by PSU Editor 0 comments
Have you noticed how Gardening has gained a big resurgence? Known for it’s anti-stress benefits and meditational qualities, growing your own power-foods have become the latest re-discovered natural therapy. Cleverly coined Green Therapy we are witnessing Healing parks, therapeutic gardens and community patches springing up everywhere, as fast as they can grow. From Ivanka Trump (yes!) to Oprah, the world is moving back towards homegrown. source There’s no doubt that eating locally grown fruit and vegetables – garden-to-table style is much healthier from a nutritious point of view as well as for the environment. Produce such as broccoli, green beans, kale, red peppers, tomatoes, apricots and peaches are susceptible to nutrient loss when harvested and transported from longer distances, while fresh foods tend to have a higher nutrient value, if grown and harvested locally and given more time to ripen. As we head into the cooler months, here are some tasty, seasonal vegetables that belong to the ‘power-food’ category; they don’t require a horticultural degree to nurture and the added Green Therapy will provide extra health benefits.
EggplantCram-packed with vitamins and minerals, eggplants are rich sources of phenolic compounds that function as antioxidants. Generally, plants use these compounds to protect themselves against oxidative stress from the elements, as well as from infection by bacteria and fungi. The eggplant contains a particular phenolic compound, which is one of the most potent free radical scavengers providing anti-mutagenic benefits (anti-cancer), anti-microbial, anti-LDL (bad cholesterol) and anti-viral activities.
Tip: Add roasted eggplant slices to pizza, pasta and salads
ParsnipOne of the greatest attributes of the humble parsnip is its ability to suppress the release of ghrelin, which is a “hunger” hormone. This makes it the perfect snack if you’re looking to lose weight. Parsnips also contain substantial amounts of soluble fibre – which has been associated with assisting with digestive disorders, reducing cholesterol and lowering the chance for developing diabetes. If heart health is of concern, the high levels of potassium and folate make the parsnip one of the most effective vegetables in promoting a healthy cardiovascular system, helping to reduce blood pressure and stress on the heart.
Tip: Roast sliced parsnips and toss with a little sea salt, for snacking
LeekLeeks belong to the Allium family along with garlic and onions all possessing disease-fighting properties known long before it was possible to identify their exact antibacterial properties. Today leeks are recognised as a source of Allicin - a antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal compound which helps in the prevention of clotting in the blood vessels, thus, decreasing the overall risk of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular diseases, and stroke. In addition, leeks are known to ward off antibiotic-resistant superbugs, with this compound that may also neutralise dangerous free radicals faster than any other known compound. It’s a good idea to eat plenty of leeks if you’re pregnant or trying to fall pregnant, since the perfect concentration of Folic acid in leeks is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division and can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies.
Tip: Add lightly sautéed sliced baby leeks to mashed potato for added taste and a nutritious punch.