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The Basics of a Vegan Diet

By Alyssa Pike, RDFEBRUARY 7, 2019
Source: Food Insight

Source: Food Insight
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Highlights

– Vegan diets only include plant-based foods.

– Research has shown that vegan or vegetarian diets rich in plant-based foods are associated with lower LDL cholesterol, improved blood glucose and improved blood pressure.

– There are a few nutrients that individuals following a vegan diet should be mindful to get enough of, including vitamin B12, calcium, iron and certain omega-3 fatty acids.

The Basics

Vegan and vegetarian diets appear to be among the top food trends, but there is evidence that some people have been eating a predominantly plant-based or vegetarian diet for centuries. However, it wasn’t until 1944 that the term “vegan” was coined. Essentially, individuals who follow a vegan diet have opted to remove all animal-based foods from their diet. Many choose vegan clothing, household items and personal care items as well. Most individuals who adopt a vegan diet are doing so for the perceived health benefits or to advocate for animal rights.

What Foods Make Up a Vegan Diet?

Vegan diets are made up of only plant-based foods. This type of diet includes fruits, vegetables, soy, legumes, nuts and nut butters, plant-based dairy alternatives, sprouted or fermented plant foods and whole grains. Vegan diets don’t include animal foods like eggs, dairy, meat, poultry or seafood. They also are devoid of animal byproducts such as honey (made by bees) and lesser-known animal-based ingredients like whey, casein, lactose, egg white albumen, gelatin, carmine, shellac, animal-derived vitamin D3 and fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids.

Veganism and Health

The foods emphasized in a vegan diet are rich in many nutrients like vitamins A, C, E and K, fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Vegan diets have been studied for their impact on human health. Below are some highlights.

Research

One randomized controlled trial (RCT) examined the impact of a vegan, no-added-fat diet on cardiovascular risk in obese children with hypercholesterolemia and their parents. The results found that children and parents who had adopted this diet had lower total cholesterol, blood pressure and BMI compared to baseline. Another RCT found that vegan diets were associated with improved glycemic control compared to a conventional diabetes diet in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Lastly, a 74-week RCT – albeit with a small sample size – found a low-fat vegan diet appeared to improve glycemia and plasma lipids more than a conventional diabetes diet. Larger and long-term follow up studies are needed to support these findings.

Health benefits of vegan diets have also been noted in observational studies. One systematic review of cross-sectional and prospective cohort studies reported lower body mass index, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (or “bad” cholesterol) and blood glucose levels in individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets compared to omnivores. The results of the studies specific to people on a vegan diet indicated that this eating pattern reduced the overall cancer risk by 15 percent. Although cross-sectional and cohort studies cannot prove cause and effect (as in, a vegan diet causes health benefits), these findings support the results of RCTs, which are considered to be the gold standard of research and are designed to demonstrate that an intervention (following a vegan diet) leads to an effect (health benefits).

Most of this research has garnered positive results. Still, understanding the specific effects of vegan diets on health remains challenging because research on this eating pattern is often grouped together with vegetarian or plant-based diets, both of which may include animal products.

Nutrients of Concern

While the vegan diet can be very nutrient-rich, there are a few nutrients to be particularly aware of when adopting this style of eating: most notably vitamin B12, calcium, certain omega-3 fatty acids and iron.

Vitamin B12 is important for metabolism, heart, nerve and muscle health and it’s mostly found in animal products. Those following a vegan diet should opt for foods fortified with B12. Moreover, individuals following a vegan diet should communicate with a health care provider about monitoring their levels of B12 and their potential need for a supplement, keeping in mind that a deficiency in B12 could take years to manifest on a blood test.

Calcium is essential for dental, nerve, bone and muscle health and it is best absorbed with vitamin D. This nutrient is found predominantly in dairy foods and in lesser amounts in leafy greens like kale and broccoli. It is also found in fortified foods, such as tofu, bread and plant-based dairy alternatives. A systematic review found that individuals following a vegan or vegetarian diet had lower bone mineral density and higher fracture rates. Because calcium and vitamin D are key to bone health, those on a vegan diet are advised to talk to their healthcare provider to determine whether a supplement may be necessary.

Iron is a vital component of metabolism and heart health. It is found mostly in animal foods. Although fortified whole grains, beans, lentils, spinach and other plant-based foods provide iron, it’s in the form of non-heme iron, which is not as bioavailable as the heme iron found in animal foods.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat shown to support cardiovascular health. The three most common types we eat are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA is found in plant sources like flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts, but EPA and DHA are found mainly in animal foods with the exception of some marine plant sources. ALA is converted by our bodies into EPA and DHA, but only in small quantities. Vegan options for EPA and DHA are microalgae and seaweed food products or supplements.

Interested in learning the basics of other food, nutrition and health topics? Check out our “What Is” series.

This article includes contributions by Kris Sollid, RD and Ali Webster, PhD, RD

Are you vegan? Have you considered becoming a vegan? Which cultures are traditionally and predominantly vegan?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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The 9 Healthiest Beans and Legumes You Can Eat

Source: Health Line

Beans and legumes are the fruits or seeds of a family of plants called Fabaceae. They are commonly eaten around the world and are a rich source of fiber and B vitamins.

They are also a great replacement for meat as a source of vegetarian protein.

Beans and legumes have a number of health benefits, including reducing cholesterol, decreasing blood sugar levels and increasing healthy gut bacteria.

Here are nine of the healthiest beans and legumes you can eat, and why they are good for you.

Source: Health Line
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

1. Chickpeas

Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are a great source of fiber and protein.

