This herb may be a staple for pizza and tomato sauce, but it also boasts powerful medicine cabinet credentials, too. Two of the plant's volatile oils, thymol and carvacrol, have been shown in test-tube research to have antimicrobial and antifungal properties tough enough to kill some E. coli, staph, and salmonella germs! The natural antibiotic immune booster contains 20 times more cancer-fighting antioxidant power than other herbs, on average. According to USDA researchers, 1 tablespoon of fresh oregano has the same antioxidant power as an entire apple. And gram for gram, the herb has twice the antioxidant activity of blueberries, long known for their antioxidant ability.
Prep tip: Opt for the chef-preferred Greek oregano, and dry the herb to deepen the flavor and cut back on a bitter aftertaste.
Read More: 9 Herbs to Make Any Meal Healthier
Photo: Mitch Mandal