My Three Favorite Inflammation Remedies

My Three Favorite Inflammation Remedies are delicious and there are many more that you can incorporate into your diet. Read my blog to learn why I transitioned from pills to food.

In my recent post 2019 Running Review I mentioned that I transitioned from Ibuprofen to natural inflammation remedies.

This comment generated a lot of interest and questions.

Most of what I know is from journal and news articles and anecdotal stories from friends.

I decided to write this post to answer some of the questions and take an overview of some articles on the subject.

Natural Remedy Skepticism

In The West we have long been accustomed to doctors doing procedures and prescribing medications. There seems to be a drug or procedure for everything.

Watching TV, I am often surprised to learn about new drugs for conditions I have never heard of.

Most of us have cabinets full of drugs we use without much thought. If they are available without a prescription, they have to be safe, right?

In ancient times before chemistry and modern science, physicians derived remedies from the plants and minerals around them.

aspirin
courtesy – nih.gov

Hippocrates recommended chewing on willow bark to relieve pain and fever.

Willow bark contains salicin and German scientists isolated salicylic acid from willow bark in the early 1800’s.

It was expensive to extract, tasted awful and could cause bleeding. In the late 1890’s scientists at Bayer synthesised acetylsalicylic acid which Bayer went on to sell under the brand name Aspirin. 1

Peruvian bark, which contained quinine, was used to treat malaria. Today you can buy quinine over the counter. 2

While our ancestors chewed on bark or drank bitter concoctions, we now get most of our treatments through a tablet or pill. Bayer actually created the first tablets with aspirin to counter competitors.

In part, because most of our medicines come in a bottle these days the efficacy of natural remedies is questioned by many.

How can spices or teas do anything? They are just food and food is not medicine.

Many societies still rely on natural treatments

In a CNN series Chasing Life, Dr. Sanjay Gupta examined how societies around the world maintain health and treat illness.

In one episode he traveled to Kerala state in India. Thousands of years ago in this Indian state they began the practice called Ayurveda which means the science of life. 3

It was a fascinating program. While Ayurveda involves much more than just using food as medicine they did discuss the spices that go into the foods this practice utilizes.

In addition to ginger and cinnamon they used spices we associate with Indian food like cumin, turmeric, hot peppers and others. The food looked unbelievable.

It’s difficult to believe there isn’t something to a medical practice which has survived thousands of years.

Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen

I’m not a medical professional or scientist. I’m just a runner who is constantly dealing with inflammation. Between muscles, joints and tendons, I often experience pain from inflammation.

In the past I would take Ibuprofen or Tylenol to manage this pain.

I had bursitis in my left hip for years. A few years ago I visited an orthopedist due to chronic knee pain. I’ve pulled or strained various muscles in my legs over the past seventeen years.

Over the years my doctors have recommended rest and ice, sometimes compression and elevation.

None prescribed meds and my PCP and orthopedist both cautioned me about over-use of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Acetaminophen controls pain but does not reduce inflammation. Controlling pain is good, but my pain is often caused by inflammation. Taking too much acetaminophen can damage the liver, sometimes leading to a liver transplant or death.

Doses over 3,900 milligrams or 12 325 mg pills per day can cause liver toxicity. The safest daily dose is 8 pills or 2,600 mgs. 4

Years ago I stopped taking Tylenol and started taking Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID.

NSAIDS do treat pain and inflammation, so I thought I was doing the right thing.

When treating an injury I would often take the maximum daily dose (1200 mg) for weeks.

According to the FDA: NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding, reduced kidney function, and other side effects. The chance of harmful side effects increases the more you take and the longer you take them. 5

A small study published in the July 2017 edition of Emergency Medicine Journal found that 44% of ultra-marathoners who took 400 mg of ibuprofen three to four times toward the end a seven-day, 155-mile race experienced significant reduction of kidney function. 6

The study only had 89 participants in an extreme event but it did highlight the risk of kidney damage. Taking the maximum dose over a prolonged period may have similar consequences for the rest of us.

During several marathons I took 400 mg of ibuprofen. While that is a lower dose and a less extreme event than the study cited above, my kidneys were probably impacted.

When I learned how both classes of drugs could effect my health I made changes.

My Inflammation Remedies

As I mentioned before, I’m not a medical professional or scientist. Please consult your physician before changing your treatment.