Many scientific studies have shown that beans and legumes such as chickpeas can help reduce weight, risk factors for heart disease and potentially even the risk of cancer, especially when they replace red meat in the diet (1Trusted Source2Trusted Source3Trusted Source4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

One cup (164 grams) of cooked chickpeas contains roughly (6):

  • Calories: 269
  • Protein: 14.5 grams
  • Fiber: 12.5 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 71% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 84% of the RDI
  • Copper: 29% of the RDI
  • Iron: 26% of the RDI

Chickpeas are particularly beneficial at reducing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity when compared with other high-carb foods (7Trusted Source).

In a study of 19 women, those who ate a meal containing 1.7 ounces (50 grams) of chickpeas had significantly lower blood sugar and insulin levels than those who ate the same amount of white bread or other wheat-containing foods (8Trusted Source).

Similarly, another study of 45 people showed that eating 26 ounces (728 grams) of chickpeas per week for 12 weeks significantly reduced insulin levels (9Trusted Source).

Eating chickpeas may also improve blood cholesterol levels.

A number of studies have shown that chickpeas can reduce both total cholesterol and “bad” low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which are risk factors for heart disease (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source).

Your gut and the beneficial bacteria within it play an important role in many aspects of your health, so eating foods that contain gut-friendly fiber is extremely beneficial.

A number of studies have shown that diets containing chickpeas may also help improve bowel function and reduce the number of bad bacteria in the intestines (12Trusted Source13Trusted Source).

SUMMARYChickpeas are a great source of fiber and folate, and they’re also low in calories. They can help reduce blood sugar, decrease blood cholesterol and improve gut health.

2. Lentils

Lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein and can be great additions to soups and stews. They may also have a number of health benefits (14).

One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils contains roughly (15):

  • Calories: 230
  • Protein: 17.9 grams
  • Fiber: 15.6 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 90% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 49% of the RDI
  • Copper: 29% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 22% of the RDI

Similar to chickpeas, lentils can help reduce blood sugar compared to other foods.

In a study of 24 men, those who were given pasta and tomato sauce containing lentils ate significantly less during the meal and had lower blood sugar than those who ate the same meal without lentils (16Trusted Source).

Another study of more than 3,000 people found that those with the highest intake of lentils and other legumes had the lowest rates of diabetes (17Trusted Source).

These benefits may be due to the effects lentils have in the gut.

Some studies have shown that lentils benefit gut health by improving bowel function and slowing the rate that the stomach empties, which could help with digestion and prevent spikes in blood sugar (18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

Finally, lentil sprouts may also help heart health by reducing “bad” LDL cholesterol and increasing “good” HDL cholesterol (20Trusted Source).

SUMMARYLentils are a great source of vegetarian protein and may reduce blood sugar levels compared to some other foods that are high in carbohydrates.

3. Peas

Peas are also a type of legume, and there are a number of different types.

One cup (160 grams) of cooked peas contains roughly (21):

  • Calories: 125
  • Protein: 8.2 grams
  • Fiber: 8.8 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 24% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 22% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 48% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 30% of the RDI

Like many other legumes, peas are a great source of fiber and protein. A lot of research has shown pea fiber and protein, which can be used as supplements, to have a number of health benefits.

One study of 23 people who were overweight and had high cholesterol found that eating 1.8 ounces (50 grams) of pea flour per day for 28 days significantly reduced insulin resistance and belly fat, compared to wheat flour (22Trusted Source).

Pea flour and pea fiber have shown similar benefits in other studies by reducing the increase in insulin and blood sugar after a meal, reducing blood triglycerides and increasing feelings of fullness (23Trusted Source24Trusted Source25Trusted Source).

Because fiber feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut, pea fiber may also improve gut health. One study showed that it can increase stool frequency in elderly people and reduce their use of laxatives (26Trusted Source).

It may also help the growth of healthy bacteria in the intestines, such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria. These bacteria produce short-chain fatty acids, which help promote gut health (27Trusted Source).

SUMMARYPeas are a great source of fiber and protein, which may help reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance. Pea fiber and protein support a healthy gut, as well.

4. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are one of the most commonly consumed beans, and are often eaten with rice. They have a number of health benefits.

One cup (256 grams) of cooked kidney beans contains roughly (28):

  • Calories: 215
  • Protein: 13.4 grams
  • Fiber: 13.6 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 23% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 22% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 20% of the RDI
  • Copper: 17% of the RDI
  • Iron: 17% of the RDI

Foods that are high in fiber, such as kidney beans, can help slow the absorption of sugar into the blood and therefore reduce blood sugar levels.

One study of 17 people with type 2 diabetes found that eating kidney beans with rice significantly reduced the spike in blood sugar after the meal, compared to rice alone (29Trusted Source).

Along with high blood sugar, weight gain is also a risk factor for diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but kidney beans have the potential to reduce these risk factors.

One study showed that an extract from white kidney beans may help reduce body weight and fat mass (30Trusted Source).

Thirty overweight men and women who took the supplement for 30 days lost an average of 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) more weight and significantly more fat mass and waist circumference than those who took a placebo.

SUMMARYKidney beans contain high amounts of fiber and may help reduce the rise in blood sugar that happens after a meal.

5. Black Beans

Like many other beans, black beans are a great source of fiber, protein and folate. They are a staple food in Central and South America.

One cup (172 grams) of cooked black beans contains roughly (31):

  • Calories: 227
  • Protein: 15.2 grams
  • Fiber: 15 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 64% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 38% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 28% of the RDI
  • Iron: 20% of the RDI

Black beans may also help reduce the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating a meal, which may help reduce the risk of diabetes and weight gain (29Trusted Source).

This beneficial effect is because black beans have a lower glycemic index compared to many other high-carbohydrate foods. This means they cause a smaller rise in blood sugar after a meal.

A couple of studies have shown that if people eat black beans with rice, the beans can reduce this rise in blood sugar compared to when people eat rice alone. Black beans also cause a lower blood sugar rise than bread (32Trusted Source33Trusted Source).

