Lesson 1: Main Content Copy

What is Culinary Medicine :

Culinary Medicine is a unique combination of nutrition and culinary knowledge to provide a framework for which to prepare medicinal phytonutrient rich plant based foods in a certain way to ensure maximum nutrient bioavailability whilst enhancing flavour . Hippocrates said Let Food Be Thy Medicine & Medicine Be Thy Food, But actually there is a huge gap between food and medicine and many vegans and raw vegans do not understand which foods are medicine. Culinary Medicine bridges this gap between food and medicine. Culinary Medicine is medicinal foods inclusive of polyphenols such as flavonoids, Lignans, phenolic acids and stilbenes, terpenes such as thiols, carotenoids, and saponins and polysaccharides such as beta glucans to name just a few of the major phytochemical required for optimal health and longevity.

Lecture Topics : Culinary Medicine ( Phytonutrients) & Plant Hormetic Compounds 

  1. Green Juice is NOT juice that is green
  2. Colours – Eat the Rainbow
  3. Vitamin absorption – Bioavailability
  4. Antinutrients: Phytates and Oxalates (Bind to vitamins + minerals)
  5. Organic Cold Pressed Vs HPP (high power processing)
  6. Non Fruit Smoothies (No fruit, ice or yogurt)+ Nut Mylks
  7. Medicinal Juice = Sprouts + turmeric + Glass jar + herbs & spices for volatile oils & terpenes in all juices
  8. Iodine + IsoTiocyanates + Terpenes + Flavonoids + Polysaccharides 
  9. juicing + Breaking down cell wall
  10. Juices are highly concentrated medicine – Take small amount but high quality similar to using essential oils.
  11. Sprouting
  12. Culinary Medicine Salads
  13. Medicinal Smoothies + Smoothie Tonics ( Add ferments + add teas + Medicinal dusts & butters)
  14. Medicinal Milks 

Summary of Phytochemical’s – Plant Hormetic Compounds 

These are Essential to combat oxidative stress & free radicals produced during oxidative phosphorylation, chronic stress and exposures to radiation & pollution.

Compelling evidence from epidemiological studies suggest beneficial roles of dietary phytochemicals in protecting against chronic disorders such as cancer, and inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. Emerging findings suggest that several dietary phytochemicals also benefit the nervous system and, when consumed regularly, may reduce the risk of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The evidence supporting health benefits of vegetables and fruits provide a rationale for identification of the specific phytochemicals responsible, and for investigation of their molecular and cellular mechanisms of action. One general mechanism of action of phytochemicals that is emerging from recent studies is that they activate adaptive cellular stress response pathways. From an evolutionary perspective, the noxious properties of such phytochemicals play an important role in dissuading insects and other pests from eating the plants. However at the relatively small doses ingested by humans that consume the plants, the phytochemicals are not toxic and instead induce mild cellular stress responses. This phenomenon has been widely observed in biology and medicine, and has been described as ‘preconditioning’ or ‘hormesis’. Hormetic pathways activated by phytochemicals may involve kinases and transcription factors that induce the expression of genes that encode antioxidant enzymes, protein chaperones, phase-2 enzymes, neurotrophic factors and other cytoprotective proteins. Specific examples of such pathways include the sirtuin – FOXO pathway, the NF-κB pathway and the Nrf-2 –ARE pathway. In this article we describe the hormesis hypothesis of phytochemical actions with a focus on the Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway as a prototypical example of a neuroprotective mechanism of action of specific dietary phytochemicals.

There are four major classes of polyphenols;

  1. Flavonoids 
  2. Lignans 
  3. Phenolic Acids 
  4. Stilbenes

Furthermore, each of these polyphenol classes has further subclasses which contain different polyphenolic compounds. To illustrate, you can see some of these subclasses below along with some of the foods that contain them;

Flavonoids: We can divide flavonoids into various subclasses and over 400 compounds.

  1. Anthocyanins: Berries and dark/purple colored plants 
  2. Chalcones: Fruit, vegetables, and spices 
  3. Dihydrochalcones: Apples
  4. Dihydroflavonols: Various fruit/vegetables
  5. Flavanols: Cocoa and dark chocolate
  6. Flavanones: Prevalent in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons 
  7. Flavones: Fruits
  8. Flavonols: Various nuts and tomatoes 
  9. Isoflavonoids: Soy products

Lignans: We can commonly find lignans in fibrous plant foods, with seeds being a particularly high source. Specifically, flax seeds are the world’s best source of lignans. There is only one sub-class of lignans and it contains 53 polyphenols.

Phenolic Acids: There are various subclasses of phenolic acids and 168 different compounds.

  1. Hydroxybenozoic acid: Onions and radishes 
  2. Hydroxycinnamic acid: Berries, olives and spices 
  3. Hydroxyphenylacetic acid: Cocoa, mushrooms, olives 
  4. Hydroxyphenylpropanoic acid: Olives, olive oil 
  5. Hydroxyphenylpentanoic acid: Olives

Stilbenes: There is one subclass of stilbenes and it contains 27 compounds. In fact, you probably know the most prevalent of these. The name is 

  1. Resveratrol and it’s a major constituent of red wine but also found in many red and purple fruits and vegetables.

Phytochemical Explained Further: Phytochemical benefits include 

  1. The Prevention of macular degeneration and cataracts
  2. The Prevention of motion sickness 
  3. The Prevention of osteoporosis
  4. Anticancer activities
  5. Antioxidant activities 
  6. Anti-estrogenic activities
  7. Anti-inflammatory activities 
  8. Antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral activities 
  9. Cardiovascular protective activities 
  10. Immune-enhancing activities.

Anticancer activities: Block tumour formation, Reduce cell proliferation, Reduce oxidative damage to DNA, Repair DNA damage & Induce enzyme systems that help rid the body of carcinogens (cancer-causing substances).

Antioxidant activities: Neutralise free radicals, which damage vital components of cells, including DNA

Anti-estrogenic and weak estrogenic activities : Anti-estrogenic effects may reduce the risk of hormone-related cancers. Weak estrogenic effects could help maintain bone density and improve blood cholesterol levels.

Cardiovascular protective activities: Decrease damage to blood vessel walls, Decrease oxidation of LDL cholesterol, Decrease platelet stickiness, Increase blood flow, Lower blood pressure, Reduce blood cholesterol levels, Reduce blood clot formation and Slow cholesterol synthesis.

Immune-enhancing activities: Increase activity of cells that protect the body from microoragisms that cause disease and Modulation of cell-signaling pathways, which regulate the growth, division and death of cells.

Phytochemical’s, Class & subclass type, their sources and activities: 

Phenols and polyphenols

Monopenols: ( Carnosol & Carvacrol)

Carnosol: Food sources: Rosemary

Activities: Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer

Carvacrol : Food sources: Oregano, thyme

Activities: Antibacterial

Flavonoids (Polyphenols): ( Anthocyanin & Flavones)

Anthocyanin: Food sources: Purple/Blue foods such as blackberries, black currants, blueberries, cherries, plums

Activities: Antioxidant

Flavones (such as Apigenin, Luteolin and Tangeritin): Food sources: Celery, parsley, thyme

Activities: Beneficial effects against atherosclerosis, certain cancers, diabetes, osteoporosis

(Flavonols, Flavanols, Flavanones & Isolflavones)

Flavonols (such as kaempferol, myricetin and quercetin): Food sources: Apples, berries, broccoli, cherries, green tea, onions, red wine

Activities: Anticancer, antihypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic 

Flavanols (such as Cathechins, Epicatechins and proanthocyanidins): Food sources: Dark chocolate, grapes, green tea, red wine, white tea

Activities: Antitumor, anticardiovascular disease activity 

Flavanones (such as Eriodictyol, Hesperetin and Naringenin): Food sources: Citrus fruits 

Activities: Antiallergenic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial 

Isoflavones (such as Coumestrol, Daidzein, Genestein and Glycitein): Food sources: Soybeans, Soybean products

Activities: Exert weak pro- and antiestrogenic effects

Phenolic acids: ( Capasaicin, Curcumin, Ellagic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Tannic Acid, Vanillin, Hydroxycinnamic Acid, Zingerone, Caffeic Acid, Coumaric Acid & Ferulic Acid)

Capsaicin: Food sources: Chiles

Activities: Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, possible antitumor

Curcumin: Food sources: Turmeric

Activities: Anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, wound healing

Ellagic acid: Food sources: Berries, grapes, nuts, pomegranates

Activities: Anticancer

Salicylic acid: Food sources: Almonds, certain spices, fruits, peanuts, some vegetables

Activities: Anticancer, anticardiovascular disease

Tannic Acid or Tannins (such as gallic acid): Food sources: Tea and red wine

Activities: Antioxidant (note: tannins reduce the absorption of trace minerals, particularly non-heme iron)

Vanillin: Food sources: Vanilla beans, cloves
Activities: Antioxidant 

Zingerone (Metabolized from Gingerol): Food sources: Ginger

Activities: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antinausea 

Hydroxycinnamic acids: ( Caffeic Acids, Coumaric Acid & Ferulic Acid)

Caffeic acid: Food sources: Coffee, some vegetables and fruits
Activities: Antimicrobial 

Coumaric acids: Food sources: Basil, carrots, grapes, green peppers, peanuts, pineapple, strawberries, tomatoes, turmeric, wine

Activities: Anticancer, antioxidant

Ferulic acid: Food sources: Cereal brans, cumin

Activities: Antioxidant

Stilbenes:  (Reservatrol)

Resveratrol: Food sources: Grapes, peanuts, red wine

Activities: Antioxidant, antihrombotic, inhibits carcinogenesis


Lariciresinol, Matairesinol, Pinoresinol and Secoisolariciresinol: Food sources: Beans, grains, seeds (flax, pumkpin and sesame), some vegetables and fruits

Activities: Antioxidant, phytoestrogenic 

Terpenes and Terpenoids: ( Carotenoids, Monoterpenes, Saponins, Thiols)

Carotenoids: (Pro Vitamin A Converts to Vitamin A)

Alpha-Carotene ( Pro Vitamin A): Food sources: Orange and yellow vegetables
Activities: Antioxidant, immune system enhancer

Beta-carotene ( Pro Vitamin A): Food sources: Green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables 

Activities: Antioxidant, immune systen enhancer 

Beta-Cryptoxanthin ( Pro Vitamin A): Food sources: Orange and red fruits and vegetables
Activities: Antioxidant, immune system enhancer 

Lutein: Food sources: Dark green leafy vegetables
Activities: Filters out harmful light, protects against macular degeneration 

Lycopene: Food sources: Red grapefruit, tomatoes, watermelon
Activities: Reduces risk of prostate cancer, may inhibit all cancer cell growth

Zeaxanthin: Food sources: Corn, dark green leafy vegetables
Activities: Filters out harmful light, protects against macular degeneration

Monoterpenes: ( Limonoids & Phytosterols)

Limonoids: Food sources: Citrus fruits

Activities: Cardioprotective, induces enzyme systems required for detoxification of carcinogens

Phytosterols: (Beta-Sitosterol, Campesterol, Stigmasterol)

Beta-Sitosterol, Campesterol, Stigmasterol: Food sources: Corn, dark chocolate, legumes, nuts, seeds, soybeans, vegetable oils, whole grains

Activities: Reduces cholesterol absorption and total and LDL cholesterol 


Saponins: Food sources: Legumes, especially adaptogenic herbs, soybeans, vegetables 

Activities: Anticancer, antioxidant, cholesterol lowering, immune-enhancing 

Thiols (Organosulfur Compounds) & Glucosinolates: (Indoles, Isothiocyanates, Ajoenes, Allicin, Allylic Sulfides, Vinyl Dithiins)

Indoles (such as indolyl-3-carbinol): Food sources: Cruciferous vegetables 

Activities: Anticancer, favorably influences estrogen metabolism 

Isothiocyanates (such as Sulforaphane): Food sources: Cruciferous vegetables 

Activities: Anticancer, potent inducers of Phase 2 enzymes Thiosulfinates:

Ajoenes, Allicin, Allylic Sulfides, Vinyl Dithiins: Food sources: Allium vegetables 

Activities: Antibacterial, anticancer, antifungal, antiviral, cardioprotective


Although colourful fruits and vegetables are the phytochemical champions, legumes, nuts, seeds, grains, spices and teas all deserve an honourable mention. The benefits of phytochemical seem to be much more pronounced when we consume whole plant based foods rather than supplements, as the natural combination of beneficial compounds in a whole food appears to have a synergistic effect. A summary of those compounds of which have been scientifically studied extensively and validated as powerful anti cancer pharmaceuticals in addition to complex sugars and fibre such as the polysaccharides Beta Glucan found in medicinal mushrooms are Below. Polyphenols are secondary metabolites of plants and are generally involved in defense against ultraviolet radiation or aggression by pathogens. In the last decade, there has been much interest in the potential health benefits of dietary plant polyphenols as antioxidant. Epidemiological studies and associated meta-analyses strongly suggest that long term consumption of diets rich in plant polyphenols offer protection against development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis and neurodegenerative diseases. Here we present knowledge about the biological effects of plant polyphenols in the context of relevance to human health.

Plant Hormetic compounds: 

  1. Terpenes ( Saponins, Thiols, Sulforaphane & Carotenoids) – Colourful Fruits & Vegetables, Broccoli Sprouts and Adaptogenic herbs (Rhiodola, Fo ti, Gynostemma, ginseng, Astragulas, Licorice, Ginkgo)
  2. Flavonoids ( Quercetin, Kaempferol & Catechins) – Green Tea, Matcha, Kale, Wheatgrass and Red Onions 
  3. Phenolic Acids ( Blueberries, Spices & Mushrooms)
  4. Stillbenes ( Grapes & Berries)
  5. Lignans ( Seeds & Herbs)
  6. Beta Glucans 

PolyPhenols & AntiCancer Properties :

Polyphenols can form potentially toxic quinones producing a defense agent toxic xenobiotics. Albumin plays an important role in the bioavailability of polyphenols. All phenolic compounds arise from phenylalanine or shikimic acid in plants. Dietary polyphenols are a diverse and complex group of compounds that are linked to human health. Many of their effects have been attributed to the ability to poison (i.e., enhance DNA cleavage by) topoisomerase II. Polyphenols act against the enzyme by at least two different mechanisms. Some compounds are traditional, redox-independent topoisomerase II poisons, interacting with the enzyme in a noncovalent manner. Conversely, others enhance DNA cleavage in a redox-dependent manner that requires covalent adduction to topoisomerase II. Unfortunately, the structural elements that dictate the mechanism by which polyphenols poison topoisomerase II have not been identified. To resolve this issue, the activities of two classes of polyphenols against human topoisomerase IIα were examined. The first class was a catechin series, including (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), (−)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (−)-epicatechin gallate (ECG), and (−)-epicatechin (EC). The second was a flavonol series, including myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol. Compounds were categorized into four distinct groups: EGCG and EGC were redox-dependent topoisomerase II poisons, kaempferol and quercetin were traditional poisons, myricetin utilized both mechanisms, and ECG and EC displayed no significant activity. Based on these findings, a set of rules is proposed that predicts the mechanism of bioflavonoid action against topoisomerase II. The first rule centers on the B ring. While the C4’-OH is critical for the compound to act as a traditional poison, the addition of –OH groups at C3’ and C5’ increases the redox activity of the B ring and allows the compound to act as a redox-dependent poison. The second rule centers on the C ring. The structure of the C ring in the flavonols is aromatic, planar, and includes a C4-keto group that allows the formation of a proposed pseudo ring with the C5-OH. Disruption of these elements abrogates enzyme binding and precludes the ability to function as a traditional topoisomerase II poison.

Beta Glucans:

Beta-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides. These glucose polymers are constituents of the cell wall of certain pathogenic bacteria and fungi. The healing and immunostimulating properties of mushrooms have been known for thousands of years in the Eastern countries. These mushrooms contain biologically active polysaccharides that mostly belong to group of beta-glucans. These substances increase host immune defense by activating complement system, enhancing macrophages and natural killer cell function. The induction of cellular responses by mushroom and other beta-glucans is likely to involve their specific interaction with several cell surface receptors, as complement receptor 3 (CR3; CD11b/CD18), lactosylceramide, selected scavenger receptors, and dectin-1 (betaGR). beta-Glucans also show anticarcinogenic activity. They can prevent oncogenesis due to the protective effect against potent genotoxic carcinogens. As immunostimulating agent, which acts through the activation of macrophages and NK cell cytotoxicity, beta-glucan can inhibit tumor growth in promotion stage too. Anti-angiogenesis can be one of the pathways through which beta-glucans can reduce tumor proliferation, prevent tumor metastasis. beta-Glucan as adjuvant to cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy demonstrated the positive role in the restoration of hematopiesis following by bone marrow injury. Immunotherapy using monoclonal antibodies is a novel strategy of cancer treatment. These antibodies activate complement system and opsonize tumor cells with iC3b fragment. In contrast to microorganisms, tumor cells, as well as other host cells, lack beta-glucan as a surface component and cannot trigger complement receptor 3-dependent cellular cytotoxicity and initiate tumor-killing activity. This mechanism could be induced in the presence of beta-glucans.

Flavonoids :

Catechins (Flavonoid) (matcha) – Topoisomerase Poisoning Effect. Works more effectively than popular anticancer drugs – Chemo also targets Topoisomerase ll

C – Catechin

EC – EPIcatechin

EGC – Epigallocatechin

ECG – Epicatechingallat

EGCG – Epgiallocatechingallet

Kaempferol – Also anti cancer & works like chemo. Promotes apoptosis in malignant cells – chemo drugs. Found in broccoli, strawberries, kale, wheatgrass & blueberries

Kaempferol is a polyphenol antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables. Many studies have described the beneficial effects of dietary kaempferol in reducing the risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer. Epidemiological studies have shown an inverse relationship between kaempferol intake and cancer. Kaempferol may help by augmenting the body’s antioxidant defense against free radicals, which promote the development of cancer. At the molecular level, kaempferol has been reported to modulate a number of key elements in cellular signal transduction pathways linked to apoptosis, angiogenesis, inflammation, and metastasis. Significantly, kaempferol inhibits cancer cell growth and angiognesis and induces cancer cell apoptosis, but on the other hand, kaempferol appears to preserve normal cell viability, in some cases exerting a protective effect. 

Quercetin – Red onions, ginkgo, raw capers and blueberries

Quercetin is a natural flavonoid found abundantly in vegetables and fruits. There is growing evidence suggesting that quercetin has therapeutic potential for the prevention and treatment of different diseases, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease. Mechanistically, quercetin has been shown to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities in a number of cellular and animal models, as well as in humans through modulating the signaling pathways and gene expression involved in these processes. This chapter focuses on experimental studies supporting the anticancer, cardioprotective, and neuroprotective effects of quercetin.

Flavoinoids & Terpenes:

Flavonoids are one of the largest nutrient families known to scientists, and include over 6,000 already-identified family members. About 20 of these compounds, including apigenin, quercetin, cannflavin A and cannflavin B (so far unique to cannabis), β-sitosterol, vitexin, isovitexin, kaempferol, luteolin and orientin have been identified in the cannabis plant and should generally be available via CBD oil. Flavonoids and terpenes are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory health benefits, as well as their contribution of vibrant color and powerful scent to the many of the foods we eat (the blue in blueberries, the red in raspberries, the scent and oils from clove and ginger). Lions Mane is a great example of a food source loaded with terpenes. Hericium erinaceus, most commonly known as lion’s mane, is an edible fungus, with a long history of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The mushroom is abundant in bioactive compounds including β-glucan polysaccharides; hericenones and erinacine terpenoids; isoindolinones; sterols; and myconutrients, which potentially have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties and promotion of nerve growth factor gene expression and neurite (axon or dendrite) outgrowth, H. erinaceus mycelium shows great promise for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Lions Mane has become a very popular Nootropic for very good reasons.
Terpenes and terpenoids are known as secondary metabolites since they are formed due to the enzymatic resections of primary metabolites (amino acids, sugars, vitamins, etc.). Terpenes belong to the biggest class of secondary metabolites and basically consist of five carbon isoprene units which are assembled to each other (many isoprene units) by thousands of ways. Terpenes are simple hydrocarbons, while terpenoids are modified class of terpenes with different functional groups and oxidized methyl group moved or removed at various positions. Terpenoids are divided into monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, sesterpenes, and triterpenes depending on its carbon units. Most of the terpenoids with the variation in their structures are biologically active and are used worldwide for the treatment of many diseases. Many terpenoids inhibited different human cancer cells and are used as anticancer drugs such as Taxol and its derivatives. Many flavorings and nice fragrances are consisting on terpenes because of its nice aroma. Terpenes and its derivatives are used as antimalarial drugs such as artemisinin and related compounds. Meanwhile, terpenoids play a diverse role in the field of foods, drugs, cosmetics, hormones, vitamins, and so on.  Terpenes have been found to be essential building blocks of complex plant hormones and molecules, pigments, sterols and even cannabinoids. Most notably, terpenes are responsible for the pleasant, or not so pleasant, aromas of cannabis and the physiological effects associated with them. Terpenes also play an incredibly important role by providing the plant with natural protection from bacteria and fungus, insects and other environmental stresses. Terpenes act on receptors and neurotransmitters; they are prone to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats; they act as serotonin uptake inhibitors (similar to antidepressants like Prozac); they enhance norepinephrine activity (similar to tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil); they increase dopamine activity; and they augment GABA (the “downer” neurotransmitter that counters glutamate, the “upper”). However, more specific research is needed for improved accuracy in describing and predicting how terpenes in cannabis can be used medicinally to help treat specific ailments / health conditions.


Monoterpenes: Monoterpenes consist of 10 carbon atoms with two isoprene units and molecular formula C10H16. These are naturally present in the essential and fixed oils of plants and relatedsources. Monoterpenes are structurally divided into the acyclic, monocyclic, and bicyclic type of compound. The compounds belong to this class usually have strong aroma and odor and are used in many pharmaceutical companies. Mixture of different monoterpene-based oils is used as fragrances for making perfumes and in other cosmetics. Most of the monoterpenes are active biologically with strong antibacterial activities. Several studies have shown in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of many essential oils obtained from plants. The antitumor activity of essential oils of many species has been related to the presence of monoterpenes in their composition

Sesquiterpenes : Sesquiterpenes are the class of secondary metabolites consisting of three isoprene units (C15H24) and found in linear, cyclic, bicyclic, and tricyclic forms. Sesquiterpenes are also found in the form of lactone ring. Many of the latex in latex-producing plants contain sesquiterpene, and these are potent antimicrobial and anti-insecticidal agent. Artemisinin, a sesquiterpene lactone, one of the most active compounds in Artemisia annuashoots and roots.

Diterpenoids : Diterpenoids belong to a versatile class of chemical constituents found in different natural sources having C20H32 molecular formula and four isoprene units. This class of compounds showed significant biological activities including anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticancer, and antifungal activities. Some of the diterpenes also have cardiovascular activity, such as grayanotoxin, forskolin, eleganolone, marrubenol, and 14-deoxyandrographolide. Kaurane and pimarane-type diterpenes are also biologically active metabolites isolated from the roots and leaves of different plants.

Sesterpenes: Sesterpenes consist of 25 carbon atoms with 5 isoprene units and molecular formula C25H40. These are naturally present in the fungus, marine organism, insects, sponges, lichens, and protective waxes of insects. These types of compounds are biologically active having anti- inflammatory, anticancer, antimicrobial, and antifungal activities

Triterpenes: A major class of secondary metabolites are known as triterpenes and it usually contains 30 carbon atoms consisting of 6 isoprene units. It is derived from the squalene biosynthetic pathway. Triterpenes have many methyl groups and it can be oxidized into alcohols, aldehydes, and carboxylic acids, which make it complex and differentiate it biologically. Triterpenes have many active sites for the glycosylation which converts it into another big class of compounds, namely, saponins (triterpene glycoside). Herein, we are discussing some recently published bioactive triterpenes

Meroterpenes: Meroterpenes are the secondary metabolites with partial terpenoid skeleton. Meroterpenoids were partially derived from mevalonic acid pathways and widely derived from animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi. Meroterpene biosynthesis expands the diversity available to isoprenoid pathways alone and allows for the assembly of natural products with highly unique structural attributes. Organisms belonging to the fungal kingdom have become proficient at exploiting this broad chemical synthesis platform for complex metabolite production. Herein, we are discussing some of the recently published bioactive meroterpenes

Some Other Very Powerful Terpenes


Myrcene, specifically β-myrcene, is a monoterpene and the most common terpene produced by cannabis (some varieties contain up to 60% of the essential oil). Its aroma has been described as musky, earthy, herbal – akin to cloves. A high myrcene level in cannabis (usually above 0.5%) results in the well-known “couch-lock” effect of classic Indica strains. Myrcene is found in oil of hops, citrus fruits, bay leaves, eucalyptus, wild thyme, lemon grass and many other plants. Myrcene has some very special medicinal properties, including lowering the resistance across the blood to brain barrier, allowing itself and many other chemicals to cross the barrier easier and more quickly. In the case of cannabinoids (like THC), myrcene allows the effects of the cannabinoid to take effect more quickly. More uniquely still, myrcene has been shown to increase the maximum saturation level of the CB1 receptor, allowing for a greater maximum psychoactive effect. Myrcene is a potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antimutagenic. It blocks the action of cytochrome, aflatoxin B and other pro-mutagenic carcinogens. The Bonamin et al study focused on the role of β-myrcene in preventing peptic ulcer disease. The study revealed that β-myrcene acts as an inhibitor of gastric and duodenal ulcers, suggesting it may be helpful in preventing peptic ulcer disease. Its sedative and relaxing effects also make it ideal for the treatment of insomnia and pain. Since myrcene is normally found in essential oil from citrus fruit, many claim eating a fresh mango about 45 minutes before consuming cannabis will result in a faster onset of psycho activity and greater intensity. Be sure to choose a mango that is ripe otherwise the myrcene level will be too low to make a difference.


Pinene is a bicyclic monoterpenoid. Akin to its name, pinene has distinctive aromas of pine and fir. There are two structural isomers of pinene found in nature: α-pinene and β-pinene. Both forms are important components of pine resin. α-pinene is the most widely encountered terpenoid in nature. Pinene is found in many other conifers, as well as in non-coniferous plants. It is found mostly in balsamic resin, pine woods and some citrus fruits. The two isomers of pinene constitute the main component of wood turpentine. Pinene is one of the principal monoterpenes that is important physiologically in both plants and animals. It tends to react with other chemicals, forming a variety of other terpenes (like limonene) and other compounds. Pinene is used in medicine as an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, bronchodilator and local antiseptic. α-pinene is a natural compound isolated from pine needle oil which has shown anti-cancer activityand has been used as an anti-cancer agent in Traditional Chinese Medicine for many years. It is also believed that the effects of THC may be lessened if mixed with pinene.


Limonene is a monocyclic monoterpenoid and one of two major compounds formed from pinene. As the name suggests, varieties high in limonene have strong citrusy smells like oranges, lemons and limes. Strains high in limonene promote a general uplift in mood and attitude. This citrusy terpene is the major constituent in citrus fruit rinds, rosemary, juniper and peppermint, as well as in several pine needle oils. Limonene is highly absorbed by inhalation and quickly appears in the bloodstream. It assists in the absorption of other terpenes through the skin and other body tissue. It is well documented that limonene suppresses the growth of many species of fungi and bacteria, making it an ideal antifungal agent for ailments such as toenail fungus. Limonene may be beneficial in protecting against various cancers, and orally administered limonene is currently undergoing clinical trials in the treatment of breast cancer. Limonene has been found to even help promote weight-loss. Plants use limonene as a natural insecticide to ward off predators. Limonene was primarily used in food and perfumes until a couple of decades ago, when it became better known as the main active ingredient in citrus cleaner. It has very low toxicity and adverse effects are rarely associated with it.


