8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

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Turmeric, also known as Curcuma longa, is an ancient spice that has remained popular in India and Asia since 2,000 BC. The spice belongs to the ginger family and is a prized component of the culinary traditions of these cultures. Turmeric imparts a vibrant yellowish hue to curry dishes, and the spice is used as a natural dyeing agent for cloth.

Curcuminoids are the main phytochemicals that give turmeric its most impressive and wide-ranging health benefits. Amazingly, over 9,000 medical and clinical research studies have evaluated turmeric and curcumin and yielded a wealth of positive information.

There are three main phytochemicals in the curcuminoid family that are responsible for turmeric’s health benefits: diferuloylmethane (or curcumin, the primary curcuminoid responsible for turmeric’s vibrant yellowish color), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin. In addition to these three chemicals, turmerone is a potent volatile oil found in the root.

Research has shown that these curcuminoids communicate with 160 mechanisms and pathways in the body to support a wide range of processes, including brain health, cardiovascular health, tissue health, and more.

8 Health Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric provides an abundance of antioxidants capable of supporting cellular health, but what does that mean for you? Here are some of the most well-researched benefits of turmeric.

1. Promotes Balanced Mood

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders reported noticeable and promising results with turmeric for supporting a balanced mood. Two groups were studied. The first group received curcumin daily, while the other received placebo. After eight weeks, the mood and anxiety score tests completed by all of the participants showed significant symptom improvements compared to placebo. Could turmeric be a potential new option for stabilizing mood?

2. Helps Wounds Heal

Cut your finger? A study in the Sept 2014 issue of Life Sciences found that the curcumin in turmeric offers beneficial properties that appear to accelerate the wound healing process by soothing irritation and oxidation. As more research evaluates turmeric’s ability to support the body’s natural healing abilities, the breadth of applications could be enormous.

An exciting study in the October 2006 issue of Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry demonstrated the efficacy of a topical turmeric application for wounds in rats. The results showed that turmeric supported collagen synthesis rates, improved wound contraction, and increased tissue strength and cell proliferation around the wound. Turmeric also showed antioxidant properties that helped the healing process.

3. Eases Aches and Discomfort

An impressive study completed and published in the March 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Interventions in Aging examined the effect of turmeric on knee discomfort. Results showed that turmeric experienced relief on par with more conventional options. The turmeric group, however, seemed to enjoy more relief from joint stiffness. Those taking turmeric reported significantly fewer side effects than those following mainstream-oriented action plans. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study in the December 2011 issue of Surgical Endoscopy looked at turmeric supplementation on postoperative discomfort and fatigue. Patients taking turmeric experienced significantly less discomfort compared to placebo.

4. Encourages Balanced Blood Sugar

A novel investigative study published in the Nov 2014 issue of the Journal of Endocrinology looked at the effects of curcumin on insulin-producing cells within the pancreas called Beta cells (or B-cells) and Islet cells, in relation to imbalanced blood sugar. Researchers addressed B-cell lines and human Islet cells with preparations of turmeric and observed positive benefits.

5. Soothes Irritated Tissue

Turmeric is valuable in helping soothe excess irritation. The swelling response is a healthy and natural mechanism the body uses to usher soothing compounds during times of crises or repair. It’s believed that most people in today’s toxic, stress-laden environment are under constant pressure and the tissue in their body is irritated, red, and swollen as a result. A review published in the 2007 issue of Advances of Experimental Medicine noted the soothing effect of turmeric is likely exerted through its ability to inhibit enzymes that irritate tissue.

6. Loosens Stiff Joints

A randomized, pilot clinical study published in the November 2012 issue of Phytotherapy Research set out to determine the effectiveness of turmeric for active joint discomfort. One group received the standard-of-care medication while the other received turmeric. Patients were given symptom score sheets to assess results. Turmeric outperformed the other option on all levels and was relatively free of adverse side effects.[11]

7. Encourages Normal Lipid Levels

Turmeric’s ability to encourage normal lipid profiles has been hypothesized and studied since the 1990s with varying levels of benefits. Some studies show an impressive reduction in lipid profiles for turmeric-supplemented groups. One randomized, single-blind clinical study published in the November 2011 issue of Phytotherapy Research investigated turmeric’s effect on lipid levels. Group participants were given either curcumin from turmeric in small or large servings; a control group was given vitamin E only. After just seven days, the results proved statistically significant. Small servings of turmeric produced the most favorable and balancing effects on lipid profiles.

