Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Turmeric Cashews

turmeric-cashews-2

Turmeric Cashews

2 cups raw cashews

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, plus more if needed

scant 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste

half an 8×8-inch sheet nori seaweed  ( I have used Kale or spinach too )

1 1/2 teaspoons sesame seeds

scant 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric

 

Toss the cashews with the sesame oil and sea salt and toast in a 350F oven for 5-10 minutes, or until golden, tossing once along the way. Remove and toast the seaweed for a few minutes. Allow it to cool and crisp, then crumble it. Combine the seaweed, sesame seeds, and cayenne in a mortar and pestle, and grind together. In a bowl (one that won’t stain) toss the cashews with the sesame spices and turmeric, really go for it. If you need to add a few drops of sesame oil, do so to moisten things up a bit. Taste and adjust the seasonings, to taste.

 

Makes 2 cups.

 

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Can a Common Spice Treat Depression?

turmeric_article

 

Can a Common Spice Treat Depression?

 

If you find yourself grappling with depression, you are—for better or worse—not alone. However, if you do suffer from depression, you do feel alone.

 

As of 2012, diagnoses of depression are growing at an alarming rate and, as if depression alone weren’t enough, states that report high rates of depression also report accompanying physical manifestations of stress with greater obesity rates and incidences of heart disease.

 

Perhaps you have tried talking with a therapist or counselor, which is an effective way to tackle this often desperation-inducing condition, but it often works even better when you treat the chemical side of the issue. Doctors often prescribe a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) such as Fluoxentine, Sertraline and Citalopram, and they are often effective but they sometimes come with side effects that may complicate treatment, at the very least.

 

Another option you might consider is looking into natural treatments for depression. You might even ask your physician or psychiatric professional what experience and information they have regarding natural approaches to treating depression.

Some of the most common treatments include St. John’s Wort, 5HTP, SAMe, L-Theanine, Vitamin D3, B-vitamins and Fish Oil.

 

Treatment with Turmeric

 

Lurking in your spice rack is a potentially powerful component of your depression treatment. Something as delightful and delectable as turmeric that adds the beautiful yellow color to your curry dishes and mustard can actually become an integral part of your wellness. Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for a wide range of conditions, illnesses and disorders for more than 4,000 years and in China from 700 A.D.

 

Curcumin and Neurogenesis

 

Curcumin, which is turmeric’s active ingredient, has been tested on animals and has shown effective improvement over depression in the animals. According to Dr. Weil, curcumin spurs nerve growth in the frontal cortex and hippocampal portions of the brain. One line of thinking attributes depression to damage to the hippocampal neurons, so anything that serves to repair that area might serve as the secret weapon against depression. Along with high impact exercise, bright light and learning, Curcumin has the potential to increase neurogenesis to decrease the negative effects of depression, if not the depression itself.

Curcumin and Turmeric Increase Serotonin and Dopamine in the Brain

Similar to the benefits of SSRIs, turmeric and curcumin increase serotonin levels, which help regulate sleep, learning, memory and mood. To a lesser degree, curcumin increases the level of dopamine in the brain, which controls emotional responses to situations and movement.

Turmeric On Its Own for Treating Depression?

While turmeric is effective in conjunction with SSRIs, it is not yet certain whether you could eschew your antidepressant prescription quite yet. Your doctor might have more information about the synergistic effects of taking turmeric or curcumin as a complement to your SSRI prescription or any other medication you might take to help with depression.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Turmeric Latte Recipe

 

tumericlatte

Turmeric Latte Recipe

 

This creamy, rich latte is packed with anti-inflammatory and thyroid-supporting nutrients.

 

More than just adding a beautiful yellow to this latte, turmeric is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory agents we know. It also has been shown to counter the proliferative effect of estrogen on cancer cells. The cashews are rich in vitamins B6, E, and K and minerals copper, zinc, and selenium, which support the thyroid.

 

That’s why I recommend this turmeric latte. It’s creamy and rich, and full of savory flavors. Because of the cashews and coconut oil, this latte will help keep you full longer and stabilize blood sugar, preventing you from wanting to snack excessively. The boldness of the turmeric mixed with cinnamon and a pinch of clove is totally scrumptious.

 

TURMERIC LATTE

4 tbs. raw cashews

4 tbs. shredded unsweetened coconut

1 cup water

1 tsp. coconut oil

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. turmeric

Pinch of clove

Pinch of coarse sea salt

Blend the cashews, shredded coconut, and water till creamy. Strain through a nut-milk bag and discard the pulp (you now have cashew milk). Put the liquid back in the blender with the rest of the ingredients and give it a quick whiz. Transfer to a pot on the stove, bring to a boil (or heat gently until warm to the touch), remove from heat, and serve warm with a dusting of cinnamon.

