DAY 13 March 12, 2018. A month of working on my wellness.
Doing something new or different is good for your brain health and for me, that often means my emotional/psychological health as well. I tried something new today. My running partner Sam was telling me about Chrissie Wellington (check out what I am talking about) and her youtube running videos that motivate and help with pacing. This morning when I got on the treadmill I used this to change up my run. It was different, fun and I will definitely do it again. That’s the thing with exercise, you have to find something that excites and challenges you! What are you willing to try?
It’s kind of a wonder drug-ish
I want to talk to you about curcumin. What even is it? I am excited to tell you. Let me start off by saying it’s the stuff that I take when my knee hurts and then my knee doesn’t hurt. Magic, or at least turmeric. Before I get into what curcumin is and even more fascinating what it does, let me tell you about turmeric.
Vegetable Turmeric Stew- I made this!
Turmeric is part of the ginger family. Its stalk is used in both food and medicine, creating the common yellow ingredient that colors and adds flavor to curry (and tofu, and veggies, scrambled eggs, potatoes.. you get what I am saying here!). If you eat Indian food you are already familiar with the color and flavor. In traditional Indian Ayurveda, turmeric is thought to support general body strength, vision and normal milk secretion. Within dietary supplements, turmeric is found both alone, and in combination with products created to exert antioxidant activity and provide gastrointestinal support (it’s good for your gut and that might be the key to our overall health). Good news. The primary active compounds in turmeric are the flavonoid, curcumin and related “curcuminoid” compounds which deliver potent antioxidant properties and that’s why we need to talk about getting curcumin into your body. More good news, there are choices; food, tea, supplements.
Curcumin is not just and antioxidant, which is sexy enough, but it is also an anti-inflammatory (that’s why it helps my achy knee, the one that knows I am almost 50 years old. I hyperlinked above to the exact kind I use). It also modulates hormones and neorchemicals. Some studies show it helps with depression (possibly because depression shares symptoms with other diseases and manifestations of inflammation in the body). People with chronically high cortisol and with the biological markers of inflammation and symptoms of depression respond better to anti-inflammatories then antidepressants. Another study found that curcumin was superior to Prozac in cases of depression, especially when the Prozac was not working effectively. AMAZING, right?
You know what else it does, according to Dr. Sara Gottfried, curcumin “[C]ounters the proliferative effect of estrogen on cancer cells.” If your estrogen hormone balance is off, it feeds cancer, curcumin acts in the reverse. All this information encouraged me to find ways to incorporate turmeric, and therefore curcumin, into my system. I found this tumeric tea that I love. There are several varieties. Find one you love and take care of yourself! If you like the taste of turmeric, you are going to want to have about a tablespoon a day (sprinkle it on your food, another new thing to try). If you are cooking with turmeric occasionally, you are might not getting enough in your diet to reach the optimal level for health benefits especially if you are using it instead of those nasty NSAIDs, you will need 500-1000mg to get pain-relief results. 800 mgs is the sweet spot for me and my nagging knee pain and why I had such a great time with Chrissie Wellington on the treadmill this morning.
Tomorrow let’s catch up on data.
With Love & Gratitude~
- Posted in: wellness
- Tagged: mental health, nutrition