“Inflammation” is a word that’s mentioned quite a bit but not many people know what it means, let alone how to prevent it and treat it should they have it.
Put simply, inflammation acts as the body’s first responder – it is the response of the body’s immune system to stress, Desiree Nielsen, registered dietitian and author of Un-Junk Your Diet, explains.
According to Nielsen, there are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic.
In most cases, however, when inflammation is mentioned, the chronic type is usually being referenced.
“Chronic inflammation represents a loss of the balance between tolerance and action in the immune system – because for your immune system to operate properly, it needs to know when it really needs to act, and when it needs to hang back when it’s not a big deal,” Nielsen says. “Usually it’s the immune system that’s very confused by some aspect of modern living. So chronic stress is a very under-rated source of chronic inflammation in the body, and it has a very real physical impact on us.”
Chronic inflammation has been linked to ailments like diabetes, obesity and heart disease, among others, Nielsen points out.
It can be triggered by lifestyle, infection or environment, but perhaps the biggest trigger, Nielsen says, is diet.
“Maintenance of stable blood sugars and avoiding that blood sugar roller coaster will help with inflammation,” Nielsen says. “Making very high glycemic choices and ones that spike blood sugars and keep a high level of blood sugar circulating in the blood tends to promote chronic inflammation.”
Turmeric is a golden-coloured spice that is native to Southeast Asia but can be bought here in Canada. It is also part of the ginger family, and it is also what gives curry its colour.
“This is one of the best researched, but also a befuddling anti-inflammatory,” Nielsen says. “The reason why is because the main component is called curcumin. In lab studies, it has shown remarkable anti-inflammatory capacity… and the consumption is associated with lower levels of cancer prevention and Alzheimer’s disease.”
But when humans eat turmeric, Nielsen explains that the spice is not very “bio-available,” meaning humans don’t actually digest and absorb the spice into our circulation very well, so humans have to consume a lot of it.
“But we’re also learning now that perhaps, part of how it works is through the gut,” Nielsen says. “So by not being digested or absorbed might be happening because it has a bit of a prebiotic effect on our gut bacteria – so feeding beneficial bacteria. But the compounds may also be interacting with the gut level immune system as opposed to having a huge amount of activity when in the blood.” [...]
It is an irresistible combination of fluffy hot-from-the-steamer rice drizzled with gulai ayam and served with easy-to-eat pieces of juicy fried turmeric chicken and burn-your-tongue-off sambal belacan that draws people to Warung Cikgu in Puchong.
Started in May 2005, the eatery was set up by Kelantan native Ariff Suqimi and managing the two outlets is Ariff’s primary school friend and fellow Kelantanese, Nik Mohd Faiz, 28.
The name of the place pays tribute to Ariff’s father who is popularly known as Cikgu Karim, a nod to his profession. This January, they expanded and opened another outlet in USJ1’s Regalia Business Centre.
What they serve here is nasi Mmanggey which is actually different from the other Kelantanese favourite nasi Kak Wok. Confused because both dishes look identical? Can’t say we blame you as they are both feature fried chicken.
Nik Mohd Faiz tells us there are slight differences between the two rice dishes that trace their origins back to Kelantan. He adds, “The concept is the same but the taste is different.”
For nasi Mmanggey, the fried chicken is marinated with turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt while the nasi Kak Wok chicken uses a marinade made from fresh turmeric. In terms of spice levels for the sambal belacan accompanying the rice, Nik Mohd Faiz explains to us that they increased the spiciness.
In Kelantan, nasi Mmanggey (RM5.50) is usually eaten for breakfast and lunch. At Warung Cikgu, you get to satisfy your cravings for the rice dish throughout the day.
Accompany your meal with their kelapa baldi (RM4.20) or fresh coconut water served in a small bucket. Nik Mohd Faiz tells us the coconuts are sourced from Bagan Datoh in Perak.
You also have Shake!Gu (RM3.70), their version of coconut shake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The word gu is Kelantanese slang for buddy.If you’re early, look for their breakfast items which are available till 10am. A must-try is the nasi lemak biasa (RM2.70). Simple but satisfying; the fluffy rice is delicious when paired with the fragrant, not too spicy sambal and crunchy deep fried ikan bilis. [...]