Category Archives: Nutrition

Strategies and Recipes from the Ayurvedic Summer Kitchen



Fundamental to any Ayurvedic self-care routine is the proper feeding and nourishing of one’s 5-elemental body. As an appreciative student of Ayurveda, I’m in awe of the logic and cohesiveness surrounding the guidelines for diet and food preparation. But putting theory into regular practice ~ that can be a tall order especially in the summer when the structured cooking routines of the rest of the year take a back seat to summer’s spontaneity.

garden freshWhat are those challenging guidelines? Foods should be organic, seasonally harvested and consumed, freshly prepared, appetizing and properly cooked, lightly spiced, moistened with high-quality fat, have wisely combined ingredients, be suited to one’s specific digestive capabilities, be taken at the time of day when the external natural forces best support digestion, AND to insure proper replenishment of the elements should contain the 6 tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent, and bitter). Foods should NOT be leftover, stale, unappealing, processed, canned, frozen, improperly cooked, out of season, or otherwise cause a disturbance to digestive fire, bioenergetic tendencies, or state of mind. (Whew!) Continue reading

Chemo Brain? How to grow new brain cells

A wonderful TED Talk about neurogenesis by Sandrine Thuret. She explains how the adult brain does grown new cells
and offers advice on what you can do to encourage this growth. Interestingly enough, she references chemo brain and demonstrates
her research to an oncologist colleague.

Here is a slide to consider that is featured in the talk.

neurogenesis

How to grow new brain cells

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

The Lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium ericanceus, is an edible mushroom that has received increasing amounts of attention over the past ten years. Most notably, research suggesting that the whole mushroom—including both the root-like mycelium and the fruitbody, when extracted with heat and alcohol—can support both our immune and neurological systems.

The nerves of our bodies are constantly sending signals back and forth from our brains to our bodies. All of this activity means that our nerve cells use a tremendous amount of glucose and nutrients as compared to other tissues like muscle and organs. Some of these nutrients can be obtained from a diet of proteins, poly-unsaturated fats, green vegetables and fruits and berries. Lion’s Mane, however, provides compounds that can’t be found anywhere else. And these compounds are remarkable in their range of support.

Lion’s Mane has numerous specialized compounds derived from both the root-like mycelia and the fruitbody. Some unique alcohol-soluble metabolites support neurological tissue while other water-soluble polysaccharides support our innate immune system of natural killer cells and macrophages. Even more compounds act as prebiotics and feed our probiotic microflora. Lion’s Mane is a functional food that provides basic nutrients including complete, vegetarian proteins, vitamins and minerals. It’s a powerhouse of nutrients that can benefit your whole body when taken daily.

The studies on Lion’s mane show promise in regards to immunity, cognitive functioning, mood, memory and nerve functioning. And interestingly, some of the studies look at how Lion’s Mane’s compounds called hericinones from the fruitbody and erinacenes from the mycelia support cognitive functioning in an aging population. Study participants took Lion’s Mane for two to three weeks before noticing improvement. The improvements lasted throughout the duration of the study and for about three to four weeks after the study ended. After the studies ended, there was a gradual return over four weeks to pre-study level of functioning. What this tells us is that Lion’s Mane is not a magic wand. It’s a functional food that provides our bodies with key nutrients that support ongoing neurological functioning.

In order to maintain the most effective neurological system possible, the constant signaling that occurs in our nervous system demands that we provide our bodies with the nutrients that will support it. Daily intake of Lion’s Mane mycelia and fruitbody can provide your brain and nervous system with unique specialized nutrients that nourish and nurture your body and mind.

By: Jerry Angelini

 

Supportive Research:

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012;14(5):427-46.

Neuroregenerative potential of lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers. (higher basidiomycetes), in the treatment of peripheral nerve injury (review).

Wong KH, Naidu M, David RP, Bakar R, Sabaratnam V.

 

Fiziol Zh. 2003;49(1):38-45.

The influence of Hericium erinaceus extract on myelination process in vitro.

Kolotushkina EV, Moldavan MG, Voronin KY, Skibo GG.

 

 

Chin J Integr Med. 2014 Aug 26. [Epub ahead of print]

Hericium erinaceus (Bull.: Fr.) Pers., a medicinal mushroom, activates peripheral nerve regeneration.

Wong KH1, Kanagasabapathy G, Naidu M, David P, Sabaratnam V.

 

 

Drugs Fut 2008, 33(2): 149: ISSN 0377-8282, Copyright 2008 Prous Science

Compounds for dementia from Hericium erinaceum

Kawagishi, H., Zhuang, C.

 

 

Biomed Res. 2010 Aug;31(4):231-7.

Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake.

Nagano M, Shimizu K, Kondo R, Hayashi C, Sato D, Kitagawa K, Ohnuki K.

 

 

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Vol. 5, pp. 181–193 (2003)

Potentiation of Cell-Mediated Host Defense Using Fruit Bodies and Mycelia of Medicinal Mushrooms

Paul Stamets

 

 

Bioactive Carbohydrates and Dietary Fibre: Volume 2, Issue 1, July 2013, Pages 45–64

Non-digestible long chain beta-glucans as novel prebiotics

Ka-Lung Lam, Peter Chi-Keung Cheung,