Turmeric – spice and superfood

 

Today I would like to talk about one of my favorite superfood and spice – TURMERIC.

Turmeric root comes from Curcuma Longa plant and has brown skin with orange flash with similar to ginger flavor. It has been widely used in traditional Indian cooking as a warm and bitter spice that gives yellow color to carry and mustard as well as in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries as an herbal treatment for internal and external illnesses.

Turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant, anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering properties had sparked a lot of interest in research. There are millions of laboratory and clinical studies of turmeric and its benefits on human’s health that allowed more and more of its implication as medicinal herb in Western Medicine for prevention and treatment of variety of chronic diseases.
What makes Turmeric so super-powerful?

Bioactive ingredient, Curcumin, along with other compounds of turmeric, gives this “Queen of Spices” power and versatility of its application:

  1. Turmeric improves gastro-intestinal health. It increases mucin secretion and thus acts as gastroprotectant against stomach irritants. Curcumin has some antispasmodic, anti-flatulent activities and enhances intestinal enzymes such as lipase, sucrase and maltase activity.
  2. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is equally compared to pharmaceutical’s painkillers and gains its name as “Natural Ibuprofen”. Curcumin has been shown to reduce the TNF (tissue necrosis factor) induced expression, down-regulate cyclooxigenase-2 and nitric oxide synthetase that are represent different inflammation pathways.
  3. The antioxidant effect of turmeric was reported as early as 1975. It acts as a scavenger of free radicals and can protect hemoglobin from oxidation. Antioxidant action of Curcumin reached by maintaining the activities of antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in our cells.
  4. It reduces cholesterol level, particularly, low density and very low density lipoproteins (LDL and VLDL) due to enhancing pancreatic and intestinal lipase activity. In addition, stimulation of bile production by turmeric expedites elimination of cholesterol from the body and increase fat metabolism.
  5. Anti-carcinogenic effect. Curcumin acts as a potent cancer-fighting compound due to various mechanisms. It induces apoptosis (cell death), inhibits proliferation (cell growth) and prevents mutation.
  6. Stop progressive cognitive deterioration by decreasing Beta-amyloid plaques and delaying degradation of neurons.
  7. Antibacterial activity. It suppresses growth of several bacteria like Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, and Lactobacillus and prevents growth of Helicobacter Pylori.
  8. Antiviral (for example: Epstein-Barr virus) and anti-fungal effect.

Besides all that, there are some essential vitamins and nutrients naturally found in turmeric include:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3
  • Calcium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Other phytonutrients

All these excellent properties of turmeric that were known for thousands of years make Turmeric to be called “nutraceutical”.
“Nutraceutical” is a term coined in 1979 by Stephen DeFelice. It is defined “as a food or parts of food that provide medical or health benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease.”

Warning!
Because turmeric in high dose has medicinal property, it can have interactions with other drugs. Consult your health care provider before you start taking turmeric-containing supplements.

Possible interactions:

  • Blood-thinning Medications — Turmeric can make the effects of these drugs stronger, raising the risk of bleeding.
  • Drugs that reduce stomach acid — Turmeric may interfere with the action of these drugs, increasing the production of stomach acid.
  • Diabetes Medications — Turmeric may make the effects of these drugs stronger, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

What conditions or diseases can Turmeric help with?

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma, allergies
  • Autoimmune disorders (MS, ALS, FM, Hashimoto, etc)
  • Cancers, various types
  • Coronary-vascular diseases
  • Colds, flues, viral infections
  • Diabetes type 2
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Liver diseases
  • Menstrual disorders
  • Skin problem
  • Stomach pain
  • Weight gain

The list is endless. Basically, any degenerative diseases (chronic conditions and disorders that caused by toxins, diet and lifestyle) can be prevented or reversed by implementing few changes in your life along with use of powerful medicinal food and supplements that contain one.

A powerful supplement, containing turmeric, that I discovered recently and I would like to share with you is Protandim.
Protandim is a nutraceutical supplement that reduces oxidative stress that caused by 40% in 30 days and by 70% in 120 days. It activates the body’s own enzymes to fight free radicals that are leading cause of illnesses in America. Decreasing oxidative stress we lower chance to develop any chronic, degenerative diseases, cancers and slow aging process. What is in Protandim?

