If you’ve done even a little clicking around the wellness corner of the internet, you’ve likely encountered articles about turmeric and its awesomeness, but knowing how to actually fit it into your everyday life? Not always so obvious. While many studies focus on very concentrated preparations of curcumin in powder, tablet, or extract form intended for therapeutic dosing, eating turmeric as part of your day-to-day diet can be the best way to enjoy those benefits. Read on to learn more about how to use turmeric to boost your health and wellness.
While it’s good to be aware of portion sizes on nutrition labels, why not flip them to your benefit? For example, instead of a bowl of ice cream with a few blueberries, have a bowl of blueberries with a spoonful of ice cream. While one cup of ice cream has more than 250 calories and not much in the way of nutrition, one cup of blueberries contains only 80 calories and is a good source of fiber and vitamin C. Or, instead of a plate of pasta with some veggies, have a plate of veggies with some pasta. A mix of steamed or roasted cruciferous vegetables works great with a smaller amount of pasta. Not only does this ingredient swap cut the calories in the dish, the additional veggies provide nutrients like fiber, potassium and vitamin A.
Often, turmeric will be prescribed to patients experiencing stagnation of the blood and Qi. Conditions caused by these issues include things like menstrual pain, traumatic injury, enlargement of the liver or spleen, liver cirrhosis and bleeding disorders. Some Chinese medicine doctors will suggest turmeric for conditions such as seizures, derangement, epilepsy or mania.
Holy basil, sometimes known as hot basil, is revered by Hindus and used in Ayurvedic medicine as a way to counter life's stresses. Studies have shown that chemicals in the herb may decrease blood sugar, reduce anxiety and depression, lessen stress and improve sleep, while its high antioxidant properties have researchers looking into the impact of holy basil oil on certain cancers.
Because curcumin crosses the blood-brain barrier, research has suggested the brain can also benefit from its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant benefits and stave off conditions like Alzheimer’s. Use turmeric in an all-purpose spice blend for fish or to toss with olive oil and toast up with walnuts, another food shown to protect brain function as we age.
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I specifically chose to focus on broccoli because it’s one of the few veggies that contain calcium, which has been shown to increase fat loss, especially around the abdominal area. Another broccoli bonus: The cruciferous star is one of the highest-volume, lowest-calorie foods around (1 cup is only 25 calories), so you can eat a great big amount and still drop pounds, making it an ideal food for weight loss.
The least intrusive weight loss methods, and those most often recommended, are adjustments to eating patterns and increased physical activity, generally in the form of exercise. The World Health Organization recommended that people combine a reduction of processed foods high in saturated fats, sugar and salt and caloric content of the diet with an increase in physical activity.