Health Benefits of Dill

Did you know that dill is part of the same vegetable family as celery?

Unlike celery, dill—also known as dill weed—has a strong, herbal flavor. It’s often used as a spice—most commonly with pickles, but also with many other foods. 

Dill grows in bunches. In the wild, it looks almost like a long grass, with thin, wiry leaves. The dill plant is native to Russia, West Africa, and the Mediterranean. You can easily grow dill at home in your herb garden, either inside or outside. Dill thrives in full sunlight, and takes about eight weeks to fully mature.

Health Benefits

Besides helping you develop a more refined palate, dill offers substantial health benefits. 

Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Studies have shown that dill can be used to help manage diabetes. Not only do these studies show that dill helps manage existing type 2 diabetes, but it also shows that dill may help prevent type 2 diabetes from developing. 

In addition to dill’s anti-diabetic properties, the herb pairs well with fish and eggs, which are safe for people with diabetes to eat. Using dill and other herbs to flavor food can be a good alternative to sweeter, processed flavorings. 

Improve Heart Health

Dill is packed with flavonoids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. But that’s not the only reason dill is thought to improve heart health. Research on animals shows that dill can also reduce LDL cholesterol levels

While it’s unclear whether dill would have the same effect on cholesterol levels in humans, this initial research is a good first step. High LDL cholesterol levels are associated with increased risks of heart disease, so reducing cholesterol levels is important for maintaining a healthy heart. 

Nutrition

Dill is a good source of: 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron

Nutrients per Serving

One teaspoon of dried dill weed contains: 

  • Calories: 3
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 grams
  • Sodium: 2 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 1 gram
  • Protein: 0 grams

Portion Sizes

When cooking with dill, a little goes a long way. Keep in mind when seasoning with dill that a serving size is one teaspoon. As a seasoning, dill packs a punch, so it’s safe to start with a small pinch and add more as needed. 

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How to Prepare Dill

Dill weed is a slightly bitter spice whose flavor has been compared to fennel, anise, and celery. You can find dried dill in the spice section of your local grocery store. You can find bunches of fresh dill in the produce section of most grocery stores. Fresh dill has a somewhat stronger flavor than dried dill.

In addition to being used to flavor dill pickles, dill is often used with fish, potatoes, and yogurt-based sauces. Here are a few ideas for how to use dill in your daily life: 

  • Mixed with Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon, and garlic to make tzatziki
  • Roasted in the oven with carrots and olive oil
  • Used as a spice to pickle eggs
  • Sprinkled on salmon with butter and lemon
  • Mixed into an herb butter sauce and dolloped on sweet potatoes
  • Used in a relish to pair with any whitefish
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 08, 2020

Sources

SOURCES:

Extension Master Gardener Volunteers of Buncombe County: “Vegetables: the Carrot Family (Apiaceae) - Roots and Herbs.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.

International Journal of Applied and Basic Medical Research: “Effect of dill tablet (Anethum graveolens L) on antioxidant status and biochemical factors on carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage on rat.”

Journal of Tropical Medicine: “The Role of Anethum graveolens L. (Dill) in the Management of Diabetes.”

Mayo Clinic: “High Cholesterol.” 

Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny: “Flavonoids--food sources and health benefits.”

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension: “Dill.”

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