SUMMARYBlack beans are effective at reducing the rise in blood sugar after a meal compared to other high-carb foods, such as rice and bread.

6. Soybeans

Soybeans are commonly consumed in Asia in a number of different forms, including tofu. They have many different health benefits.

One cup (172 grams) of cooked soybeans contains roughly (34):

  • Calories: 298
  • Protein: 28.6 grams
  • Fiber: 10.3 grams
  • Manganese: 71% of the RDI
  • Iron: 49% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 42% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 41% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 29% of the RDI
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 23% of the RDI

In addition to these nutrients, soybeans contain high levels of antioxidants called isoflavones, which are responsible for many of their health benefits.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that consuming soybeans and their isoflavones is associated with a reduced risk of cancer.

However, many of these studies are observational, meaning the participants’ diets weren’t controlled, so there could be other factors affecting the risk of cancer.

A large study that combined the results of 21 other studies found that eating high amounts of soybeans was associated with a 15% lower risk of stomach and other gastrointestinal cancers. Soybeans appeared to be especially effective in women (35Trusted Source).

Another study found similar results of soybeans on breast cancer. However, this effect was much smaller and the results were not clear (36Trusted Source).

Many of these benefits may be due to the fact that soy isoflavones are phytoestrogens. This means that they can mimic the effect of estrogen in the body, which tends to decline during menopause.

A large study of 403 postmenopausal women found that taking soy isoflavones for two years, in addition to calcium and vitamin D, significantly reduced the loss of bone density that occurs during menopause (37Trusted Source).

Soy protein and soy phytoestrogens may also help reduce a number of risk factors for heart disease, including blood pressure and blood cholesterol (38Trusted Source39Trusted Source).

SUMMARYSoybeans and the antioxidants they contain may help reduce the risk of certain cancers, decrease risk factors for heart disease and reduce menopausal bone density loss.

7. Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are common in Mexico. They’re often eaten as whole beans, or mashed and fried.

One cup (171 grams) of cooked pinto beans contains roughly (40):

  • Calories: 245
  • Protein: 15.4 grams
  • Fiber: 15.4 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 74% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 39% of the RDI
  • Copper: 29% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 22% of the RDI

Pinto beans may help reduce blood cholesterol.

A study of 16 people found that eating 1/2 cup of pinto beans per day for eight weeks significantly reduced both total cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood (41Trusted Source).

Another study showed that pinto beans may reduce LDL cholesterol as well as increase the production of propionate, a short-chain fatty acid produced by gut bacteria. Propionate is good for gut health (42Trusted Source).

Like many other beans, pinto beans can also reduce the rise in blood sugar that happens after eating a meal (29Trusted Source).

SUMMARYPinto beans may help reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar and maintain gut health. They can be eaten either whole or mashed.

8. Navy Beans

Navy beans, also known as haricot beans, are a great source of fiber, B vitamins and minerals.

One cup (182 grams) of cooked navy beans contains roughly (43):

  • Calories: 255
  • Protein: 15.0 grams
  • Fiber: 19.1 grams
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 64% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 48% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 29% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 24% of the RDI
  • Iron: 24% of the RDI

Navy beans appear to help reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome, likely due to their high fiber content.

An interesting study of 38 children who had abnormal blood cholesterol found that those who ate a muffin or smoothie containing 17.5 grams of navy bean powder every day for four weeks had higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol (44Trusted Source).

Similar effects have been found in adults.

A study in overweight and obese adults found that eating 5 cups (910 grams) of navy beans and other legumes per week was as effective as dietary counseling for reducing waist circumference, blood sugar and blood pressure (45Trusted Source).

Other smaller studies have found similar beneficial effects (46Trusted Source).

SUMMARYNavy beans contain a lot of fiber and may help reduce the risk factors for metabolic syndrome. They also contain several important nutrients.

9. Peanuts

Interestingly, peanuts are legumes, which sets them apart from most other types of nuts.

Peanuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, protein and B vitamins.

One half-cup (73 grams) of peanuts contains roughly (47):

  • Calories: 427
  • Protein: 17.3 grams
  • Fiber: 5.9 grams
  • Saturated fat: 5 grams
  • Manganese: 76% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 50% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 32% of the RDI
  • Folate (vitamin B9): 27% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 25% of the RDI
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 22% of the RDI

Due to their high content of monounsaturated fats, peanuts can have a number of health benefits if they replace some other components of the diet.

A few large observational studies have found that eating peanuts is associated with a lower risk of death from many different causes, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes (48Trusted Source).

Interestingly, peanut butter doesn’t seem to have the same beneficial effects (49Trusted Source).

However, these studies are only observational, which means they can’t prove eating peanuts actually causes the reduction in these risks.

Other studies have examined the effect of eating peanuts on blood cholesterol (50Trusted Source51Trusted Source52Trusted Source).

One study in women who had high blood cholesterol found that those who ate peanuts as part of a low-fat diet for six months had lower total cholesterol and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol than those on a standard low-fat diet (53Trusted Source).

However, if you are salt-sensitive, aim for unsalted peanuts over the salted variety.

SUMMARYPeanuts are actually a legume. They contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and may be beneficial for heart health.

The Bottom Line

Beans and legumes are some of the most underrated foods on the planet.

They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins and many other important vitamins and minerals.

There is good evidence that they can help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut.

Not only that, but eating more beans and legumes as a source of protein instead of meat is also environmentally friendly.

Add them to soups, stews and salads, or just eat them on their own for a nutritious vegetarian meal.

We understand that soybeans are not necessarily the best because the body can not digest it. Which of these beans are best for your diet? How can you incorporate them into your diet? How can eating these beans improve your health?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.

