Tag Archives: anti-oxidants

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