Vegetables F – K

 

© Rolf Krahl/ wikipedia.org

Fennel

Fennel has many powerful antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Fennel is most known for its seed and not so much its bulb (see Fennel Seed). However, the bulb (and seeds) has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. Also, in Mediterranean countries like Greece fennel, along with other dark leafy green vegetables, are common in their diets and this may be why there are little if any reports of Alzheimer’s disease in these countries.1,2

Fennell may also be effective at helping to relieve general aches and pains in the body and has been shown in animal studies to help fight off prostate cancer tumors. It’s also a flavor enhancer used in licorice and liquors and can easily be mistaken as Anise.2,3

  1. Mohamad R, El-Bastawesy A, El-Merzabani M, et al. Antioxidant and anticarcinogenic effects of methanolic extract and volatile oil of fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare). Journal Of Medicinal Food [serial online]. September 2011;14(9):986-1001.
  2. The Dr. Oz Show
  3. Modaress Nejad V, Asadipour M. Comparison of the effectiveness of fennel and mefenamic acid on pain intensity in dysmenorrhoea. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal = La Revue De Santé De La Méditerranée Orientale = Al-Majallah Al-Ṣiḥḥīyah Li-Sharq Al-Mutawassiṭ [serial online]. May 2006;12(3-4):423-427.

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Garlic

Garlic ★★

Garlic helps the body absorb more iron and zinc from grains. Garlic, along with a diet rich in fruits and low in processed foods, meat and milk, may help reduce the risk of gastric cancer. 1,2 There is no unanimous consensus however that garlic alone can help significantly reduce the risk for cancer, yet, it has compounds that have been shown in lab studies (in vitro) to kill cancer cells. 5,6

Garlic contains allicin, which acts as a blood thinner and relaxes the arteries. This makes it an effective treatment for erectile dysfunction. Garlic may also help prevent atherosclerosis and therefore help lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol levels, and the risks of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.3,4

                  Garlic is also a very effective defender of the body since it contains very strong antioxidants that protect and repair cell damage as well as prevent DNA from being damaged.4

                  Garlic is also a great anti microbial food, meaning it can help fight of infections and viruses like the cold or flu. It has been shown to kill off harmful bacteria like salmonella, e-coli, staph, MRSA, other food pathogens like B. cereus, B. subtilis and Aspergillus molds.  Fungal molds like Candida, and common but potentially deadly bacteria like Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae. For those with weakened immune systems, garlic would be a very good addition to the diet. 6

                  What’s great about Garlic is that it is a very good prebiotic. Prebiotics are foods that contain an ingredient that can increase the number or activity of the good bacteria in your gut. When the garlic is roasted, it may actually increase its prebiotic effect.

 

© Foodista/ commons.wikimedia.org

Black Garlic ★★

Black garlic is garlic that has been fermented (roasted) at a high temperature. It can help repair skin that has been damaged by the wear and tear of aging.  It contains twice as many antioxidants as regular garlic and it can be eaten raw.7

 

Here are a few other uses for garlic obtained from Doctoroz.com

Achy joints

For relief from achy joints, go for either a spoonful of honey with crushed garlic or a glass of warm milk with turmeric. Garlic, honey, milk and turmeric all have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ear pain/Infections

Herbalists recommend olive oil and garlic drops to shorten duration and reduce the pain of ear infections. Garlic has potential to prevent or destroy pathogens, so this is a successful treatment option.  Drop a few drops of an olive oil garlic mix into each ear and keep a cotton ball in the ear for a few minutes. After, rinse out gently with warm water or take a shower.

