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Lentil and Spiced Carrot Soup

November 16, 2016 • By

lentil-and-spiced-carrot-soup-recipeWe are now at that time of year that calls for warming, comforting soups. It’s important to remain healthy during the winter months, we want to flood our bodies with nutrients, not only so we are ready for bikini season come spring, but so we are strong enough to fight of any winter illnesses.

A great way to get large quantities of nutrients into your meal is to make homemade soups. I love them! Every Sunday I make a big batch of fresh soup to last me the week.

This week’s soup in lentil and spiced carrot. It’s filling, packed with vegan proteins and anti-inflammatory ingredients to keep your immune system fighting fit.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 large organic carrots
  • 250g split red lentils
  • 2 organic red onions
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 500ml veg stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Try and pick up organic ingredients where possible. I know this makes food shopping a little more expensive but that extra 25 pence is worth it if it means your body is not filled with toxins. We are aiming for health here, toxin free health!

Tip: if you really can’t buy all organic produce and want to know where to save and where to splurge remember this, if you are eating the skin, buy organic. If you are throwing the skin, buy standard produce. So, pineapples, melons, kiwis, oranges can all be standard produce but carrots, apples, leaves etc should be organic.

What to do:

  • Boil the chopped carrots until soft
  • In a separate pan gently fry the onions until soft, added the cumin and turmeric
  • Once the carrots are soft take them out of the boiling water (do not throw the water way!), add the carrots to the onions, turmeric and cumin
  • In the boiled carrot water add the lentils, simmer these until soft.
  • Add the lentils to the carrots, turmeric, cumin and onions
  • Pour 500ml of vegetable stock, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Blend

I got four generous portions out of this batch, if you would like more increase the carrots, lentils and veg stock. Simply pop in your fridge or freezer and enjoy throughout the week.


food

Health Benefits of Turmeric

November 14, 2016 • By

Health-benefits-of-turmericThis golden, Indian herb is a dietary must if you’re looking it improve your overall health this winter.

Turmeric is part of the ginger family, is grown in south East Asia and has been used for decades in eastern cooking. It has a vivid, golden colour that will stain the food you’re adding it to and it has a peppery taste. Turmeric can be added to sweet or savoury dishes.

What are the benefits of turmeric?

  1. It prevents cancer: Cancer Research conducted a trail in which 25 patients with pre-cancerous changes to cells were given turmeric treatment. This showed that curcumin, an element found in turmeric, can stop pre-cancerous cells becoming cancerous.
  1. It treats cancer: There have been several studies on cancer cells that show turmeric does have anticancer effects. It stops cancer cells, tumours, from growing and kills cancer cells! Even if you don’t read any further into this article, that’s some pretty good information to have!
  1. It eases symptoms of arthritis: turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory and therefore eases the swelling symptoms of arthritis.
  1. It eases symptoms of IBS and Crohn’s disease: a study conducted by the University of Reading assessed the effects of turmeric on 207 IBS sufferers. After 8 weeks it was found that symptoms had reduced by 60%. Again, due to its anti-inflammatory effects turmeric has been shown to offer benefits to those suffering from pro-inflammatory diseases like Crohn’s.
  1. Preventing Alzheimer’s: As Alzheimer’s is an inflammatory brain disease adding turmeric to your diet can help prevent this disease by stopping inflammation in the body.
  1. Depression: Studies have shown turmeric to have a ‘Prozac’ like effect on the body that helps to relieve symptoms of depression. One interesting theory shows depression and mental disorders, like anxiety, can be connected to gut health or an imbalance of gut flora. By improving the gut and increasing serotonin levels turmeric has helped treat people with depression.

 

It is so simple to begin to incorporate turmeric into your daily diet, just add it to your juices, soups, stews and curries. You can even add it to hot chocolate and lattes. It gives foods a warming kick and has a huge effect on your overall health.

You’ll be able to pick up root turmeric from your local health food store, or dried powders turmeric from your local supermarket. It’s best to take it as food rather than a supplement as this changes the impact it has on the gut.

Disclaimer: All benefits mentioned in this article have been collated through my own research. This research has been taken from medical studies but it’s always best to check with your personal medical adviser before adding or switching medication to fully understand the impacts on your own body.