Health Benefits of Bay Leaves:
The spice contains many notable plant derived compounds, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
This spice has many volatile active components such as α-pinene, β-pinene, myrcene, limonene, linalool, methyl chavicol, neral, α-terpineol, geranyl acetate, eugenol and chavicol. These componds are known to have antiseptic, anti-oxidant, digestive, and thought to have anti-cancer properties.
Fresh leaves are very rich source of vitamin-C; provide 46.5mcg or 77.5% of RDA per 100g. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is one of the powerful natural anti-oxidant help remove harmful free radicals from the body. Ascorbic acid also has immune booster, wound healing and anti-viral effects.
Furthermore, its fresh leaves and herb parts are very good in folic acid; contain about 180mcg or 455 of RDA per 100g. Folates are important in DNA synthesis and when given during peri-conception period can help prevent neural tube defects in the baby.
Bay leaves are excellent source of vitamin A; contain 6185 IU or 206% of recommended daily levels per 100g. Vitamin A is a natural antioxidant and is essential vitamin for vision. It is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin A has been found to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
The spice is indeed very good source of many vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. These B-complex groups of vitamins help in enzyme synthesis, nervous system function, and regulating body metabolism.
This noble spice is a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese and copper are used by the body as co-factors for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for red blood cell production and as a co-factor for cytochrome oxidases enzymes.