Five for Friday #3

featured recipe five for friday whole food plant based Jun 03, 2022
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Here is your weekly dose of Five for Friday, a list of what I’m reading, cooking, thinking, and exploring.

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Nutrition Fact of the week: Turmeric


Does Too Much Turmeric Have Side Effects?

Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice originating in southern Asia. It’s a popular spice in many Indian and Middle Eastern and as you know I use it every day.

Turmeric is an essential ingredient in Indian curries, with a taste that is often described as bitter and peppery. Nearly all of the world’s turmeric is grown and consumed in India.

It’s mainly consumed for its health benefits. However, some people are concerned about the possible side effects of high-dose turmeric and curcumin supplements. 

The root stalks are also rich in plant compounds called curcuminoids. These curcuminoids are the main active compounds in turmeric. They are responsible for turmeric’s orange-yellow color and most of its health benefits


Why do people eat turmeric?

Turmeric reduces inflammation. 

Studies show that curcumin supplements may reduce levels of inflammatory markers and help treat or reduce symptoms of inflammatory health conditions, like inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, psoriasis, depression, and atherosclerosis.

Turmeric may also lower blood pressure and the risk of heart attacks, possibly through its anti-inflammatory effects, by improving endothelial function, or by improving cholesterol levels.

Turmeric has anti-cancer properties and may help slow the growth of cancer cells. 

Curcumin supplements may improve symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and dementia.


Side Effects of Turmeric 

Turmeric contains around 2% oxalate and high doses may contribute to kidney stones in predisposed individuals.


That said, not all commercial turmeric powders are pure. Some are tainted with cheaper and potentially toxic ingredients that are not listed on the label.

 Studies have revealed that commercial turmeric powders may contain fillers such as cassava starch or barley and wheat or rye flour. 

 Eating turmeric that contains wheat, barley, or rye flour can cause adverse symptoms in people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

 Buy your turmeric and curcumin supplements from trustworthy suppliers and choose products that are certified by a reputable third party and preferably organic.

 According to Healthline, there is currently no evidence that lower amounts of curcumin cause serious side effects in humans when taken over short periods, though human studies on the long-term effects are lacking.

 Curcumin supplements may interact with other medications you are taking. If you are taking other medications, consult your physician before taking curcumin supplements.


Tip: Turmeric root is much sweeter than turmeric powder.

If you’re looking to eat more turmeric and don’t like supplements opr powders, buy the root from your local grocery store (it looks a lot like ginger), peel it, grate or slice a small piece and add it to your smoothie or lunch! It will add a nice spicy zing.

Favorite Fruit or Vegetable of the week - Arugula 

Arugula is a peppery, nutty salad green with a sharp and bitter bite, like watercress. Be on the lookout for firm leaves without any yellow or signs of mushiness. Mass-produced “baby” arugula in pre-washed sacks tends to be very mild. “Wild arugula” is another variety with lacier leaves and a more assertive flavor.

The season for arugula depends on the state you live in. For example, in Florida, the season is in January, and in New York, it’s May, June, July, August, and September.

Like many greens, arugula carries a large environmental footprint. 

Much of the arugula grown in the US comes from California and Arizona, where producers rely heavily on irrigation and chemical inputs. 

While buying organic arugula alleviates concerns about chemical usage, even organic greens grown on a wide scale come with an environmental cost; growers extensively plow and reshape the soil, which can lead to soil loss and water quality concerns. 

Like lettuces and spinach, arugula produced in California and Arizona is potentially subject to food safety risks due to the proximity of large livestock feeding operations. 

For these reasons, arugula should always be carefully washed in water before consumption.

Because it’s a relatively delicate green, arugula is often sold in clamshell containers, which carry high carbon footprints, so buy loose or bagged leaves whenever possible.

Try buying your arugula locally and in season whenever possible to reduce the carbon footprint.

Buying locally also offers you more nutrients since it hasn’t been transported over thousands of miles, which makes this simple green a superfood.


Storing Arugula

Like most tender greens, arugula is highly perishable and needs to be used within a few days of purchase. Sealed plastic bags create a moist environment that makes the greens mushy, so keep them in a damp paper towel until ready to eat.


Cooking with Arugula

Arugula is very versatile, and you can use it to make pestos, green sauces, or add it to your wraps. As usual, I have added a recipe that I love for breakfast, (see below).

Arugula pairs well with seasonal fruit: pomegranate seeds, blood oranges, or mandarins in the winter; strawberries and red onions in the spring; tomatoes and garlic at the autumn harvest.


Arugula Is Rich in Nutrients

Arugula is low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and fat. It's high in several vital nutrients, including:

Vitamin A supports overall eye health and night vision.

Vitamin K helps with blood coagulation. 

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is another powerful antioxidant that helps with immune system support. This is important for iron absorption from food and overall tissue health.

Folate is a B vitamin specifically important for women who are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant. It helps support the production of DNA and other genetic material.

Potassium is a mineral that is vital for nerve and heart function/support. 


Reduced Cancer Risk

Certain vegetables have specific anti-cancerous properties, and arugula is one of them. 

Because arugula is considered a cruciferous vegetable, it is a source of glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing substances that have cancer-fighting power.

Osteoporosis Prevention

Because arugula is high in calcium and vitamin K, these are key nutrients for adequate bone health. 

Providing 32 milligrams per cup, arugula also contributes to a person's daily need for calcium, 1,000 mg for adults.


Source: Foodprint


Book I am currently reading: 


Breaking the habit of being yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza


According to Dr. Dispenza, you are not doomed by your genes and hardwired to be a certain way for the rest of your life.

New science is emerging that empowers all human beings to create the reality they choose.

In Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, renowned author, speaker, researcher, and chiropractor Dr. Joe Dispenza combines the fields of quantum physics, neuroscience, brain chemistry, biology, and genetics to show you what is truly possible.

Not only will you be given the necessary knowledge to change any aspect of yourself, you will also be taught the step-by-step tools to apply what you learn in order to make measurable changes in any area of your life. 

Dr. Joe demystifies ancient understandings and bridges the gap between science and spirituality. 

Through his powerful workshops and lectures, thousands of people in 24 different countries have used these principles to change from the inside out. Once you break the habit of being yourself and truly change your mind, your life will never be the same!

An absolutely mind-bending book that has changed the way I conduct meditation…

Doctor or Practitioner of the week


Sinead Taylor, Fitness Coach 

Sinead is a sought-after health coach who is best known for helping people achieve their perfect body and maintain it easily without having to be on a strict diet or restrict themselves for the rest of their lives.  

Sinead's method makes it easy for people to achieve their weight loss and health goals.

 You can watch the interview here.

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Quote of the week

 “Animals are my friends and I don’t eat my friends.”

 George Bernard Shaw


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