Surprising Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

On Our Minds

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Over the years we've seen the trends: calorie counting, Atkins, Clean Eating, If It Fits Your Macros, Paleo, Ketogenic Diets....

In the midst of it all, we've fought hard against diet culture to help our clients develop healthy relationships with food and make sustainable change. When the recent shift towards intuitive eating went mainstream over the last year or so, we were thrilled to see more and more people recognizing that DIETS. DON'T. WORK. In fact, they are eventually the event to blame for a downturn in one's mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Earlier this month, a prominent player in the diet industry announced they would be offering a free program targeted to teens beginning this summer. WHAT???

While their stated intentions are to help teens develop "healthy habits at a critical life stage," how much more evidence do we need to show that these interventions do more harm than good?? Putting kids on a diet and/or on a scale is sending the wrong message and it potentially sets them up for an unhealthy relationship with food throughout adulthood. THIS WE KNOW!

What should we be doing to help our kids?

  • We need to provide nourishing foods to our children and allow them to use their own body's wisdom to determine whether or not they are full.
  • We need to lead them towards movement for pleasure, not for aesthetics.
  • We need to let our children know that their self-worth is not connected to their weight and they are beautiful and loved at every shape and size.
  • We need to be healthy role models.

In doing so, we will help set up our kids to lead a healthy life at their "set-point" weight - the weight at which they THRIVE. Free of food fears, yo-yo dieting and precious time wasted thinking about points, calories, and the number on the scale.

The last thing we want to hear is another client say, "It all started when ...."

In Good Health, 
Lisa Brown & Jennifer Medina


Surprising Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin

Turmeric has long been recognized for it's medicinal properties, dating back nearly 4000 years. It has been used for centuries by physicians of Aryuveda as a plant-based drug to treat various diseases and ailments. Throughout hisotry, turmeric has also been used as a cosmetic, a dye for silk and wool and to add color and flavor to foods.

Though studied and utilized for years, it is now gaining more attention in the modern world. Increasing evidence suggests that turmeric has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant and neuroprotective activities. This is due to curcumin, the main active compound in turmeric.

This past January, a study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry looked at curcumin's potential impact on cognitive function and memory performance in people without dementia. Forty adults between the ages of 50 and 90 with mild memory complaints were randomly assigned to receive a placebo or 90 mg of curcumin twice daily for 18 months. Among other reported benefits, the participants receiving the curcumin supplement saw a 28% improvement in memory tests at the end of 18 months.

In addition, two randominzed, double-blind studies showed that the addition of curcumin to treatment yielded better results in clinical and endoscopic remission in patients with mild-to-moderate active ulcerative colitis.

Several other studies show evidence that curcumin supplementation exerted a positive effect in patients with metabolic syndrome, diabetes, various types of cancers, arthritis and depression. While more studies are needed, the current research we have is promising!

Curcumin itself has poor bioavailability (meaning it isn't well absorbed by our body), so it must be paired with an enhancement such as black pepper extract. You can add fresh or ground turmeric to your favorite foods including eggs, rice, roasted vegetables, proteins and more. Or, try a delicious and soothing "golden milk" (tumeric milk) in the evening before bed. If you'd prefer to supplement, our top picks include:

  • Doctor's Best High Absorption Curcumin
  • NOW Curcumin
  • NutriGold Turmeric Curcumin Gold

Note: Turmeric has anti-platelet properties. Avoid while taking blood thinners such as Plavix and Coumadin. It may also react with blood sugar lowering medication.

 
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Recipe of the Month:
Warm Turmeric Milk

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Yield: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon each turmeric, cardamom, ginger and cinnamon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions: 

  1. In a small sauce pan, gently heat the milk with honey and optional coconut oil.
  2. Bring to the point where it is almost boiling, then remove from heat.
  3. Whisk in the spices until well blended. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, if desired.
  4. Add some freshly ground black pepper, stir with a cinnamon stick and serve.

Recipe courtesy of www.flavourandsavour.com


Quote of the Month

"Personal growth is not a matter of learning new information, but of unlearning old limits."
  —Alan Cohen


Final Thoughts

We are perpetually inundated with all of the things we "should" be doing to stay healthy. Whether it's a supplement, new exercise class, so-called "super food" or fancy probiotic beverage. It's really easy to get overwhelmed.

Health and wellness does not need to be complex. And it most definitely shouldn't be stressing you out (mental health is just as important as physical health!).

You don't have to "do all the things". Pick and choose a few things that you feel good about, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is (we're looking at you "Skinny Teas").

lisa brown