First I switched to ibuprofen and then in 2018 I cut back on ibuprofen. Then I began to read about foods and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties.

I was surprised to learn that spices in my own kitchen were potent anti-inflammatories.

turmeric curcumin
Courtesy – Happy Happy Vegan

Both ginger and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties. Most studies use purified, concentrated and precise doses of these spices. In order to conduct a scientifically valid study you have to use standardized extracts and try to control all variables.

You can search the web and find thousands of studies on these and other spices. Some using purified extracts others using common spices.

One VA study looked at 247 patients with significant knee pain over a six-week study period. 7

The VA study found a statistically significant difference in the relief of knee pain between the control group and those receiving the concentrated ginger extract.

Both spices have been in common use for centuries and their medicinal properties have been known for that long also.

You can buy concentrated extracts at your local drug store, or you can eat delicious food.

A cinnamon roll each morning doesn’t have enough spice to make any difference. I think I’m pretty safe in saying that.

Inflammation Remedies that work for me

Most days I have oatmeal for breakfast. I used to add brown sugar and raisins, but cut the sugar and added ginger and cinnamon.

The raisins add enough sweetness and the spices add a lot of flavor.

I’m not a scientist, so you wont find me in the kitchen with a scale or even measuring spoons.

Cinnamon, anti inflammatory spices, Inflammation RemediesI add 3/4 cup of oatmeal and about an ounce of raisins to a Pyrex container. To that I add 2-3 shakes of cinnamon and 1-2 shakes of ginger.

My guess is that this equals about 1-2 teaspoons of each spice.

I’ve tried adding more but the flavor can be overwhelming. I also try not to eat an entire cup of oatmeal for breakfast.

If I’m dealing with an injury I have this breakfast 5-6 days a week.

Green Tea

green tea, anti inflammatory foods, Inflammation RemediesProbably 15 years ago I started drinking water at work. I wanted to reduce my coffee consumption and to stop drinking soda.

Over the years my daily water consumption has increased. To make things more interesting I started adding two bags of green tea to my water bottle.

After about five minutes the tea infuses into the water and adds some flavor.

I use two to four bags of green tea five days a week and sometimes at home also.

The health-promoting effects of green tea are mainly attributed to its polyphenol flavonoids which can represent 30% of fresh leaf dry weight.

Green tea is not fermented like black tea so the flavonoids are preserved. This gives green tea it’s healthy benefits. 8

If an average teabag contains 1.5 grams of tea or 1500 mg, then each bag contains approximately  450 mg of polyphenol flavonoids.

Two bags of tea per day should be enough to achieve the healthful benefits, according to some studies.

Studies have also confirmed that green tea helps control Type II diabetes, blood pressure and many other conditions.

Conclusion

As a runner, I train and push my body twelve months of the year. I consistently experience higher levels of inflammation than most people.

Now I only take ibuprofen for a head ache, and those are rare.

We all experience inflammation caused by the environment and stress so I think that anyone can benefit from adding these food items to their diet.

Consuming tea, ginger and cinnamon are part of my regular diet now.

If you add these items to your diet your health will benefit also.

You don’t like tea, ginger or cinnamon? Try adding or consuming more of these spices:

inflammation remedies, spices
naturalstacks.com

1. Curcumin (Turmeric)
2. Ginger
3. Spirulina
4. Cayenne pepper
5. Cinnamon
6. Cloves
7. Sage
8. Rosemary
9. Black pepper
10. Green tea 9

There are so many great options.

Eat well my Friends!

Andy

Health On Sale

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1119266/

2.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_aspirin
3. https://www.cnn.com/shows/chasing-life
4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/acetaminophen-safety-be-cautious-but-not-afraid
5. https://www.fda.gov/media/112979/download
6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-it-safe-to-take-ibuprofen-for-the-aches-and-pains-of-exercise-2017080912185
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11710709 – VA study
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2855614/#B1
9. https://www.naturalstacks.com/blogs/news/anti-inflammatory-herbs

CoffeeBar

I first met the founders of New Grounds Food at a Meetup in Somerville.

Johnny Fayad and Ali Kothari were students at Northeastern University at the time. They told the group about the CoffeeBar they had developed which was organic, vegan, gluten-free and delicious.

They were still deep in the trenches of start-up mode and didn’t have any samples that night. Recently they sent a sample pack for me to try.

