Monday, February 25, 2013

Athletes Listen UP! Want to fight inflammation from training? Try this Super Spice: The ancient secrets of Ayurveda

Super Spice............. Turmeric 

People are always questioning me about the supplements I take and what I use for performance enhancement!  Well this super spice is great for MANY reasons, but it has some extra special qualities that may be of interest to athletes, or anyone that works out hard and is looking for that extra edge!  Reduce inflammation and recover faster. So what exactly is this yellow spice and what can it do for you?
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurvedic medicine. It was first used as a dye and then later for its possible medicinal properties. This mildly woody spice is a key ingredient in many Indian, Persian, and Thai dishes. Turmeric is widely used in cooking and gives Indian curry its flavor and yellow color. It is also used in mustard and to color butter and cheese. Besides its use as a spice in cooking, turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds. The active ingredient, curcumin, is so powerful that it is commonly made into expensive nutraceutical capsules. “Curcumin is a complete well-being tonic – it benefits every organ in the body… It shows promise of fighting nearly every disease.” says Dr. Ajay Goel, director of Epigenetics and Cancer Prevention at Baylor Research Institiute in Dallas. He suggests that curcumin aids in prevention of all sorts of diseases including Alzheimer',s, Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and depression.   

So what makes this amazing spice great for the athlete too? Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge molecules in the body known as free radicals, which damage cell membranes, tamper with DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants can fight free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause. In addition, curcumin lowers the levels of two enzymes in the body that cause inflammation. It also stops platelets from clumping together to form blood clots.

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management. Curcumin Speeds Up Metabolism: USDA research shows that is enhances cellular energy to speed metabolism.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

My FAVORITE way to get extra Turmeric into my diet is in a healthy, cleansing tea!!!

Melissa's Super Tonic Tea

2 Herbal TEA bags or Loose Herbal Tea 
(I like Green Tea, Yerba Mate, and Chamomile)
Raw Honey
Cayenne (optional)
(each of these spices have special properties that are SUPER important)
Brew tea and let steep, add spices to taste for your preference
Sweeten with Raw Honey and ENJOY!!