Gluten Free Soup can be made with a variety of ingredients but using nut milk/cream not only provides a high protein, vegan, and low carb option, but nuts provide a powerful support mechanism for achieving longevity.
To understand this support mechanism, it is helpful to know about free radicals, antioxidants, and the role that fiber plays in combating disease (Rahman, 2007).
Free radicals, also known as “reactive oxygen species” (ROS), are a reactive type of chemical with a single unpaired electron; this combination creates scavengers in the body that damage cells, proteins, lipids, and DNA (Rahman, 2007; Szalay, 2016). ROS are created through the process of digesting food, ingesting external pollutants, and can accumulate over time, which accelerates physical deterioration to include cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and other chronic conditions (Szalay, 2016; Amin, Bano, 2019).
Antioxidants are the defenders against ROS in that they redistribute electrons and repair damaged cells; common antioxidant substances include minerals – selenium/magnesium/zinc, Vitamin C, E, and Beta-carotene, lipoic acid, flavonoids, phenols, and polyphenols, most of which are naturally occurring in food (Chan, nd). While supplements as an antioxidant source is inconclusive, getting antioxidants from a plant-based diet is beneficial (Chan, nd). Harvard’s School of Public Health offers the following list of antioxidant sources (Chan, nd); ingredients in bold are routinely used in Cobblestone Soups:
· Vitamin C: Broccoli, cauliflower, grapefruit, leafy greens (turnip, mustard, beet, collards), honeydew, kale, kiwi, lemon, orange, papaya, snow peas, strawberries, sweet potato, tomatoes, and bell peppers (all colors)
· Vitamin E: Almonds, avocado, Swiss chard, leafy greens (beet, mustard, turnip), peanuts, red peppers, spinach (boiled), and sunflower seeds
· Carotenoids including beta-carotene and lycopene: Apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, bell peppers, kale, mangos, turnip and collard greens, oranges, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, winter squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon
· Zinc: Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, lentils, cashews
In addition to the nutrient rich vegetables used in Cobblestone Soups, nuts and seeds are used in place of dairy and traditional starches such as flour, potato, and rice (as thickeners).
Researchers from Harvard Medical School have examined the effect of eating nuts – “Their work shows that nuts really are healthy as they may help lower cholesterol, they contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats known to benefit the heart, nuts are rich in arginine, a substance that may improve blood vessel function, and other nutrients in nuts (such as fiber and vitamin E) may also help lower cardiovascular risk” (Simon, 2005).
In addition to having antioxidant Benefits, nuts have a high fiber content, which is important in the transport of antioxidants within the body. Anneline Padayachee, through a study at the University of Queensland and CSIRO, found that fiber acts as an antioxidant trafficker by transporting antioxidant nutrients to the colon where they can provide protection against disease (2012). In essence, the process is as follows: When vegetables are chewed, cells are opened allowing the release of micronutrients (polyphenols); “80 percent of available antioxidant polyphenols bind to plant fiber … during the stomach and small intestinal phases of digestion…Fiber is able to safely and effectively transport polyphenols to the colon where these compounds have a protective effect on health…” (Padayachee, 2005).
Alone, nuts seem to produce modest results, but when they are combined with other nutrient rich foods, the results can be spectacular (Simon, 2005).
Since Cobblestone combines nutrient rich vegetables with nut cream instead of dairy, a bowl of soup could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Amin, Bano, (2019). J Biomol Struct Dyn. Jul;37(11):2949-2959. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2018.1500946. Epub 2018 Dec 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30044189
Chan, (nd). The Nutrition Source, Harvard School of Public Health, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/
Padayachee, (2012). Grube-Queensland, https://www.futurity.org/fiber-saves-some-antioxidants-for-later/ Rahman, (2007). PubMed, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18044138,
Rahman (2007). PubMed, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684512/ Rahman (2007). PubMed, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684512/
Simon, (2005). Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School. http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefits_eating_nuts
Szalay, (2016). Life Science. https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html