CoffeeBar Review

coffeebar, coffee, caffeine

The sample pack contains two Mocha  Latte CoffeeBars. The package is easy to open and durable enough to survive a trip to the gym, office or class in your bag.

The package opens easily and without a lot of noise. This makes it handy for class or to open when you are driving.

When I opened the package I got an immediate earthy, sweet aroma of coffee with complex, subtle hints of spices and chocolate.

Many energy bars look like and taste like a candy bar. CoffeeBar looks more like a chewy brownie that you can’t wait to sink your teeth into.

The main ingredients in Coffee Bars are organic dates and oats. This gives the bar a nice chewy, substantial mouth feel. Coffee Bar also contains chia seeds and cashews so you get some crunch and a nutty flavor.

coffee bar, coffeebar

The star ingredient in CoffeeBar is organic coffee. Johnny and Ali first came up with the idea for this product when they had 8AM classes at Northeastern and no time for coffee or breakfast. Coffee can spill and no one wants to hear you drinking it during lectures.

They came up with the idea of incorporating real coffee into a food bar that they could take with them and eat on the way to class or during a lecture.

With caffeine in a food bar they were able to incorporate coffee and breakfast into one convenient item for people on the go.

A great idea takes off

At the 2013 Husky Startup Challenge at Northeastern University, Coffee Bar was awarded “Audience Favorite Winner” and $500.

They pitched their product to the judges at the Entrepreneurs Club as “best way to have your coffee and breakfast all-in-one” without worrying about any spills or crumbs.”

They had a winning idea, but they still needed a way to get it into your hands: packaging.

On September 22nd, 2014 they started a Kickstarter campaign to fund their first minimum order of packaging for their CoffeeBars. Within 15 hours they received the full $10,000 that they needed. Over the next 44 days they raised nearly $50,000 from 1,000 backers.

When you see and open a CoffeeBar package, you can tell that the money was well spent. The package is attractive and durable. It is also easy and quiet to open.

How to get CoffeeBars

Currently CoffeeBars are available on line at the New Grounds Food Shop. You can buy a 2 bar sample pack or a 12 bar box. For added convenience Johnny and Ali offer a subscription service. You can get monthly deliveries for 3, 6, 9 or 12 months.

My opinion

I love coffee, so I found their idea intriguing. I was concerned that the bar would taste like coffee grounds or just not be that great. There are new food bar products all the time and some are just not that good.

It turns out that the bars do taste good and are easy to eat without a mess. No crumbs and nothing sticks to your fingers either. I could see having a box of these in the office for a morning snack.

For a runner heading out early for a race or a long run, CoffeeBars would be a great way to get your caffeine and breakfast. I need to have some coffee before I race or go out for a long run. It’s part of my routine.

The durable packaging makes it easy to keep a few in your running bag.

For this review I received a sample 2-pack of CoffeeBars to try. All opinions are my own. 

  • Have you ever tried CoffeeBars?
  • Do you need caffeine before you race?

Run well my friends,

Andy

Brubar review

Back in 2014 I was buying brewing supplies at Modern Homebrew Emporium and saw a display for Brubars at the check out counter.

I’m pretty sure this product is no longer available, but I still think it’s a cool idea.

I had never seen a Brubar before, but the guy at the store said they were pretty good. If you’ve ever brewed beer and tasted the malt extract or dried malt,you know it is quite sweet. The process of making malt converts the starches in grain to sugars. This makes it easier for the yeast to make alcohol. When you are preparing for an endurance event readily available sugars are what you want.

Like I say about all sports or energy products, these are not candy bars to eat while watching TV. These products are designed to provide energy to active people. Malt is an all natural product that has been used for hundreds of years, and you can pronounce all of the ingredients in these bars. You probably have many of them on a shelf in your home right now. These bars are made from real food.

From their website:

BRUBAR Energy Bars are all-natural and vegan with a focus on a malty flavor with a smooth texture. We are able to focus on this malty flavor because, unlike other energy bars, our main ingredient is barley malt. Because barley malt is not as sweet as other sugars, we can add a lot of it without making the bar too sweet. This gives the bar a smooth taste and a moist texture. The recipe was kept simple, with only a handful of natural ingredients that contribute to the overall flavor and function of a BRUBAR Energy Bar. Read more about our ingredients and nutrition facts on our Nutrition page.

