupation and contribution to our planet and humanity,” Clasby told us. “Often the language of the heart gets lost in the noise of technology and social media, [so I’ll] share how to keep them connected to their true values.”
Planting, cooking, and feeding ourselves and those we love are surefire ways to stay connected to our true values and keep our bodies healthy—and we can do all those things with fresh herbs. Bon appétit!