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Carrots as Medicine

written by Vanita Rahman, M.D.
on Tuesday, 2nd May ,2017

When my patients tell me that their blood pressure has been running high, the first thing I ask them is what they have been eating. After a careful discussion, it often becomes clear that the blood pressure increased after a meal high in sodium. We then focus on the diet, rather than medications alone, to control the blood pressure. Diet doesn’t simply affect blood pressure levels—it also has a profound impact on blood sugar, cholesterol, as well as the risk for heart disease and cancer.

There is increasing evidence that the majority of chronic diseases can be prevented, and even reversed, with a healthy, plant-based diet. Not only can plant-based diets lead to long-lasting weight loss, they have been shown to reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and heart disease. As a patient and physician, I can vouch for the power of a plant-based diet. After adopting a healthy plant-based diet five years ago, I lost the excess 20 pounds that I had been carrying around since adolescence. I have kept the weight off, and feel lighter and more energetic in my 40’s than I did in my teens or 20’s. As I teach patients and other healthcare providers about the benefits of plant-based diets, I find that they are willing to try it - but they don’t know what to eat. While there are many vegan cookbooks and online recipes, they can be bland and complicated, and aren’t always healthy.

My new cookbook, Vegan Style, is a collection of my favorite recipes from around the world. All of the recipes feature a colorful picture, and are specifically designed to be healthy, tasty, and easy. For those who are interested in learning about the science behind plant-based diets, my earlier book, Stronger with Plants, reviews the research evidence in layman’s terms.

Here's a recipe from my latest book:

Green Beans & Potatoes

Green beans are loaded with fiber and protein. But when most people think of green beans, the image of steamed green beans comes to mind—a rather bland prospect! In India, we cook our green beans on the stovetop infused with herbs and spices. This dish only takes about 20 minutes to prepare and you can use frozen or fresh green beans. Potatoes add a creamy texture. Leave the skin on the potatoes as it is rich in protein. Enjoy the dish over toasted or fresh bread.


2 cups finely chopped potatoes
2 cups green beans, chopped into
one inch pieces (use fresh or frozen beans)
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala


1) Warm a medium skillet on medium-high heat.
2) Spread the oil on the skillet, and warm the oil for 1-2 minutes.
3) Mix in the spices, sauté for 2-3 minutes.
4) Add water and green beans. Stir frequently, and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
5) Add potatoes and more water as needed to prevent burning. Stir and cook on medium head until the beans and potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes).





Tags: vegan cooking

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