In addition to a unique taste, the moistness in a BRUBAR Energy Bar also has two practical advantages. Athletes find that they can eat the bar more easily during physical activity and winter athletes like the fact that the bar will stay soft in cold weather.

I tried the “Original Malt” before the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge. It was about all I had to eat between lunch and the start of the race. The flavor was not overly sweet or malty and had a bit of a crunch to it from the almonds. I thought the flavor was well-balanced and it did not taste like a granola or candy bar. It was enough to quiet the growl in my stomach and was easily digested. I would recommend giving these bars a try.

The “Original Malt” has: malt extract, rolled oats, dates, almonds, coconut, olive oil, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon. NUTRITION FACTS: Serving Size: 1 bar (56g), Calories: 220, Calories from Fat: 60, Total Fat: 7g (11% DV), Saturated Fat: 1.5g (8% DV), Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg (0% DV), Sodium: 115mg (5% DV), Total Carbohydrates: 34g (11% DV), Dietary Fiber: 4g (16% DV), Sugars: 16g, Protein: 6g, Vitamin A (0% DV), Vitamin C (0% DV), Calcium (4% DV), Iron (8% DV).

Not sure these guys are still around, but again, it was a great idea.

Run well my friends!

Andy

Glucose and the Endurance athlete

Glucose and the Endurance Athlete

Glucose is a simple sugar or monosaccharide that is an extremely important form of sugar for your body. All other carbohydrates and forms of sugar need to be broken down into glucose before your muscles and brain can use them.

Muscles and other tissues can use fat and protein as an energy source but glucose is a much more efficient form of energy. For your brain and red blood cells, glucose is the only source of energy they can use.

Glucose Metabolism

During digestion, starches and sugars are broken down into glucose. Under normal conditions, the body cannot use all of the glucose produced during digestion.

Glycogen, glucose, monosacharides To store the excess glucose your body turns it into glycogen.

Glycogen is a complex molecule made up of multiple glucose molecules linked together in long chains and hydrated with three or four molecules of water, as seen in this diagram.

The liver is an important storage site for glycogen. The liver can hold as much as 6% of it’s weight in glycogen. A well conditioned athlete may be able to store up to 8% of their liver’s weight in glycogen A healthy adult liver weights between 1.2 and 1.5KG and can hold about 100 grams of glycogen or 400 calories.

Muscles can hold up to 2% of their weight in glycogen or 350 to 500 grams. This provides 1,400 to 2,000 calories.

When energy is needed right away, glycogen stored in the muscles is converted to glucose right in the muscle. This allows for an instant source of energy. Most muscles lack the enzyme required to release converted glycogen into the blood stream, so all glucose is used in those muscles.

To replenish the muscles, glucose can be obtained through digestion or from the liver. Glycogen stored in the liver is converted to glucose and released into the blood stream for your body to use.

Glycogen in the liver is converted to glucose by gluconeogenesis when the blood glucose concentration is low. Glucose may also be produced from non-carbohydrate precursors, such as pyruvate, amino acids and glycerol, by gluconeogenesis.

But it is gluconeogenesis of glycogen that maintains blood glucose concentrations over extended periods of time, and especially for endurance athletes.

The endocrine pancreas

The pancreas has both endocrine and exocrine functions. The endocrine tissue is grouped together in the islets of Langerhans and consists of four different cell types each with its own function. Alpha cells produce glucagon. Beta cells produce proinsulin. Proinsulin is the inactive form of insulin that is converted to insulin in the circulation. Delta cells produce somatostatin. F or PP cells produce pancreatic polypeptide.

This information is from www.caninsulin.com, but I think it explains things clearly. If you click on the “Glucose Metabolism” header you can read their full article which includes some easy to understand diagrams on how the processes work. This stuff can get very technical.

Glucose and the Endurance athlete

Most runners use some form of gel, chew, beans or beverage to replenish their carbohydrates while performing an endurance activity. The supplement business has exploded over the past few years. Nestle owns the PowerBar, PowerGel product lines. Jelly Belly makes Sport Beans. Honey Stinger has a line of gels based on honey. Hammer Nutrition has the Hammer Gel line of gels.

running, nutrition, GI

Some have caffeine. Some have various electrolytes in various quantities. Everyone has the best combination to help you achieve at your highest level. Like most things, each athlete should try different products to see what their system tolerates best and is the most effective at delivery energy to their bodies.

