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As an established therapist, I now aim to share my knowledge online. I wish to extend my care beyond those I see in session.

 

My goal is to help, educate and inform to improve the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our wonderful earth.

By Tina Deas, Nov 5 2016 10:00AM

Turmeric or Curcumin is a member of the ginger family and is native to Southern Asia. Like ginger, the roots can be used fresh but we tend to see it our supermarkets in the herb and spice section once it has been ground into a deep orange-yellow powder. Turmeric has been used as a medicinal spice and in Indian cuisine for thousands of years, its bright yellow pigment adding a golden hue to curry dishes.


At long last, Turmeric's medicinal properties are finally receiving the recognition that they deserve in both scientific journals and the health pages of magazines and the national press. High quality scientific studies all over the world are proving that the medicinal compounds in turmeric can have major benefits for your body and brain.


Curcumin is the main active ingredient in Turmeric, and as well as being a very strong antioxidant curcumin also has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. In fact Curcumin is arguably among one of the most effective anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.


What is inflammation?


inflammation is the body's attempt at self-protection. When something harmful or irritating affects a part of our body, there is a biological response to try to remove it. The signs and symptoms of inflammation, show that the body is trying to heal itself. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria, could easily take over our bodies and kill us. So short term inflammation is beneficial to us. However, long term inflammation is not good for us and inflammation is pretty much involved in almost every disease process known to man. Anything that can help us to fight off inflammation is potentially important in preventing and treating inflammatory diseases such Arthritis, AS, Ulcerative Colitis, Chrohns, IBS, Parkinsons and Alzheimer’s.


Alzheimer’s


Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world and a leading cause of dementia. There are some 850,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2020 as there is as yet no real treatment for the disease.


It is known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease as well as the build up of amyloid proteins which destroy neurons in the brain.


There is good news on the horizon! In a recent one year study looking at how Alzheimers could be prevented or slowed down, the triai published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found evidence that Curcumin is the key chemical in Turmeric that blocks the rogue beta ameloid proteins which kill off the brain.


Arthritis And Other Inflammatory Conditions


Arthritis and AS are very painful disorders which are characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that Curcumin targets inflammation at a molecular level and can help to treat the symptoms of arthritis.


Curcumin has been compared favourably to anti inflammatory pharmaceutical drugs except it does not have any of their side effects.


Cancer


With regards to Curcumin and disease reversal, various types of cancer is one of the most thoroughly researched topics in the world by global authorities like Cancer Research UK.

A number of laboratory studies on cancer cells have shown that Curcumin does have anti-cancer effects. It seems to be able to kill cancer cells and prevent more from growing. It appears to work incredibly well to help naturally treat cancer and has the best effects on breast cancer, bowel cancer, stomach cancer and skin cancer cells.


Depression


This amazing little spice has also shown some promise in treating depression.


In a controlled trial, 60 patients were randomized into three groups. One group took Prozac (Fluroxetene), the second group took a gram of Curcumin and the third group took both Prozac and Curcumin.


After 6 weeks, Curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to Prozac. The group that took both Prozac and Curcumin fared the best.


The authors of this small study claimed “This study provides first clinical evidence that Curcumin may be used as an effective and safe therapy for treatment in patients with Mild Depression.”


A regular intake of a quarter of a teaspoon of turmeric a day may promote certain aspects of our health and harness its abilty to to keep inflammation at bay.


How To Incorporate Turmeric Into Your Diet


Add 1-2 teaspoons to any soup recipe. It will add a deep golden hue to it.


A natural in curries, turmeric brings warm flavors to any curry or stew.


When you sauté the vegetables in oil, add in 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric.


Add a color pop to rice dishes by adding ½ teaspoon turmeric to the water when cooking the rice.


Sprinkle on sweet potatoes.


Especially good with lentils which are also packed with antioxidants - see my "Spicy Lentil Soup" Recipie in my previous blog about lentils.


- Tina


(Photo by Tabphoto)





By Tina Deas, Oct 21 2016 12:46PM

Today's post is all about the wonders of the delicious and creamy Avocado - they can help your mood, improve your skin, and much more!


