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Rosemary is an amazing herb which has been quoted throughout history for its extraordinary properties. Tudors believed rosemary had hidden powers which enhanced memory and in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia states “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance” and modern studies show the Bard’s knowledge of this herb hundreds of years ago was remarkably astute.
Researchers at Northumbria University have discovered that smelling rosemary can increase memory by up to 75 per cent. The magic ingredient in rosemary is called 1,8-cineole – not exactly a catchy name but this natural chemical has been shown to underpin memory.
But rosemary does more than boost our memory, it can improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation, detoxify the liver, help prevent premature ageing and heal skin conditions. It can also help us to lose weight!
A study conducted at the Nestlé Research Center – the food giant’s study facility in Switzerland – showed that rosemary extract was able to inhibit weight gain and liver steatosis (fatty liver disease) in mice fed a high-fat diet. Researchers found that rosemary affects lipase in the body – an enzyme which breaks down fats. They discovered that rosemary extract may make you feel fuller by delaying the digestion of fats.
Nutritionally rosemary is rich in dietary fibre which probably explains why we feel fuller when we eat this herb. It is also rich in vitamin A; just a few leaves of rosemary a day would almost meet the nutritional requirement for optimal vision. Fresh rosemary is also a good source of vitamin C and is very rich in B vitamins (part of your ‘Big 4’).
So if you want to remember everything you have read in Mad Diet, grow some rosemary, allow the aroma to permeate your home and add it to your meals to help you feel fuller and aid weight loss.