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The Great Garlic Medicinal Benefits

Source: Medical News Today

Fast facts on garlic

  • In many countries, garlic has been used medicinally for centuries.
  • Garlic may have a range of health benefits, both raw and cooked.
  • It may have significant antibiotic properties.

History

Bulbs and bowl of garlic
There are many medicinal claims about garlic.
Source: Medical News Today
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Garlic has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Records indicate that garlic was in use when the Giza pyramids were built, about 5,000 years ago.

Richard S. Rivlin wrote in the Journal of Nutrition that the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (circa. 460-370 BC), known today as “the father of Western medicine,” prescribed garlic for a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Hippocrates promoted the use of garlic for treating respiratory problems, parasites, poor digestion, and fatigue.

The original Olympic athletes in Ancient Greece were given garlic – possibly the earliest example of “performance enhancing” agents used in sports.

From Ancient Egypt, garlic spread to the advanced ancient civilizations of the Indus Valley (Pakistan and western India today). From there, it made its way to China.

According to experts at Kew Gardens, England’s royal botanical center of excellence, the people of ancient India valued the therapeutic properties of garlic and also thought it to be an aphrodisiac. The upper classes avoided garlic because they despised its strong odor, while monks, “…widows, adolescents, and those who had taken up a vow or were fasting, could not eat garlic because of its stimulant quality.”

Throughout history in the Middle East, East Asia, and Nepal, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, hypertension (high blood pressure), TB (tuberculosis), liver disorders, dysenteryflatulencecolic, intestinal worms, rheumatism, diabetes, and fevers.

The French, Spanish, and Portuguese introduced garlic to the New World.

Uses

Currently, garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), high cholesterolheart attackcoronary heart disease, and hypertension.

Garlic is also used today by some people for the prevention of lung cancerprostate cancerbreast cancerstomach cancer, rectal cancer, and colon cancer.

It is important to add that only some of these uses are backed by research.

A study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology warned that short-term heating reduces the anti-inflammatory effects of fresh raw garlic extracts. This may be a problem for some people who do not like or cannot tolerate the taste and/or odor of fresh garlic.

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Benefits

Below are examples of some scientific studies published in peer-reviewed academic journals about the therapeutic benefits (or not) of garlic.

Lung cancer risk

People who ate raw garlic at least twice a week during the 7 year study period had a 44 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer, according to a study conducted at the Jiangsu Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China.

The researchers, who published their study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, carried out face-to-face interviews with 1,424 lung cancer patients and 4,543 healthy individuals. They were asked about their diet and lifestyle, including questions on smoking and how often they ate garlic.

The study authors wrote: “Protective association between intake of raw garlic and lung cancer has been observed with a dose-response pattern, suggesting that garlic may potentially serve as a chemo-preventive agent for lung cancer.”

Brain cancer

Organo-sulfur compounds found in garlic have been identified as effective in destroying the cells in glioblastomas, a type of deadly brain tumor.

Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina reported in the journal Cancer that three pure organo-sulfur compounds from garlic – DAS, DADS, and DATS – “demonstrated efficacy in eradicating brain cancer cells, but DATS proved to be the most effective.”

Co-author, Ray Swapan, Ph.D., said “This research highlights the great promise of plant-originated compounds as natural medicine for controlling the malignant growth of human brain tumor cells. More studies are needed in animal models of brain tumors before application of this therapeutic strategy to brain tumor patients.”

Hip osteoarthritis

Women whose diets were rich in allium vegetables had lower levels of osteoarthritis, a team at King’s College London and the University of East Anglia, both in England, reported in the journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. Examples of allium vegetables include garlic, leeks, shallots, onions, and rakkyo.

The study authors said their findings not only highlighted the possible impact of diet on osteoarthritis outcomes but also demonstrated the potential for using compounds that exist in garlic to develop treatments for the condition.

The long-term study, involving more than 1,000 healthy female twins, found that those whose dietary habits included plenty of fruit and vegetables, “particularly alliums such as garlic,” had fewer signs of early osteoarthritis in the hip joint.

Potentially a powerful antibiotic

Diallyl sulfide, a compound in garlic, was 100 times more effective than two popular antibiotics in fighting the Campylobacter bacterium, according to a study published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

The Campylobacter bacterium is one of the most common causes of intestinal infections.

Senior author, Dr. Xiaonan Lu, from Washington State University, said, “This work is very exciting to me because it shows that this compound has the potential to reduce disease-causing bacteria in the environment and in our food supply.”

Heart protection

Garlic in heart-shaped bowl
Garlic may contain heart-protective chemicals.
Source: Medical News Today
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Diallyl trisulfide, a component of garlic oil, helps protect the heart during cardiac surgery and after a heart attack, researchers at Emory University School of Medicine found. They also believe diallyl trisulfide could be used as a treatment for heart failure.

Hydrogen sulfide gas has been shown to protect the heart from damage.

However, it is a volatile compound and difficult to deliver as therapy.

Because of this, the scientists decided to focus on diallyl trisulfide, a garlic oil component, as a safer way to deliver the benefits of hydrogen sulfide to the heart.

In experiments using laboratory mice, the team found that, after a heart attack, the mice that had received diallyl sulfide had 61 percent less heart damage in the area at risk, compared with the untreated mice.

In another study, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, scientists found that garlic oil may help protect diabetes patients from cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy is the leading cause of death among diabetes patients. It is a chronic disease of the myocardium (heart muscle), which is abnormally thickened, enlarged, and/or stiffened.

The team fed diabetic laboratory rats either garlic oil or corn oil. Those fed garlic oil experienced significantly more changes associated with protection against heart damage, compared with the animals that were fed corn oil.

The study authors wrote, “In conclusion, garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting hearts from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy.”

Human studies will need to be performed to confirm the results of this study.

