Food Pharmacy, Recipes

Anti-inflammatory mango stew.

Yesterday we did something really exciting. We brought the gut flora case to Swedish television.

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Here we have Lina to the left (black Harry Potter robe), and Mia to the right (banana sweatshirt), while we were having our faces powdered and our hair straightened before the show.

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There was a TV in the dressing room, on which we could see Malou’s interview with Fredrik Bäckhed, a Swedish scientist specialized in the impacts of gut bacteria on human health. Later on, during a commercial break, we got hold of him and asked to do an interview for our blog. He said yes, so there you have something to look forward to this spring.

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After we had our makeup done, we headed for the kitchen, where we got to fill the cart with heroic ingredients and lots of great foods, our super granola and pea green smoothie. The rules are pretty strict on what you can and cannot show on TV, so we kept it very simple. So simple, there was no room for our incredible anti-inflammatory mango stew. But that’s all right, here’s how you make it:

Anti-inflammatory mango stew
4 servings

1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp dried turmeric
1 tsp sambal oelek
2 tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
1.5 cups crushed tomatoes
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and shredded
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup natural cashew nuts (soaked for at least an hour at room temperature)
1.5 cups coconut milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
10 plum tomatoes, cut into wedges
70 g baby spinach
270 g organic natural firm tofu
1 mango, cut into cubes

Preferably served with:
1.5 cups quinoa (or other rice substitute of your choice)
Fresh cilantro

Place the chopped onion, the turmeric and the coconut oil in a pot on the stove, and cook at low temperature. Put onion mix, crushed tomatoes, ginger, tomato paste, nuts and coconut milk in a blender, and mix until just combined (it’s not going to be a smooth sauce).

Put the sauce back in the pot, and heat until lukewarm. Add plum tomatoes, baby spinach, tofu, and mango. Serve with cooked quinoa or buckwheat and, if you’re in the mood, some chopped cilantro.

IMG_4241And then it was finally time for the interview. If you look closely, you can see the mango stew here, to the left on the table.

After the interview, one of our best friends texted us, and she was pretty grumpy about the fact that we hadn’t told her about the TV show. “But, how was it?”, Linda asked when she finally calmed down.

“Don’t know. Don’t remember a thing.”, Mia answered. “Other than telling the world about how my belly almost ‘exploded’ the first time I had raw Jerusalem artichoke”.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here.



Food Pharmacy

Can your eating habits help eliminate heart disease?

Listen to this:

A major Spanish study was stopped early, due to ethical dilemmas. The purpose was to study the relationship between diet, and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. The participants were divided into groups, and for those whose diet contained herbs, leafy greens, beans, lentils, chickpeas, and olive oil (i.e. a traditional Mediterranean diet), the risk of dying from heart disease was significantly lower than for the participants in the other group, who were on a fat reducing diet. The results were so clear, the researchers considered it unethical to continue letting the other participants stay on a fat reduced  diet.

This reminds us of something else.

Shortly after we started our blog, we interviewed David Stenholtz, a senior consultant of Oncology, who told us that most chronic diseases can be prevented by healthy eating habits. He rattled off a number of diseases, and the first one that came out of his mouth was in fact cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in Sweden, with over 1.9 million sufferers.

With the Spanish study and David’s words in the back of our heads, we’re having a hard time understanding why this has not reached the ears of more people. If your diet may have an enormous beneficial impact on preventing cardiovascular disease – why don’t people know about it?

The study: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1200303?query=featured_home&#t=abstract

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here.



Food Pharmacy

Milk milk milk.

We’re in Kalmar, in the south of Sweden, one and a half years ago.

– Mia, should we say something about milk in our book?

– What do you mean?

– Well, Stig has taught us that high consumption of milk may increase oxidative stress, inflammation, premature aging, and the risk of early death. But even if we write about it, I guess no one in Sweden would actually believe it?

– No, I guess not, milk is definitely a holy cow here. Most people still seem to believe that milk helps build strong bones.

– Interesting, and this despite the fact that brittle bones are much more common among us milk consumers here in Scandinavia, compared to people in other parts of the world…

Cut to yesterday. We find ourselves in a cafeteria in the Finnish countryside, killing time before our lecture, and reading in The American Journal of Epidemiology about a new study, led by Uppsala University and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, in which they’ve studied milk consumption among 106.000 women and men, middle-aged and up. According to this article, the results leave no doubt: a high consumption of milk may increase the risk of premature death.

But, why? The results confirm that a high milk consumption is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation, primarily among women. The problem appears to be the milk sugar, lactose, since it may contribute to oxidative stress, inflammation, premature aging and increase the risk of early death. Antioxidants are a strong weapon against oxidative stress and low-grade inflammation, but the study shows that not even a high intake of fruits and vegetables, can completely eliminate the risks associated with milk consumption. The risks were higher with milk than yogurt, probably due to the fact that, during the fermentation process, milk sugar is partly broken down.

After all, it still feels good that we dared to question Sweden’s national beverage in our book. And in our upcoming cookbook, we’ve gathered lots of great alternatives to regular cow’s milk.

