Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sweet Potato! Stuffed with Sprouts, Nuts, Berries, & Cheese; Recipe and Helath Facts

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Sweet potatoes are a staple in our home, and after we happened upon this recipe in a Martha Stewart Living magazine, we devour them dressed up this way at least once a week!!

Dress up 1 baked sweet potato with:
  • Brussels sprouts (sauteed, roasted, or steamed; any way you like!)
  • Chopped nuts- we like pecans or walnuts best
  • Dried cranberries
  • Crumbled blue cheese

Why you want to put this in your body...
(Aside from the party in your mouth, of course)
  • Sweet Potatoes-  According to the book Eat and Heal, "Three of the toughest cancer fighters in the nutrient world- folate, vitamin C, and beta carotene (which turns into vitamin A)- are packed into a sweet potato.  One sweet potato gives you almost three times the recommended daily amount of vitamin A and almost half the amount of vitamin C...  Your body needs folate to build and repair its DNA, and if you don't get enough, experts believe you may increase your risk of certain types of cancer."  
  • Cranberries-  From Eat and Heal, "With powerful flavinoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, cranberries can protect you from urinary tract infections, heart disease and cancer.  They might even fight gum disease and cancer... prevents low-density lipoprotien (LDL) cholesterol, also called "bad" cholesterol, from becoming oxidized... A Canadian study suggests that cranberry juice might even prevent or treat breast cancer.  And a study from the University of Illinois indicates that cranberries contain certain compounds with anti-cancer properties."
  • Brussels Sprouts-  What's with the bad rap?? I love these little guys!  Brussels sprouts are filling because they are high in fiber, and packed with vitamins C, A and E- keeping free radicals in check.  From the website, "Brussel sprouts are storehouse of flavonoid anti-oxidants like thiocyanates, indoles, lutein, zeaxanthin, sulforaphane and isothiocyanates. Together these phytochemicals offers protection from prostate, colon, prostate and endometrial cancers... Brussel sprouts are incredibly nutritious vegetable that offers protection from vitamin A deficiency, bone loss, iron deficiency anaemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers." (Plus they're kinda cute.)
  • Pecans-  Nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants which is good for the body to lower LDL and help to prevent heart disease and strokes.  From the website, "Pecan nuts are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help body remove toxic oxygen free radicals and thus, protect body from diseases, cancers as well as infections... Anti-proliferative properties of ellagic acid are due to its ability to directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens such as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, thus protecting body from cancers... The nuts are also rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium."
  • Blue Cheese- The creamy tang that the cheese adds to this recipe beguiles the senses and tastes more indulgent than it actually is.  Using the cheese sparingly, in order not to add too much fat, the cheese can be a good source of protein, calcium and potassium.

Eat and Heal, By the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing.  2001 

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