Food Pharmacy, Press, Recipes

The turmeric shot you’ll want to do every morning in 2018

A few weeks ago, our first book Food Pharmacy: A Guide to Gut Bacteria, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, and Eating for Health was released in English. Yay! Since then, we’ve gotten lots of new readers here on the blog, especially from the States. And so, on this particularly grey and rainy Tuesday, we would like to give you all a warm and anti-inflammatory welcome to the Food Pharmacy family!

The English translation of the book means a lot to us, since it’s a great opportunity to reach a much larger audience. It may sound pretentious, but our goal is to improve global health by presenting the latest research in a way that ordinary people will understand, and inspire healthier eating – all over the world. Changing our lifestyle is one of the simplest, quickest, and most effective ways to influence our well-being.

Since the book came out, we’ve done a lot of interviews. The most scary one (but also such a fun experience) was without a doubt a couple of days ago, when we made our radio debut in English on oneradionetwork.com with Patrick Timpone. Patrick asked us about our favorite ingredient (we get that question a lot). The answer? We love turmeric.

Turmeric is one of the most anti-inflammatory herbs in existence. One of the most inflammation-causing genes is COX-2, and scientists have worked for decades to discover a drug that can inhibit it. It’s not been easy, but believe it or not, turmeric has proved to be a strong and nontoxic COX-2 inhibitor. If you would like to learn more about turmeric (and a million other things), you should definitely get our book, in which we’re distilling our wisdom into an easy guide.

Tomorrow, we’re off to New York City to promote the book, and perhaps say hello to some of the new readers out there. When we meet people for the first time, we like to offer them our anti-inflammatory turmeric apple cider vinegar shot, or as we often call it, Food Pharmacy’s Welcome Shot.

A couple of weeks ago, we found ourselves (and our anti-inflammatory turmeric shot) featured on the lovely mindbodygreen.com. They say it’s the turmeric shot you’ll want to do every morning in 2018, and we totally agree. So, to both new and loyal readers, allow us to express our warmest welcome to Food Pharmacy by offering a welcome shot.

Food Pharmacy’s Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Shot

100 ml (2/5 cup) juice of your choice (if you’re hard-core, go for plain water)
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Stir together all ingredients, then shoot! Take 1 to 2 times a day, in the morning or evening.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in English, German, or Polish. And our cookbook in Swedish. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15.



Food Pharmacy

Butterflies in the intestine

A couple of days ago, we found a package from Bonnier Rights in the mail. They’ve sold the translation rights of our first book, and once again, we get to see our book from a different angle. Over the last few months, we’ve received a copy of our book in Polish, French, Finnish, Norwegian, Dutch, Danish, German and Portuguese.

And now, finally, in English.

Now we know what butterflies in the intestine feels like.

Isn’t it weird how everything sounds better in English?

However, next week, we’re off to a freezing New York City. Interviews, book signings and who knows what else.

And please ignore the poor photo quality. Don’t know what happened to the light today. Or actually, we do. The lack of light is definitely one of the downsides of living in Sweden.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Fermented vegetables

A couple of days ago, in the latest episode of our Swedish podcast, we revealed our New Year’s resolution: to add two tablespoons of fermented vegetables to our plates at mealtimes.

This will probably go down in history as the lazy-person’s favorite New Year’s resolution. Just make sure you have a jar of fermented vegetables in the fridge (you can find them in most healthy grocery stores), and then make it a habit to put one to two tablespoons right there next to your food. It increases the nutritional uptake of everything you eat, lowers your blood sugar, and gives a boost to the good bacteria in your intestines, all without taking much time or effort.

So. Today we are dressed in our indestructible space-pants, and are currently taking a closer look at one of our most recent cookbook purchases. It’s called Syra själv (in English: Ferment It Yourself) and talks about – surprise surprise – fermenting vegetables (yourself). The art of refining vegetables with healthy bacteria. Written by Karin Bojs, a science journalist who got so into fermented vegetables that she decided to write a whole book about it. Does that sound boring? Not at all. This is anything but boring.

We should also mention that fermenting is one of the oldest and easiest methods for preserving and refining vegetables. Those who eat fermented vegetables get more vitamins and minerals, have more stable blood-sugar levels, are protected from diarrhea, and create a more positive environment for their intestinal flora. It’s like Christmas for your immune system. And it’s really delicious!

