Now more than ever we all need a strong immune system. I’m highlighting some important foods that can help keep us all strong and healthy. Although healthy when eaten fresh, red peppers, carrots, and spinach provide even more nutrients when cooked. Below you will find some specific easy recipes that each incorporate at least one of these immune boosting foods.
I just read an eye-opening article saying it’s not the bad stuff we’re eating but the good stuff we are NOT eating that poses a bigger threat to our health. It’s from a 27-year global study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. One in five deaths, no matter where people lived, occurred because of too much sodium and a lack of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, calcium, fiber, legumes or beans, and healthy fats found in salmon, vegetable oils and some nuts and seeds. Hey! I eat a lot of that stuff!
This chart shows the 15 risk factors with #1 being the highest risk. In the USA it’s not enough whole grains followed by not enough nuts and seeds. I’m proud to say that a lot of my breads and cookies have those things.
Look what I found at the market today! Swiss chard is usually mostly green but today it was an explosion of vibrant color and you know what that means? Even more nutrients!
Designer shoes on sale or hot pink Swiss chard – guess which one gets me excited? I was so excited I rushed home to make my spaghetti with chard for dinner. It’s my favorite pasta side dish and I had it with salmon patties.
The chard is sauteed with some garlic and olive oil, add some Parmesan, stir in the spaghetti and it’s done. Ten minutes. Like all leafy greens, Swiss chard has many health benefits.
If you want to try my easy spaghetti with Swiss chard, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
The short answer is yes. Warm liquids, such as soup or tea do help relieve cold symptoms but chicken soup is a better choice. Here’s why:
A compound found in chicken soup (carnosine) helps the body’s immune system to fight the early stages of a cold or flu.
Soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce a cold’s miserable side effects.
The soup’s salt, steam and heat can also help thin mucus, making it easier to expel. The steam also soothes irritated passageways in your nose and throat.
Soups are also hydrating, which is particularly important when fighting off an infection. Staying hydrated is key to recovery and salty, chicken soup is packed with electrolytes that may help retain even more fluids than water or commercial electrolyte drinks.
Warm soup or other liquids can help open up sinuses, relieving congestion and shortening the time the virus is in contact with the lining of your nose. The faster you can move the mucus through you nose, the better.
Make chicken-noodle or chicken-rice soup or just sip it as a healing broth. If you would like my recipe for healthy, homemade chicken soup click here. – Jenny Jones
Did you eat too much turkey? Is that second piece of pumpkin pie still haunting you? Have some crudite.
Most of us probably didn’t eat enough vegetables over Thanksgiving weekend. Green bean casserole is mostly casserole and not a lot of beans. And aren’t candied yams really a dessert? Thanksgiving dinner is a great tradition and I enjoyed mine just like everyone else, as well as the leftovers but there’s a big container of fresh vegetables in my fridge right now. I always keep crudite on hand but I made extra today.
Vegetables are our lifeline to good health and when you have colorful veggies ready as a snack, you’re doing a lot of good for your long term health. I mix the colors because each color has its own health benefit: yellow & orange for eyes and lungs, red for memory and immunity, green for bones and teeth, purple & blue for aging and blood pressure and that’s just naming a few. Eating a variety of colored vegetables will provide a variety of different antioxidants that can help keep us well.
Eating vegetables every day, both fresh and cooked, is like an insurance policy for your health. And fresh crudite is not only appealing to look at, it’s delicious. Keep and container of fresh veggies in your fridge and see how fast they disappear! – Jenny Jones
I saw this in USA Today and thought it was worth sharing. Here are five foods they say are known to cause cancer: 1. Processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, ham, and sausages. Limit your intake. 2. Highly salted foods like pickles. A high intake is linked to stomach cancer. Less is better than more. 3. Alcohol. It can raise your risk of mouth, colorectal & breast cancer. Limit intake to one drink a day for women, two for men. 4. Charred meat. High heat + meat = DNA-damaging compounds. Cook at lower temperatures and flip meat frequently to avoid charring. 5. Scalding hot beverages. Routinely drinking very hot tea, coffee, or soup is linked to a greater risk of esophageal cancer.
Every single ingredient in this healthy cancer-fighting soup is there for a reason. These are the vegetables that researchers believe contain powerful anti cancer compounds. So I put them all into one delicious, nutritious, easy to make soup. And when you make it with homemade chicken stock, you increase the health-promoting properties even more. Here’s what’s in it and why:
Broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower – These are cruciferous vegetables, the most widely recommended food group to eat to protect against cancer.
Carrots – Orange colored vegetables are believed to help against many types of cancer.