 



Food Pharmacy

The kids’ banana porridge.

Today we travel to Finland, to lecture in Närpes, but first, the kids need to get some breakfast. However, we would like to take this opportunity and warn you in advance: this recipe is neither groundbreaking, nor original. It’s just porridge.

FullSizeRender-293Monday through Friday, Mia’s children eat something they call “banana porridge” in the morning. It always consists of oatmeal + mashed banana + water, but the rest of the ingredients you may vary as you please. The flaxseeds are sometimes replaced by coconut flakes or chia seeds, and the cinnamon by cardamom or clove. Last week we used cumin by mistake. That’s something we do not recommend.

FullSizeRender-294Start by tossing together a cup or so of oatmeal, a tablespoon or so of cinnamon, and about as much flaxseed (don’t expect to get any exact measurements from us, we’re too busy in the morning to even think about that).

IMG_3516-2Mash a banana, the greenest one you can find, and add the mash to the porridge, as well as a tablespoon of coconut oil.

IMG_3520Add the water. Trust your gut. A little bit of water = sticky consistency. A lot of water = watery consistency. In between = well … in between. You decide.

IMG_3526-2Stir at low temperature. There’s no need for it to boil, remove it from the heat when it’s lukewarm.

FullSizeRender-295Throw on some berries, you’ll find them at the bottom of one of your freezer drawers. Call your kids to the table, it’s time for breakfast.

IMG_3535Climb over the huge piles of children’s clothes in the hallway, and travel to Vasa in good conscience. See you tomorrow!

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here.



Food Pharmacy

Preview of our cookbook.

So, today we met up with our photographer in a sunny Stockholm and started to take photos for our next book  – the cookbook. We would, of course, have loved to show you all the pictures, but then it wouldn’t be any surprise at all when the book is launched this fall. What about a compromise? What about us showing you some behind the scenes-pictures today?

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The yummiest meatballs we’ve ever tried (without meat, of course). We will never cook any other meatballs after having tried these little munchies.

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An extremely tasty and anti-inflammatory soup with red chili, coconut milk and cilantro. And best of all: the soup takes under, and this is not a joke, three minutes to make.

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The best part of writing a cookbook is all food you have to eat. See that creamy, salty peanut butter sauce on the salad? OMG.

IMG_3896Then our lovely French intern Hema-Lou and Lina ran out to catch some Vitamine D. And now it’s time to cook a Jerusalem artichoke soup and Food Pharmacy’s Bridge mix. What that is? Well, time will tell (if you buy our cookbook, ha ha).

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here.



Food Pharmacy

Healthy gut flora = a protection against Alzheimer’s?

Do we really need to give you another reason to take care of your gut flora? Well, if you say so? Ok, here we go: Alzheimer’s disease. 

The other week, we read an article in the Swedish newspaper about a new study that suggests good gut bacteria may play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. If you don’t know what Alzheimer’s is, it is the most common type of dementia – in Sweden, more than 100 000 people are suffering from the disease. Alzheimer’s is hereditary, even age and lifestyle matter, but other than that, what actually triggers Alzheimer’s has so far been unknown. But, according to the article in Sydsvenskan, scientists say that problems arise when an unbalanced gut flora, as a result of unhealthy eating habits, causes inflammation in your body. The first step, in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, is that plaques build up between nerve cells in the hippocampal region (the hippocampus is a part of the brain that’s primarily associated with memory), and then spread to other parts of the brain. Now that they’ve discovered that unhealthy gut bacteria can accelerate the development of Alzheimer’s disease, the scientists want to determine the kind of bacteria involved in the development of plaques.

– Previously, we haven’t been able to influence the development of Alzheimer’s, other than by giving drugs that reduce the symptoms. But now, we’re actually able to act and prevent the disease from occurring. If we’re able to delay the development of the disease, we might also be able to keep people from getting the disease in the first place. And, you’re able to do so by changing your eating habits, and ensuring you have strong and protective gut flora, says Frida Håk Hållenius, associate professor at Food for Health Science Center, Lund University, Sweden.

Wow. What a breakthrough for research on Alzheimer’s disease.

If you know any kind of Swedish, you can read the full article here: https://www.sydsvenskan.se/2017-02-10/vissa-tarmbakterier-kan-ge-alzheimer



Recipes

No-bake apple pie bites.

On Monday we will shoot the first set of pictures for our cookbook, which means we’re busy trying out new recipes. For example, we’re on the hunt for a really good recipe for quick bites, you know, a healthier alternative to rice cakes on day trips and excursions.
So, we tossed together 1 apple, 1 tbsp ceylon cinnamon, a handful of almonds (preferably soaked), a pinch of pure vanilla powder and 5 dates, and processed everything into a chunky dough. Added a cup of oat flakes, and scooped out tablespoon sized amounts of the mixture, and rolled into somewhat round balls. Rolled each ball in coconut flakes.
Yummy, and then the bites were gone. How are they ever gonna last until it’s actually time for a day trip? Well, at least we managed to take some pictures before we ate them all.


Food Pharmacy

We can’t handle another story about the effects of sugar on a child’s body, can you?

