Good Food/Good Health
Week of February 20, 2006
Don't Forget the Ginger
American Institute for Cancer Research
Fresh ginger, for example, contains a pungent substance called gingerol. And when ginger is dried and stored, another substance, zingerone, is formed. Both substances are believed to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and, therefore, may be cancer-protective.
In addition to cancer and other chronic diseases, ginger has been used to treat nausea, motion sickness and other digestive ailments. Some people chew on candied ginger, while others take ginger capsules or drink a tea made from hot water steeped with candied ginger or a few slices of fresh ginger root.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) promotes a largely plant-based diet which includes herbs and spices as the most healthful way to eat. This diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, has both short- and long-term benefits. It can often help with weight management as well as offer protection from chronic diseases like cancer.
The AICR rule of thumb is two-thirds (or more) of a plate filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and/or beans, and one-third (or less) animal protein.
A largely plant-based diet does not have to be dull or tasteless. Fresh herbs and spices are one way to enliven flavor while adding more health-protective substances.
These gingered carrots are a pretty, nutritious side dish that complements most entrées.
Gingered Carrots In a medium bowl, combine raisins and just enough hot water to cover them. Let stand about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel and slice carrots diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place in a medium pot of boiling water, add ginger and lemon juice. Cook 6 to 7 minutes. Drain.
Drain raisins, reserving 3/4 cup liquid, and set aside. In a skillet, melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook 30 seconds.
In a separate bowl, mix together reserved raisin water and cornstarch. Add to butter/brown sugar mixture. Cook about 1 minute, or until thickened. Add raisins and carrots and cook 1 minute. Add lemon zest and salt, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 124 calories, 2 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 26 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. protein, 3 g. dietary fiber and 55 mg sodium.
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