When we hear of antioxidant foods, we often hear of berries. Blueberries in particular are touted for their rich antioxidant content.
But we rarely talk about oregano—an herb with an estimated 4 times the concentration of antioxidants as blueberries and offers a wealth of additional health benefits.
From adding flavor to dishes to killing antibiotic resistant infections, oregano has many uses in the kitchen and beyond.
An Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score is a number assigned to plants intidcating its antioxidant strength. Oregano is in the top five of ORAC scores when looking at spices and herbs. With concentrations of greater than 75 mmol/100g, oregano has some of the highest concentration of these protective compounds.
Per gram, it has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges and 4 times more than blueberries.
Of its antioxidants, phytonutrients are plentiful. These are protective compounds that are able to guard cells against damage by free radicals while improving your ability to fight infection.
The herb also contains something called carvacol, a compound known for its antimicrobial activity. It’s carvacol that is credited with many of the infection-fighting capabilities of oregano. In Mexico, for instance, a study found oregano more effective than a common prescription to treat the amoebic infection known as Giardia lamblia.