High cholesterol and high blood pressure

Researchers at Ankara University investigated the effects of garlic extract supplementation on the blood lipid (fat) profile of patients with high blood cholesterol. Their study was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

The study involved 23 volunteers, all with high cholesterol; 13 of them also had high blood pressure. They were divided into two groups:

  • The high-cholesterol normotensive group (normal blood pressure).
  • The high-cholesterol hypertensive group (high blood pressure).

They took garlic extract supplements for 4 months and were regularly checked for blood lipid parameters, as well as kidney and liver function.

At the end of the 4 months, the researchers concluded “…garlic extract supplementation improves blood lipid profile, strengthens blood antioxidant potential, and causes significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressures. It also leads to a decrease in the level of oxidation product (MDA) in the blood samples, which demonstrates reduced oxidation reactions in the body.”

In other words, the garlic extract supplements reduced high cholesterol levels, and also blood pressure in the patients with hypertension. The scientists added that theirs was a small study – more work needs to be carried out.

Prostate cancer

Doctors at the Department of Urology, China-Japan Friendship Hospital, Beijing, China, carried out a study evaluating the relationship between Allium vegetable consumption and prostate cancer risk.

They gathered and analyzed published studies up to May 2013 and reported their findings in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention.

The study authors concluded, “Allium vegetables, especially garlic intake, are related to a decreased risk of prostate cancer.”

The team also commented that because there are not many relevant studies, further well-designed prospective studies should be carried out to confirm their findings.

Alcohol-induced liver injury

Alcohol-induced liver injury is caused by the long-term over-consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Scientists at the Institute of Toxicology, School of Public Health, Shandong University, China, wanted to determine whether diallyl disulfide (DADS), a garlic-derived organosulfur compound, might have protective effects against ethanol-induced oxidative stress.

Their study was published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta.

The researchers concluded that DADS might help protect against ethanol-induced liver injury.

Preterm (premature) delivery

Microbial infections during pregnancy raise a woman’s risk of preterm delivery. Scientists at the Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, studied what impact foods might have on antimicrobial infections and preterm delivery risk.

The study and its findings were published in the Journal of Nutrition.

Ronny Myhre and colleagues concentrated on the effects of Alliums and dried fruits, because a literature search had identified these two foods as showing the greatest promise for reducing preterm delivery risk.

The team investigated the intake of dried fruit and Alliums among 18,888 women in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort, of whom 5 percent (950) underwent spontaneous PTD (preterm delivery).

The study authors concluded, “Intake of food with antimicrobial and prebiotic compounds may be of importance to reduce the risk of spontaneous PTD. In particular, garlic was associated with overall lower risk of spontaneous PTD.”

Garlic and the common cold

A team of researchers from St. Joseph Family Medicine Residency, Indiana, carried out a study titled “Treatment of the Common Cold in Children and Adults,” published in American Family Physician.

They reported that “Prophylactic use of garlic may decrease the frequency of colds in adults, but has no effect on duration of symptoms.” Prophylactic use means using it regularly to prevent disease.

Though there is some research to suggest that raw garlic has the most benefits, other studies have looked at overall allium intake, both raw and cooked, and have found benefits. Therefore, you can enjoy garlic in a variety of ways to reap its advantages.

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Parsley & Pasta

Shidonna Garden and Cook Parsley and Pasta

There are few things that go together like parsley and pasta. Some of us love cheese and others do not. But, nothing goes better than a cheese based Italian sauce / dish and parsley. We brought our parsley plant indoors for the winter and she has been doing even better than when she was outside. Her stems are very tall as she reaches for the resources of the sun. We will have to remember to turn her so she does not lean to one side causing her stems to weaken. Our parsley plant was already in the pot and ready to go. She had been sitting on the porch.

As one can see this pasta dish is tomato based and our parsley was used as a garnish. Parsley typically has a very mild flavor and is often used as a garnish. Despite its mild flavor a nice cheese based Italian sauce really brings at its mild notes. We used garlic in our dish. Garlic is typically difficult to avoid when cooking Italian dishes particularly tomato based ones. Keep reading to learn more about the medicinal benefits of the great garlic! What plants have you been growing indoors? How have the been doing in the winter? Are the fruit bearing plants? What type of dishes would you like to see and what are their health benefits?

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9 AMAZING BENEFITS OF COCONUT MILK

Source: Ballerini Chiropractic
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Source: Ballerini Chiropractic

Coconut milk is a white substance that is extracted from the flesh of mature brown coconuts. It has been used for years as an ingredient in desserts, soups, and sauces. It is a popular component of Indian, Thai, Hawaiian and South American cuisines. The process of extraction involves grating the fleshy part of the fruit and soaking it in hot water. The cream that forms on the surface of the liquid is collected to be used as coconut cream while the remaining liquid is then sieved and separated from the pulp to obtain the coconut milk. Nowadays, you can simply buy this product off the shelf in any department store. If you are having bone or joint pain then a diet rich in coconut milk and a visit to a chiropractor might be right for you. Here is a list of other health benefits of coconut milk:

1. It aids in weight loss

Coconut milk is rich in short and medium chain triglycerides that are considered to be healthy fats. They prolong the feeling of satiety causing you to eat less and avoid giving in to cravings. In addition, they are more likely to be converted to energy as opposed to longer chain fatty acids. These are preferentially stored in the body contributing towards obesity.

2. It contains antioxidants

Coconut milk is rich in vitamins C and E that are well known for their anti-oxidant properties. Free oxygen radicals are formed by our body tissues during the process of metabolism. They are harmful to cellular components and contribute towards aging and tumor growth. Antioxidants contained in coconut milk help to neutralize these harmful substances.

