Fig, Carrot, and Ginger Rice Pilaf and why we should be eating more carrots

Fig, Carrot and Ginger Rice Pilaf

This is a dish that I’ve been eyeing for almost a year now. It’s from a Weight Watcher’s magazine. I regret that I have no pictures of the actual dish to show you so I stole this pretty fig picture from What’s For Lunch Honey- an incredible blog by the way!

If you’re looking for a super tasty vegan dish or side salad this one would be really nice for lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 cups of brown rice, cooked
  • 1 TBSP high heat olive oil
  • 1 cup matchstick or thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 TBSP peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup small dried figs, quartered

Directions:

Heat rice according to package directions, keep warm. While rice cooks, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add carrots, ginger and garlic. Saute 3 minutes or until browned. Add figs, saute 2 minutes or until hot. Remove from heat, stir in rice. Serve immediately. Serving size: 1/2 cup

5 weight watchers points, 220 calories, 5 g Fat, 3 g protein, 33 g carbs, 3.7 g fiber

Don’t even let me get started on the health benefits of carrots. OK, let me at least get started! I found this great information from Care2 Heatlhy Living.

Forget about vitamin A pills. With this orange crunchy powerfood, you get vitamin A and a host of other powerful health benefits including beautiful skin, cancer prevention, and anti-aging. Read how to get maximum benefits from this amazing vegetable.

Benefits of Carrots

1.  Improved Vision
Western culture’s  understanding of carrots being “good for the eyes” is one of the few we got right. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.

Beta-carotene has also been shown to protect against macular degeneration and senile cataracts. A study found that people who eat the most beta-carotene had 40 percent lower risk of macular degeneration than those who consumed little.

2.  Cancer Prevention
Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties.

Falcarinol is a natural pesticide produced by the carrot that protects its roots from fungal diseases. Carrots are one of the only common sources of this compound. A study showed 1/3 lower cancer risk by carrot-eating mice.

3.  Anti-Aging
The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.  It help slows down the aging of cells.

4.  Healthy Glowing Skin (from the inside)
Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

5.  A Powerful Antiseptic
Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed.

6.  Beautiful Skin (from the outside)
Carrots are used as an inexpensive and very convenient facial mask.  Just mix grated carrot with a bit of honey. See the full recipe here: carrot face mask.

7.  Prevent Heart Disease
Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.  Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.

The regular consumption of carrots also reduces cholesterol levels because the soluble fibers in carrots bind with bile acids.

8.  Cleanse the Body 
Vitamin A assists the liver in flushing out the toxins from the body. It reduces the bile and fat in the liver. The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement.

9.  Healthy Teeth and Gums
It’s all in the crunch! Carrots clean your teeth and mouth. They scrape off plaque and food particles just like toothbrushes or toothpaste.  Carrots stimulate gums and  trigger a lot of saliva, which being alkaline, balances out the acid-forming, cavity-forming bacteria.  The minerals in carrots prevent tooth damage.


10.  Prevent Stroke:
From all the above benefits it is no surprise that in a Harvard University study, people who ate more than six carrots a week are less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate only one carrot a month or less.

Next: Fun facts about carrots

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Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/10-benefits-of-carrots.html#ixzz2qJv6WE9x

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