Euphoria, Pleasure, Happiness! Which Nutrient do You Need?

Need a pick me up? Do you feel deflated, demotivated, or depressed? Such pessimistic symptoms can leave one dragging their feet, however, can also be combatted through an intake of dietary nutrients that provide a natural supplementation for enhancement of moods

Foods that Increase Euphoria & Pleasure Release Dopamine

A good reason to consume 1 ounce of dark chocolate a day is that it has the chemical phenylethylamine which releases dopamine.  Dr. Mindy Dopler Nelson of Stanford University,  states that, “The compound is thought to be  responsible for the high you experience after eating chocolate because it releases natural feel-good chemicals called endorphins in your brain.  According to All Chocolate, PEA is released by the brain when people are falling in love, and this might explain why chocolate and Valentines Day are so closely linked.”

Chocolate has a chemical that causes dopamine to be released in the brain, inspiring a sense of euphoria and pleasure.

Dr. Nelson explains, “Chocolate is a stimulant that will release the dopamine that creates that pleasure feeling. It’s in the cocoa. There’s more of it in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate. But there’s something about the fat in the milk that also will make you feel good. Some people associate a comfort food with a high-fat food. There also are antioxidants in the dark chocolate, but watch the dosage! Excess can be harmful for your liver and pile on the pounds. Dopamine has an amphedamine effect, hence the term chocoholic. You also cannot ignore the fact it contains mucho caffeine that will keep you up at night. (And if you don’t get enough sleep it will effect your serotonin level.)

Other food sources of phenylethylamine are: Almonds (can promote migraine headaches if too many are consumed.) and Cheese should be consumed in 1 ounce or 28 grams per day, Red Wine (4-6 ounces or 125-200 ml per day) and Tomatoes.  An apple a day contains tyrosine which also converts to dopamine.

Eat to Improve Mood, Memory, & Sleep: vitamin B6 & Trytophan

If diagnosed with depression, try pursuing some dietary changes before starting medication, or implement in addition to the intake of medication.  Facing depression head on, incorporating walking twice a day along with new nutritional choices and professional help can give you a new perspective on life.  Your daily dietary intake should consist of 2-3 of the following through out the day:

  • Nuts (1 ounce, or 28 grams a day) Cashews or Brazilian Nuts are also linked to reducing coronary, depression, and diabetic symptoms in addition to promoting weight loss.
  • Bananas (1 banana per day)
  • Poultry for protein (tryptophan. 4-6 ounces)
  • Salmon
  • Tofu
  • Milk  (8-16 ounces or 245-490 ml per day)
  • Yogurt (4-6 ounces a day or 125-200 ml day)
  • A plate of Sri Lanken Chicken Cashew has nutrition properties to reduce symptoms of depression.

Cashew nuts are very rich source of minerals. Minerals especially manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium are concentrated in the nuts. A handful of cashew nuts a day in the diet would provide enough of these minerals and prevent deficiency diseases.

 “Vitamin B6 and Tryptophan”.   Foods such as turkey, chicken, quail, banana, and even milk can fight depression symptoms. All contain Vitamin B6 (which helps create serotonin) and have the protein Tryptophan  that can be converted to the neurotransmitter, serotonin, which is linked with happiness, or known as a “Mood” enhancer.  In simplified terms, a Neurotransmitter (serotonin for example), is like the super-autostrada of information in your brain that allows different parts to talk to each other!!!

Tryptophan can be found in a variety of foods to help fight depression, they include: chocolate, bananas, poultry, meat, whole grain pasta, fennel seeds, figs, fish, peanuts, milk and cottage cheese.  A list that many can pick and choose from and find health and comfort.                                                         

Artificial sweeteners are often found in beverages and processed foods; such sweeteners depress pleasure hormones dopamine and interfere with the production of serotonin.

Foods to AVOID.  Any foods or drinks (Diet) with artificial sweetners should be avoided.  Multiple studies have shown this aritficial sweetner to depress serotonin levels. Those with a history of mood disorders or depression have been linked to a severe reaction after consuming aspartamine. Additional weight gain is attributed to aritificial sweetners, as they interfere with an individual’s “internal calorie counter” causing the hormones ghrelin (go eat) and leptin (stop eating) to malfunction. While consuming a diet drink with a meal of 700 calories, the leptin hormone does not respond to the feeling of satiety because the internal calorie counter thinks that only 300 calories have been eaten; that kind of deficit adds up to weight gain and to depression.