3. Electrolyte balance

Coconut milk is rich in electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and phosphorous. Potassium is important for maintenance of a normal heart rhythm. It is also crucial for healthy muscle functioning. Magnesium is required for a healthy immune system as well as maintenance of normal nerve and muscle function. Phosphorus is a vital structural component of bones and teeth. By adding coconut milk to your recipes, you ensure that the body has enough supply of phosphorous to meet these requirements.

4. Prevents heart disease

Coconut milk is known to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol in the body. Scientific research now shows that coconut milk may help to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body if consumed in low quantities. HDL cholesterol has anti-inflammatory properties that protect the endothelium or blood vessel lining. LDL cholesterol, on the other hand, promotes the formation of plaques in blood vessels causing pathological narrowing. When blood vessels supplying the heart muscles are narrowed, heart attacks can result.

5. Strengthens the immune system

Coconut milk contains lauric acid that is known for its antiseptic properties. It assists the body in fighting infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A study done in The Philippines showed that children with pneumonia responded faster to treatment with antibiotics and coconut milk compared to those who were treated with antibiotics alone.

6. Prevention of anemia

Coconut milk has significant quantities of iron. Iron is an important mineral in the formation of healthy red blood cells with normal hemoglobin levels. Incorporating coconut milk into your diet will help you avoid anemia that often results from inadequate iron intake.

7. Healthy hair and skin

Recently, coconut milk has gained popularity for its use as a conditioning treatment for healthy hair. Its high-fat content acts as a sealant for moisture retention. When applied to the scalp, coconut milk helps to reduce dandruff and scalp itchiness. This is because it contains lauric acid that has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut milk when applied topically on the skin helps in maintenance of the skin’s elasticity. This effectively reduces wrinkle formation giving you a more youthful appearance. Its antibacterial properties are said to contribute towards acne prevention. Women across the world now use this product for make-up removal.

8. Anti-inflammatory properties

Coconut milk aids in the reduction of joint pain and inflammation. Sugar is known to be pro-inflammatory. Substituting it for coconut milk as a sweetener can have remarkable results for those suffering from autoimmune inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus arthritis.

9. Promotes gastrointestinal health

Coconut milk is a healthy substitute for individuals that are lactose intolerant. In addition, it contains Zinc, a mineral that aids in the renewal of the cells that line the intestinal wall. This prevents the translocation of harmful bacteria from the intestinal lumen into the blood stream and reduces the incidence of diarrhea.

How can implementing coconut milk into your diet improve your health? Why or why not?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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How to Make Vegan Creamed Anything

BY GRACE KELLY
January 7, 2021
Source: Bon Appetite

vegan cream greens
Photo By Emma Fishman, Food Styling By D’Mytrek Brown
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

As a descendent of Lithuanian immigrants, sour cream runs through my veins. Eastern Europeans are known for their love of dairy. In Simon Bajada’s Cookbook Baltic, he writes, “Of all the exceptional produce celebrated within the region, the Baltic love of dairy cannot be overstated.” My family is no exception.

Cream cheese, sour cream, farmer’s cheese, cottage cheese, and butter have always had a welcome seat at the table. A tub of sour cream was always within arm’s reach of my great-grandmother’s pierogi, a welcome dollop of tang to cut through the dumplings’ richness, and one of my go-to after school snacks was a fruit dip made by mixing sour cream with brown sugar.

But running concurrently with my love of all things dairy is the great, cruel irony that’s plagued me ever since that first spoonful: I’m lactose intolerant. Cue the tiny violin. Growing up, I pushed through the gastrointestinal discomfort and all its unpleasant side effects, but as I’ve gotten older, the ol’ stomach can’t handle the same quantities of dairy goodness it used to. And coupled with the moral weight of being an environmental reporter, let’s just say I have good reason to cut back on dairy.

One of our best spinach recipes is this vegan creamed spinach.
Andy Baraghani’s vegan creamed spinach uses a slightly different technique but has just as great a result. Photo By Alex Lau, Food Styling By Yekaterina Boytsova
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

But it hasn’t been easy. What’s a bowl of chili without a dollop of sour cream? How can you make good pierogi without farmer’s cheese? While I remain stumped for adequate solutions to these dilemmas, I have stumbled upon a way to emulate the luxurious goodness of creamed vegetables—think spinach, mushrooms, or even poblano rajas—without dairy or even vegan cheese products.

I happened upon the magic combination—coconut milk, miso, and nutritional yeast—by accident. My cousin and his girlfriend were moving to the West Coast and decided to clean out their pantry predeparture. I was gifted some low-salt salad dressings, sugar-free chocolate chips, and a shakerful of nutritional yeast (a.k.a. nooch). The salad dressings and sugar-free chocolate are still collecting dust in my pantry, but, when mixed with sautéed alliums, coconut milk, and miso, that nooch makes a cheesy, creamy (vegan) sauce for vegetables.

It’s simple: Over medium heat, sauté 1 thinly sliced small onion or large shallot in 1 Tbsp. coconut oil until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Whisk in 2 tsp. white miso and 2 tsp. nutritional yeast—you’re creating a sort of “roux” of flavor here; if it looks a little dry, add another tablespoon of coconut oil. Add 2½ to 3 cups of your favorite greens (or other vegetables), and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in ¾ cup coconut milk (I like Aroy-D because it’s creamy and doesn’t separate), salt, and pepper, and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until about a quarter of the coconut milk has evaporated (the mixture should become thick, creamy, and pale brown).

You can swap out the greens for mushrooms to make a vegan stroganoff-ish sauce (add a teaspoon of soy sauce for depth), or for roasted poblano strips to make a vegan take on rajas con crema (add 1 tsp. each cumin and chili powder).

Even if they invent some magical way (sorry, lactose pills don’t count) for lactose-intolerant folks to eat creamy, cheesy dishes without gastric distress, I’d still have my shaker of nooch at the ready for this versatile vegan cream sauce.

