PRESCRIPTION

This blog is about gut flora, good bacteria, scientific research, and anti-inflammatory food. It’s a prescription for anyone who wishes to eat their way to a healthier life. It’s impossible to overdose on this course of treatment.

Recipes

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Vegetarian Meatballs with Four Ingredients

Most of you know that we have a thing for short ingredient lists. And for this reason, no words can explain how excited we are about these lovely vegetarian meatballs. They contain only four ingredients: sprouted green lentils, cooked buckwheat, garlic and salt. Also, both of the kids in our tasting panel gave thumbs-up. And, as we all know, kids can be fussy eaters!

If you’re planning on sprouting your own lentils, this recipe will require five days of your time. But, obviously, we couldn’t include that in the headline. Short on time? Use regular cooked lentils instead. We haven’t tried this ourselves (since we love sprouting), but it should do just fine.

Vegetarian Meatballs
(around 20 pieces)

0.5 cup lentils (or approximately 2.5 cups sprouted lentils)
1 cup whole buckwheat
2 garlic cloves
a pinch of salt

Start by sprouting the lentils. Rinse them carefully before you add them to the jar. Here’s a step-by-step sprouting guide.

Cook the buckwheat as directed on the package, preferably until slightly overcooked.

Use a blender to mix sprouts and buckwheat with garlic cloves and salt. Shape the mixture into small balls. Cook over low heat in oil of your choice. Remove from the stove when golden. If they’re still soft on the inside, don’t worry. They will harden when they cool.

Serve with your favorite side dish. We chose carrot pasta and spicy sauce made from cashew nuts, curry, dates and cayenne pepper (recipe from our Swedish cookbook).

Here’s another recipe with a short ingredient list:

How to Make Two-ingredient Soft Flatbread

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Food Pharmacy, Recipes

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Party Piece: How to Eat a Whole Garlic Bulb in Less Than One Minute

It’s time for something incredibly exciting: roasted garlic. It’s exciting for two reasons: a) roasted garlic is sweeter and therefore perfect as spread, dip or in a soup, and b) it’s so mild you could eat the whole thing at once (your dear partner would like you to open a window before bedtime tonight).

Here’s a step-by-step guide.

1. Preheat the oven to 212° Fahrenheit (or 100° Celsius).

2. Remove the outer layer of the garlic bulb and cut the top off the bulb.

3. Drizzle some olive oil and place the bulb on a piece of aluminum foil (or parchment paper – better for the environment), large enough to wrap it completely.

4. Like this. Roast in the oven for 30-60 minutes.

5. Set the timer.

6. Voilà. Remove from the oven and let cool until safe to touch. With a little help, the cloves should pop out from their shells. Time for the party piece (optional): eat them all in less than one minute.

7. If you didn’t eat them all, you now have plenty of options. Since roasted garlic is so sweet, it will add delicious flavour to almost any meal. Try roasting 1 cauliflower, 1 chopped yellow onion and 2 carrots, together with the garlic. Remove from the oven and let cook in 4 cups of vegetable broth for a couple of minutes (not the garlic). Add the cauliflower, the onion, the carrots, and the whole garlic (yup, the entire thing) to a blender. Add fresh thyme, 1/2 cup plant-based milk and press start. Delish? Yes.

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Maria Rantén

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Brain Health

Are you having trouble focusing? Do you need a picture to help you locate where you parked the car? Do you make jokes about having Alzheimer’s? Are you feeling low, sad or depressed? Are you overly worried and anxious about everyday things? Need a coffee to get you going?

According to nutritional therapist Maria Berglund Rantén, this could all be signs you need to improve your brain function. But why isn’t your brain working? And is there something you can do about it? Brain health is all about making the most of your brain. Here are Maria’s seven best tips on how to boost your brain.

Are you getting enough oxygen?
Are your hands, feet and nose always cold? Are you tired all the time? Do you have a blood pressure lower than 110/70? If the answer is yes, your cells don’t get enough oxygen. Your brain is beautifully placed at the top of your body, and if your blood pressure is low, the oxygen won’t be able to fight gravity and reach the brain. If you’re not sensitive to salt, try adding a couple of grams of Himalayan salt to a large glass of water and drink it. And, don’t forget to get physical exercise. Using your muscles also helps your mind.

Anemia
Anemia is a condition where the number of red blood cells in the blood is lower than normal. It’s important to have good levels of red blood cells, hemoglobin and iron, since they help to transport oxygen to the brain and throughout the body. If you have anemia, don’t forget to determine the underlying cause and check what kind of anemia it is. Is it iron-deficiency anemia? Could it be due to low levels of ferritin? Or Vitamin B12 deficiency? Or something else? Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider.

Are you riding on the blood sugar roller coaster?
This is fairly common, and pretty easy to fix. But whatever you do, always make sure that your brain gets enough energy. The brain is made up of very special cells called neurons. When you don’t provide the brain with energy, the neurons die (it’s called neurodegeneration). Balanced blood sugar levels will protect the brain. Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eat protein (around 1-1,5 grams per kilograms body weight), fats and vegetables, preferably vegetables that grow above ground. Do you struggle with afternoon slumps? To prevent the 3pm sugar crash, try eating something 30 minutes before the blood sugar drops. Also, getting your blood sugar under control will help you sleep better at night.

Ketogenic diet
If you’re up for it, try a ketogenic diet. It’s a very low-carb diet, where the body turns fat into ketones for use as energy. This will turn your body into a fat-burning machine and provide your brain with more energy. If your body is ok with this kind of diet, it’s important to add phytochemicals and antioxidant powder to your diet. Otherwise it may have a negative effect on your overall health. A ketogenic diet is not recommended for athletes.

Metabolic flexibility
If your body crashes on a ketogenic diet, it means that your body does not have metabolic flexibility. In that case, try adding a small amount of carbohydrates to your diet and see if that will help maintain optimal brain function. I believe most people would benefit from eating like this. Include lots of vegetables, protein and fiber in your diet. And add small amounts of legumes, gluten free grains, root vegetables, squash and pumpkin.

Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting helps fight inflammation in the body and is good for both brain and overall health. There are many different ways to do intermittent fasting. Extending your overnight fast a little is probably the easiest way to start. Most men handle 18 hours without food, and most women around 14-16 hours. All adults should be able to fast for at least 12 hours during the night. How to plan your meals while fasting is totally up to you. Some fast one day a week, and some 2-3 times a month. I wouldn’t recommend fasting for more than three days without consulting a healthcare professional (the body will burn proteins for energy). For a 1-3 day fast, I would make 2 liters of green tea and mix it with 2 liters of water. Then I would add lots of fresh lemon and lime, and 4 tablespoons of maple syrup. Drink small amounts often to provide the brain with energy.

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Does Heat Destroy the Health Properties of Turmeric?

The most commonly asked question here on the blog is without a doubt what kind of blender we use. The runner up is about turmeric and how it’s affected by cooking and heat. According to some studies, heating turmeric will increase its solubility and enhance absorption. But what about the health properties? Will heating destroy the nutrients?

We asked nutritional therapist Maria Berglund Rantén.

– Yes, heating destroys some of the benefits of turmeric. When heated, the effect of curcumin – the bright yellow pigment and active ingredient in turmeric, which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties – is destroyed. After 10 minutes of cooking, around 25-30% of the curcumin is lost. And within 20-30 minutes of cooking, the number increases to 85%. Consequently, if used in cooked dishes, add turmeric last and try to avoid heating it too much in order to preserve all the benefits.

Let’s keep this in the back of our heads and continue to have our turmeric shots chilled. And from now on, we will heat our golden milk gently and not too much, in order to fully get the benefits from the turmeric.

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