Foods that are good for your health

Anne Lataillade

France

Food is our first medicine, as Hippocrates already explained in the 4th century before Jesus Christ.

Our consumer society along with the development of the food processing industry caused us to lose sight of this truth somewhat over the course of the last decades. However, in recent years, we have regained awareness of the importance of what we consume and super foods have returned to our plates in full force. The arrival of new products: goji and acai berries, noni juice, spirulina, coconut water etc., and the spotlight on already familiar products such as curcuma and ginger, quinoa or even avocado, dark chocolate, broccoli and garlic, to name only a few.  

Avocado
It’s one of those foods returning in full force to the forefront of the scene, based on their health benefits. Among these, are the prevention of cardiovascular diseases (it's rich in plants sterols) and cancer, thanks to a powerful antioxidant, glutathione. Of course, to take advantage of these health benefits, you need to avoid mixing it with mayonnaise. So, I'm proposing a recipe that will enhance it. 

Avocado salad with grapefruit and kumquat (2 persons)

Pour a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper into a salad bowl. Add 2 soup spoons of squeezed orange juice and 3 soup spoons of olive oil. Mix and set aside.
Peel 2 grapefruits, removing the white membrane and separating the segments. Remove the seeds from two avocados and chop the flesh into pieces. Wash and dice the kumquats.
Add all the ingredients to the sauce, mix and serve.

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Dark chocolate
Chocolate also holds numerous health benefits; however, these only pertain to dark chocolate. Forget about milk chocolate or white chocolate which contain too much sugar.
The small dark square is high in antioxidants (perfect for fighting cardiovascular diseases), an anti-depressant and in addition, it lowers insulin resistance, a warning sign of diabetes. Try it, you'll be convinced. How can you get the most out of it? Simply by nibbling on a square or, even more indulging, a dark chocolate mousse.

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Chocolate Mousse (6 mini shot glasses)

- 100 gr. dark chocolate + 6 squares

- 3 organic eggs

- 20 gr. of butter

- 2 packets of vanilla-flavored sugar

Break the dark chocolate into pieces in a salad bowl. Add the butter, diced. Melt in a double-boiler.
Meanwhile, separate the egg whites from the yolks. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Beat the yolks and the vanilla-flavored sugar together.
When the butter and chocolate mixture has melted, add the yolks, the sugar and mix. Then, gently fold in the stiff egg whites.
Divide the mixture among the 6 shot glasses and chill for at least 3 hours. Just before serving, decorate each shot glass with a square of dark chocolate

Broccoli
Cabbage in general and broccoli, in particular, are considered foremost anticancer foods. In addition, broccoli is high in antioxidant vitamin C and in vitamin B9, important for maintaining the immune system. To benefit from these virtues, you need to avoid overcooking it. Look for nice green broccolis with compact floral buds and uniform color. Be sure the stems are not too dry, a sign they may have been harvested several days ago.

Parmesan Broccoli Soup (4 persons)

- 400 gr. broccolis

- 300 ml. of chicken stock

- Parmesan

Cut off the end of the broccoli stem. Wash the flowers and cook for 6 minutes in boiling salted water. In the meantime, heat the poultry stock.
When the broccolis are cooked, drain them and put them into a blender bowl. Add the poultry stock and blend.
Divide the soup among the containers and place slivers of Parmesan in each one. 
Absolutely luscious! 

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Garlic 
Easy to use either cooked or raw, garlic is one of those condiments you must have in your kitchen. It's health properties are numerous: Antioxidant, anticoagulant, anticancer etc.  So, eat some regularly.
When shopping, make French garlic your first choice (why not the Lautrec pink garlic, for example, Red Label and Protected Geographic Indication certified) and look for well-developed cloves, not dry ones.
Use it later to flavor simmered dishes, salads, vegetables, grilled meats.  If you use it raw, remove the germ to make it easier to digest, if it’s cooked however, it's not worth the bother. Just be careful not to let it burn because blackened garlic is very bitter. 

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Yogurt sauce with garlic and lime 

Peel and remove the germ from 1 garlic clove. Grate into a bowl. Add one Greek-style yoghurt, a pinch of salt, a pinch of Espelette pepper and the zest and juice of half a lime. Mix. If you want, sprinkle in a little parsley or coriander.
This sauce makes a heavenly seasoning for a cucumber salad and it’s the perfect companion to grilled or oven-roasted vegetables (eggplants, carrots ...) or for mellowing a Tandoori chicken.
Of course, there are many other foods, well-known for their benefits to our health and well-being.

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