Are Dried Vegetables Healthy?
The past two days, we’ve looked at some of the dried fruits, herbs and spices scientifically shown to maximize the health benefits of a plant-based diet. That leaves dried vegetables — and once again, we turned to the findings of NutritionFacts’ stellar research team.
Dried Root Vegetables
How effective is ordinary garlic powder as fighting heart disease?
Enough so that heart disease patients taking a 400-mg garlic powder tablet twice daily for three months saw a 50-percent improvement in their arterial function!
Compare that, as Dr. Michael Greger does in this video, to a far pricier Kyolic garlic-based supplement:
“If regular, plain, boring garlic powder can do that, what about those fancy Kyolic aged garlic extract supplements? Thirty times more expensive, and they don’t work at all! Four weeks and zero significant improvement.”
Bonus points: “Dozens of studies on garlic, all compiled together, show garlic can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by more than 16 points.”
Just 1/8 teaspoon of powdered ginger proved as effective in relieving migraines as a dose of the prescription drug Imitrex — with none of the unpleasant side effects and at a miniscule fraction of the cost.
One-half teaspoon of powdered ginger per day has been shown to safely eliminate morning sickness in during pregnancy.
Taken in a ¼- to ½ teaspoon daily dose, ground ginger relives osteoarthritis pain as well as ibuprofen, without any risk of intestinal damage. In fact, it actually protects the stomach lining from ulcers.
Diabetics taking 1.5 teaspoons of ginger powder daily for eight weeks saw a “significant decrease in fasting blood sugars and long-term blood sugar control.”
In this animated video summary of his best-selling book How Not to Diet, Dr. Greger says he includes ¼ teaspoon of ground dried turmeric in the Daily Dozen foods he tries to eat every day. Why?
For the same reason NutrititionFacts.org offers 57 videos and 80 blogs devoted (at least in part) to turmeric’s potential and proven health benefits. It’s simply too good to pass up!
Dried Cruciferous Vegetables
Eat a typical SAD meal of chicken, eggs and white rice, Dr. Greger cautions, and you’ll shortly experience a noticeable blood sugar spike. But sprinkle a tablespoon of dried kale powder over the food, and the spike will be much less dramatic.
Mustard seeds might not qualify as vegetables until the sprout, but when ground into powder the do amazing things for the disease-fighting properties of broccoli. Why?
As cruciferous veggies, both mustard greens and broccoli are loaded with cancer-fighting sulforaphane. But cooking destroys the myrosinase enzyme that releases it.
Mustard seeds, however, also contain myrosinase. And, in Dr. Greger’s words:
“… it has been found that if just a half teaspoon of mustard powder …added on top of cooked broccoli [causes] a significant increase the main active ingredient – sulforaphane.”
The researchers in this study tested a broad-brush approach to slowing prostate cancer progression. The subjects, men with early or advanced-stage disease rotate cancer, took a capsule containing tiny amounts of broccoli, turmeric, green tea and pomegranate powders daily for six months.
Those in the early stage group saw no rise in their PSA level indicating the disease was spreading. In those who had already undergone surgery and/or radiation, the cancer’s progression slowed enough for them to “significantly delay some of the more toxic treatment [chemo].”
My takeaway from the past three days of research? When it comes to some awesome (and readily available) plant-based health benefits, the power’s in the powders!