 

NOTE: You may also like to try using coconut milk in place of the cashew milk.

 

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Turmeric Lemonade

turmericlemonade

Turmeric is a versatile spice that I use often and it is also a great natural remedy. It can be used externally to improve skin, can help whiten teeth, and in poultices to soothe rashes. Internally, it supports digestion, the liver, and is high in beneficial antioxidants. You have heard me talk about turmeric before and now you hear about it again, with a twist.

 

This power spice is a cornerstone of Indian cuisine and used in curry powders, mustards and more. Doctors and naturopaths often recommend turmeric as a way to help lower inflammation in the body. Thousands of studies show its benefits in promoting heart health, mental health, reducing inflammation and ensuring balanced blood sugar.

How to Use Turmeric

 

I love to add turmeric to skin scrubs and other beauty recipes. I also put it in many of my homemade spice blends and add it to many recipes.

 

Unfortunately, many of the foods I love adding turmeric in, like soups and stews, aren’t good summer recipes. I find it harder to consume foods and drinks with turmeric in warmer months. But, you can always add turmeric to scrambled.

 

My favorite turmeric recipe of all time is this Turmeric Tea (also called Golden Milk). I make that warm and savory drink with coconut milk and other spices and love it in cooler months.

 

Turmeric Lemonade

 

Unfortunately, when the outside temperatures start hitting 90+ degrees, hot drinks lose some of their appeal. I’ve been experimenting with ways to use turmeric in cooler foods and drinks and come up with a few recipes we love.

 

This iced turmeric lemonade is a delicious summer favorite for our family as I’ve been making it often for the kids while they are playing outside. It is incredibly easy to make and tastes great!

The earthy taste of the turmeric provides gorgeous color but is mostly hidden by the tang of the lemon. Personally, I like to use liquid stevia to sweeten this, though any natural sweetener would work.

 

Iced turmeric lemonade combines earthy and bright turmeric with fresh lemon and natural sweetness for a delicious summer drink.

 

Serves: 4 cups

 

Ingredients:

 

2 cups water

1.5 cup of ice

½ cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste about 2-3 lemons)

1-2 teaspoons turmeric powder

½ teaspoon stevia drops (or more to taste)- Can substitute other natural sweetener but will need to add more

Tiny pinch of black pepper (increases benefits of turmeric)

Instructions:

 

Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend for 60 seconds or until ice is completely blended in.

Let rest for about 30 seconds before pouring. Pour into cups to serve. I prefer to serve over more ice.

Consume immediately.

Notes:

 

If you won’t consume all of this at once, make smaller batches by cutting the recipe in half or even fourths. I prefer to use stevia to keep the sugar content down, but any natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey will work well in this recipe. You can also make this with lime juice (same amount as lemon juice) or orange juice (double the juice and reduce the water by ½ cup).

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Uncategorized

Ten Spices for Weight Loss

10spicesforweight

Top 10 Herbs and Spices to Help You Lose Weight

 

  1. Ginseng

 

Ginseng is valued for its ability to boost energy levels and speed metabolism. Panax ginseng, in particular, has been linked to weight loss benefits, with one study showing obese, diabetic mice given panax ginseng extracts not only had improvements in insulin sensitivity, but also lost a significant amount of weight after 12 days.1

 

  1. Cayenne Pepper

 

Capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat, may help fight obesity by decreasing calorie intake, shrinking fat tissue, and lowering blood fat levels, as well as fight fat buildup by triggering beneficial protein changes in your body.2

 

Part of the benefit may be due to capsaicin’s heat potential, as it is a thermogenic substance that may temporarily increase thermogenesis in your body, where your body burns fuel such as fat to create heat, with beneficial impacts on metabolism and fat storage. Research suggests that consuming thermogenic ingredients may boost your metabolism by up to 5 percent, and increase fat burning by up to 16 percent.3 It may even help counteract the decrease in metabolic rate that often occurs during weight loss.

 

  1. Cinnamon

 

This spice may help to boost your metabolism, and it also has impressive benefits for blood sugar regulation, making it an ideal seasoning for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Cinnamon has been found to significantly reduce blood sugar levels, triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and total cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, as well as increase glucose metabolism by about 20 times, which would significantly improve your ability to regulate blood sugar.4

 

  1. Black Pepper

 

Black pepper contains a substance called piperine, which not only gives it its pungent flavor, but also blocks the formation of new fat cells.5 When combined with capsaicin and other substances, black pepper was also found to burn as many calories as taking a 20-minute walk.6 As an aside, black pepper also increases the bioavailability of just about all other foods — herbs and other compounds – making it a healthy choice for virtually any meal.

