There Is Nothing Ginger About Ginger

Ginger is indeed a most remarkable rhizome.  Here is just a small list of benefits derived from the humble ginger root:

Gastrointestinal Relief – Ginger is very effective in preventing symptoms of motion sickness, especially seasickness. In fact, ginger was shown to be far superior to Dramamine.

Relief of Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy – Ginger’s anti-vomiting action has been shown to be very useful in reducing the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Unlike anti-vomiting drugs, which can cause severe birth defects, ginger is extremely safe, and only a small dose is required.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects – Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. People with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis experience reductions in their pain levels and improvements in their mobility when they consume ginger regularly.

Protection against Colorectal Cancer – Gingerols, the main active components in ginger, inhibits the growth of human colorectal cancer cells.

Ginger Induces Cell Death in Ovarian Cancer Cells – Gingerols, the active phytonutrients in ginger, kills ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) and autophagocytosis (self-digestion).

Immune Boosting Action – Ginger promotes healthy sweating, which is often helpful during colds and flus. A good sweat may do a lot more than simply assist detoxification. German researchers have recently found that sweat contains a potent germ-fighting agent that may help fight off infections.

Serving Ideas:

  • Ginger Lemonade: Combine freshly grated ginger, lemon juice, cane juice or honey and water.
  • Rice Side Dish:  Sprinkle grated ginger, sesame seeds and nori strips on top of cooked rice.
  • Ginger Salad Dressing:  Combine ginger, tamari, olive oil and garlic.
  • Gingered Sweet Potatoes:  Add ginger and orange juice to pureed sweet potatoes.
  • Ginger in Baked Apples:  Add grated ginger to your favorite stuffing for baked apples.
  • Gingered Vegetables:  Add freshly minced ginger to your sautéed vegetables.

Beet This! Mediterranean Beet Recipes

The betalin pigments in beets support activity in our body’s Phase 2 detoxification process. Phase 2 is the metabolic step that our cells use to hook activated, unwanted toxic substances up with small nutrient groups.

The betalains found in beets trigger glutathione-S-transferase (GST) activity and aid in the elimination of toxins that require glutathione for excretion.

Beets are also an excellent source of heart-healthy folate and a very good source of the antioxidant manganese and heart-healthy potassium. Beets are a good source of digestive-supportive dietary fiber, free radical scavenging vitamin C and copper, bone-healthy magnesium, and energy-producing iron and phosphorus.

Mediterranean Beets

Serves 2

  • 3 medium beets about 3″ in diameter
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 chopped basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
  • salt to taste (salt will blunt beets’ color, so add only at the end of cooking or before serving)
  1. Wash beets, leaving 2 inches of tap root and 1 inch of the stem on the beets.
  2. Cut beets into quarters. Do not peel.
  3. Steam covered for 15 minutes. Beets are cooked when you can easily insert a fork into the beet.
  4. Cut off stems and tap root, and peel beets by rubbing them with a paper towel.
  5. Transfer beets to a bowl and toss with remaining ingredients while they are still hot.

Cook beets lightly. Studies show beets’ concentration of phytonutrients, such as betalains, is diminished by heat. Or try the raw version below…

Raw Mediterranean Beet Salad

(Add 1 Tbsp of honey and 1 large head of lettuce to ingredients listed above in the Mediterranean Beet Salad) Serves 4

  1. Wash beets, and cut off stems and tap root. Do not peel.
  2. Grate beets by hand or in a food processor.
  3. Mix remaining ingredients (except the lettuce) and pour over beets.
  4. Let marinade 8 hours or overnight.
  5. When ready to serve, shred 1 large head of lettuce and put onto 4 serving plates.
  6. Sprinkle 1/4 of beets onto each plate of shredded lettuce, using remaining marinade to drizzle over lettuce.

The Awesome Blueberry!

from Erica Vaughn, Produce Manager

Excerpts from The Healthiest Foods in the World

“There is exciting new evidence that blueberries can improve memory. In a study involving older adults (average age 76 years), 12 weeks of daily blueberry consumption was enough to improve scores on two different tests of cognitive function including memory. Participants in the study consumed blueberry juice (3/4 of a pound of blueberries were used to make each cup of juice) and consumed between 2 to 2-1/2 cups each day, a very plentiful amount of berries. Blueberries… beneficial not only for improvement of memory, but for slowing down or postponing the onset of other cognitive problems frequently associated with aging.

Maximize antioxidant benefits from blueberries–go organic! A recent study has directly compared the total antioxidant capacity of organically grown versus non-organically grown highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum L., var. Bluecrop) and found some very impressive results for the organically grown berries. Organically grown blueberries turned out to have significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants than conventionally grown blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidant capacity.

You can freeze blueberries without doing damage to their delicate anthocyanin antioxidants, the colorful pigments that give many foods their wonderful shades of blue, purple, and red. After freezing blueberries at temperatures of 0⁰F (-17⁰C) or lower between 3-6 months, researchers discovered no significant lowering of overall antioxidant capacity or anthocyanin concentrations.”

Quick serving ideas:

  • Add frozen blueberries to your breakfast shake
  • Fresh or dried blueberries add a colorful punch to breakfast cereals
  • For a deliciously elegant dessert, layer yogurt and blueberries in wine glasses and top with crystallized ginger

Watermelon and Green Tea Team Up to Prevent Prostate Cancer

from Erica Vaughn, Produce Manager

Excerpts from The Healthiest Foods in the World

In a case-control study involving 130 prostate cancer patients and 274 hospital controls, men drinking the most green tea were found to have an 86% reduced risk of prostate cancer compared, to those drinking the least.

A similar inverse association was found between the men’s consumption of lycopene-rich fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, apricots, pink grapefruit, watermelon, papaya, and guava. Men who most frequently enjoyed these foods were 82% less likely to have prostate cancer compared to those consuming the least lycopene-rich foods.

Regular consumption of both green tea and foods rich in lycopene resulted in a synergistic protective effect, stronger than the protection afforded by either, the researchers also noted.

Practical Tips:

  • Take a quart of iced green tea to work and sip throughout the day or take it to the gym to provide prostate protection while replenishing fluids after your workout.
  • Start your breakfast with a half grapefruit or a glass of papaya or guava juice.
  • For a great summer thirst-quencher, blend chunks of watermelon with a few ice cubes and a splash of lime juice. Serve with a fresh mint leaf.
  • Serve cooling watermelon chunks as a side dish to balance the flavor of spicy black beans or other fiery Mexican dishes.