Perilla leaves, also known as shiso leaves or Korean perilla leaves, are commonly used in Asian cuisine and traditional medicine. These leaves are known for their distinct flavor and numerous potential health benefits. Here are some of the potential benefits of perilla leaves.
Perilla Leaves Benefits
Rich in Nutrients
Perilla leaves are a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins (such as vitamin A, C, and K), minerals (such as calcium and iron), and dietary fiber.
Perilla leaves contain compounds like rosmarinic acid and flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties. They may help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions.
Perilla leaves are rich in antioxidants, such as quercetin and catechin, which can help neutralize harmful free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body. This may contribute to overall health and potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Some studies suggest that perilla leaves may help alleviate allergy symptoms, particularly in cases of allergic rhinitis. The anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties of perilla may provide relief from sneezing, runny nose, and other allergy symptoms.
Perilla leaves contain dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion and promote a healthy gut. They may also help alleviate digestive discomfort and support regular bowel movements.
The antioxidants in perilla leaves may contribute to heart health by reducing the risk of oxidative damage to blood vessels and promoting healthy blood flow. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acid content in perilla leaves may help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The dietary fiber in perilla leaves can help promote a feeling of fullness, potentially aiding in weight management by reducing overall calorie intake.
In traditional medicine, perilla leaves have been used to alleviate symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis due to their anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties.
Some skincare products contain perilla oil due to its potential benefits for skin health. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of perilla may help improve skin conditions and reduce the signs of aging.
It’s important to note that while perilla leaves offer potential health benefits, individual responses to these benefits may vary. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes or using perilla leaves as a supplement. Additionally, some people may be allergic to perilla, so be cautious if you have known food allergies.
Perilla Leaves Nutrition
Perilla leaves are a nutritious leafy green vegetable used in various culinary dishes, and they offer a range of essential nutrients. Here is the approximate nutrition profile of perilla leaves (per 100 grams of fresh leaves):
Calories: Perilla leaves are relatively low in calories, containing about 43 calories per 100 grams.
Carbohydrates: Perilla leaves contain approximately 8 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, primarily in the form of dietary fiber.
Protein: They provide about 3 grams of protein per 100 grams, making them a reasonable source of plant-based protein.
Dietary Fiber: Perilla leaves are a good source of dietary fiber, offering approximately 3.7 grams per 100 grams. Dietary fiber is important for digestive health and helps regulate bowel movements.
Fat: Perilla leaves are low in fat, with about 0.4 grams of fat per 100 grams. However, they are a source of healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Vitamins: Perilla leaves are rich in vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They contain beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, and vitamin C, which is an antioxidant.
Minerals: Perilla leaves provide various minerals, such as calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals are essential for maintaining bone health, regulating blood pressure, and supporting various bodily functions.
Antioxidants: Perilla leaves are known for their antioxidant content, which includes compounds like quercetin, catechin, and rosmarinic acid. These antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress and free radical damage.
Phytonutrients: Perilla leaves also contain phytonutrients, which are natural compounds that have potential health benefits. These include flavonoids and polyphenols.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Perilla leaves contain a notable amount of ALA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their potential cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits.
It’s important to note that the nutritional content of perilla leaves can vary slightly based on factors like growing conditions, maturity at harvest, and how they are prepared and cooked. Overall, perilla leaves are a nutritious addition to a balanced diet, and they can provide a range of health benefits due to their rich nutrient and phytochemical content.
Perilla Leaves Side Effects
Perilla leaves, when consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet, are generally considered safe for most people. However, like many foods and herbs, some individuals may experience side effects or adverse reactions when consuming perilla leaves. Here are some potential side effects and considerations:
Some people may be allergic to perilla leaves. Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms like itching and hives to more severe symptoms like difficulty breathing and anaphylaxis. If you have known food allergies or suspect an allergy to perilla leaves, it’s best to avoid them.
Eating excessive amounts of perilla leaves may cause digestive discomfort, including symptoms like diarrhea or stomach upset. This is more likely to occur if you consume large quantities at once.
Perilla leaves contain compounds like rosmarinic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, which have mild blood-thinning properties. While this can be beneficial for cardiovascular health, individuals taking blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants) should be cautious and consult with their healthcare provider, as the combination may increase the risk of bleeding.
Interactions with Medications
Perilla leaves and their extracts may interact with certain medications. For example, they may interact with medications for blood pressure, diabetes, or blood clotting. If you are taking medication for any health condition, it’s advisable to consult with your healthcare provider before adding perilla leaves or supplements to your diet.
Some individuals may experience increased sensitivity to sunlight (photosensitivity) when consuming large quantities of perilla leaves or perilla oil. This effect is more commonly associated with perilla oil used in skincare products rather than the leaves themselves.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume perilla leaves in moderation. While they are generally safe, it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider for personalized dietary recommendations during pregnancy and lactation.
Potential Oxalate Content
Like many leafy greens, perilla leaves may contain oxalates, which can contribute to the formation of kidney stones in susceptible individuals. If you have a history of kidney stones or are at risk for them, it’s advisable to moderate your intake of high-oxalate foods, including perilla leaves.
It’s important to remember that individual tolerance to foods can vary, and what may cause side effects in one person may not affect another. If you’re considering adding perilla leaves or perilla oil to your diet for therapeutic reasons or as a supplement, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific needs and circumstances.