Now that Halloween has passed and we’re sliding into the colder, darker months, our bodies are craving those fragrant, filling meals that will warm us up! Turnips, carrots, and potatoes are hearty vegetables that are able to tolerate frost in cold weather, so they (along with a list of others) are perfect for stews and side dishes. Today, we have a great recipe that will utilize those in-season vegetables by roasting them with rosemary and other delicious, aromatic herbs.

Overall healthy ingredient profile

Vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy chemopreventive diet. Roasting helps contain all the nutrients within the vegetables, instead of leaching some out into cooking water. Fresh rosemary and thyme infuse this dish with wonderful aromas, as well as adding valuable micronutrients. Rosemary contains rosmarinic acid (RosA) and carnasol, both studied for their cancer preventive properties. Today, we will focus on RosA.

Evidence for cancer prevention by rosmarinic acid

RosA is a polyphenol similar to caffeic acid (found in coffee). Polyphenols are chemicals  with antioxidant properties known to protect against carcinogenesis, tumor cell proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis, and inflammation. Inflammation has been linked to symptoms in cancer patients, such as depression, fatigue, neuropathic pain, metastases and tumor growth.

In 2006, a study was performed at the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur, India on mice with stage II skin cancer. The scientists tested how the cancer responded to RosA and found that it was able to suppress tumorigenesis (the formation of new tumors) as well as block pro-inflammatory pathways in cancer cells.

You can also find a table of recent findings in studies with RosA in this article.

Sources of rosemarinic acid

RosA is also found in basil, sage, lemon balm, mint, oregano, thyme, and peppermint.

Safety suggestions

No serious RosA side effects have been reported, and extensive blood cell counts and hepatic and renal function tests showed RosA to be safe and effective.

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