watermelon

Cooling foods to beat the Summer heat

The following article written by Sobiya N. Moghul was meant for the Indian Summer:

 

With the mercury levels rising to new highs everyday, summer seems to completely drain us out. Temperatures have been scorching high and humidity levels have escalated to between 70 and 80 per cent. Most of us feel dehydrated and low on energy in such a climate and we look for ways to cool ourselves. Our body needs cooling foods that will balance our diet and keep our energy levels stable. Here are 10 best cooling foods for the Indian summer .

Watermelon
A fruit that can help you keep cool. We are not suggesting you to buy the chopped watermelon slices sold by the roadside vendors. In fact, they should never be consumed if you want to avoid the risk of a diarrhea infection. Bring home a watermelon, cool it and have lots of it to benefit from the antioxidants present in this delicious fruit.

yogurt
Curd/ yogurt
Curd is a delicious coolant. You can make delicious – chilled spicy buttermilk, a glass of lassi or chachh and raita. You can also add fruits to the curds to make a lip-smacking and wholesome dessert or prepare dips during the summer season.

coconut-water
Coconut water
An inexpensive coconut is full of health benefits and has wonderful cooling properties. It is laden with simple sugars, electrolytes and essential minerals which help keep the body well hydrated. In addition to that, there is evidence to suggest that coconut water has cancer fighting and anti-ageing properties as well.

cucumber
Cucumber
This crunchy vegetable costs little, has lots of fibre that can help keep constipation at bay. It can make each of your bites crunchier and help you stay cool as a cucumber!

mint-leaf
Mint
Mint is a simple, easily available, inexpensive herb which you can add to your curd to make pudina raita or have it in the form of chutneys besides using it in dips. The best thing about it is that you can grow it in a small pot at home for your use. Though it does not help bring down the body temperature, we love it because of the delicious and refreshing taste.

green-veggies
Green veggies
Though green vegetables are good to have round the year, it is good to have lots of them during the summer months because they have a high water content. Avoid overcooking them because that can cause a loss of water contained therein.

onions
Onions
Onions have amazing cooling properties. You can add it to your curries, dips, raitas, salads and chutneys to help keep you cool. The red onions, in particular, are very rich in quercetin, which is a natural anti-allergen. Having lots of onions can provide you protection against sunstroke.

melons
Melons
This is another fruit which is nearly 90% water. Have lots of it in summers to stay cool and well hydrated.

lime-water
Lime water
The simple lime water or nimboo pani is not only refreshing, it also has health benefits for you. You can have it sweet, salted or add a dash of black salt and cumin powder to it. Have it chilled and beat the heat.

ice-cream
Ice creams
Summers can never be fun without ice creams. Ice candies or those tempting sundaes bring back the child in you. Add some fresh fruits to them to make them sound less sinful and indulge your taste buds once in a while. Though you have the option of heading for the nearest ice cream parlour, you can try making some at home as well. Kids will love you for it!

breathe-the-revolution

Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-day program to improve your physical and mental health

Breathe: The Simple . Revolutionary 14-day program to improve your physical and mental health

The following has been excerpted from the website of Power of Breath Institute

We’re all born knowing how to breathe, but our frenzied lives can lead to constricted breathing making us feel as if we’re running on fumes, not fresh air that allows us to thrive. Somatic Breath Therapy is a highly sophisticated form of conscious breathing that teaches you how to breathe fully, getting more oxygen to your brain and body, helping you to:

  • take back control of your life
  • recharge your energy to have more passion for what really matters
  • reduce stress, anxiety, pain and panic
  • focus your attention
  • relax and sleep better
  • recover from PTSD and trauma
  • become more aware of your body, thoughts and feelings and feel better in your own skin
  • worry less, feel more peaceful and connected
  • integrate leftover “stuff” from your past that stops you from being present

It also helps you step back from emotional reactions and access the intelligence of your own body-mind, and establish new patterns and responses in your life. Somatic Breath Therapy consciously utilizes one of the simplest and yet most efficient, balancing and integrative mechanisms of the body, the human respiratory system. Everyone breathes. Once you learn this tool you have it for life, and you never forget how to use it.

Somatic Breath Therapy is direct, experiential, easy to learn, immediately felt and successful with anyone who has conscious volition over their own breath. It augments, enhances and works beautifully with almost every other therapeutic tool, modality or technique. Read more about Somatic Breath Therapy.

