1 Spice That Slows Aging and Strengthens Your Heart

April 12, 2013 | By | 62 Comments

Keep your ticker beating strong into old age by adding this tasty spice to your foods…

The more you investigate, the more you’ll discover that natural foods have an amazing ability to heal your body – oftentimes, much more so than prescription medication.

Furthermore, they lack any and all of the side effects of the latter. As such, you should make these “superfoods” a staple of your diet in order to optimize your health.

The star of this article is turmeric. It’s a spice which gives Indian curry its color as well as our very own American Mustard. It’s a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties and is even used to treat laryngitis, bronchitis, and diabetes in India.

But wait, there’s more!

Got knee pain? Take turmeric because, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the former performed just as well as NSAID’s to relieve pain. And as mentioned previously, it’s free of side effects.

And while this spice has been shown to heal all kinds of ailments, it really shines when it comes to strengthening your heart. So much so that it has even been suggested as a potential alternative for people who are unable to exercise.

In fact, here are a few interesting studies that highlight its effect on cardiovascular health…

In the first one, researchers split 32 women into 3 groups. The first was given a placebo pill and instructed not to exercise. The second was given oral curcumin (turmeric’s most active ingredient) and also instructed not to exercise. While the third group only exercised.

At the end of the 8-week study, the group that took curcumin (but did not exercise) showed an equal improvement in their heart function – and more specifically the blood flow through their arteries – as those who worked out. The first group, as expected, showed no improvement.

The second study showed that taking curcumin while engaging in some kind of exercise program actually improves heart function more so than exercise alone. And the third study showed that curcumin decreases the age-related stress on the heart.

In a nutshell, this is good stuff for your ticker. It can also be used to make pretty tasty recipes as well. Here’s a great one for a vegetable dip that uses turmeric that you can whip up in a snap. But take note, it calls for a bit of mayo which is fine. Just make sure to use one made with oil oil rather than the questionable canola oil.


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Comments (62)

  1. cynthia miley

    First I want to thank you for your hard work on the Cruise Control Diet. I am a 61 year old female with many health issues. I am unable to exercise due to past injuries. I have tried and failed to loose weight too many times to count. I am only writing to you because I received an e-mail from you in the beginning stating I would probably fail in my attempt. I took this personally and feel I should let you know I am following to the letter your plan and will continue to follow it until I reach my personal goal and loose this excess weight. My first though was this message was sent because I didn’t purchase all of the material you offered in your presentation but The ONLY REASON I DIDN’T BUY ALL OF YOUR MATERIAL WAS NOT BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT IT OR BECAUSE I DIDN’T FEEL LIKE I NEEDED IT. I was unable to purchase everything because I only receive Social Security Disability and I just simply couldn’t afford the extra material. I know your intention was to shock me not insult me in order to make me work harder and I am but not because of the e-mail. I like so many other obese individuals take prescription medication for high blood pressure and depression, I also have IBS and have suffered with this since I was 18 years old. I am not angry but maybe in the future the first e-mail you send to anyone should be encouraging. I do enjoy the e-mails with recipes and helpful tips. Keep up the good work. Bon Apetit.

    • Kathy

      I too am 61 and have suffered with inflammation since age 25. No doctor has ever told me to cut the sugar and starches and i have seen many many specialists over the years. I love to bake sweets and eat them too and usually keep some in the freezer for emergency gifts or just dessert. Last week i pulled a container of cookies and one of toffee bars out intending to give them away. Instead i ate them all, one by one over 2 days without eating anything else. By day 3 i was so sick with gut pain that i thought i might need to go to hospital. After 3 days of nothing but water and green tea and lots of rest, examining my life, i realized i had a severe sugar over load. I could not move, wanted to sleep all the time.
      By divine intervention, my book arrived exactly on time when i needed it. I started on the low starch, low sugar diet following my three day fast without any hesitation. I can never eat baked goods again for fear of overdosing again. I also am on a fixed SS income and was only able to purchase the one book but have found the daily email beneficial to expand on what was in the book.
      I sincerely hope this change in eating habits will help my body to stop craving sugar and relieve the inflammation. I hope it provides you relief as well.

    • I’ts a little scary when I read a story that is exactly like mine – with only one major adjustment. Otherwise, I could have easily written this with one myself. The first letter I received from James Ward was positive and encouraging. I believe this may be a direct result of your response to your first letter. Thank you! I truly believe that WE (overweight people who continue to struggle) are all in this together AND WE should all work together to address the issue.
      So again,
      Thank you!

  2. Mary Wilson

    My husband and I started the Cruise Control Diet Tuesday. We are enjoying it, but are surprised to note that we eat half as much as you!

