The Ford Family Pharmacy & Wellness Centre blog is updated on a regular basis to provide you with information on what you can do to improve your health, wellness and quality of living. Check back regularly for new blog posts.
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HERBS AND SPICES FOR HEALTHY EATING - Turmeric and Black Pepper
Curcumin is one of our most popular supplements for pain and inflammation. What is it and how does it work?
Turmeric is a spice from the root stalk of a tropical plant in the ginger family. It’s golden in color and is commonly used in curries. It has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and a medicinal herb. By the way, the difference between an herb and a spice is this: the leaf part of the plants are generally herbs and the other parts, such as buds, bark, berries, seeds and roots, are generally dried and are the spices. Curcumin is the active component of turmeric and is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.
Scientists have studied turmeric extensively and the results back what the culinary and medicinal culture in India already knew.
HERBS AND SPICES FOR HEALTHY EATING - Ginger
Ginger (along with garlic – next blog) is my go to spice for, well, for spice. It has a bit of heat and really jazzes up vegetables and smoothies, meats, soups, stews, and more. And it doesn’t take much.
Ginger is one of the healthiest spices and very popular in food and teas. I’m not a tea lover, but I do love ginger tea. I find it helps gut issues, such as digestion, stomach cramps, nausea, and gas, and upper respiratory issues, such as colds and flu. And it tastes great! Try making your own by boiling pieces of ginger; add lemon, and froth it, then add honey if desired, to suit your taste. It’s much better than tea bags!
As with the other spices I’ve written about, ginger has a bioactive component, which is where the health benefits lie.
HERBS AND SPICES FOR HEALTHY EATING - Garlic
Have you ever walked into a house where cooking was occurring and it smelled SO good? People often make that remark when they enter my home during my cooking process. It’s typically garlic and onions. Why do they smell (and taste) so great?
It’s because as members of the Allium family, they release sulfuric compounds. In garlic, the one most famous one is allicin, the one responsible for the short-term smell and taste when garlic is first cut or crushed. The longer lasting sulfuric compounds, that may play a role in garlic’s health benefits, are diallyl disulfide and s-allyl cysteine. However, garlic has other nutritional value, as well.
HERBS AND SPICES FOR HEALTHY EATING
Winter has had its challenges…. The weather and the lack of fresh produce, for starters. However, using the root vegetables that are available, with beans or meats for stews, can fill your home with the wonderful aromas of spices. When you cook, how do you season your food? Do you only think about salt and pepper? There’s a whole world of herbs and spices - they're easy to find and can help you liven up your food, especially if you're cutting back on salt, fat, or sugar. And that could help your waistline, blood pressure, and overall health. So does all this mean you can solve your health issues by sprinkling spices on your food?
GET BACK ON TRACK (THE HEALTHY ONE) AFTER THE HOLIDAYS!
The holidays are over and we survived! However, with the stress that goes along with the planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and worrying about family dynamics, in addition to knowing you didn’t stay really “clean” on your own diet, comes the consequences. Your digestion probably wasn’t optimum and absorption of all the nutrients your body needs just didn’t happen. Now with the let-down of the holidays being over, many people get sick. The adrenalin or cortisol your body was running on is depleted, you’re tired, and your body can’t cope. So how do you fix it?
GET BACK ON TRACK (THE HEALTHY ONE) AFTER THE HOLIDAYS!
Sleep, exercise, and managing stress can help you get your immune system reset. However, you'll need to boost it by eating and drinking certain foods and beverages and avoiding others. Here's the lowdown...
Good news for those worried about bone health! Bones are living tissue and generally respond to bone-healthy regimens that include vitamins and minerals, obtained through food and supplements, and exercise.
Summer is still here! And the good news is that we have a little more time in that special time of year here in the Maritimes where we can get natural Vitamin D. (see previous blog on Enjoying the Sun Healthily about the sun and Vitamin D). What is Vitamin D? Dr. Josh Axe explains:
Stress - it is probably the underlying cause of almost every health complaint. The number one symptom people list as a health concern is fatigue. Tiredness from not sleeping well, and even when one does sleep well, can be directly attributed to stress. Being tired makes you feel stressed, as well. It's a vicious cycle.
You may have noticed in the news lately and on ours, as well as other people's Facebook pages, that Moncton City Council has been considering adding Fluoride back into the city' water. For the past 5 years, there has been no Fluoride in our water.
The Dental Association is for adding it back in, stating that decay is worse. However, no research is of the double blind placebo type, which is the gold standard for scientific and medical research. A group of citizens has been appealing to the Mayor and City Council, to not just go with the Dental Association, but do their own research on the internet. There is a lot!