So, you definitely just want to start fermenting today. Salt and water is all you need. And a jar. And vegetables. Homemade sauerkraut? Fermented beetroot salad with walnuts? Borscht on fermented vegetables? Oh dear God, so good.

KIIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMCHIIIIIIIIIIII!

This Swedish book is very beginner-friendly, and we’re sure there are millions of good English books out there. Buying a book is a good place to start for just about anyone, and at some point this spring or summer, we may even try to ferment vegetables ourselves.  But, with that said, ”getting started” might also be adding two tablespoons of ready-made fermented vegetables from a jar you bought in the store.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Last week’s news

It’s true, our pace has slowed down a bit, both here on the blog and in our private lives. From running around all autumn​ like two headless chickens, jumping between meetings, lectures, interviews, therapy couches, podcast studios, and hotel receptions, we have now arrived at the point where Lina’s biggest effort consists of strolling around in Marais shoes, while Mia is busy entertaining herself by peeling brussel sprouts (she pulled the shortest straw).

However, the world doesn’t stop spinning just because we happen to – and last week has brought us news to share:

a) Half of all Swedes are fat or obese. In an annual report of the Public Health Agency in Sweden (released last week), we read that we are eating too much and exercising too little, and that ​this is​ ”a growing public health problem”. The phenomenon of people​ eat​ing​ too few fruits and vegetables has increased, strangely enough. And the trend is that more people spend their free time in sedentary activity.

b) ”Ugly” food gets thrown away more. ​Seems great​, considering that about a third of all food grown globally is never eaten. In the Swedish SvD newspaper it has been estimated recently that almost all of the food we throw away is either fruit or vegetables, and that a common reason for this is that they are sometimes ”ugly” and don’t fit the ideal. You can read more about this here (unfortunately only in Swedish).

c) And along with that we’ve learned that Swedish households are the worst when it comes to throwing away food. The food waste among households is 45 times higher than that of restaurant kitchens or supermarkets. Makes us want to dedicate a podcast episode to this subject soon: how to shop right, freeze, and eat every part of the vegetable, and how to avoid throwing away food.

In addition to all this, we have been busy reading Christmas gift books and board game instructions.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Happy new year

Happy new year from your friends here at Food Pharmacy. Unfortunately, the only picture we could find was of us and our designer Anna. Any honest new year’s photo would include our beloved new additions to food pharmacy: trainee Sebastian, and his wife Katja, our editor/all around helper – but it will have to be next year’s project to take a picture of all five of us.

New Year’s Eve is always a little special – you get to summarize one year while making plans for another. Without going into too much  detail, 2017 was one of the toughest years ever for us in our private lives, and it is with real relief that we’re putting it behind us.

Luckily, we have a few things to smile about, like what an exciting year 2017 was for Food Pharmacy. We released our second book, which sold even better than the first. We gave lectures all around the country, expanded our team, signed a contract on our third (!) book, translated our first book into 15 languages, and started our Food Pharmacy podcast.

But it’s more fun to look into the future – and we are definitely looking forward to 2018! There are already many plans: next week, we’ll be partially unveiling a new look for the blog, and in mid-January we are starting a revolution, which we hope will spread widely and lead to change. But we’ve also left room for new and exciting and unplanned things, as well. Because in 2017 we learned: you never know what’s around the corner. And by keeping an open mind and learning how to play it cool, everything turns out ok in the end.

Last but not least:

Thank you to all our faithful readers. Thanks for all the pep talks, all the support, all the emails and comments. What an amazing source of inspiration you are! Without you all we would be nothing.

Happy new year, friends!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy

Five Christmas Commandments for your intestinal flora

Christmas is just around the corner, and we’re getting more and more questions on the blog asking what we think of all the usual Christmas feasting. Should you eat everything, nothing, or some things? What are the worst dietary culprits? How do we sort through it all?

For us, personally, Christmas has become more and more healthy each year – we’ve gone from lapsing into food-comas while filling plates to the brim wiith meatballs and ribs, to being distinctly satisfied by fish, cabbage salads and nut-pâté. Below we’ve listed our top five holiday eating commandments, which, if followed, will ensure that your healthy gut bacteria can have a merry Christmas too.

1st Commandment. Focus on what to eat rather than what to exclude
It’s that easy. Prioritize salads and vegetables before the ham and sausage. Mix any three colors of vegetables as the antioxidants in the different colors enhance each other’s positive properties.

