Tumeric, it turns out, is a root. But not just any root. Tumeric, in addition to powerfully staining your fingers and clothes orange, has incredible anti-inflammatory (think anti-aging, anti-cancer, anti-arthritis) powers as well.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has been shown in scientific studies to have all sorts of health benefits, (just search “Tumeric” on Pubmed, the National Institute of Health’s online library). I like this one where turmeric did as well as Advil for arthritis – it’s also moderately comprehensible for a science journal article.
A couple of years ago my friend Dan Sullivan, affectionately known as Yoga Dan, started a turmeric juice company. When he first told me this I pictured him splattered with orange grit in a basement somewhere, pulverizing turmeric by hand and pouring it into unmarked bottles and I thought “yeahhhh… ok.” Two years later Dan’s Tumeric elixir is in every Whole Foods and is slowly taking over the world. When it first showed up at Kula, my yoga studio, I enthusiastically tasted it but at first kind of thought it tasted like watered down Koolaid. Maybe my palate changed, but now I am addicted to it and since they added more spices (try the anti-oxidant variety!) I am even more in love.
Dan, if I have even one 1/18th of your hippied-out, ion-mat sleeping, abhyagna-oiled, nutty health-guru self in me, I may live to be 150. From now on I will do whatever you say.
Love, Health Uncensoredby
Today I had to call a patient who had requested to see a nutritionist. She had been told by her doctor that she had pre-diabetes, and wanted to learn about what to eat.
Pre-diabetes means your poor besieged-by sugar-and-processed-junk pancreas is flagging a little on the insulin production, and your red blood cells (along with most of the rest of your body) are slowly being coated with sugar, or “glycosylated.” Full blown diabetes is when your pancreas is shot or nearly so, and you need pills or insulin injections not to get really sick from the level of sugar in your blood. Insulin, by the way, is the hormone your body makes that, in a nut shell, gets your cells to move sugar out of your blood and into storage when there’s excess around.
I gave the patient the referral, but I also talked to her for a while. What to eat? Well, pre-diabetes is reversible, so literally, cut the crap, and eat what every one of us should be eating.
Lots of green veggies, whole grains like quinoa, millet, and unprocessed oats, nuts, plain yoghurt, olive oil, seeds, a little fresh fruit, fish, a little lean chicken and meat if you eat meat but not much. And, as I tell all my patients, “If it came wrapped in plastic, tin foil, Styrofoam, or tin, it didn’t come out of the ground that way and it wasn’t made by God so don’t eat it.” (I have no idea where I got the “God” thing but I think it sounds sort of final and fatalistic to say, and people seem to dig it – their eyes widen in fear or they laugh, so I know they are at least listening.)
There’s more to food than this of course, but if you start there you are in a good spot.
Love, Health Uncensoredby
It’s not about the fat, it’s about the dialysis center and the amputations.