  1. Gautam S, Platel K, Srinivasan K. Higher bioaccessibility of iron and zinc from food grains in the presence of garlic and onion. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. July 28, 2010;58(14):8426-8429.
  2. Lazarevic K, Nagorni A, Rancic N, Milutinovic S, Stosic L, Ilijev I. Dietary factors and gastric cancer risk: hospital-based case control study. Journal Of B.U.ON.: Official Journal Of The Balkan Union Of Oncology [serial online]. January 2010;15(1):89-93.
  3. Siu D. A new way of targeting to treat coronary artery disease. Journal Of Cardiovascular Medicine (Hagerstown, Md.) [serial online]. January 2010;11(1):1-6.
  4. Butt M, Sultan M, Butt M, Iqbal J. Garlic: nature’s protection against physiological threats. Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition [serial online]. June 2009;49(6):538-551.
  5. Kim J, Kwon O. Garlic intake and cancer risk: an analysis using the Food and Drug Administration’s evidence-based review system for the scientific evaluation of health claims. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition [serial online]. January 2009;89(1):257-264.
  6. Roy J. Lai PK. Antimicrobial and chemopreventive properties of herbs and spices. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 2004, 11;(11) 1451-1460
  7. The Dr. Oz Show

 

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Ginger ★★★

Ginger has had a long history of medicinal use for the treatment of common colds, fever, rheumatoid arthritis and any other inflammatory diseases, digestive and gastrointestinal problems, motion sickness, diabetes and cancer.

In India, Ginger is a universal medicine. They use it to cure the above diseases as well as many upper respiratory diseases and to strengthen the heart. To help with joint pain it is ground up into a paste and placed on the joints and it’s also used in the same way for headaches and migraines.

In a study done on rats, Ginger helped their muscle cells absorb glucose, lowering their blood glucose levels.

As a digestive aid a little bit can be eaten to help for stomachaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and motion sickness. It can also help with morning sickness and hangovers as well.

Ginger is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory foods out there (It’s cousin Turmeric is the other). If you suffer from chronic inflammation, Ginger or Turmeric is perfect for you. These foods help fight off and prevent digestive disorders, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancers. All of these conditions are linked to chronic inflammation as one of their sources. By targeting the root cause of diseases like these, you can end up knocking out several birds with one stone.

Another benefit of Ginger is that it’s also a very strong antibacterial and antiviral food. This combination makes it a very good medicine for upper respiratory infections like colds, the flu and sinus infections when its taken as a tea or inhaling the steam from ginger in boiling water.

As a cancer fighter Ginger is very good at keeping down inflammation, which is how many cancers start off. Plus, Ginger can help relieve the some of the side effects you may get from chemotherapy.

Ginger (like Garlic and Cinnamon) is also a natural blood thinner. This is one of Ginger’s most important qualities. This can help reduce your risk of having strokes and heart attacks especially as you get older. Your risk increases with age because red blood cells tend to start clumping together as you get older, increasing the risk of clotting in your arteries and veins. It lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and helps prevent and also fight off atherosclerosis.

Since Ginger lowers your blood pressure, it can help increase arousal in men and women and also help men who are suffering with erectile dysfunction.

To get the most out of Ginger you only need about a quarter of an inch piece per day. If the taste is too strong chop it up into small pieces and add it to your tea. The dried form of Ginger is more concentrated than the normal Ginger root so use only a ¼ teaspoon of the powder. Women who are pregnant should steer clear of the powder form but the root form is safe up to 1 gram per day.

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© Anna reg/ wikipedia.org

Horse Radish ★

Like Garlic, it is an effective antimicrobial that fights off infections, cold and flu and food pathogens like listeria, e-coli and staph bacterias. Horseradish contains choagogue, which can help detox the blood and increases the amount of bile released from the gallbladder. Bile is vital for digesting and absorbing oils and fats and secreting out cholesterol from the body. Horseradish can also open up clogged sinuses when its odor is sniffed and it may help get rid of sinusitis.

  1. http://www.sharecare.com/question/health-benefits-of-horseradish
  2. http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/best-herbs-women-over-40

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© Eric in SF/ wikipedia.org

Jicama

Jicama is an excellent source of vitamin C and it can help fight off crow’s feet by increasing the amount of collagen your body produces. This also helps to eliminate wrinkles. You can eat it raw or cooked.1

It’s a great weight loss food because it’s low in carbs, low in calories, and high in fiber. It has about 6 grams of fiber per cup, which is about a quarter of the recommended daily fiber intake. It also has about 40% of your daily vitamin C in 1 cup as well.

