How is that spring cleaning going? Feeling detoxed, more vibrant and energized? And your hormones are likely to be more in balance as well.
Over the past several blogs I have introduced you to 4 of my 5 favorite natural cleansing foods…and I've given you recipes to try for each of them. Do you have a new favorite food now? I hope you have found at least a few that work for you. As always, I'd love hearing about your own unique recipes using these foods! Please let me know about your own favorites.
So what is my 5th favorite detoxifying food? It's a spice which many of you may already use, called Turmeric.
Turmeric is a bitter spice grown throughout India that is used extensively in East Indian cooking. It has a warm, bitter taste and golden color, and you’ve likely had it in curry powders, cheeses or mustards. Turmeric is what gives curry its characteristic yellow color.
The roots, or bulbs and rhizomes, have been used for centuries in medicine and food.
Turmeric contains the active ingredient, “curcumin,” that stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile and also scavenges free radicals. Just as with dandelion, this helps cleanse your liver, purify your blood, and promote good digestion and elimination. It has been shown to increase two very important liver detoxification enzymes, UDP glucuronyl transferase and glutathione-S-transferase.
I know I've introduced a lot of concepts over this series relating to detoxification. If you are interested in learning more about it, I did a radio show on this topic you might like to listen to. The show is entitled: Cleansing Your Body From the Inside Out – Secrets of Detoxification. In the show I talk with author Susan Schenck about what goes on in detoxification – the cells and the organs. Learn more about how altering your diet, changing your stress levels, and using specialized foods that have the high levels of nutrients your liver needs to detoxify will help support your body as it naturally goes through its detoxification process. And let me know how you like the show!
Along with its detoxification role, curcumin is also a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agent. When rats were fed curcumin, the active constituent of turmeric, for 14 days, glutathione-S-transferase production increased by 16%, and a marker of free radical damage called malondialdehyde decreased by 36%. There is a lot of current research underway looking at curcumin's role as an anti-cancer agent.
Curcumin has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in a number of human trials. It may exert its anti-inflammatory activity by inhibition of a number of different molecules that play a role in inflammation.
There is also research underway evaluating curcumin's effectiveness with a number of diseases, including arthritis, cardiovascular diseases and even Alzheimer's disease.
Turmeric has also been found to inhibit free radical damage of fats and, prevent the formation of the inflammatory chemical cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).
I love sprinkling turmeric in salads and soups; I also sauté cut cauliflower florets or sweet potatoes with turmeric, and add a little pepper and olive oil. It has that light summery taste, and love that I am helping my liver detoxify!
Bottom line on incorporating these 5 foods into your diet?
Well, after a winter of “comfort food” it is time to do a reset on your diet, to detox and re-energize. And eating these five powerful cleansing foods will also help you literally “lighten up” for summer!
For a wonderful recipe that uses all 5 of my potent detoxifiers, check out my Super Cleanse Smoothie below.
- 3/4 bunch of parsley with some stems
- 1 handful arugula
- 1 handful kale
- 1 handful broccoli sprouts
- 3 leaves dandelion greens
- 1/4-inch slice turmeric
- 1/2-inch slice ginger
- 1-inch slice burdock root
- 1/2 – 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 green apple, cored (optional)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 teaspoon milk thistle seed powder (optional)
- enough water to blend
Blend and enjoy.
Love, Health and Joy,
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo