Thursday, July 19, 2007
Posted by Meeta K. Wolff
Onions, Garlic, Chives, Leeks, Shallots and Scallions
If açaí is the most exotic food on this list, the Allium family of foods is perhaps the most humble. The Chinese refer to the Alliums-garlic, onions, leeks, shallots, scallions, and chives-as “jewels among vegetables”, and prize them for their health-giving properties and for their sharp taste and smell.
Garlic, onions, leeks and chives contain flavonoids that stimulate the production of glutathione (the tripeptide that is the liver's most potent antioxidant). Glutathione enhances elimination of toxins and carcinogens, putting the Allium family of vegetables at the top of the list for foods that can help prevent cancer.
Here are just a few benefits from members of this family.
For optimum effect, eat garlic raw. Cooking can destroy some of the allicin compound, which is the active constituent. Dehydrated garlic flakes, garlic powder, garlic extract, garlic juice are all convenient products, they're a poor flavor substitute for the less expensive, readily available and easy-to-store fresh garlic. So always go for fresh garlic.
Help prevent colds
Have antibacterial and antifungal properties
Onions contain two powerful antioxidants, sulphur and quercetin—both help neutralize the free radicals in the body, and protect the membranes of the body's cells from damage.
Leeks have all of the healthy properties of the Allium family as described above. However leeks also contain these nutrients:
This particular combination of nutrients makes leeks particularly helpful in stabilizing blood sugar, since they not only slow the absorption of sugars from the intestinal tract, but help ensure that they are properly metabolized in the body. Remember, the stabilization of blood sugar is one of the most important goals of the Perricone Promise. Spikes in blood sugar accelerate aging, wrinkles and a host of degenerative diseases.
We all know that onions and garlic are important for imparting delicious flavor to a meal. However, when we include leeks, we raise the flavor of the meal from delicious to "sublime."
(Source: Dr. Perricone’s 10 superfoods)
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This Post was contributed by Pintoo from Zaayka