Although Avocados are technically a large berry with a stone, they are generally used as a vegetable. Native to south central Mexico, there are 4 main varieties of Avocado;- “Hass” with dark knobbly skin, the Ettinger and Fuerte which are smooth skinned and the more spherical Nabal variety. Avocados are sometimes known as a butter pear because of their sumptuous, oily flesh or an alligator pear due to the Hass’s variety’s textured dark skin.


Avocados are a mild and versatile and are the only fruit that provide a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids as well as 20 Vitamins and Minerals. The main benefits they give are:-


Great Skin - If you want smooth and glowing skin, get eating those Avocados! The monounsaturated fats in Avocado help maintain good moisture levels in the epidermal layer of your skin which makes it look and feel toned, soft and healthy. These healthy fats also reduce skin redness and irritation and help to repair damaged skin cells. A good dietary intake of monounsaturated fat can moderate sebum production as well, which helps control acne, blackheads and excessively oily skin. Eating Avocados can protect your skin from wrinkles and other visible signs of aging with its antioxidant Carotenoids. In addition it contains Vitamin E which helps guard against photo-aging from sun exposure and Vitamin C which is involved in the creation of elastin and collagen for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and firmness.


Conception and healthy Pregnancy - Avocado is a particularly important food for women who are trying to conceive or are pregnant, due to its high concentration of Folate (also known as Folic Acid). Doctors advise women to get high amounts of this B Vitamin as it is important for a healthy pregnancy; it is needed to prevent birth defects such as Spina-bifida and to reduce the risk of miscarriage. Just half an Avocado (100g) provides a third of the recommended amount women of childbearing age need to consume each day and a quarter of what a pregnant or breastfeeding mum needs. So fill up a bagel or sandwich for a delicious, creamy and healthy lunch – my personal favourite is to add sundried tomatoes and rocket - mmm!


Mood Boost - Foods containing high levels of Folate may help with low mood and depression as Folate helps to prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain. Excess homocysteine can also interfere with the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep and appetite. As a mood-boost, eat a small Avocado every day for a week or so. Otherwise, eat a half or whole avocado several times a week.


Reduce Inflammation and Arthritic Pain - Arthritis is a painful condition characterised by joint inflammation and soreness that many people struggle with. Many common foods like wheat, milk and sugar are known to worsen symptoms but the anti-inflammatory Avocado is one of the few foods consistently reported to alleviate symptoms! The Avocado can reduce inflammation and arthritic pain due to its high levels of monounsaturated fats, Phytosterols, Antioxidants, Vitamin E, Vitamin C and a variety of Carotenoids.


Great for Vision - Avocados contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are especially concentrated in the tissues in the eyes, where they provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from ultraviolet light. The healthy fats in Avocados also help to absorb antioxidants such as beta carotene. This means that including Avocados as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of developing age related eye degeneration.

Osteoporosis Prevention - Half of an Avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily-recommended intake for Vitamin K. Vitamin K is often overshadowed by Calcium and Vitamin D when thinking of nutrients for bone health, but Vitamin K is actually extremely important. Eating a diet with the right amount of Vitamin K can support bone health by increasing absorption and retention of Calcium, making your bones stronger.


A great way to enjoy Avocados is in a Guacamole! It only takes a few minutes to knock up -


1. Cut an Avocado in half and remove the skin and stone. Chop the flesh into small cubes and place into a bowl.

2. Add a big squeeze of fresh lime or lime juice and a few pinches of salt.

3. Mash the ingredients together with a fork until combined. Add more lime or salt to taste.

4. Sprinkle some Smoked Paprika or Coriander on top for a little extra flavour.


And voila! Your Guac is ready to be splatted on a slice of toast, spooned onto a chilli or simply enjoyed as a healthy dip for veggies and snacks!


Avocado and Avocado Oil are highly nutritious and adding either to your veggies can dramatically increase the antioxidants and nutrients you absorb from your veg.


So chuck a few slices in your sarnie, smash up a Guacamole or cook up some veggies with Avocado Oil and get your Avocado boost!


- Tina


(Photo by Tabphoto)


Tina Deas

Tina