Turmeric, Ginger and Cinnamon — we’ve been consuming these wonderful spices for centuries as flavouring agents, colourings, and preservatives. But did you know that they also contain natural plant compounds which can play an important role in cancer prevention and treatment? Here are some good reasons to make them part of your everyday life.
Turmeric is considered the number one spice when it comes to stimulating our immune system. Growing modern research backs this claim, along with at least 5,000 years of traditional medicinal use in Eastern cultures — where doctors are far more accustomed to using herbs and spices for their healing properties. After all, it plays an integral part in India’s Ayurvedic healing and traditional Chinese medicine. Why is turmeric considered cancer-protective?
• It’s a potent anti-inflammatory — and inflammation is a common denominator in heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
• It helps the liver break down and eliminate toxins which could otherwise re-circulate and tax our immune system.
• It’s a potent antioxidant, helping block free radicals from damaging cells.
• It enhances the effects of chemotherapy, while protecting healthy cells.
• It blocks the dangerous COX-2 enzyme — which plays a role in many cancers.
Tip: Try this easy, delicious and refreshing turmeric smoothie recipe and start enjoying the immune-boosting benefits of turmeric now:
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 cm piece of fresh ginger
Whiz in the blender and enjoy!
Ginger has a long history of medicinal use dating back 2,500 years. Traditionally used as a digestive aid to relieve nausea, diarrhea and bloating, ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties are also useful in the treatment of cancer, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Numerous studies are confirming that ginger has anti-metastatic properties that inhibit many types of cancer. Here are some more reasons to make ginger a regular part of your day:
• Not hungry? Add grated fresh ginger to juice or hot water before a meal to help stimulate your appetite and activate your digestive juices.
• Overindulged the evening before? Ginger tea helps ease hangovers.
• Useful for infections like the common cold. Ginger helps clear the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including your sinuses.
• Ginger tea can help get rid of throat and nose congestion. Chilly weather enhances the warming and healing benefits of this tasty tea!
• Adding ginger to food improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body.
Tip: Add fresh ginger next time you make a green smoothie — it totally improves the taste! Or add this classic Carrot Apple Ginger Juice to your routine:
2 Apples, cored, peeled and chopped
5 Carrots, peeled and chopped
1 inch Ginger piece, peeled and chopped
1/2 Lemon, seeded and skin removed
Salt to taste
Simply process the apples, carrots, lemon and ginger in a juicer. Stir in a pinch of salt. Serve and enjoy!
A common ingredient in fragrant baked treats and sometimes added to spice up coffee, but most people are unaware that cinnamon may have cancer protective properties. In fact, lab experiments demonstrate that cinnamon extract slows the growth of cancer cells and induces cancerous cell death. If these properties extend to humans, then cinnamon may be able to slow the growth and kill cancerous cells. Cinnamon also protects against type 2 diabetes and heart disease by optimizing the flow for blood in vessels. If taken regularly, regular use can help lower blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels. There’s more:
• Cinnamon helps mitigate the effects of high-fat meals by reducing spikes in blood sugar post-meal.
• It eases all sorts of lung congestion issues. By helping clear up mucus and encouraging circulation, it has a beneficial effect on everything from a simple seasonal cough to bronchitis.
• It helps combat viruses, not just the common cold. Research shows that cinnamon extract may help fight the HIV virus by preventing the virus from entering cells.
• Cinnamon has also been shown to help neurons and improve motor function in those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
Tip: This Clever Cinnamon Smoothie is a deliciously different way to enjoy the beneficial effects of cinnamon:
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tsp. maca powder (optional)
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 Medjool date, pitted
½ teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Ice to taste
Simply blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and creamy. Serve with an additional sprinkle of cinnamon on top.