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       Volume I - December 20, 2008

Stop Diabetes and Stroke with This Vitamin
by Alice Osborne

Broccoli lovers, know this: Your favorite veggie is loving you right back, with ample amounts of this diabetes-deterring, stroke-stomping nutrient—vitamin C. High blood levels of vitamin C could reduce your odds of developing type 2 diabetes by a whopping 62% and cut stroke risk by as much as 42%.

Researchers suspect the vitamin’s strong antioxidant qualities may be the reason for its protective effects. And there’s no better way to raise your blood levels of C than to start filling your body with C-rich winter foods like broccoli, brussels sprouts, and oranges.

Good Sources of Vitamin C:

Peaches, frozen and sweetened (1 cup) 235 mg
Red bell pepper, raw (1 medium) 152 mg
Broccoli florets, cooked (1 cup) 101 mg
Strawberries (1 cup) 97 mg
Green bell pepper, raw (1 medium) 96 mg
Papaya (1 cup) 86 mg
Kiwifruit (1 medium) 70 mg
Orange (1 medium) 70 mg
Cantaloupe (1 cup) 59 mg
Mango (1 medium) 57 mg
Brussels sprouts, cooked (4 medium) 52 mg

And slashing stroke and diabetes risk is just part of what vitamin C does. Here are a few of its many other roles:

  • Sight saver: Along with beta carotene, vitamin E, and zinc, C lowers the odds of this leading cause of blindness.
  • Gum soother: Extra C can mean seeing less blood in the sink when you brush.
  • Breath buddy: Your lungs love vitamin C.

    Here are a couple recipes to try as a way to add more Vitamin C to your daily meal plan:

    Cucumber Lemonade
    Courtesy of Eating Well

    2 English (hothouse) cucumbers
    ½ C fresh lemon juice
    2½ C spring or filtered water
    Agave syrup, to taste (optional)

    Finely grate cucumbers into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Drain cucumber for 1 hour and collect the juices. Press on the cucumber pulp to extract additional juice. Add lemon juice, water, and syrup, if using, to cucumber juice. Serve chilled or over ice.

    Per serving: 21 calories; 0 g fat (0 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 5 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 2 mg sodium; 25 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (28% daily value).

      Download this recipe.

    Chicken Saute with Broccoli
    Courtesy of Eating Well

    Rich bone-in chicken thighs are perfect for stewing because they won’t dry out. Make it a meal: Serve this stew over brown rice or barley.

    16 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
    1 bunch broccoli (1 ¼ lbs), trimmed into florets
    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    4 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
    1 teaspoon arrowroot or cornstarch
    1 tablespoon water
    8 black olives, pitted
    1 tablespoon lemon juice
    2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

    Place garlic cloves in small saucepan, cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain, slip off skins. Set aside. Steam broccoli until tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from steam; set aside.
    Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off excess.
    Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and reserve.
    Pour wine into the pan and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Boil for several minutes until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add broth, thyme and the reserved garlic cloves; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the reserved chicken. Cover and simmer until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon or tongs, transfer the chicken and garlic to a platter and keep warm.
    Dissolve arrowroot (or cornstarch) in water in a small bowl. Stir into the liquid in the pan and simmer, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly thickened. Add the reserved broccoli and heat through. Add olives and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spoon the broccoli sauce over the chicken and garlic. Garnish with parsley.

    Nutrition Information:
    Per serving. Calories: 352, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fat: 15g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Protein: 30g, Cholesterol: 87mg, Dietary Fiber: 5g, Potassium: 769mg, Sodium: 380mg,

    Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (234% daily value), Vitamin A (90% dv), Selenium (50% dv), Folate (34% dv), Potassium (22% dv), Zinc (21% dv), Iron (20% dv), Magnesium (17% dv).

      Download this recipe.

    Information Courtesy of the RealAge Website.

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