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If you want a deliciously quick bite of more than three dozen natural chemicals that lower the risk of both cancer and heart problems, all you need is a frying pan, olive oil, onion, garlic, tomato, thyme and bay leaf.
Those ingredients are the cancer-fighting makings of sofrito — sometimes referred to as a base for many dishes and also as a style of cooking that originated in Spain dating back to medieval times.
Its popularity has spread across borders and recipes vary slightly, including different blends of vegetables and cooking oils. But can eating sofrito really help ward off cancer?
40 health-boosting compounds in one dish
Well, when researchers at the University of Barcelona analyzed Mediterranean sofrito, a mixture consisting of onions sautéed in olive oil with garlic, tomato and spices, they found forty different health-boosting phytochemicals. A veritable smorgasbord of carotenoids, vitamins, polyphenols and other antioxidants that help the body fight off chronic illness.
And those phytochemicals just may be a big part of the reason that Spain and a handful of other Latin countries come in at the bottom half of a list ranking the top 50 countries by cancer frequency. (The U.S. is number 6!)
But even more impressive is that Greece, where the Mediterranean version of sofrito originated, is completely absent from the list…
According to the researchers, their experiment “revealed the presence of polyphenols never previously reported in Mediterranean sofrito.”
But to have forty or more in one dish… who wouldn’t make that a regular part of their diet?
Just take a closer look at sofrito’s ingredients…
- tomatoes contain lycopene, reported to be effective against prostate, lung and stomach cancer;
- onion (an extreme cancer fighter) and garlic pull double duty to keep your circulatory system in top form;
- and olive oil… what hasn’t been said about the Mediterranean’s golden elixir? It’s reported that just a teaspoon a day keeps breast cancer away.
To make sofrito, simply sauté chopped onion until translucent in extra-virgin olive oil, and then add garlic, tomato, thyme and bay leaf and cook for another 15 minutes.
Sofrito can be added to other dishes like stews and soups. It’s great mixed in with Italian-style green beans and even on top of a juicy cut of steak. You can also add other vegetables to the sautéed mixture.
I’ve read more than one expert explain that it’s best to get your nutrients from whole food sources, as opposed to supplementing, when possible. The cancer-fighting benefits of sofrito appear to be a true testament to that advice.
Editor’s note: Discover how to live a cancer prevention lifestyle — using foods, vitamins, minerals and herbs — as well as little-known therapies allowed in other countries but denied to you by American mainstream medicine. Click here to discover Surviving Cancer! A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Causes, Treatments and Big Business Behind Medicine’s Most Frightening Diagnosis!