Stay on the medication.  Do talk to your doctor about how you can work with them in pursuing necessary dietary changes that will nutritionally benefit you as well.

Nutritional Facts:  Include foods in your diet with B Vitamins. They contain two amino acids: Phenylalanine and Tyrosine, which are precursors to noraepinepherine and tryptophan, which are precursors to the neurotransmitter, serotonin.

Other vitamins which may contribute to mood enhancers are: zinc, selenium, calcium, Vitamin D, iron and magnesium.

By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

Literature Research

Health Benefits of Lemon Water

Relieving digestive problems can be done through food and beverages that you may already have in your own kitchen.

Squeeze juice from 1 lemon into a glass of water.

Constipation, upset stomach gas pains, kidney stones and edema? Can all be uncomfortable and difficult to overcome. A solution that works and practiced in many countries is Drinking Lemon Water.

There is a natural way to soothe body pain,or reduce flatulence and relieve constipation, providing your body with the necessary fluid intake, Vitamin C  and potassium to flush out excess sodium, keeping your organs (i.e. heart, kidneys ) and muscles healthy and the electrolytes in balance. 

 

Malic Acid, a common ingredient used in over the counter “upset stomach” medication, is a “Naturally occuring Organic element” within lemons.  The alkaline malic acid is introduced to the stomach working with the pH balance and then into the intestinal tract, reducing the negative effects of enzymes that contribute to gas and bacteria. 

The SECRET HEALTH HINT comes from one of the many benefits of a lemon.  A simple recipe will provide immediate results:

1.  Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into a glass of water. Do this once or twice a day if you are under 150 pounds/83 kilo’s, once in the morning and once at night.

2.  Over 150 pounds/ 83 kilo’s, squeeze the juice of 1 whole lemon in a glass of warm water, twice a day.

Fiber  and exercise will also “get things moving” and should be a regular part of ones daily dietary intake.  

Food and beverages that may assist in synthesizing bile salts and secreting bile acids, returning you to comfort are: berries, watermelon, celery, spinach, dandelion, artichokes, fennel or dandelion tea and spices like fennel seeds, turmeric, or red pepper flakes. (see quantities below.) All credited to contributing to the success of a healthy body. (Suffer from IBS?  Include these foods & beverages in your daily intake.) 

Lastly, keep your muscles toned by scheduling a walk 20 minutes per day to improve your overall digestion and stay in a regular way! 

 

By Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

Include the following foods into your daily routine to relieve stomach discomfort and promote regular bowel movements.

 

1/3 cup berries of choice

1/2 cup watermelon

1-2 stalks celery

1 cup spinach salad

1/3 cup sauteed dandelion greens

1/4 cup artichokes

1/3 cup sliced fennel

12-18 fennel seeds can be chewed on per day

1/4 tsp turmeric added to potatoes, rice or pasta

1/8 tsp of pepper flakes to soups and vegetables

Drink plenty of water and tea! 2-4 cups of fennel or dandelion tea a day will also relieve discomfort of the stomach.

More nutrtion articles to read:

Fast Relief: Fennel Seeds Combat Gas and Upset Stomach  and  Turmeric to Ease Acid Reflex

References

http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefit_of_drinking_green_tea

Nephron Protectively due to effects of Vitamin C

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23009987

Anti-bacteria activity reversed by Vitamin C and E

Kidney Disease Low Phosphorus Diet

We are all provided with two equal fist sized organs, found in our lower back on either side of the spine just above the waist called Kidneys. Renal physiology is the study of kidney function, while nephrology is a medical specialty that focuses on kidney disease.

In brief, the kidneys perform multiple functions to sustain the life of the body, cleanse the body by removing waste and excess fluid through urine, provide a balance of water, salt, potassium, phosphorus and produce an active form of Vitamin D.  Multiple hormones and enzymes are produced in the kidneys and released into the body affecting the function of other organs, signaling red blood cell production, regulating blood pressure (Renin) and calcium metabolism.

The degradation of the kidneys can be influenced by a variety of factors. Having regular check-ups is key to kidney health. Do not miss doctor appointments if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic urinary tract infection, bladder issues, chronic lower back pain. Any of all of these factors should be monitored an communicated in a timely manner.

   When kidneys begin to function improperly an individual may have any, or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness, loss of energy, sleep problems, any change in output or color of urine, decreased mental awareness, muscle twitches or cramps, hiccups, swelling of feet or ankles, persistent itching, chest pains, shortness of breath, high blood pressure. Symptoms should be discussed with your Doctor. Early detection of kidney disease can be addressed, so that the health of the kidneys can be sustained.

A diet low in phosphorus, sodium and balanced protein is critical when addressing kidney disease. Listed below are foods allowed for patients facing kidney issues taken from DaVita who specializes in Renal Disease.  Four important points should be reviewed with your Doctor or Dietitian.

  • Foods Low in Phosphorus (less than 110 mg per serving)
  • Consume 800-1000 mg of phosphorous per day.
  • Portion Size is critical to staying in range of low phosphorus.
  • (A normal phosphorus blood level is 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL)
Additional information on the kidneys can be reviewed at The National Kidney Foundation. Learn more about Renal Health, disease and locate professionals that can answer your questions.
By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio
References
The National Kidney Foundation http://www.kidney.org/index.cfm
DaVita http://www.davita.com/
Webmd http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-kidney-disease-basic-information
Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kidney-failure/DS00682

LOW PHOSPHORUS FOOD SERVINGS & mg/100g

Low-phosphorus meat and poultry choices
Fresh or frozen red meats without additives or enhancements are better choices (be sure to check ingredient labels; even fresh chicken and pork may be injected with phosphates and sodium) for a kidney diet.

** Choose meats without breading, marinades or sauce. On average, fresh meat contains 65 mg of phosphorus per ounce and 7 grams of protein per ounce. Check with your Doctor or Dietitian on serving size per meat. While most will say that 3 ounces is fine the following serving size has been modified to a 2 ounce serving size.

Phosphorus content for a 2-ounce portion, cooked:

Beef, pot roast: 104 mg Beef, sirloin steak: 126 mg
Chicken breast, skinless: 126  mg Chicken thigh, skinless: 100 mg
Hamburger patty 90% lean ground beef: 114 mg Lamb chop: 122 mg
Pork roast: 126 mg
Turkey breast meat, skinless: 122 mg Turkey thigh meat, skinless: 114 mg

 Low-phosphorus fish choices 

Fish is a high-quality protein that contains omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty saltwater fish such as salmon and tuna are highest in omega-3, reducing inflammation and protecting against heart disease and cancer.

Phosphorus content for a 2-ounce portion, cooked:

Mahi Mahi: 104 mg
Tuna, canned: 88 mg

 

Low-phosphorus seafood choices

Seafood is an excellent source of very low-fat, high-quality protein. However, there are differences in varieties of the same species. For example, Pacific oysters contain 50 mg more phosphorus in a 3-ounce serving compared to Eastern oysters.

Phosphorus content for a 3-ounce portion, cooked:

Shrimp: 120 mg
Oysters, Eastern: 120 mg
Snow crab: 120 mg

 Low-phosphorus breads

Bread is a good source of carbohydrates and calories needed by your body fo renergy production. While whole grain bread is a healthy source of fiber, it also has more phosphorus and potassium than white flour bread.

Phosphorus content for a 1-ounce portion, (usually one piece of bread):

Bagel, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, plain, onion, 1 ounce: 53-70 mg Corn tortilla, 6-inch: 75 mg
English muffin, 1 ounce: 52-76 mg Flat bread: 48 mg
Flour tortillas, made without baking powder: 20-37 mg French bread or rolls: 28 mg
Italian bread or rolls: 29 mg Light wheat bread: 38 mg
Pita bread, white: 58 mg Sourdough bread: 30 mg
White bread: 25 mg

 Low-phosphorus pasta and rice

Pasta, rice and other grains are a great source of carbohydrates, calories and B vitamins, plus zinc, copper and iron. For a kidney diet, whole grains like brown rice, oat bran and wild rice ARE LIMITED due to the higher phosphorus content. A half cup of brown rice has 75-81 mg of phosphorus which can add up if you eat a larger portion.