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Kale

Kale ★★

Like Tomatoes, heating up Kale actually brings out more of its healthy antioxidants. Eating it regularly can help lower the risks for cardiovascular disease and cancer.Kale juice can help you lower your cholesterol levels.2   Kale contains a very high level of antioxidants, perhaps one of the highest levels of all vegetables. It also contains a very powerful antioxidant called Kaempferol, which has been shown to lower the risk for ovarian cancer by up to 40% depending on how much kaempferol rich foods you are eating.3 In this case, eating the kale raw or lightly steamed/heated would be better since higher temperatures can denature kaempferol.  

Kale is also high in vitamins C, E, fiber. It has nearly 700% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin K, 130% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, and 200% of your Vitamin A. What’s great is you can get all of this from 1 cup of chopped Kale.

Kale also has a pair of very powerful compounds. The first is an antioxidant and carotene called lutein, which is also found in eggs. The second is called Glutamine, a powerful antioxidant.4

What makes Kale so special is that its very easy to grow in your backyard or garden almost all year round and because its so rich in healthy compounds it is also a very very strong anti inflammatory food so it can help with inflammatory conditions like arthritis.

One way to cook Kale is to put it in a pan chopped up with a little Olive Oil, Garlic and Salt. It is delicious and kids will love it too.

  1. Kahlon T, Chiu M, Chapman M. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage. Nutrition Research (New York, N.Y.) [serial online]. June 2008;28(6):351-357.
  2. Kim S, Yoon S, Kwon S, Park K, Lee-Kim Y. Kale juice improves coronary artery disease risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men. Biomedical And Environmental Sciences: BES [serial online]. April 2008;21(2):91-97.
  3. The Dr. Oz Show
  4. Kural B, Küçük N, Yücesan F, Orem A. Effects of kale (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala DC) leaves extracts on the susceptibility of very low and low density lipoproteins to oxidation. Indian Journal Of Biochemistry & Biophysics [serial online]. October 2011;48(5):361-364.
  5. Kurilich A, Tsau G, Brown A, et al. Carotene, tocopherol, and ascorbate contents in subspecies   of Brassica oleracea. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. April 1999;47(4):1576-1581.

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© Fastily/ wikipedia.org

Kelp

Kelp contains vitamins C and E, which protect fats in the skin’s moisture barrier from free-radical damage and it’s also a great source of Iodine and magneseum. It may be the best natural source of Iodine in the world.

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© Nagyman/ wikipedia

Kimchi (Gimchi, Kimchee) ★

Kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish from Korea. The bacteria that comes out of the fermentation fights off bad bacteria in the gut and stomach and also helps with digestion.1 What’s even better is that Kimchi can help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. It also helps to move serotonin, a hormone that regulates your mood, from your gut to the brain. Most of the serotonin in your body is produced in your gut so foods that help move this hormone on may help keep your stress levels down. One study shows that Kimchi may help decrease fasting insulin levels, which means it may play a part in keeping your blood pressure lower. Fermented Kimchi may be more beneficial in this respect vs unfermented Kimchi.2

Kimchi can also help you cope with anxiety. It helps release GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric acid) in the brain. GABA calms the brain down by blocking neurons from firing so it works basically like an off switch. A 1/2 cup daily is enough to start seeing this effect. On top of that, it also helps boost your metabolism.3

Eating about 4-5 tablespoons of Kimchi regularly should help improve your mood and your digestion.

 

  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Kim E, An S, Lee K, et al. Fermented kimchi reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients. Nutrition Research (New York, N.Y.) [serial online]. June 2011;31(6):436-443.
  3. The Dr. Oz Show

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