Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘arthritis’

Turmeric – Flavor With Benefits

Posted by terrepruitt on April 12, 2012

When I wrote the post regarding anti-inflammatory foods, I decided to buy some Turmeric.  At the time I was not able to claim knowing what it tasted like.  I figured since it was used a lot in curries I would be ok with it.  I thought that it would be a good thing to add to our diet.  Since there are so many things that work as an inflammatory, I am always trying to add anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients into our diet.  I wasn’t sure exactly how to use it, but I was wanting to give it a go.  Turmeric has been used in food and as medicine for centuries.  Seems like the West is doing a lot of research to see what health benefits it has.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:  “Turmeric has been used in both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to treat digestive and liver problems, skin diseases, and wounds.  Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant.”

Remember Curcumin is the phytochemcial that give turmeric its color.

And Eat This! has a list of 20 Health Benefits contributed to Turmeric including;

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

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

-May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

Well, I’ve had it for a while now and I really like the flavor.  I’ve added it to soups, to veggies, and to meat.  You know my standard ground turkey and whatever veggies I have?  Well, it really makes that taste wonderful.  I had cooked broccoli, mushrooms, and ground turkey for dinner a few nights ago, today I decided to have the leftovers in a tortilla.  Since we have a few cucumbers I decided to use some up by slicing it really thin and putting it in the tortilla with the meat and a bit of parmesan cheese.  WOW!  The turmeric and the cucumbers were a party-in-my-mouth flavor.  It was really good.  So now I am going to serve cucumbers with my turmeric ground turkey.  Many people can describe flavors, I can sometimes, but I cannot describe the flavor or turmeric.  I would say that it is somewhat mellow so it won’t necessary overpower what you are using it with.  It is not hot or bitter.  I think it can be used with anything savory.     
Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,Wiki says “it has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a mustardy smell” but I don’t agree.  Maybe I will give it the mustardy smell, but not off the top of my head.

But there is a problem with turmeric.  It dyes everything yellow!  I now have several bowls and utensils dyed yellow because I used them to stir, serve, or store something with turmeric in it.  It is just as bad as tomato sauce when it comes to dying things!

I am familiar with turmeric in its powdered form, but it is a root like ginger, so if you get it in root form you can use it just as you would ginger.  You could chop it, grate it, cut it up . . . the same as ginger. 

If you like the flavor it seems like a great thing to add to just about everything.   Since it is touted as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant, help in the treatment of  inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), helps treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, improves liver function, prevents some cancers, lowers cholesterol, helps treat and prevent Alzheimer’s, reduces risk of childhood Leukemia among other things — why not add it to things?

Do you cook with Turmeric?  If so what do you add it to?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Gout and Oats – There Could Be A Connection

Posted by terrepruitt on March 29, 2012

Seems as if my quest for something to eat for breakfast before teaching my Nia classes has turned into somewhat of a series on oats.  I know a body needs to eat to break the fast, but I don’t always have time to eat something before Nia in the morning.  I wanted something quick but healthy.  Oatmeal is always said to be one of the best breakfast to have, but I don’t like oatmeal.  I don’t think eating a processed breakfast or snack bar is the answer I was looking for.  I was thinking granola even though I used to not like granola, I have found a few that I like, but most often than not they have canola oil in them so I have been looking for recipes where I can make my own.  I found one that I like after I did a little bit of adjusting.  The whole process had me wondering about oats and oatmeal.  When I did a search of nutrition one of my favorite sites came up with some information on oats I found totally interesting.  As usual I learned something totally new to me.  I hear a lot more about Gout lately than I used to.  And the information about oats and gout had me looking gout up what gout is again.  I always forget it is a form of arthritis.

Here is what wiki says about Gout:

“Gout has increased in frequency in recent decades affecting approximately one to two percent of the Western population at some point in their lives. The increase is believed to be due to increasing risk factors in the population, such as metabolic syndrome, longer life expectancy and changes in diet. Gout was historically known as “the disease of kings” or “rich man’s disease”.”

According to PubMed Health there is:

“Gouty arthritis – acute; Gout – acute; Hyperuricemia; Tophaceous gout; Tophi; Podagra; Gout – chronic; Chronic gout; Acute gout; Acute gouty arthritis”

This type of arthritis that occurs when uric acid builds up in blood and causes joint inflammation.  So just like other types of arthritis there can be flare ups.  With the different type of gout the flare ups are different.  One joint is affected by pain and inflammation in the case of acute gout, but in chronic gout it can be in more than one joint.

While they know what causes gout, they don’t know what causes the cause.  Too much uric acid in the synovial fluid causes crystals to form.  The crystals are what cause the pain, swelling and inflammation.  But they don’t know why a body might make too much uric acid or have difficulty getting rid of it.  They have a list of what they consider to be risk factors.  Risk factors include: being over weight, consuming too much alcohol, eating too much red meat or fish or foods high in purines.  Gout is more common in males than females, although woman after menopause seem to be at greater risk.  Certain medications might contribute to gout.

These risk factors could be what contributed to the historical nicknames as probably kings and rich men were more often the ones overweight, drinking too much alcohol, and eating too much red meat and fish.

It is the food high in purines that got my attention.  Oats are high in purines.  So oats might not be good for people with gout or with high levels of uric acid because they could cause gout. Even though oats are a good source of antioxidants and are believed to help lower cholesterol if you have too much uric acid you might not want to consume them every morning.  Another uric acid related health issue is kidney stones.  So monitoring your intake of oats, might be prudent if you are prone to high levels of uric acid.  Although the site does go onto say that recent research is showing the purines in the meat and the fish are the real culprits in producing too much uric acid contributing to the health issues and that the vegetable/plant purines are not, it still might be a good idea to keep it in mind if your body is prone to gout or kidney stones.

Just another thing that is so great for you, but depending upon your individual body might not be so great.  I really believe that our diets are a main factor in our health.  It is important to know that even foods that have so many health benefits and are so full of nutrition still could affect your health in a negative way.  It really depends on your body.  I think it is always a good idea to look at the diet when there are health issues.

Did you know that oats could aggravate gout?

Posted in Food, Oats | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments »