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Flavanoids

Flavanoids
Like their better known chemical cousins, the carotenes, flavonoids are plant pigments, creating a rainbow of colors. In addition, many flavonoids and carotenes function as antioxidants and protect plants from damaging free radicals. The big difference is that flavonoids are water soluble, whereas carotenes are oil soluble.

The flavonoids were first isolated in the 1930s by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Ph.D., the Nobel laureate who discovered vitamin C. Szent-Gyorgyi found that flavonoids strengthened capillary walls in ways vitamin C could not and, at first, they were referred to as vitamin P. But the chemical diversity of flavonoids precludes their classification as a single vitamin.

The major dietary sources of flavonoids include fruit and fruit products, tea, and soy. Studies have found that the flavonoids in these foods protect against heart disease and cancer.

The Benefits of Soy

The flavonoids in soybeans have also been attracting attention. In a recent analysis of 730 people and 38 medical studies, James W. Anderson, M.D., found that flavonoid-containing soy protein can dramatically lower blood levels of cholesterol.

Anderson, an endocrinologist and nutritionist at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, found that daily consumption of 47 grams of soy protein-one-tenth of a pound-significantly decreased total cholesterol, the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) form of cholesterol, and triglycerides.

Overall, substituting soy protein for about one-half of the meat protein in the diet reduced total cholesterol by an average of 9.3 percent, LDL by 12.9 percent, and triglycerides by 10.5 percent. People with very high cholesterol levels-above 335 mg per deciliter of blood-benefitted the most. On average, adding soy to their diet resulted in a 19.6 percent cholesterol reduction, according to Anderson’s article in the New England Journal of Medicine (Aug 3, 1995;333:276-82).

Although the amounts of soy protein consumed varied in the 38 studies, Anderson estimated that 25 grams daily would probably reduce blood cholesterol levels by an average of 8.9 percent and 50 grams by 17.4 percent.

According to Anderson, it would be very easy for people to increase their soy consumption. An 8-ounce glass of soy milk contains 4 to 10 grams of soy protein, 4 ounces of tofu contain 8 to 13 grams of soy protein, and a soy hamburger or hotdog contains about 18 grams of soy protein. Drinking two glasses of soy milk (instead of regular milk) and eating one soy burger daily would provide approximately 30 grams of soy protein.

Recipe-Lentil Soup , a source of folate

Preparing carrots with my vegetable peeler
Preparing carrots with my vegetable peeler

What a wonderful day, full of sunshine.

This morning I was reading in Body and Soul magazine, September issue.  I continuosly like to learn about new ways to keep one’s health and immunity level high.

How To Fight Fall Allergies:

A new study from the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that” B vitamins may help keep allergic reactions in check and ease the severity of symptoms”.

Researchers found that higher levels of folate had fewer allergy symptoms and a lower risk of asthma and wheezing.

Good Sources of Folate:

Broccoli, Asparagus, oranges, kidney beans, collard greens, black-eyed peas, spinach, avocado, and lentils.

 

Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Canola oil or Olive oil

3 carrots,  cleaned and diced or sliced in coin sizes

2 stalks celery, sliced or diced ( I like chunky soup so I slice.)

1  14 1/2  ounce  can diced tomatoes ( unsalted or salted depends on preference)

3/4 cups dry lentils ( soaked, rinsed and drained)

1 Quart of vegetable stock or chicken broth

4-6   cups of  water ( depends if want thick or thin soup)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste

1/2 teaspoon paprika

 

Directions: 

1.  In large stockpot, saute carrots and celery for 10 minutes.

2. Add vegetable stock (I used Organic from my local grocery store (or Chicken broth) , lentils, salt and pepper.

Let mixture come to a boil, cook for 30 minutes, covered until lentils soften and vegetables are fork tender.  Then reduce to simmer and cook, simmering for additional 30 mi utes

3.  Add can of diced tomatoes,some of the water, (depends on how thick or thin you want the soup ) paprika., for second 30 minutes of cook 

4.  Sprinkle  with parsley or Parmesean cheese to garnish before serving or instead can add a liitle bit of fresh lemon juice.

Addendum December26, 2011

I have been preparing this Lentil soup for some time now.

You can add the herbs of your choice to spice up the flavor of this soup; substitute Cumin, 1 tea-spoon and curry powder 1 teaspoon and omit the Paprika.