Beta-caryophyllene is a sesquiterpene found in many plants such as Thai basils, cloves, cinnamon leaves and black pepper, and in minor quantities in lavender. It’s aroma has been described as peppery, woody and/or spicy. Caryophyllene is the only terpene known to interact with the endocannabinoid system (CB2). Studies show β–caryophyllene holds promise in cancer treatment plans. Research shows shows that β–caryophyllene selectively binds to the CB2 receptor and that it is a functional CB2 agonist. Further, β–caryophyllene was identified as a functional non-psychoactive CB2 receptor ligand in foodstuff and as a macrocyclic anti-inflammatory cannabinoid in cannabis. The Fine/Rosenfeld pain study demonstrates that other phytocannabinoids in combination, especially cannabidiol (CBD) and β-caryophyllene, delivered by the oral route appear to be promising candidates for the treatment of chronic pain due to their high safety and low adverse effects profiles. The Horváth et al study suggests β-caryophyllene, through a CB2 receptor dependent pathway, may be an excellent therapeutic agent to prevent nephrotoxicity (poisonous effect on the kidneys) caused by anti-cancer chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin. The Jeena, Liju et al study investigated the chemical composition of essential oil isolated from black pepper, of which caryophyllene is a main constituent, and studied its pharmacological properties. Black pepper oil was found to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive properties. This suggests that high-caryophyllene strains may be useful in treating a number of medical issues such as arthritis and neuropathy pain. Beta-caryophyllene is used especially in chewing gum when combined with other spicy mixtures or citrus flavorings.


Linalool is a non-cyclic monoterpenoid and has been described as having floral and lavender undertones. Varieties high in linalool promote calming, relaxing effects. Linalool has been used for centuries as a sleep aid. Linalool lessens the anxious emotions provoked by pure THC, thus making it helpful in the treatment of both psychosis and anxiety. Studies also suggest that linalool boosts the immune system; can significantly reduce lung inflammation; and can restore cognitive and emotional function (making it useful in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease). As shown by the Ma, J., Xu et al study, linalool may significantly reduce lung inflammation caused by cigarette smoke by blocking the carcinogenesis induced by benz[α]anthracene, a component of the tar generated by the combustion of tobacco. This finding indicates limonene may be helpful in reducing the harm caused by inhaling cannabis smoke. Linalool boosts the immune system as it directly activates immune cells through specific receptors and/or pathways. The Sabogal-Guáqueta et al study suggests linalool may reverse the histopathological (the microscopic examination of biological tissues to observe the appearance of diseased cells and tissues in very fine detail) hallmarks of Alzheimer’s Disease and could restore cognitive and emotional functions via an anti-inflammatory effect. The Environmental Protection Agency has approved its use as a pesticide, flavor agent and scent. It is used in a wide variety of bath and body products and is commonly listed under ingredients for these products as beta linalool, linalyl alcohol, linaloyl oxide, p-linalool and alloocimenol. Its vapors have been shown to be an effective insecticide against fruit flies, fleas and cockroaches. Linalool has been isolated in several hundred different plants. The Lamiaceae plant and herb family, which includes mints and other scented herbs, are common sources. The Lauraceae plant family, which includes laurels, cinnamon, and rosewood, is also a readily available source. The Rutaceae family, which contains citrus plants, is another viable source. Birch trees and several different plant species that are found in tropical and boreal climate zones also produce linalool. Although technically not plants, some fungi produce linalool, as well. Linalool is a critical precursor in the formation of Vitamin E.


Terpinolene is a common component of sage and rosemary and is found in the oil derived from Monterey cypress. Its largest use in the United States is in soaps and perfumes. It is also a great insect repellent. Terpinolene is known to have a piney aroma with slight herbal and floral nuances. It tends to have a sweet flavor reminiscent of citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Terpinolene has been found to be a central nervous system depressant used to induce drowsiness or sleep or to reduce psychological excitement or anxiety. Further, terpinolene was found to markedly reduce the protein expression of AKT1 in K562 cells and inhibited cell proliferation involved in a variety of human cancers.


Camphene, a plant-derived monoterpene, emits pungent odors of damp woodlands and fir needles. Camphene may play a critical role in cardiovascular disease. The Vallianou et al study found camphene reduces plasma cholesterol and triglycerides in hyperlipidemic rats. Given the importance that the control of hyperlipidemia plays in heart disease, the results of this study provide insight into to how camphene might be used as an alternative to pharmaceutical lipid lowering agents which are proven to cause intestinal problems, liver damage and muscle inflammation. This finding alone warrants further investigation. Camphene is a minor component of many essential oils such as turpentine, camphor oil, citronella oil and ginger oil. It is used as a food additive for flavoring, and also used in the preparation of fragrances. It is produced industrially by catalytic isomerization of the more common α-pinene.


α-Terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, and 4-terpineol are three closely related monoterpenoids. The aroma of terpineol has been compared to lilacs and flower blossoms. Terpineol is often found in cannabis varieties that have high pinene levels, which unfortunately mask the fragrant aromas of terpineol. Terpineol, specifically α-terpineol, is known to have calming, relaxing effects. It also exhibits antibiotic, AChe inhibitor and antioxidant antimalarial properties. Other sources are essential oils of cajuput, pine and petit grain.


Phellandrene is described as pepperminty, with a slight scent of citrus. Phellandrene is believed to have special medicinal values. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat digestive disorders. It is one of the main compounds in turmeric leaf oil, which is used to prevent and treat systemic fungal infections. Phellandrene is perhaps the easiest terpene to identify in the lab. When a solution of phellandrene in a solvent (or an oil containing phellandrene) is treated with a concentrated solution of sodium nitrate and then with a few drops of glacial acetic acid, very large crystals of phellandrene nitrate speedily form. Phellandrene was first discovered in eucalyptus oil. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that it was actually constituted and shown that phellandrene from eucalyptus oil contained two isomeric phellandrene (usually referred to as α-phellandrene and β-phellandrene), and on oxidation with potassium permanganate gave distinct acids, concluding that the acids had been derived from two different isomeric phellandrene. Before that, phellandrene was mistaken for pinene or limonene. Today, we are aware of many essential oils where phellandrene is present. It is, however, a somewhat uncertain terpene as it can only be detected in the oils of some species, especially in Eucalypts, at particular times of the year. Phellandrene can be found in a number of herbs and spices, including cinnamon, garlic, dill, ginger and parsley. A number of plants produce β-phellandrene as a constituent of their essential oils, including lavender and grand fir. The recognizable odors of some essential oils depend almost entirely upon the presence of phellandrene. Oil of pepper and dill oil are composed almost entirely of phellandrene. The principal constituent in oil of ginger is phellandrene. Phellandrene, particularly α-phellandrene, is absorbed through the skin, making it attractive for use in perfumes. It is also used as a flavoring for food products.


Delta-3-carene is a bicyclic monoterpene with a sweet, pungent odor. It is found naturally in many healthy, beneficial essential oils, including cypress oil, juniper berry oil and fir needle essential oils. In higher concentrations, delta-3-carene can be a central nervous system depressant. It is often used to dry out excess body fluids, such as tears, mucus, and sweat. It is nontoxic, but may cause irritation when inhaled. Perhaps high concentrations of delta-3-carene in some strains may be partially responsible for symptoms of coughing, itchy throat and eye afflictions when smoking cannabis. Delta-3-carene is also naturally present in pine extract, bell pepper, basil oil, grapefruit and orange juices, citrus peel oils from fruits like lemons, limes, mandarins, tangerines, oranges and kumquats. Carene is a major component of turpentine and is used as a flavoring in many products.


Humulene is a sesquiterpene also known as α-humulene and α–caryophyllene; an isomer of β–caryophyllene. Humulene is found in hops, cannabis sativa strains, and Vietnamese coriander, among other naturally occurring substances. Humulene is what gives beer its distinct ‘hoppy’ aroma.  Humulene is considered to be anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anorectic (suppresses appetite). It has commonly been blended with β–caryophyllene and used as a major remedy for inflammation. Humulene has been used for generations in Chinese medicine. It aids in weight loss by acting as an appetite suppressant.


Pulegone, a monocyclic monoterpenoid, is a minor component of cannabis. Higher concentrations of pulegone are found in rosemary. Rosemary breaks down acetylcholine in the brain, allowing nerve cells to communicate more effectively with one another. An ethnopharmacology study indicates pulegone may have significant sedative and fever-reducing properties. It may also alleviate the side effects of short-term memory loss sometimes associated with higher levels of THC. Pulegone has a pleasant peppermint aroma and is considered to be a strong insecticide.


Sabinene is a bicyclic monoterpene whose aromas are reminiscent of the holidays (pines, oranges, spices). Results of an ongoing study by Valente et al suggest that sabinene should be explored further as a natural source of new antioxidant and anti-inflammatory drugs for the development of food supplements, nutraceuticals or plant-based medicines. Sabinene occurs in many plants, including Norway spruce, black pepper, basil and Myristica fragrans (an evergreen indigenous to the Moluccas)—the Spice Islands of Indonesia. The seeds of the Myristica fragrans are the world’s main source of nutmeg. Sabinene exists as (+)- and (–)-enantiomers.


Geraniol produces a sweet, delightful smell similar to roses. This makes geraniol a popular choice for many bath and body products. It is also known to be an effective mosquito repellant. Medically, geraniol shows promise in the treatment of neuropathy.

Plant Hormetic Compounds in Adaptogenic Herbs:

Adaptogens are harmless herbs which have pharmaceutical benefits due to their balancing regulative and tonic functions: All resemble corticosteroids that act as stress hormones involved in protective inactivation of the stress system. Adaptogens were initially defined as substances that enhance the “state of non-specific resistance” in stress, a physiological condition that is linked with various disorders of the neuroendocrine-immune system. Studies on animals and isolated neuronal cells have revealed that adaptogens exhibit neuroprotective, anti-fatigue, antidepressive, anxiolytic, nootropic and CNS stimulating activity. In addition, a number of clinical trials demonstrate that adaptogens exert an anti-fatigue effect that increases mental work capacity against a background of stress and fatigue, particularly in tolerance to mental exhaustion and enhanced attention. Indeed, recent pharmacological studies of a number of adaptogens have provided a rationale for these effects also at the molecular level. It was discovered that the stress—protective activity of adaptogens was associated with regulation of homeostasis via several mechanisms of action, which was linked with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the regulation of key mediators of stress response, such as molecular chaperons (e.g., HSP70), stress-activated c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase 1 (JNK1), Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor DAF-16, cortisol and nitric oxide.

– Neuroprotetive

– Anti fatigue

– Anti depressive 

– Anxiolytic

– Nootropic

– CNS stimulating activity

– Anti toxic activity

Complex phenolics and tetracyclic triterpenoids  (steroids)

Tetracyclic triterpenoids

– Cucurbitancin R

– Diglucoside

– Ginsenosides

– Phytosterol glycosides

– SG

– Eleutheroside A

– Sitoindosides

– Daucosterol

Monoterpene – Glucoside rosindrin (Rhodiola)

Phenolic compounds – phenylpropanoids

Phenylethane derivatives

– Salidroside

– Rosavin

– Syringin

– Triandrin

– Tyrosol

– Lignens

– Eleatherosid

– Schisandrin B

6 Major Carotenoids:

Vitamin A – Retinol ( for vegans vitamin A must be converted via carotenoids and lots of them via full ranges of colours specifically orange, yellow, red)  α-Carotene, β-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin are provitamin A carotenoids, meaning they can be converted by the body to retinol. Lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene are non provitamin A carotenoids because they cannot be converted to retinol. All carotenoids are also antioxidants and not completely destroyed with heat in fact in some cases enhanced. However Conversion is not straight forward and it takes a lot of carotenoids to be converted to 1 Vitamin A retinol . Ensure Diet very rich in these colours as Vitamin A is essential . Vitamin A has multiple functions: it is important for growth and development, for the maintenance of the immune system and good vision.

  1. A – Caroteinoid
  2. B – Caroteinoid
  3. B – Cryptozanthin
  4. Lycopene
  5. Lutein
  6. Zeaxanthan 

Carotenoids are important antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage. Most notably, they support the clearance of free radicals in your body. Although these are responsible for the bright colors of many fruits and vegetables, they’re actually found in greater amounts in leafy green vegetables. The chlorophyll in dark-green vegetables masks carotenoids pigments, so the vegetables appear green in color.

Major Medicinal Compounds in The colours :

Red– Lycopene & Resveratol

Orange– Beta-Carotene, zeaxanthin

Yellow– B-Cryptothanxin, Lutein, Zeaxanthin

Green– Clorophyll, magnesium, Calcium, Folate

Purple/Blue– Phenolics, Anthocyanins

White– Beta-Glucans (polysacharide ) ( Complex sugar & Fibre)

Major Medicinal Compounds in Strong Smelling Herbs & Spices 

Terpenes from Resins & Oils Can be identified by their smell, all of which have very powerful phytochemical nutraceutical benefits 

  1. Clove
  2. Basil
  3. Thyme
  4. Ginger
  5. Frankincense
  6. Pine
  7. Schzandra Berry
  8. Black Pepper
  9. Parsley
  10. Dill
  11. Mint
  12. Cinnamon 
  13. Nutmeg
  14. Cannabis 

The Nine Essential Amino Acids:


1. Phenylalanine is a precursor for the neurotransmitter tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It plays an integral role in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the production of other amino acids. (Pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, almonds)

2. Valine helps stimulate muscle growth, regeneration and energy production. (Oats, tempeh, tofu, buckwheat, nuts, seeds)

3. Threonine is a principle part of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin which are important for the skin and conncetive tissue. It also plays a role in fat metabolism and immune function. (Tofu, tempeh, spirulina, pea protein, chlorella)

4. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin which i as a neurotransmitter that regulates your apetite, sleep and mood. Also maintains proper nitrogen balance. (Sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, sea veg, soy tempeh, cucumber, mushrooms, leafy greens, walnuts)

5. Methionine plays important role in metabolism and detoxification. It’s necessary for tissue growth and absorption of zinc and selenium, minerals vital for our health. (Sunflower butter, brazil nuts, oats)

6. leucine helps regulate blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing and produces growth hormones. (Tofu, tempeh, legumes)

7. Isoleucine is involved in muscle metabolism and is heavily concentrated in muscle tissue. Important for immune function, hemoglobin production and energy regulation. (Tofu, tempeh)

8. Lysine plays major roles in protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production and the absorption of calcium. Important for energy production, immun function and the production of collagen and elastin. (Pumpkin seeds, soy beans, tempeh)

