Founder Focus: Welsh International Footballer, Thomas Robson-Kanu on Founding The Turmeric Co.
As an international footballer, I’m all too familiar with the power that nutrition has on overall well-being, performance and recovery. But it was only after I sustained two heavy cruciate ligament injuries as a teenager during a game, that I found myself exploring the world of functional nutrition. After an intensive road to recovery, I was prescribed a cocktail of prescription drugs which left me suffering from a range of horrendous side effects including constant nausea and insomnia. Determined to find a natural way to recover from my injury, my father and I spent hours reading about harnessing the power of natural foods to support healing and recovery with the help of nutrition. My father went on to experiment with natural powerful ingredients including turmeric, ginger, beetroot, pineapple, pomegranate and watermelon all in a unique blend with an even more unique extraction process to ensure I was able to consume the body of the root in a convenient way. It was this elixir of ingredients that played a pivotal role in my recovery and over a decade later, The Turmeric Co. was born.
I’ve learnt that food is far more than just a source of fuel. The food we eat serves as building blocks that provide our bodies cells with “information” and depending on what we eat, the food can either enhance well being and healing or can disturb the body’s balance and increase the risk of disease. Without proper nutrition, the biochemical reactions which influence the strength of our immune system, the health of our skin, our gut health and brain function, cannot take place effectively. This can lead to a biochemical imbalance which can eventually go on to trigger negative health conditions. That’s why it’s really important to eat a balanced diet rich in unprocessed whole, and ideally raw foods, as the nutrients found in these foods help to maintain healthy nutrition status and prevent nutrient deficiency. To support my health, I centre my diet around fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-foods and of course raw turmeric shots, to get a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals from these natural ingredients – I essentially live by the fact that the closer the food is to its natural state, the better it is for my body. When it comes to eating for a specific purpose, such as boosting your immune health, to increase performance and endurance or aid recovery, it’s essential to get enough of the right nutrients.
Eat to support the immune system
It is well-known that the food that we eat can influence the immune system. There are several nutrients (vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D & E, folate, zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids) that have been linked to supporting the growth and function of the immune cells which can strengthen the immune system. You can find these nutrients in a range of plant-based foods including leafy greens, chia seeds, fruits, whole grains and legumes.
The phytochemical curcumin that’s found in turmeric, has also been identified to exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can also help boost immunity. Curcumin is also able to stimulate and activate certain white blood cells to improve the body’s immune response. Using nature’s most powerful roots, to help support the immune system, we’ve created a Raw Turmeric & Ginger shot which contains raw turmeric root (rich in immune-boosting curcumin), ginger root (rich in an anti-inflammatory and an immune-boosting compound called gingerol as well as immune-supporting nutrients: vitamin B6 and magnesium), watermelon (rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, magnesium, vitamin B6 and the antioxidant lycopene which can help reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract), pineapple (high in vitamin C), pomegranate (they contain plenty of antioxidants, vitamin C and vitamin E), lemon (an excellent source of vitamin C), flax oil (a rich source of immune-supporting omega-3) and black pepper (contains the active ingredient piperine that has been found to boost the bioavailability of curcumin by more than 2,000%).
Eat to increase performance, endurance and recovery
Strength, speed, performance, endurance and recovery can all be optimised with the help of the right nutrients. While fats, proteins and carbohydrates certainly need to be of high quality, it’s also important to get enough calcium, zinc, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamins C and E to support optimal performance and endurance. These nutrients are found in leafy vegetables, dairy/fortified plant-based milks, dark chocolate, avocados, legumes and nuts/seeds. Studies also report that beetroots can increase athletic performance as they are rich in natural chemicals called nitrates. These nitrates raise nitric oxide levels in the body and studies have found that raised nitric oxide levels can help improve lung function and blood flow, thereby helping the body use more oxygen and increase performance.
To help increase athletic performance, we’ve developed a Raw Turmeric & Beetroot shot which contains raw turmeric root (rich in curcumin which has been found to reduce exercise-induced muscle damage), beetroot (rich in nitrates), watermelon (rich in vitamin C that has found to help with oxidative damage that occurs from exercise and help minimise fatigue from a hard workout), ginger root (rich in vitamin C), pineapple (a great source of vitamin C), pomegranate (high in vitamin C), lemon (plenty of vitamin C), flax oil and black pepper.
To find out more about Turmeric.Co click here.