Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen


PowerFoods as Friends

by Kate Heyhoe


Let's look at foods as friends—healthy friends that is. I'm not talking about low fat cooking, the usual New Year's topic, but rather I want to share the ways certain foods are believed to make us healthier when we eat them. The focus is not on eating less of something; instead, it's on eating more of the right kinds of foods—foods that contain phytochemicals.


Phytochemicals (meaning plant chemicals) are substances that protect plants against predators, pollution, blight and ultraviolet radiation and other dangers. Studies have shown that when we ingest certain phytochemicals, our bodies may benefit from them. One class of phytochemicals, phytoestrogens, are believed to be especially beneficial to menopausal women, whose intestinal bacteria convert them to hormonelike compounds. Other phytochemicals act as antioxidants and anti-cancer agents. A good introduction to this topic is contained in the book PowerFoods, which is profiled below.

Salmon Teriyaki made the PowerFoods way is a good example of how common ingredients can taste great and still offer our bodies the benefits of phytochemicals. According to the author, the lime juice, ginger, apple juice and chives in this recipe contain antioxidants and anti-carcinogens. Come back again on Monday, January 26, for more on the benefits of phytochemicals.

Kate Heyhoe


Cookbook Profile

Good Food, Good Health with Phytochemicals,
Nature's Own Energy Boosters

by Stephanie Beling, M.D.

Did you know that the produce section of your local market holds the key to improving your health and preventing chronic diseases and degenerative conditions? There is growing medical and scientific proof that fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains contain hidden properties that can boost the immune system, retard the aging process, and fight ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes.


In POWERFOODS: Good Food, Good Health with Phytochemicals, Nature's Own Energy Boosters, Stephanie Beling, M.D. takes us to the front lines of this exciting research to introduce phytochemicals—powerful substances that are found in everyday plant foods and offer benefits beyond basic nutrition. Having determined that certain foods, dubbed PowerFoods, possess concentrated amounts of these components, Dr. Beling shows how to make them the center of your diet and reap their healthful benefits.

Noting that a single fruit or vegetable contains thousands of phytochemicals in trace amounts, Dr. Beling explains how they interact in complex but complementary ways to block, retard, suppress, or flush away carcinogens; lower serum cholesterol and decrease arterial plaque; enhance the immune system, and fight the effects of aging. In Powerfoods Dr. Beling, the former medical director of Canyon Ranch, America's preeminent spa, draws on her personal experience along with the most up-to-date research on phytochemicals to:

  • identify the top ten food groups with the highest concentration of phytochemicals: red, yellow, and orange fruits; red, yellow, and orange vegetables; cruciferous and leafy green vegetables; mushrooms; sea vegetables; garlic and company; whole grains; beans and other legumes; soy and soy products; and nuts and seeds.
  • explain how the phytochemicals in PowerFoods work, for example: garlic, onions, leeks, and chives have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol, fight infections, and reduce the incidence of stomach and colon cancer, while strawberries, grapes, raspberries, and apples can help protect the body from damage caused by the carcinogens in tobacco smoke and air pollution.
  • describe each of the ten PowerFoods, including its history, benefits, and nutritional content, as well as shopping, storing, preserving, and preparing tips.
  • outline her breakthrough PowerFoods Program, a safe, effective way to set up a foundation for healthy living that can be followed for weight loss, the prevention and treatment of a variety of ailments, or for increased vitality and energy.
  • give suggestions for how to stock your PowerFood kitchen, hints for picking the freshest, best quality PowerFoods, and menu planning advice.

At the heart of Powerfoods are 140 easy-to-prepare recipes developed by the former executive chefs at Canyon Ranch that emphasize flavor, taste, and texture. Reflecting Nature's bounty, they are enticing to look at and delicious to eat. Whether your goal is to lose weight, lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of cancer, or experience the joy of vibrant, well-being, Powerfoods will help you take control of your diet and commit to healthy eating for a lifetime.

PowerFoods Recipe:

Salmon Teriyaki

Serves 6

This soy-based marinade is quick to prepare. The fruit juices in the teriyaki temper the saltiness of the soy.

1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cups defrosted apple juice concentrate
1/4 cup chopped chives
6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

1. In a blender, combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, and apple juice concentrate. Blend until smooth.

2. Place salmon fillets in a glass baking dish and pour the teriyaki marinade over them. Sprinkle the fillets with chives and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

3. Remove the salmon fillets from the marinade and grill them outdoors or bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Powerfood Highlight:
Lime juice, ginger, apple juice, chives

Good Food, Good Health with Phytochemicals,
Nature's Own Energy Boosters
by Stephanie Beling, M.D.
Collins; HarperPerennial Ed edition 1998
ISBN: 0-06-017454-4; $25.00; 304 pages
reprinted by permission

Click to Buy PowerFoods

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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