Category Archives: Minerals

Curcumin (Turmeric) – Brain food – Not just for Curries and Cancer

We have all seen the news about the studies done on curcumin. Curcumin is the component in the spice Turmeric and Curries that give it the yellowish colour.  It is a spice mainly used in India, Asia and the Middle East.

Spanning the centuries, this common spice has been used for pain relieve, anti-inflammatory in the skin and muscles, a treatment for jaundice, menstrual difficulties, colic and flatulence, to name a few. In recent times, research has found that curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-microbial when used for cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, treatment for the liver, cancer and for neuro-degenerative diseases.

As it turns out, curcumin has shown promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease;  the ability to reverse impaired cognition and the ability of nerve cells to change to the environment when subjected to chronic stress. Turmeric’s polyphenols, and powerful anti-oxidative actions, are showing the ability to counteract the cognitive impairment caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) or neurodegenerative disorders.

Accordingly, as part of a dietary anti-oxidative therapy, turmeric could help promote protective processes in an injured brain, whether it be a TBI or an acute neurodegenerative condition.

The following recipe is an easy to make soup that utilizes many health promoting foods, along with turmeric to help give your brain a boost.

Vegetable Lentil Soup

1 cup orange lentils

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped

1.5  cups cauliflower (including stem) coarsely chopped

1.5 cup broccoli (including stem) coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns

approx 5 cups water or vegetable stock

add at end:

1 can coconut milk

1 Tbsp  lemon juice

1 long red chili pepper (optional)

In a slow cooker add everything and cook on low for 6 hours.  Add in the coconut milk, lemon juice and chili pepper (if using). In batches puree the vegetables and stock keeping as much of the lentils whole as possible.

Serves 4.

Sources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21520701

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19540859

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16364299

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21343524

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Carrot Seaweed Salad – protects against Radiation

Antioxidant has become a buzz word these last couple years as scientists discover a greater variety and determine how they help the body. Antioxidants are compounds – not just vitamins and minerals – that help protect cells from free radical damage.

One of the biggest source of free radical damage is radiation – in any form. The thyroid gland needs iodine, which is seriously lacking in our diet – and no the table salt that is iodized is not the same. The thyroid gland needs iodine and cannot determine good iodine from bad iodine. Seaweeds provide the greatest abundance of iodine compared to any other land plant or animal.

According to Dr. Ryan Drum “Eating 3-5 grams of most dried, unrinsed seaweeds will provide the RDA of 100-150 micrograms.” To have optimum health and protection from radiation it is recommended to eat 5-15 grams of seaweed (1/2 – 1 oz) a week at a ratio of 2:1 of brown (Kelps, Kombu, Wakame, Hijiki, Arame) to red (Nori, Dulse) seaweeds.

Arame is part of the kelp family, which provides the highest amount of iodine, and is one of the easiest to incorporate into your diet as it does not have a strong taste or smell, which can turn some people off.

A great snacking seaweed is the Bull Kelp. It will satisfy and salty crispy snack craving without being over powering. Another easy one is Nori which are found in sheets used in sushi.

Most people have grown up with the classic carrot salad of shredded carrots with raisins that were soaked in orange juice. This is another simple recipe that helps incorporate seaweed that is addresses the mineral deficiencies our regular diet has.

Remember – radiation is cumulative.

Carrot Seaweed Salad

1 cup shredded organic carrots

1 cup arame seaweed, soaked 10 mins and drained

1/3 cup hemp hearts

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary

Toss the shredded carrots, arame seaweed and hemp hearts together. Mix the olive oil and rosemary together and pour over mixture. Serves 2 as a side or 1 for a meal.

Sources:

http://www.ryandrum.com/seaweeds.htm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11361018

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11684387

Recipe for Chemo-preventive Effects

Avocado with pickled Ginger Chutney for Chemopreventive Effects

Studies have shown that the phytochemicals in avocado and ginger will help stop cell growth and encourage the natural programmed cell death of pre-cancerous and cancer cells.  Ginger will also help reduce the nausea and vomiting effects of chemotherapy.

1 medium avocado

1 Tbsp pickled ginger, chopped

1 tsp pickled ginger juice

1 tsp fresh organic lemon juice

Cut avocado in half lengthwise and remove pit.  Slice the halves lengthwise and then widthwise in the skin.  Use a spoon and scoop out. You should have a clean dice of the whole avocado.  Chop the ginger into small pieces. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix up to fully coat the avocado in the juices and mix the ginger throughout.

