- 2 Tbsp. Cashew Cream (see recipe below)
- 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 2 Portobello mushrooms*, sliced thin
- 2 yellow onions, cut in rings
- 2 pinches sea salt
- 5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- ½ tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 c. (8oz.) seitan, sliced thin, plus 1/8 cup seitan juices from package
- 1 Tbsp. brandy
- Fresh ground black pepper to tasteCashew Cream:
- 2 cups organic cashew nuts, whole or halves
- 1 cup filtered water
In wide pan, sauté mushrooms and onion rings in oil with sea salt until onions are translucent and soft and mushrooms are cooked. Add pepper, garlic, mustard, and seitan plus its juices. Mix well and simmer covered approximately 20 minutes.
Add brandy, simmer 1 minute. Off heat, stir in Cashew Cream.
*Option: substitute shiitake mushrooms – fresh, or dried and reconstituted in water.
To make the Cashew Cream:
Soak cashews for 6+ hours. Puree cashews until smooth, adding a little extra water if necessary for food processor blade to turn. A healthy, dairy-free substitute for sour cream.
Health Benefits of Ingredients
Acne is helped by Garlic:
For ACNE, garlic has the advantage over topical solutions with potent anti-inflammatory action that can help your body heal from inside rather than just outside. There’s sound science behind this bulbous root which has been revered for its health properties for over 4500 years. We now know that so much healing begins in the gut and improving your gut health is one of garlic’s striking actions. By 1858, the famous Louis Pasteur, considered the forefather of modern immunology, was extolling the virtues of garlic’s antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial powers. Today, Indian Ayurveda healers believe garlic is most helpful to fight persistent adult acne removing acne scars and preventing new acne from forming.
One of garlic’s more unique qualities is its prebiotic powers1 optimizing acne-friendly bacterial strains in your gut flora which is critical for all acne patients. With over 100 trillion bacteria, the gut is called your “second brain.” Improving friendly bacterial strains lowers stress hormones, improves acne nutrient absorption, and relieves inflammation. As Pasteur pointed out, garlic can also win the war over the bad bacteria.
Researchers believe that garlic contains the most powerful antioxidant out of any natural food. Garlic is a highly sulphurous food due to its many thiosulphanates, dithiins, and sulfoxides. Allicin–which gives garlic its unique taste and smell–is roughly 70-80% of garlic’s total thiosulphanates. As your stomach digests allicin, it rapidly breaks it down into a particularly potent antioxidant, sulfenic acid. Dr. Derek Pratt, Canada Research Chair in Free Radical Chemistry, notes, “The reaction between the sulfenic acid and radicals is as fast as it can get, limited only by the time it takes for the two molecules to come into contact. No one has ever seen compounds, natural or synthetic, react this quickly as antioxidants.” Researchers have proven1 that sulfenic acid kills acne-causing free radicals as soon as it comes into contact with them.
Allicin also aids in the formation of glutathione, your body’s “master antioxidant,” which acne patients commonly lack. Garlic’s dietary sulphur compounds boost glutathione production and its anti-inflammatory properties reduce swelling, pain, and irritation.
Thiacremonone is another anti-inflammatory sulphurous compound in garlic that inhibits the activity of two acne chemicals, NFKappaB and cyclogenase-2 (COX-2 ). In this study,2 both of these inflammatory master molecules control the release of a plethora of pro-inflammatory and pro-acne immune system chemicals. The scientists commented that thiacremonone could be a useful agent for the treatment of inflammatory and arthritic diseases, appropriate as acne and arthritis are both classic diseases of chronic inflammation.
Yet another garlic-derived organosulfur that lowers inflammation is 1,2-vinyldithiin (1,2-DT) although its exact mechanism is less clear than that of thiacremonone. Regardless, this study3 found that 1,2-DT reduced interleukin-6 by 26%, which acne prone skin has been demonstrated to contain in far higher than average amounts.
Garlic improves the blood circulation allowing skin tissues to properly receive vitamins and minerals which are essential for healthy skin. Garlic is an excellent source of vitamins C and B6, minerals, selenium, copper, zinc (used to control sebum) and other phytonutrients.
Recommendation: three cloves of garlic once daily for a month.
- Slavin J. “Fiber and Prebiotics: Mechanisms and Health Benefits.” Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-1435.
- Ban JO, Oh JH, Kim TM, et al. “Anti-inflammatory and arthritic effects of thiacremonone, a novel sulfurcompound isolated from garlic via inhibition of NF-κB.” Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2009;11(5):R145.
- Vaidya, V., Ingold, Keith U. and Pratt, Derek A. (2009), “Garlic: Source of the Ultimate Antioxidants—Sulfenic Acids.” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 48: 157–160.
