As you may have heard, turmeric is anti-inflammatory. And, that's a good news now that we are learning more about what causes physical stress and disease in the body.
Although having a strong immune system is important for our survival, our bodies can overreact to different stressors such as eating a poor diet, one too high in protein from animal sources or too high in sugar.
Read more below about the causes of (and relief from) inflammation and then try this TURMERIC SMOOTHIE recipe (below) to calm your system and bring on health. Turmeric can have a bitter, powdery taste so start slowly and then add more. I haven't tried the fresh turmeric, but I've seen it at Whole Foods.
There are also turmeric supplements, but all turmeric supplements are not the same! Look for a product with better absorption rates; one that's natural; doesn't use harsh chemicals or solvents to extract it from turmeric root; and stays in the body for a longer time--8 to 12 hours. (For a detailed review of curcumin which is the anti-inflammatory ingredient in turmeric, see this detailed Facebook post from the medical librarian at Happy, Healthy, Long Life.)
CAUSES OF INFLAMMATION
The answers as to why you might have excess inflammation are not always easy and if you suspect you are suffering because of it, it's worth consulting with a doctor who is practices functional or plant-based medicine. (Here are the links to finding doctors who practice plant-based medicine * and to ones who practice functional medicine.) **
A poor diet
Switching to a plant-based whole food diet can reduce inflammation. Primarily the intake of fruit and vegetables as well as of whole wheat is inversely associated with the risk of inflammation. (1)
Lack of exercise
Don't let a day go by without moving a little. Setting an alarm on your phone is a great way to remember. It doesn't take much. Get up and take a quick walk around the block, do a few jumping jacks or knee bends, or marching. And, several times a week get a higher intensity workout at a class or sport you enjoy.
In addition to improving your diet, eating plant-based whole foods should help you take off the extra pounds. Using recipes such as you'll find on this website can get you going.
Find ways to tackle stress. Probably the quickest way to trigger the relaxation response is deep breathing. It's a signal to your brain. Take time to reflect and a few minutes to meditate.
Too much daily alcohol intake
We forget that alcohol is a toxin and that the body works hard to neutralize it's affect. The current recommended daily allowance for alcohol is one, five-ounce glass of wine or equivalent for women and two for men. That wa, you'll have the beneficial effect, and non of the downside.
The wrong gut bacteria
Seventy percent of your immune cells reside in your intestines (2) so your gut bacteria can affect your immune system. A whole-foods, plant-based diet is high in fiber and makes your gut bacteria very happy because they feed on this fiber. Beans, greens, cruciferous vegetables all contain ample fiber. In addition, a good pro-biotic supplement can help you on the way.
Hidden or chronic infections from viruses, bacteria, yeasts, or parasites
Get help from a trained doctor.
Hidden allergies from food or the environment
Avoid these when possible.
Exposure to toxins such as mercury and pesticides or mold
Identify and remove from your environment.
* PlantBasedDocs is a searchable, directory of physicians, clinicians and allied health professionals who understand that a pill for every ill is not the answer. Instead they are embracing the nutritional science that overwhelmingly supports the efficacy of whole food, plant-based nutrition and its ability to prevent, suspend, and, often, even reverse the most devastating chronic, degenerative diseases.
** FunctionalMedicine.org is also a searchable database that helps you find healthcare professionals who are familiar with the concepts and approaches of Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach and engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership.
I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Healing Tumeric Smoothie! If you have a photo, post it on my Facebook page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking