Tag Archives: slow eating

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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Digestion and Chopsticks

Digestion and Chopsticks

We all know that we need to eat our food more slowly and chew it longer. Digestion starts in the mouth and if we could master chewing our food longer we could solve a lot of digestive problems (like gas – all forms). One way to chew our food longer would be to take smaller bites. We are suppose to chew our food 20-25 times turning it to liquid before swallowing. Again, we are in a hurry and it is hard to take a small bite with a big spoon or fork.

The perfect solution – for adults and children alike – is the chopsticks. No, I do not mean the piano composition…. though I do like that too. I mean actual chopsticks. They are far more common these days, being another disposable item. Many restaurants have them and the book stores actually sell a special gadget to help learn how to use them. My little man and I started using them – we had lots of fun trying – the next thing we knew we were able to use chopsticks properly and we were eating small bites and chewing 20-25 times before swallowing the food.

For kids it could become a game to get them to eat food they are not keen on. The challenge could be picking up just one chickpea with chopsticks…not easy….trust me, but it is lots of fun trying.

Chopsticks are not expensive and I highly recommend trying it. It will be a great health investment.