Live Longer, Feel Better – Don’t Miss the recipe at the end…
Plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains contain many components that are beneficial to human health. Research supports that some of these foods, as part of an overall healthy diet, have the potential to delay the onset of many age-related diseases. These observations have led to continuing research aimed at identifying specific bioactive components in foods, such as antioxidants, which may be responsible for improving and maintaining health.
Antioxidants are present in foods as vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and polyphenols, among others. Many antioxidants are often identified in food by their distinctive colours—the deep red of cherries and of tomatoes; the orange of carrots; the yellow of corn, mangos, and saffron; and the blue-purple of blueberries, blackberries, and grapes. The most well-known components of food with antioxidant activities are vitamins A, C, and E; β-carotene; the mineral selenium; and more recently, the compound lycopene. Antioxidants have anti-aging effects because they are scavengers of free radicals (and other reactive oxygen species) which are linked with human diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and with aging. Free radicals are also associated with other aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Antioxidants protect the body from oxidative damage induced by free radicals and reactive oxygen species by (1) suppressing their formation; (2) acting as scavengers; and (3) acting as their substrate.
Few fruits have quite the provocative allure, the fragile charm or the nutrients of berries. They’re full of fiber, minerals and vitamins, and loaded with healing antioxidants. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Strawberries, raspberries and blackberries contain ellagic acid, a plant compound that combats carcinogens. Blueberries also appear to delay the onset of age-related loss of cognitive function.
Tomatoes are fast becoming one of our favourite modern foods, and for good reason — they can ward off certain kinds of cancer, prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, and help maintain mental function as we age. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a relatively rare member of the carotenoid family, also found in pink grapefruit and twice as powerful as beta-carotene. Other studies suggest lycopene can help prevent lung, colon and breast cancers. Tomatoes also contain the antioxidant glutathione, which helps boost immune function
The “stinking rose,” perhaps the world’s oldest known medicinal and culinary herb, is packed with antioxidants that can help fend off cancer, heart disease and the effects of aging. The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent odour are thought to be responsible for its healing benefits. Studies have shown that garlic keeps the heart healthy by lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, fighting free radicals and keeping blood from clotting. Other studies suggest that eating garlic regularly can help prevent cancer. It also has potent anti-fungal properties and can help treat asthma and yeast infections.
Popeye may have thought eating spinach gave him strength, but it also allowed him to hit a nutritional jackpot. Because lutein (an antioxidant found in spinach) is the main pigment in the macula – the region of maximum visual sensitivity – it can help protect your vision. Studies have shown that people who eat spinach are less likely to develop cataracts and macular degeneration, the two most common causes of vision loss. Lutein appears to work by shielding the retina from sun damage and fighting free radicals that can harm the eyes. Some preliminary studies have suggested that lutein can also help prevent heart disease.
The most frequently consumed beverage in the world may also be one of the best ways to prevent a number of degenerative diseases. Tea has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and other diseases. It was originally thought that green tea had more antioxidants than black tea, but recent studies suggest that they are equally beneficial. The catechins in green tea are oxidized in the manufacturing process of black tea, forming free-radical fighting theaflavins.
Other Anti Oxidants: Grains, Red Grapes, Cranberries, Artichokes, Prunes, Apples, Carrots.
Smoked Tomato Soup with Goat Cheese Guacamole and Red Chili Salsa
- 4 lbs ripe tomatoes
- Olive oil
- 2 onions chopped
- ½ c. fresh chopped basil
- 1 t. crushed red pepper
- ½ t. cinnamon
- 1 6oz. Can tomato paste
- 5 c. chicken broth
- Salt as needed
- Pepper as needed
- ½ cup Sherry or Port
- ¾ c. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. crushed garlic
- Prepare 3 handfuls of wood chips, hickory might be best, by soaking them for ½ hour to an hour.
- Smoke 4 lbs of ripe tomatoes. Rinse them and spray with olive oil . Place the tomatoes in a grill basket. It is easiest if it is one that can be turned. Otherwise, the tomatoes will have to be turned by hand. Add half the soaked wood chips and wait a moment for them to begin to smoke. Over a moderate fire use direct heat. If the fire is hot, use indirect heat. Roast the tomatoes checking to see when the bottoms begin to blacken. When they have, remove the basket and grate. Add the rest of the wood chips. Turn the tomatoes or basket. Roast until done on the other side. The tomatoes should be soft and thoroughly cooked through. This process will take 10-20 minutes depending on the heat of the fire. The secret is to make sure they get smoke without burning up. They can be covered and used 1 or 2 days later.
- Start the soup by sautéing 2 chopped onions in olive oil in a heavy soup pot until soft.
- Add the tomatoes, cut in half, with the tomato juice that has accumulated, 3 bay leaves and 2 T. crushed garlic. Cook together about 10 minutes over moderate heat.
- Add ½ cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, 1 t. crushed red pepper, 1 ½ t. cinnamon, and 1 6 oz can tomato paste. Cook a few minutes until it becomes fragrant.
- Add 1 sherry or Port and 5 cups chicken broth Adjust the soup with salt and Pepper
- Simmer uncovered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally from the bottom to prevent sticking and burning. Adjust the seasonings.
- Cool and then puree in batches.
- Reheat when ready to serve
Goat Cheese Guacamole
½ cup Goat Cheese
1 Avocado (Peeled and Pitted)
1 Lime Juiced
Salt & Pepper
In a bowl break avocado into small pieces, add goat cheese, lime, salt and Pepper, mix until folded in but still little lumpy.
Red Chili Salsa
2 tomatoes (deseed and chopped
½ shallot finely chopped
1 Serrano Chili or Red Chili chopped finely
Salt , pepper to taste
½ bunch of Cilantro chopped
Mix all ingredients together.
Place Guacamole on bottom of bowl, then a large table spoon of the Salsa, pour hot soup over and enjoy !!!