If we briefly rewind to the 19th century, our greatest threats were starvation and disease. Today, the largest cause of mortality in the Western World is not a lack of food or rampaging bacteria... In fact, it’s what we do eat that poses the greatest risk to our lives.
Diet and lifestyle now drive the top causes of death in America. Food is no longer our means for survival. For many of us, it’s a slow poison.
Food is truly a double-edged sword… On one hand, the modern, processed ‘Western’ diet causes many chronic diseases. But on the flip side, food can also be a powerful medicine to restore health, vitality and live a long and vibrant life.
Make food your weapon of wellness with these 8 fun hacks to supercharge your diet!
1. Drizzle Your Tomatoes With A Little Olive Oil
This culinary combo obviously tastes amazing but also gives us great nutritional benefits. Tomatoes are naturally rich in lycopene, which is a carotenoid believed to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. Olive oil actually helps us to absorb lycopene, so make like the Mediterraneans do and get pouring!
2. Power Up Your Cruciferous Vegetables
Cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts and their close cruciferous cousins have been praised for their ability to prevent a number of cancers. However, did you know that cooked and frozen broccoli can’t actually provide us with sulforaphane (a key anti-cancer compound)? Therefore, simply add a little ground mustard powder after cooking to replace the enzymes needed to power up and release sulforaphane once more!
3. Turmeric & Black Pepper Are The Bonnie & Clyde Of The Spice Kingdom…
Truly a dynamic duo! Turmeric is naturally high in a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called circumin. Black Pepper contains an alkaloid called piperine, which significantly enhances the bioavailability of circumin. So make sure you ‘spice’ up your curries - and your health - with this flavorsome pair.
4. Marinade With Lemon Juice Or Vinegar
If you choose to eat meat, poultry and fish, common cooking processes increase the production of Advanced Glycosylation End Products (AGEs). AGEs have been associated with a wide range of negative health outcomes such as inflammation, chronic disease and aging. If you choose to eat animal products, simply marinade with lemon or vinegar half an hour before cooking to reduce AGEs. Boiling, steaming and lightly cooking your food will also help!
5. Add A Lil’ Asafoetida
This wonderful little spice can be a bit tricky to track down but is often found in specialty Asian and health food stores. Don’t be alarmed by the stinky aroma of asafoetida in its raw form; upon cooking, it releases a smooth, garlic-like aroma. This little spice is particularly helpful if you have trouble tolerating legumes. Adding a little asafoetida whilst cooking legumes can help to break down the fermentable sugars which are notoriously difficult for humans to digest.
6. Squeeze A Little Lemon Into Your Life!
You’ve probably heard already that green tea is brimming with antioxidants to help protect us against cancer and aging. However, adding a little lemon juice into your green tea helps us to absorb the antioxidants (catechins) that green tea offers. Additionally, lemon juice may blunt the action of oxalates - the compounds in green tea that decrease mineral absorption - and is wonderfully refreshing!
7. Serve Your Salmon With Kale
Few things happen in isolation within our body and calcium is no exception. This essential mineral cannot be absorbed and utilised properly without the help of its good friend, Vitamin D! If you choose to eat salmon or oily fish, why not pair it with a delicious side of steamed kale? The vitamin D from your fish will assist with the absorption of calcium from this leafy green.
8. Get Your Oaty Antioxidants
This Wintry weather is perfect for a warming bowl of Oatmeal Porridge. You can pump up the antioxidant profile in every mouthful by simply adding a pinch of cloves! Also consider adding a small amount of Indian gooseberries (these are sold in a powdered form called ‘amla’) to balance your blood sugar and improve the cholesterol fighting power of this meal.
Get started with one of these recipes: