I am about to begin poring over a handful of studies on general bioavailability (sigh), but I am a bit sleepy this morning and my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet, so I thought I would share a few recent odd discoveries with y’all.
Dreaming background: I have only on extremely rare occasions in the past been able to remember my dreams. At times I might wake up with a start after a particularly bad nightmare, but I would remember very few details. And if anybody asked me right then and there what the nightmare was about, I would be hard put to answer. This has changed in recent times, it would seem.
I don’t remember exactly WHEN I became aware of this new phenomenon, but I now remember my early morning dreams. I mean, EVERY single one! I now I wake up with a sort of clear “dream movie” in my brain. I remember details, colours, language spoken (I dream in at least two languages!) and so on. How long has this been going on? I am not sure, but my best estimate is: for about a month.
Another point. I think that most people would be able to relate to the following: even when you wake up remembering a dream clearly, this memory starts fading straight away, and if you don’t tell someone or write things down immediately, you will forget everything, no matter how hard you may try to recapture the moment later on in the day. Well, right now I can remember the dream I had before waking up…more than two hours ago, although, yes, the images are beginning to fade.
Only yesterday did I think of a possible connection between remembering dreams and my sublingually-absorbed curcumin mixture.
Could curcumin be affecting parts of my brain that are normally not “awake”? Could that be possible? Is there any other explanation? Are there any brain cell experts among us who could clarify this point, or tell me that I am simply…dreaming things?
Culinary Tips: yesterday I read a Science Daily article on boiling broccoli (see: http://tinyurl.com/3xzq59). Since you can go read the article for yourself, I won’t go into any details, but, in two words, a just published Italian (YEAH!) study has shown that some cooking methods actually seem to increase the release of certain nutrients contained in vegetables, which is contrary to conventional wisdom. I did know that cooked tomatoes have a higher content of lycopene compared to their raw counterpart, but broccoli? Apparently, if you steam (NOT boil, mind you) broccoli, you increase “its content of glucosinolates, a group of plant compounds touted for their cancer-fighting abilities.” How about that? I am very glad to learn this, since Stefano and I love steamed broccoli, which we eat the Italian way, almost as a hot salad, adding extra virgin olive oil, raw chopped garlic, lemon juice and a bit of salt.
Another titbit I read yesterday, and that someone actually told me about during the Xmas holidays, is that crushing garlic before cooking with it reduces the loss of its healthful properties. I found a February 2007 Science Daily article on this: http://tinyurl.com/2zu9v3 If you cook garlic whole, you lose a lot of the healthful compounds. But if you crush or even chop it before cooking, you release an enzyme called alliinase “that catalyzes the formation of allicin, which then breaks down to form a variety of healthful organosulfur compounds.” Crush garlic and then wait at least ten minutes before cooking with it, to give this enzyme enough time to work.
This is not a new discovery, eh. A study reported in 1998 (see: http://tinyurl.com/27hh3f) showed that garlic loses its anti-cancer characteristics if roasted for 45 minutes or cooked even just for one minute (!) in a microwave oven. But the good news is that “Garlic’s anti-cancer activity was retained, however, if the herb was first chopped or crushed and allowed to stand for 10 minutes before being heated. In the case of roasted whole garlic, anti-cancer activity was partially retained if the top of the bulb was sliced off prior to heating.”
Interesting stuff. Since I eat a lot of garlic, from now on I will crush it, just as my favourite British chef Jamie Oliver ("easy peasy!") does. Okay, back to my bioavailability studies. If I find some pearls of wisdom, I will be sure to report them here…tomorrow!