Nutritional Information for Oregano

Oregano is a herb commonly used in pizza sauces and Italian-American dishes. It offers an array of antioxidant compounds helpful for different disease states.

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Benefits of Oregano

Cancer Prevention Benefits

One cell study looked at the blood from humans after they ate certain herbs and spices. The then dripped their blood (the plasma) onto white blood cells (immune cells) that have been exposed to inflammation. The researchers compared the results and found that many of the herbs and spices consumed had protective effects on cell damage and inflammation. Although oregano was not the strongest it can still be considered valuable. It just seems in this study paprika, rosemary, ginger, heat-treated turmeric, sage, cloves and cumin were the best protectors against inflammation. In another study, which was not quite designed like the one before, oregano was found to be helpful for reducing inflammation. A compound in oregano called β-caryophyllene oxide (CPO) has been identified in its role to help quench free radical damage. By looking at many biochemical pathways associated with cancer, researchers were able to find out that CPO worked to fight cancer growth in vitro and stimulate pathways thought to be helpful for reducing cancer progression. “Overall, these findings suggest that CPO can interfere with multiple signaling cascades involved in tumorigenesis and used as a potential therapeutic candidate for both the prevention and treatment of cancer

Men's Health Benefits

Herbs and spices have been used for centuries to help improve the flavor of foods. Although they essentially have no calories herbs and spices are still nutritionally relevant for overall health and wellness.  One study identified over 52 phenolic compounds (a subgroup of plant chemical antioxidants)  in oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay, cinnamon and cumin. Some of them are listed in the “contains” section below. Although we’re not sure their exact role one thing is for certain, which is that they harness the power to help fight disease and ought to be consumed daily. In fact, in Polish students, oregano was found to be one the major herbs responsible for their antioxidant intake.

Ways to Use Oregano

  • Add to marinara sauce and use for pizzas, spaghetti, and other Italian dishes
  • Buy fresh and add to bruschetta with basil, tomato and olive oil

 

 

Resources for Oregano

American Institute for Cancer Research: www.aicr.org

Nutrition Facts: www.NutritionFacts.org

Physicians Committee: www.prcm.org

USDA Nutrient Database: Oregano

Citations
  1. Percival S, Heuvel J, Nieves C, et al. Bioavailability of herbs and spices in humans as determined by ex vivo inflammatory suppression and DNA strand breaks. J Am Coll Nutr. 2012;31(4):288-294.
  2. Zu Y, Yu H, Liang L, et al. Activities of ten essential oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 cancer cells. Molecules. 2010;15(5):3200-10.
  3. Vallverdú-Queralt A, Regueiro J, Martínez-Huélamo M, et al. A comprehensive study on the phenolic profile of widely used culinary herbs and spices: rosemary, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, cumin and bay. Food Chem. 2014;154:299-307.
  4. Kozłowska A, Przekop D2, Szostak-Węgierek D. Flavonoids intake among Polish and Spanish students. Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2015;66(4):319-25.

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