Breathe: The  Simple,  Revolutionary 14-day program to improve your physical and mental health

raw-the-uuncook-book

RAW- The UNcook Book- New Vegetarian Food for Life

RAW The UNcook Book

This beautiful book written by Juliano with Erika Lenkert is all about UNcooked UNadulterated UNbelievably Delicious Living Food.

RAW is the first major guide to preparing gourmet raw cuisine.  An introduction to the finest dining this planet has to offer, with unique dishes made entirely from vegetarian and living foods.

RAW offers ultimate pure flavor, thousands of textures and beautiful effects on body, mind and soul and the environment.  This isn’t 100 variations of salad, but an ultra-gourmet cuisine, which fuses ancient culinary techniques with a modern and practical lifestyle.  From sun-baked pizzas, satisfying sandwiches, vegan sushi, the best burritos and sprouted-rice dishes, to sangria and shakes, cookies, pudding and pies, you are about to acquaint yourself with the vibrant and miraculous nutrition of plant life in a way you never have before.

Juliano moved to San Francisco when he was 24 and opened his first Raw restaurant, which was quickly hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle for serving the most “innovative cooking” in the culinary conscious town.  This is his first UNcook Book.

Erika Lenkert is a regular contributing writer to Los Angeles magazine where she has a monthly restaurant column and has also contributed to Bon Appetit, Travel & Leisure and InStyle magazines.

RAW The UNcook Book

berries

7 Berries You Should Eat Everyday

21 Best Brain-Food Berry Recipes

by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
Published on , Last Updated on

 

Berries have been shown to be some of the healthiest foods on the planet. It seems new research is constantly being published and berries are being recognized and analyzed for their health giving properties.

Extremely high in antioxidants, berries are among my favorite foods. In no specific order, these are berries that are extremely high health benefits:

1. Goji Berries

Goji Berries

Sometimes called Chinese Wolfberry or Mede Berry, traditional societies link this potent berry to sexual vitality, happiness, longevity, and overall physical strength. Grown in Tibet and Nepal, goji berries have been scientifically linked to possessing the ability to fight negative health conditions and protect the liver from contaminates.

Deep red in color, goji berries are composed of 18 essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E, linoleic acid, selenium, germanium, and more beta carotene than the common carrot

A study from the Chinese Journal of Oncology found that patients with cancer responded better to treatment when goji berries were added to their daily diet.

2. Blueberries

blueberries

The blueberry is an antioxidant powerhouse. That deep blue color is related to high amounts of phytonutrients called anthocyanidins [1]. These phytonutrients aid in the process of neutralizing free radical damage in our cells.

Overtime, the collagen matrix of our tissues and cells begins to deteriorate. Blueberries help to keep this from happening, with a high capacity for free-radical neutralization.

A recent study from Tufts University analyzed over 50 common fruits and vegetables for hard scientific data on their antioxidant capabilities. Blueberries consistently ranked at the top of this list.

Blueberries also help to reduce our chances of developing diseases related to redness of the cells. This includes a reduced risk for heart disease, cataracts, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, glaucoma, and peptic ulcers. The American Institute for Cancer Research states, “We now know that blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants, substances that can slow the aging process and reduce cell damage that can lead to cancer.”

3. Acai Berries

Acai Berries

The acai berry is a relatively new-found health treasure. Once only known in the forests of the Amazon rainforest, the acai berry was traditionally used as a powerfully healing, energy-boosting fruit.

Similar to red wine, acai berries are dense in levels of anthocyanins, a substance associated with heart health and lowered levels of cholesterol.

Due to their strong antioxidant contents, acai berries are also related to slowing the process of aging and preventing diseases related to cellular oxidative damage. One acai berry holds ten times the amount of antioxidant vitamins as grapes, and two times the amount of blueberries.

4. Bilberries

Bilberry

Three times smaller than the blue berry, but similar in appearance and flavor, bilberries are extremely high in antioxidant anthocyanidins.

Bilberries are known for helping diabetes, as anthocyanidins protect the lining of blood vessels from being degenerated through the process of toxic oxidation [2]. Bilberries have also been linked to possessing components that aid in the ability to increase night vision, protect the eyes, and reduce the occurrence of poor vision, cataracts, and macular degeneration [3].

Bilberries also hold components that increase the amount of blood flow to the circulatory vessels. This allows them to be useful in treating conditions related to circulatory problems such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Bilberries are best taken in a supplement or extract form.