Mia looks up from the computer and turns towards Lina.

– I don’t get it.

– What?

– According to a study made by Novus, that has examined weight and eating habits among children and young adults from 2003 to 2016, one in three parents in Sweden (31%) is concerned about their children’s sugar intake.

– Yes…?

– Yes, and at the same time we keep letting them have sugary foods, in fact more than ever. The Swedish National Food Administration recommends that added (white, processed) sugar should not make up more than 10 percent of your total calorie intake for the day, equivalent to 18 kilograms of sugar per person per year. The truth is, we eat a lot more than twice as much – 48 kilograms of sugar per person per year.

– Yes, that’s definitely odd.

Mia looks down at her computer again.

– Maybe people are tired of all the warnings and negative reports.

Lina takes a sip of her Matcha tea.

– Then they should see “Mitt sockersöta barn” (“My sugary sweet child”). A Swedish documentary that approaches this issue differently, and leaves no one unaffected.

– Oh, I’ve read about it. Is it good?

– Awesome! They make a grown man, Thomas Skoglund, eat and live like a five year old for a week and they’ve fit the proportions so that they match an adult’s size. When a five year old gets an ice cream, the adult gets 2.5 ice creams, and so on.

-Oh, that’s clever.

– Yes, and when you see the huge amount of ice cream and candy that’s needed in order for the man to meet the same proportional intake, it’s so very clear what bizarre amount of sugar we give to our children.

– Oh, I love that.

– In the documentary, Thomas Skoglund tells us about the quick rush of energy you get from sugar, and the equally quick lows you experience afterwards. He tells us about the blood sugar rollercoaster and the heavy mood swings, and how he lost all his energy and joy of living due to this sugary diet.

Lina takes another sip.

– In the morning, he had a way too sugary breakfast, juice and cereal, and then some soup and yoghurt at kindergarten. In the grocery store, he got some banana and a sweet smoothie, which raised the energy levels a lot. But when it was time for dinner he barely managed to eat.

– Well, makes sense… We put such high expectations on our kids, but we don’t offer them the right conditions. It’s a wonder they cope at all. Can we link to the documentary here on our blog?

– Absolutely! Here you go: http://mittsockersotabarn.story.aftonbladet.se. But unfortunately, it’s in Swedish.

– Oh.



Food Pharmacy

Can you overdose on vitamin D?

First, you panic thinking you might have vitamin D deficiency. So you take vitamin D supplements. But then, you panic again and worry you might have taken too much. This is just way too difficult. Seriously, what’s the deal here? 

Our dear professor Stig Bengmark taught us early on that vitamin D deficiency has been associated with many diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, MS, depression and infertility. Studies show that vitamin D is necessary to activate the immune system, but also a good weapon against an overactive immune system, which is the source of autoimmune disease. In Sweden, a majority of the population suffers from low levels of vitamin D, at least during the winter, and this seems to be a pattern in other countries as well: more than half of the British and the American population are low in vitamin D, and over 10 % suffer from more pronounced vitamin D deficiency.

According to an article in the Swedish magazine Science Illustrated, a daily dose of 20 minutes of sunshine is enough to reach ideal vitamin D levels, during the summertime. And 20 minutes in the sun gives you approximately 250 micrograms – 50 times more than the daily dose of five mcg that is recommended by many authorities. As we move down the page, we understand that, in order for us to reach that same amount of vitamin D from other sources than the sun, you would need a daily dose of a) one kilogram of salmon, b) 50 glasses of milk, or c) 50 multivitamin supplements. The article refers to studies showing that a healthy person would need an intake of 1000 micrograms of vitamin D, in order for it to cause vomiting, headache, or heart disease.

We believe that you should never overdose on anything, but it’s pretty clear that the problem in this case isn’t overdosing, but quite the opposite. Professor Stig himself eats a higher dose of vitamin D than what’s recommended by the Swedish National Food Administration – 5000 IU daily, all year round – which is equivalent to 125 micrograms.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here.



Food Pharmacy

Back in Stockholm.

Yesterday morning two tired, inspired, red cheeked bloggers landed in Sweden. It´s been three quite busy days in Poland. We have done about ten interviews, a commercial för Cosmopolitan (the magazine, not the cocktail), a three hour long tv-show and a book signing. And, on top on this, we brought our kids (age 6-9) on the trip. The last days took the word ”multitasking” to a new level, haha. We will collect all nice pictures and make a longer post later this week, but today we will just … well … take deep breaths and spoil our good bacteria with some rest and lots of good food.

Our polish agent and new BFF Magdalena sent us the links from the tv-show, so here we go:

http://dziendobry.tvn.pl/wideo,2064,n/w-kuchni-ddtvn-jedzenie-ktore-leczy,223197.html

A bit of a strange feeling to be dubbed live in Polish, but lots of fun to share our message and turmeric shot.

After the show we took a picture with Kinga and Piotr. Please notice how quick Mia (on the right) copied Kingas pose. Right foot before left, look into the camera, smile! Lina didn’t really get it this time, but she has promised she will make a bigger effort next time.

You’re more than welcome to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. And buy our book in Polish here.