2nd Commandment. Eat slowly and chew carefully
A major problem in general, and especially at Christmas, is that we eat too much food (and it’s not only bad for our health but also makes us tired, which can be a bit boring for whoever is sitting next to you). The trick is to chew slowly. When we wolf food down it’s easy to overeat, because it takes a while before the sense of being full sets in. Many nutrients also require that we chew carefully in order for the body to absorb the nutrition.

3rd Commandment. Teach yourself and the kids to get cosy without all the sugar
Put a lot of nuts and fruits on the table, and replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate, which contains more cocoa than sugar. If you like metaphors, you might say that cocoa is nature’s very own happy-pill, since it contains two substances that are known for their ability to lift the spirits. Very fitting for Christmas Eve!

4th Commandment. Move around, often
Take the whole family out for a lovely walk after Christmas dinner. It helps lower blood sugar, and will make you feel sparkling and refreshed. If you’re feeling more ambitious than just that, you might even take a walk before Christmas dinner. This will improve your metabolism for the entire rest of the evening.

5th Commandment. Enjoy, and don’t be too hard on yourself. Because that is what matters the most
Wherever you are on your journey towards getting healthier, we would like to take this opportunity to remind  you of the final commandment of your intestinal flora: to simply enjoy. Christmas Eve, as you know, only happens once a year, so what and how much you eat on that one night will not matter much for your overall health. Merry Christmas!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy, Press

SVT Agenda

On Sunday we gathered excitedly around the tv to watch SVT Agenda. We knew it would be about intestinal flora, and whether the current interest in this subject is just a passing fad or something that’s here to stay (spoiler alert: it’s here to stay). What we didn’t know, however, was that we would be part of the program.

So, as long as we’re talking about it, we figured we might as well share some bad-quality screenshots for your enjoyment:

There was a clip from this past spring, when we were invited to appear on the Swedish tv-show ”Malou after ten.” And appear we did, complete with banana sweatshirt ​and all.

Ok, enough about us. Let’s instead focus on the fact that our new guest blogger, science journalist Henrik Ennart, was interviewed during the program. And, sitting there directly to his left, we found our friend Anna, who runs one of our favorite restaurants in Stockholm, Pom & Flora,  together with her husband Rasmus. Hi Henrik! Hi Anna!

And hello Tim Spektor! We don’t​ ​know you but we read everything you write. By the way, can you give us your address so that we can send you our book as soon as it’s published in English (early January)? Thanks in advance and hugs!

If you know Swedish, see the full section here.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy, Press

New study: Vegetarian diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

It’s late November, and we’re here at Landvetter Airport, close to Gothenburg. We’re about to head home to Stockholm, having just given a lecture on intestinal flora for 130 employees at Volvo.

When we’re out giving talks about diet and health, we get many questions about a variety of diseases. There are questions about everything from diabetes and cancer, to Alzheimer’s and IBS. But to date we haven’t received a single question on cardiovascular disease. However, cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death in Sweden. Although fewer people are currently dying from it (due to both major progress in research and better acute care for heart disease), the Heart-Lung Foundation’s yearly Heart Report still shows that more and more people are currently living with serious risk factors for cardiovascular disease. And the culprit seems to be our lifestyle.

A few years ago, we interviewed chief physician David Stenholtz. David told us that there are many lifestyle-related diseases that can be eliminated almost exclusively with diet, including cardiovascular disease. This we noted diligently, and yet inside our heads the question remained: Can it really be that simple – that the food we eat can help prevent what has become the most common cause of death in Sweden?

Recently, at the American Heart Association’s annual congress, a study was presented showing that for people who switched to a vegetarian diet, the risk was significantly reduced for cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis in just four weeks. The study group included 31 obese people, each with high blood-fat levels, all of whom were put on a vegetarian diet. At both the start and the conclusion of the study, blood-fat levels were measured against the numbers that are most common for those suffering from heart disease, and the results showed that all blood fats (especially Lp (a), cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B and A-1, LDL-particles, small-density LDL-C, HDL2-C and apolipoprotein A-1) were decreased by between 15-30%.

Time for boarding. We sat down on row 26 and agreed on that if it’s that easy to prevent cardiovascular disease through maintaining a healthy diet, we should spread the news, the best way we can.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy, Therese Elgquist

Saffron-bun porridge with carrots and saffron

It’s Monday, and it’s finally time for us to 1) present Food Pharmacy’s new blog chef Therese Elgquist, and 2) share her first recipe here on the blog. We’re talking saffron-bun porridge, and yes you are absolutely welcome to start drooling.

