Because they add very few calories to your food, you may assume herbs do not provide a significant amount of nutritional value. However, fresh and dried herbs, such as basil, often provide numerous vitamins and minerals. This added nutritional benefit comes with the addition of very little calories. A 0.25-cup serving of fresh herbs or 1-tablespoon serving of dried herbs typically contains less than 10 calories.
Cilantro’s main health benefit is its high vitamin K content. A 0.25-cup serving of fresh cilantro contains 12.4 micrograms of vitamin K, which provides 14 percent of the daily value for women and 10 percent for men. Vitamin K helps your blood clot and supports the growth of strong bones. Dried cilantro, which is called coriander, contains a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals. One tablespoon provides 5 percent of manganese, 17 percent of vitamin C and more than 20 percent of vitamin K.
Like cilantro, fresh basil is high in vitamin K. A 0.24-cup serving provides 21 percent of the daily value for men and 28 percent for women. One serving of basil also provides 3 percent of the daily value of manganese. Manganese supports the nervous and immune systems. It also helps keep your blood sugar stable. Dried basil provides 9 percent of manganese and 30 percent of vitamin K per tablespoon, as well as 24 percent of the daily value of iron for men and 10 percent for women.
Fresh rosemary provides only small amounts of vitamins and minerals, such as 3 percent of the daily value of manganese. One 0.25-cup serving also supplies 6 percent of iron for men and 3 percent for women. Dried rosemary contains slightly more iron per tablespoon than each serving of fresh rosemary. One tablespoon provides 12 percent for men and 5 percent for women. Iron is necessary for your body to produce red blood cells.
Although dill provides a unique flavor to foods, fresh dill provides very few nutrients. A 0.25-cup serving supplies 2 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and iron, but 1 percent or less of all other nutrients. One tablespoon of dried dill provides 5 percent of the daily value of calcium, 5 percent of manganese and 4 percent of B-6, as well as 19 percent of iron for men and 8 percent for women.
Fresh spearmint contains more vitamins and minerals than the other four herbs. A 0.25-cup serving provides 34 percent of the daily value of iron for men and 15 percent for women. One serving also supplies more than 10 percent of manganese, 6 percent of folate, 5 percent of vitamin A and 6 percent of copper. Copper helps your form both bone and red blood cells. Unlike the other herbs, one tbsp. of dried spearmint does not contain as many nutrients as 0.25-cup of fresh spearmint. One tablespoon supplies 3 percent of copper, 8 percent of manganese, 2 percent of folate and less than 1 percent of vitamin A. One tablespoon also provides 18 percent of iron for men and 8 percent for women.