Food is not just calories and they don’t just fulfill hunger. Food is medicine.
“Let medicine be thy food and food be thy medicine.” stated by Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician who is regarded as the father of medicine.
There is certainly a huge body of evidence showing certain foods support and protect the immune system, decrease inflammation, have disease fighting properties and contribute to general health.
Thankfully, there is a growing number of people now researching and educating themselves about the power of food and nutrition.
In this blog, I share six powerful food ingredients I enjoy and I use almost every day now. I recommend you use these powerful ingredients in your daily diet to nourish and protect your body.
CINNAMON: This tasty spice is one of the most powerful antioxidants with antimicrobial and fat burning properties. In addition, it naturally can help lower blood sugar, LDL cholesterol and triglyceride. So add this magical spice to your smoothies, omelets, stews, roasted vegetables and afternoon lattes.
GINGER: This ancient golden spice has been used for centuries and it is one of the staple spices in India. It has many anti-inflammatory properties, benefits arthritis, hypertension and asthma. It also supports digestion, benefits many digestive tract conditions such as gastric motility issues, IBS ( Inflammatory Bowel Syndrom) and IBD ( Inflammatory Bowel Disease). I encourage you to use the fresh root as much as you can. You can simply add some fresh ginger root to your favorite smoothies, soups and stews. You can also mix grated fresh ginger root with chopped fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro. Sprinkle the mixture over your favorite cooked stew and brown rice for that special kick of earthy and zesty flavor.
TURMERIC: As I had mentioned in the past, turmeric is finally receiving the recognition it deserves in the west. Turmeric has long been used in Indian and Chinese medicine. It is commonly sold as powder or as root. Turmeric’s primary active agent, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties and may also be useful in preventing cancer. Curcumin has shown to reduce certain gastrointestinal inflammation such as IBD and help improve cardiovascular health. Use the root if it’s available to you or the powder as much as you can. You can add turmeric to your smoothie and soup recipes. Experiment cooking your vegetables, eggs, stews, soups and sauces with this healing spice and enjoy the beautiful yellow orange color with peppery flavors.
FLAX SEEDS: These little brown seeds are one of the richest sources of omega-3 fats with dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals. Flaxseeds have powerful, anti-cancer, hormone-balancing phytonutrients called lignans. Add freshly ground flaxseeds to your smoothies for a ticker and creamier smoothie. Sprinkle a tablespoon on your breakfast oatmeal or granola. You can also use it as a vegetarian gelatinous ingredient by simply combining one tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 4 tablespoon water and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes. The mixture can be used in sauces, salad dressings, soups and baked goods as a natural thickener.
HEMP SEEDS: These ancient seeds with a delicious semi- sweet and nutty flavor are one of my favorite plant- based protein sources containing all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential ones our bodies can’t make. They also provide carbohydrates, fiber, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, high levels of vitamins A, C and E and minerals. In addition, hemp seeds have an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids which is very unique. What does that mean? In western diets most people get far more omega-6 fatty acids and not enough omega-3’s which contribute to an excess inflammation in our bodies. What we really want is to have a good balance between these fats in our diet. These nutrient-dense seeds are very versatile and can be sprinkled on your salad, breakfast oatmeal and yogurt. You can also add them to smoothies and soups or make your own nut milk with them.
BEE POLLEN: What is bee pollen? They are the food of the young bee. These little colorful seeds are super rich in proteins with vitamins and minerals. They enhance energy, boost the immune system, provide enzymes and act as an antioxidant. So first start adding a couple of granules to your breakfast or afternoon snack and gradually increase your consumption to a teaspoon. NOTE: Some people might have an allergic reaction to bee pollen. If you notice any tingling, itching or swelling after consuming it, immediately discontinue and discuss it with your healthcare provider.