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This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Rosemary Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 67.8 g
Calories: 131 kcal
Protein: 3.3 g
Carbohydrate: 20.7 g
Dietary fiber: 14.1 g
Fat: 5.9 g
Saturated fat: 2.8 g
Monounsaturated fat: 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9 g
Vitamin C: 21.8 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.2 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.9 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B9: 109 μg
Vitamin A: 146 μg
Calcium: 317 mg
Iron: 6.7 mg
Magnesium: 91 mg
Phosphorus: 66 mg
Potassium: 668 mg
Sodium: 26 mg
Zinc: 0.9 mg

Rosemary is a fragrant and woody herb native to the Mediterranean. Often grown as a decorative plant, the essential oil is widely used in products such as incense, shampoos, and cleaning products. And of course, the whole leaf, fresh or dried, can be used to flavour a range of dishes, ranging from a simple Italian-style tomato sauce to a complex casserole dish. As rosemary is almost exclusively used as a flavouring in very small amounts it, in essence, has no nutritional value as far as essential vitamins and minerals go. However, rosemary has a huge number of health benefits ranging from an increase in cognitive ability to anti-cancer effects.

To deal with the essential oil first, there are a number of fantastic benefits, backed by research, attributed to the mere smell of rosemary essential oil. Astonishingly, exposure appears to correlate with an increase in cognitive performance. In addition to that study, another found that both cognition and mood were positively affected by the scent of rosemary oil, and finally, that neuroprotective may not be all that shocking considering what we know about the essential oil, but what is surprising is that in animal models of Alzheimer’s carnosic acid was also found to be a highly effective preventative measure. On top of all this, carnosic acid has an anti-proliferative effect on cancer, and one study assessed the anti-inflammatory and anti-tumour benefits of the compound. That’s a fantastic list of benefits for just one compound isolated from rosemary!

Interestingly, rosemary is also a benefit when used with other foods. A study done on rosemary and beef showed a reduction in something called heterocyclic amines when beef was cooked with rosemary. Heterocyclic amines are mutagenic compounds that form when meat is cooked at a high heat, posing a cancer risk, but when cooked with rosemary, the dangerous compounds were reduced. Finally, rosemary has been shown to preserve the shelf life of omega-3 fish oils, making it a perfect complement to cook with fish.