Annie and LJ are a fictional couple introduced to the Healthy Healing Eats blog in January 2020. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.

LJ finished trimming several overgrown plants in the backyard. As he stepped back to view his work, he noticed the herb garden Annie planted a few weeks ago. “The basil is taking off. I think we’ll have a pesto pasta dish for dinner today,” he thought. He cut a significant amount from the plant and brought it into the kitchen.
“Annie, your herb garden is starting to produce. Look at all this basil. I pinched back the flowers, which we can also eat, to encourage more leaf growth.”
“It smells so good too, LJ. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
They both laughed, “Besto Pesto!”
“Who doesn’t like basil LJ? I mean, it has such a fresh look, taste, and smell. It reminds me of good food and good health.”
“What do you mean by good health?”
“Well, according to the Spruce Eats,, there’s over 150 varieties of this herb. Basil is a member of the mint family along with rosemary, sage, and lavender – that says healthy to me. It is native to Asia, India, and Africa and now claimed by every region around the world. One of the reasons is that it is easy to grow inside and where it’s warm enough outside. Another reason is its powerful medicinal properties.
Research reveals that basil leaves, stems, flowers, and roots contain essential oils and phytochemicals (plant chemicals) that possess anti-inflammatory capabilities shown to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Basil’s antioxidant properties work to prevent cell damage, thus demonstrating an ability to prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. The same compounds that give basil its distinct aromatic odor are also the ones with powerful antimicrobial attributes that inhibit bacterial growth. An article in Food Microbiology showed that washing fresh produce in a solution that includes a few drops of basil oil helps ensure that it is safe to eat. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used to treat respiratory disorders as well as headaches, fever, nausea, and anxiety.
Babes, basil is another good source of vitamin K (bone health), calcium (weight loss), magnesium (nerve and muscle function), and potassium (cellular fluid and mineral balance). Its fiber contributes to good gut health. Fortunately for us, growing fresh basil means that we have direct access to its nutritional and health benefits, which are mostly lost when dried. This is another reason why we should freeze basil while its fresh in olive oil, stock, or water in ice cube trays. Basil falls right in line with our food-as-medicine philosophy.”
“Impressive, Annie, now let us figure out how we’re going to make it our food-as-dinner today. How does Genoa pesto sauce on pasta sound?”
Annie thoughtfully paused and…

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