Phosphorus content for a 1/2 cup portion, cooked:

Couscous: 20 mg Egg noodles: 50-60 mg
Macaroni: 40 mg Pearled barley: 43 mg
Plain white rice, short, medium or long grain: 35 mg Rice noodles: 14-28 mg
Spaghetti: 42 mg

 Low-phosphorus dairy, dairy substitutes and egg whites

Milk and milk products are high in calcium and phosphorus, so finding an acceptable lower phosphorus substitute is a must. A half cup of milk (4 ounces) contains 111-138 mg of phosphorus. Some liquid dairy substitutes can be used in cooking to replace milk, but not all products are interchangeable. Read ingredient lists to look for phosphate additives in nondairy products. Some products are fortified with calcium-phosphate. Beware of the ones that promote “high in calcium” as these are also high in phosphorus. Eggs are a great protein source but also contain 95 mg phosphorus in a large egg. Remove the yolk and phosphorus is only 5 mg for each egg white.

Phosphorus content for a 1/2 cup portion, unless stated otherwise:

Almond milk, Almond Breeze®, original: 50 mg Nondairy creamer without phosphate additives: 40-53 mg
Nondairy whipped topping, 2 tablespoons: 0-10 mg Sherbet: 38 mg
Sour cream, 2 tablespoons: 20-40 mg Soy milk varies by brand: 50-125 mg
Unenriched rice milk without calcium-phosphate additives: 29 mg Egg whites, pasteurized 15 mg

 Low-phosphorus snacks

Crackers, cookies, candy, fruits or vegetables — all are appealing snack foods.There are many low-phosphorus choices for your kidney diet.

Apple, 1 medium: 10 mg Applesauce, 1/2 cup: 6 mg
Baby carrots, 9 pieces: 25 mg Biscotti, without chocolate or nuts, 1 ounce: 35-50 mg
Blueberries, 1/2 cup: 9 mg Celery, 1 stalk: 10 mg
Cherries, 1/2 cup: 15 mg Fig bars, 2 bars: 10-25 mg
Fruit candies, hard candy, chews or gummy: 0 mg Fruit cocktail, 1/2 cup: 17 mg
Gelatin, without phosphate additives: 20-30 mg Low sodium crackers, 1 ounce: 20-35 mg
Peach, 1 medium: 10 mg Lemon Juice, 3 fluid ounces: 3.6 mg
Pineapple, fresh, 1/2 cup: 6 mg Radishes, 10: 9 mg
Shortbread cookies, 4 cookies: 17-35 mg Sorbet, 1/2 cup: 2-6 mg
Strawberries, fresh, 1/2 cup: 18 mg Unsalted popcorn, 1 cup: 8 mg
Unsalted pretzels, 1 ounce: 20-40 mg Vanilla wafers, 1 ounce = 5-8 cookies: 12-20 mg

 Lower phosphorus cheese choices

All cheese contains phosphorus with most having 120-250 mg per ounce; some contain more than 300 mg per ounce. The suggested portion for a dialysis diet is usually one ounce of cheese 1-2 times a week if phosphorus is controlled. Check with your dietitian for individual recommendations. Cream cheese-based spreads are much lower in phosphorus than cheese-based spreads. Portion control is key when it comes to cheese!

Low-phosphorus cheese choices:

Blue cheese, 1 ounce: 110 mg Cottage cheese, 1/4 cup: 92 mg
Cream cheese, 2 tablespoons: 20-40 mg Feta cheese, 1 ounce: 96 mg
Neufchatel cheese, 1 ounce: 39 mg Parmesan cheese, grated, 2 tablespoons: 72 mg

 Managing a low-phosphorus diet

Avoid dried fruits which are higher in phosphorus levels including: raisins, prunes, peaches, pears, dates, currants, bananas. Legumes should be reviewed with your dietitian, some are higher in phosphorus and may not be allowed.

FRUITS

Most fruits can be factored at 10 mg phosphorus per serving. Some fruits do not have any phosphorus. Fresh fruits with higher levels of phosphorus can be eaten in moderation. Weigh your food carefully to configure the amount of mg/100g.