Ideal Weight is helped by Seitan:
For IDEAL WEIGHT, seitan is a plant-based protein which is an excellent source of dietary protein derived from wheat gluten.1 Depending on how it is prepared and seasoned, seitan can mimic the taste of meat and this recipe shows how this protein can be incorporated into a healthy vegetarian or vegan meal plan.
Protein is key to weight balance, as without adequate intake of essential amino acids the body slows its metabolism to conserve protein and reduce the need for tissue repair. Protein is featured in almost all weight balance programs, however we strongly advocate whole food proteins rather than powders and extracts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says filling your diet with more foods low in energy density, like seitan, is a healthy and easy way to manage weight because it satisfies hunger on fewer calories.
Humans lose about 39 grams of protein daily in the urine just from normal cell breakdown and turnover. So we need a bare minimum of 40 grams just to keep pace. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 lbs.) of body weight per day. That translates into about 54 grams of protein daily for a 150-lb adult, which is approximately 7-ounces of fish, chicken, red meat, or plant-based protein. You may need more protein if you are engaged in strenuous physical activity such as bodybuilding, endurance sports, or heavy physical labor.
Seitan is similar to lean meat when it comes to calorie content so 3 ounces of cooked seitan contains about 130 calories with 20 grams of protein. It is important to note that meat contains all of the essential amino acids your body requires each day from your diet, while seitan does not. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you can still obtain all the essential amino acids you need each day by eating a variety of high-protein foods; including nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, soy milk, eggs, and dairy products. Seitan is low in fat with only 1.5 grams of fat from heart-healthy, monounsaturated fat and a good source of iron. Protein foods are an important source of iron, which is an essential mineral that helps carry oxygen throughout your body. While seitan is not as good a source of iron as tofu, it can help you meet your daily needs meeting 6 to 8% of the daily RDA for iron. To enhance the absorption of the iron in the seitan, eat it with a food rich in vitamin C by adding peppers or broccoli as a side dish.
Recommendation: A minimum of 3 ounces once daily.
- Hever J. Plant-Based Diets: A Physician’s Guide. The Permanente Journal. 2016;20(3):93-101.
Migraines are helped by Mushrooms:
For MIGRAINES, shiitake and reishi mushrooms are being touted as a medicinal solution backed up by long-term observational studies by MykoTroph, the Institute for Medicinal Mushrooms. As migraine sufferers know, there can be multiple triggers like genetic predisposition, persistent stress, hormonal fluctuations, lack of fluid, insufficient sleep, and a host of unhealthy dietary habits.
Traditional Chinese medicine has turned to mushrooms for centuries for numerous applications. Shiitake helps to improve vascular tone which has proven very helpful in the prevention of migraine attacks. These mushrooms contain the Vitamin B riboflavin which has been shown1 to reduce the frequency of migraines.
Reishi develops a regulating effect in stress and exhaustion, promoting a healthy balance in hormones and emotions. This applications follows the long-held belief that reishi is mildly sedating or calming. Rats who drank reishi water have shown increased REM sleep by modulating delta activity which seems to coincide with the fact that sleep is initiated when the cortisol and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity is at its lowest. Many traditional botanicals including reishi have been utilized for their stabilizing effect on the HPA axis.
A study was undertaken in Pakistan3 when it was discovered that reishi completely eradicated migraines without side effects. They discovered this effect in 94% of the participants across all ages and potential migraine causes.
Recommendation: In our clinic, we have found that our patients need to experiment with different varieties of mushrooms and amounts to find relief from their particular symptoms. We have seen patients finding relief with reishi and shiitake mushrooms.
- Jones, Kenneth. “Reishi mushroom: Ancient medicine in modern times.” Alternative and Complementary Therapies 4.4 (1998): 256-266.
- Schoenen, Jean, Jean Jacquy, and M. Lenaerts. “Effectiveness of high‐dose riboflavin in migraine prophylaxis. A randomized controlled trial.” Neurology 50.2 (1998): 466-470.
- Fakhsheena et al. Karachiites, causes of migraine in. Int J Pharm 2012; 2 (4): 706-711.
Tinnitus prevention is helped by Garlic:
For TINNITUS, garlic is proving to be a powerful assistant in maintaining hearing thresholds for those receiving ototoxic medications, thus preserving hearing and preventing tinnitus.
Researchers in Turkey1 were seeking to resolve the undesirable and somewhat frequent side effects of cochlear and vestibular impairments caused by the use of the potent, broad-spectrum antibiotic Gentamicin. It is one of the most commonly used antibiotics worldwide because of its affordability, efficacy, and lack of allergic reactions. Gentamicin is toxic to the cells of the inner ear, presumably from the action of free radicals supported by the fact that ototoxicity is reduced when Gentamicin is combined with antioxidants.
