Life Extension Magazine®

Broccoli for improved cruciferous vegetable soups

Consumers Do Crave Healthy Foods!

A year ago Life Extension® posed the question, "Do consumers really want healthy foods?" The answer was a resounding Yes! Even though these cruciferous vegetable recipes cost more than glucose-spiking commercial soups, initial sales were six times greater than projected. Here we offer the rationale behind our pain-staking efforts to make recently improved versions of Cruciferous Vegetable and Asian Cruciferous Vegetable soups.

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: William Faloon.

Consumers Do Crave Healthy Foods!

Last year at this time, I wrote an editorial titled "Do Consumers Really Want Healthy Foods?"

I asked this question because we were working on vegetable soup recipes that contained only healthy ingredients, but cost more than commercial soups.

For instance, the price of the cruciferous vegetables and extra virgin olive oil contained in our soups was higher than pasta, potatoes, rice, corn, and other glucose-spiking ingredients used in commercial soups.

In response to our introduction of these "only healthy ingredient" soups, Life Extension® members answered my question with a resounding YES! We sold six times more of these cruciferous vegetable soups than anticipated.

The first problem was we could not come close to keeping up with consumer demand. The second issue was the manufacturer we contracted with had never made bulk soups that contained vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and asparagus.

Production problems delayed delivery for months. The third setback was that we could not find a reliable company to make the contaminant-free pouches to conveniently package these healthy soups.

When we finally delivered the soups, there was strong re-order demand, with 75% of customers who tried our Cruciferous Vegetable Soup stating they liked the taste and wanted to make it part of their regular diet.

Rather than hurriedly trying to make more of these soups—and not knowing if there would be further production issues—we sought out a larger manufacturer and spent months improving them.

The result of our pursuit is new versions of the Cruciferous Vegetable and Asian Cruciferous Vegetable Soup with improved consistency and taste.

This article describes our rationale for painstakingly developing these soups that contain ingredients that are associated with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Consumers are frustrated that it is nearly impossible to buy prepared foods at grocery stores that contain only ingredients that have been shown to protect against common degenerative disorders.

The front side of labels promotes many foods as being healthy, but a quick look at the ingredient panel reveals the opposite.

Scientists long ago documented that eating certain vegetables is associated with reduced risks of serious health issues. Commercial soups, however, contain virtually no cauliflower,1 broccoli,2-6 asparagus,7 Brussels sprouts,8-10 or other vegetables that provide these benefits.

In fact, most vegetable soups are loaded with starches (potatoes, rice, or pasta) that spike blood sugar levels. We know most adults already suffer from high after-meal glucose surges that contribute to many health problems. The glycemic index of cruciferous vegetables, on the other hand, is extremely low.11

Life Extension thus embarked on a mission to prepare soups that contain plant ingredients shown to promote health. The objective is to provide a broad-spectrum of cruciferous and other low-calorie vegetables with no starches, preservatives or added sugars. The results are two soup recipes that provide the healthy vegetables that nutrition experts recommend Americans consume more of.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

The multiple benefits of the monounsaturated fats and other constituents of olive oil are well documented in published scientific studies.12-14

Findings reveal that consumption of virgin olive oils results in reductions in markers of serious health conditions.15-47

The favorable effects on human health from virgin olive oils are so persuasive that Life Extension long ago added a standardized olive fruit concentrate to the popular Super Omega-3 fish oil supplement. We reasoned that any member seeking the benefits of highly concentrated fish oil would not want to miss out on the additive protective effects available from the olive fruit.

We start our recipe for the two vegetable soups with extra virgin olive oil to provide both taste fullness and health benefits.

Cruciferous Vegetables

A huge volume of scientific data documents how cruciferous vegetables protect against a wide range of age-related disorders.48-59 Since the early 1980s, Life Extension® has published the results from findings showing that those who eat cruciferous and certain other vegetables can help prevent serious health issues.60-77

The problem is that most Americans don't consume broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage on a regular basis to obtain these health benefits.

You would think that at least one commercial food company would recognize that when consumers are choosing a vegetable soup, they would want a variety that contains cruciferous vegetables with proven disease-protective effects.

On the contrary, profit-hungry processed food companies use the lowest-cost ingredients they can find. Since high-calorie potatoes, rice, pasta, and corn can be termed "vegetables," these are often the dominant ingredients in soups consumers are saddled with. Remember that corn is fed to cattle to fatten them up. Our soups contain health-promoting cruciferous plants such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Healthy Non-cruciferous Vegetables

The plant kingdom provides aging humans with a wealth of nutrients that scientists have identified as having potent health supporting properties.

