The inspiration for my empowering FoodTrients program—this website, the cookbook, my board of advisors—really came from my father. He was a physician and he had a way of looking at food as though it could heal us. He understood the value of the vitamins and minerals found in fresh foods and how those elements could supplement our health. Food like organic fruits and vegetables, wild fish, and humanely raised animals has so many good things in it: antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory agents, fiber and anti-bacterial compounds. I needed to come up with a term to encompass the anti-aging properties of food. So I call them FoodTrients. Think of them as nutrients that lead to our overall wellness and help us age gracefully. I focus on these FoodTrients in my cooking. I start creating a recipe only after I find a fruit or grain or spice that has something beneficial to offer my body. For instance, I know that the spice turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric can therefore reduce swelling in the arteries. Arterial inflammation leads to things like blood clots and strokes. I don’t want that. So I reach for turmeric. This bold yellow spice also keeps nasal passages from swelling too much during an allergy attack. And its anti-inflammatory powers can keep red blotches from appearing on my skin. So I know I want to get turmeric in my diet. But how? Unless I eat Indian food every night, I don’t normally come across this spice. Here’s where I get to work. I taste, I experiment, I make meal after meal until I hit upon a delicious recipe or two that incorporates this beneficial food. To see what I came up with for this spice, look at my Turkey in Turmeric Sauce recipe.
Throughout this website and in my cookbook,FoodTrients: Age-defying Recipes for a Sustainable Life, you’ll find that I focus on 26 FoodTrients like fiber, isoflavones, curcumin, Omega-3s and more. I’ll show you the benefits of these incredible anti-aging nutrients — antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, immune-boosters, mind and beauty enhancers, and disease prevention (see the chart below with the icons). And I’ll also introduce you to some of the lesser known FoodTrients like anthocyanins and anthocyanidins. (For the sake of simplicity, I’ll call them anthocyanins.) These flavanoids are found in red, purple, and blue plants, especially berries, grapes and eggplant. They have been shown to improve capillary function and inhibit the growth of cancer cells. So if I need more anthocyanins in my diet, I come up with a recipe for blueberries like my Helpful Hempmilk Blueberry Smoothie.
On this website I’ll go into more detail about the FoodTrients I focus on in my cookbook and offer some delicious recipes for aging gracefully.