Garlic has a well-known ability to thin blood and therefore improve circulation. The researchers proved that it reduces plaque buildup in the small artery that leads to the cochlea. Keeping that artery healthy is especially important to those suffering from tinnitus.
While the underlying cause of tinnitus is not well understood, tinnitus symptoms can happen with an ear infection. Since garlic has extremely effective antibacterial action, this natural remedy can resolve the infection that is causing tinnitus. 2
Another cause of tinnitus can be poor blood circulation in the body and in the ears. Garlic’s potent active ingredient allicin, breaks down into sulfur compounds diallyl disulfide and diallyl trisulfide. These have proven helpful to reducing high blood pressure, as an effective anticoagulant, and lowering high cholesterol levels all of which improve circulation. 3
Recommendation: 1 clove per day of fresh, minced or pressed garlic clove.
- Uzun L, Balbaloglu E, Akinci H. Garlic-Supplemented Diet Attenuates Gentamicin-Induced Ototoxicity: An Experimental Study. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology 121(2):139-143. 2012.
- Pai, S. T., and M. W. Platt. “Antifungal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract against the Aspergillus species involved in otomycosis.” Letters in applied microbiology 20.1 (1995): 14-18.
- Smith, Gregory S., et al. “Complementary and integrative treatments: tinnitus.” Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America 46.3 (2013): 389-408.
Vaginal Yeast is helped by Garlic:
For CANDIDIASIS and VAGINAL YEAST overgrowth, garlic has been proven to kill yeast and fungi. Bread bakers know that they can’t add garlic while bread is rising or it will kill the yeast and stop them from performing their important process.
Most functional medical doctors believe that Candida overgrowth can be partly blamed on our diet of highly processed foods and specifically refined sugary foods. Yeast loves sugar which give it the power to flourish in your intestines. When there’s imbalance in the microbiome, there can be an overgrowth of yeast that can damage the intestinal lining. This may cause a weakening of the intestine walls, or leaky gut, allowing Candida to seep into your blood stream and causing candidiasis. Once in your blood stream, the infection can affect the whole body causing tissue damage and accumulation of toxins and eventually, a weakened immune system.
Several studies have shown that garlic causes yeast cell death. Specifically, garlic oil penetrates the cellular membranes1 of Candida albicans and very successfully disrupts its normal activity and function.
Another study used aqueous garlic extract and showed that protein and nucleic acid syntheses was inhibited, but lipid synthesis was completely arrested. Blockage of lipid synthesis is likely an important component of the anticandidal activity of garlic.2
It is interesting to note that when six of garlic’s compounds were studied, it was ajoene, an organosulfur compound that had the strongest activity inhibiting the growth of candida. When garlic is chopped or crushed, allicin and the enzyme allinase form ajoene. Although its antifungal properties are well-documented, its exact mechanisms of action are not clear. Scientists hypothesize that ajoene works by disrupting the cells walls of the candida yeast cells and thus preventing them from functioning properly.3
Scientists also looked as the inability of Candida spp. (C. albicans, C. kefyr, C. tropicalis) to adhere to buccal epithelial cells after exposure to an aqueous garlic extract.4 This showed that rinsing the mouth with garlic suppressed the germ-tube formation of yeast and inhibited the ability of thrush to survive.
Garlic’s powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties and several scientific studies have found it to be as effective as the popular anti-fungal pharmaceutical drugs Ketoconazole and Nystatin in destroying candida albicans.5 One important difference between taking these drugs is that bacteria and fungi are not likely to develop a resistance to garlic.
Recommendation: 2 to 4 grams per day of fresh, minced garlic clove.
- Li, Wen-Ru, et al. “Antifungal activity, kinetics and molecular mechanism of action of garlic oil against Candida albicans.” Scientific reports 6 (2016): 22805.
- Adetumbi, M., G. T. Javor, and B. H. Lau. “Allium sativum (garlic) inhibits lipid synthesis by Candida albicans.” Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 30.3 (1986): 499-501.
- Yoshida S, Kasuga S, Hayashi N, Ushiroguchi T, Matsuura H, Nakagawa S. Antifungal activity of ajoene derived from garlic. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 1987;53(3):615-617.
- Ghannoum, M. A. “Inhibition of Candida adhesion to buccal epithelial cells by an aqueous extract of Allium sativum (garlic).” Journal of Applied Microbiology 68.2 (1990): 163-169.
- Suleiman, Elham Abdelbasit, and Wafa Ballal Abdallah. “In vitro Activity of Garlic (Allium sativum) on Some Pathogenic Fungi.” (2014).