Know your herbs!!!

We know we need to eat our fruits and vegetables so our bodies can accomplish the millions of processes they do: at organelle, cellular, tissue, organ, & system levels. But are you aware that herbs/spices are usually more nutrient dense than fruits and vegetables?

Let’s look at just four.

Did you know that Garlic has over 350 nutrients and the best array of sulfuric compounds – required for bones,

muscles, tendon, ligaments, vascular membrane, hair, skin, nails, etc. Helps the immune system, cardiovascular system (it has a great impact on: high blood pressure; regulates cholesterol – even inherited high cholesterol issues; coronary heart disease; heart attacks; hardening

of the arteries; and blood flow) and even making glutathione! In addition, it is an anti-oxidant that protects even the brain from free radicals. There are different types of garlic and the Russian garlic and Elephant garlic are not nearly as effective…use regular organic garlic…and if you have a herb garden on your window sill…plant a clove in late September and grow your own garlic!!

Turmeric anyone? The curcumin compounds have been well researched and used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory (an underlying issue in most chronic disorders), anti-microbial (bacteria, fungus and viral), anti-cancer and anti-tumor (turns on apoptosis aka death in tumor cells; b

locks tumors from making new blood vessels to rob nutrients), turns on 700+ genes; increases brain compounds (BDNF & NGF) that strengthen/protect brain function & clear out plaques that causes issues like the various types of dementia. The challenges with turmeric are that over 80% of the world’s sources are toxic and it is hard to absorb. So you want to make sure you are buying a healthy turmeric and when you cook with it, you want to mix it with some good healthy fats like avocado oil for absorption and black pepper to help metabolize it.

Ginger comes from the same family as turmeric and like turmeric is anti-inflammatory (like turmeric a COX 2 inhibitor and decreases C-reactive proteins in the blood); protects against stomach ulcers; good for menstrual cramps; relieves nausea and diarrhea and flu symptoms. It contains good minerals: potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron and good vitamins: B1, B6, Vit C and good prebiotics for your probiotics.

We enjoy cinnamon in everything from apple pies, to chai, and squashes. It is anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting; protects brain function (inhibits tau aggregation); improves immune function; regulates blood glucose (slows down breakdown of carbs in gut; & imitates insulin); regulates cholesterol; and anti-microbial (bacteria and fungus). Contains cinnamaldehyde, hugely important, and manganese, iron, calcium, fiber, anti-oxidant polyphenols.  Different cinnamons have different properties, ie., Cassia has higher coumarin and is therefore a blood thinner. Whereas Sri Lanka aka Ceylon cinnamon are better for diabetes and cholesterol. So be careful about your purchases.

Bottom line? Include herbs and spices in your cooking not just to enhance flavors but for medicinal purposes.

If you are interested in herbs from a historical perspective and enjoy love stories, you might want to read: A Love That Crosses Time from the Entwined Collection.

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Read a sexy romantic novel, then go for Entwined: A Romantic Journey Back into Health. A sexy romantic novel, packed full of information on a wide variety of health issues.

Or the sequel: Entwined: The Continuing Journey.

Or Maria’s book (from the Entwined Collection): A Love That Crosses Time. Note: each character in Entwined: A Romantic Journey Back into Health has now written their own book. Maria’s, A Love That Crosses Time, is an unusual, historical, love story about herbalists in different cultures.

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