9. Histidine is used to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter that is vital to immune response, digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles. It’s critical for maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective barrier that surrounds your nerve cells. (Tofu, tempeh, lentils, almonds, spirulina, quinoa)

Enzymes & The Enzyme Theory: (Myrosinase & Allinase convert phytochemicals into active forms)

Enzymes are the fundamental catalyst of all physical and mental functions. Every known break down of health has to do primarily which a depletion of “life enzymes” or “metabolic enzymes”. When we eat a heavy cooked, processed, and animal based diet our body recruits healing enzymes to help break down the food. This causes our body to become crippled in micro-fractures over time slowing down the healing process and accelerating the aging process. Enzymes are catalysts, and they help to speed up chemical reactions in cells. They are almost always proteins, and because of that, they are easily damaged or destroyed. They have a limited life span and are constantly replenished by the body.  It is often said that people would live about three weeks without food and three days without water, but people would probably only survive about three minutes without enzymes! People have no idea what enzymes really are. People tend to picture these things in plants that help humans, but there really is more to it than just that. There are three kinds of enzymes that have any kind of consequence for human health. Metabolic enzymes basically help run and maintain the body. Digestive enzymes are those that our bodies manufacture in order to break down the food that we eat; that way, food nutrients can be absorbed into the bloodstream. Food enzymes are naturally present in foods and in all raw plants. While plant enzymes may be helpful, they are not critical. Digestive enzymes are important for digesting food. Food enzymes are present in plants to ensure the survival of the plant. There are many societies that eat a predominantly cooked food diet, with a limited intake of plant enzymes, and they can live long and healthy lives. There is no scientific proof that humans require enzymes from food. However, it appears as though we can benefit from the enzymes in food, in a couple of ways. Without digestive enzymes, we would be dead in fairly short order. If we did not have digestive enzymes, we would not be able to break apart the food in the stomach and we would not get any nutrients. There are some diseases in which we are not producing digestive enzymes at a normal level. For example, people with cystic fibrosis have to take a large amount of enzymes in order to survive. Cooking destroys the enzymes present in food, although this destruction is a gradual process. There are two main disadvantages to cooking foods: first, you reduce several of the protective factors in the foods, such as vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and enzymes. Second, cooking can cause the formation of several potentially harmful compounds such as advanced glycation end products, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and acrylamide. In addition, cooking generally increases the glycemic index of food, causing steeper rises in blood sugar than does the raw form of the same food. Another thing cannot be overlooked. When you cook food, you are more likely to add things like butter, salt, or sugar. The same could be said of processed foods. Raw foods are generally unprocessed and uncooked. When you eat mostly a raw food diet, you are automatically putting a lid on all of these unnecessary and potential harmful additives.

All enzymes have a pH and temperature range in which they are active. Outside of that range they are either inactive or denatured. This is why cooking pretty much destroys most enzymes. Raw food enzymes passing through the extremely acidic environment of the stomach also contributes to the destruction or inactivation. When food is chewed, or ground up in some way (chopped, blended) food enzymes are released and activated. These enzymes remain active in the blender (raw food blended into a smoothie), mouth, and even in the upper part of the stomach. When food enters the stomach, it hangs out in the upper segment for approximately 40 minutes. It is thought that perhaps here, salivary as well as food enzymes work and are beneficial. After this stop however, the food enters the lower section of the stomach where it is mixed and churned with hydrochloric acid. Ph levels change dramatically. Here, the enzyme pepsin is produced and secreted. Pepsin is the only enzyme known to survive, be activated, and thrive in the acidic pH of the stomach. As a result, the chance of food enzymes entering the small intestine (and being absorbed into the body) is not highly likely. Enzyme researcher Stephen Rothman states, “I am unaware of any evidence that suggests that enzymes in raw vegetables or fruits at quantities normally eaten, can substitute for our digestive enzymes or provide substantial assistance in the digestive process. Nor am I aware of any evidence that they pass safely through the acid environment of the stomach or are not rapidly degraded when they reach the intestines. . . .” The enzyme theory premise, that there is a limited amount of digestive enzymes in the body and that we cannot make digestive enzymes to reboot supplies, lacks scientific evidence. Researchers have found that instead, the body conserves digestive enzymes by reabsorbing, recycling, and reusing them. In addition, the contribution of raw food enzymes to the total digestive process is quite small. For example, amylase activity in a glass of carrot juice is 20-30 U/L whereas amylase in saliva is 200,000 U/L. If we had to rely on food enzymes alone, without digestive enzymes, “we would starve to death in short order.”From a scientific perspective, the enzyme theory appears rather weak. However, this does not mean that an individual cannot be greatly benefited from eating more raw food. Raw plant foods provide an amazing array of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants.

In fact, there are a couple of enzymes that stand out when dealing with cancer.

  1. Myrosinase is an enzyme found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and even radishes. Myrosinase converts specific phytochemicals into active forms which are absorbed into the blood stream and are known to inhibit cancer growth and kill cancer cells in the body.
  2. Allinase in allium vegetables like onion and garlic converts the phytochemical alliin to an active form possessing antimicrobial, antithrombotic, lipid lowering, antiarthritic, and anticancer activities. This conversion occurs when the plant has been juiced, blended, mashed, chopped, or chewed. Cooking these foods destroys much or all of these two enzymes. The anticancer potential of consuming these raw foods is exciting.

What is Wheatgrass:

Wheatgrass is a plant that is grown from the Red Wheatberry, a special strain of wheat that produces high concentrations of chlorophyll, active enzymes, vitamins and other nutrients. Chlorophyll, which makes up over 70% of the solid content of wheatgrass juice is the basis of all plant life. Chlorophyll is often referred to as “the blood of plant life” It closely resembles the molecules of human red blood cells.  Wheatgrass is a variety of grass that is used like a herbal medicine for its therapeutic and nutritional properties. Its most therapeutic roles are blood purification, liver detoxification and colon cleansing.  Wheatgrass is a cornucopia of enzymes and nutrients and There is abundance of chlorophyll and carotenoids.

“I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey – work of the stars” – Walt Whitman

How is Chlorophyll so closely related to human blood? Both Chlorophyll and Haemoglobin share a similar atom structure to create their respective molecules. The only actual difference in the two molecules is that of the metallic atom element. In human blood or haemoglobin consists or iron, while in Chlorophyll the metallic atom is magnesium.

What is the importance of Chlorophyll’s resemblance to human blood;Since Chlorophyll and Haemoglobin are so much alike in atom structure allows it to be absorbed quickly and begin to build the blood stream.

What are enzymes; Enzymes in laymen terms are like highly skilled workers on an assembly line. Each enzyme performs a specific function within the body while in harmony with other enzymes. They are important and required for everything we do, vision, thought, dreams, reproduction, breathing, digestion are all controlled by enzymes.

Why are enzymes so important for good health? With the important role of enzymes involvement in every body function, it is necessary that we intake adequate enzymes on a daily basis. Unfortunately, medical doctors have found that we don’t get all the enzymes we need from our cooked, oversalted and over processed foods. This intern results in overall poor health situation. Wheatgrass can provide the additional enzyme intake your body requires for overall good health.

What is the nutritional value of wheatgrass? 30 grams of Wheatgrass is equivalent in vitamins, minerals and amino acids to 1.5 Kilo of fresh green leaf vegetables. Wheatgrass is one of the richest natural sources of vitamins A, complete B complex, B-17, C, E, and K. In addition, Wheatgrass is an excellent source of Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Sulfur, Cobalt, Zinc, 17 forms of amino acids and enzymes.

What are the benefits of Wheatgrass consumption to the human body?

As a body cleanser –Wheatgrass is a powerful cleanser and may start an immediate reaction with toxins or mucus in the stomach, possibly causing nausea. Chlorophyll brings toxins into the blood stream that have been stored in cells or in fatty tissue. Start with 30 to 60 grams and work up to more slowly. Drink it on an empty stomach.

As a body builder –Wheatgrass is very high in enzymes & chlorophyll It contains up to 70% chlorophyll, which is an important blood builder. The chlorophyll molecule closely resembles that of the haemin molecule, the pigment that combines with protein to form haemoglobin. The major difference is that the chlorophyll molecule contains magnesium as its central atom, and the haemin molecule contains iron. The molecular structure of these two substances is almost identical in every other respect.

As an energizer & appetite suppressant –The starch of the wheat berry is stored energy that when converted to simpler sugar is a quick energy source. It is especially good for athletes because it is absorbed in 20 minutes. Wheat picks up 92 of the 102 minerals in the soil and contains all vitamins that science has isolated.

As an antibiotic –Science has proven that chlorophyll will arrest growth and development of unfriendly bacteria. It acts to produce an unfavorable environment for bacteria growth, rather than by any direct action upon bacteria themselves. Rapp and Gurney at Loyola University established that water-soluble chlorophyll inhibits the action of proteolitic bacteria (which break down protein into simpler substances) and enzymes hence, taken internally via mouth or rectum, it inhibits putrefication of protein by some bacteria that are commonly found in the digestive tract of meat eaters.

And carcinogens –Dr. Chiu-nan Lai, Ph.D., (University of Texas System Cancer Center, Department of Biology Houston, Texas) has determined through using the Ames Bacterial Mutagenicity Test that chlorophyll is the active factor in wheat sprout extract that inhibits the metabolic activity of carcinogens. A twenty year study of 2000 telephone company workers has found that a natural ingredient in carrots and leafy green vegetables significantiy reduced the risk of lung cancer in cigarette smokers. They determined that a diet high in beta-carotene negated the bad effects of 30 years of smoking. The National Cancer Institute reports that 19 of 21 studies over the years have indicated diets high in belta-carotene contribute to at least 40% risk reduction in developing some kinds of cancer.

For anemia –Chlorophyll aids in rebuilding the bloodstream. Studies on various animals have shown chlorophyll to be free of any toxic reaction. The red cell count has returned to normal within 4 to 5 days of the administration of chlorophyll, even in those animals that were known to be extremely anemic or low in red blood cell count.

As a deodorizer –Dr. F. Howard Wescott reported that when chlorophyll is taken internally in adequate quantities, it reduces or eliminates offensive body and breath odors. His studies showed it effective in neutralizing obnoxious odors in the body from food, beverages, tobacco, and metabolic changes (halitosis), and from perspiration due to physical exercise, nervousness and menstrual cycle.

Skin disorders –The soothing effect of chlorophyll ointments are very beneficial in treating various skin diseases including weeping & dry eczema, insect bites and infection.

Benefits of sprouts

Sprouts are baby plants in their prime. At this stage of growth they have a greater concentration of proteins, vitamins and minerals, enzymes, RNA, DNA, bio flavonoids, T cells etc than at any other point in the plants life even when compared to the mature vegetable. Sprouts are also always grown organically. Because sprouts are baby plants they have very delicate cell wall which release nutrients very easily. These nutrients are in elemental form and along with the abundance of enzymes they are so easy to digest. Sprouts (baby plants) trap the energy of the sun and convert it to chlorophyll. Eating fresh, live clorophyll rich foods nourishes every cell of our bodies and increases stamina.

Why are Cruciferous Vegetables so important?

Because they contain a isothiocyanate called Glucoraphanin which when exposed to the enzyme Myrosinasecoverts to a powerful antioxidant called
Sulforaphane. Broccoli Sprouts is The Ultimate Cruciferous Vegetable for Sulforaphane Benefits.

Sulforaphane Benefits:

Sulforaphane Protects the Gastrointestinal Tract(GI)
Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Skin
Sulforaphane Improves Immune System Function
Sulforaphane Promotes Weight Loss
Sulforaphane Encourages Fully Body Detoxification
Sulforaphane Reduces Autoimmune/General Inflammation
Sulforaphane Promotes Hair Growth
Sulforaphane Supports Healthy Liver Function
Sulforaphane Combats Cancer
Sulforaphane Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Sulforaphane Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Sulforaphane Helps Control Diabetes
Sulforaphane Acts as an Antiviral
Sulforaphane Fights Fungal and Bacterial Infections
Sulforaphane Slows Down Degenerative Disorders
Sulforaphane Turbocharges Cognitive Function
Sulforaphane Combats Depression/Anxiety
Sulforaphane Can Reduce the Symptoms of Autism
Sulforaphane May Help Asthma Sufferers
Sulforaphane Alleviates Bladder Dysfunction
Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Eye Function
Sulforaphane is Great for Bone Formation + Density
Sulforaphane Improves Arthritis Symptoms
Sulforaphane Shields the Kidneys from Disease
Sulforaphane Facilitates a Healthy Pregnancy

Medicinal Salads – B Vitamins 

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)

Functions:converts food to energy, maintains healthy hair, nails, and skin, aids in mental focus and brain function

Sources:Coriander, pine nuts, Jerusalem artichokes, hibiscus tea, watermelon, whole grains, acorn squash, soymilk, soybeans, rice bran, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts (or butter), tahini, sesame seeds, spirulina, green peas, most beans, asparagus

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Functions:converts food to energy, maintains healthy hair, nails, and skin, aids in mental focus and brain function.

Sources:cereal grasses, whole grains, almonds, sesame seeds, spinach, fortified soy milk, spirulina, mushrooms, beet greens, quinoa, buckwheat, prunes.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Functions:converts food to energy, maintains healthy hair, nails, and skin, aids in mental focus and brain function

Sources:Chili powder, spirulina, peanuts, peanut butter, rice bran, mushrooms, barley, durian fruit, potatoes, tomatoes, millet, chia, whole grains, wild rice, buckwheat, green peas, avocados, sunflower seeds, tahini

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Functions:converts food to energy, maintains healthy hair, nails, and skin, aids in mental focus and brain function.

Sources:Paprika, Shiitake mushrooms, sunflower seeds (and sunbutter), whole grains, broccoli, mushrooms, avocados, tomatoes, soy milk, rice bran, sweet potatoes.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Functions:aids in maintaining homeostasis, prevents anxiety by helping the amino acid tryptophan convert to niacin and serotonin for healthy nerve function and also helps ensure a healthy sleep cycle, appetite, and mood, red blood cell production, immune function.