Other Names for Bilberries: Huckleberry, Wineberry, Dyeberry

5. Strawberries

strawberries

There are over 600 varieties of strawberries on the earth so you won’t have to look hard to find this deep-red health booster. Strawberries are high in antioxidant phytonutrients known as phenols. Phenols are responsible for protecting us from disease and promoting good health.

Studies show that strawberries may also help protect the brain with a powerful antioxidant capacity. Strawberries reduce macular degeneration of the eyes, and are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, many B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, iodine, folate, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and copper.

One study from Cornell University demonstrated that strawberries stopped the proliferation of HepG(2) liver cancer cells [4]. Another study showed that a substance found in the berry called isothiocyanate inhibited esophageal cancer.

6. Blackberries

blackberry

Blackberries are more than just powerful antioxidants. They are also extremely high in some of the highest forms of chronic disease and cancer-fighting compounds: vitamins C, E, and ellagic acid. They also hold high levels the soluble fiber known as pectin, a substance that studies link to lowered levels of cholesterol. Related to the rose, lab studies on these thorny-bushed berries at Ohio State University showed the ability to stop tumor formation in the oral cavity, as well as proliferation of colon cancer cells.

7. Cherries

Cherries

Cherries are high in quercetin and ellagic acid. This antioxidant flavonoid has been shown to promote cell and tissue health.

Cherries are also high in anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, substances related to reducing the joint and muscle discomfort. Cherries also contain melatonin, an important natural chemical related to healthy sleep rhythms and maintaining a youthful appearance.

Growing Your Own Berries

Most berries are fairly easy to grow and are fun to pick and eat first thing in the morning for breakfast. I recommend purchased berries be organically certified. Although not listed, raspberries are extremely high in ellagic acid and also have tremendous health benefits.

What are your favorite berries?

21 Best Brain-Food Berry Recipes

 

 

powervsforce

Power vs Force – The Hidden Determinants of Human Behaviour David R. Hawkins

Power vs Force

This is an extraordinary book that I have recommended to many of my friends.  Here are some of the excerpts and comments:

Imagine- what if you had access to a simple yes-or-no answer to any question you wished to ask?  A demonstrably true answer.  Any question….Think about it. — from the Foreword.

Man thinks he lives by virtue of the forces he can control, but in fact he is governed by power from unrevealed sources, power over which he has no control. — from the Introduction.

“…particularly timely…a significant contribution to understanding and dealing with the problems we face  today” — Lee Iacocca

“I especially appreciate [the] research and presentation on the attractor patterns of business… — Sam Walton

“[A] beautiful gift of writing…[You] spread joy, love and compassion through what you write.  The fruit of these three is peace, as you know….”— Mother Theresa

“Overwhelming! A masterpiece! A lifetime work!” –Sheldon Deal, president, International College of Applied Kinesiology

Dr. David R. Hawkins is a renowned lecturer and expert on mental processes whose national TV appearances include The MacNeil /Lehrer News Hour and the Today show.  A lifetime member of the American Psychiatric Association, he began work in psychiatry in 1952.  Since relinquishing his extensive New York practice for a life of research, he continues spiritual teaching.

Dr Hawkins is the author of numerous scientific papers and videotapes; in 1973 he coauthored the innovative work Orthomolecular Psychiatry with Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling.  Dr. Hawkins’s extensive background as a therapist and teacher is noted in his biographical listing in Who’s Who in America.

Dr. Hawkins is currently the director of The Institute for Advanced Theoretical Research.

 

The skillful are not obvious

They  appear to be simple-minded

Those who know this know the patterns of the Absolute

To know the patterns is the Subtle Power

The Subtle Power moves all things and has no name

Power vs Force

 

 

the-sleep-revolution

11 Health Benefits of Sleep

The Sleep Revolution

Sleep makes you feel better, mentally, physically and spiritually. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more. Below are 11 examples of how sleep can benefit you.

  1. Improves memory-studies show during sleep our brain is very busy. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake – also called “consolidation”
  2. Live Longer?-Some studies show those who sleep less than five hours per night have shorter life spans.
  3. Curb Inflammation–Inflammation is linked to heart disease.  Studies show those who do not get enough sleep have increased  inflammatory proteins in their blood which can increase your risk of a heart attack.
  4. Spur Creativity-In addition to consolidating memories, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.
  5. Improve being an athlete– a study showed athletes who slept more than 8 hours per night performed better.
  6. Improve your grades-studies show that those individuals, who sleep more, get better grades in school.
  7. Sharpen Attention-Studies show that children that sleep less than 8 or 9 hours per night are more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive and impulsive.
  8. Have a Healthy Weight-Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat — 56 percent of their weight loss — than those who were sleep deprived.
  9. Lower stress-It is a known fact that lack of sleep increases stress, and stress increases risk to cardiovascular health.  Sleep reduces levels of stress and can reduce blood pressure.
  10. Avoid Accidents-The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports being tired accounted for the highest number of single car fatal crashes.
  11. Steering Clear of Depression-Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being.  A lack of sleep can contribute to depression.

