why I’m addicted to pesto

I’ve been making fresh basil (from my garden) pesto and now I put it in just about everything except desserts.

You can find lots of recipes for basil pesto on the web (and all of them work fine), but I like my own the best — I use Basil, walnuts, honey, some fresh parsley, a lot less parmesan cheese than usually called for, and a little more garlic.

I put in on fish instead of tartar sauce. I even add it to V8 juice and my homemade gazpacho. I mix it with a little mayonaise and lemon juice and use it as salad dressing or a dip. The Food Network as a great list of 50 things to make with pesto.

And a basil pesto addiction is a really healthy one to have.

Accoring to here:
Basil has more phytochemicals than vegetables, has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants effects, protects the chromosomes and cells from damage, is good for digestion and stomach problems, and contains these minerals:
magnesium that helps relax heart and blood vessels.
vitamin C
vitamin A to protect cell damage
vitamin K for coagulant factors in the blood and strengthening of the bones

As far as I’m concerned, the more garlic you add to the pesto the better. Garlic can lower your blood pressure decrease triglycerides and the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing the good cholesterol (HDL) The sulphur compounds in garlic can help with inflammations that may be causing arthritis or asthma. The sulphur compounds also act as antibacterial and antiviral agent. That is why they recommend eating garlic to keep colds away.

According to here:
The phytonutrient in garlic, called allicin, may help you maintain or even lose weight. Garlic gives great taste to all meals and can be added in all meals, sauces, stews, dips like hummus, guacamole, and mashed potato. You can even add it to a raw fresh delicious juice or smoothie. (Um, I think I draw the line at the smoothie thing.)

I add parsley for lots of reasons. According to this, parsley contains:
— myristicin, an organic compound found in the essential oil of parsley, not only inhibits tumor formation (especially in the lungs), but also activates the enzyme glutathione-S-transferase, which helps the molecule glutathione attach to, and fight against, oxidized molecules. Myristicin can also neutralize carcinogens like benzopyrene in cigarette smoke that can pass through the body, consequently fighting against colon and prostate cancer.

— an antioxidant arsenal that includes luteolin, a flavonoid that searches out and eradicates free radicals in the body that cause oxidative stress in cells. Luteolin also promotes carbohydrate metabolism and serves the body as an anti-inflammatory agent. Furthermore, two tablespoons of parsley contain 16% of the RDA of vitamin C and over 12% of the RDA of vitamin A – two powerful antioxidants.

— luteolin and vitamin C, which serves as an effective anti-inflammatory agent within the body. When consumed regularly, they combat the onset of inflammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis (the degeneration of joint cartilage and the underlying bone) and rheumatoid arthritis (a disease causing inflammation in the joints).

— folate (or vitamin B90, which helps convert homocysteine into harmless molecules. A regular garnish of parsley can help ward off cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis.

— vitamin K, which is necessary for the synthesis of osteocalcin, a protein that strengthens the composition of our bones. Vitamin K also prevents calcium build-up in our tissue that can lead to atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease and stroke. The vitamin K found in parsley (wo tablespoons of parsley have a whopping 153% of the RDA of vitamin K) is essential for synthesizing sphingolipid, the fat needed to maintain the myelin sheath around our nerves, and therefore our nervous system as a whole.

And, on top of that,

Parsley is the best weapon against garlic breath. That’s why many recipes that include garlic also include parsley. Chewing parsley with your garlicky meal seems to contain the problem to some extent.

But it’s not enough to just sprinkle a little parsley on top of what you’re eating. You need to chew at least one sprig of fresh parsley, ideally more, with your meal. Chop up a sprig of fresh parsley or two and add it to the meal somewhere, or put it on the plate as a garnish.

In case you’e wondering, here’s why I make my basil/parsley/garlic/honey pesto with walnuts:

Walnuts, a rich source of the omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), improve artery function after a high fat meal and may be even more important in a Mediterranean-type diet than olive oil in promoting heart health, suggests a small study from Spain (Cortes B, Nunez I, J Am Coll Cardiol).

Finally, I always cook with honey.

From here:

HONEY, a most assimilable carbohydrate compound, is a singularly acceptable, practical and most effective aliment to generate heat, create and replace energy, and furthermore, to form certain tissues. Honey, besides, supplies the organism with substances for the formation of enzymes and other biological ferments to promote oxidation. It has distinct germicidal properties and in this respect greatly differs from milk which is an exceptionally good breeding-ground for bacteria. Honey is a most valuable food, which today is not sufficiently appreciated. Its frequent if not daily use is vitally important.

OK. Now I’m hungry.

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