Whys on MPN™ spices and herbs

Why cinnamon?   Many reasons.  First is taste, it’s delicious, a flavor enhancer in smaller amounts, and it triggers the sense of sweet on the tongue so you can use instead of sugar.   Based on research, using ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon from the cassias tree (Chinese or Vietnamese) will help lower cholesterol )by 8% on average) as well as maintain healthier blood sugar.   A new study suggests cinnamon also helps prevent the build-up and clumping of A-beta peptide in the brain, on of the problem proteins implicated in Alzheimer’s disease.

Why ginger? It’s delicious, helps digestion, relieves nausea and is a powerful anti-inflammatory food. Thus it will help relieve joint pain as well as help protect your brain.

What are some other great spices or herbs?

Other potent brain healthy spices include turmeric, oregano, rosemary, sage, lemon balm/Melissa, saffron, green tea.   All Indian curries are great.  Most herbs and spices have very high antioxidant content so you don’t need much to do yourself a lot of good.  Many also help kill microbes in your food and inside of you. To learn more see our August newsletter now on the website

Why nuts and seeds?

Reduce cholesterol in the body and help regulate your blood sugar.  So far almonds and walnuts are the only two nuts tested in Alzheimer’s mice and both helped the mice think better and lowered the amount of problem A-beta protein.  Most nuts and seeds contain one or more of the 8 types of vitamin E that the brain needs to protect the brain cells from oxidation.  Nuts and seeds also contain healthy fats such as mono-unsaturated fatty acids and traces of Omega 3’s.  Walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds and hemp seeds are stars in the amount of Omega 3’s they contain.  Nuts and seeds are also a great source of plant based protein to help you use less animal meat and protein sources.

Why whole grains?

The outside of the whole grain, the brain, contains a huge amount of nutrients for the small extra substance, powerful antioxidants that help your body regular blood sugar and lower inflammation, many B and other vitamins.   Your body and brain need every bit of nutrition that comes naturally in the whole grain.  Also lots of fiber, which we need to help lower cholesterol, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, improve digestion.  For instance a ½ cup of white flour contains only 1 gram of fiber whereas the same amount of whole wheat flour contains 4 times as much.

Why beans and lentils?

Story is similar to nuts, seeds and whole grains.  After all beans and lentils are another type of seed.  They are rich in vitamins and other plant nutrients, lots of protein so you can use less animal protein, and rich in fiber.  Try substituting a serving of beans for one serving of white rice, bread or pasta and see your health improve.  Help lower cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure.

Why fish and seafood?

Loaded with the all important Omega 3’s…that is only one reason fish and seafood are brain foods.  They are also full of other important brain nutrients from the sea or our lakes and rivers…..otherwise we could just all take fish oil and forget the fish.  Important source of protein in a whole food that is healthier for us than meat or poultry.


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