The results of a seven-day trial showed the curcumin-supplemented participants had better lipid profile numbers. Most importantly, these studies show that turmeric is consistently safe and has very low risk of side effect.

8. Supports the Stomach Lining

India has long used turmeric in curry dishes as a taste and color enhancer. One reason for its longstanding popularity is because of its soothing properties on digestion. Researchers tested the protective effects of turmeric on the lining of the stomach against acidic preparations used to induce stomach ulcers. A preparation containing turmeric essential oils was administered before the ethanol and it was observed that turmeric protected the cells in the stomach and damage was reduced. In addition, turmeric also appears to offer some impressive protection for stomach ailments.

Supplementing with Turmeric

There are a lot of turmeric supplements on the market; some better than others. Only purchase organic products from reputable companies. Because turmeric is so popular, there are many low-quality products produced under questionable circumstances. If you’re in the market for a turmeric supplement, we recently released a liquid turmeric extract. I’m really proud of it and the feedback has been incredible.

Source: http://bit.ly/1E6H6IX

Recipe: Key Lime Cheesecake Bites

PIN-key-lime-cheesecake-bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight & drained
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk (well shaken)
  • 3-4 tablespoons raw honey
  • 4 limes, juiced & zested

Instructions

  • Line a muffin tin with 6 cupcake liners and set aside.
  • Place the almonds and melted coconut in a blender or food processor and blend until the mixture is crumbly and sticks together when pinched between you fingers.
  • Place one heaping tablespoon in each lined muffin cavity, and press the mixture down using the back of a spoon to make a mini “crust”.
  • Place the muffin tin in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, while you prepare the filling.
    In the food processor add the drained cashews, coconut milk, honey, and lime juice. Puree until smooth and transfer to a measuring cup.
  • Remove the muffin tin from the freezer when the crusts have hardened a bit and pour the filling mixture over the crusts. Top with lime zest and place back into the freezer for at least 4-6 hours to harden.
  • Store in the freezer until ready to serve. Enjoy!

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2re1OHN

Recipe: Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake Muffins

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup applesauce

For the Topping:

  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the dry muffin ingredients until combined.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients together in a separate large bowl (eggs, vanilla, honey, coconut oil, and applesauce).
  4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing in about 1/3 of the dry mixture at a time- until it is all well combined with no dry clumps remaining.
  5. Spoon the muffin batter into baking cups- either in a standard size muffin tin or free-standing paper baking cups
  6. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients with a spoon or your fingers.
  7. Place a small amount of the topping over each muffin cup- and don’t worry if it’s not completely covering the top; the topping will melt further & spread while it’s in the oven.
  8. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is melted and the edges of each muffin are golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool, and enjoy!

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2pIJzsO

flower

Did you know you’ve probably pulled, stomped or sprayed a natural super food that grows in your backyard? Dandelion is mostly known as a backyard weed, but it has amazing nutrient qualities and health promoting properties.

All the parts of the plant can be used in various ways though the roots and leaves are the most commonly used as herbs. Who knew that this plant with puffy flowers that grant childhood wishes could offer so much benefit?

Dandelion Root and Leaves

Dandelion is a source of a variety of nutrients and the leaves and root contain Vitamins (like A,C, K and B-vitamins) as well as minerals (including magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and choline). The various parts of the plant have a long history of use as an herbal remedy, and every documented population in areas where it grows naturally has used it medicinally.

It also serves as an abundant natural food source, as all parts of the plant can be eaten. The root is often roasted and used in teas or consumed whole. The leaves make a great addition to salads or other dishes requiring greens and the flowers (while still yellow), can be eaten raw, cooked or even made into wine!

Traditional cultures have used dandelion to support digestive and hormone health and it was often consumed to support lactation or to help remedy issues like urinary tract infections.

Benefits of Dandelion

According to the How To Herb Book, this backyard super food is beneficial in many ways, including:

Liver Support and Detoxification

Dandelion has been used for years by various cultures to support healthy liver function and natural detoxification in the body. Though it hasn’t been well studied, many people with hepatitis turn to it to help support the liver. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that:

In the past, roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems. Native Americans also boiled dandelion in water and took it to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and upset stomach. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it has been used to treat stomach problems, appendicitis, and breast problems, such as inflammation or lack of milk flow. In Europe, dandelion was used in remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

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Female Health and Hormone Balance

Due to its high levels of various nutrients and potential ability to help support the body’s natural detoxification systems, dandelion is often used by those with hormone imbalance, urinary infection and recurrent mastitis. Though not well studied, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence from women who have used it to help remedy recurring UTIs or other infections.