Besides Turmeric that we already discussed here, there are four other powerful ancient Chinese and Indian herbs that synergistically work together and enhance each other’s benefits: Green tea, Ashwagandha, Milk Thistle and Bacopa.

Protandim has been on a market for quiet sometime and gain a lot of attention from research and media. If you would like to start your natural prevention now, order Protandim here.

If you want to learn how to add turmeric to your food, keep reading.
There are so many dishes that you can enjoy by adding turmeric powder and get all its benefits:

  • Sprinkle on roasted vegetables
  • Add to you salad dressing
  • Mix in a mashed potatoes
  • Sauté with vegetables
  • Flavor your stir-fry
  • Add to your soup
  • Mix with other spices for fall-favorite pies
  • Blend in smoothies

Try and play around with it but don’t forget to add black paper for turmeric’s better digestibility and absorption.
Today I would like to share one of my favorite recipes that perfect for the upcoming cold season.

YUM AND LENTIL SOUP

Be healthy and happy!

Chocolate for your loved one

Giving chocolate to your loved one for Valentines Day is an old tradition. But why do we associate chocolate with love and what are health benefits of eating it?

Benefits of chocolate.

1. It improves our life.  Anandamide is the chemical in chocolate that quickly activates dopamine receptors in the brain which temporarily blocks feelings of pain and depression and provides the sense of wellbeing or “high”.

2. Substitutes for love.  It delivers a potent neurotransmitter called phenylethylamine, which is more commonly known as the “love drug.” That is why people crave chocolate when love is missing in there lives.

3. Makes us happy.  Cacao also has tryptophan – a precursor to the mood-stabilizing neurotransmitter serotonin.

4. Reduces the risk of cardiovascular problems. It has anti-clotting, blood-thinning properties that work in a similar way to aspirin which can improve blood flow and circulation.

5. Prevents cognitive decline. Cocoa’s flavonoids seems to make people feel more awake and alert and perform better. ( No wonder why my mom always gave me dark chocolate  when I took my tests).

6. It  is also and inflammation fighter due to resverathrol  presence. Eating dark chocolate is the most natural ways to reduce the inflammatory processes underlying the chronic, degenerative diseases.

7. Keeps cholesterol healthy. Naturally occurring polyphenols in cocoa, the fundamental component in chocolate, actually boost levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, while at the same time reducing the atherogenicity of so-called “bad” variety – LDL – by preventing its oxidation.

8. Increases energy. Chocolate contains caffeine, a stimulant that can help heighten physical energy and alertness, but studies also show that it can inhibit inflammation in the brain that causes migraines.

9. May reduce cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods.

10. Increase insulin sensitivity and reduce risk of diabetes.
All those beneficial properties related to dark chocolate over 70%. My personal favorite is 85%

Caution!!!

1. Non-organic bars might contain GMO- soy product, such as lecithin!
2. Watch for amount of sugar!
3. Do not overeat!

As mentioned in Cleveland Clinic study:

“It’s important to remember the word moderation. There’s a measured and tested amount of chocolate – 6.7 grams a day (or one small square of chocolate two or three times a week) – that provides the best health benefits. While it undoubtedly comes as a pleasant surprise that chocolate is actually good for you, eating the right amount is crucial if you want it to be a benefit and not a liability.”

Keep all this information in mind  when you buy good quality chocolate for your Valentine.

If you would like to surprise you loved one and make chocolate yourself check my recipe from the forthcoming cookbook.

—–> GET RECIPE HERE <—–

7 Superfoods to Fight Cancer

There are so much evedence that what we eat matter. The food that we consume every day can kill us or heal us. Dr. Young S. Kim and her team of researchers of The National Cancer Institute of America in July/August 2012 concluded that a poor diet (too much glucose, bad fats, dairy, too much salt, too many refined and junk foods) could cause a cancer to regrow from the Cancer Stem Cells left behind after conventional treatment. Dr. Kim also concluded that certain natural compounds in foods could stop this regrowth. High level of beneficial natural compounds like vitamins and minerals makes it SUPERFOOD. There are few superfoods that can reverse or prevent cancers.