Sources:all soy products (choose non-GMO), bananas, watermelon, peanut butter, almonds, sweet potatoes, green peas, avocados, hemp seeds, spirulina, chia seeds, beans, rice bran, chickpeas, prunes, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, pineapple, plantains, hearts of palm, artichokes, water chesnuts, all squash and pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, green beans, pistachios, figs, nutritional yeast, baker’s yeast (active yeast), garlic, sage, peppers, kale, collards

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Functions:converts food to energy, helps reduce blood sugar by synthesizing glucose, helps make and break down fatty acids, needed for healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Sources:almonds, chia, peanuts, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, onions, oats, tomatoes, carrots, walnuts

Vitamin B9 (Folate)

Functions: merges with Vitamin B12 and Vitamin C to utilize proteins and is essential for healthy brain development and for healthy red blood cell formation, essential for pregnant women to get enough of
Sources: spinach, beans, lentils, asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, avocados, mangoes, oranges, most whole grains, nutritional yeast (nonactive yeast), baker’s yeast (active yeast), basil, soy products, peanuts, artichokes, cantaloupe, walnuts, flax, sesame, cauliflower, tahini, sunflower seeds, peas, okra, celery, hazelnuts, mint, leeks, chesnuts.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Functions:red blood cell production, needed for optimal brain function to prevent depression and mania, aids in digestion, improves iron uptake, critical for all aspects of health.

Sources: Soy products such as tempeh, fortified plant based milks, some vegan protein powders, nutritional yeast, spirulina and supplementation.

Medicinal Juice Plant Based Nutrition 

Red Juice – Lycopene ( Beets, Tomatoes, Melon, Goji, Cayenne, Red peppers)

Orange Juice – beta-carotene, zeaxanthin ( Oranges, Carrots, peppers, Turmeric)

Yellow Juice – B-cryptothanxin, Lutein, Zeaxanthin ( Peppers, Yellow Carrot, Yellow courgettes, Honeydew Melon, Lemon, Ginger)

Green Juice- Clorophyll, magnesium, calcium, folate ( Herbs, Leaves, Seaweeds, Grasses, Matcha)

Purple/Blue Juice– Phenolics, anthocyanins ( Cabbage, Blueberries, Acai, fig, Dulse, Lavender Flower)

White Juice- beta-clucains ( Melon, Pear, Cabbage, Raddish, Cauliflower )

Nutritional Science Essentials with Culinary Medicine :

  1. Take Vitamin C with iron for best absorption (Wheatgrass with lemon/orange)
  2. Take Calcium and Vitamin D together
  3. Take some form of fat with Vitamin A – Take without fibre
  4. A Carotenoids, B Carotenoids, B Cryptozanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin Vitamin A absorption (Take with Fat + No fibre)
  5. Calcium absorption (Take with vitamin D, take small amounts)
  6. Oxalates / phytates (Juice, steam, sprout)
  7. Iron absorption (Take with Vitamin C)

Red– Lycopene

Orange– beta-carotene, zeaxanthin

Yellow– B-cryptothanxin, Lutein, Zeaxanthin

Green– Clorophyll, magnesium, calcium, folate

Purple/Blue– Phenolics, anthocyanins

White– beta-clucains

Green – Chlorophyll (prevents cell damage), calcium, magnesium, folate, polyphenol EGGG. Gut repair and detoxifies – anti cancer.

Purple/Blue – Phenolics/anthocyanins, high in anthocyanidin, boost antioxidant/neutralise free radicals, anti cancer

White  – Beta glucans (Boost immunity)

Red – lycopene/Reservatol (Reduce inflammation)

Black – Fulvic acid (heart and brain health), anthocyanin which is a powerful antioxidant, anti aging, anti inflammatory and heart health. Reduce risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease

Brown – Magnesium and vitamin D (Brain + Blood Health)

Yellow – Beryptoxanthin + zeaxhantin (antioxidant) High in volatile oils and mood enhancer

Stacking Terpenes, Flavonoids, saponins, B vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, enzymes and other Hormetic compounds )

Plant Based Nootropics & Plant Hormetic Compounds which are also called phytonutrients and Nutraceuticals:

Compelling evidence from epidemiological studies suggest beneficial roles of dietary phytochemicals in protecting against chronic disorders such as cancer, and inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases. Emerging findings suggest that several dietary phytochemicals also benefit the nervous system and, when consumed regularly, may reduce the risk of disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The evidence supporting health benefits of vegetables and fruits provide a rationale for identification of the specific phytochemicals responsible, and for investigation of their molecular and cellular mechanisms of action. One general mechanism of action of phytochemicals that is emerging from recent studies is that they activate adaptive cellular stress response pathways. From an evolutionary perspective, the noxious properties of such phytochemicals play an important role in dissuading insects and other pests from eating the plants. However at the relatively small doses ingested by humans that consume the plants, the phytochemicals are not toxic and instead induce mild cellular stress responses. This phenomenon has been widely observed in biology and medicine, and has been described as ‘preconditioning’ or ‘hormesis’. Hormetic pathways activated by phytochemicals may involve kinases and transcription factors that induce the expression of genes that encode antioxidant enzymes, protein chaperones, phase-2 enzymes, neurotrophic factors and other cytoprotective proteins. Specific examples of such pathways include the sirtuin – FOXO pathway, the NF-κB pathway and the Nrf-2 –ARE pathway. In this article we describe the hormesis hypothesis of phytochemical actions with a focus on the Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway as a prototypical example of a neuroprotective mechanism of action of specific dietary phytochemicals.

Phytochemicals serve numerous functions in plants and contribute to their color, flavor, smell and texture. Increasing data suggest associations between the type of food people eat, their health and their life expectancy; the consumption of vegetables and fruits may protect against cancers, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative disorders (Heber, 2004). Phytochemicals include compounds with various biological properties (i.e. antioxidant, antiproliferative, DNA repair) which have presumably evolved, in part, to allow plants to cope with environmental challenges including exposure to radiation and toxins, and defense against pests and infectious agents (Tuteja et al., 2001Huffman, 2003). Chemicals that are concentrated in the skin of fruits and the growing buds of vegetables include those that function as natural pesticides and, indeed, identification and large-scale production of such “biopesticides” has received much attention from both basic science and commercialization perspectives (Isman, 2006). These chemicals may be produced by the plants themselves or by endophytes (symbiotic bacteria or fungi) that live in the plants (Sudakin, 2003).

The term hormesis has long been used to describe the phenomenon where a specific chemical is able to induce biologically opposite effects at different doses; most commonly there is a stimulatory or beneficial effect at low doses and an inhibitory or toxic effect at high doses (Calabrese et al., 2007). In the case of natural compounds an example of hormesis is vitamin A which in relatively low amounts is essential for normal development and eye function, but in high amounts can cause anorexia, headaches, drowsiness, altered mental states and other symptoms (Penniston and Tanumihardjo, 2006). In the present article, we describe evidence supporting a major role for hormesis as a mechanism of action of phytochemicals on cells and organisms, with a focus on the health-promoting and neuroprotective actions of phytochemicals. The term hormesis is commonly used by toxicologists to describe biphasic dose response curve such that a chemical has a stimulatory effect at low doses, but is toxic at high doses. Recently the concept of hormesis has been adopted in the fields of biology and medicine to portray the adaptive response of cells and organisms to moderate stress (Mattson, 2008). In other words, a mild stress induces the activation of signaling pathways, leading to intrinsic changes conferring resistance to a more severe stress. Typically, the stress-inducing agent elicits molecular responses that not only protect the cell against higher doses of the same agent, but also against other agents or even less specific stressors including oxidative, metabolic and thermal stress. Major components of the hormetic response include various stress resistance proteins such as heat-shock proteins, antioxidants, and growth factors (Mattson and Cheng, 2006Mattson 2008). Classical examples of hormetic stress are exercise and calorie restriction (CR). Epidemiological studies have consistently demonstrated that moderate levels exercise and CR promote good health, whereas excessive levels are harmful (Fontana and Klein, 2007Radak et al., 2008). As mentioned above, the need to protect themselves against bacteria, fungi, viruses, and hazardous environmental changes, has lead plants to concentrate defensive chemicals in their most vulnerable parts (i.e. leaves, flowers and roots). Like moderate exercise or CR, many of these ‘poisons’ also exhibit hormetic properties, being harmful at high doses yet beneficial at relevantly low doses.

The Following are great examples of Hormetic Compounds:

  1. EGCG is Green Tea & Matcha
  2. Sulforaphane converted from glucaraphoran in Brocoli sprouts
  3. Curcumin in Turmeric
  4. Resveratrol in red grapes
  5. Anthocyanins in Blue Berries
  6. Phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) in cruciferous vegetables
  7. Quercetin in Red Onions
  8. Chalcone, an α, β-unsaturated aromatic ketone is present in Angelica 
  9. Ferulic acid (FA) is a phytochemical commonly found in tomatoes
  10. Piceatannol isolated from the seeds of Euphorbia lagascae

Although some phytochemicals possess direct free radical-scavenging properties at high concentrations, in lower amounts typical of those obtained in the diet, phytochemicals may activate one or more adaptive cellular stress responses pathways. Activation of such hormetic pathways in neurons results in the production of several types of cytoprotective proteins including neurotrophic factors, protein chaperones, antioxidant and phase II enzymes and anti-apoptotic proteins. One specific pathway that is receiving considerable attention in regards to hormesis in the nervous system involves the transcription factor Nrf2 which binds the ARE, thereby inducing the expression of genes encoding phase II detoxifying enzymes. Preclinical and clinical studies of the therapeutic potential of phytochemicals that activate the Nrf2/ARE pathway (curcumin, for example) in several different neurodegenerative disorders are in progress. Other hormetic pathways involved in neuronal stress resistance and plasticity include those that activate FOXO and NF-κB transcription factors. Using neurohormetic phytochemicals as base compounds for medicinal chemistry (Ohori et al., 2006Milne et al., 2007) will likely result in the development of a range of plant based nootropics that enhance neuroplasticity and protect against synaptic dysfunction and neurodegeneration. Try our range of nootropics at Plant Based Academy made using some of the powerful ingredients listed below.

In summary All these compounds can do a number of positive things:

  1. Inhibit Phase 1 biotransformation Enzymes
  2. Activate Phase 2 detoxification Enzymes such as superoxide Dismutase 
  3. Create antioxidants against free radicals such as ROS ( Reactive Oxygen Species)

Phase 1 biotransformation enzymes convert pro carcinogens into their active carcinogenic state. In some cases these compounds also activate the Nrf2 Pathway which is the master detoxification pathway in the body.Ros (Reactive Oxygen Species) are free radicals that can damage our cells and contribute to chronic disease and ageing. Some of these are :

  1. Superoxide
  2. Hydrogen peroxide
  3. Hydroxyl radical

If not managed, can lead to oxidative damage (aging) , These free radicals Ros are created in a number of events 

  1. With exposure to ionising radiation
  2. During electron transport chain in the production of ATP
  3. With inflammation and infection
  4. Exposure to pollution
  5. Chronic Stress

Vitamin A, C + E are antioxidants that can deal with free radicals + superoxide dismutase + glutathione + sulforaphane via NRF2 pathway. ( Broccoli sprouts, Broccoli and sulphur foods such as onions are real super hero foods here)

Nootropics are a class of drugs, supplements, and other substances that may improve cognitive function, particularly executive functions, memory, creativity, or motivation, in healthy individuals. At Plant Based Academy our unique nootropics are 100 % organic whole food plant based compounds consciously prepared, extracted and synergised in order to stack efficacy for immune support and cognitive enhancement. From scientific and medical research, nutraceuticals have been found to work by affecting your brain waves, hormones, cellular energy, cerebral blood flow, neuroplasticity, and neurotransmitters.

Brain Signaling

Scientific research shows that there are about 86 billion neurons, with each of them connecting to 40,000 synapses. Neurotransmitters convey chemical messages between neurons via a complex chain reaction that sends chemical messengers across a synapse. The messenger binds to receptors at the receiving end of neuron’s dendrites and starts processing all over again. It is hard to comprehend the complexity of the brain irrespective of the number of nootropics you take. Active signaling between neurons ensures a highly optimized brain. When the signaling mechanism is not working as it should, your health is likely to have a hitch too.

Nootropics can help improve the functioning of these neurotransmitters:

  • Dopamine: Dopamine controls movement and aids in the flow of information to the front part of the brain. It is also associated with emotions and thoughts. Insufficient dopamine levels are associated with ADHD, schizophrenia and Parkison’s disease.
  • Serotonin: Serotonin affects functions such as sleep, mood, and appetite. Lower than the optimal serotonin levels leads to bad mood and depression.
  • Glutamate: Glutamate is the most common neurotransmitter. When released, glutamate increases energy flow in the brain cells and boost learning. Inadequate production of glutamate is associated with autism, depression, and OCD.
  • Acetylcholine: Your body produces this neurotransmitter from choline that you receive from supplements and foods. It plays a crucial role in memory and learning. It also creates healthy synapses that maintain brain plasticity.
  • Norepinephrine: This is a stress hormone in the brain that enhances attention. It is responsible for the fight or flight response.

Nootropics are essential in increasing and modulating all these neurotransmitters. They include tyrosineturmeric, serotonin, L-theaninemagnesiumginkgo biloba and many others mentioned in this article.,

Brain Repair

Your brain is always under maintenance and repair mode. Blood flowing into the mind brings oxygen and nutrients that help fuel its activities. Blood that flows out carried waste materials and carbon dioxide for disposal. Brain damage may be repaired using nootropics depending on the type, severity, and length of damage. Brain aging results from the formation of free radicals in the brain, which damage brain cells. Nootropics that boost choline production can help prevent this damage.

Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is one of the proteins that enhance the growth of new neurons and prevents brain cell death.Low levels of the factor are associated with several diseases such as schizophrenia, obesity, Alzheimer’s, depression, obesity, and accelerated aging. BDNF can be enhanced through high-intensity exercise, caloric restriction, intermittent fasting and by eating mushrooms such as Lions Mane

Brain Cell Longevity: There is this pretty old myth that suggested that brain cells die off as we age. The misconception was debunked in 1998 when scientistsin the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at the University Hospital in Sweden proved that human adult brains could generate new neurons throughout life. The new neurons produced boost memory capacity and reduced overlap between various memories. When the mind goes into maintenance mode, neurogenesis starts and ensures that neurons multiply. Some nootropics aid in neurogenesis, such as mushroomtaurine, piracetam, citicolineLion’s mane, and L-Theanine.