All of these products contain sugar in various forms. Cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, invert sugar – all sucrose. Other ingredients include maltodextrin, glucose syrup from wheat, fructose.

I’ve used many of these products while running marathons or distances of at least 12 miles. There is general agreement that these supplements are not needed if you are running or working out for less than an hour.

My experiment

For my recent Sunday Long run of 17.8 miles I tried something new. I’ve heard from other runners that glucose tablets work really well at restoring energy levels. I went to a local drug store and purchased a bottle of glucose tablets. Since I’ve never used these, I spoke with a pharmacist.

I told her why I was interested in these and how I planned to use them. She seemed a little chagrined. These tablets are normally used by diabetics when they need to boost their blood sugar levels. Here I was in my Boston Marathon jacket, the picture of health.

She told me most people take four at a time. They hit the system pretty quick since they are basically pure glucose. She warned me to be careful of my blood sugar levels but then said I probably do not need to worry about that if I’m out running.

This stuff is nothing to play with. If you sat around and ate these like sweet tarts your blood sugar would spike. The Glycemic Index of these tablets is 100, the same as table sugar. Diabetics can eat some candy to increase their blood sugar levels but glucose tablets are more efficient.

Repeated spiking of your blood glucose levels through over consumption of carbohydrates can eventually wear out your beta cells. Once they are gone or overwhelmed you have problems. These tablets are not candy.

Someone please correct me if I have this wrong.

During a marathon I often take four or more gels. Like many people, I experience “gastric distress” during a long run or marathon. Maybe it is all of that bouncing around that makes things move through the digestive process rapidly. Maybe it is what I am eating while I am running.

The Boston Marathon is about three weeks out. Now is the time to experiment with food and supplements. I had a 17.8 mile long run on Sunday and this seemed like the perfect time to try something new.

I took four tablets and put them in a sandwich bag. About four miles into our run I took the first one. It chewed very easily and dissolved in my mouth quickly. It wasn’t chalky or anything like that.

Within a few minutes my running felt less labored than it had a few minutes before. This is how my body reacts to commercial gels also. Not bad I thought.

At the first two water stops I only had a cup of water. No Gatorade, food or gels. At the third stop I had a mix of water and Gatorade and continued with that mix at the last two stops. I ended up only taking three of the tablets.

My stomach seemed to do better than normal. 17.8 miles is a long run and it’s not unusual for runners to look for a McDonald’s or Dunkin Donuts to visit on a run of this distance. I never had that urge.

I managed to get through all 17.8 miles without needing to use the facilities until I got home an hour or so later. Pretty normal.

Conclusions

Drawing conclusions from a single data point is pointless. I have the Eastern States 20 Miler next weekend and one more club SLR. I’ll do the experiment again and see how I feel.

The one draw back that I see to using these tablets is that they are just glucose. No electrolytes. That could be a problem.  My marathons usually take over four hours, so I need to replace my electrolytes. Perhaps I could use these tablets early in the race to delay any adverse intestinal reactions to gels and Gatorade.

I could also save one or two for that last mile or so. That quick boost of energy could be just what I need to finish strong.

Questions

Run well my friends!

Andy

Berg JM, Tymoczko JL, Stryer L. Biochemistry. 5th edition. New York: W H Freeman; 2002. Chapter 21, Glycogen Metabolism. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21190/

Health on sale

Turmeric Curcumin

A few years ago while working through a running injury a friend told me about turmeric. My injury involved inflammation and they told me that turmeric had anti-inflammatory properties.

I had been dealing with my injury with ibuprofen, ice and compression. It’s not good to take the maximum daily dose of ibuprofen for weeks on end, so I decided to check out their suggestion.

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a plant in the ginger family that produces the signature yellow turmeric spice. It has been used in Asia for thousands of years. It was first used as a dye, and later for its medicinal properties. Turmeric curcumin has been used for over 4,000 years and has recently gained popularity in The West for its natural health properties. 1

The product my friend recommended as a good source of turmeric was Tumeric – elixir of life. It was available in 12 and 32 oz bottles at Wholefoods.

tumeric, turmeric
TumericALIVE – Original Elixir

I don’t think that Tumeric – elixir of life is still on the market. It didn’t show up in a Google search but lots of articles on and reviews of turmeric curcumin supplements did.

The substance in turmeric that gives it it’s healthful qualities is curcumin. 