Green leafy vegetables

Green vegetables long with avocado, beans, carrots, apricots, pumpkins, and egg yolk will give you folic acid if your gut bacteria are strong.
This will help your DNA to replicate properly and protect it during radiotherapy.
400 micrograms is a recommended amount. Folate, biotin, choline and inositol, niacin and vitamin B12 are all B vitamins that help in the cancer fight. Niacin has been shown to kill cancer cells. Green vegetables and sprouting seeds are a source of sulforaphanes which have strong epigenetic (gene expression) benefits and have been shown to aid survival from colorectal cancer. A diet rich in greens will help alkalize your body. A slightly alkaline body is important as it improves the performance of your immune system and research shows it stops new metastases.

Broccoli

Like other green cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts), broccoli contains fibre which helps eliminate toxins.
Moreover, the fibre binds to damaging agents in the intestine, and is one of the favorite foods of good, helpful gut bacteria (as are carrots, apples, chicory and onions).
Broccoli also contains indoles, and especially indole-3-carbinol which modifies and diminishes aggressive estrogen action, can modify cellular estrogen receptor sites, and aids in fighting estrogen-driven cancers like some breast, prostate, brain and colorectal cancers.

Ginger


Fresh, raw ginger has a number of very important benefits in cancer. It is a terrific anti-inflammatory agent. It also lowers blood sugar levels, and gingerols have been shown to have effects against prostate, breast, leukemia and other cancer cells. Grate 5 gm or more of ginger each day into your juices. It is also full of helpful vitamins and minerals and is anti-parasitic.

 

 

Garlic

It is a truly wonderful food. Active ingredients like allicin seem to act to stop the spread of cancer in a number of ways, for example by stopping blood supply formation for tumors.
Garlic also kills microbes and yeasts and anti-inflammatory in the body. It contains selenium, tryptophan and sulphur-based active agents that attack cancer cells.
Two or three raw cloves of garlic per day will chase away cancer as well as vampires.

 

Beetroot

Beets as well as any purple colored fruits and vegetables like cherries, plums, red grapes contain anthocyanins (and sometimes also resveratrol). Anthocyanins have been shown to kill cancer cells; Resveratrrol has research supporting its role in fighting certain cancers like blood and brain cancers.

 

 

Fish oil

Fish oil will provide long chain omega-3, a powerful anti-inflammatory in the body. Omega-3 has been shown to re-lengthen telomeres, which shorten when you have cancer, putting the DNA structure at risk and reducing longevity. Fish oils also contain vitamin A, an important vitamin in the fight against cancer (herring, mackerel and salmon are top of the list). Fish oils have been linked to reduced levels of prostate, breast and colon cancer. Research shows they help prevent cachexia (weakness and wasting of the body) when having chemotherapy. You´ll also get a little vitamin D from them, another proven cancer-fighter. Omega-3 from fish is an important ingredient in your cancer diet. Please note that the omega-3 from flaxseed is short-chain, equally important but has different benefits (for example, it helps oxygenate the tissues and provides essential fiber).

Seeds

Seeds are full of good oils, whole vitamins in a natural form (like vitamin E) and fiber to strengthen your gut flora. People who consume the highest levels of natural fiber have higher immune systems. For example:

Sunflower Seeds
: High in zinc and natural vitamin E. Zinc helps vitamin C do its work and accelerates healing time. It is important to a healthy prostate. You need 15 to 25 mg per day. Five tablespoons of sunflower seeds give you 10 mg. Sunflower seeds will also provide a little selenium.
Pumpkin Seeds: 
Can be mixed with the sunflower seeds and added into cereal,  oatmeal or snacks.   5 tablespoons will each provide 20 mg of vitamin E, the ultimate cancer buster, which inhibits cancer cell growth and protects immune cells from free radicals. Vitamin E boosts your immune system´s fighting abilities.
Sesame Seeds: The unique lignans in sesame seeds can reduce blood pressure and lipid levels. Research shows they can fight inflammation and also cancer! Gamma tocopherol vitamin E reduces inflammation around the body. Both sesame and flax lignans are converted to compounds that can arrest estrogenic cancers.

Try to incorporate all of these superfoods into your diet to heal your body and chase away not only cancer but also many other degenerative diseases.

To your health and happiness!