Tag Archives: Food as medicine

Food as Medicine: Peanuts

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Peanuts are a very good source of monounsaturated fats, the type of fat that is emphasized in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Studies of diets with a special emphasis on peanuts have shown that this little legume is a big ally for a healthy heart.

Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. In addition, peanuts provide resveratrol, the phenolic antioxidant also found in red grapes and red wine that is thought to be responsible for the French paradox: the fact that in France, people consume a diet that is not low in fat, but have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared to the U.S.

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Food as medicine: Napa cabbage

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Brassica rapa Pekinensis group, also know as Chinese Cabbage.
It it is made up primarily of water (about 97%) and it is rich in protective vitamins,particularly Vitamin C.

One cup of cabbage contains only around 15 calories and 22.5mg of Vitamin C.

It is a very versatile vegetable, can be eaten raw in salads, steamed, baked, grilled, pickled or stir fried.

I love to serve it as a salad with lemon juice, salt and some red peppers. Fresh and crunchy goodness.

Food as Medicine: Fresh Turmeric Roots

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Turmeric is botanically known as Curcuma longa and it is a relative of Ginger. It is the root of the turmeric plant that is used as a spice, usually in a powdery form. The fresh turmeric root is used and stored much like ginger. India produces nearly all the world’s turmeric, and consumes 80% of that crop.

Turmeric is seen as an excellent natural antibiotic, while at the same time it strengthens digestion and helps improve intestinal flora. As such it is a good anti-bacterial for those chronically weak or ill. It not only purifies the blood, but also warms it and stimulates formation of new blood tissue. It aids in the digestion of protein.

Several scientific researches are being conducted on curcumin, an extract of turmeric, studying its effects on Alzheimer’s Disease – this disease is characterized by the buildup of amyloid protein “plaques” within the brain. In studies in rats, curcumin “not only reduces the amyloid, but also reduces the (brain’s) response to the amyloid”. In view of its efficacy and apparent low toxicity, this Indian spice component shows promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. If you are interested on learning more about this a Google search “Alzheimer+turmeric” will give you several interesting links on the subject.

It is an important ingredient in curry mixes, chutney, and mustard pickles. It also goes well with chicken, duck, turkey, vegetables, rice, and salad dressing. Avoid touching your clothing when working with turmeric. It is a powerful yellow dye. A good reference for cooking is to substitute 1 teaspoon dry mustard for 1 teaspoon of turmeric.

Food as Medicine – Bulgur

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High in fiber and protein, and low in fat and calories. A cup of bulgur has fewer calories, less fat, and more than twice the fiber of brown rice.

Bulgur doesn’t lose much from its minimal processing; it remains high in protein and minerals. It’s an ideal foundation for meals, allowing you to skip higher-fat protein sources, like most meats.

Another health bonus, bulgur has more fiber than oats, buckwheat, or corn. Plus, its quick cooking time and mild flavor make it ideal for those new to whole grain cooking. Its ability to fill you up with few calories is great for weight-loss dieters.

How to prepare it: soak bulgur before using. Some moisten the grain with cold water and knead it. Others pour boiling water over it and let it swell on its own.

This is the method I use:

Pour boiling water over bulgur, in a three-to-one ratio. Cover with a plastic wrap or a dish and let it soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain away excess water. If you like your bulgur chewier, let it sit longer to absorb more water.