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The Powerful Potential of Pink Grapefruit

By Ann C Wooledge
on August 31, 2012

The Powerful Potential of Pink Grapefruit

 

CITRUS PARADISI (PINK GRAPEFRUIT) ESSENTIAL OIL:

I’m talking about the pure essential oil, undiluted and unadulterated. This particular essential oil has many well proven beneficial and healing properties not the least of which includes animal and human studies showing its potential to prevent several types of cancer. In this article I present some of the most compelling research available including well-controlled studies as well as anecdotal evidence and information from some of the more reliable aromatherapy texts on the market. I purposefully avoided reading or considering information listed on the various aromatherapy websites. Some of them have very good, accurate and researched information. However, many of them are simply copied and pasted from either aromatherapy texts or other websites throughout the Internet, which simply leads to confusion and contradiction.

Citrus paradisi is known to be native to Asia and the West Indies however there are many different cultivars being developed and grown in other countries including the USA and Israel. From the information I read, the grapefruit is a recent hybrid. The essential oil is obtained from the cold-pressed peel.

WHY USE THE ESSENTIAL OIL?:

Kurt Schnaubelt, a well-known authority and author on the practice of aromatherapy and the use of pure essential oils said in a brochure for a 2009 conference in San Francisco: "The idea of dominating nature with chemicals and drugs is losing some of its luster. In aromatherapy this is reflected by an increase in research and empirical knowledge about essential oils in the context of serious disease. It is also reflected in conventional medicine. As pharmacology has been reduced to an adjunct of the corporate profit motive; biology is moving center stage."

The therapeutic value of an individual essential oil is related to its composition, which represents a complex make-up of many chemical components each with different biological activities. These varied compositions show wide variations that depend on their source. However, that being said, much of the research available to us today is being done with isolated components of individual essential oils. The influence of trace components on the therapeutic effect of essential oils has not been studied sufficiently. It is believed that these minor components probably contribute significantly to not just the odor of the oil but to the combined synergistic effect of all the components in order to appreciate the full healing potential of any given oil. In fact, grapefruit oil supposedly receives its olfactory character almost entirely from its minor components. I’ll first give you a short overview of what the popular aromatherapy texts say, and then I will delineate some of the current research available concerning this essential oil and/or constituent.

AROMATHERAPY BOOKS:

Out of all the texts most of them agree that grapefruit essential oil has the following benefits and properties:

Cleansing, detoxifying, energizing, uplifting, stimulates the lymphatic system, increases circulation, stimulates liver and gallbladder function, mental stimulant, antidepressant, useful as a room deodorizer, antiseptic, antiviral, diuretic, anti-cellulite, astringent, immune stimulant, tones the skin and tissues. As with all pure essential oils, and unlike pharmaceutical drugs, one oil can provide many proven and non-related benefits. 

What I've chosen to do with this article is point out and give proof to some of the more compelling beneficial properties of this particular essential oil. To do this most of the research refers to the main chemical constituent (sometimes referred to as component) of this oil which is made up of over 90% d-limonene.

ESSENTIAL OIL RESEARCH STUDIES:

 1.  Skin penetration enhancer: In two separate studies that I found, d-limonene was found to affect the skin barrier in such a way that it was shown to enhance the transcutaneous penetration of other substances. This is useful information both for medical applications in skin patches and for cosmetic formulators such as myself (1, 2).

2.   Immune stimulant: This is a particularly exciting property of d-limonene and has been proven in both animal and human studies.  Animal studies have shown that this happens in various ways. The immune system is complex. White blood cells are soldiers and defend our bodies against infectious disease and foreign materials. They are found in the blood, in the lymphatic system as well as other body systems. White blood cells are divided into five types and each type has its own particular assignment with each one often assisting the other. For instance, while in nursing school the characteristic of the macrophage that performs what is referred to as phagocytosis reminded me of Pac-Man and that's how I remembered its purpose and method of operation. If you remember Pac-Man then you'll understand what I mean. The reason I go into these details is to give you a better understanding of why d-limonene is of great importance in enhancing your immune system and increasing your ability to resist and fight bacteria, fungus, viruses and even cancer. In the many studies that I found it has been shown that d-limonene can increase white blood cell count, increase natural killer cell activity, increase the number and activity of macrophages and stimulate antibody production (3, 4, 5). Not directly related to its immune enhancing properties, pink grapefruit oil has been shown also to reduce stress which would also enhance immune function. And finally d-limonene has been used successfully in randomized clinical trials in a combination with other constituents that proved to produce better results than antibiotics and all treatments were more effective than placebo for acute bronchitis (6).

3.   Lipolysis and/or weight reduction: Probably one of the most talked about and misunderstood benefits of this component regard its ability to cause decreased appetite and weight loss. The major study that looked at these properties was actually related to olfactory stimulation (the inhaled essence of grapefruit oil) rather than internal intake. There are many websites on the Internet now that are copied and pasted endlessly from one to the other that refer back to a particular multilevel marketing product where one is encouraged to take "eight drops to a glass of water and drink in between your meals during the day to help you manage hunger and overcome cravings." In actuality the main study that I found was done on chronic olfactory stimulation (inhaled); i.e., 15 minutes per day three days a week for six weeks which did in fact result in a "significant decrease in caloric intake and body weight" (7).

Currently, professional aromatherapy organizations do not allow their members to advocate the internal use of essential oils and their insurance does not cover this activity. Essential oils suggested for digestive issues can be applied to the abdomen in a carrier oil or lotion and massaged in a clockwise direction. The entire discussion concerning the oral use of essential oils is greatly debated but most everyone in the professional arena agrees this should not be done without guidance and direction from a professionally educated aromatherapist who has an in-depth understanding of the risks, benefits and pathophysiology.  And let me add, this is not accomplished in a 10-day course and should result in an internationally recognized certification.

A professional aromatherapist might suggest that this discussion, specifically concerning d-limonene, revolves around a well-known book written by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, translated from French and edited by Robert Tisserand. In this book, Gattefosse states that “taken internally terpenes (which would include d-limonene) dissolve mucus, damage the stomach lining, cause auto digestion, alterations and painful irritation.” However Robert Tisserand made an editorial comment in that book, page 142, and also replied on a LinkedIn aromatherapy group discussion that “indeed terpenes are very useful for dissolving mucus; however, they do not cause the problems that the author list here unless perhaps if taken in abnormally high doses.”  He goes on to state that “everything depends on concentration -- any essential oil used in flavoring will be very dilute and will not cause the G.I. tract irritation. Any essential oil -- of whatever composition -- should be properly dispersed before ingestion. It is inadvisable to ingest essential oils undiluted or in water." This of course only makes common sense since essential oils are lipophilic (not soluble in water) and would simply sit on top of a glass of water. One wonders why this is recommended for this particular company's blend.  Essential oil molecules are very small and regardless of how the oil is introduced, either by rubbing them into the skin or by inhalation, these routes are in many cases more effective than internal ingestion. According to a study done at the University of Nottingham's school of health, a consideration and caution concerning the ingestion of essential oils such as those containing d-limonene, since it is able to inhibit a broad spectrum of organisms, the d-limonene could also potentially cause an imbalance in beneficial gut microflora.

All of that being said, however, d-limonene has been shown in laboratory studies to increase the metabolism of adipose (fatty) tissue and more recently has been shown to be helpful in alleviating insulin resistance (8). It has also been proven in studies that d-limonene deposits and accumulates mostly in adipose tissue. This particular attribute is one of the reasons it is thought to be effective against breast cancer. See cancer discussion below.

4.   Anticancer/anti-tumoral:  One study shows clearly that rats with stable mammary tumors when given a 10% d-limonene diet had an 87% regression of tumors. It also showed those fed d-limonene have significantly increased survival time. In other animal studies d-limonene showed antitumoral action in cancers of the breast, liver, pancreas and stomach (9, 10, 11, 12). These results were believed to have been mainly due to the metabolites of d-limonene. On the assumption that d-limonene is a lipid soluble bioactive food component found in citrus peel, a study in the Tucson metropolitan area was done comparing citrus and black tea intake and its effects on non-melanoma skin cancer. The total combined citrus peel and black tea intake was associated with a 78% decreased risk. Black tea alone was associated with a 40% decreased risk but was not considered significant. However citrus peel intake was associated with a 70% decreased risk.  It was believed that this study gives evidence in humans that biologically active components exist in the peel of citrus that may have a protective effect against select cancers, and especially those cancers related to adipose (fatty) tissue such as skin and breast.

