Did you know that Julia Roberts has an organic kitchen garden in the backyard of her Malibu home, or that Nicole Kidman and her husband Keith Urban are committed to growing organic vegetables for everyday cooking at their Nashville ranch?
You might not have a plot of land that you can turn into a veggie paradise, but even in winter — and indoors — you can cultivate a wide range of edible herbs that will amp up your home cooking while they nurture your mind and body.
Research shows that having plants in the house promotes relaxation (the visual beauty is soothing) and lowers your heart rate. In addition, the greenery gives off moisture that decreases your risk of colds and sore throats when the heating is turned on.
Fresh herbs also contain an array of protective polyphenols that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits known to help fight heart disease, cognitive dysfunction, and cancers.
According to a study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, there is growing evidence that herbs nurture a healthy gut biome, which influences immune system function.
So what are you waiting for? On a sunny windowsill, plant basil, oregano, parsley, rosemary, thyme, mint, and sage.
And for recipes that use these herbs, check out Dr. Mike's "What to Eat When Cookbook." You’ll find minted tahini sauce; blueberry, fig, prune, and balsamic dressing with parsley and basil; and pasta with harissa-roasted cherry tomatoes and spinach that adds parsley, basil, and oregano.