By Monique N. Gilbert
Antioxidants are compounds that prevent or repair damage to cells caused by pollution, sunlight, and normal body processes. These elements cause oxidation in our body, which produce dangerous chemical compounds called free radicals. These compounds are highly reactive and have the potential to damage DNA, causing mutations that can result in the malignant transformation of cells. Free radicals can easily cause harm to the immune system, whose cells divide often. They may also be responsible for some of the changes of aging.
We can help the body in its ability to scavenge and destroy free radicals, before they cause harm, by supplying it with natural substances that act as antioxidants. These substances block the chemical reactions that generate free radicals in the first place, and destroy the ones that have already been formed.
Many laboratory studies have documented the strong antioxidant properties of soy isoflavones in the fight against heart disease. Oxidation, the same process that leads to rust on metal, causes fats to harden and form the blockages that damage arteries. Isoflavones incorporate into lipoprotein particles, such as LDL, and protect them from oxidation. This antioxidant effect can reduce the onset of atherosclerosis by decreasing LDL accumulation in blood vessel walls.
A reduced level of oxidative damage is also associated with a decreased risk of cancer. Research has found that the antioxidants in soy foods efficiently and effectively protects cells from free radical damage while boosting the immune system. This, in turn, helps to prevent cancer and premature aging.
Here is a delicious antioxidant-rich, cholesterol-free, heart-healthy and cancer preventing salad dressing.
Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing
4 ounces silken tofu (1/3 of a 12-ounce block)
4 tablespoons soymilk (1/4 cup)
1 clove garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-1/4 teaspoons vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1. Blend ingredients in a food processor until its creamy smooth.
2. Transfer to a jar or bottle and completely chill. Refrigerate at least 20 minutes to allow dressing to thicken, and flavors to meld. The longer it chills the better it tastes. Serve over a Mixed Green Salad.
Makes about 1 cup (4-6 servings)
This article and recipe are excerpts from the book Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook by Monique N. Gilbert (Universal Publishers, $19.95, available at most online booksellers). http://www.virtuesofsoy.com
Copyright (c) Monique N. Gilbert – All Rights Reserved.
About this writer: Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc., is a Health Advocate, Certified Personal Trainer/Fitness Counselor, Recipe Developer, Freelance Writer and Author. Visit her site at http://www.geocities.com/virtuesofsoy/
Monique N. Gilbert, Soy Food Connoisseur, Recipe Developer and Author of… “Virtues of Soy: A Practical Health Guide and Cookbook” (Universal Publishers, 2001).
Monique N. Gilbert, B.Sc., has received international recognition for helping people get healthier, feel better, look younger and live longer. Through her coaching program and writings, Monique motivates, inspires and teaches how to naturally enhancing your health, happiness, energy and longevity with balanced nutrition, physical activity and tranquil living environments. Monique believes it is her mission to educate and enlighten everyone about the benefits of healthy eating and a vibrant stress-free lifestyle. For more information, visit her website – http://www.MoniqueNGilbert.com