5.   Antifungal:  According to a study published in the Journal Food Chemistry the essential oils of lemon, mandarin, grapefruit and orange all exhibited antifungal activity and against common food molds. The researchers attributed this finding to the "monoterpene content of these essential oils", which would be d-limonene (13).

SAFETY & CAUTIONS:  Grapefruit essential oil due to its d-limonene content has a very high potential for oxidation when exposed to light, heat, moisture and air. If and when this should happen, the likelihood of skin irritation is also more likely. I recommend first of all purchasing only an organic essential oil and keeping it tightly closed in an amber or blue bottle and refrigerated. We refrigerate all of our citrus oils.  As are most other citrus oils that are cold-pressed (opposed to steam distilled), this oil is photo-sensitizing which means exposure to direct sunlight or a sunbed within the next 24 to 48 hours could result in severe burns or irritation. It is recommended to use this essential oil in dilutions of 1%. The regular cautions concerning medications and interactions with grapefruit juice would most likely apply to the use of the essential oil as well.

IN CONCLUSION: Athough there are many other studies available showing additional beneficial properties for this particular essential oil, due primarily to its high content of d-limonene, I have covered the ones that seem to have the greatest amount of recent research studies proving these properties. At some point I would like to go into more detail about the anticancer/antitumor possibilities of not just this essential oil but others as well. Another area of great interest is the use of pink grapefruit essential oil during pregnancy. Coming soon!

Thanks for listening!

 

REFERENCES:

  1.  Almirall M, et al (1996) Effect of d-limonene, α-pinene and cineole on the in vitro transdermal human skin penetration of chlorpromazine and haloperidol. Arzneimittel-Forschung 46:676-680
  2. McAdam B, Keimowitz RM, Maher M et al (1996) Transdermal modification of platelet function: an aspirin patch system results in marked suppression of platelet cyclooxygenase. Journal of Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics 277:559-564
  3. Del Toro-Arreola S, Flores-Torales E, Torres-Lozano (2005) Effect of d-limonene on immune response in BALB/c mice with lymphoma. International Immunopharmacology 5:829-838
  4. Hamada M, Uezu K, Matsushita J et al (2002) Distribution and immune responses resulting from oral administration of d-limonene in rats. Journal of Nutritional Science & Vitaminology (Tokyo) 48:155-160
  5. Manuele MG, Ferraro G, Anesini C (2008) Effect of Tilia x viridis flower extract on the proliferation of a lymphoma cell line and on normal murine lymphocytes: contribution of monoterpenes, especially limonene. Phytotherapy Research 22:1520-1526
  6. Matthys H, de Mey C, Carls C et al  (2000) Efficacy and tolerability of myrtol standardized in acute bronchitis. A multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group clinical trial vs. cefuroxime and ambroxol. Arzneimittelforschung 50:700-711
  7. Shen J, Niijima A, Tanida M et al (2005) Olfactory stimulation with scent of grapefruit oil affects autonomic nerves, lipolysis and appetite in rats. Neuroscience Letters 380:289-294
  8. Victor Antony Santiago J, Jayachitra J, Shenbagam M, Nalini N. (2012) Dietary d-limonene alleviates insulin resistance and oxidative stress-induced liver injury in high-fat diet and L-NAME-treated rats. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Feb;51(1):57-68
  9. Haag JD Lindstrom MJ, Gould MN (1992) Limonene-induced regression of mammary carcinomas. Cancer Research 52:4021-4026
  10. Lu XG, Zhan LB, Feng BA et al (2004) Inhibition of growth and metastasis of human gastric cancer implanted in nude mice by d-limonene. World Journal of Gastroenterology 10:2140-2144
  11. Nakaizumi A, Baba M, Uehara H et al (1997) d-Limonene inhibits N-nitrosobis(2-oxopropyl)amine induced hamster pancreatic carcinogenesis. Cancer Letters 117:99-103
  12. Uedo N, Tatsuta M, Iishi H et al (1999) Inhibition by d-limonene of gastric carcinogenesis induced by N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine in Wistar rats. Cancer Letters 137:131-136
  13. M.Viuda-Martos, Y.Ruiz-Navajas, J.Fernandez-Lopez, J. Perez-Alvarez (2007) Antifungal activity of lemon (Citrus lemon L.), mandarin (Citrus reticulate L.), grapefruit (Citrus paradise L.) and orange (Citrus sinensis L.) essential oils. Food Chemistry

