Monday, February 14, 2011

The Most Nutritious Veggies

There are nearly 14 Thousand antioxidants in just a 1/2 cup of red beans.

The healthiest veggies are not only easy to find, but also easy to prep.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato skin contains high concentrations of folate, a nutrient that protects us against most cancers. The sweet potato is also loaded with beta-carotene, the essential ingredient our body needs to create vitamin A, which is used to manufacture skin and hair cells, plus aids immunity and eye health.

Yummy Sweet Potatoes
Toast a few raw walnuts with olive/peanut oil. Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2" cubes and saute in olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper until they're fork tender. Toss with walnuts and top with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Brussels Sprouts
A cousin of the cabbage, Brussels Sprouts have 4 glucosinolate compounds that protect against cancer. They lower cholesterol and fight inflammation (the marker for heart disease and Alzheimer's disease).

Yummy Brussels Sprouts
Try a TRR favorite Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Cranberry Chutney

This dark, leafy green is super-concentrated with sulfur-antioxidants, which keep mental decline, heart disease and cancer at bay. Loaded with fiber, kale can help you stay trip and regular, plus optimize the absorption of vitamins and minerals into your bloodstream.

Yummy Kale
(coming soon... more recipes from TRR team members)
Steam the kale leaves until they're soft (~3 min), drizzle with olive oil, 3 oz. canned anchovies, juice of 1 lemon, salt and cracked pepper.

Onions have an interesting antibacterial property, meaning they're able to reduce/kill food borne illnesses like E. coli and hepatitis (these same properties are also found in chili peppers & cinnamon). Onions can also protect against heart disease by thinning blood, lowering blood pressure, and preventing artery plaque buildup.

Yummy Onions
Saute sliced onions in olive oil until they're translucent. They will make a great additive to Hobo Chili, Chicken in Simmered San Marzano Tomatoes, veggie omelets, and more!

Chili Peppers
Chilies get their heat from capsaicin, which is known to reduce inflammation and block the pain pathways much like aspirin and ibuprofen. As mentioned above, capsaicin also breaks down harmful microbes, plus breaks down carcinogenic preservatives and pesticides.

Yummy Chili Peppers
Ground chili peppers can spice up fruit, eggs, squash, anything. We love Penzy's chili powder as a salt alternative.

Pumpkin can lower some of the more deadly cancers (eg. lung). Truly a superfood, it can regrow pancreatic cells in diabetics! The seeds of this tasty gourd pack some serious muscle too: they contain the building blocks for serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter).

Yummy Pumpkin
(coming soon... more TRR recipes)
Slice and roast (w/ skin) in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the skin and top with red pepper, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, or top with aged balsamic vinegar.

Beets are one of the best sources of betaine, a compound that the brain uses to form SAM-e (a natural antidepressant). Uridine is also found in the root veggie, which tells the brain to make phospholipid fats (really good fats). They also fight heart disease with B-vitamins.

Yummy Beets
Try our TRR recipe for Roasted Beets with Blue Cheese
Canned beets in a bit of white vinegar, topped with black pepper are also an amazing snack!

Red Beans
The winner of the highest antioxidant-containing vegetable out of 147 of the most commonly eaten vegetables (USDA tested).

Yummy Red Beans
Ever had red-bean hummus? Soak the beans over night (makes some of the nutrients available to the body). Simmer the beans in water until tender (~2 hours), then puree with olive oil, minced garlic, salt, fresh pepper, and some hot sauce.

Source: Men's Journal (Dec 2010 - Jan 2011) "The Most Nutritious Vegetables: A Guide to Preparing the Healthiest Plants Known to Science." pp. 104.

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