Thursday, January 14, 2010

Raw Vegan Asian Coleslaw with a Ginger Tahini Vinaigrette Salad Dressing



Cruciferous Vegetables Lower Cancer Risk
Cabbage is a powerful vegetable when it comes to health benefits. Like its relatives broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, collards (and others), it is a cruciferous vegetable. Studies have shown that this class of vegetable reduces cancer risk more than any other vegetable. Studies have shown cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are associated with lower risk of prostate, bladder, stomach, colorectal and lung cancer. The good news is that you can get benefits from eating only 3 to 5 servings per week. Raw cabbage is also loaded with vitamin C and K and is a very good source of folate and fiber.

Thyroid Function Could be a Problem - Raw Foodists Beware!
Eating too many raw cruciferous vegetables can be a problem if you have hypothyroidism or a low production of thyroid hormone. Cabbage and other raw cruciferous vegetables contain "goitrogens" which contain thyroid inhibitors. So if you have an under-active thyroid, you may want to limit your consumption of "raw" cabbage or you can also steam these cruciferous vegetables to avoid the issue and get the benefits. If you have this problem and want to limit your raw cabbage consumption, substitute lettuce in this recipe. The ginger tahini vinaigrette makes a wonderful salad dressing.
What is Hypothyroidism?
Some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, muscle aches, unexplained weight gain, pale, dry skin, intolerance to cold, constipation, depression, and brittle fingernails and hair. Some common causes of hypothyroidism include autoimmune disease (Hashimoto), over-treatment of hyperthyroidism, radiation therapy, thyroid surgery and some medications like lithium. From a nutrition point of view, I have seen underactive thyroids from iodine deficiency. Iodine is a trace mineral found in seafood, seaweed and iodized salt. Many people don't eat seafood and have stopped eating iodized salt. At the same time, chlorine and fluoride are commonly added to our drinking water. These chemicals have similar chemical structures as iodine and some theories say they may displace iodine in the thyroid which could lead to hypothyroidism. I have resumed my consumption of iodized salt "just in case".

This Recipe Balances the Omega 3 and 6 Essential Fatty Acids
Many Asian vinaigrettes have tahini (sesame paste) and sesame oil which both contain high amounts of omega 6. As healthy as omega 6 is (it's needed for cholesterol metabolism, growth and reproduction), it is essential to balance it out with omega 3 (needed for cardiovascular health and brain development, a healthy immune system, reduction of inflammation and proper functioning of ALL body tissues. It's extremely important in fetal development). For this purpose I use extra virgin olive oil instead of sesame oil and a teaspoon of cold pressed flaxseed oil in this recipe. This combination provides an optimal 4:1 omega 6 to omega 3 ratio.

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Raw Vegan Asian Coleslaw [serves 4]
For the salad
8 cups organic Napa or other green cabbage
2 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup seedless raisins
1/4 cup sliced raw almonds
For the dressing
1 teaspoon of grated garlic, about 1 clove
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons raw tahini
2 tablespoons raw agave (or raw honey)
2 tablespoons Nama Shoyu soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar or raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cold pressed flaxseed oil
pinch cayenne

Combine the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl. In a smaller bowl, blend the garlic, ginger, tahini and honey to form a thick paste. Slowly add the soy sauce, vinegar, oils and cayenne and mix thoroughly. Add to salad, toss well and serve.


Per serving: 234.6 calories, 10.9 g fat, 1.3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.3 g protein, 31.3 g carbohydrates, 6.1 g fiber, 660 mg omega 3 and 2,640 mg of omega 6 fatty acids.

7 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Hi, I just wanted tell you that I am absolutely crazy about your recipe. I found it a couple of months ago when all I had in the house to use for cole slaw was tahini, and I was completely blown away by it. I'm making up another double batch right now and just thought I should tell you how happy you have made someone with your recipe. Thank you!!! Barbara

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

So glad you enjoyed it. It's one of our favorites too. In fact, I just bought some cabbage so that I could make it!
Thanks for the feedback!
Joanne

Kasmira said...

I used your ginger tahini dressing on a coleslaw mix (cabbage, apple, carrot, and green bell pepper) last night. LOVED it!

adel o connell said...

Isnt soy goitrogenic too?

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Yes it is. But here's an encouraging piece written on womentowomen.com that sheds some more light on this issue:
"Soy does contain goitrogenic compounds, specifically the soy isoflavone genistein. This compound, just like thyroid hormones, accepts iodine molecules from the thyroid peroxidase (TPO), which again, is the enzyme that also transfers iodine to the thyroid hormones. Some researchers have suggested that genistein and similar isoflavones may compete with thyroid hormones for iodine or alternatively may “block” the action of TPO, but recent studies indicate that as long as an individual has sufficient iodine in the diet, soy isoflavones do not adversely impact thyroid function. “If one begins with poor iodine nutrition, removing goitrogens from one’s diet will not restore iodine nutrition.”"