GREAT CHOICE, No present phosphorous in fruit; Raspberries, Cherries, Grapefruit, Lychee, Apricots, Pineapple, Plum, Pumpkin

Banana 27 mg; Blackberries 27 mg; Kiwi 71 mg; strawberries 27mg; Tomato 63 mg; Watermelon 26 mg; Mango 23 mg; Orange 18 mg

VEGETABLES

GREAT CHOICE, No present phosphorus in vegetables: Brussel Sprouts, Chicory, Cucumber, Pickles, Leeks, Olives, Radish, Red Paprika,

Asparagus 49 mg: Artichoke 103 mg; Avocado 82 mg; Broccoli 46 mg; Baked Beans 132 mg; Cabbage 36 mg; Carrots 23 mg; Cauliflower 20 mg; Corn 79 mg; Green Beans 26 mg;  Green Peppers 14 mg; Mushrooms 36 mg; Onion 23 mg; Peas 187 mg; Potato 78 mg; Spinach 15 mg; Zucchini 7 mg; Lima Beans 178 mg;

If baking at home, explore substitutes in baking found at DeVita.com. Bakers Active Dry Yeast provides a good solution when baking.  Another TIP to adding levitation is to follow the recipe backwards, eliminate baking powder and salt. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until foamy, add a few grains of cream of tarter, beat another 10 seconds. Lastly, fold egg whites into the other ingredients.

Fennel Seeds to Restore Health

Fennel field typical in Mediterranean Countries

Across the fields of the Mediterranean country of Italy, yellow-flowered green feathery leaves gently move in the breeze. The “Florence Fennel” or Finocchio (feen o key oh) produces a vegetable and seed commonly used in promoting digestion at kitchen tables within Europe, India, Southeast Asia and North Africa.

Foeniculum Vulgare (genius) is listed under the species Apiaceae, or hollow stemmed plants, grouped with other family members including: anise, carrot, caraway, cilantro, cumin, dill, parsley and parsnip.The fennel seed is both green (soft and easy to chew) and yellowish in color (used in cooking) and full of nutrients.

Fennel seeds promote digestive healing. Limited to 1/2 tsp per day.

A dozen fennel seeds chewed on at a time will soothe and relieve various ailments in both men and women.

  • Breath freshener
  • Ease gum soreness
  • Assists in digestion
  • Combats acid reflux
  • Relieves flatulence, gas, stomach ache
  • Creates bile to promote bowel movement. Unclogs liver.
  • Due to their “expectorant properties”, fennel seeds ease coughs and treats bronchial congestion,  asthma
  • Reduces menstrual cramps, hot flashes, night sweats, water retention. Functions as a phytoestrogen and improves libido.
  • Curves stress eating!  ( 12 seeds 3x’s a day) Fennel Seeds or Flax Seeds are a natural “Appetite Suppressant” contributing to weight maintenance, or weight loss
  • Used to improve anxiety and depression
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Fennel seeds can be purchased in the grocery isle that sells herbs and spices.
Eaten raw, steamed or boiled, fennel is encouraged to be part of ones nutritional intake. The texture of the smooth white fennel bulb when sliced releases a gentle aroma of lemon and licorice. The mouth feel of the vegetable is similar to celery. Full of fiber, it is an easy snack to pack, or consumed as an after dinner palate cleanser. Gently boil sliced fennel and green leaves for about 10 minutes. Pour water from pan into a mug and slowly drink water to promote intestinal healing.

Fennel can be eaten raw, steamed or boiled

FENNEL’S Nutrient Composition: “Fennel seeds contain antioxidants, dietary fibers, vitamins A, B and C. Minerals that promote healing are also present: copper, iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Its active components anethole, limonene, fenchone, anisic aldehyde, chavicol, myrcene, cineole and pinene are what make fennel seeds effective in their many restorative and curative functions in different body systems like the digestive system, respiratory system and the female reproductive system.”
WARNINGS: Fennel seeds oil is considered volatile. Those who experience plant allergies should approach fennel consumption with caution. Consult with your doctor before consuming fennel seeds if: pregnant, experience allergies or before giving to a child or baby.  Important to note that research has not proven fennel’s ability to calm colic in babies.
By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

Turmeric & Saffron to Cleanse & Heal Body

Turmeric cleanses the body

Go for it….Spice up your life!  Scientific research has revealed what the people of India have known for centuries! Turmeric and Saffron, whether combined with pharmaceuticals, or taken by themselves, cleanse the skin and cure what ails you; both spices functioning as natures prized antibiotics.

Turmeric and its cousin Saffron contain a polyphenol called “curcumin”, an  antioxidant that is associated with reducing nutrition related pathologies. They are bland tasting, turmeric has a rich yellow color that we associate with “Curry”  and saffron is orange and string-like. These wonderful seasonings are slowly taking on the health importance that they deserve.

Studies have determined that “Curcumin” impacts health as an: “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.

