Last night we took a class on foods that aid in digestion & detoxification led by a dietician at KU Medical Center's Integrative Medicine Program. That program is reason to be happy enough. This woman rocks. I am taking a series of classes from her called Fighting Illness with Your Fork and because they are offered through Turning Point everyone in these classes is living with or supporting someone who is living with a serious illness. It is so wonderful that all of her classes have been packed. It is comforting and exciting to see these people wanting to learn about they ways that food is medicine and how it matters what they eat and how it is prepared. What I love about the instructor is that she can answer questions in detail that range from why is wild caught fish better for us than farm raised fish and can you explain what extra virgin oil is and why is it best not to cook with it. She not only spoke about foods for digestion and detox but she prepared 3 recipes in a demonstration that we all got to sample. Some of us...hmmm...had seconds. :} This class was held at the Cooking Studio at Whole Foods which is fabulous and Whole Foods donated the food. It was fabulous. So I want to share a few tidbits.
Toxins are any compound that has a detrimental effect to the structure and function of our cells. These can be exogenous or external like heavy metals,pesticides, charred meats, cigarette smoke, alcohol,pesticides,etc. or they can be endogenous or something internal like microbes already present in the gut, high hormone levels, or byproducts of metabolic breakdown. The Liver is our main detoxification organ where fat soluable toxins,most are, are converted to water soluable toxins and then become waste products that are eliminated through the kidneys or gall bladder or skin. Several nutrients are needed for these processes to occur. Vit. A, Niacin, Vit, B6 & B12, Folic Acid, Glutathione, Amino Acids, Flavanoids to name them. Liver function is very important in the body and foods that aid it are garlic,onions, leeks, cruciferous veggies like broccoli & bok choy or kale,cabbage, arugula,etc., beans,eggs, beets, artichokes, carrots, cilantro, parsley, basil, tumeric, ginger, licorice & cinnamon. Good soluable fiber choices are apples,pears, oatmeal, beans & ground flaxseeds. Beans are rich in protein and fiber unlike most foods. animal foods contain no fiber. Beans can help normalize blood sugar levels and improve seitiety from a meal. The fiber promotes regularity,lower cholesterol levels and deceases the risk of certain cancers. Beans contain potassium, folic acid, and magnesium. 3 cups per week is recommended. Quinoa pronounced keenwa is a grain. It contains the most protein of any grain and is complete in all the amino acids. It has a high amount of fiber, iron, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, B6, & thiamin. It contains saponins that can inhibit cholesterol absorption. Carrots are rich in beta caroteane which can be converted to vit. A. This vitamin protects the respiratory system by supporting the mucous membranes. Vit. A also keeps our skin,teeth & hair healthy. Spinach is another great fiber choice that is rich in folic acid, vit. K and lutein as well as calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese. Cabbage is a great source of vit. C and fiber. It protects against cancer by increasing the body's antioxidant mechanisms and activiates the body's abilities to eliminate the harmful compounds. It is high in glutamine which is an important nutrient that can heal the lining of the gastrintestinal tract. Red cabbage is red because of the phytochemical anthoycyanin which is also found in berries,beets & red onion. This is an antioxidant. I could go on & on but these are a few examples of healthy smart foods for digestion and other important body needs. If you want more let me know.
She made a cream of asparagus soup and the creamy part came from adding rolled oats to the soup and blending it. It was really great. All of the food last night was vegan & gluten free. I just loved it. Paul turned to me and said "this is like going to church for you isn't it?" Yes it is. afterall our bodies are temples right?