Grace Kelly is a journalist and recipe developer based in Rhode Island. And no, she’s not related to the Princess of Monaco.

How did this recipe work for you? Did it help with your dietary needs? Why or why not?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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It’s a long way to Donegal and the best roast chicken

Source: Berkshire, The Edge

I decided to roast two chickens, which provided us with most of the main courses for our lunch and dinners over the next three or four days. The other advantage was this savings allowed us to enjoy more pints of Guinness at the local

pub.BY BOB LUHMANN
POSTED ON 

About 12 years ago, not long after Lois took me in and saved a wretch like me, we made our first trip as a couple to the cottage I’d inherited in County Donegal, Ireland. That year, the dollar to euro exchange rate was a gruesome $1.65 or so. Irish petrol being consistently three times higher than here, on top of the terrible exchange rate, limited the length of our car trips exploring that beautiful island, so we took more than our usual long walks to be found in the immediate area.

This was hardly a hardship, as the surrounding area has some of the most starkly dramatic scenery to be found anywhere. This was confirmed by National Geographic Traveller awarding Donegal, and specifically the area in Donegal along The Wild Atlantic Way where we happen to be located, as number one on their “Cool List” in 2017. While we love this most remote county of Ireland, I’m not sure all of Ireland would term it “cool.” In fact, there was a time when I was searching for my rental car at Dublin Airport, and a man who worked there asked if he could help. Since most of Ireland needs to know where you came from, where you’re going, and any other bits of personal information you’re willing to offer and I’m essentially an open book, we struck up a conversation. When I told him, we were headed to Donegal, he replied cheerily, “Oh! You mean the arsehole of nowhere?”

It was my mother who pointed out to me early on while discovering Ireland, that when first meeting someone from Ireland they’re exceptionally good at finding out everything they can about you, but give up little information about themselves until they’ve got to know you better. Not to diminish the fact that the people of Ireland are typically genuinely friendly, extremely helpful, and generous to a fault, it was interesting how often I found that characteristic to be true. I attribute this to centuries of harsh British rule, when survival often meant keeping as low a profile as possible while being hyperaware of strangers and their business.

At any rate, a big thank you to my parents, Dave and Katie Luhmann, for being ahead of the cool, and we will be back as soon as it becomes safe to travel again. Also, thanks to them, it gave us comfort to know the cottage was there as a safe haven if Trump had been reelected.

For Irish music fans, Donegal may be best known as the birthplace of Enya and the groups Altan and Clannad, but there’s so much more. Most of Donegal is designated as a Gaeltacht region, which are officially designated areas of the country where Irish Gaelic is primarily spoken and so much of Irish culture is preserved, including traditional Irish folk music, or trad as it’s called locally. During non-COVID times, there’s a pub hosting a trad music session, simply referred to as a session, somewhere within driving distance from anywhere in Donegal, which is not uncommon anywhere in Ireland. These are generally loosely organized sessions in which musicians gather and play trad music in a corner of a pub, however I’ve heard songs such as “The Tennessee Waltz” played, as well.

Photo courtesy Bob Luhmann
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Traditional Irish music is also played live for social céilí dances, where a form of Irish folk dancing takes place. In our area of Donegal, céilí dancing can be found on most nights somewhere, but because of the space requirements for céilís, they are found in large pubs or community halls. At the risk of being severely admonished by my merciless Irish friends, I’ll take a crack at describing céilí dancing as I understand and observed it. The Irish folk dancing at céilís has similarities to our square dancing, which, of course, to put a circle on that square, has roots in the folk dances found at céilís. Two big differences are céilí dancing is more intricate than typical square dancing and there’s rarely a caller. It was fascinating watching my first céilí, as I couldn’t comprehend how everyone knew what to do, especially since the dances are so intricate and generally fast paced. I found it much too dangerous for all involved for a dancing bear like me to participate.

The music played at céilí dances is predominantly Irish folk music involving jigs, reels, and hornpipes, but because it’s dance music for a formalized style of dance, it’s much more structured and has somewhat different roots than the more improvisational trad music. In Donegal céilís, which are the only ones I know, you’ll often hear a good dose of waltzes and American country music, with its roots in Irish/Scottish folk music. Much of Donegal of a certain age is mad for American country music, with New York, Boston, and Nashville being three of the most popular East Coast destinations when visiting America. I still remember on my first trip to Ireland in 1973; I turned on the radio after I checked into my Dublin hotel to hear what Irish music sounded like and was surprised to hear a tremendous amount of American country-pop music. The first song I heard was “Paper Roses” by Marie Osmond, which I would hear ad nauseum during that first trip.

While speaking of Irish music, it should also be noted that the classic spiritual, “Amazing Grace,” sung so brilliantly by so many artists and at church services across the land, including so poignantly by President Barack Obama in his eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney in 2015, has its roots in Donegal. It was originally written as a hymn by the Anglican clergyman John Newton, in 1773, inspired by his having been involved in a violent life-threatening storm off the coast of Donegal while captain of a slave ship in 1748. It was during that storm he called out to God for mercy despite having no particular religious conviction at the time. Surviving that storm and finding sanctuary in Donegal after his call for God’s mercy began his spiritual conversion, eventual path to the clergy, and becoming an active abolitionist.

While in Ireland on our trip 12 years ago, the question of food arose, which is usually my first thought when I wake up in the morning no matter where I am. However, due to the terrible exchange rate, our food budget received far greater scrutiny than normal, so I decided to roast two of Ireland’s consistently excellent chickens. Those comparatively inexpensive chickens provided us with most of the main courses for our lunch and dinners over the next three or four days. Beyond the first night’s roast chicken dinner, there were sliced chicken sandwiches on wonderful Irish wheaten bread, chicken salad, and a big pot of chicken soup. The other advantage was this savings allowed us to enjoy more pints of Guinness at the local pub.