 

  1. Dandelions

 

Every part of the dandelion is edible and full of nutrition. And because they help slow your digestion, they can make you feel full longer, helping you maintain a healthy weight. Dandelions have antioxidant properties and contain bitter crystalline compounds called Taraxacin and Taracerin, along with inulin and levulin, compounds thought to explain some of its therapeutic properties. Along with being full of dietary fiber, dandelions also contain beta carotene, vitamin K1, vitamins and minerals, and are known for being beneficial for normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol, as well as cleansing your liver.

 

  1. Mustard

 

The mustard plant is actually in the cruciferous family of vegetables (along with broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts, for instance). Mustard seeds have been shown to boost metabolic rate by 25 percent, which means you’ll burn calories more efficiently. In fact, just 3/5 teaspoon of mustard seeds daily may help you burn an extra 45 calories an hour.7

 

  1. Turmeric

 

If you’re a fan of curry, you’re probably also a fan of turmeric, as this is the yellow-orange spice that makes the foundation of many curry dishes. Curcumin, one of turmeric’s most thoroughly studied active ingredients, reduces the formation of fat tissue by suppressing the blood vessels needed to form it, and therefore may contribute to lower body fat and body weight gain.8

 

Curcumin may also be useful for the treatment and prevention of obesity-related chronic diseases, as the interactions of curcumin with several key signal transduction pathways in the body result in improvements in insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and other inflammatory symptoms associated with obesity and metabolic disorders.9

 

  1. Ginger

 

Ginger is another warming spice that has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help soothe and relax your intestinal tract. Research also suggests that ginger may have thermogenic properties that help boost your metabolism, as well as have an appetite-suppressant effect when consumed, suggesting a “potential role of ginger in weight management.”10

 

  1. Cardamom

 

Cardamom, an aromatic spice with a spicy-sweet flavor, is another thermogenic herb that helps boost your metabolism and may boost your body’s ability to burn fat. Cardamom is a popular herb used in Ayurveda, an ancient holistic system of medicine and natural healing from India. It is also used to lift the blues.  Many of our Scandinavian countries have been using it for years for Seasonal Depression.

 

  1. Cumin

 

Cumin is useful for digestion and energy production, and may improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. The spice has a long history of medicinal use, and has also been found to enhance memory and provide potent anti-stress benefits.

 

What Else are Spices Good For?

 

Far more than you might imagine …Herbs and spices are actually some of the most potent antioxidants in your food supply; in many instances surpassing other more well-known sources of antioxidants. For example, spices such as cloves and cinnamon have phenol levels that are 30 percent and 18 percent of dry weight, respectively. Compare that to blueberries, which are widely touted for their antioxidant capabilities; they contain roughly 5 percent phenol by dry weight…

 

Another example is oregano, which has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and four times more than blueberries! One tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple.

 

While each spice has a unique set of health benefits to offer, one study, published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods,11 found a direct correlation between the antioxidant phenol content and the spice’s ability to inhibit glycation and the formation of toxic advanced glycation end products, making them potent preventers of heart disease and premature aging. According to this study, the top 10 most potent herbs and spices are:

 

  1. Cloves (ground) 2.   Cinnamon (ground)Saigon or Thailand only
  2. Jamaican allspice (ground) 4.   Apple pie spice (mixture)
  3. Oregano (ground) 6.   Pumpkin pie spice (mixture)
  4. Marjoram 8.   Sage
  5. Thyme 10. Gourmet Italian spice

Rounding Out Your Comprehensive Weight Loss Plan

 

Always remember to buy certified organic spices, as most conventional ones are irradiated, resulting in the formation of harmful radiolytic byproducts, including formaldehyde. For most people, simply adding spices to your meals will not be enough to trigger significant weight loss, although this will certainly support and help you achieve your weight loss goals. If you are serious about losing weight, you’ll need a more comprehensive plan that includes:

 

Eliminating or strictly limiting fructose in your diet, and following the healthy eating program in my comprehensive nutrition plan. You can also use intermittent fasting strategically with this program to greatly boost your body’s fat-burning potential.

Engaging in high-intensity Peak Fitness exercise to burn fat and increase muscle mass (a natural fat burner).

Addressing the emotional component of eating. For this I highly recommend the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), which helps eliminate your food cravings naturally.

 

If you are having problems with your weight loss plan, or you notice weight gain in certain areas, it is usually not how much you are eating, but what you are eating.

Please share with family and loved ones.  Call us for an appointment to help in all your healthcare plans.

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Foods, Uncategorized

Yellow Rice

yellowrice

Yellow Rice

 

Ingredients

3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

Pinch cinnamon

3 cups water

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups long grain or basmati rice

2 tablespoons sliced scallions

 

Directions

In a medium saucepan, heat the turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon over low heat until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add the water, salt, and butter and bring to a boil. Add the rice and stir well. Cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cook, covered, without stirring until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, without stirring, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, add scallions, and serve.