Kale – Dark greens like kale and spinach are key to cancer and disease protection. If you use spinach, stir it in just at the end when the soup is done.
Tomato – Red tomatoes are a must for anyone concerned about prostate cancer. They are a good source of lycopene, especially prepared and canned tomatoes (even ketchup and tomato sauce or paste) but they need a little fat to be absorbed, so that’s why you must include the olive oil. I use canned tomatoes because canned are a better source of lycopene than fresh.
Garlic & Onion – They both have strong anti-inflammatory properties and it’s believed they can help slow down the growth of cancer cells.
So if you are looking to protect your health in the future or trying to prevent a recurrence of cancer, research tells us that eating these vegetables can help. Or if you just want to be as healthy as possible, you will love this quick and easy homemade vegetable soup. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
If you know anyone recovering from an injury or surgery, make them soup using these vegetables: carrot, potato, sweet potato, red pepper, broccoli, spinach and add some lima beans. By researching, I learned that there are certain nutrients that can help heal the body from an injury, a wound, or surgery. The most essential are vitamins A, C, and E along with zinc, calcium, potassium, and protein. So I created this recipe using ingredients highest in these nutrients for a powerful healing soup. It’s also a delicious vegetable soup and any vegetable soup will have health benefits, but using these specific ingredients provide the best concentrate of what is needed by the body to heal.
I make this soup using my own homemade chicken broth. Chicken broth has its own health benefits and it’s the best liquid to use. Vegetable broth is also a good choice but even if you use plain water, all the wound healing benefits will still be there. If someone is not able to eat due to a closed jaw or dental surgery, this soup can be pureed to drink, or pureed and thinned to drink with a straw.
One more food with excellent healing enzymes is fresh pineapple (not canned – only fresh has enzymes). So the most beneficial meal to help recover would be a big bowl of wound healing soup with some fresh pineapple for dessert.
By the way, even if you’re not trying to heal, this is an incredibly healthy vegetable soup full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to use my chicken soup as a base, click here for the recipe. You can make the stock the day before and after it’s refrigerated, remove the fat from the top and proceed with this vegetable soup. Once you have the stock, my wound healing vegetable soup takes just 30 minutes to make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
A new study was just published by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) listing the top 41 nutrient-dense “super foods” scored by their content of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and other nutrients, all considered important to our health. Guess what’s number one? Watercress! Who knew? I’m not surprised that the top 16 foods are greens. Here’s the list:
Sounds like a good time to make my delicious Spaghetti with Chard. Click here for the recipe.
What? Eat more cheese? And meat? It’s not a joke. In case you missed the latest news about saturated fat and heart disease, it’s about to challenge all your nutritional beliefs. After decades of being told that saturated fat causes heart disease, now experts are saying it’s not so. The new findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and included 72 studies in 18 countries involving over 600,000 people. There is no connection, they say, between eating saturated fats like the ones found in meat and dairy products, and heart disease. And that’s not all.
They also found no evidence of benefits from other kinds of fats like canola and olive oil. Trans fats, however, were still linked with a higher risk of heart disease. Even more surprising is that a type of saturated fat in milk and dairy products actually reduced the risk of heart disease! The biggest threats now? Sugar and excessive carbs.
Even Dr. Andrew Weil says his thinking on saturated fat has evolved. He writes, “Given the results of these studies, I no longer recommend choosing low-fat dairy products. I believe the healthier choice is high-quality, organic dairy foods in moderation. My personal choice would be high-quality, natural cheese a few times a week. I don’t advise eating saturated fat with abandon, because the foods that are full of it (salty bacon, conventionally raised beef, processed cheese) are often not the best for our health. Try to limit it to about ten percent of daily calories. You may choose to use your “budget” of saturated fat calories on ice cream, butter or high-quality natural cheese, or even an occasional steak (from organic, grass-fed, grass-finished cattle, please).
I still recommended skinless chicken and turkey because poultry fat (concentrated just beneath the skin) contains arachidonic acid, which promotes inflammation. I also still recommend strictly avoiding foods that contain chemically altered fats (such as hydrogenated vegetable oils found in many prepared foods), as these do appear to raise cardiovascular disease risk. Continue to emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and limit sweeteners and other high-glycemic-load carbs.”
Wow! I need time to absorb this. For decades the accepted wisdom has been just the opposite and I’ve spent my adult life avoiding saturated fat, eating the leanest of beef and always reduced-fat cheese. And even then, it was in moderation. My cholesterol has always been elevated but I assumed it was hereditary. Now I don’t know what to think. I don’t even think full fat cheese would taste good! And I like cookies. Should I bake them with butter? Should I stop baking cookies entirely? I need time to figure things out.