Curcumin is a polyphenol found in turmeric which provides the color and healthy properties of turmeric.

Polyphenols are antioxidants found in many foods. Antioxidants help fight free radicals which are chemicals that have the potential to cause damage to cells and tissues in the body.

Free Radicals are the natural byproducts of chemical processes, such as metabolism. Free Radicals can also be created by exposure to substances in our environment including the food we eat.

According to an article in Biochemical Society Transactions, intense aerobic exercise can induce oxidative stress. Burning fuel in high-intensity cardio exercise causes chemical reactions that make free radicals form at a faster rate. This isn’t an excuse to skip the gym, however. According to an article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, frequent exercise training seems to reduce the oxidative stress initially brought on by exercise. This is because regular physical exercise enhances antioxidant defenses.

Spurred by the concern that intense exercise could cause oxidative stress, several studies were conducted to look at the effects of antioxidant supplementation for athletes. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition article said that supplementing high intensity exercise with antioxidant supplements produced no beneficial effects, however. Regular exercise alone was enough to build up antioxidant defenses against the initial exercise-induced oxidative stress. 2

While curcumin may not reduce free radicals while exercising, it is still beneficial in recovery.

A 2007 book The Molecular Targets and Therapeutic Uses of Curcumin in Health and Disease reviewed 1500 papers published over the past 50 years. Some of these articles discussed the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin among other pharmacological applications. 3

So there is scientific research showing the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric curcumin. From my personal experience I feel that this natural product does work.

A 2011 Huffington Post article on turmeric by Dr. Andrew Weil discusses the health benefits of turmeric and curcumin. Dr. Weil advocates eating turmeric in your diet over concentrated supplements. However he also states “On the other hand, curcumin appears to have a more rapid and dramatic effect, and may be the better choice as a therapeutic (rather than a preventative) preparation.”

Like all substances some people experience side effects at various doses. This WebMD article discusses the benefits, side effects and possible drug interactions. Turmeric is generally safe but you should read the article if you have any health conditions and plan to take large doses over a prolonged period of time.

Health on Sale

When I originally wrote this article in March of 2014 Wholefoods sold Tumeric – elixir of life. 32 oz bottles sold for $11.99 and were on sale for $8.99, so Health on Sale seemed appropriate and catchy.

I bought three bottles, Turmeric Pineapple, Coconut Nectar and Japanese Matcha . In the parking lot I popped open the Pineapple and hauled down what I estimated to be 12 oz of juice. I kind of felt like a wino who can’t wait to get out of the parking lot before getting his fix.

turmeric curcumin
Courtesy – Happy Happy Vegan

Similar to Dr. Weil, I’m an advocate of using food as medicine. Why take vitamin C when you can eat a delicious orange? Vitamins and minerals in their natural form are more likely to have all of the other nutrients that our bodies need to properly absorb them. The chemistry of nutrition is complex and our bodies evolved to extract what we need from food.

I’m also an advocate of keeping things simple and natural if possible. I believe getting nutrition from food is the way to eat properly.  I’m not sure I’d want to eat turmeric in its natural state and apparently our ancestors felt it was best ground up in a curry sauce.

 

Happy Happy Vegan has a great post on turmeric and curcumin. The article has great information on ways to consume turmeric and curcumin, how to buy, prepare and store turmeric.

And going back to my preference to consume nutrients naturally, they list several recipes to help you enjoy great food and increase your consumption of turmeric.

turmeric curcumin
Courtesy – Happy Happy Vegan

In addition to buying ground turmeric or whole rhizomes, there are many supplements on the market. While it’s difficult to determine the potency of fresh turmeric, supplements list their potency on the bottle. But there is more to it than just numbers.

This 2019 Smart Review article discusses what you need to look for when considering turmeric supplements. If you are interested in supplements and more information on turmeric curcumin, this article and the Happy Happy Vegan blog post will be helpful for you.

Run well my friends!

Andy

Sources

1 – https://smarter-reviews.com/article/sr-history-of-turmeric

2 – https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html

3 – https://www.researchgate.net/publication/321619953_The_Molecular_Targets_and_Therapeutic_Uses_of_Curcumin_in_Health_and_Disease

4 – https://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-weil-md/turmeric-health-have-a-happy-new-year_b_798328.html

5 – https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric

6 – https://happyhappyvegan.com/turmeric-curcumin/

7 – https://smarter-reviews.com/lp/sr-turmeric?tr=Axm1a&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxJSM6LrS4AIV0-DICh2GsQLXEAAYASAAEgJqF_D_BwE

 

Food Pantry Donations

The Half at The Hamptons race organizers have asked all runners to bring a food donation to help support local food pantries.