 

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Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

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Foods, Uncategorized

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

 

Cauliflower is a highly nutritious food that has anti-cancer, anti-viral, and liver cleansing properties. It’s a wonderful vegetable to include in your diet as often as possible.

 

Roasted Cauliflower Wedges

 

Ingredients:

1 large head cauliflower

2 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 cloves garlic, minced

sea salt and pepper to taste

optional garnishes: basil, parsley, cilantro, thyme, and/or scallions

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Slice a whole cauliflower from top to bottom into three very thick slices and place in the baking trays.

 

Whisk together the oil and spices and brush or spoon over the cauliflower. Bake in the oven until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Time will vary base don your oven so check it often. Garnish with scallions and herbs and enjoy!

 

Please share with family and friends.  If you have any questions or concerns please call.

 

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Grilled cauliflower steaks

 

Foods, Health and Disease

What is Golden Milk?

goldenmilk

What is Golden Milk?

Many people like to end their day by sipping on a cup of chamomile tea, but even devoted tea drinkers may be tempted by a warm cup of golden milk. In fact, while some people find it soothing, and perfect before bed, others enjoy it first thing in the morning and even drink it in place of coffee.

What is golden milk? It’s not actually milk at all, at least not in the dairy sense. The basis of golden milk is a combination of the warming (and golden-colored) turmeric spice along with coconut milk and/or coconut oil (depending on the recipe you prefer).

Turmeric is most well-known for its use in curry dishes, but it’s earning a name for itself as a potent medicinal food.

Turmeric has actually been valued for its medicinal properties for centuries, but in the Western world, particularly the US, it’s not commonly consumed. Golden milk has the potential to change that, as each cup provides you with a healthy dose of this “spice of life.”

Turmeric Has Over 150 Potentially Therapeutic Activities

It’s difficult to describe turmeric in brief simply because it has so manybeneficial properties. That’s why the “spice of life,” as it’s known in India, sums it up wonderfully.

Traditional medicinal uses in both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as Ayurvedic medicine include the treatment of liver disease, skin problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, sprained muscles, joint pains, and general wound healing.

Turmeric’s benefits have since been well documented in the medical literature, and curcumin — one of the most well-studied bioactive ingredients in turmeric –  has been found to promote health and protect against a wide variety of health conditions.

It actually exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, as well as potent anti-cancer properties that have been intensely studied.

Researchers have found a number of different mechanisms of action for curcumin, and part of the answer as to why curcumin appears to be such potent medicine is because it can:

  • Modulate about 700 of your genes
  • Positively modulate more than 160 different physiological pathways1
  • Make your cells’ membranes more orderly2
  • Affect signaling molecules.3For example, curcumin has been shown to directly interact with:
Inflammatory molecules Cell survival proteins Histone
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) integrase and protease DNA and RNA Various carrier proteins and metal ions

Turmeric Lowers Inflammation and Blood Sugar Levels

Curcumin is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories in nature, which is why, if you’re struggling with any inflammatory disorder, golden milk is a beverage worth trying.

Many chronic diseases have inflammation at their root, and even if you’re currently healthy, you may benefit from an anti-inflammatory beverage like golden milk, particularly if you eat an inflammatory diet (one that is high in processed foods, sugars, and/or grains).

Curcumin can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.

A 2006 study also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids (curcumin is the most investigated curcuminoid) blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.4

Separate research among people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome also set out to determine curcumin’s effects on inflammation. Half of the participants took one gram of curcumin powder daily for eight weeks while the other half received a placebo pill.

At the end of the study, the curcumin group had lower levels of three blood markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein (CRP), along with lower fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (a measure of longer term blood sugar levels).5

For comparison, the placebo group had higher blood sugar levels and increased inflammation after the eight weeks. When the researchers evaluated eight previous studies, they, too, confirmed that curcumin lead to reductions in CRP levels.

They concluded that short-term supplementation with bioavailable curcumin significantly improves oxidative and inflammatory status in people with metabolic syndrome, and could be regarded as a “natural, safe, and effective CRP-lowering agent.”6

What Might You Gain By Sipping on Golden Milk?

Curcumin in turmeric has the ability to modulate genetic activity and expression — both by destroying cancer cells and by promoting healthy cell function. It also promotes anti-angiogenesis, meaning it helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth.