Serves 1

Calories: 349, Calories from Fat: 247, Total Fat: 45%, Saturated Fat: 21%, Sodium: 1%, Total Carbs: 8%, Dietary Fiber: 54%, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 4g, Vit A: 6%, Vit C: 55%, Calcium: 3%, Iron: 6%

Sources: 

Avocado

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22070054

Avocado fruit (Persea americana Mill) exhibits chemo-protective potentiality against cyclophosphamide induced genotoxicity in human lymphocyte culture.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17582784

Chemopreventive characteristics of avocado fruit

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17582784

Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols derived from avocado suppress inflammatory response and provide non-sunscreen protection against UV-induced damage in skin cells.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15629237

Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances.

http://www.ncbi.nim.nih.gov/pubmed

Novel nitric oxide and superoxide generation inhibitors, persenone A and B, from avocado fruit.

Ginger

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21929329

Update on the chemopreventive effects of ginger and its phytochemicals.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22149093

Cancer cell signaling pathways targeted by spice-derived nutraceuticals.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22313739

Effect of Ginger on Acute and Delayed Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea and Vomiting: A Pilot, Randomized, Open-Label Clinical Trial.

http://www.naturalstandard.com/news/news201206037.asp

Ginger May Reduce Chemotherapy-Induced Nausea

Radiation, Thyroid and Seaweed

Given what is happening within the world today, I wanted to make sure as many people as possible knew this and would like you to pass it on.

Radiation is always around us now. Whether it is from cell phones, wireless phones,computers, light bulbs, anything that is plugged in. We are also exposed to radiation from the sun, more so when we fly during the day. And now, as the earth breaksdown, our nuclear plants, with their dirty energy, leaks into the atmosphere and our water systems. We are being bombarded. Quartz stones on your person and around your home, along with grounding to the earth, will help lessen the exposure.

The thyroid is the considered the shield of the body. In the US alone, approximately 27 million people of some sort of thyroid condition. These people are approximately 3/4 women to 1/4 men. It does affect children too. Why? We have a very stressful world, at all ages, and we do not eat food that nourishes and protects the body.

Seaweed is very high in minerals, which we dearly lack. Seaweed, especially kelp (also known as bladderwrack (Fucus vesiculosus)) is very beneficial for the thyroid, among other things. Kelp is the highest in iodine and phenolic compounds. It is important to eat a minimum of 2 oz of seaweed a week. Seaweed, especially kelp, helps protect against radiation and helps heal and protect the thyroid.

When the atomic bombs fell on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, it was devestating. The foods that helped with the Japanese peoples’ recovery was there consumption of seaweed and miso soup. It has been showned that the polysaccharides in various seaweeds actually hinder the growth of cancer cells.

The benefit of miso soup is the fermentation. Fermented foods along with seaweed is very beneficial and supportive and protective to the body as a whole.

If you would like more information, recipes on how to incorporate seaweed into your diet, or help with how to test for thyroid conditions, please email me rhoni@foodandyou.ca

Calcium Worries… Should we be?

We are always being told that we need our calcium  with dairy being the “good” source. Instead of looking at all the other sources of calcium, trust me there are a lot of other better sources of calcium, let’s look at why we have a calcium problem. There must be a problem, because our elderly break their bones too easily and there is an increase in osteo-arthritis and osteoporosis. Why then, when society eats an abundance of calcium sources whether good or bad?

Has anyone every told you that there are foods that blocks calcium? Yup, there are lots and they tend to be the mainstay of the Standard American Diet (SAD). Let’s take a look and I will explain how.

If you drink coffee, soda pop or more than 2 alcoholic drinks a day, or have a high protein diet (this is the SAD with all the meat and meat products) the body becomes acidic. The body prefers and strives for an alkaline state. When it becomes acidic it will draw calcium from wherever it can get it (bones, teeth etc) to bring the body back to an alkaline state. This is called homeostasis.

If you are one of the 1.1 million Canadians with low levels of vitamin D, then the calcium you have/take cannot be absorbed properly in the digestive tract.

If you eat a lot of spinach, rhubarb, swiss chard, almonds, chocolate, carrots and other foods high in oxalate, you will not absorb the calcium.  Oxalates bind with calcium and cancels it out.

There is a factor that does not seem to be mentioned when it comes to absorption of vitamins and minerals.  Each vitamin and mineral needs their respective co-factors depending on what activity is to happen within the body. It is now usually stated that calciums’ co-factor is vitamin D, but if you are looking for bone health then you also have to add in magnesium, phosphorus,manganese, fluorine and the necessary vitamins. Nine times out of 10 it is lack of magnesium in the diet that causes brittle bones, not lack of calcium.  We have far more calcium in our diets, not always good, then we realize.  If you boil of your water and it leaves a white deposit, that is calcium.

I think you will find that it is not a lack of calcium which is causing brittle bones, but a serious lack of the co-factors to build strong bones, which is the magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, fluorine (too much, such as fluoridated water and toothpaste is toxic and causes mottling of the teeth)  from the minerals and vitamins A, C and D. That is the basics, as each of these minerals and vitamins have co-factors that help with their absorption and assimilation for the function needed.