Carrots for Bone Health, Sage for Memory, and More…

July 5, 2018

By Anna Varriano

In this month’s video, I’m taking you on a nutritional tour of my veggie garden, sharing one or two interesting health benefits associated with each veggie and herb growing in it. For your convenience, I’ve summarized the information in a list below the video, and provided links to some of my recipes that use the veggie or herb mentioned. I don’t have any specific references cited because I’ve come across this information from decades of reading!

If you don’t have a veggie garden (no time, no space, not interested) I encourage you to try growing something in a pot on your deck or balcony (tomatoes and/or herbs would work), and/or supporting local farmers by shopping at area markets and stores that carry locally grown/produced foods and eating at food-to-table restaurants/restaurants that purchase from local farmers. Here a couple of links with lots of info on where and how to support local farmers:

Just Food

Ottawa Start

Take control of what you can!

Video Summary

  • Cilantro – mercury/heavy metal detox; regulating blood sugar. So yummy in guacamole!
  • Sage – supports memory … as does the omega-3 found in salmon. My Pancetta and Sage Wrapped Salmon combines both!
  • Parsley – general detox. Grilled or Roasted Veggies on Quinoa Tabouleh is a great dish to bring to a summer gathering – and a great way to use parsley!
  • Basil – antibacterial (also supports digestion!). I love using basil to make pesto. Here’s my pesto recipe!
  • Tomatoes – high in lycopene which supports prostate health. The lycopene content of tomatoes is generally higher when they’re cooked – and absorbed better when consumed with a healthy fat/oil, such as extra virgin olive oil. Fresh Herb & Garlic Topped Grilled Tomatoes are a perfect addition to any BBQ meal – and combine the health benefits of tomatoes with those of herbs, garlic, and olive oil!
  • Zucchini – high in water and fibre. Try out these zucchini recipes: Delicious Stuffed Zucchini and Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles).
  • Cucumbers – high in water. My Tzatziki recipe is one of my favourite ways to use cucumber. Use it as a a veggie dip, salad topping, or as a condiment with grilled chicken/chicken souvlaki.
  • Beets – cleanse/detox; plant-based source of iron. Check out my video: How to Cook Beets Without Making a Mess
  • Carrots – high in beta-carotene which is a strong antioxidant and a precursor to Vitamin A. Carrots have recently been associated with bone health. I love using carrots to make my Carrot Ginger Soup.
  • Lettuce – high in water and fibre; remember variety is important!
  • Leek, onions, garlic – support cardiovascular health. My Leek and Cauliflower Soup is delicious and you can make it look very fancy by decorating it with a beet puree and fresh herbs.
  • Bell peppers (ripe/red) – Vitamin C and bioflavanoids for strengthening blood vessel walls. Watch my video Boosting the Benefits of Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids to find out if you’re throwing away a nutrient-loaded part of peppers!
  • Kale – lutein for eye health. Kale is a great addition to this Green Smoothie!
  • Swiss Chard – a great source of minerals, including some that many of us are deficient in (magnesium, iron, calcium). Love it in this Frittata with Swiss chard, onions, mushrooms, and goat cheese
  • Green peas – new research suggests a compound in green peas may decrease the risk of stomach cancer. Pea shoots are delicious and even more nutrient-loaded. You can grow them indoors at any time of year. Watch my video Growing Your Own Pea Shoots is Easy Peas-y! and start growing your own! Yummy addition to salads!
  • Green beans – good source of silicon which is an important mineral in bone, skin, hair, and nail health. If you have string beans in your garden and you’re picking them faster than you can eat them, why not freeze them? It’s easy!
  • Rosemary – supports circulation. Fresh herbs, such as rosemary, are a yummy addition to marinades.



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