Clearer Skin

Due to its natural magnesium and zinc content and its potential ability to support detoxification, dandelion is also know as being good for the skin. It can be used topically in applications like tinctures and poultices and many people also take it in capsule or tea form to help support healthy skin.

Good Source of Nutrients

Dandelion is a great source of many important vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and nutritive salts, which may help support blood health and increase iron absorption. I personally often add dried leaves to teas for a nutrient boost or use dandelion root in place of coffee.

Blood Sugar Balance

The University of Maryland Medical Center also reports that:

Preliminary animal studies suggest that dandelion may help normalize blood sugar levels and lower total cholesterol and triglycerides while raising HDL (good) cholesterol in diabetic mice. Researchers need to see if dandelion will work in people. A few animal studies also suggest that dandelion might help fight inflammation.

Uses of Dandelion Root and Leaves

Perhaps we wouldn’t be so quick to remove this “backyard weed” if we were more familiar with the myriad of uses it has. The entire dandelion plant can be used and if you have a safe (non-sprayed) source in your yard or community, you can consider harvesting it yourself.

Here are some of the ways to use dandelion:

Coffee Substitute

Dandelion root is tougher and more hardy than the leaf and is often used in decoctions and tinctures for this reason. The powder is often added in coffee substitutes . The root is considered a natural diuretic and is sometimes used for this purpose.

Poultices

Dandelion root and leaf are often listed as the ingredients of  teas and poultices for abscesses and sores, especially on the breast and in female health remedies as they can help support lactation and remedy urinary issues.

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

Chopped dandelion root can be combined with myrrh to make a poultice for boils and abscesses, with honeysuckle flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat boils and abscesses, with skullcap and/or chrysanthemum flowers to make a tea to be drunk to treat sore eyes, or with heal-all to treat hard phlegm in bronchitis. Can also be administered in capsule or extract form for convenience.

Dandelion Tea

The flower can be used to make tea and even to make some types of wine. The leaves and root can also be used in teas, though they have a stronger taste and are often combined with other synergistic herbs for flavor and increased nutrient absorption.

Salads and Greens

The leaves can be consumed fresh on a salad or in recipes as well as substituted for greens like kale and collards in recipes or cooking. The antioxidant rich leaves are the most diuretic part of the plant so while they can be consumed regularly, it is important to maintain hydration too.

Important Notes:

It is important to check with a doctor before taking this or any herb, especially in large amounts or if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Though it is generally considered safe, those allergic to ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine may not be able to consume it.

Anyone who gathers dandelion from wild sources (like the backyard) should make sure that the area has not been sprayed with pesticides or herbicides and that it does not come from an area where pets may have eliminated.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2qdoz29

 

Recipe: Marvelous Maple Salmon

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 pound salmon

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, coconut aminos, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

 

Source Adapted: http://armagazine.com/1HR9tme

Recipe: Healthier Chinese Lemon Chicken

Chinese-Lemon-Chicken-650x975

INGREDIENTS

Marinade
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch

Breading

  • ¼ cup almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • oil for frying

Sauce

  • ⅓ cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons tapioca starch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add coconut aminos and tapioca starch to your chicken in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  2. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is marinating add the lemon juice, maple syrup, water, tapioca starch and lemon zest to a small bowl and mix.
  4. Add the almond flour and tapioca starch to the bowl of chicken and toss to coat.
  5. In a pot with oil about three inches deep, heat on medium high to 350 degrees.
  6. Add the chicken in batches so you don’t crowd the pot or the chicken will stick together and it will lower the temperature significantly causing your chicken to be oily.
  7. Cook chicken until golden brown and when cooked transfer the pieces to a skillet (this is where we will be tossing with the sauce).
  8. When you finish all the chicken, turn off the oil, turn on the skillet onto medium high heat and add the sauce.
  9. Coat the chicken pieces in the sauce and cook for just a few seconds until thickened

Recipe: Frozen Fruit Dessert Whip

Dole-Whip-Vertical-3

Ingredients

  • 2‐4 cups frozen pineapple or your choice of frozen fruit
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime, juiced

Directions

  1. Place frozen pineapple and coconut milk in a strong blender or food processor and pulse until combined, scraping down as needed.
  2. Pour in pineapple and lime juices and blend to combine.
  3. If mixture is too creamy, add more frozen pineapple; if too thick, add more coconut milk.
  4. Eat immediately as soft serve. You can freeze for later but it does freeze solid, I warm mine in the microwave to re soften. You can also make great Popsicles if you have a mold.

