It had been three days. I was washing my hands to get rid of the evidence (ham pinching is an art) and as the water glazed over my hands, I had to ask the question. When last did I have a glass of water? I know I’m not alone here. Whether you were trekking from Mama’s house down south to your partner’s cook up by the beach or simply eating from an outlandish buffet, it was very easy to get caught up in every dish that passed under your nose. It was also very easy for seconds to become thirds and fourths. Dare I say, fifths and sixths. For many, Christmas and eating is synonymous.
In the Caribbean, every plate of stewed peas is washed down with ice cold ginger beer. Topaz black cake and ruby red sorrel drink are jewels to be hunted. And since ham goes the distance, it’s no surprise to step into the new year still digging towards the bone. Water never stood a chance. But could you imagine what your body is going through right now. Your liver, pancreas and kidneys are working overtime to process the sudden shock of salt, fats and sugar to the temple we call our body.
I am asking you to come out of that four-week long coma. It’s time to clear your blood stream and digestive track and clean up the body. We have changed curtains and painted the house for the season. We may be restarting the gym soon. Let’s give our body a fighting chance.
Here are a couple local items to get you started. You may even be surprised who made the list.
Cinnamon is known for the power of it’s bark. It’s bite, on the other hand, is on the sweet side. As Grenadians, boiling a couple pieces for our morning tea is an anticipated ritual but did you know that you that this habit has been saving your life? Many studies have proven this practice can turn your insulin into glucose groupies which regulates your blood sugar levels and give you the upper hand on diabetes. Persons who drank 5g for 40 days saw a 30% decrease in blood sugar. Cinnamon can also reduce your total cholesterol and ease intestinal pains. If I were you, I’d be shaking a dash of spice in everything.
Mauby is a diuretic which means if you don’t want to wet the bed, don’t drink it before you sleep. In all seriousness, the more often your urinate, the greater opportunity you body has to get rid of excess salts (ham-like salts) and toxins (rum-like toxins). This in turn, can lower blood pressure and the occurrence of hypertension.
It’s also rich in saponins, like the ones used to make soap. That’s why it always appears so bubbly. Saponins attract those delicious cholesterol globules to themselves and prevent the body from taking them up, saving you from clogged up blood vessels and an overworked liver. In fact, studies have shown that 300ml of the diluted commercialized beverage can significantly lower your blood pressure and when mixed with milk acts as a blood ‘builder’.
To me, coconut water is the God-given gatorade. I have two of these every weekend, just for the fun of it. I’m an islander; sue me. It’s the perfect composition of sugars, lipids, ions, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes to grow tissue cultures and therefore is ready to fuel you body back to a healthy level of metabolism. This includes sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium which are the ions that ensure the proper running of your body’s cellular processes . Coconut water, being the best wingman ever, has a similar set-up to that found in blood. So guess whose blood pressure will be under control? And as a bonus, add mauby to the mix and the effect is doubled. Scientist’s honour! Try 2-3 coconuts a week and see results within three.
Sorrel’s gift has always been its insane amount of polyphenols. Anthocyanins,tannins, saponins and ascorbic acid team up to provide you 165mg of antioxidants per serving. Whether you are eating the seeds and leaves or drinking the juice of the calyx expect to improve your immunity with every bite and sip. It helps to actively remove free radicals that are accumulating in your body since you started Christmas binging. Chase a fever away, recover from a hangover, lower blood pressure with its diuretic properties are just of few of the many talents. That means get a glass of sorrel minus the sugar and the rum and starting once a week try a cleaner, safer version of your favourite Christmas drink.
Behind every tumeric root is a chemical called curcumin that puts in the work. Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-fungal, it does it all. Think power grid shut down. Low density lipids, down. Swelling, down. Blood clumps, down. Cadmium and lead overdose, down and down. Meanwhile lipase and amylase production is up and fats and sugars are being taken out in a body bag. It is most effective as tea or in curries. No Oil Down does not qualify as a viable source of curcumin.