The sage leaf is a culinary herb that can also be a source of nutrients, just like vegetables. Although not as nutrient-dense as other herbs, like oregano, parsley and basil, the sage leaf still contains enough nutrients to convince you it can do more than just add flavor to your poultry or meat dishes.
1. Source of Basic Nutrients
For every 2 tsp. of dried sage leaves, which is the usual quantity added to flavor food, you get 16 g of protein, 0.88 g of carbohydrates, 0.16 g of water and 0.12 g of ash. These are the four basic components of the sage leaf. They may not seem like much, but remember that herbs are used to enhance cooking, and any more than is necessary will overpower your dish.
Surprisingly, its dietary fiber content comes up to 0.56 g, already 2.24 percent of the daily value needed by the body. It may not seem like much, but rather than not totally getting any fiber for the day, adding sage leaves is still better than none.
If used fresh as tea to benefit from its antiseptic and astringent properties that are best known to fight canker sores and gum problems, the nutritional benefits derived from the sage leaf will also increase.
2. Contains Minute Amounts of Vitamins
Believe it or not, the sage leaf is a good source of vitamin A because of its beta-carotene contents (51.32 mcg). The quantity may not be a lot, considering how little of the herb is used, but if you regularly add sage to your diet, either to add flavor to your dishes or consumed as tea, then the amounts will add up.
Vitamin A is good for the eyes, helping them to adjust to changes in light. Retinol, as the vitamin is also known, helps in maintaining proper moisture levels in the eyes, skin and mucous membranes.
Sage also contains thiamine (vitamin B1), although the amount is minute. Thiamine helps balance your central nervous system. Thiamine is one of the components of sage that make it effective at reducing excessive sweating by 50 percent. Thiamine calms the nerve fibers that make you perspire.
3. Has Calcium and Potassium
Calcium is a mineral found in sage. You probably know that calcium makes your bones and teeth strong. As you age, especially if you are a woman, calcium deficiency could lead to osteoporosis, a condition characterized by a reduction in bone mass. However, calcium also plays a role in the function of the brain and the entire nervous system, acting as neurotransmitter for the whole body. Even the heart needs calcium to maintain normal function.
Sage is also a source of potassium that works in tandem with calcium to function on the central nervous system. Additionally, research shows that potassium could also play a role in lowering blood pressure if you get it from natural sources and not from supplements. Alongside sodium, potassium works to maintain the body’s water balance.