anti-inflammatory

Food Friday: Colourful Broccoli Salad

broccoli salad.jpg

Why buy pre-made "salads" coated in calories when you can made your own with delicious ingredients that are oh so good for you and that is very easy to make! I love this salad for lunch as a side dish with salmon salad, roast chicken or really anything. I aim to get at least one serving of greens a day and this easily covers me. Try mixing up the recipe to your liking with different nuts like roasted cashews, shallots instead of red onion or even a little shredded cheese if your stomach permits. However, even my broccoli hating guy was pleasantly surprised how good this version was. 

Broccoli is chalk full of nutrients with so many health benefits! This is a powerful cruciferous vegetable, meaning it contains I3C which aids in liver detoxification. It is anti-inflammatory from its sulphoraphanes and omega 3s and has shown in studies to decrease the blood inflammatory market CRP. It is an antioxidant with the plethora of vitamins, nutrients and phytonutrients. With all that in mind, broccoli is a unique food in terms of cancer prevention, with a recommendation of 1/2 cup a day. Finally, with a high fibre content broccoli is helpful for most digestive concerns. What's not to love! So what are you waiting for? Get mixing :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Head broccoli, chopped in bite sized pieces 
  • Handful of shredded carrots (I prefer pre-shredded in this recipe as they can be thicker strands)
  • 1-2 tbsp raisins
  • 1/4 or so diced red onion 
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp avocado mayo (more if needed for desired consistency) 
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp or so of honey (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

Pretty simple! Just mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Add more mayo or olive oil to create consistency you like. Enjoy!

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen

Food Friday: Ginger Turmeric Soup + the Therapeutic Effects of Turmeric

If you are looking for a flavourful warming soup that is also helpful in detoxifying and soothing your stomach, look no further. My sister shared this recipe with me, and since it has had rave reviews by me and many of my patients. It is a simple meal to prepare and packed with superfoods ginger and tumeric. 

It seems as though turmeric is the new “fad” food, with turmeric soups, turmeric teas and turmeric milks etc, therefore I wanted to shed little light on this spice so you know WHY you are eating it. It is great to be consumed liberally in your diet, however when specific medicinal effects are desired, higher doses should be used.  

Turmeric is a perennial herb of the ginger family and is the major ingredient in curry powder for its flavour and colour. It has a plethora of uses from anticancer, liver and heart protective, soothing for the digestive track, and most notably as an anti-inflammatory for pain and autoimmune conditions. The active component is called curcumin. In terms of its anti-inflammatory effects, studies have shown curcumin to be more effective than cortisone in acute inflammatory, slightly less in chronic inflammatory, and with no toxicity or side effects. 

Unfortunately turmeric is poorly absorbed. Studies have shown that 40%-85% of an oral dose of turmeric passes through the GI track, leading to even smaller dose of curcumin. For this reason, it is important to use a higher quality product with a greater bioavailability. As well for its therapeutic effect, a higher dose is necessary of this higher quality product, around 1200-1500mg turmeric for around 200-300mg curcumin absorption. Much higher than what you would get in one teaspoon of powder. Patients of mine that start taking a higher quality supplements at a higher dose, notice their pain decrease much more quickly. 

Again, eating it liberally is good, however if you suffer from any specific issue you may need to supplement at a higher dose with a good quality supplement. 

Consult a health care practitioner to figure out the correct dose for you, and potential drug interactions with these higher doses.  

Ginger Turmeric Soup

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 big carrot sticks
  • 1 large sweet potato, or 2 small
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp turmeric, ground
  • 2 tsp (madras) curry powder (or curry paste)
  • 2 tsp fresh minced ginger
  • 4-5 cups veggie stock
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel and roughly chop the carrots and sweet potatoes and place on a baking sheet. Toss everything with a drizzle of olive oil, and a good amount of salt and pepper. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until everything is golden brown.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat a bit of oil over low heat, and add the chopped onion and garlic. Add a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Add the turmeric, curry powder, and grated ginger and heat just until fragrant (30 seconds). Add the coconut milk and stock, and bring to a gentle boil, cover, and reduce to a low simmer. Add water to thin out if necessary.

4. Add all of the roasted veggies to the pot. Leave the pot uncovered and turn the heat off. Allow it to cool for a bit and then puree in a high speed blender.

5. Taste and adjust the spices to your liking.

Enjoy!

In health & happiness, 

Dr. Karen

 

(Photo credit: www.juliannehough.com)