-Original Article from The Huffington Post

The Sleep Revolution

 

Artichokes at Farmer's Market

12 Unique Health Benefits of Artichokes

Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys

 

The following is excerpted from oceanmist.com website:

People love to eat artichokes. What’s not to love? From the leaves to the heart, artichokes are simply delicious. However, you might not be aware of the humble artichoke’s position as a nutrient powerhouse and the amazing health benefits you can have simply by adding this veggie to your diet. We boiled down the artichoke’s many benefits to the 12 best and unexpected ways that artichokes can positively impact your health.

1.Antioxidant

Artichokes are a superfood in every sense of the word. The phytonutrients in artichokes provide potent antioxidant benefits, and a 2006 study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that a serving of artichokes provides greater antioxidant benefits per serving than many other foods traditionally considered to be antioxidant-rich such as dark chocolate, blueberries and red wine.

Anthocyanins, quercetin, rutin, and many other antioxidants contained in fresh artichokes offer a range of health benefits ranging from cancer prevention and immune support to protection against heart disease.

2. Dietary Fiber

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines published by the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that men consume between 30 and 38 g of dietary fiber per day, and that women consume between 21 and 25 g per day.

Currently the average American consumes roughly half this amount, leading to many potential health effects such as an increased risk of gut-related diseases and colonic cancer.

One 120 g artichoke provides a whopping 10.3 g of dietary fiber, making them a powerful tool for helping to not just keep you regular but also to improve your digestive health overall.

However, the digestive benefits of artichokes are not limited just to their fiber content.

3. Digestive Support

German doctors have long recommended artichoke leaf extract as a gentle remedy for indigestion and upset stomach.

This may be due to a compound found in artichokes called cynarin which has been shown to increase the production of bile, helping to speed up the movement of food and waste through the intestines and reduce feelings of bloating.

In fact, a study conducted with 247 individuals showed that 86% reported a satisfactory improvement of symptoms such as bloating and flatulence after using an artichoke leaf extract supplement.

One of the major sources of fiber found in artichokes is inulin, which is a prebiotic.  Prebiotics can increase the proportion of probiotics or ‘good bacteria’ in the gut.

4. Cholesterol

In a 2001 study 143 patients suffering from high levels of total blood cholesterol and were administered with 1800 mg of artichoke leaf extract per day for a period of six weeks.

When compared to placebo the artichoke leaf extract showed a clear reduction of around 20% “bad” LDL cholesterol and 18% total blood cholesterol; the group taking the placebo reduced their total cholesterol level by around 8%.

Douglas Schar, DipPhyt, MCPP, MNIMH suggests “[…] trying a natural remedies artichoke extract to decrease cholesterol levels before taking prescription drugs. Artichokes supplements are free of side-effects, and in my clinical experience, artichoke is a highly effective cholesterol reducer.”

5. Brain and Cognitive Benefits

Artichokes provide around 12% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin K.

This vitamin may offer protection against neuronal damage and degeneration, thereby helping to keep cognitive diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease at bay in elderly individuals. In a study published by the journal Nutrients, researchers found that eating a diet that included more vitamin K was associated with better cognition in elderly people.

6. Liver Health

A 2010 study published in the Journal of Biological Trace Element Research showed significant reduction levels of lipids and cholesterol in the livers of mice fed a high-cholesterol diet when administered with artichoke extract.

Artichokes, as well as artichoke extracts from the leaves and stems of the plant have been historically recommended for liver health.  Ongoing research seems to indicate that artichokes have qualities that may protect the liver and decrease blood lipids, such as cholesterol, in the body.  Some researchers think that the mechanism for beneficial effects on the liver may be related to increased from of bile from the liver.  Among the most powerful phytonutrients in artichokes, cynarin and silymarin have strong positive effects on the liver.

7. Cancer Prevention

We have already established the antioxidant protection that some of the phytonutrients in artichokes can provide, but the cancer prevention benefits extend beyond this.