Spring Vegetable Stew

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegetarian Entrees
on April 17, 2012

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew Recipe

Still putting the finishing touches on the blog about the extremely powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties of clove, both as an essential oil and a spice/herb. In the meantime, I came across this recipe and with AICR's permission I'm posting it for you. They are our information site for all things pertaining to cancer and nutrition. If you visit, take a minute to donate a little (or a lot) if you can. They are really making a difference in the world of cancer research and information. The original article is here.


Picture by permission from American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)


Satisfying Spring Stew

This hearty one-pot is full of cancer-fighting vegetables and flavorful herbs and spices. Best of all each serving weighs in at only 300 calories and 6 grams of fat, making it a great dish to help you maintain a healthy weight. Butternut squash and carrots contain cancer-fighting carotenoids while onions and garlic pack quercetin and allixin —compounds that show the ability to slow tumor growth in the lab. Serve with hearty brown rice or whole-wheat couscous for the perfect New American Plate meal.

 Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth (low-sodium chicken broth may be substituted for a non-vegetarian dish)
1/2 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground paprika
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom (or substitute 1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder for spices from chili powder through cardamom)
1 lb. (2 cups diced) small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup raisins
2 carrots, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/4" slices
1 (15-oz) can garbanzos, drained
1/4 cup pitted black olives, halved
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white or black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 cups cooked brown rice (whole-wheat couscous may be substituted)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion. Cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

While broth is simmering, combine spices in a mixing bowl then stir them into pot. Add butternut squash, raisins, carrots and garlic. Cover and continue simmering until vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Let me know if you try it!

 


 

Does black pepper cause cancer?!

By Ann C Wooledge
on August 16, 2011
3 comments

Updated February 28, 2014

What's interesting, to me at least, is that I had spent the better part of the day documenting how and why some of the chemical constituents in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) essential oil actually inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells. I usually check the internet last - and for a reason. It usually is full of contradictory information, lots of fluff and I particularly hate those "information-based" sites that have far more advertisements than anything resembling researched, evidence-based information. Most of them are just repeating what they've seen on other websites and/or some of the million aromatherapy books on the market place today. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of very good books on the subject of essential oils and aromatherapy. I use mine often and greatly appreciate the time and effort that must have gone into the research and information the authors have shared with us. We do have a list of "resources" where we list the books I have used over the years that are definitely well worth purchasing. I need to update that, but I don't recommend a book unless I have actually read it and feel that it's worth recommending.

 

I noticed, however, as I did a search for black pepper, I came up with quite a few sites telling me that black pepper (the spice) was in fact "pathogenic and carcinogenic." One website in particular also included in that category cayenne pepper, vinegar and garlic and "hundreds of other condiments that are likewise pathogenic and carcinogenic." Okay - I'm thinking whatever. I checked, however, and they are not the only websites out there stating the same thing! This one article was dated 1980, but this website had a current blog and frankly some other inaccuracies about some subjects that I am familiar with. Of course they are talking about the pepper berry itself that we all use as ground pepper along with our salt shakers, not the essential oil. They also said this information was "according to the University of Kentucky." So I did a search trying to find the abstract for this information. Of course all I got was more links back to this particular website.

Black Pepper actually fights cancer!

I was originally researching the essential oil of black pepper and I'll talk more about that in a minute. But while doing so, I came across many articles (with references this time) stating that black pepper as a spice has a principal phytonutrient called piperine. According to scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, they found that when piperine is combined with curcumin, an anticancer extract of the turmeric herb, it stopped the growth of cancer-forming cells. "High concentrations of the two extracts completely inhibited breast-cancer-forming stem cells." The information published online in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (1), is the first to suggest these dietary compounds could prevent cancer by targeting stem cells. I wasn't able to determine at this point what "high concentrations" consisted of, but there were many references to this phytonutrient's ability to inhibit cancer cells. I'm assuming that is also why there are a lot of supplements now available for both curcumin and piperine.

