Anti-inflammatory vegan power pesto
Why do we call this sauce a power pesto?
Because it is packed with many nutrients beneficial to our body.
Hemp seeds contain high levels of poly-unsaturated fatty acids, (PUFA) including Omega 6 and Omega 3 in a ratio between 2:1 and 3:1 (this is important for absorption).
PUFAs are called essential fatty acids, as our organism is not able to produce them on its own and it depends on their absorption from food.
Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects and were shown to reduce the risks for coronary heart disease. 
They are rich in water-soluble fibers (called mucilage) that form a gel after soaking in water.
These fibers slow down stomach emptying and hence give more time to the intestine to absorb nutrients.
You can use soaked linseed as a substitute for eggs, it does significantly reduce levels of LDL Cholesterol over time. 
Olive oil, an important element of the Mediterranean diet, has great-inflammatory activity. Among the polyphenols found in olive oil we find hydroxytyrosol (HT). HT interacts with the DNA of blood vessel cells and enhances their antioxidant defence system. As a result, people who consume olive oil regularly are at lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases compared to those who do not consume olive oil or eat it sparingly. [3,4]
This herb is not only a tasty and beautiful herb to add to dishes, it also contains many antioxidants including volatile oils and flavonoids. Among these oils, mystricin is known to activate an enzyme (glutathione-S-transferase) that allows glutathione to attach to oxidized molecules. This process inactivates oxidized molecules, also known as radicals.
Decreasing radicals directly lowers cell damage, and, with it, the risk for cardiovascular disorders, cancer, and inflammatory diseases. [2, 5]
Among the many benefits of garlic, we find increased absorption of iron and antibacterial and antiviral activity. Garlic contains diallyl sulphides, compounds that increase the production of ferroportin, a membrane protein that allows stored iron to exit the cell and circulate into the system.
Several studies have shown how garlic can prevent infections from the yeast Candida albicans, the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa in burn patients, and help with treatment of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. [6,7,8]
The power pesto recipe
- chives 20 g
- parsley 20 g
- linseeds 20 g
- hemp seeds 20 g
- olive oil 80 ml
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 pinch of salt
To make this pesto you can either use pestle and mortar or a blender.
If using a blender, make sure that you do not overheat the parsley and the oil, as heat makes basil taste bitter and it also changes the structure of some fats present in olive oil.
Simply mix the above ingredients together until you reach a consistency that you like.
You can serve the pesto immediately on pasta (or cucumber noodles if you have a spiralizer), or store it for up to 4 weeks in the fridge. If you are planning to store it for long, make sure you add some extra olive oil so that it doesn’t dry up.
If you enjoyed this recipe, and would love to introduce more plant-based dishes onto your feasting table these days, why not checking our VEGAN FESTIVE COOKBOOK? It’s a free donation ebook with plenty of festive recipes that will bring health & peace to your plate (and also a great way to support all of our FREE articles throughout this past year!).
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 Callaway, J. C. 2004. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica. 140: pp. 65-72.
 Hirano, R et al. 2001. Antioxidant ability of various flavonoids against DPPH radicals and LDL oxidation. Journal of Nutritional Science & Vitaminology. 47(5): pp. 357-362.
 Cicerale, S. Lucas, L. and Keast, R. 2010. Biological Activities of Phenolic Compounds Present in Virgin Olive Oil. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 11(2): pp. 458-479.
 De la Lastra Romero, C. A. and Gonzalez, G. 2011. An up-date of olive oil and bioactive constituents in health: molecular mechanisms and clinical bioactive constituents in health: molecular mechanisms and clinical implications. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 17(8): pp. 752-753.
 Wood, R. 1988. The Whole Foods Encyclopaedia. New York: Prentice-Hall Press.
 Gautam, S. Platel, K. and Srinivasan, K. 2010. Higher bioaccessibility of iron and zinc from food grains in the presence of garlic and onion. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58(14): pp. 8426-8429.
 Ghalambor, A. and Pipelzadeh, M. H. 2009. Clinical Study on the efficacy of orally administered crushed fresh garlic in controlling Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection in burn patients with varying burn degrees. Jundishapur Journal of Microbiology. 2(1): pp. 7-13.
 Landete, J. M. 2012. Plant and mammalian lignans: a review of source, intake, metabolism, intestinal bacterial and health. Food Research International. 46(1): pp. 410-424.