The positive impact of the medicinal properties are mediated through the regulation of various:  transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases, and other enzymes”, states The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. They further attest curcumin to be the “Spice of Life” saying that, “Curcumin exhibits activities similar to recently discovered tumor necrosis factor blockers (e.g., HUMIRA, REMICADE, and ENBREL), a vascular endothelial cell growth factor blocker (e.g., AVASTIN), human epidermal growth factor receptor blockers (e.g., ERBITUX, ERLOTINIB, and GEFTINIB), and a HER2 blocker (e.g., HERCEPTIN).”   All evidenced in the country of India which has been duly of having lower occurrences of heart disease and cancer.

Saffron comes from the crocus flower

Many comparisons have shown that individuals who leave India are diagnosed with a health disease, not otherwise documented in previous family history, after moving into a western society.  Duly noted, the main difference in dietary intake was a lower to “no” amounts of turmeric being consumed in their meals.

Turmeric is not as costly as saffron and is readily available with other herbs and seasonings in stores, or in 300 mg capsule form in the vitamin and mineral grocery isle.

Introducing turmeric into meal preparation is very easy to do. 1 teaspoon added to rice, pasta, potato’s, soups and vegetables are good ways to switch from the salt shaker to a healthier spice that heals and makes your body work and function better. Saffron is more costly and commonly used in the Italian dish Risotto Milanese, however, it also provides the same healing benefit as its close relative.

MANY HOME REMEDIES USING TURMERIC

  • With a few grains, turmeric’s antiseptic properties help to heal cuts, wounds, kitchen burns and abrasions. Make a paste of Turmeric and Raw Honey; 1 teaspoon honey and 1 teaspoon turmeric.  Adjust amount to wound, apply to wound and cover with a gauze. 3 x’s/day.
  • Gently rub a small dusting of turmeric onto area of face to reduce facial hair growth. Massage into skin with a dampened tea bag.
  • A mixture of 1 teaspoon turmeric and 1/4 cup yogurt rubbed onto the abdomen to reduce stretch marks during pregnancy. Rinse off after 5 minutes.
  • Added 1/4 teaspoon to individual meals through out the day, keeps various diseases a bay.
  • Mixture of 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon mustard oil rubbed into gums to combat gum infections. Rinse with warm water.
  • Accredited for reducing anemia and sore throats by eating a paste made of 1 teaspoon raw honey & 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric. 3 x’s/day.
  • Stop diarrhea by drinking, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric to 1 glass of water
  • Sick with an infection? Combine: glass of milk  and stir in 1/2 teaspoon turmeric , 1 teaspoon honey. Drink this natural antibiotic 2 times a day.
  • Medicinal use for pathologies have duly noted an intake of 1-2 teaspoons of turmeric  3x’s a day inhibits growth of tumors, improves function of pancreas, reduces incidence of heart attack.
  • Combat GERD or “Acid Reflux” by consuming 1/8 teaspoon turmeric (a 300 mg capsule) before dinner. Also consider Fast Relief: Fennel Seeds Combat Digestive Problems and

Gas Pains Drink Lemon Water

  • Heal Acne by combining in a bowl 1/2 tsp water, 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1/8 tsp salt. With a cotton ball gently dab a small amount of  paste onto acne and allow skin to absorb ingredients overnight. In the morning, gently cleanse to remove and refresh skin.
For modern western medicine practices, the excitement around the ancient asian spices brings hope on the horizon for how meal preparation can enhance an individuals overall health. The many benefits of polyphenol curcumin are continuously being researched: Inflammation, Arthritis, Irritated Bowel Syndrome, Kidney Disease etc. Present studies  have shown that curcumin inhibits the proliferation of tumor cells in cultures, human and animal studies. Curcumin’s many strengths and limitations are being seriously explored and are bringing new opportunities to healing ones body.
By, Kim Crocker-Scardicchio
Recipes

Lentil Soup
Replace the Salt Shaker
Chicken Curry
Pork or Beef Roast with Vegetables
Risotto Milanese
Spices to Lower Inflammation
Health Benefits of Saffron

