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Turmeric Used By Yoga Masters to Promote Flexibility and Healing

By March 15, 2016Nutrition Information

As the weather warms up and we head into spring you might notice that there is a decrease in your appetite. You may not feel as hungry and you eat less than you did in the cold winter. This is as nature intended it.

Every spring nature makes an effort to help the body burn off winter fat. The heavier, higher-protein and higher-fat winter foods that help insulate and rejuvenate the body are replaced with the lighter, low-fat harvest of spring. In order to get energy without fat in the diet the body is forced to burn its own fat each spring. Naturally getting rid of the winter weight.

Spring is the natural season for detoxification. Spring is our window to naturally desire less food, eat less, reset fat burning, lose weight and renew our energy.

 Each year I look forward connecting to the powerful cycle of nature to enjoy the benefits of this season and get rid of the winter fat by doing a cleanse.

 Nourishing Foods Spring Cleanse
Restore Your Liver
Monday April 18- Friday 22, 2016

I invite you to join us for this natural opportunity to reset and detox!  Click for more information and to sign up.

The first foods ready for harvest in the spring are the root veggies like ginger and turmeric. In today’s blog I share the amazing healing benefits of turmeric.

Turmeric an Amazing Spice

Turmeric dreamstimeTurmeric is one of my favorite spices that I recommend everyone use regularly. It has been used for thousands of years by many cultures for its potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In Ayurveda,this common spice is used for healthy joints, liver support, healthy skin, mental clarity, intestinal health, bile flow, and fat metabolism.

Turmeric has a long traditional use by yoga and martial arts masters to promote flexibility and healing.

I love it for cooking in foods like curries and as an herbal remedy. This time of year turmeric is highly beneficial for avoiding spring colds by keeping our immune system strong.

Keep reading for the incredible benefits of turmeric plus a super simple tip for boosting it’s absorption.

The Benefits of Turmeric

turmericThe turmeric plant grows in India and Indonesia and is related to the ginger family. The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It is the compound responsible for that bright yellow hue and is behind a whole host of the health benefits attributed to the spice. The root is often ground into a yellow colored powder. It can also be found fresh in many markets.

An overview published in Advanced Experimental Medical Biology in 2007 states that, “Curcumin has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic illnesses.”

Relieves Joint Pain

Several recent studies show that turmeric/curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties. Unlike aspirin or ibuprophen, turmeric‘s curcumin reduces inflammation naturally, without damaging the liver or kidneys. It has been found especially helpful in treating conditions like arthritis and sports injuries.

A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009 compared the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, with ibuprofen for pain relief in 107 people with knee osteoarthritis. The curcumin eased pain and improved function about as well as the ibuprofen.

A 2010 clinical trial found that a turmeric supplement called Meriva provided long-term improvement in pain and function in 100 patients with knee pain.

Mervia is the curcumin supplement I use and recommend to my clients.

Supports Digestion and Detoxification

Turmeric supports the mucosa of the gut and thins the mucus. Excess thick mucus in the gut can compromise absorption and detoxification pathways, leading to congestion in the lymph system.

Turmeric supports the flow of bile.  Bile breaks down the fats that we need. It is also produced as an immune response to get rid of toxic chemicals and other fat-soluble toxins you may ingest such as heavy metals and pesticides .

Happiness Spice

A recent study on turmeric suggests that this ancient spice has a powerful effect on your mood and ability to focus. In the study the extract of turmeric was shown to boost the brain chemical norepinephrine, which supports healthy mood, attentiveness, sleep, dreaming and higher learning.

Curcumin also boosted the levels of dopamine – the “motivation” hormone that supports pleasure, emotion and satisfaction and serotonin – the “joy” hormone which plays a key role in promoting feelings of happiness. It is involved in memory, learning, appetite, sexual behavior, sleep, and many other functions

Protects the Brain

Studies show turmeric promotes repair to stem cells in the brain. In a study at the University of California at Los Angeles curcumin blocked plaque accumulation in the brain. It also appeared to reduce inflammation related to Alzheimer’s disease in neural tissue.

In 2008 there was a study suggesting curcumin may improve overall memory in Ahlzeimer’s patients.

Another study has shown elderly villagers in India, who eat turmeric in their daily curries, have the world’s lowest rate of Alzheimer’s disease

Boost Absorption of Turmeric

One problem with turmeric it that it is fat soluble making it more difficult to absorb. Most of the studies done on curcumin are done using the extract which is easier to absorb.

Even though the extracts are potent and therapeutic they do not contain the beneficial microbes that actually live on whole plants. Whole herbs carry specific microbes that support the actions of that plant. When we eat the natural spice instead of the extracts we receive all the benefits. In addition people often build up a tolerance to an extract. Whole herbs while not as potent as extracts are more sustainable.

In Ayurveda turmeric and black pepper are combined to boost its potency and absorption. In 1998 researchers at St. John’s Medical College in Bangalore, India found that turmeric taken with black pepper increased the absorption of turmeric by an astonishing 2000%, with no adverse effects!

Boiling and cooking helps naturally break down the turmeric in such a way that the absorption of medicinal grade constituents like curcumin are greatly enhanced.

Note of Caution: High doses of turmeric can act as a blood thinner and cause stomach upset. Avoid turmeric/curcumin supplements if you take blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), are about to have surgery, are pregnant or have gallbladder disease. It is always best to check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

Since all the studies have suggested turmeric has broad anti-inflammatory and health benefits start eating turmeric

Chicken coco 3DSC_0144 Turmeric Sunflower DressingAnti Inflammatory Latte

Curries are a great way to get plenty of this super-root but if Indian cuisine isn’t your thing: add it to soups, sprinkle it on vegetables. Click  for recipes.


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