Food Pantries supported: The First Baptist Church, The First Congregational Church, The Methodist Church, St. Vincent De Paul at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, the Salvation Army and the Town of Hampton Pantry

In exchange for your generosity  –

FREE RUNNING SOCKS: LOCO will be donating running socks to everyone that brings in a contribution and commit to contributing whatever is needed to fill the pantries!

hungry, families, need, help
Needed food items

All of us probably have a few of these items sitting in cupboards in our kitchens or in a pantry closet. Take a few minutes and dig to the back of your cupboards or pantry. You may find items that your family no longer likes or the kid who ate this food is now off at college.

Grab a bag, you may find quite a few items that you can donate.

I went through our pantry closet and found a number of items. My oldest daughter is a vegetarian so we had several cans of vegetarian #B&M Baked Beans. She is off to college so these are not going to be eaten anytime soon. When she comes home the weather will be warm and she wont want to eat them.

A few of the cans were past or close to their expiration dates. I was going to toss them because I don’t feel right giving away expired food. Before I tossed them I did a quick Google search to find out what the expiration dates really mean and is the food any good after that date.

Still Tasty after all these years

I quickly found stilltasty.com. This fascinating site allows you to look up foods by category and find out “How long will your favorite food or beverage stay safe and tasty?”. The search tool allows you to search for a food name or select from one of the categories they have lower on the page.

I tried to search for B&M Baked Beans but I could only find “baked beans”. Have you ever wondered how long that open bottle of pasta sauce will stay good in your refrigerator? Search for “pasta sauce” and #stilltasty will tell you how long a properly stored open or sealed jar will last, even past the expiration date.

Here are their results for “baked beans” unopened –

B&M, food safety, high GI, fiber
Shelf life of unopened beans

So if you are looking through your shelves for food to donate, don’t toss an item just because the date on the package has past. Check it before you chuck it, and help feed a family.

Food waste in America

I have heard the number “40%” quoted often as the amount of food that is wasted in America. A report on endhunger.org says it could be as high as 50%! This includes food left in the fields to rot for a variety of reasons, food tossed by supermarkets, bakeries, restaurants etc because it is not perfect looking or has hit the expiration date.

On average, American households toss 14% of the food they buy every year. We drive around town looking to save a few pennies on a gallon of gas and then go home and throw away $10 worth of left over meat that we failed to cook before it spoiled. Crazy.

We could feed our families better if we paid more attention to what was in the fridge. We could afford to buy better cuts of meat if we stopped tossing 14% of the meat that we buy in the trash. We could afford to give 5% of our grocery purchases to charity if we did not waste 14% of what we brought home every week.

My rant

I’m just “Joe Pair of Sneakers” here, but this is my soap box. If we were able to harvest more of the food that goes to waste in the fields and the orchards we could provide free breakfast and lunch in all of our schools in America.

Farmers would get some revenue from what is now going to waste. If families knew that their children were going to be fed two nutritious meals five days a week, I bet that school attendance would go up. Relieving poor families of the burden of 10 meals per week per child would help them provide better and more food for dinner and on weekends.

Incentivizing parents to get their kids to school every day could have huge social impact. Well fed children get sick less and perform better in school. Better educated children will be more successful in life and make a greater contribution to our society.

Middle Class and wealthy families do not need this incentive, but knowing that breakfast was waiting at school would relieve part of the morning stress of getting their kids out the door in the morning. Imagine not having to make breakfast and lunch before 6:30AM every week day? We could all use a little less stress in our lives.

For poor families a program like this would also alleviate that part of their morning stress. Maybe instead of making breakfast and lunch, they would have 10 minutes to sit down and read a book to their child. Children from poor families would get 10 healthy meals per week and they would be more likely to attend school knowing that a good breakfast was waiting for them.

There is free food rotting in the field as you read this. It could be feeding our kids.

There is food on your shelf that you are going to toss some day also. Go dig it out and take it to the race or drop it off at your local food pantry.

Run well my friends!

Andy