Liana Werner-Gray is the founder and owner of The Earth Diet, author of diet-related books and an advocate for natural healing using a healthy diet and lifestyle. Check out her books: Cancer-Free with Food, Anxiety-Free with Food, The Earth Diet, and 10-Minute Recipes. Connect with her on Facebook or Instagram @lianawernergray.
Lentils, whether brown, green, yellow, red, or black, are rich in iron and folate and excellent sources of protein. They are packed with health-promoting polyphenols, a group of plant metabolites with potent antioxidant properties that protect us against chronic diseases induced by oxidative stress, like anxiety.
Recent research on dietary polyphenols shows they play a prominent role in the prevention of degenerative diseases. Lentils are antioxidant, anti-obesity, cholesterol-reducing, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer.
Lentils are also quite low in calories while still making us feel nice and satisfied, because one cup has 15 grams of dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble).
Oh yeah—and they taste delicious!
Another key ingredient in this grounding soup is the amazing and almighty ginger! Ginger is a root vegetable that is well-recognized as a form of herbal medicine. It is a member of the same plant family as cardamom and turmeric.
Ginger has benefits beyond flavoring your favorite stir-fry recipe or easing an upset stomach. Animal studies have indicated that it can raise serotonin levels and, therefore, may treat and reduce anxiety as successfully as benzodiazepine drugs!
We know that serotonin is manufactured in the gut, and ginger is commonly used to ease an upset stomach. In fact, ginger is purported to have a variety of powerful therapeutic and preventive benefits.
There is clear evidence of the effectiveness of ginger as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent. It also may be helpful for treating nausea and cancer.
Ginger is known to decrease markers of age-related oxidative stress, such as inflammation, swelling, and pain, and has been used for thousands of years for the treatment of hundreds of ailments like these.
With its delightfully tangy and invigorating scent and flavor, ginger is one of the most commonly consumed dietary condiments in the world. The resin from its rhizomes (roots) contains many bioactive components that produce a variety of remarkable pharmacological and physiological effects.
Interest in ginger as an effective preventive has increased significantly in recent years. It is being studied alongside turmeric and black pepper—with which it forms a kind of triumvirate ingredient in Indian cuisine, which is famously anti-inflammatory.
From scientific studies, we now know that ginger exerts its anti-inflammatory power by suppressing the action of COX-2, the enzyme responsible for swelling and pain, and inhibiting the biosynthesis of the inflammatory mediators prostaglandin and leukotriene.
Beat anxiety and inflammation by enjoying this delicious Grounding Lentil Soup with Avocado and Ginger!
Grounding Lentil Soup with Avocado and Ginger
5 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1⁄2-inch Ginger Piece, grated
2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Dried Thyme
1 tsp Dried Sage
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1⁄8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Sea Salt
1⁄4 tsp Black Pepper
6 c Filtered Water
1 1⁄2 c Uncooked Lentils, any color
3 Celery Stalks, cut into 1⁄4-inch slices
1 Carrot, cut into 1⁄4-inch circles
Juice of 1 Lemon
1⁄4 c Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
Salt + Cayenne Pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Add the ginger and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the cumin, thyme, sage, oregano, and turmeric powder and stir-fry for an additional minute. Add the cayenne, salt, and black pepper and stir-fry for one more minute, until the spices are fragrant.
Stir in the water, lentils, celery, and carrot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer the soup for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft.
Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with additional salt or cayenne pepper to taste. Top with fresh cilantro and avocado slices.