Tag: nutrition

We’re deep into winter and with it come colds, viruses and the flu.

Lots of people are also struggling with lack of energy and motivation. So staying healthy and active during this time of year can seem daunting. 

But it doesn’t have to be. 

In fact, by adding a few powerful herbs and spices to your diet, you can fortify your immune system, while also giving you a much needed boost of energy.

So here are the best herbs and spices for your health this winter. Most are probably already in your kitchen…

Rosemary

A true immunity guardian and the perfect addition to your roasts and stews. 

Rich in antioxidants, it can fight off bacteria and even help reduce inflammation. What’s more, studies show rosemary can improve blood circulation, memory and concentration.

Definitely needed during the darker mornings at work.

But the benefits don’t stop there. 

If you struggle with your mood during winter, rosemary oil can be just the thing for you.

As research shows, the sweet aroma of rosemary can improve your mood and relieve stress. 

Thyme

Thyme was a popular medicinal herb in ancient Greece, used as incense and added to bath waters. 

Nowadays, thyme is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties. Making it a great decongestant if you have a cold.

It’s also rich in vitamins C and A, proven to support a normal immune system. 

So don’t be shy to sprinkle some extra thyme over your roast potatoes or pasta sauce. 

Cinnamon

Not just a tasty spice for your cinnamon rolls. 

Its active component, cinnamaldehyde, regulates your blood sugar levels. Keeping your cravings in check and your energy levels up.

Cinnamon is also known to reduce inflammation, defending against infection, colds and the flu.

So next time you make your morning cup of coffee, why not add a few sprinkles of cinnamon?

Ginger

Studies have shown ginger can boost your blood circulation, combating winter sluggishness and supporting a healthy heart. 

Making it a great addition to any heart-warming winter soup. 

What’s more, it’s a powerful antioxidant. Soothing joint and arthritis inflammation, which can be particularly worse because of the cold.

And if you do end up catching a cold, then hot lemon and ginger water is the perfect inflammatory for a sore throat. 

Cardamom

Another strong antioxidant. With studies linking it to lower blood pressure, because of its diuretic effects.

What’s more, adding cardamom to your curry or making cardamom cake can help  treat infections.

Easing congestion by opening up your airways, helping you breathe easily. 

Turmeric

Known for its vibrant yellow colour, which it gets from curcumin, its active component. 

As an anti-inflammatory, turmeric not only supports stronger joints and a smoother digestion, but also acts as a mood-booster.

You see, curcumin can support normal brain function and memory. Reducing anxiety and triggering your “happy-hormones”. 

Ideal for making it through the January’s blues. 

But don’t forget to pair turmeric with black pepper. As the combination helps your body absorb even more of turmeric’s active nutrients. By an impressive 2,000%! 

Nutmeg

Another joint defender. Helping to soothe inflammation-related pain. 

And with its antibacterial properties, nutmeg can boost your immune system, preventing infections. 

And that’s just the start.

This soothing, delicious spice also promotes relaxation, easing tension and stress. Even supporting a better night’s sleep. 

So, with its warm and nutty flavour, it’s the perfect addition to a glass of mulled wine, a cup of homemade chai or your favourite dessert.

Winter Wellness

Winter can be a challenging time. 

With the holidays over and the dark cold nights, it’s easy to find yourself feeling under the weather. But some small additions to your diet can offer you the extra support you need during this time.

Herbs and spices will not only enhance your dishes, but also fortify your immune system and work as powerful energy and mood boosters. 

So you can make the most of the next few months, with a healthy body and a healthy mind. 

Ever wondered how far back in time diabetes goes?

In fact, at least all the way back to 1550 BC.

With some interesting names used for this disease, like “honey-urine”. And some questionable treatment practices people have tried through the ages…

So let’s take a trip down memory lane, and explore the fascinating history of diabetes. 

Ancient Egypt 

Ancient Egyptians were possibly the first to ever mention diabetes in writing…

In a scroll called the Ebers papyrus, they mention a rare disease causing the patient to lose weight rapidly and urinate frequently. 

Recommending diabetes should be treated with:

“A mixture including elderberry, plant fibres, milk, ‘beer-swill’, cucumber flowers, and green dates.”

They also suggest treating any urinary symptoms with rectal injections of olive oil, honey, sweet beer, sea salt, and seeds of the wonderfruit.”

No matter how exciting ‘wonderfruit’ sounds, the rest doesn’t seem so appealing. 

India

Around the 5th and 6th centuries, Ayurvedic doctors began to identify patients with diabetes.

Noticing not only their excess thirst and constant need to urinate, but also how diabetics’ urine was attracting flies and ants.

Soon they realised it tasted sweet and was sticky to the touch. This eventually prompted them to name diabetes madhumeha – or “honey urine”.

However, they still weren’t able to make the connection between these symptoms and blood sugar.

China

Chinese doctors noticed an epidemic of xiāo kě – “wasting thirst” spreading like wildfire through the population.

In fact, this is found in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic Of Internal Medicine. 

And explained as the “three excesses and one loss”. Where the excesses are thirst, hunger, and urine. And the ‘loss’ refers to weight.

Even though these days, many diabetics gain weight – due to medication or a sedentary lifestyle.

Chinese doctors at the time would recommend abstinence from wine and salt as a diabetes remedy. 

Ancient Greece

Many ancient Greek medical authors mentioned the symptoms of diabetes throughout the centuries.

But it wasn’t until Aretaeus of Cappadocia, in the 2nd century AD, that the term ‘diabetes’ was finally coined. 

With the word coming from the Greek verb ‘διαβαίνω’ (diabaino), meaning ‘I pass through’. And diabetes meaning syphon

Aretaeus was also able to provide the first accurate description of the disease:

“Thirst; excessive drinking, which, however, is disproportionate to the large quantity of urine, for more urine is passed; and one cannot stop them either from drinking or making water. Or if for a time they abstain from drinking, their mouth becomes parched and their body dry; they are affected with nausea, restlessness, and a burning thirst; […] Thirst, as if scorched up with fire.”

In fact, people at the time believed fluid flowed through the body unchanged.

And surprisingly, it wasn’t until British doctor Thomas Willis (b. 1621), when they realised diabetes was a “distemper of the blood.”

20th Century BC

Fast forward to the 20th century…

Science has come on leaps and bounds. If you ignore the fact diabetics were prescribed opium until as late as 1915!

Some people were even force-fed special low-carb, sugar free diets, if they “lacked self-discipline”.

However, experts finally managed to single out the pancreas as the root of the problem. Thanks to the development of physics, chemistry and pharmacology.

Researchers spotted clusters of insulin-producing cells called “islets”, and carefully extracted insulin from them.

Then in 1916, Romanian scientist Niculae Paulescu used this insulin to lower the blood sugar of a diabetic dog.

But he was suddenly called up to fight in World War I, with Canadian scientists beating him to the finish line. 

Discovering and purifying insulin for clinical use in 1923.

In a breakthrough so important, four of them were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for it. Yet this sparked a huge controversy.

With many arguing the real “discovery” of insulin was the product of hundreds – if not thousands – of people’s work. All throughout the centuries…

Extraordinary Breakthroughs

Of course, science didn’t stop there.

Diabetes treatments continue to evolve day by day. With the first insulin pump invented in the 1970s by Dean Kamen…

All the way to 2013 and the University of Cambridge trials for an artificial pancreas. Combining the technology of an insulin pump with a continuous glucose monitor. 

A truly incredible history still unfolding. Who knows what the future still holds for diabetes…