Shiso leaves, also known as Perilla leaves, are a popular ingredient in Japanese, Korean, and other Asian cuisines. They are known for their distinctive flavor and aroma, which is a combination of mint, basil, and anise flavors. In addition to their culinary uses, shiso leaves also offer several potential health benefits. Here are some of them.
Shiso Leaves Benefits
Shiso leaves contain rosmarinic acid, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can help reduce inflammation in the body and may be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis and asthma.
Shiso leaves are rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids and polyphenols, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants play a crucial role in reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health.
Some studies suggest that shiso leaves may help alleviate allergy symptoms, such as nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching. The rosmarinic acid found in shiso leaves is thought to inhibit the release of histamine, a compound involved in allergic reactions.
Shiso leaves have been used traditionally to support digestion. They contain compounds that may help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, aid in nutrient absorption, and improve overall digestive function.
Potential anticancer effects
Certain compounds in shiso leaves, such as perillaldehyde and luteolin, have shown anticancer properties in studies conducted on animals and in vitro. However, further research is needed to determine their potential effects on human cancer.
Shiso leaves have been used in traditional medicine to support respiratory health. The anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties of shiso leaves may help relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.
It’s important to note that while shiso leaves offer potential health benefits, individual results may vary, and more scientific research is needed to fully understand and confirm these effects. As with any dietary consideration, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making significant changes to your diet or using any ingredient for therapeutic purposes.
Shiso Leaves Nutrition
Shiso leaves, also known as Perilla leaves, are low in calories but rich in several essential nutrients. Here is an overview of the nutritional composition of shiso leaves per 100 grams:
- Calories: Approximately 37 calories
- Carbohydrates: About 6.4 grams
- Protein: Approximately 3 grams
- Fat: Around 0.6 grams
- Fiber: Roughly 3.5 grams
Shiso leaves are also a good source of various vitamins and minerals, including:
Vitamin A: Shiso leaves are particularly rich in vitamin A. They provide beta-carotene, which the body can convert into vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for vision, immune function, and healthy skin.
Vitamin C: Shiso leaves contain a moderate amount of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that supports immune function, collagen synthesis, and iron absorption.
Calcium: Shiso leaves provide a decent amount of calcium, which is important for bone health, muscle function, and nerve transmission.
Iron: Shiso leaves contain a small amount of iron, an essential mineral involved in oxygen transport and energy production in the body.
Potassium: Shiso leaves contain potassium, an electrolyte that plays a role in maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contractions.
Magnesium: Shiso leaves also contain magnesium, which is involved in various physiological processes, including energy metabolism, muscle and nerve function, and bone health.
It’s important to note that the nutritional composition may vary slightly depending on the variety and growing conditions of the shiso leaves. Additionally, the nutritional value may change when shiso leaves are cooked or processed.
Shiso Leaves Side Effects
Shiso leaves, when consumed in moderate amounts as a food ingredient, are generally considered safe for most people. However, it’s important to note that individual sensitivities or allergies can vary. Here are a few potential side effects or considerations related to shiso leaves:
Some individuals may be allergic to shiso leaves, particularly those who are sensitive to other members of the mint family, such as basil or mint. Allergic reactions may include symptoms such as itching, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction after consuming shiso leaves, it’s best to discontinue use and seek medical attention.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
There is limited information available on the safety of consuming shiso leaves during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is advisable for pregnant and breastfeeding women to consult with their healthcare provider before including shiso leaves in their diet to ensure it is safe for their specific situation.
Shiso leaves contain compounds, such as rosmarinic acid, that possess anticoagulant properties. While this is generally not a concern when consumed in normal culinary amounts, individuals who are on blood-thinning medications or have bleeding disorders should exercise caution and consult with their healthcare provider before consuming shiso leaves in larger quantities or in supplement form.
Some individuals may experience mild gastrointestinal discomfort, such as stomach upset or diarrhea, after consuming shiso leaves. If you have a known sensitivity to similar herbs or have a history of gastrointestinal issues, it’s advisable to consume shiso leaves in moderation and observe your body’s response.
It’s worth noting that these side effects are relatively uncommon, and shiso leaves are generally considered safe for consumption as a part of a balanced diet. However, if you have any specific concerns or medical conditions, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant dietary changes.