In addition to cruciferous vegetables, the soups that our chef formulated contain asparagus,78-80 peppers,81-85 celery,86-90 carrots,91-93 garlic,94-99 spinach,91,100-103 thyme,104-110 parsley,111-113 basil,114-116 and tomatoes117-122 to provide the greatest variety of health-promoting plants in one satiating recipe.

Healthy Vegetable Soups
  • It is difficult to find prepared foods containing ingredients that protect against common health issues.
  • Most commercially available vegetable soups are full of cheap starches like potatoes, corn, pasta, and rice that spike blood sugar levels.
  • Consuming vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and tomatoes is associated with a reduced risk of some cell disorders.
  • Life Extension has developed two good-tasting vegetable soups full of health-promoting ingredients including cruciferous vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, asparagus, tomatoes, celery, peppers, garlic, thyme, parsley, and basil.
  • The soups are not only delicious, they are low-calorie and have a low glycemic index, so they help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within normal range.
  • Life Extension soups are packaged in advanced polymer pouches that are free from dangerous chemicals known as bisphenol-A and phthalates.

Fight Back Against Food Fraud

Fight Back Against Food Fraud

The "food fraud" perpetrated by processed food companies is unconscionable. They load supposedly healthy vegetable soups with rice, potatoes, pasta, and other high-glycemic ingredients. More than 80% of the American public has higher-than-optimal blood glucose levels,123,124 yet even when they try to eat better by consuming a can of commercial vegetable soup, they wind up with mostly glucose-spiking starches.

The American diet is overloaded with dangerous sugars that contribute to a growing health epidemic.125-128 By intentionally spiking vegetable soups with cheap sugars and starchy ingredients, processed food companies reap enormous profits while consumers pay the price with a shortened life span. Is it any wonder why Americans are accumulating so many fat pounds?

A pouch of Life Extension Vegetable Soups provides more than one pound of vegetables that will satiate most appetites—while delivering only 80 to 90 calories per serving.

There are 3.5 servings in each pouch, with each serving providing a full serving of healthy vegetables.

Life Extension's Vegetable Soups can be used as a mini-meal by those seeking to reduce their calorie intake, or as a vegetable side dish to serve three or more people with a single pouch.

Compare the healthy calories in these soups to the garbage foods you see endlessly advertised on TV. You'll easily see how commercial food companies are robbing Americans of their health by promoting foods that harm rather than protect.

Why Our Soups Don't Come in Cans

There is a concern that the lining of canned foods with bisphenol-A (found in 92% of canned foods) represents a health risk.147-148 It has been shown to be a "hormone disrupter," which raises concern about potential cancer risk.149,150

The FDA says bisphenol-A is safe, but we have little confidence in a government agency that is so beholden to the financial interests to processed food companies.

Life Extension's new vegetable soups are packaged in an advanced bisphenol-A and phthalate-free polymer pouch to not only preserve the integrity of the cruciferous vegetables, but also protect our members against bisphenol-A exposure.

Life Extension Members Recognize Value

The nearly two-year development of these unique cruciferous soup recipes has cost the Life Extension Buyers Club® an enormous amount of money. While pessimists suggested early on that we abandon the project and stick with our expertise in nutritional supplements, we persevered nonetheless.

We proved cynics wrong from the start when Life Extension members overwhelmed us with orders for the first production run of these cruciferous vegetables soups… even though we needed to charge a retail price of $11.95 per two-pound pouch.

Even at the discounted price members pay (as low as $8.44 per pouch), these vegetable soups are higher priced than what is typically found in grocery stores. The question was whether consumers wanted to continue using vegetable soups laden with sugar-starches and other mediocre ingredients? Our members sure didn't, as orders and re-orders poured in for these cruciferous vegetable soups.

TV commercials endlessly promote the unhealthiest of foods, but consumers have woken up to the high price one pays when a toxic diet destroys their precious health.

We have spent the last year improving the taste and consistency of our Cruciferous Vegetable and Asian Cruciferous Vegetable soups and believe they are superior to anything else on the market. No prepared food comes close to providing this broad-spectrum of healthy ingredients—with none of the cheap fillers and starches that create biological havoc in aging individuals.

Life Extension looks forward to expanding into a broader line of health-promoting foods… and lowering prices in the process.

What's Missing From Cooked Vegetables?
What's Missing From Cooked Vegetables?

There is one important caveat about cooked vegetables you should know about. During the heating process required to make any soup, some of the beneficial compounds contained in the vegetables are invariably lost.

Those concerned about certain health issues often rely on supplements that contain standardized potencies of nutrients found in healthy vegetables such as indole-3-carbinol (I3C),66,129-132 diindolylmethane (DIM),131-137 sulforaphane,138-142 and apigenin.143-146

Even when including cooked vegetables in your diet, it is still important to obtain standardized potencies of cruciferous and other vegetable extracts from your supplements and/or carefully steamed vegetables.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.



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