References
 1.  Food Chem Toxicol. 2011 Aug;49(8):1834-42. Epub 2011 May 6.
 Safety Assessment of a Solid Lipid Curcumin Particle Preparation: Acute and Subchronic Toxicity Studies.
 Dadhaniya PPatel CMuchhara JBhadja NMathuria NVachhani K Soni MG.
 Pre-Clinical Department, Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Dholka 387 810, India.
 website:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=benefits%20turmeric%20body
2  .Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Aug;25(4-5):519-34.
 Curcumin: The Potential for Efficacy in Gastrointestinal Diseases.
 Irving GRKarmokar ABerry DPBrown KSteward University of Leicester, Department of Cancer Studies, Room 503, Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Leicester LE2 7LX, UK.
 website:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22122768
3. J Fam Pract. 2011 Mar;60(3):155-6.
 Clinical Inquiry. Does turmeric relieve inflammatory conditions?
 White BJudkins DZ.
 Oregon Health & Science University, Family Medicine, Portland, USA.
 website:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21369559
4.  Anticancer Agents Med Chem. 2011 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print]
 Curcumin and its Formulations: Potential Anti-Cancer Agents
 Zhu HLJi JLHuang XF
 zhuhl@nju.edu.cn.    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22044005
5. Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(7):919-30.
 Curcumin, the golden spice from Indian saffron, is a chemosensitizer and radiosensitizer for tumors and chemoprotector and radioprotector for normal organs.
 Goel A
 Aggarwal BB
 Department of Internal Medicine, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.
6. Curcumin; Indian Solid Gold http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569205

Tuscan Cacciucco Fish Stew

A variety of fish, tomatoes, and onions makes for a delicious meal.

Cacciucco is a fish stew commonly made in the Northern Tuscany seaport of Livorno. At the end of a day at sea and after auctioning off the fish to both locals and fish markets, the fisherman takes his fresh fish and puts it into a pot with onions, garlic and fresh tomatoes topped off with a dash or two of red pepper! This flavorful dish takes your imagination directly to a beach restaurant where you sit outside on a deck, feeling the breeze gently on your face and saltwater fish in every tasty bite.

Serves 6

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds (1/2 to 1 kilo) of mixed fish (see list below)
  • A half a medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A bunch of parsley, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound sliced fresh or canned plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • Salt to taste
  • Crumbled or minced hot red pepper (about a half teaspoon, or to taste)
  • Toasted Italian bread rubbed with garlic

Preparation:

Ingredients for Cacciucco or Fish Stew

Fish: Go with what’s in season, keep it cheap! Example: sole, mullet, catfish, dogfish, goby, squid, octopus, fresh shellfish and shrimp. Chop the large fish, but leave the small ones whole.

Direction: Sauté in olive oil the onion, parsley, and garlic in the oil in a deep bottomed pot (5 minutes). Once the onion has turned translucent, add fish and turn with other ingredients in pan, (3 minutes).  Add wine, when the wine vapors are released (1 minute), stir in the chopped tomatoes and salt the mixture to taste. This is one of the few spicy Northern Italian dishes, add in red pepper.

Simmer the Cacciucco until the fish is done, 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, toast several slices of bread and rub them with a crushed clove of garlic.  Once the fish is done, line the bottoms of your bowls with the toasted bread, ladle the Cacciucco over them, and serve.

Spiced Rice

Spiced Rice may be served with: Curry, Stews, Sauces. Here presented with almonds and soy beans

Flavorful rice that can be a great additive side dish, especially with curry, stews and sauces. See instructions below to add a creative aspect to this delicious plate!

 

 

 

 

 

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cup’s Rice
  • ½ onion diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ½ cinnamon bark (1 inch or 2.5 cm in length)
  • 2 cloves of cardamom
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp turmeric (optional)

Rice should be washed by placing into a bowl and covered with water, carefully remove water. Repeat process 3 times.   Allow rice to remain in water for 30 minutes, remove water from rice and set aside. (If rice is not pre-soaked add another ½ cup water to dish when rice is added to pan for a total of 3 ½ cups)

Over medium heat add oil to a large frying pan with onion, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom; cook for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Add rice and incorporate well with onion and spices.  Add 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Fluff rice with 2 forks and recover pan.

BE CREATIVE:

  1. May add vegetables to this dish before water is added to rice.
  2. May add Saffron or Tumeric to dish at end of cooking.
  3. Rice can be placed into a mold pan upon completion of cooking.  Allow to cook for 20 minutes, invert pan to release formed rice and top off with almonds and soy beans.

Suggested dishes to accompany Spiced Rice: Permjit’s Chicken CurryParathaRaita,  Chicken or Veal ParmesanFlorence Italy’s Peposo