Rutin, quercetin, and gallic acid in particular are able to induce apoptosis or cell death within the body, and while this may sound like a bad thing it can actually help to prevent the proliferation of cells which leads to many forms of cancer.

What’s more, a study released by the University of Georgia-August showed how phytonutrients found in artichokes can interfere with estrogen receptors and help to blunt the release of prostate specific antigen or PSA.

This suggests a great deal of promise in the use of artichoke leaf extract for the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer in men.

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75dba7a22c9a62db4f42ee7b06729202

Why Swimming is So Good for you…

Total Immersion-The-Revolutionary-Way-To Swim-Better-Faster-Easier

This article is excerpted from an article by Markham Heid in Time Health:

Every type of exercise has its selling points. But swimming is unlike any other aerobic workout in a few important ways.

First, the fact that you’re submerged in water means your bones and muscles are somewhat unshackled from the constraints of gravity, says Hirofumi Tanaka, a professor of kinesiology and director of the Cardiovascular Aging Research Lab at the University of Texas.

This makes swimming the ideal exercise for people with osteoarthritis, for whom weight-bearing exercise can be excruciatingly painful. According to Tanaka’s research of people with the condition, swimming decreases arterial stiffness, a risk factor for heart trouble. More of his research has linked swim training with lower blood pressure among people with hypertension. The coolness and buoyancy of water are also appealing to people who are overweight or obese, for whom load-bearing aerobic exercises like running may be too hot or uncomfortable, Tanaka says.

But don’t be fooled; your body is working hard when you’re in the pool. Water is denser than air, so moving through H2O puts more external pressure on your limbs than out-of-water training, studies have shown. Even better, that pressure is uniformly distributed. It doesn’t collect in your knees, hips or the other places that bear most of the burden when you exercise with gravity sitting on your shoulders.

How you breathe during a swimming workout is another big differentiator, says David Tanner, a research associate at Indiana University and co-editor of an educational handbook on the science of swimming. During a run or bike ride, your breath tends to be shallow and your exhales forceful. “It’s the other way around with swimming,” says Tanner. “You breathe in quickly and deeply, and then let the air trickle out.” Because your head is under water when you swim, these breathing adjustments are vital, and they may improve the strength of your respiratory muscles, Tanner says. “This kind of breathing keeps the lung alveoli”—the millions of little balloon-like structures that inflate and deflate as your breathe—“from collapsing and sticking together.”

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img_0063

Inner Beauty- Eating For Balance

The following is excerpted from:  Inner Beauty- Discover Natural Beauty and Well-Being with the Traditions of Ayurveda

There is no “Ayurvedic diet”, and there are no “bad” foods in Ayurveda- there is only the idea of balance. A harmonious diet balances not only nutritional qualities, but also tastes and even the cooling  or heating energetic effects a food has on us after it is digested.  While Ayurveda in itself does not prescribe vegetarianism, most Ayurvedic doctors do recommend a pure and close to nature (sattvic) diet with plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds combined with herbs and spices that will purify and balance the mind and body.

Understanding the concept of rasa, or taste is critical for understanding the nutritional as well as the medicinal value of foods.  In Ayurveda, there are six different tastes, each of which has a post digestive effect on the doshas that influence the way we feel and how much energy we have.  In the West,we think of a balanced meal as one that which combines fiber, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, and in Ayurveda, a balanced meal is one that comprises all 6 tastes.  We can tailor  each meal to dosha-specific needs by having more of some tastes than others.  A healthy person is able to enjoy all 6 tastes, but if we have an imbalance, or vikruti, we sometimes develop an aversion to foods with similar qualities as the doshas that are imbalanced.  These foods are then no longer palatable, no longer medicinal and can even become bad for us.  For example, if you have too much pitta, then spicy foods and chiles may not be appealing to you.  To restore balance, a change of diet is always key.

Sweet-  Foods with a sweet taste are calming and soothing to the system.  Their grounding qualities balance vata and their cooling qualities balance pitta.  But taken in excess these foods will imbalance kapha, creating heaviness and slowing digestion. Sweet foods include not just sugar- and honey based foods but also butter, milk, sesame seeds, fruits and vegetables with a naturally sweet taste (such as bananas or yams) and carbohydrates such as oats, rice and wheat bread.

Salty-  Foods with a salty taste are warming and enhance digestion.  Their warming qualities balance vata but taken in excess, they can disturb kapha and pitta, leading to water retention and inflammation.  Salty foods include ketchup, dried or salted pickles, salted chips and other snack foods, and soy sauce.

