Add Some Turmeric To That

Turmeric is a powerful spice that’s been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat a number of conditions.  Scientists believe that one of the reasons why turmeric is so effective is that it contains curcumin. There are dozens of studies into the health benefits of curcumin, and it’s been shown to protect against liver damage, cancer, cerebrovascular dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease.

It comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. Turmeric has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine.

Curcumin is most known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The compound has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.

I had a turmeric concoction every day on my fertility journey.  I believe that autoimmune disease and infertility go hand in hand.  As does, Professor Hawkins who I liaised with when I “went rogue”.  He says “once you get your immune system correct in your body you then are becoming highly reproductive.”     Obviously, that is what women who want babies want and need.

So if turmeric hasn’t really been on your radar, it’s a spice that has a peppery, warm, bitter flavour and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger.  While it’s best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow colour.

Here are a few simple ways to get this super spice into your everyday:

Shake it.  Add to the salt and pepper shaker to flavour meals.

In dukkah.  It adds a great flavour to your dunkin’ spices.

In a drink.  Turmeric tea is delicious and makes for a perfect nighttime hot toddy.  Recipe below!

Use as a salad dressing.  Create your own blend with avocado, extra virgin olive oil, lemons, salt and pepper and of course turmeric.  Or add to a bottle you already have on the fridge.

Brush with it.  It’s just 2 parts turmeric powder to 1 part coconut oil and 1 part baking soda. Mix together to form a paste and brush.

Here is a yummy hot toddy recipe:

Turmeric Tea

  • 2 cups of homemade nut milk or coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon raw local honey, optional
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Small pinch of black pepper and grated ginger (fresh is best)
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Pour all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a light boil, whisk to combine ingredients. Reduce heat to low and simmer for up to 10 minutes.

Strain the milk if you have large pieces of ginger, cinnamon, etc.

To serve, add raw honey or a dash of cinnamon.

Drink as a night time toddy or coffee replacement

Image:  Pixabay

What’s Your Ovarian Age?

You might be freaking out by your ever rolling biological digits when you’re focusing on becoming pregnant, but perhaps letting go of that and shifting your attention to your ovarian age is where you need to let your head go.

As there’s a rapid decline in the amount of valuable eggs women have after 35, the AMH test is a way to figure out how many eggs a woman has left.  AMH stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone and it’s a blood test which measures the amount of AMH in a woman’s blood stream.  This hormone is produced by specific cells, called Granulosa cells, which surround each and every egg in a woman’s ovary.  So obviously, the more eggs, the more granulosa cells.  And the more granulosa cells, the more AMH produced. As you can imagine this feedback is a quantitative guide to work out a woman’s ovarian “age”.  It also gives women the insight to figure out when to commence their attempts at falling pregnant if the results show they still have a chance.

Basically, your AMH levels starts high, when you’re at your most fertile age and as you get older, declines as your ovarian reserve does.

I had an AMH test when I was 39 and found myself to be a newly single sobbing mess.  I toddled off to my local GP and requested a bunch of blood tests as well as the AMH.  It was perhaps something I should have done while in my relationship but because I thought I had access to sperm on tap, it never crossed my mind.  These tests cost around AU$100 but varies from state to state.  For the piece of mind, it was well worth the dollars.

The results came back a few days later and gave me the reassurance I had a little more time up my sleeve.  According to Malpani Infertility Clinic,  I was in good shape. with a pmol/L of 29.  Sure I just scraped in to be in the optimal group but I was thrilled I was 29 again and relieved my window had not only not closed but was still at the top of their game.

Ovarian Fertility Potential pmol/L     ng/mL
Optimal Fertility 28.6 – 48.5    4.0 – 6.8
Satisfactory Fertility 15.7 – 28.6    2.2 – 4.0
Low Fertility 2.2 – 15.7    0.3 – 2.2
Very Low / undetectable 0.0 – 2.2    0.0 – 0.3
High Level > 48.5    > 6.8

It’s important to know that AMH levels do not vary with the menstrual cycle and can be measured independently of the day of the menstrual cycle.

Once I got my results, this didn’t mean I just got back to living as I was.  Sure, I’m a healthy person but there is always room for more self-improvement.  From that moment on I became even more diligent about what I was putting in and on my body.  Rather than buying kombucha, I started making my own.  I made coconut kefir, added more vitamins and even cut out whole wheat bread which is one of my greatest loves.

These small changes were super easy to do and were just the beginning of more that I gradually introduced week after week.  Before long my diet had shifted and I was in a much more fertile state.  Rather than focusing on the looming 4-0, I thought of myself as a viable and youthful, twenty-nine year old who from then on really looked after my eggs keeping them as nourished as possible.

Image: Pixabay