    I have some question and wonder if I can get them answered by submitting them here. So here it goes!

    Can I use coconut milk to cook with once I’m past the initial 2 weeks? May I use clarified butter or ghee as a cooking fat? Is tahini allowed? Can I have sweet potatoes? Can we cook with wine? FYI the link to the Glycemic Impact list on-line does not work. I want your list if possible.

    We drink a lot of unsweetened iced tea and water. We have not been feeling hungry. We love the cauliflower puree, but my husband can’t get don raw cauliflower or pepper for love or money, o I’ve had to sub in other allowed vegetables in their place. We polished off the pork loin for lunch and look forward to his favorite “hamburger steak” for supper!

    Oh! I wondered how often you suggest we weigh? Thanks and have a happy 4th!

    • Hi Mary,

      Dairy is a grey area. Many people are affected by it while others eat it and still get results.

      You just have to try it out for yourself. If you eat dairy products and are still seeing results, no need to cut it out. If you don’t get the results you are looking for, cut out the dairy for a few weeks and see if that was affecting you.

      Once a week is acceptable to eat sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes and yams are actually better than regular potatoes but still are potatoes.

      Wine is fine as long as it’s unsweetened.

      You can weigh in once a week, before eating, after bathroom use, or in the morning.

      Wishing you a great start!

  3. Bessie Blair

    In the last paragraph you wrote oil oil. Did you mean olive oil?

  4. cheryl

    I read your articles on Turmeric and Capsaicin, my question is if taking a supplement or in say on turmeric grounding your own, how much should you take a day of each to reap the full benefits of both of these?

  5. Bob Bertram

    I may have missed it but what about popcorn. Is it good, bad, or otherwise?

  6. Diane Williams

    I have asked before, but I haven’t had an answer. If I can’t drink water, what is left to drink.

  7. ralph Andrew

    butter or margerine?

  8. Mary Incerpi

    Im on my 2nd week of the diet and have lost 6 lbs, which I

    am very happy. My question is, after the first 2 works, what should my food plan be to keep on losing, Thank you

  9. Sally Scott

    I have looked at several brands of Curcumin and they all have different mg. from 500 to 1300. Which is best? Thanks.

  10. Jacqueline Mills

    Has there been any study on cardamom the spice

    • Hi Jacqueline,

      Yes,the health benefits of cardamom include gastrointestinal protection, cholesterol control, control of cancer, relief from cardiovascular issues, and the improvement of blood circulation in the body. It is useful for curing dental diseases and urinary tract infections such as cystitis, nephritis, and gonorrhea.

  11. Delores Frank

    How much turmeric should you take? You never say.

  12. Gene Evans

    Please tell me just how much sugar I am allowed each day, with just what is on the labels of different products. I am just into this now for two days and I know I can’t have carbs but not sure how to figure out how much is too much to have.
    I am on warferin so I have trouble eating a lot of veggies and you say not to eat much fruit so it is really hard. I love meat sothe sugars.
    I am also craving something sweet all the time what can I eat to get this feeling to go away?

    • Hi Gene,

      We don’t recommend counting calories or how much sugar or any other micro nutrient you consume. The Cruise Control Diet is not about limitations and counting, just the opposite. We want you to not worry how much you are eating but but what you are eating. Vegetables, for example, have a lot of sugar but not a source of sugar that you should be concerned about. If you are on a blood thinner, there are still many vegetables that you can eat. I found this resource for you online: http://www.livestrong.com/article/382357-list-of-acceptable-foods-for-patients-taking-coumadin/

      Your cravings for sweets all the time will slowly get weaker and go away if you continue with the diet. You can have fruit and peanut butter when the cravings are really strong.

  13. Valerie Caldwell

    Can I have protein shake during the first two weeks. What are some recommendations for breakfast.

    • Hi Valerie,

      The protein shake is not a whole foods breakfast – it is manufactured, highly processed and even though you can’t find sugar in it, it probably has a sugar substitute of some kind.

      It is best if you stick to a real whole foods breakfast so you can get results faster. After that, when you are the desired weight you could reintroduce that specific breakfast and see if it affects you.

      You can have eggs, bacon, sausage for breakfast.

      Here are some breakfast ideas that do no involve eggs:


      Two Avocados

      Avocados are one of those super foods that can be eaten as is, without cooking. They are very caloric and will feel you up until lunch time. In fact, two avocados provide about 500 calories. Remember, the reason I am giving you the calories is not because we are looking for low calorie breakfasts. Just the opposite: we want a lot of good calories that will satisfy you and give you the energy to go through your day.

      How to choose avocados.

