Dill (Anethum graveolens), or dill weed, is an easy-to-find and commonly used annual herb that is part of the celery (Apiaceae) family. Dill weed is native to the Mediterranean and southern Russia but can be grown in most parts of the world, including in North America.
Dill plant has a slender stems with alternating soft leaves and brown, flat, oval seeds. While the leaves have a sweet, grassy flavor, dill seeds are more aromatic, with a slight citrus flavor that’s similar to caraway seeds.
As herb and spice, dill is commonly used to elevate the flavor of various dishes. It’s often paired with salmon, potatoes, and yogurt-based sauces. The feathery green is often added to salads or soups, or used as a garnish. Some people also use dill to gain certain health benefits.
In addition to culinary uses, dill is rich in several nutrients and has traditionally been used to treat various ailments, including digestive issues, colic in infants, and bad breath.
Dill is packed with micronutrients that provide health benefits. A 100 – grams serving of dill boosts your vitamin A intake. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps you to maintain healthy vision, skin, immune function, growth, and reproductive health. You’ll also get a significant boost of vitamin C, an important antioxidant that helps your body to resist infection.
Dill is also a good source of fiber, folate (important for cell division and production of DNA), calcium for healthy bones reboflavin for cell function and development, manganese, and iron.
However, the amount of dill you consume makes a difference. You might not consume a full 100 – gram serving (that’s about 2/3 cup). Many people use a much smaller amount and will get smaller doses of micronutrients.
A 100 – gram serving of fresh, raw garden dill provides about 43 calories. A serving of the herb also provides 3.5 grams of protein and just over 1 gram of fat. Two-thirds cup of dill also provides 7 grams of carbohydrate, and about 2 gram of fiber, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Vitamins in Dill Include:
● Vitamin A : 7717 IU, or 154% of RDI
● Vitamin C: 85 mg, or 142% of RDI
● Folate: 38% of the RDI
● Riboflavin 17% of RDI
You’ll get small amounts of thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.
Minerals in Dill Include:
● Calcium: 208 mg
● Iron: 6.6 mg
● Magnesium: 55 mg
● Phosphorus: 66 mg
● Potassium: 738 mg
● Manganese: 1.3 mg
And small amounts of sodium, zinc, and copper.
Potential Benefits of Dill
With its name derived from the Old Norse word “dilla,” which means to soothe, dill has been used since ancient times to treat colic in infants and digestive diseases, as well as to help with breastfeedimg.
Dill has been shown to have other potential health benefits:
■ Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are naturally occurring compounds that help protect cells against damage caused by unstable molecules known as free radicals.
As a result, research suggests that consuming food rich in antioxidants may reduce chronic inflammation and prevent or even treat certain conditions, including heart disease, Alzheirmer’s, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain forms of cancer.
Both the seeds and leaves of the dill plant have been found to be rich in several plant compounds with antioxidant properties, including:
● Flavonoids. These plant compounds have been associated with a reduced risk of heart diseases, stroke, and some forms of cancer. They may also play an important role in brain health.
● Terpenoids. These compounds are found in essential oils and may protect against liver, heart, kidney, and brain diseases.
● Tannins. Responsible for bitterness in many plant foods, tannins have been shown to have potent antioxidant properties, as well as antimicrobial effects.
Additionally, dill is a good source of vitamin C, which has also been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties.
■ May Benefit Heart Health
Heart diseases is the leading cause of death worldwide. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that nearly 75% of heart disease cases could be prevented by reducing risk factors like poor diet, smoking, and lack of exercise.
Additional risk factors for heart disease include elevated blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterollevels, as well as chronic inflammation.
Flavonoids, like those found in dill, have been shown to protect heart health due to their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Furthermore, animal studies have suggested that dill extract may have cholesterol-and triglyceride-lowering effects. However, research in humans in more mixed .
One study in 91 people with high total cholesterol and triglyceride levels found that taking 6 dill extract tablets daily for 2 months significantly improved total cholesterol and triglyceride levels but did not change HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Yet another study in 150 people with high cholesterol and triglyceride levels observed no significant changes in cholesterol or triglyceride levels after 6 weeks of daily tablet intake.
However, it’s important to note that most studies looking at the effects of dill on heart health have used extracts. As a result, it’s unclear how fresh or dried dill in your diet could affect heart health
Overall, while the antioxidants in dill extracts may benefits overall heart health, more studies in humans are needed to assess the effectiveness of dill on cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
■ May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Having chronically high blood sugar levels is concerning as they can increase your risk of conditions like insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
Dill has been suggested to have blood-augar-lowering effects.
In fact, several studies in animals with diabetes have shown a significant improvement in fasting blood sugar levels with daily doses of dill extract. Still, research in humans is limited.
May Have Anticancer Properties
Monoterpenes are a class of terpenes, which are narurally occurring plant compounds that are linked to anticancer, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.
They’re commonly found in essential oils of plants like dill and have been associated with anticancer properties.
More specifically, d-limonene is a type of monoterpene that studies have shown may help prevent and treat lung, breast, and colon cancer.
As dill is high in monoterpenes, particularly d-limonene, it may have anticancer properties. However, there’s currently no research on the effectiveness of dill or dill extract on the risk or treatment of cancer.
Dill is a versatile herb that can be used in a variety of dishes, such as in a potato salad, tzatziki sauce, or over fish. Dill seeds can be used as a spice to flavor foods like pickles or bread.
OTHER PITENTIAL BENEFITS
Dill may benefit your health in the following ways as well:
● Antibacterial properties
Essential oils in dill have antibacterial effects which fight potentially harmful bacteria, such as Klebsiella Staphylococcus aureus.
● Bone Health
Dill contains calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus – all of which are important for bone health.
● Menstrual cramps
Essential oils in dill may help relieve pain from crampsduring your period. However, research is currently limited and mixed.
Dill is rich in a variety of plant compounds that may have numerous benefits for health, including protection against heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Additionally, dill may help lower blood sugar levels, but more human studies are needed.
Dill has been used for centuries in traditional Asian and Ayurvedic medicine. Currently, people use dill for certain medicinal purposes, including:
● Gastrointestinal disorders
● Loss of appetite
● Kidney disease
● Fever and colds
● Infectious disease
● Liver and gallbladder complaints
● Urinary tract disorders
● Renal colic
● Genital ulcers
● Insomnia and other sleep disorder
Culinary uses of dill are considered safe for most individuals, except in rare cases when it could trigger an allergic response. Additionally, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are recommended to avoid dill pills or extract.
The Bottom Line
Rich in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin A, dill may have several benefits for health, including protection against heart disease and cancer.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that most studies looking at the benefits of dill use dill extracts. Therefore, it’s unclear whether dietary use of fresh or dried dill would have the same effects.
In any case, both the seeds and leaves of dill can add flavor and a pop of color to a variety of dishes. When stored properly, fresh dill can keep for up 1 week in the fridge and several months in the freezer.
Overall, dill is a flavorful herb and spice that can add a nutritional boost to your diet.
References: verywellfit.com /