Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Powers of Pesto

Of all the pasta sauces to chose from, I always stick with my favorite - PESTO! I used to be concerned that I was adding too much fat to my pasta dishes, but then I learned of all the health benefits of this delicious basil sauce. The majority of fat in pesto is monounsaturated (the good kind) and ALL of its ingredients have many health benefits!

Garlic
* Lowers blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol
* Prevents atherosclerosis
* Reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
* Serves as an antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory
* Acts as a potent antibiotic
* Fights cancer
* Protects against the side effects of diabetes
* Helps prevent weight gain
* Provides antioxidant protection

Olive Oil
* Contains monounsaturated fatty acids
* Contains antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, and Vitamin E
* Reduces the risk of atherosclerosis
* Increases HDL (good) cholesterol
* Helps fight against colon cancer and heart disease
* Reduces inflammation.

Basil
* Contains flavonoids that protect cells from radiation and oxidative damage
* Wards off unwanted bacteria
* Has anti-inflammatory properties
* Serves as a good source of iron, calcium and vitamin A


Parmesan Cheese
* Serves as a good source of calcium and protein
* Easy to digest
* Helps maintain healthy bones and teeth
* Helps prevents osteoporosis
* Supports normal cardiovascular, thyroid, and muscular functioning
* Consuming 1,500 mg of calcium a day makes the cells less likely to store fat

Pine Nuts
* Contain high concentration of monounsaturated fat
* Improve CV system
* Contain Vitamins A, D and C
* Improve body's ability to absorb calcium
* Strengthen bones and teeth
* Sharpen vision
* Boost the immune system

* In NY, pesto is pretty expensive, and it ends up being much cheaper to make your own. Check out the recipe page for a quick and easy pesto recipe!

** For store bought pesto, make sure you check the label and try to avoid any added ingredients.

*** Stay tuned for a post on the many health benefits of tomato sauce!

9 comments:

MARY WEIRICH said...

One time when we were making huge batches of pasta with pesto for one of Sally Crowell's CHAW fundraisers, she gave me a receipe that "supplemented" the basil with fresh parsley that was much cheaper. (Parsley is good for you too; ao when the budget is tight and parsley is cheaper.... try it.) Mom.

Sahar said...

Love pesto, it's so simple and healthy and not to mention yummy.

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