Whoever thought that such a beautiful plant could smell so badly, yet do a darn good job of supporting good health? In fact, this garlic plant is a member of the genus Allium in the lilly family. Garlic, as are onions, shallots, chives and leeks, are all members of this family and because of their, um, fragrance, are dubbed as stinking lilies. Allicin is one of the active chemicals found in plants of the Allium family. Garlic is by far the most concentrated source of this valuable nutrient, with lesser quantities found in onions, leeks, chives, and shallots. Here is how Allicin is formed: Alliin is an amino acid that is the precursor to allicin and other sulfur-containing compounds formed in garlic. Alliinase is an enzyme, or a protein that speeds up a chemical reaction. Alliinase aids in the transformation of alliin to allicin. Alliinase is inactive when exposed to heat or acid, so it will not develop after cooking or entering an acidic environment such as the stomach or being sprinkled with vinegar.

“Sodium and potassium exist in a partnership, and each important use of potassium requires sodium to maintain balance. Importantly, as average diets in the United States have become depleted in potassium, they have become much more concentrated in sodium. ”

If you’re new to adding more plants to your plate, I’d recommend starting with bok choy as it’s mild in flavor, has a soft texture and can be eaten raw or slightly cooked. Bok choy, baby bok and Shanghai baby bok have become widely available in the US, but I sometimes still rarely find people cooking with it or using it in recipes. It’s been a staple in Chinese and other Asian country home kitchens for about 1500 years and Americans have been enjoying it for about 100. Because of the incredible health benefits and its mild flavor, I’m hoping that it can gain a little more traction here at home.

The days are getting shorter and the temps are cooling, it’s time to think about harvesting those delicate herbs you have outside. If you don’t have a way to keep them going inside, here are a few ways to keep enjoying the fruits of your herbal labor all year long.

These ears are good for your eyes!

I'm a long time member of the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM- I was certified though their program waaaaaaay back in 2011) and continue to implement my education into my curriculum. As a big fan of the Exam Room Podcast, it was a thrill to be a guest!

In three separate blog posts, complete with recipes, links to research studies, and television segments to boot, below are links on how easily get enough protein (promise!), iron and calcium on your plant-based diet.

“Where do you get your protein?” That’s the question I get asked most often when talking about a whole-food plant-based diet. But guess what…plants have protein! If you watch a special on mountain gorillas or elephants, do you worry about where they get their protein? Probably not, but just in case, they get their protein from the plants they eat, as they are herbivores. Therefore, the protein you get when you consume animal-based foods, like steak or chicken, ultimately comes from the plants those animals ate.

Calcium is a soil derived nutrient and is important in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, a healthy blood pressure, and a healthy nervous system. It also plays a role in muscle function and blood clotting. The daily recommendation for calcium intake for adults aged 19-50 years and men 51-70 years is 1000 mg per day. An intake of 1200 mg of calcium is recommended for women over 51 years and for men over 70 1 . The dairy industry has a done a great job promoting milk/diary as the best source of calcium.

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