If you are looking for tips on how adding spices to your diet can improve your health, we have a few nutrition pointers on turmeric, cardamom, and Ceylon cinnamon — and we’ll throw in a few ideas about whey protein isolate supplements for good measure.

Turmeric

If you like Indian food, you know turmeric well because that is the spice that gives curry its flavor. It’s also used in mustard and is the yellow coloring agent for butter and cheese. Used for over 4,000 years, turmeric is a relative of ginger. It is known in some circles as the “spice of life”. Studies show that turmeric helps fight some cancers and infections, reduces inflammation, helps relieve digestive and liver problems. Chinese medicine uses the herb to alleviate skin diseases and heal wounds.

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin which is a strong antioxidant, fighting free radicals in the body. It also helps prevent blood clotting.

Health Benefits of Turmeric. Studies show that turmeric may help the following conditions:

  1. indigestion — stimulates the gall bladder to produce bile which may help digestion
  2. ulcerative colitis — may help sufferers stay in remission
  3. heart disease — may help prevent atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Animal studies show it lowers cholesterol
  4. cancer — preliminary tests show that turmeric protects cells from damage and may treat breast, prostate, skin and colon cancer
  5. bacterial or virus infections — kills bacteria and viruses in test tube
  6. uveitis — treats inflammation of the iris of the eye
  7. neurodegenerative disease — prevents and treats Alzheimer, Parkinson, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.

Cardamom

This spice is also native to India and related to ginger. Hindu medicine uses cardamom to treat mouth ulcers and digestive problems such as nausea, acidity, bloating, gas, heartburn, appetite loss, to detoxify the body, for halitosis, and as a diuretic. Medical practitioners have used cardamom to treat depression, oral ulcers, and sore throats, cold and flu, and to lower blood pressure. Cardamom can help get rid of those pesky hiccups and, in traditional medicine, it is also a powerful aphrodisiac used to treat erectile dysfunction.

Ceylon Cinnamon. 

Ceylon cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka and has a sweeter, more delicate flavor than the more common cassia, or Chinese cinnamon. Even more important, cassia has high concentrations of coumarin, a blood thinner that is a natural plant chemical. Coumarin in large doses is toxic to the kidneys and liver which would overshadow any health effects.

Ceylon cinnamon has been found useful in treating diabetes and in weight loss. Ceylon cinnamon also contains antioxidants like those found in grapes and green tea. It has also been used as an anti-microbial, antiparasitic and to promote digestive health and lower blood pressure.

Know your cinnamon. Not all bottles say what kind of cinnamon is inside although Ceylon will usually say so.

  • Limit your use of cassia cinnamon as a once-in-a-while food additive.
  • If you are using cinnamon as a medicine, make sure it is Ceylon cinnamon.

Whey Protein Isolate 

Protein helps your body make muscle tissue. Milk contains two proteins: whey and casein. Producers isolate whey protein from milk (or take the whey by-product from cheese-making) to create protein supplements. Whey protein is low in lactose and authorities consider it a complete protein because it contains all 9 amino acids, the essential building blocks. Whey protein isolate is 90% protein.

Whey protein consists of:

  1. beta-lactoglobulin – the whey protein found in sheep and cow’s milk
  2. alpha-lactalbumin – the immune antibodies found in mammal colostrum
  3. bovine serum albumin – the part of the blood that remains after coagulation (clotting)
  4. immunoglobulins — antibodies made by plasma cells that the immune system uses to fight bacteria and viruses.

Benefits of Whey Protein. Studies show that when used with resistance training, whey protein helps the muscles improve protein synthesis and grow lean muscle tissue. It also promotes greater strength in muscles.

Whey Protein Side Effects. Generally safe for most people (not for people with milk allergies, of course), extremely high doses of whey protein can cause the following side effects:

  1. stomach pains and/or nausea
  2. cramps
  3. reduced appetite
  4. fatigue
  5. headaches

If you want to talk more about the health benefits of spices/supplements, please contact us. We want you to live more healthy.

David Michael Gilbertson is the founder and president of 3 Elements Lifestyle, LLC., a Fitness and Weight Loss company that specializes in YOU!. With more than 15 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, David lectures, delivers seminars and gives workshops on the practical skills required to successfully help you with your health and fitness goals. David also helps you build the teamwork, management, and training necessary to open your own fitness center. For more information on Licensing and Consulting Services Visit his Web site at: www.3elementslifestyle.com or email at daveg@3elementslifestyle.com or call 805.499.3030

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