Curcumin appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer. In addition, according to an ever-expanding clinical body of studies, curcumin may help:

Support healthycholesterol levels Prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation Inhibit platelet aggregation
Suppress thrombosis and myocardial infarction Suppress symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes Suppress symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis Suppress symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease Inhibit HIV replication
Suppress tumor formation Enhance wound healing Protect against liver damage
Increase bile secretion Protect against cataracts Protect against pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis

A study published in Natural Product Reports in 2011 further described curcumin as being therapeutic for a wide range of diseases, including:

Lung and liver diseases Neurological diseases Metabolic diseases
Autoimmune disorders Cardiovascular diseases Inflammatory diseases

Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil: The Other ‘Magic’ Ingredients in Golden Milk

There are many variations of golden milk you can try, but most are made with coconut milk (and some include coconut oil as well). Blending turmeric in with coconut milk not only adds a soothing, creamy base but also additional health benefits.

Coconut milk is made from the expressed juice of grated coconut meat and water. About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such asGiardia lamblia.

Lauric acid is a type of medium-chain fatty acid (MCFAs), which is easily digested and readily crosses cell membranes. MCFAs are immediately converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat. There are numerous studies showing that MCFAs promote weight loss, including one study that showed rats fed MCFAs reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.7

Yet another study found that overweight men who ate a diet rich in MCFAs lost more fat tissue, presumably due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation from the MCFA intake.8 In addition, coconut milk is rich in antioxidants and nutrients, including vitamins C, E, and B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.

Coconut oil has similar health benefits and is useful for making “golden paste.” You can make golden paste ahead of time, which allows you to quickly whip up a cup of golden milk whenever you’re in the mood. As an added benefit, turmeric is fat-soluble, so the use of coconut milk and oil helps to increase its benefits.

How to Make Golden Paste and Golden Milk

Golden paste acts as a “starter” to blend the perfect cup of golden milk. It includes not only turmeric and coconut oil but also black pepper, which has been found to increase curcumin’s bioavailability by 2,000 percent.9 Here’s a simple recipe to make your own from Health Impact News:10

Golden Paste11

Ingredients:

·                    1/2 cup organic turmeric powder

·                    1 cup water

·                    1.5 teaspoons black pepper

·                    5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Directions:

1.                     In a stainless steel pot, cook the water, turmeric, and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stirring and cooking for about 7 to 10 minutes.

2.                     Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil.

3.                     Transfer the Golden Paste into a glass jar with a lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

4.                     You will use this paste to make your Golden Milk below.

Once you’ve made your golden paste, you’re ready to make golden milk. The recipe that follows, also from Health Impact News, is simple and can be suited to your tastes:12

Golden Milk13

Ingredients:

·                    1 teaspoon Golden Paste

·                    2 cups coconut milk

·                    1/8 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

·                    Raw honey [or stevia] to taste (optional)

·                    Pinch cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

1.                     In a stainless steel pot, gently heat, but do not boil, 2 cups of milk with 1 teaspoon of golden paste.

2.                     A whisk is helpful to fully mix the paste into the milk.

3.                     Add optional vanilla, honey [or stevia], and/or cinnamon.

Golden Milk Variation Using Turmeric Sticks and Ginger

For a slightly different slant on golden milk, the recipe that follows, from Prevent Disease, includes the spice ginger and uses turmeric sticks instead of powder.14 It’s also made without a starter golden paste, which is useful if you’re hankering for a mug but don’t have any golden paste on hand.

Golden Milk with Ginger15

Ingredients:

·                    1 inch-long stick of turmeric

·                    Peppercorns (white)

·                    1 cup water

·                    1 cup coconut milk

·                    1 inch-long piece of ginger

·                    Raw honey or stevia (optional)

·                    ½ teaspoon ghee (optional, for sore throat or cough)

Directions:

1.                     Take an inch-long stick of turmeric… and crush it coarsely using a mortar and pestle.

2.                     Crush a few peppercorns too. The white variety is better.

3.                     Mix a cup of water with a cup of coconut milk, add the crushed turmeric, pepper, and a 1-inch (by 1/2 inch diameter) piece of ginger, and bring to a boil.

4.                     Simmer for 20 minutes. By this time, the milk will reduce to a cup. This is the reason why you begin with a mixture of milk and water; otherwise you will end up with a very thick drink that won’t be as soothing.

5.                     Remove from the stove, filter, add a spoonful of honey or stevia (optional), and enjoy the drink warm.

6.                     If you are taking this to relieve a sore throat, add 1/2 teaspoon of ghee to the hot turmeric milk before drinking it. The ghee will melt and coat your throat, relieving you of cough as well.

If you’ve never tried golden milk, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Many people enjoy it especially during the fall and winter months (and cold and flu season), but it’s just as delicious and soothing in the summer, too. One final tip – when cooking with turmeric wear an apron and don’t let your pot boil over. This spice will stain your clothing and countertops easily, so unless you want a yellow kitchen, be very careful with spills.