Therese, as you may already know, is the genius behind many of the recipes in our cookbook. She describes herself as a food nerd, food creator, cookbook-author, and food artist who loves to cook, eat, talk and style food.

Therese makes vegetarian, nutritious, exciting food with a variety of flavors, textures and colors. Her style of cooking is mostly a process in which, after a careful process of choosing very specific raw ingredients, she can focus on something she thinks is especially good. And then she combines that something with three (or four, or five – yes, you get it) other ingredients that she also really likes. The results are usually very good. And cooking doesn’t have to be much harder then that.

We see this as the beginning of an inspiring and delicious trove of recipes listed here on the blog, which can function like a best friend to our good intestinal bacteria, and can be something that gets those creative juices flowing in the kitchen. Also, since December just started, it feels more than a little apropos to kick it off with one of our favorite porridges, one that is chock-full of Christmas vibes. It’s a little like eating saffron buns for breakfast: creamy, filling, soothing and beautiful to look at. And of course the recipe can be doubled or tripled or quadrupled without problems.

Being the persistent nutritionists we are, we constantly strive to find new ways to get as many greens as possible into each meal. For this particular porridge we grated a carrot and added it right at the end!

Saffron bun porridge with carrots and saffron
(1 serving)

Porridge:
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 small carrot, grated
1 pinch saffron
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk (or more water)
 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Topping:
Red apple
Organic raisins
Roasted buckwheat * or seeds
Fresh mint (optional, but makes the porridge feel extra luxurious!)

Boil the water, coconut milk and saffron. Remove from heat and add the oatmeal. Let it absorb the moisture for at least 30 minutes (and go out for a morning jog, drink a cup of tea, pack a bag?).

Scrub clean and grate the carrot (please keep the peel, it contains plenty of nutrition). Put the pan back on the stove, raise the temperature a little, and let it simmer for a few minutes. Take it off the stove again, add the carrot and chia seeds, and allow to absorb for a few more minutes. Serve in a bowl topped with sliced ​​apple, raisins, buckwheat and mint if you’re in the mood. Light a candle, eat, enjoy and hum a Christmas carol for best results!

This is how you roast buckwheat:
Put 1 cup of buckwheat in a strainer. Boil water and pour over the buckwheat, then rinse off with cold water. Allow to drain, place the buckwheat on an oven plate and roast in the oven at 210 degrees Fahrenheit until they get crispy and golden. It takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Stir occasionally. Keep the buckwheat in a sealed can.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.



Food Pharmacy, Press

Intestinal flora in focus on Swedish Tv-show

Two days ago, we brought both our food blender and our gut bacteria to the channel 4 tv-house, and were featured as guests on the tv-show Malou efter tio (Malou after ten). In the show we discussed intestinal flora, and made some recipes that our bacteria (and our children’s bacteria) can enjoy: Luke Skywalker’s granola, ”meat sauce” on red lentils, strawberry yogurt, green blueberry soup, hot chocolate, and apple pie cookies (almost all the recipes can be found here or here if you suddenly feel an acute craving). Maybe these aren’t exactly revolutionary recipes that will change the gastronomic food scene, but sometimes (read: quite often) the simple things are the best.

For example, many of you might find it hard to cook healthy weekday dinners. To this we can only say: Take it easy. Let go of the dinner stress for a while and start focusing on changing up your snacks instead. A good snack (smoothie, porridge, quick ”ice cream”?) can actually be filled with nutrition.

Or, focus on breakfast, the biggest sugar-culprit of them all. Why not try our green blueberry soup or strawberry yogurt to start your day?

In the studio, we were joined by another intestinal flora nerd (we’re a small but tight gang) named Lars Engstrand, a professor and chief physician in the field of intestinal research. He liked our apple pie bites. And we like people who like our apple pie bites.

But joy is fleeting, as you know. In just twelve short minutes it was over. The lights went out and the cameras were directed towards some other exciting guests. And we walked slowly home, lugging our mixer, our artichokes, and our green bananas. But not our apple pie cookies. Lars had taken them back to his lab.

Watch the full clip here.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our first book in German here or in Polish here, and our new cookbook in Swedish here. And buy professor Bengmark’s Synbiotic15 here.