This weeks What's That?! Wednesday post is dedicated to one of my passions: managing inflammation through food;one of the coolest ways to see the effects and benefits of using food as your medicine. Food is information...information that is washing over our genes after each bite and providing (or not providing) our body with the nutrients it needs to heal and maintain daily bodily processes.
As many of you know, I've been in treatment for late stage chronic Lyme disease for a little over a year now. I've made some great progress, but this disease is a beast and I still have about 50% of the way to go back to full health. Like most people trying to heal and recover from a long term chronic illnesses, making that progress has taken a daily dedication of significant time to my physical and emotional health and well being. One of the areas that I dedicate lots of time to each day is making my own healing foods, medicines, and meals in batches.
I find that this is one of the best ways I can use the little amount of energy I have each day. It is time well spent as it helps to reduce and manage my daily, and sometimes debilitating inflammatory symptoms including: decreasing my joint and muscle pain, increasing my energy and mobility, maintaining good digestive health, and improving my mood- just to name a few. Today, I'd like to share a recipe for a soothing anti-inflammatory tea that I started making this year - it is one of my mainstays in managing inflammation and maintaining gut health.
This tea combines turmeric (also know as curcuma longa/curcumin) and ginger - foods that are both at the top of list when it comes to being packed with highly anti-inflammatory and healing properties. In fact, a study out of UCLA showed that daily curcumin intake significantly reduced 'brain plaque' and neural inflammation as well as improved memory in rats. Other studies have shown that turmeric and ginger both have several broad anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
So, what's the best way to get these healthy roots into your body? Why not take a lesson from a group of folks that have the worlds longest average lifespan...the Okinawans who drink turmeric tea liberally each day and have an average lifespan of 81.2 years old. Very cool! You can drink this tea daily to help reduce inflammation in your joints, alleviate muscle aches, calm digestive distress (nausea, diarrhea, constipation), and assist to reduce overall inflammation in the body.
This recipe is super simple. I generally make a double batch, store it in the fridge and reheat as needed. This will last me anywhere between 5-7 days or so if I have 1-2 cups each day. Here is the recipe...
Soothing Anti-Inflammatory Tea
Makes 4-5 cups tea
5 cups filtered water
4 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and sliced*
2-3 inch piece of turmeric root, peeled and sliced*
1 teaspoon raw honey or agave (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)**
*Fresh ginger and turmeric roots are best here. Ginger can be found in almost any grocery store these days and turmeric is starting to get more widely available, however I still find that I need to go to a natural grocery store to find turmeric root most of the time. If you cannot find it, substitute 1 teaspoon ground organic turmeric instead.
**Cinnamon is known for its powerful anti-acidic benefits, so if you are someone who suffers from acid reflux, I'd recommend adding 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick or two to your tea water in the last 5 minutes of simmer time.
***If you are using this tea as part of a cleanse protocol or are someone who is battling candida, SIBO, or gut parasites, then eliminate the honey all together.
What else do you like to add to your teas? Happy Drinking!
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Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
If you'd like to heal from the root cause(s) of your chronic symptoms, try starting with a complimentary 15-minute consultation. Click here to request your free session.