Foods, Health and Disease

Best Foods for Your Brain

brainfood

What does the food you eat have to do with how your brain functions? Turns out an awful lot. While we’ve always known that what we eat affects our bodies and how we look, scientists are also learning more and more that what we eat takes a toll on our brains. Yes, brain foods matter (especially for our gray matter).

See, our bodies don’t like stress. Who does? When we’re stressed out — whether it’s physical, like someone jumps out at you from a dark alley, or mental, like you have a major project due at work — our bodies release inflammatory cytokines. (1)

These little chemicals prompt the immune system to kick in and fight back against the stress through inflammation, as though stress is an infection. While inflammation helps protect us against illnesses and repairs the body when you do something like cut yourself, chronic inflammation is a different animal. It’s been linked to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, anxiety, high blood pressure and more. (2)

But what does this all have to do with food? Our gut helps keep our body’s immune responses and inflammation under control. Additionally, gut hormones that enter the brain or are produced in the brain influence cognitive ability, like understanding and processing new information, staying focused on the task at hand and recognizing when we’re full. (3)

Plus, brain foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals provide energy and aid in protecting against brain diseases. So when we focus on giving our bodies whole, nutritious foods benefiting both the gut and the brain, we’re actually benefiting our minds and bodies while keeping them both in tip-top shape.

Of course, some foods are better for your brain than others. I’ve rounded up 15 brain foods you should be eating to feed both your mind and body. With a mix of fruits, veggies, oils and even chocolate (yes, chocolate!), there’s something to please everyone!

15 Best Foods For The Brain 

1. Avocados

This fruit is one of the healthiest ones you can consume and one of my all-time favorites. While avocados often get a bad rep because of their high fat content, it’s important to note that these green powerhouses are packed with monosaturated fats or the “good” kind, keeping blood sugar levels steady and your skin glowing.

Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados help prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against stroke) as well as help improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration.

They’re also rich in vitamin B and vitamin C, which aren’t stored in your body and need to be replenished daily. Plus, they have the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. Not too shabby! Avocados’ creamy texture makes them a smart addition to smoothies and a replacement for fats in baked goods,

2. Beets

It might be their funny shape or memories of bad recipes eaten during childhood, but beets seem to be an intimidating food for many people, even vegetable lovers. That’s a shame, because these root vegetables are some of the most nutritious plants you can eat — they’ve even earned a spot on my healthy foods shopping list.

They reduce inflammation, are high in cancer-protecting antioxidants and help rid your blood of toxins. The natural nitrates in beets actually boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. Plus, during tough workouts, beets actually help boost energy and performance levels. I love them roasted or in salads

3. Blueberries

Proving that great things do come in small packages,blueberries are a fruit I try to eat daily. That’s because they’ve got so many great health benefit ­while tasting like an all-natural candy!

For starters, it’s one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods known to man, including vitamin C and vitamin K and fiber. Because of their high levels of gallic acid, blueberries are especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration and stress

4. Bone Broth

Bone broth is the ultimate food for healing your gut and, in turn, healing your brain. This ancient food is full of health benefits, ranging from boosting your immune system, overcoming leaky gut, improving joint health and overcoming food allergies.

Its high levels of collagen help reduce intestinal inflammation, and healing amino acids like proline and glycine keep your immune system functioning properly and help improve memory. Bone broth is what I prescribe most frequently to my patients because it truly helps heal your body from the inside out.

5. Broccoli

Your mom got it right when she told you to eat your broccoli. It’s one of the best brain foods out there. Thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, it will help keep your memory sharp. (4)

It’s also loaded with vitamin C — in fact, just one cup provides you with 150 percent of your recommended daily intake. Its high-fiber levels mean that you’ll feel full quickly, too

6. Celery

For a vegetable with such few calories (just 16 per cup!),celery sure does offer a lot of benefits. Its high levels of antioxidants and polysaccharides act as natural anti-inflammatories and can help alleviate symptoms related to inflammation, like joint pain and irritable bowel syndrome.

Because it’s so nutrient-dense — packing loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients with very little calories — it’s a great snack option if you’re looking to shed pounds. And while we often eat celery stalks, don’t skip the seeds and leaves; both provide extra health benefits and taste great in things like stir fries and soups.

7. Coconut Oil

Ahh, coconut oil, one of the most versatile — and good for you — foods out there. With more than 77 coconut oil uses and cures, there’s almost nothing that coconut oil can’t help.

And when it comes to your brain, it’s full of benefits, too. Coconut oil works as a natural anti-inflammatory, suppressing cells responsible for inflammation. It can help with memory loss as you age and destroy bad bacteria that hangs out in your gut. (5)

8. Dark Chocolate

Not all chocolate is created equal; in fact, dark chocolate can actually be good for you! Chocolate is chockfull of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart.

