Marilyn Glenville, one of the United Kingdom's leading nutritional therapists and author of Natural Alternatives to HRT Cookbook: Understanding Estrogen and Foods That Benefit Your Health (Ten Speed Press, $17.95), specializes in the natural approach to female hormone problems.
Glenville researched the diets of healthy women worldwide. For instance, studies have shown Japanese women have later and less stressful menopauses and a lower rate of breast cancer. "Therefore the question arises as to what most differentiates these women from us in the Western world," says Glenville. "The answer is our diet.
"Phytoestrogens, or plant hormones, are contained naturally in many everyday foods which have a huge influence on how women experience menopause."
For instance, garlic and parsley provide phytoestrogens, while the linseed oil and pine nuts add both omega 3 and 6 essential oils.
Pasta With Roast Garlic and Pine Nuts
Makes 4 servings
3 large heads of garlic
about 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound pasta, such as tagliatelle, tagliarini or linguine
1 tablespoon linseed oil
2 ounces pine nuts, lightly toasted
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or basil, plus more whole sprigs to garnish
freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Leaving the heads of garlic intact, remove the papery outer skin. Brush the heads all over with olive oil and arrange in a small oven-proof dish just big enough to hold them in a single layer. Add a splash of water and cover with an ovenproof lid. Bake for 30 minutes, until tender. Allow to cool until they can be handled.
Toward the end of the roasting time, start cooking the pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, take one of the garlic heads and squeeze the softened garlic from all the cloves. Puree this with the linseed oil and remaining olive oil. Carefully peel the rest of the garlic cloves to keep them intact. Mix these with the garlic puree, pine nuts, parsley or basil and seasoning, and coat pasta.
Per serving: 611 calories (30 percent from fat), 21 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 0.4 milligram cholesterol, 17 grams protein, 93 grams carbohydrate, 0.1 gram fiber, 25 milligrams sodium