Now I have to admit, I could not find piperine mentioned anywhere as a chemical constituent of the essential oil of black pepper. I'm not a molecular biologist but I'm sure someone can enlighten me as to the correlation. I do know that we aromatherapists often assume that the plant (spice in this instance) and the essential oil have the same properties - and they usually do, but not always.

Black Pepper essential oil fights cancer!

What I did find, however, is that the essential oil of black pepper does contain chemical constituents that have been researched and shown to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells. Let me start by mentioning that some of the main chemical constituents of black pepper are b-caryophyllene, limonene, sabinene, a-pinene and b-pinene. One study found that the common active principles that showed results as having anti-cancer properties were α-pinene, γ-terpinene, 4-terpineol, α-terpineol, τ-cadinene, τ-cadinol and caryophyllene. "Both caryophyllene and α-terpineol showed important antiproliferative effects."(2) Limonene has also been researched and has been shown to inhibit cancer cells. Limonene is found in high percentages in many essential oils, but more about that in another blog when we talk about some of the citrus essential oils.

However, in another study they found that among the tested constituents the highest activity of inhibition was found when a-humulene was applied to cells.(3) A-humulene is also another name for a-caryophyllene.It is an isomer of b-caryophyllene and they are both often found together as a mixture in nature.

In a third study, three constituents were found to be active against the two cell lines tested. They were linalool, b-caryophyllene and alpha-cedrol. The authors of this study also stated: "Interestingly, beta-caryophyllene and linalool exhibited comparable IC(50) values to the commercial drug vinblastine on the ACHN cell line."(4)

So, as excited as I was with this encouraging information, I still was wondering where the misinformation about the black pepper spice originated. I found what might be the answer in Robert Tisserand's classic book on essential oil safety where he mentions that the chemical constituent safrole was banned in the United States in the 1960's after it was discovered that injecting large amounts of this isolated constituent caused liver cancer in lab rats.(5) Apparently, black pepper has "trace" amounts of safrole. After this study, sassafras use was eliminated since it contains approximately 80% safrole.

Bottom line? Black pepper as a spice and black pepper as an essential oil have been shown in repeated studies to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells! Black pepper is listed as a safe, nontoxic essential oil. To find out more about some of the safety cautions and usage for black pepper essential oil, see our Essential Oil Database, and/or our product description. Even before discovering this important information, black pepper essential oil would be included in one of my top five oils for a home medicine kit.

Thanks for listening!

1. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, DOI: 10.1007/s10549-009-0612-x

2. Lampronti I, Saab AM, Gambari R (2006) Antiproliferative activity of essential oils derived from plants belonging to the Magnoliophyta division. International Journal of Oncology 29:989-995. http://www.spandidos-publications.com/ijo/29/4/989. Accessed August 14, 2011.

3. Loizzo MR, Tundis R, Menichini F et al (2007) Cytotoxic activity of essential oils from labiatae and lauraceae families against in vitro human tumor models. Anticancer Research 27:3293-3299. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17970073. Accessed August 14, 2011.

4. Loizzo MR, Tundis R, Menichini F et al (2008) Antiproliferative effects of essential oils and their major constituents in human renal adenocarcinoma and amelanotic melanoma cells. Cell Proliferation 41:1002-1012. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19040575. Accessed August 14, 2011.

5.Tisserand R, Balacs T. Essential Oil Safety, A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London, England; 1995

 

 

Meet AnnAnn's mission statement is to provide health and wellness information to you and your family that you may not find in your every-day newspapers or Prevention magazines. Her college studies, certifications and passionate self-study have provided her with a huge spectrum of understanding of the intricate issues and debates concerning health and nutrition. Ann is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, a Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Professional, and has been studying nutrition, aromatherapy, skin care health and medicinal herbalism for at least 13 years. Not so surprisingly, all of these interact for health and wellness at a level we all want to achieve. She is an ardent pursuer of verified research and information and spends huge amounts of time searching for information that is relevant and evidence based. We sincerely hope you benefit from her efforts.

Foods That Fight Cancer!

By Healthy Planet Blog Cancer Counsel
on June 07, 2011

Do you know which foods fight cancer? 