But don’t go wild munching on Hershey’s Kisses just yet. Most of the chocolate you see on supermarket shelves is highly processed with few benefits. The rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits.

Skip milk and white chocolates and opt for a minimally processed dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa..

9. Egg Yolks

On the nutritional naughty list for years, egg yolks are finally experiencing their well-deserved day in the sun. If you’ve been eating only egg whites, the yolk’s on you. Yolks contain large amounts of choline, which helps in fetal brain development for pregnant women. It also breaks down bethane, a chemical that produces hormones related to happiness. That’s right, eggs can make you happy! (6)

If you’ve kept away from eating eggs whole because of cholesterol concerns, there’s good news. Studies show that eating eggs had no effect on the cholesterol levels of healthy adults and might, in fact, help raise good cholesterol levels.

It’s also one of the most inexpensive sources of protein out there; just be sure you’re buying organic, free-range eggs. Need some egg-spiration?

10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Real extra virgin olive oil is truly a brain food. Thanks to the powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols that are found in the oil, including EVOO in your diet may not only improve learning and memory, but also reverse the age- and disease-related changes. (7) The oil also helps fight against ADDLs, proteins that are toxic to the brain and induce Alzheimer’s. (8)

As great as extra virgin olive oil is, remember that it’s not a good option for cooking, as it hydrogenizes and begins decomposing at high temperatures. The best way to get your fill is by eating it cold or at room temperature

11. Green, Leafy Vegetables

It turns out that Popeye was onto something with his spinachobsession. Getting regular helpings of leafy green brain foods — like kaleSwiss chard and romaine lettuce — can help keep dementia at bay according to new research. (9)

In the study, which evaluated the eating habits and mental ability of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years, those adults who ate a serving of leafy green veggies once or twice a day experienced slower mental deterioration than those who ate no vegetables, even when factors like age, education and family history of dementia were factored in.

Green, leafy vegetables are also loaded with vitamins A and K (just one cup of kale has more than 684 percent of your recommended daily serving!), which help fight inflammation and keep bones strong.

12. Rosemary

We already knew that rosemary oil has a variety of benefits, but did you know that the herb does, too? Carnosic acid, one of the main ingredients in rosemary, helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration. It does this by protecting the brain against chemical free radicals, which are linked to neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s, strokes and normal aging in the brain. (10)

It also helps protect eyesight from deteriorating, thanks to its high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. (11)

13. Salmon

If you like seafood, get excited, because salmon is one of the most nutritious, brain food-friendly foods out there! It’s packed with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep your brain running smoothly ­— goodbye, brain fog — and improve memory.

If you have kids, feeding them salmon can help preventADHD by improving their focus. And these same fatty acids can also help prevent cancer and kill tumors — not bad for a four-ounce serving of fish!

Please note that these benefits are for Alaskan wild-caught salmon — farm-raised and regular wild-caught salmon can be filled with mercury and toxins.

14. Turmeric

Isn’t it great when a simple spice has amazing health benefits? That’s the Turmeric also helps boost antioxidant levels and keep your immune system healthy, while also improving your brain’s oxygen intake, keeping you alert and able to process information. Talk about a super spice!

15. Walnuts

It turns out that eating walnuts can keep you from going nuts. Just munching on a few walnuts a day can improve your cognitive health. (12) Their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals also improve mental alertness. The vitamin E in the nuts can also help ward off Alzheimer’s.

Do you have a diagnosed disease and you need help reversing the effects.  Call us

312-972-WELL

Foods, Health and Disease

The Worse Food for Your Brain

hfcs

The #1 WORST Food that HARMS Your Brain (avoid!)

Some foods you might be eating daily can actually DAMAGE your brain over time. In this article, we’ll explore foods that HARM your brain vs foods that PROTECT your brain.

by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist
Co-Author of the best seller:
The Top 101 Foods that FIGHT Aging
First, the BAD NEWS…

Certain foods you eat can indeed harm your brain, both in impaired learning ability as well as impaired memory.  Even worse, the wrong food and drink choices throughout your life can even lead to the terrible and deadly disease of Alzheimers.

A friend of mine just told me that her dad died of Alzheimers recently and it was just a terrible disease where he didn’t even know who she was anymore towards the end.  It’s time our society starts taking degenerative diseases like Alzheimers, cancer, and heart disease more seriously throughout our lives, and not just once it’s too late. Even in our 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, the choices we make with our daily food can PREVENT these terrible diseases.

So let’s dig in with the topic today of foods that harm your brain, and what you can do about it…
Food #1 that HARMS your brain:  Fructose

In a 2012 UCLA study published in the Journal of Physiology, researchers found that a diet high in fructose over time can damage your memory and learning ability.