Citicoline [stabilized CDP Choline (cytidine 5’diphosphocholine)] is a naturally occurring intermediate involved in the synthesis of phosphatidylcholine, a major constituent of the grey matter of brain tissue (30%). Citicoline consumption promotes brain metabolism by enhancing the synthesis of acetylcholine and restoring phospholipid content in the brain, both of which positively affect memory and other brain activity. ( Sunflower LecithinBroccoli & Soy milk are excellent sources)

Brain Fatigue: When you are feeling burnt out after a long work or study session, your brain may feel like it is in a ‘foggy mode’ and you aren’t thinking as clearly as you should. This is known as mental fatigue, and it can occur in many ways. Brain fatigue shows up as depression, lack of concentration, poor focus, and depression.The causes of brain fatigue are countless, but common reasons include lack of oxygen in the brain, stress, and reduced blood glucose control. If you are always in a fight-or-flight stressed state, or you do not get sufficient rest, you are liable to experience a mental breakdown. Note that your brain is not an isolated organ because it interfaces with your gut and endocrine system. Over the past five years or so, experts have been emphasizing on the need to eat a nutrient dense diet that includes organic vegetables and healthy fats. They suggest that such foods will ‘heal your gut and your brain.’ Nootropics such as Rhodiola RoseaAshwagandha and Bacopa Monnieri support the healthy functioning of your endocrine system and your brain.

Brain Blood Supply: Cerebral blood flow is more like your brain’s plumbing system. It utilizes 15 percent of the blood that flows from your heart. Blood flowing into your mind brings in oxygen, glucose and other nutrients that are required for the proper functioning of the brain’s activities. The outflow of the blood removes lactic acid, carbon dioxide and other waste materials from the mind. Any discrepancies in this system might result in vascular dementia. Nootropics that are commonly used in increasing blood flow to the brain include Gingko BilobaBacopa Monnieri and Vinpocetine. (periwinkle plant)

Bacopa Monnieri: Bacopa Monnieri is the key ingredient in OmniMind®; a nootropic herb that improves processing speed, memory retention and enhances learning ability. Bacopa Monnieri has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine and has been shown to stimulate the protein synthesis in the hippocampus; the part of the brain which has an important role in long-term memory retention. The active compound in Bacopa Monnieri, bacosides, is evaluated for its effect on brain health. Research has shown the positive influence on brain cells and regeneration of brain tissue.

Rhodiola Rosea Extract: Rhodiola is widely used for increasing stamina and mental capacity. As an adaptogen Rhodiola Rosea extract helps the body to adapt and resist both physical and environmental stress. Native to the Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and Alaska, it has a history of use as a medicinal plant. Other common effects experienced by the intake of Rhodiola are an improved mood, motivation and overall sense of well-being.

L- Tyrosine: Tyrosine is one of the twenty natural alpha amino acids who contribute to the protein synthesis. Next to the natural presence, Tyrosine is used to reduces stress levels and optimize our cognitive functioning. In 1989, Banderet performed a research study which showed that soldiers who took the supplementation of Tyrosine experienced less stress, less tiredness and better mental capabilities.

L-Theanine: This amino-acid is primarily extracted from green tea leaves such as matcha or the edible mushroom, bay bolete, commonly found in North America and Europe during the autumn season. L-Theanine is known to reach the brain following oral ingestion and is proven to reduce stress, improve attention. Matcha Also offers high doses of another compound called EGCG which is a class of polyphenol called catechins and induces neurogenic effects on the brain.

Caffeine: Caffeine occurs naturally in the leaves, fruits or seeds from more than 60 plant species. For example, in yerba mate leaves, guarana seeds, and cacao beans. Caffeine belongs to the group of ingredients that stimulates the central nervous system. Research has shown that low to moderate caffeine doses improve alertness, vigilance, reaction time and attention. Caffeine is represented in combination with theanine. Studies have shown the combination of both as long lasting and more effective and with less of a jittery felling or dip when the caffeine is no longer present in the body. Research from Haskell confirms: faster simple reaction time, faster numeric working memory reaction time and improved sentence verification accuracy.

Vitamin B3: Niacin or Vitamin B3 is a vitamin that can be generated in the body through the amino acid tryptophane. EFSA, the European Food Safety Authority has confirmed several health benefits for the dietary intake of vitamin B3. The most common health benefits of Vitamin B3 are contributing to normal energy-yielding metabolism, the normal function of the nervous system, normal psychological functions and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue. Niacinplays a key role in your well-being because your body converts it to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD, a chemical essential for energy production

Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12(Cobalamin) is one of 8 B-vitamins. B12is water-soluble and found in every single cell in your body. Vitamin B12is essential for the synthesis of DNA, RNA and neurotransmitters, the maintenance of myelin sheaths protecting neurons, and red blood cell formation. Vitamin B12is known to enhance alertness, cognition, energy, vision, elevate mood, lower anxiety and pain, and relieve insomnia. Vitamin B12is a cofactor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters dopamineGABAnorepinephrine, and serotonin. Affecting alertness, cognitionmemory and mood. Vitamin B12helps increase brain serotonin and dopamine levels. Decreasing anxiety, depression, fatigue and pain. Vitamin B12is needed to regulate homocysteine. High homocysteine levels are linked to inflammation that can lead to blood vessel damage. And possible plaque buildup leading to heart attack or stroke.

Co-Enzyme NADH: NADH occurs naturally in the body and is used for improving mental clarity, alertness, concentration and memory. NADH stands for nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) + hydrogen (H) and is a derivative of Vitamin B3. Because of its role in energy production, NADH is also used for improving endurance and fighting fatigue. As a potent antioxidant, Co Enzyme NADH protects the body from free radicals and supports cellular health.

Black Pepper  – Piper Nigrum: The extract piperine, derived from the fruit of the black pepper plant, has numerous documented reports on bio-enhancing features.

Vitamin B5 : Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is the amide between pantoic acid and β-alanine. Studies have proven the relation between Vitamin B5 and the contribution to our mental performance. *The above B-vitamins are also referred to as the neuro-vitamins ( vitamins B3, B5 & B12). Besides different plant sources, avocado’s are one of the more potent Vitamin B sources.*

Ginkgo: Ginkgo biloba extract has been therapeutically used for several decades to increase peripheral and cerebral blood flow as well as for the treatment of dementia. The extract contains multiple compounds such as flavonoids and terpenoids that are thought to contribute to its neuroprotective and vasotropic effects.

Sulphoraphane: Sulforaphane(SFN for short) is a potent cancer-fighting and antibacterial compound found in cruciferous vegetables and sprouts. The long-ish answer: Sulforaphaneis created when the enzyme myrosinase transforms the glucosinolate glucoraphanin into sulforaphane. Several epidemiological studies have shown that consumption of large quantities of vegetables especially cruciferous vegetables (Broccoli and Brussels sprouts) can protect against chronic diseases. Sulforaphane, an isothiocynate found in cruciferous vegetables has been demonstrated to have neuroprotective effects in several experimental paradigms. Sulforaphane is the most powerful compound found to turn on the NRF2 detoxification pathway. This is the master detoxification pathway in the Body.

Epa & Dha : Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is one of the two most important nutrients for adequate cognitive function. DHA has an anti-inflammatory effect by acting as a precursor for NPD1. This anti-inflammatory has strong neuroprotective effects over time. Although both DHA and EPA are useful for aspects of cognition, DHA specifically can do a world of good. Ironically, even though many people claim superiority of fish oil products, the fish only have DHA because they consume the algae as a raw material. Beyond neuroprotection, DHA can increase cerebral oxygenation and blood flow, which can both influence cognitive performance and memory.

Glutathione: Glutathione (y-L-Glutamyl-L-cysteinyglycine) is a free radical scavenging antioxidant that is an endogenous in the body .  It is primarily synthesized in the liver and consists of the amino acids glycine, glutamic acid, and cysteine. Glutathione can be either reduced (GSH) or oxidized (GSSG).  The synthesis of glutathione requires two enzymes:  one to bind L-cysteine and glutamic acid together and one to add the glycine molecule to the compound to complete the glutathione molecule.  It is synthesized within the cell and can be hydrolyzed into the constituent amino acids where it can be resynthesized into glutathione. Together, the enzymes needed for glutathione synthesis and the enzymes which use glutathione are the “glutathione system”.  Glutathione is an integral part of DNA synthesis and repair, amino acid transport, protein and prostaglandin synthesis, immune system function, prevention of oxidative cell damage, metabolism of toxins and carcinogens, and enzyme activation.  Glutathione protects cells against harmful oxidants such as ROS (reactive oxygen species) and can increase the excretion of toxins from cells.

Choline : Choline is an essential nutrient that is necessary both for your brain and for the health of your liver. This nutrient is needed to synthesize the neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, which is used in brain functions related to memory, consciousness, reasoning, and creativity. Choline can be found in small amountsin a few different plant food sources. Tofu, soy milk, quinoa,  and broccoli are particularly high in this nutrient.

Quercetin: Quercetin is as a neuroprotective agent and anti-inflammatory support. One study showed that quercetin could protect neurons from oxidative stress . Another showed anti-inflammatory benefits that could help protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Another great benefit of quercetin is as a stress-reducing agent after heavy exercise. Anyone who competes in physical sports or simply engages in intense activity knows that difficult workouts can be taxing on the body. Studies show a notable decline in stress after these types of workouts. Quercetin has high concentrations is many fruits such as apples and also red onions. It also is enhanced and enhances the effects of ingredients such as resveratrol, Yerba mate and matcha.

Mucuna Pruriens Extract : The seeds of Mucuna Pruriens are particularly rich in L-DOPA, your body’s precursor to the neurotransmitter Dopamine. Dopamine is the reward neurotransmitter. Put simply, it regulates your motivation and incentive to perform a task.

Vitamin C : Enhances absorption of Mucuna Pruriens Extract. Vitamin Chelps with the synthesis of dopamine and helps to protect the brain from oxidative stress. As an antioxidant, vitamin Chelps flush the brain of toxins that can cause long-term disorders marked by memory problems and nerve damage. As a cognitive enhancer, it can improve: mood.

Gynostemma : Gynostemma pentaphyllum (Southern Ginseng) is an herb attributed with having ginseng status. Until fairly recently Gynostemma pentaphyllumwas used primarily in mountainous regions of southern China and northern Vietnam. It’s been described as the “immortality herb,” because people within Guizhou Province, where herbal teas made from the plant are consumed regularly, are said to have a history of unusual longevity. Gynostemma is well known for its reputation for activating AMPK, a molecule that acts as a “metabolic master switch” of cellular energy (i.e., ATP). AMPK was important to us because it senses and responds to low ATP levels. When AMPK is activated, it turns up processes in cells and mitochondria that enhance conversion of food into ATP. This helps restore ATP levels.  Restoring ATP is important. Being able to make more if it’s needed in the future might be even more important. The science of complex adaptive systems informs us that living systems are experts at learning and adapting: they anticipate and prepare for the future. AMPK is part of the adaptive response to circumstances that deplete ATP, like intense exercise. In addition to restoring ATP, AMPK adjusts gene expression in ways that result in increased capacity to make more cellular energy in the future. It’s this adaptive response that is why it’s so important for supporting healthy aging and cellular (and mitochondrial) function. This herb is also known for promoting antioxidant defenses, upregulating the sirtuin cell adaptational response, stimulating mitochondrial energyproduction (Krebs cycle, OXPHOS), enhancing insulin signaling, and acting as neuroprotective support.

Medicinal Mushrooms : With roots in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Medicinal mushrooms are powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immunostimulant. Your brain naturally slows down over time. The symptoms you associate with aging — like memory loss and lack of focus — are caused by factors like shrinking neurons and damaged brain cells. Studies show that lion’s mane mushroom can actually support your brain health by stimulating the creation of two important compounds: nerve growth factor (NGF) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). NGF and BDNF are proteins that stimulate the production of new cells and strengthen existing ones. NGF also plays an important role in forming myelin, the sheath around nerve cells that helps brain cells do their job. BDNF increases brain plasticity, which helps your brain cells stay resilient in the face of stress or aging.

Goji Berry: Lycium barbarumpolysaccharides (called LBPs), the active phytochemical in goji berries that’s believed to produce their unique benefits. Polysaccharides are molecular compounds consisting of carbohydrates bonded with glucose. Among the berries’ many qualities, a study published in the December 2014 issue of the journal Drug Design, Development and Therapysingled out the ability of LBPs to protect neurons from damage caused by beta-amyloid plaques and glutamate excitotoxicity. Researchers conducted animal studies that found LBPs can reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and regenerate neurons in the hippocampus, thereby improving learning and memory. What works for mice doesn’t always work for humans, but this finding looks very promising. Another study, this one published in the journal Brain Research, found that pretreating neurons with an alkaline extract of LBPs significantly reduced neuron death caused by beta-amyloid plaques. The antioxidant properties of LBPs can also help prevent damage and cell death caused by inflammation.

Goji berries are also a rich source of:

  • protein
  • Vitamins A, C, B2
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • 18 amino acids (11 of these are essential amino acids, meaning the body cannot make them on its own)
  • alpha-linolenic acid, linoleic acid
  • Beta-carotene
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Lycopene
  • Cryptoxanthin
  • Lutein
  • Polysaccharides1

All these vitamins and minerals are important to overall brain health. They reduce inflammation and destroy free radicals, to name just two major benefits.

Blueberry: Blueberry is one of the top 3 nootropics due to it having demonstrated cognitive enhancing abilities. These are due to the pigments in these berries known as anthocyaninsand, while studies are done on blueberries, the following likely applies to all dark blue/black berries. Blueberries seem to work, at least in a general sense, similar to bacopa monnieri. By including them in the diet they are able to produce and release a brain growth factor known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDFN), which causes neurons to grow. This has been measured directly in the hippocampusof rats, the hippocampus being one of the major brain organs involved in memory formation, and has even been noted in otherwise healthy young rats. Both of the above studies noted improvements in memory and those improvements correlated directly with BDNF levels and activity. Now, extending that to human studies, we find that juices that have a decent anthocyanin content (500 mg or more) improve spatial recalland verbal memoryin the elderly compared to juices without anthocyanins. Furthermore, benefits with anthocyanin-rich juice have been seen in non-elderly adultsas well suggesting an inherent effect rather than a specific age-related one. Ultimately, anthocyanins from dark berries have cognitive protecting properties; increasing memory and cognitive function in what appears to be all ages without any known side effects.

Strawberry: The neuroprotective effects of berry fruits on neurodegenerative diseases are related to phytochemicals such as anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol and tannin. Many epidemiological studies have shown that regular flavonoid rich fruit intake is associated with delayed Parkinson’s disease (PD), Alzheimer’s disease (AD), ischemic diseases and aging effects (Ono et al., 2003; Savaskan et al., 2003; Marambaud et al., 2005; Alzheimer’s Association, 2008; Pandey and Rizvi, 2009). Since oxidative stress and inflammation appear to be involved in brain aging and in neurodegenerative diseases (Casadesus et al., 2002), it is theorized that increased consumption of antioxidants may be effective in preventing or ameliorating these changes. The neuroprotective effects of strawberry, bilberry, black currant, blackberry, blueberry and mulberry, were demonstrated by many scholars (Basu et al., 2010; Rendeiro et al., 2012). Neuroinflammatory processes in the brain are believed to play a crucial role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, especially due to increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) (Zheng et al., 2003; Shaffer et al., 2006). Because of low activity of antioxidant defense systems, the brain is susceptible to oxidative stress more than other organs (Rahman, 2007; Uttara et al., 2009). Moreover, many neurotransmitters are autoxidized to generate ROS (Lau et al., 2003). In agreement with these observations, there is evidence that increased oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as AD, PD, ischemic diseases and aging (Esposito et al., 2012). The neuroprotective effects of many polyphenols rely on their ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and directly scavenge pathological concentrations of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species and chelate transition metal ions (Aquilano et al., 2008). The most abundant neuroprotective antioxidants in strawberries are caffeic acid, ellagic acid, and certain flavonoids including anthocyanins, tannins, catechin, quercetin, kaempferol, gallic acid derivatives, vitamins C, E and carotenoids.

Phosphatidylserine (PS ): Phosphatidylserine (PS ) is an aminophospholipidand amino acid derivative which is produced naturally within the body. In fact, it’s a phospholipid which makes up a sizable portion of the human brain. It should be noted, however, that while the body can produce PS on its own, most of it comes from our food. PS also acts as a signaling agentfor apoptosis, which is a standard process of cell death that is necessary for an organism to grow and develop. PS has been found to provide some excellent benefits for your brain, such as improving memory, helping with stress, and enhancing one’s learning ability. Sunflower lecithin is loaded with phospholipids. Namely, phosphatidylethanolamineand phosphatidylinositol, and phosphatidylcholine. Each are major ingredients the body uses to create, repair, and strengthen brain and nerve cells. People who suffer from degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s have shown significant improvements to their conditions when a daily dose of 35mg or more of sunflower lecithin is administered.

Other Incredible Nootropics are :

  1. Ashwagandha is extremely powerful adaptogenic for the body
  2. Garlic which removes mercery
  3. Lions Mane increase BDNF
  4. Kelp Also Removes Mercery
  5. Selenium ( Brazil nuts) Converts T4 to T3 so extremely Important
  6. Atragalus Boosts Immune System
  7. Saw Palmetto for sexual & male hormone health

The Brain’s Own Anti- Depressants ( Read More on The Food Pharmacy Section)

Juicing Vs Smoothies? This is a question that we get asked all the time. Which is better: juicing or blending? Does one offer more health benefits than the other? Juices and smoothies both play an important role in any wellness program. We believe that both juicing and blending are very beneficial, but in different ways. Here is a short comparison that explains the differences between the two as well as some of the specific benefits of each.


Juicing is a process which extracts water and nutrients from produce and discards the indigestible fiber.  Without all the fiber, your digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. In fact, it makes the nutrients more readily available to the body in much larger quantities than if you were to eat the fruits and vegetables whole. This is especially helpful if you have a sensitive digestive system or illness that inhibits your body from processing fiber. The fiber in produce helps slow down the digestive process and provides a steady release of nutrients into the blood stream. Jason Vale calls juicing “A nutrient express!” Freshly squeezed vegetable juices form part of most healing and detoxification programs because they are so nutrient rich and nourish and restore the body at a cellular level. A word of caution: When you remove the fiber from the produce, the liquid juice is absorbed into your blood stream quickly. If you are only juicing fruits, this would cause a rapid spike in blood sugar and unstable blood sugar levels can lead to mood swings, energy loss, memory problems and more! Fiber is also filling and without fiber in the juice, some people tend to get hungry again quickly. On the plus you are getting a highly concentrated dose of phytonutrients and if made correctly , it is really quality over quantity !


Unlike juices, smoothies consist of the entire entire fruit or vegetable, skin and all and contain all of the fiber from the vegetables.  However, the blending process breaks the fibre apart (which makes the fruit and vegetables easier to digest ) but also helps create a slow, even release of nutrients into the blood stream and avoids blood sugar spikes. Smoothies tend to be more filling, because of the fiber, and generally faster to make than juice, so they can be great to drink first thing in the morning as your breakfast, or for snacks throughout the day. By including the fiber in your smoothie, the volume will increase. Also, you can pack more servings of fruits and veggies into a single serving of juice than you can into a smoothie.

A word on Fibre 

What is Fiber?: Fiber has a very important role to play in the body, it is the indigestible component of whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables. When eating a wholefood diet it is recommended to consume 25-30 g of fiber daily. The 2 Main Types of Fiber in fruits and vegetables. These are insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, helps to keep the bowels regular, fills you up and speeds up the passage of food through the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber include cellulose, hemicellulose and lignins. This is mostly removed from the juice although it is still present in smaller amounts. Soluble fiber absorbs water like a sponge and provides bulking matter that acts as a prebiotic to support good bacterial growth and digestive health. It also regulates blood sugar control, may lower blood cholesterol and slows the transit of food through the digestive tract and helps fill you up. Soluble fibers include pectins, gums and mucilage. This is still present in the juice.

Juicing and Blending Rules

1.It’s best not to combine fruits and vegetables (unless it’s apple). This can affect how well your digestive enzymes function. This doesn’t seem to matter too much in green juices and smoothies, but vegetables like carrots, beetroots, broccoli and zucchini don’t combine well with fruit due to their high starch content. In his book Food Combining Made Easy, Dr. Herbert Shelton explains that starchy foods have to be eaten alone because starches are digested with enzymes different from those used for any other food group. Combining starchy foods with fruit may cause fermentation and gas. However, Dr. Shelton found that green leafy veggies combine well with pretty much everything. Having said this it is important to note that the Food combining Rule is largely debated and there is not strong scientific evidence to support its principles around the different digestive processes. My suggestion is to follow it very very loosely.

2.Try to drink your juice or smoothie straight away. After 15 minutes, light and air will destroy some of the nutrients. If you can’t drink it straight away, transfer to a dark airtight container until you’re ready.

Using The Right Equipment

To get the most benefit from your juices and smoothies, it’s important to use the right equipment. Invest in a good-quality juicer. Cheaper, centrifugal juicers introduce heat and oxygen and destroy the enzymes and nutrients in your fruits and vegetables. While it may cost you a bit more initially, a premium cold-press juicer will produce a superior-quality juice and allow you to extract more from your fruit and vegetables, saving expense in the long-term. The machines themselves will also generally last longer. In contrast to the rough extraction of centrifugal juicers, mastication or cold-press juicers compress fruit and vegetables to ‘squeeze’ out their juice. The same goes for a blender. You want a blender that is gentle on your produce and doesn’t heat up the enzymes as it’s pulling apart the fibres.


Fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green and white/brown. Each colour carries its own set of unique disease fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colour and of course some of their healthy properties.


Red fruits and vegetables are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy.


The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive colour. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.


Carotenoids give this group their vibrant colour. A well-known carotenoid called Beta- carotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots. It is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Another carotenoid called lutein is stored in the eye and has been found to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.


Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles and saponins, all of which have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are also excellent sources of folate.


White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas , are also a good source of potassium.

Eating the Rainbow Explained

Red Fruits and Vegetablescontain nutrients such as lycopene, ellagic acid, quercetin and hesperidin. These nutrients reduce the risk of prostate cancer, lower blood pressure, reduce tutor growth and cholesterol levels, scavenge harmful free radicals and support join tissue in cases of arthritis. Try cold pressed organic Beetroot, watermelon and red pepper juiced with some sprouts and fresh turmeric root. Add a drop of cold pressed oil to help absorb the carotenoids.

Orange Fruits and Vegetablescontain beta carotene, zeaxanthin, flavonoids, lycopene, potassium and vitamin c. These nutrients reduce age related macular degeneration and the risk of prostate cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, promote collagen formation, and healthy joints, fight harmful free radicals, encourage alkaline balance, repair damaged DNA and work with magnesium and calcium. Try cold pressed organic carrot, oragnce and squash juiced with sprots and fresh turmeric root. Add a drop of cold pressed oil to help absorb the carotenoids.

Yellow Fruits and Vegetablescontain beta cryptothanxin and carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthhin which support inter celluar communication, prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of cataracts and age related macular degeneration. Try cold pressed organic pineapple, yellow pepper and lemon juiced with sprouts, fresh ginger root and fresh turmeric root. Add a drop of cold pressed oil to help absorb the carotenoids.

Green Fruits and Vegetablescontain chlorophyll, fibre, lutein, zeaxanthin, magnesium, calcium, folate, vitamin c and beta carotene which inhibit the action of carcinogens and promote healthy bodily function. Try a cold pressed organic cocktail of wheatgrass, cucumber, spinach, parsley, dandelion, celery, juiced with sprouts, fresh ginger and turmeric root. Add apple cidar vinigar and cayanne pepper for added kick. Green smoothies work too but remember for maximum calcium absorption its important to have the spinach juiced, for maximum carotenoid absorption its best without fibre and for maximum iron absorption from the wheatgrass its best to add vitamin c such as some orange juice.

Purble and blue Fruits and Vegetablescontain phytochemicals such as anthocyanin and phenolics which are powerful antioxidants which help reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and alzheimers, improve memory and cell communication and slow the process of aging. Resveratrol is one of the main compounds in blue and purple plant foods, and has been shown to help stabilise blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels. Resveratrol also helps to relax the arterial walls, which decreases the pressure in the arteries and promotes better circulation. Try cold pressed organic purble cabbage, blue berries and plums juiced with sprouts and fresh turmeric root.

White Fruits and Vegetablescontain beta glucans, EGGG, SDG, flavonoids, alicoln and lignans which activate natural killer B and T cells, supports immunity and blanace hormone levels. Try cold pressed organic white turnip, small glove garlic, small onion, Pear juiced with sprouts and fresh ginger root.

Superfood Milks & Superfood smoothies:

Adding superfoods to your milks & Smoothies does not only boost you with extra nutrients, it also brings you a beautiful flavour. Here are some superfoods that work very well and transform your milk and smoothie into Medicinal powerhouses.


The maca plant, known scientifically as Lepidium meyenii, is sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng. It mainly grows in the Andes of central Peru, in harsh conditions and at very high altitudes ó above 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). Maca is a cruciferous vegetable and therefore related to broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and kale. It has a long history of culinary and medicinal use in Peru. The main edible part of the plant is the root, which grows underground. It exists in several colors, ranging from white to black. Maca root is generally dried and consumed in powder form, but it’s also available in capsules and as a liquid extract. The taste of maca root powder has been described as earthy and nutty. It works very well in smoothies, porridge, lattÈs, cookies and mylks.

Nine benefits of maca:

1. Increasing libido

2. Reducing erectile dysfunction

3. Boosting energy and endurance

4. Increasing fertility – particularly in men. A 2016 review found some evidence that maca root may increase semen quality in both fertile and infertile men

5. Improving mood – Maca contains flavonoids, which are thought to improve mood and reduce anxiety

6. Reducing blood pressure

7. Fighting free radicals – Maca root also promotes natural antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

8. Reducing menopause symptoms – Some proponents of maca root believe it may help balance levels of the hormone estrogen. During perimenopause, the stage before a woman reaches menopause, estrogen levels fluctuate and cause a variety of symptoms. One study found that postmenopausal women who took two daily tablets containing maca experienced reduced symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats.

9. Improving learning and memory


10 Health Benefits of Spirulina: Spirulina is among the worldís most popular supplements. It is loaded with various nutrients and antioxidants that may benefit your body and brain. Here are 10 evidence-based health benefits of spirulina:

1. Spirulina Is Extremely High in Many Nutrients – Spirulina is an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water. It is a type of cyanobacteria, which is a family of single-celled microbes that are often referred to as blue-green algae. Just like plants, cyanobacteria can produce energy from sunlight via a process called photosynthesis. Spirulina was consumed by the ancient Aztecs but became popular again when NASA proposed that it could be grown in space for use by astronauts. A standard daily dose of spirulina is 1ñ3 grams, but doses of up to 10 grams per day have been used effectively. This tiny alga is packed with nutrients. A single tablespoon (7 grams) of dried spirulina powder contains:Protein: 4 grams, Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 11% of the RDA, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 15% of the RDA, Vitamin B3 (niacin): 4% of the RDA, Copper: 21% of the RDA & Iron: 11% of the RDA. It also contains decent amounts of magnesium, potassium and manganese and small amounts of almost every other nutrient that you need. In addition, the same amount holds only 20 calories and 1.7 grams of digestible carbs. Gram for gram, spirulina may be the single most nutritious food on the planet. A tablespoon (7 grams) of spirulina provides a small amount of fat ó around 1 gram ó including both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in an approximately 1.5ñ1.0 ratio. The quality of the protein in spirulina is considered excellent ó comparable to eggs. It gives all the essential amino acids that you need. It is often claimed that spirulina contains vitamin B12, but this is false. It has pseudovitamin B12, which has not been shown to be effective in humans.