      Avocados are ready to eat when you center feels firm, but the two ends are staring to get soft. If the whole fruit feels soft, it’s too late. It will taste overripe and horrible. If the ends are not slightly soft, it needs a day or two more to ripen. When you buy avocados, choose the ones the are firm and let them ripen in at home.

      How to eat the avocado:
      Take a knife and cut the fruit in half ending with two long halves, one of which will contain the pit. Scoop out the pit with a spoon. Scoop and eat the avocado straight from the shell with the spoon.


      Yoghurt With Walnuts And Berries

      People respond to dairy differently, therefore, you have to try for yourself and see how often you can have this breakfast. It is the classic yoghurt with berries of your choice and crushed walnuts. It is better to use only whole milk yoghurt and one with live cultures (e.g. Greek yoghurt). Make sure the yoghurt is unflavored, with no sweeteners or fruits added.


      Shrimp or Prawns

      Here is another quick breakfast snack. Boiled shrimps or prawns. You can boil them the night before and have them ready in the fridge. They are not very caloric and will not feel you up for long. However, they will add a lot of variety to your breakfast menu if you have them from time to time. These are also good for afternoon snacks.


      Smoked Fish

      Some love it, other hate it. If you are one of those people that does like smoked fished, why not have it at breakfast. This is probably one of the healthiest breakfasts one can eat.


      smoked fish of your choice
      1 small cucumber
      1 ripe tomato
      a slice of feta
      4-5 olives

      Simply serve yourself a piece of smoked fish of your choice and garnish with the rest of the ingredients. You can drizzle the feta and tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle salt and oregano on top.


      Turkish Breakfast


      ham slices
      4-5 olives
      1 tomato
      any yellow cheese of your choice
      1 boiled egg ( you can omit the egg)
      parsley to garnish

      This breakfast goes really well with a cup of hot tea. A side note about the cheese – different people respond different to dairy. If you are not sure, keep dairy to a minimum. Ultimately, you’d have to try out for yourself to see if it interferes with your weight loss.


      Baked Acorn Squash with Cinnamon

      This recipe is ideal for people with a sweet tooth or those who are used to having a sweet every morning. Acorn squash has a natural sweetness that won’t interfere with your weight loss and cinnamon is one of those spices that actually accelerates weight loss.

      Preheat the oven at 400F. Cut the squash in two, scoop out the seeds and place in a baking pan with the cut side facing up. Add about ¼ inch of water to the pan to prevent the skin from drying. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the squash can easily be penetrated with a fork.

      Take out and sprinkle with cinnamon. Allow to cool. Eat directly with a spoon.

      Any type of squash or pumpkin can be used in this recipe. The only thing that might very is the cooking time. Just check with your fork from time to time to see if ready.

      Now, who has an hour to prepare breakfast, right? You can bake this before hand and have it ready to go. It can be reheated.

      Non-grain “Cereal”

      Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of important nutrients. Why not start the day with them. This recipe is for those hard core cereal breakfast eaters. Instead of cereal, fill you bowl with any or all of the following:

      – pumpkin seeds
      – sunflower seeds
      – flaxseeds
      – sliced almonds
      – berries

      Instead of regular milk, try almond or coconut milk (make sure u buy a brand that is natural and has not have added sugars). Note: do not be tempter to put dried fruits like raisins. These are not a good way to start the day as they have too much sugar. Stick with fresh berries or apple slices. Stay away from bananas as well.


      Breakfast Sausage with Tomatoes

  14. dave severn

    What is the ratio of tumeric and water? or is it just a pill and water?

  15. Jill

    Just started zero cooking meal plan can I substitute like frozen Vegas for raw? And also for breakfast can I have Italian sausage instead of ham? I don’t do smoked fish can I have baked salmon patty instead? Anything you can help with as far as tweeting these meals .. Thank you jill

  16. Janet T.

    Hi James,
    My husband and I started your diet five days ago. I have never had such a nice time in the kitchen! The recipes are very good and so simple; they make coming home very sweet after a long day.

    Your plan has given me me so much energy. I have already lost 3 pounds of my goal of 20. My husband has lost 4 already.

    It’s so refreshing and a relief actually to finally have a healthy plan to follow. I have no desire to eat unhealthy foods again….well, except for ice cream when I can. Haha!

    Thanks for your help and your encouragement!
    Janet T.

  17. Paul OLiveri

    is there information or articals on helping matabilism

    thank you

  18. Hi James,

    I’m on the diet, and appreciate the eMail updates, especially the recipes. I do have to recommend you start using a proofreader for your communications. There were some problems in this letter, using the wrong word. For example you twice said “feel me up,” when it should have been “fill me up.” There was another case where this happened with a different word.

    If you need a proofreader, I do that kind of work.

    Sincerely yours,

    Dr. Ron Rosenthal

  19. James I just don’t understand phase 1. I can’t figure out what to eat, when to eat is it all fasting. I need a more structured two weeks.

  20. Deborah Vaughn

    Do I need to eat boneless chicken?

  21. Maricarmen Santaella

    Hi, butter and mayonnaise are allowed?

  22. Hi James
    Can I eat beef tacos from Taco Bell without the tortilla in the first phase?

  23. Janet

    I started a week ago.never honoree snack on almonds and pistachios. Because I have to eat at all times my goal is to loose thirty lbs I lost 4 already.
    Thank you

  24. I will be returning your book. How do I do this. Do I need a return code?

    • Hi Terry,

      Hi Terry,

      I’m sorry to hear that and I can certainly help you with the return. In the meantime, what can I do to help you implement the program so that you can achieve your weight loss goals quicker and easier?

      We take every one of our reader’s success very seriously. And knowing what a life-changing impact this program will have on you (based on my own success and that of thousands of other readers) I would be doing you a great disservice if I didn’t help you to start the program – even for a couple of weeks.

  25. Rhea Breidel

    I recieved your book The Cruise Control DIet. I did see three books listed somewhere. What is the jump start, etc. Was I supposed to get more than just the one book? Thanks

    • Hi Rhea,

      Please take a look at the back cover and you will see that the Cookbook and Jumpstart Guide are in there. We have bound them together for easier reading and convenience to take to the grocery store.

  26. Kimberly Watts

    I just got your book and totally enjoying it.its the best diet /eating right book I’ve ever read. How ever I need to know if I can use sweet butter to cook with and to dip my veggies in?(melted butter).getting ready to get started on phase one but want to know about the butter before I start. Very excited. I think this is finally the one diet that will work.

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Kimberly,

      Congratulations on your weight loss. Regarding dairy, it’s a grey area. Some people tolerate it very well. Others gain weight when eating it. The best thing to do is an experiment. If you find that it doesn’t hurt your progress, continue to eat it if you like.

      Thanks and wishing you a great start!



    • Nik Takano

      Hi Phyllis,

      Thanks for writing in. The Servings that James used on the cookbook are based on his eating habits. The recipes will be around 2 to 3 servings

  28. Aleda Bowers

    Is “Stevia In The Raw” permitted for a sweetener?
    I just had a quadruple bypass. Arteries were 90 % closed. When I came across your diet I was so excited. You make so much sense. I am so excited to finally have hope! Our son was a Gold Medal US World Champion for twenty years in barefoot water skiing, so having a cheat meal, I knew was essential to a diet that lasts a lifetime. I downloaded your materials immediately, because I wanted immediate success and took off two days to study and apply them. I’ve lost 6 pounds in my first four days and feel confident it is my new lifestyle for health and weight control.
    Thank you for your dedication for success for others! I am 79 and on social security, I wanted your probiotics, but like some others, I have to wait for my next check. It’s not that you’re not convincing. I don’t use credit cards.The skier’s twin is a chiropractor who agrees with your program and has been trying to get all of our family in line with these principles. Both sons entered fitness studies and their scores topped out so high that they had to be thrown out so as not to ruin the studies. Sometimes it’s hard to taken advice from your kids, even when we paid a lot of money for their education. Thanks again!

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Aleda,

      Thanks for writing in. Stevia is the best type of sweetener to use. It’s natural so it doesn’t come with the potential side effects of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Nutrasweet.

  29. Jo Ann Plass

    What about agave for a sweetener?

    • Nik Takano

      Hi Jo Ann,

      Stevia is the best type of sweetener to use. It’s natural so it doesn’t come with the potential side effects of artificial sweeteners such as Splenda and Nutrasweet.

  30. Barb

    My husband and I just started your plan. My question is, on phase 1, can I mix and match the meats for one day with the veggies from another?

  31. John Vespa

    Hi, I need to lose 60 plus pounds, if I stick close to your plan could you give me an estimate of about how long it would take to reach my goal. I know I will have to stay on the plan to be at the proper weight and to maintain the health benefits. So can you give me a range?

    • Hi John,

      The first two weeks of the program are the metabolic reset phase. It takes time for your metabolism to change in order for you to loose weight. Everyone loses weight at a different pace. As long as you are feeling better overall, sleeping better, and have more energy, the diet is working. You need to stick with it and you will look and feel better.

  32. Dolores Farroni

    Hello , I’m 5 days into the program ,the last 2 days I find I’m not that hungry I am following to the T. My question should I eat more if I don’t feel hungry ?

    Thank you

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