Beyond the harm to your brain, it’s well known in the research world that a high fructose diet can also cause insulin resistance in your body over time, and possibly lead to type-2 diabetes and extra body fat.  If that’s not enough, a high fructose diet also detrimentally affects your triglyceride levels in your blood as well as small dense LDL particles that cause plaque in your arteries.

So what we have here is high-fructose intake = impaired memory and learning in your brain, increased risk of diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease. Oh, and we forgot to mention extra belly fat too…  Yum – who wants another can of soda pop or a large bowl of corn syrup sweetened ice cream!

The average person eating a modern western diet of processed food consumes a LARGE quantity of fructose without even thinking about it from all of the soft drinks (high fructose corn syrup typically), sweetened juice drinks, orange juice, processed junk foods such as cakes and candies, as well as the HFCS that’s added to store-bought salad dressings, breads and cereals, and even condiments like ketchup.

Note that many sports drinks, even though marketed as “healthy”, can have large amounts of corn syrup or even crystalline fructose as their main sweetener.  These sports drinks can be equally as bad as a soda for your body and your brain.  Don’t be fooled by the clever marketing showing pictures of pro athletes guzzling this stuff.

Also note that agave syrup (aka, agave nectar) which is marketed as a “healthy” sweetener as well, is one of the most concentrated forms of processed fructose in sweeteners as well.  I personally stay away from agave sweeteners as much as possible unless the amounts are very small.

All of these fructose-laden foods and drinks are easy to avoid though if you choose to eat consciously… for example, make homemade salad dressings from your favorite olive oil and vinegar with added spices, or choose to drink unsweetened iced tea with lemon instead of sweetened drinks or juices.  If you use a lot of ketchup, try to reduce the quantity by mixing with mustard or hot sauce, which typically don’t contain HFCS sweetener in any significant quantities.

Last thing to note about fructose… Yes, natural whole fruits do contain fructose, but generally contain MUCH smaller quantities of fructose than you would consume in a sweetened juice drink, soft drink or sweetened junk foods.  Also, the phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber that’s contained in most whole fruits counteracts any negative effects of fructose.  I personally try to keep fruit intake to no more than 1-2 pieces a day due to the sugar and fructose content of larger amounts of fruit.

Here’s a trick:  Did you know that limes and lemons contain virtually zero fructose, and only 3-4 grams of total carbs in a whole lemon or lime, whereas a typical orange contains 6 grams of fructose and 25 grams of total sugar per fruit.  I squeeze lemons and limes daily into either water or teas for a healthy flavorful drink. Fresh lemon juice has even been shown to control blood sugar response from a meal…another bonus!
Other Foods that HARM Your Brain:

You probably already know some of the harmful health effects of these foods, but long term effects on your brain are yet another…

Trans fats — strongly inflammatory in your entire body including damage to cell membranes throughout your body.  Avoid hydrogenated oils in processed foods and deep fried foods.

Mercury — studies show that mercury from pollution (coal burning plants are the biggest source of mercury pollution to air and water) and from fish that are high on the food chain such as tuna, shark, swordfish, tilefish, etc can possibly cause long term negative effects on your brain.  Limit these types of fish to a couple times a month and focus more on fish such as salmon, trout, and many other types of smaller fish to reduce your mercury load.

Wheat-based foods — In the groundbreaking book, Wheat Belly, Dr William Davis makes a very convincing argument that wheat has addictive properties in the brain.  Wheat contains compounds termed “exorphins” that have an effect in your brain similar to opiate drugs.  This explains why people have such a hard time giving up their beloved breads, cereals, pasta, and muffins because these foods are mildly addictive.

I know personally from past experience that if I have have a pasta dinner, I’ll go back for seconds and thirds as I just can’t seem to stop eating the stuff.  And then hours after dinner, I’ll get cravings for more carb-based foods or sweets.  But if I pass on the pasta and just have meat, veggies, and salad, I find myself totally satisfied after dinner with no cravings later at night.
The good news is…

There are plenty of superfoods, herbs, and spices that can protect your brain and your other organs too!

In fact, did you know that turmeric is one of the highest antioxidant spices that also exhibits brain-protecting effects? In India, where curry containing turmeric and other spices is eaten daily, rates of Alzheimers disease is among the lowest in the world, proving some of the brain-protecting effects of turmeric.

In addition, the powerful DHA and EPA omega-3 fats in fish oil has been proven in countless studies to protect your brain from damage over the years.

We have been experiencing many people trying to eliminate this from their food intake, and they develop seizures and epileptic seizures , tremors and hallucinations at times.  Please call us, and we will be happy to help you withdrawal from these products safely.  312-972-WELL