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broccoli-image

Broccoli and Cancer prevention

Broccoli Recipes- The Ultimate Guide

The following is excerpted from the World’s Healthiest Foods website.

World’s Healthiest Foods- Broccoli

It’s no coincidence that more than 300 research studies on broccoli have converged in one unique area of health science—the development of cancer—and its relationship to three metabolic problems in the body. Those three problems are (1) chronic inflammation (2) oxidative stress, and (3) inadequate detoxification. While these types of problems have yet to become part of the public health spotlight, they are essential to understanding broccoli’s unique health benefits. Over the past 10 years, research has made it clear that our risk of cancer in several different organ systems is related to the combination of these three problems.

The Cancer/Inflammation/Oxidative Stress/Detox Connection

In health science research, there is a growing body of evidence relating cancer risk to a series of environmental, dietary, and body system factors. Understanding this set of factors can be very helpful in making sense of broccoli and its health benefits. Please see our article on The Cancer/Inflammation/Oxidative Stress/Detox Connection for more details in this important area of health research.

Broccoli’s Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

When threatened with dangerous levels of potential toxins, or dangerous numbers of overly-reactive, oxygen-containing molecules, signals are sent within our body to our inflammatory system, directing it to “kick in” and help protect our body from potential damage. One key signaling device is a molecule called Nf-kappaB. When faced with the type of dangers described above, the NF-kappaB signaling system is used to “rev up” our inflammatory response and increase production of inflammatory components (for example, IL-6, IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, iNOS and COX-2). This process works beautifully in temporary, short-term circumstances when healing from injury is required. When it continues indefinitely at a constant pace, however, it can put us at risk for serious health problems, including the development of cancer.

Isothiocyanates (ITCs) in Broccoli

Research studies have made it clear that the NF-kappaB signaling system that is used to “rev up” our inflammatory response can be significantly suppressed by isothiocyanates (ITCs). ITCs—the compounds made from glucosinolates found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables—actually help to shut down the genetic machinery used to produce NF-kappaB and other components of the inflammatory system. These anti-inflammatory benefits of ITCs have been clearly demonstrated in lab and animal studies. However, it can sometimes be tricky to translate the results of these lab and animal studies in practical take-away recommendations for everyday eating.

The primary anti-inflammatory ITC provided by broccoli is sulforaphane. This ITC can be directly produced from broccoli’s glucoraphanin content. Numerous anti-inflammatory mechanisms for sulforaphane are well known, including inactivation of the NF-kappa B pathway. In this context, it is interesting to note that the predominance of sulforaphane in broccoli is limited to the heading version of this vegetable. Also widely enjoyed worldwide is “non-heading” broccoli, often called sprouting broccoli, broccoli raab, broccoli rabe, or rapini. In these non-heading varieties of broccoli, iberin is the most common ITC, and it is derived from glucoiberin, which is one of the more common glucosinolates in non-heading broccoli). Yet another anti-inflammatory compound present in both heading and non-heading varieties of broccoli is glucobrassicin. (And in this case the corresponding ITC derived from glucobrassicin is indole-3-carbinol.)

Omega-3s in Broccoli

Lack of omega-3 fat is dietary problem that can cause over-activation of the inflammatory system. The reason is simple: many key anti-inflammatory messaging molecules (like PGH3, TXA3, PGI3, and LTE5) are made from omega-3 fats. While we are not accustomed to thinking about non-fatty vegetables as sources of omega-3 fats, it would probably be a good idea for us to change our thinking in this area. While there are limited amounts of omega-3s in low-fat vegetables like broccoli, it is equally true that their levels of omega-3s can still play an important role in balancing our inflammatory system activity. In 100 calories’ worth of broccoli (about 2 cups) there are approximately 400 milligrams of omega-3s (in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA). That amount of ALA falls into the same general ballpark as the amount provided by one soft gel capsule of flax oil. While we would not want to depend on broccoli as our sole source of dietary omega-3s, we still get important anti-inflammatory benefits from the omega-3s it provides.

Other Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Broccoli

Broccoli is a rich source of one particular phytonutrient (a flavonol) called kaempferol. Especially inside of our digestive tract, kaempferol has the ability to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances (by lowering the immune system’s production of IgE-antibodies). By lessening the impact of allergy-related substances, the kaempferol in broccoli can help lower our risk of chronic inflammation.

 

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