 

I know most of us have heard that turmeric is a very good choice to include in your diet to fight cancer, but actually getting enough into your diet is fairly difficult unless you eat a lot of Indian curry-type dishes and/or take supplements. I'm always looking for ways to easily fit foods into my diet that have been proven to increase my body's ability to fight off cancer. I came across this article just after admiring my swiss chard and kale growing in flower boxes on the deck. I have plans to grow larger amounts in the garden but never quite got the chance. The farmers' market, of course, is a great place to find foods that fight cancer. I will put out my seeds soon for my fall crop.

According to recent research funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research, dark green leafy vegetables are a great way to incorporate cancer-fighting components into your diet. Included are spinach, kale, romaine lettuce (not so dark, but full of the properties you're looking for), leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens (love this coming from a Southern girl), chicory and swiss chard. They didn't mention bok choy, parsley, cilantro or basil, but I'm thinking those would be included but will check.

These particular foods are excellent sources of fiber, folate and lots of carotenoids including lutein, zeaxanthin, saponins and flavonoids. According to AICR's report, "Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective", these foods can protect us against cancers of the mouth, pharynx and larynx. I know we've all read that research has shown that carotenoids in particular are very good antioxidants that fight the free radicals we are bombarded with every day. Additional research has shown that these dark green leafy vegetables can also help stop the growth of some breast, skin, lung and stomach cancer. Folate was identified as decreasing the risk of pancreatic cancer. Most nutrition experts will also tell you to "shop the rainbow" - meaning the darker the color, the more antioxidants are included. An easy example is that red peppers are a better choice than green peppers; however, both are very good choices. In our green leafy choices, the dark purple kale would be better than green kale - although, again, both are very good choices. We prefer red cabbage over green cabbage for that reason as well.

AICR is our chosen choice for donations and if you take a look at their website and what they offer, I think you can see why. They, like us, believe that health begins and ends with good nutrition. Finding the correct and reliable information about that is not always easy. We believe that AICR provides a very good balance and evidence for all that they report. They have funded additional research on the subject of dark green leafy vegetables and why they fight cancer. Also read the full list of their recommendations for cancer prevention. You will see as you click the subjects we've mentioned such as fiber, folate, carotenoids and flavonoids, you will be taken to a page full of research showing why they are making these recommendations. And for those of you who think you can't or won't eat collards or mustard greens, you'd be pleasantly surprised at some recipes. AICR has provided one in particular for this subject and it can be found here. We will also post this recipe on our blog section under healthy recipes - and I'm going to try it out this week. I personally love them just raw, steamed or lightly sauteed - add a little balsamic vinegar.

So - let me know what you think about dark green leafy vegetables. Take a stroll down the tables at your local farmer's markets and see the vast array of vegetables that are available.

Thanks for listening!








Artichoke and Bean Medly

By Recipes for a Healthier You Vegan Main Meals
on March 22, 2011

Artichoke and Bean Medley - Vegan

Below is a recipe that we've adapted from one we received from AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research). You can actually make this as a cold salad or a warm main dish. For more information on how VERY HEALTHY artichokes are, see our blog on The Mighty Artichoke, including cancer prevention benefits. 


RECIPE:

  • 1 cup of sweet onions (use green onions if making into a salad)
  • 1/2 cup of red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • Large can of Italian tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of black beans (soaked overnight and cooked prior to using)
  • 1/2 cup of red kidney beans (soaked overnight and cooked prior to using)
  • 1 cup of canned green beans
  • 1 cup of red lentils (cooked - cooled if using as a salad)
  • 2 cans of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped into quarters
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 

Saute onions, celery and bell pepper until transparent in the olive oil.

Add minced garlic and continue to saute for a few minutes - don't burn the garlic (you'll be sorry.)

Combine the canned tomatoes (actually fresh would be really good here if they are available, just add fennel, oregano and thyme or your favorite Italian seasoning), the beans, and lentils with the onions, garlic and pepper.

Simmer on medium heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts, drained, and simmer for an additional 3 to 4 minutes. You can season with salt according to taste.

Serve in attractive casserole dish - I know you have one.

Artichokes already have a good deal of fiber and protein, by adding the beans and lentils we have greatly increased both the fiber and protein content.

Enjoy! Let us know if you try this, if you tweak it or what you think about it.

 

Ann


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