Photo courtesy Bob Luhmann
Shidonna Raven and Garden and Cook

This was a predictable rambling way to get to the point of this article, which is a recipe for roast chicken. However, since this story begins in Ireland, where the longest stories are told, it’s altogether fitting. Since most of us are pinching pennies and missing our friends and extended families while huddling in our homes during this COVID winter, why not turn to a healthy inexpensive comfort food to ease what ails you, such as an excellent roast chicken and medicine-for-everything chicken soup? Just as it did for us in Ireland 12 years ago, a roast chicken provides for a delicious dinner, and what’s left of it makes a glistening, rich stock for an equally delicious pot of soup. As far as the food budget is concerned, one four-pound chicken provides the Lovely Lois and I not only a roast chicken dinner the first night, but soup for dinner two nights later, followed by as many as four bowls of soup for lunch. It’s hard to beat the combination of comparatively easy preparations providing soul-satisfying, comforting nutrition while causing such a small dent in the food budget.

I’ve tried many methods for roast chicken over the years and have settled on the method first described by the wonderful cookbook author, master chef, and culinary teacher Marcella Hazan. I’ve made a couple of minor, but meaningful, adjustments including tweaking roasting temperatures and timing, but otherwise follow it exactly.

My first meaningful adjustment is salting and drying the chicken, uncovered, overnight in the refrigerator, which guarantees a crispy skin and acts as a dry rub, aiding the chicken in remaining moist. If you’re salt sensitive or don’t care much about crispy skin, skip this step. If you do salt the chicken, be careful salting it any further before serving. In addition, I deglaze the roasting pan by adding white wine to the pan juices and reduce, before enriching the reduced juices with butter, while Marcella simply pours the pan juices over the chicken meat. However, I believe everything’s better with butter. No matter whether you incorporate my adjustments or not, you’ll serve a delicious chicken as I’m sure Marcella did many times for her family and guests.

Roast Lemon Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 approximately 4 lb whole chicken
  • 1 large lemon, washed and pierced all around with a fork
  • 2 Tbl kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 or 2 sprigs of rosemary (optional)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbl butter, cut in half

Method:The day before your meal, remove any giblets and any extra fat from the chicken, dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out with paper towels, and rub the chicken all over with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Store uncovered in the refrigerator overnight to dry.The next day, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dry the chicken inside and out with paper towels again, stuff the washed and pierced lemon into the cavity with the rosemary, if using. Close the cavity with a couple of toothpicks and tie the legs together with kitchen twine. It’s not necessary to close the cavity or tie the legs together tightly.Place the chicken breast side down in a cast iron skillet or any pan which can withstand a 400-degree oven temperature and is able to be used over direct heat. There’s no need to add any oil or butter to the pan or chicken, as the chicken is self-basting. Place on the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.After 30 minutes, flip the chicken breast side up and put back in the oven for 20 minutes.After 20 minutes, turn the oven temperature up to 400 degrees F and roast the chicken for 20 minutes longer before checking the internal temperature of the chicken, at the thickest part of the thigh, with an instant read thermometer, which should register 165 degrees F when done. Depending on the size of the chicken, it could take another 10 minutes longer.After removing the chicken from the oven, using a combination of folded paper towels and a spatula, remove the chicken from the pan and, while holding the chicken tightly, tip to drain the juices from the cavity into the pan. Allow the chicken to rest for about 10 minutes on a cutting board. During this time, you can deglaze the pan over medium heat by adding the white wine to the chicken juices in the pan and scrape up the brown bits with a whisk. Make sure to drink the rest of the bottle with dinner. A shot of good Irish whiskey after dinner doesn’t hurt either, just to ward off the chill of winter, mind you.Reduce the liquid in the pan by half and whisk in the butter until it’s fully incorporated, then remove from heat. Thickly slice the chicken and plate with butter-enriched, deglazed juices poured over the meat.

My chicken stock and soup routines:

My routine after we’ve had our chicken dinner is to remove as much meat as possible from the chicken that night, to be reserved separately for adding to the soup later. I’ll put whatever is left of the chicken in a pan large enough so the bones and chicken skin can be covered with water by 2 inches or so. I’ll store the pan and its contents overnight in the refrigerator to be used to make stock the next day.

The next day, I’ll cover the contents of the pan by about 2 inches of water and, over medium heat, bring it to a slow simmer, adding water as necessary to keep the contents of the pan covered. I let the stock barely simmer for about 4 or 5 hours or until, when stirred, the bones fall apart. There’s no need to add carrot, celery, and onion to the stock as I use all the stock for soup which contains those vegetables. I’ll strain the stock and refrigerate to use the next day. There’s really no reason it can’t be used for soup that day, but this is my routine and I like my routines.

You should have about 6 cups of rich, glistening stock to use. For the soup, begin by sautéing until lightly browned, add about 1½ cups each of diced onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot large enough for the soup; a Dutch oven is a good choice. At this point, it’s up to you to add whatever vegetables, herbs, pastas or rices strike your fancy or need to be used. Add the stock and simmer the vegetables until they reach the desired consistency. I often end up putting in leftover vegetables from previous meals, a bag of baby spinach, and the reserved diced chicken meat in at the end. Once the spinach has wilted, add water if necessary. Turn off the heat after the soup has just returned to a boil. Once again, if you pre-salted the chicken as I suggested, taste your soup before adding any additional salt.

What are your favorite meats? What are ways you can introduce more vegetables and fruits into your diet? How could this help your over all diet?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

If these articles have been helpful to you and yours, give a donation to Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Ezine today. All Rights Reserved – Shidonna Raven (c) 2025 – Garden & Cook.