 

Recipe: Butternut Squash and Beef Stew

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Ingredients

1lb. beef cubes for stewing
1 butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 carrots, diced
6 oz. mushrooms, sliced
6 oz. spinach, chopped
1 cup chicken stock
14 oz. diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Warm up a skillet over a medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the beef cubes in the skillet for about 1 minute per side.
  3. Transfer the meat to a slow cooker.
  4. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for the spinach and the mushrooms, to the slow cooker.
  5. Give everything a good stir, set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours.
    Add in the mushrooms 30 minutes before the stew is done.
  6. Add the spinach just before serving.

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2o3frfE

How to Prepare and Eat an Artichoke

If you’ve never eaten an artichoke before, this strange vegetable may present some unique challenges when you finally try to prepare or eat one. The process for eating an artichoke is somewhat non-intuitive – the fruit can’t be eaten in its raw form because its tough fibers and sharp leaf tips can wreak havoc on your digestive system. However, if approached correctly, an artichoke can be a delicious, healthy and unusual addition to nearly any meal.

 

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 or more large globe artichokes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 slice of lemon

HOW TO COOK AN ARTICHOKE

  1.  Cut of the tips of the petals: If the artichokes have little thorns on the end of the petals, take a kitchen scissors and cut of the thorned tips of all of the petals. This step is mostly for aesthetics as the thorns soften with cooking and pose no threat to the person eating the artichoke.
  2.  Slice off the top of the artichoke: Slice about 3/4 inch to an inch off the tip of the artichoke. A serrated bread knife works great for this.
  3.  Remove small petals at the base: Pull off any smaller petals towards the base and on the stem.
  4.  Cut off excess stem: Cut off excess stem, leaving up to an inch on the artichoke. The stems tend to be more bitter than the rest of the artichoke, but some people like to eat them.
  5. Alternatively you can leave the whole long stem on the artichoke, just cut off the very end of the stem, and peel the tough outside layer of the stem with a vegetable peeler.
  6.  Rinse the artichokes: Rinse the artichokes in running cold water. While you rinse them, open up the petals a little so that the water does get inside more easily. (This is where it helps to have cut off the thorny tips, it makes the artichoke easier to open without getting poked!)
  7.  Set up a pot with some water, aromatics, and a steaming basket: In a large pot, put a couple inches of water, a clove of garlic, a slice of lemon, and a bay leaf (this adds wonderful flavor to the artichokes). Insert a steaming basket.
  8. Steam the artichokes: Place artichokes on top of the steaming basket. Cover the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Cook for 25 to 45 minutes or until the outer leaves can easily be pulled off.

 

HOW TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE

Pull off outer petals, one at a time. Dip white fleshy end in melted butter or sauce.

Tightly grip the other end of the petal. Place in mouth, dip side down, and pull through teeth to remove soft, pulpy, delicious portion of the petal. Discard remaining petal.

Continue until all of the petals are removed.

With a knife or spoon, scrape out and discard the inedible fuzzy part (called the “choke”) covering the artichoke heart. The remaining bottom of the artichoke is the heart. Cut into pieces and dip into sauce to eat.

***NEVER EAT THE WHOLE LEAVES OR CHOKE

 

Recipe: Braised Apple Cider Cabbage

Apple Cider Braised Cabbage Beauty + A140910 Food & Wine Most Requested Recipes + Jams 2014

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 1 1/2-pound head of green cabbage, cut through the core into 6 wedges
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon (2 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, halved through the core and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the cabbage wedges cut side down and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the bacon to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until rendered but not crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and simmer over moderately high heat until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the cider and bring to a boil. Nestle the cabbage wedges in the skillet, cover and braise over moderately low heat, turning once, until tender, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the cabbage to a platter and tent with foil.
  3. Boil the sauce over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and swirl in the butter. Season the sauce with salt and pepper; spoon over the braised cabbage and serve.

 

 

Source: http://bit.ly/2piirVw