SPOTLIGHT ON SUPERFOODS
ONIONS & GARLIC
Onions and garlic have been used throughout history and has even been found in the Egyptian pyramids! Both of them are fantastic for our immunity as they are antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-parasitic. They have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and can lower blood pressure.
Onions contain a plant chemical called quercetin, which calms the immune system, so is great for those that are prone to asthma and eczema.
Garlic contains sulphur, which can stimulate our bodies o make glutathione, an antioxidant involved in the liver detoxification pathway, promoting the elimination of drugs, toxins and carcinogens from the body.
A little tip: The enzyme alliinase in garlic can be inactivated by heat, but the therapeutic properties can be conserved by crushing the garlic and then allowing it to stand for 10 minutes prior to cooking, allowing the enzyme alliinase time to form the active component allicin.
Ginger is a wonderful spice that contains a whole array of minerals and vitamins such as zinc, magnesium and Vitamin E. It is fabulously good as an all round anti-inflammatory and benefits those with joint and muscle pain. When added to cooking it acts as a digestive tonic, stimulating appetite and reducing bloating.
Turmeric has been used for centuries as both a medicine and a food. The active component is curcumin, a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. It’s great for digestive health and lowers cholesterol levels. Among many other nutrients that turmeric contains, it is an excellent source of iron.
A little tip: Curcumin is fat-soluble so it requires the presence of fat in a meal. Also adding black pepper to turmeric enhances absorption by up to a whopping 2000%!
Yogi Bhajan’s Potent Potatoes is a recipe that he gave especially for men, but I confess to loving it too!
Baked potatoes with their skins on are complex carbohydrates and contain lots of potassium, which is a cofactor for insulin (insulin gets glucose into cells where it can then be used to make energy) and gives the potato a potent effect without giving you a blood sugar spike.
Along with the energy we get from the potato and the amazing health-giving spices, this recipe also calls for cottage cheese, which contains tryptophan, a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin, known for regulating mood, sleep, and wellbeing. It also contains soy sauce, rich in phospholipids for the nervous system and red pepper and pineapple, rich in antioxidants to protect the brain from damage by free radicals.
If men can have Potent Potatoes, then Yogi Bhajan gave women Nut Curry Supreme! We have the power of the spices as well as almonds containing magnesium for a calm nervous system and zinc for reducing feelings of depression. Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and good for the brain.
YOGIC NUTRITION is a regular feature written by Anna Ranprem Kaur, a Kundalini Yoga teacher with more than eight years of experience, now also in her second year of a diploma in Nutrition Therapy and Naturopathy. In this monthly blog, Anna will share knowledge and explorations as she moves forward on her journey in nutrition. www.annakundaliniyoga.co.uk