2. Powerful Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Properties – Oxidative damage can harm your DNA and cells. This damage can drive chronic inflammation, which contributes to cancer and other diseases. Spirulina is a fantastic source of antioxidants, which can protect against oxidative damage. Its main active component is called phycocyanin. This antioxidant substance also gives spirulina its unique blue-green color. Phycocyanin can fight free radicals and inhibit production of inflammatory signaling molecules, providing impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Can Lower ìBadî LDL and Triglyceride Levels – Heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. Many risk factors are linked to an increased risk of heart disease. As it turns out, spirulina positively impacts many of these factors. For example, it can lower total cholesterol, ìbadî LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising ìgoodî HDL cholesterol. In a study in 25 people with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of spirulina per day significantly improved these markers. Another study in people with high cholesterol determined that 1 gram of spirulina per day lowered triglycerides by 16.3% and ìbadî LDL by 10.1%. Several other studies have found favorable effects ó though with higher doses of 4.5ñ8 grams per day.

4. Protects ìBadî LDL Cholesterol From Oxidation – Fatty structures in your body are susceptible to oxidative damage. This is known as lipid peroxidation, a key driver of many serious diseases. For example, one of the key steps in the development of heart disease is the oxidation of ìbadî LDL cholesterol. Interestingly, the antioxidants in spirulina appear to be particularly effective at reducing lipid peroxidation in both humans and animals. In a study in 37 people with type 2 diabetes, 8 grams of spirulina per day significantly reduced markers of oxidative damage. It also increased levels of antioxidant enzymes in the blood.

5. May Have Anti-Cancer Properties – Some evidence suggests that spirulina has anti-cancer properties. Research in animals indicates that it can reduce cancer occurrence and tumor size. Spirulinaís effects on oral cancer ó or cancer of the mouth ó have been particularly well studied. One study examined 87 people from India with precancerous lesions ó called oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF) ó in the mouth. Among those who took 1 gram of spirulina per day for one year, 45% saw their lesions disappear ó compared to only 7% in the control group. When these people stopped taking spirulina, almost half of them redeveloped lesions in the following year. In another study of 40 individuals with OSMF lesions, 1 gram of spirulina per day led to greater improvement in OSMF symptoms than the drug Pentoxyfilline.

6. May Reduce Blood Pressure – High blood pressure is a main driver of many serious diseases, including heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. While 1 gram of spirulina is ineffective, a dose of 4.5 grams per day has been shown to reduce blood pressure in individuals with normal levels. This reduction is thought to be driven by an increased production of nitric oxide, a signaling molecule that helps your blood vessels relax and dilate.

7. Improves Symptoms of Allergic Rhinitis – Allergic rhinitis is characterized by inflammation in your nasal passageways. It is triggered by environmental allergens, such as pollen, animal hair or even wheat dust. Spirulina is a popular alternative treatment for symptoms of allergic rhinitis, and there is evidence that it can be effective. In one study in 127 people with allergic rhinitis, 2 grams per day dramatically reduced symptoms like nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion and itching.

8. May Be Effective Against Anemia – There are many different forms of anemia. The most common one is characterized by a reduction in hemoglobin or red blood cells in your blood. Anemia is fairly common in older adults, leading to prolonged feelings of weakness and fatigue. In a study in 40 older people with a history of anemia, spirulina supplements increased the hemoglobin content of red blood cells and improved immune function.

9. May Improve Muscle Strength and Endurance – Exercise-induced oxidative damage is a major contributor to muscle fatigue. Certain plant foods have antioxidant properties that can help athletes and physically active individuals minimize this damage. Spirulina appears beneficial, as some studies pointed to improved muscle strength and endurance. In two studies, spirulina enhanced endurance, significantly increasing the time it took for people to become fatigued.

10. May Aid Blood Sugar Control – Animal studies link spirulina to significantly lower blood sugar levels. In some cases, it has outperformed popular diabetes drugs, including Metformin. There is also some evidence that spirulina can be effective in humans. In a two-month study in 25 people with type 2 diabetes, 2 grams of spirulina per day led to an impressive reduction in blood sugar levels. HbA1c, a marker for long-term blood sugar levels, decreased from 9% to 8%, which is substantial. Studies estimate that a 1% reduction in this marker can lower the risk of diabetes-related death by 21%.


9 Proven Health Benefits of Turmeric and Curcumin:Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence. Many high-quality studies show that it has major benefits for your body and brain. Here are the top 10 evidence-based health benefits of turmeric:

1. Turmeric Contains Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Medicinal Properties – Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. However, the curcumin content of turmeric is not that high. Itís around 3%, by weight. Most of the studies on this herb are using turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram per day. It would be very difficult to reach these levels just using the turmeric spice in your foods. Therefore, if you want to experience the full effects, you need to take a supplement that contains significant amounts of curcumin. Unfortunately, curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream. It helps to consume black pepper with it, which contains piperine, a natural substance that enhances the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%. The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, substantially increasing their effectiveness. Curcumin is also fat soluble, so it may be a good idea to take it with a fatty meal.

2. Curcumin Is a Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound – Inflammation is incredibly important. It helps your body fight foreign invaders and also has a role in repairing damage. Without inflammation, pathogens like bacteria could easily take over your body and kill you. Although acute, short-term inflammation is beneficial, it can become a major problem when it becomes chronic and inappropriately attacks your body’s own tissues. Scientists now believe that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions. Therefore, anything that can help fight chronic inflammation is of potential importance in preventing and even treating these diseases. Curcumin is strongly anti-inflammatory. In fact, itís so powerful that it matches the effectiveness of some anti-inflammatory drugs, without the side effects. It blocks NF-kB, a molecule that travels into the nuclei of your cells and turns on genes related to inflammation. NF-kB is believed to play a major role in many chronic diseases.

3. Turmeric Dramatically Increases the Antioxidant Capacity of the body – Oxidative damage is believed to be one of the mechanisms behind aging and many diseases. It involves free radicals, highly reactive molecules with unpaired electrons. Free radicals tend to react with important organic substances, such as fatty acids, proteins or DNA. The main reason antioxidants are so beneficial is that they protect your body from free radicals. Curcumin is a potent antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals due to its chemical structure. In addition, curcumin boosts the activity of your body’s own antioxidant enzymes. In that way, curcumin delivers a one-two punch against free radicals. It blocks them directly, then stimulates your body’s own antioxidant defenses.

4. Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases – Back in the day, it was believed that neurons weren’t able to divide and multiply after early childhood. However, itís now known that this does happen. Neurons are capable of forming new connections, but in certain areas of the brain they can also multiply and increase in number. One of the main drivers of this process is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain. Many common brain disorders have been linked to decreased levels of this hormone, including depression and Alzheimer’s disease. Interestingly, curcumin can increase brain levels of BDNF. By doing this, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases and age-related decreases in brain function. It may also improve memory and make you smarter, which seems logical given its effects on BDNF levels.

5. Curcumin Should Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease – Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in the world. Researchers have studied it for many decades and learned a lot about why it happens. Unsurprisingly, heart disease is incredibly complicated and various things contribute to it. Curcumin may help reverse many steps in the heart disease process. Perhaps the main benefit of curcumin when it comes to heart disease is improving the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of your blood vessels. It is well known that endothelial dysfunction is a major driver of heart disease and involves an inability of your endothelium to regulate blood pressure, blood clotting and various other factors. Several studies suggest that curcumin leads to improvements in endothelial function. One study found that itís as effective as exercise while another shows that it works as well as the drug Atorvastatin. In addition, curcumin reduces inflammation and oxidation (as discussed above), which play a role in heart disease as well. One study randomly assigned 121 people, who were undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery, either a placebo or 4 grams of curcumin per day, a few days before and after the surgery. The curcumin group had a 65% decreased risk of experiencing a heart attack in the hospital.

6. Turmeric Can Help Prevent (And Perhaps Even Treat) Cancer – Cancer is a terrible disease, characterized by uncontrolled cell growth. There are many different forms of cancer, which still have several things in common. Some of them appear to be affected by curcumin supplements. Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment and been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at the molecular level. Studies have shown that it can contribute to the death of cancerous cells and reduce angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels in tumors) and metastasis (spread of cancer). Multiple studies indicate that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancerous cells in the laboratory and inhibit the growth of tumors in test animals. Whether high-dose curcumin (preferably with an absorption enhancer like piperine) can help treat cancer in humans has yet to be studied properly. However, there is evidence that it may prevent cancer from occurring in the first place, especially cancers of the digestive system like colorectal cancer. In a 30-day study in 44 men with lesions in the colon that sometimes turn cancerous, 4 grams of curcumin per day reduced the number of lesions by 40%. Maybe curcumin will be used along with conventional cancer treatment one day. It’s too early to say for sure, but it looks promising and is being intensively studied.

7. Curcumin May Be Useful in Preventing and Treating Alzheimer’s Disease – Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in the world and a leading cause of dementia. Unfortunately, no good treatment is available for Alzheimer’s yet. Therefore, preventing it from occurring in the first place is of utmost importance. There may be good news on the horizon because curcumin has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier. It ís known that inflammation and oxidative damage play a role in Alzheimer’s disease, and curcumin has beneficial effects on both. In addition, a key feature of Alzheimer’s disease is a buildup of protein tangles called amyloid plaques. Studies show that curcumin can help clear these plaques.

8. Arthritis Patients Respond Very Well to Curcumin Supplements – Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries. There are several different types, most of which involve inflammation in the joints. Given that curcumin is a potent anti-inflammatory compound, it makes sense that it may help with arthritis. Several studies show this to be true. In a study in people with rheumatoid arthritis, curcumin was even more effective than an anti-inflammatory drug. Many other studies have looked at the effects of curcumin on arthritis and noted improvements in various symptoms.

9. Studies Show That Curcumin Has Incredible Benefits Against Depression – Curcumin has shown some promise in treating depression. In a controlled trial, 60 people with depression were randomized into three groups. One group took Prozac, another group one gram of curcumin and the third group both Prozac and curcumin. After 6 weeks, curcumin had led to improvements that were similar to Prozac. The group that took both Prozac and curcumin fared best. According to this small study, curcumin is as effective as an antidepressant. Depression is also linked to reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and a shrinking hippocampus, a brain area with a role in learning and memory. Curcumin boosts BDNF levels, potentially reversing some of these changes. There is also some evidence that curcumin can boost the brain neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

Goji Berry

Many people use goji berries to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments. These berries contain all 8 essential amino acids. A single 4 ounce serving provides nearly 10 percent of your daily value for protein. For fruit, this is a surprising amount of protein. The carbohydrates in goji berries are also complex carbs. This means your blood sugar will raise slowly, reducing your risk of a sugar crash afterwards. Goji berries are high in: vitamin C, fiber, iron, vitamin A, zinc and antioxidants.


Sauerkraut is a type of fermented cabbage with major health benefits. It’s thought to have originated in China more than 2,000 years ago. Back then, fermentation was one of the methods used to keep foods from spoiling quickly. Sauerkraut survived the test of time to become a popular side dish and condiment in many cultures. It’s especially appreciated in Germany, where its name comes from. Due to the fermentation it undergoes, sauerkraut offers nutrition and health benefits far beyond those of fresh cabbage. Sauerkraut fermentation is the process of microorganisms on the cabbage digesting its natural sugars and converting them into carbon dioxide and organic acids. Fermentation starts when yeast and bacteria that are naturally present on the cabbage, your hands and in the air come into contact with the sugars in the cabbage. Sauerkraut fermentation creates conditions that promote the growth of beneficial probiotics, which are also found in products like yogurt and kefir. Probiotics are bacteria that provide powerful health benefits. They also help make foods more digestible, which increases your gut’s ability to absorb the vitamins and minerals they contain. This is what makes sauerkraut more nutritious than raw cabbage or coleslaw.

8 benefits of sauerkraut:

1. Sauerkraut Is Very Nutritious – Sauerkraut contains many nutrients important for optimal health.

2. Improves Your Digestion – Your gut is said to contain over 100 trillion microorganisms or “gut flora,” which is more than 10 times the total number of cells in your body. Sauerkraut contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that act as the first line of defense against toxins and harmful bacteria. They can also improve your digestion and overall health. Probiotics like those in sauerkraut can help improve the bacterial balance in your gut after it’s been disturbed by the use of antibiotics. This can help reduce or prevent antibiotic-provoked diarrhea. Research also shows that probiotics help reduce gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea and symptoms linked to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Most probiotic-rich foods and supplements contain 5 to 10 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per serving. In comparison, 1 cup of sauerkraut contains around 3 billion CFUs. However, according to some non-scientific sources, some types of sauerkraut may contain much higher amounts. Different probiotic strains may also provide different advantages. Thus, consuming a wide variety of strains may give you a broader range of health benefits.On this aspect, sauerkraut may have the advantage. Research has reported that one serving may contain up to 28 distinct bacterial strains. Like most other fermented foods, sauerkraut also contains a variety of enzymes, which help break down nutrients into smaller, more easily digestible molecules.

3. Boosts Your Immune System – Sauerkraut is a rich source of immune-boosting probiotics and nutrients. For starters, the bacteria that populate your gut can have a strong influence on your immune system. The probiotics found in sauerkraut help improve the balance of bacteria in your gut, which keeps your gut lining healthy. A stronger gut lining helps prevent unwanted substances from “leaking” into your body and causing an immune response. Maintaining a healthy gut flora also helps prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and may even boost the production of natural antibodies. Moreover, regularly consuming probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut may reduce your risk of developing infections such as the common cold and urinary tract infections. If you do get sick, regularly consuming probiotic-rich foods may help you recover faster and could reduce your chance of needing antibiotics by around 33%. In addition to being a rich source of probiotics, sauerkraut is also rich in vitamin C and iron, both of which contribute to a healthy immune system. In particular, upping your vitamin C intake when you have the common cold may help you get rid of symptoms more quickly

4. May Help You Lose Weight – Regularly consuming sauerkraut may help you lose weight and keep it off. That’s partly because sauerkraut, like most vegetables, is low in calories and high in fiber. High-fiber diets keep you fuller for longer, which may help you naturally reduce the number of calories you eat each day. Sauerkraut’s high probiotic content may also contribute to a trimmer waistline. The exact reasons aren’t yet fully understood, but scientists believe that probiotics may have the ability to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from your diet. Various studies report that participants given probiotic-rich foods or supplements lost more weight than those given a placebo. A recent study even reports that purposely overfed participants given probiotics gained about 50% less body fat than overfed participants given a placebo. This suggests that a probiotic-rich diet may even help prevent weight gain. However, these results are not universal. In addition, different probiotic strains may have different effects. Thus, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of sauerkraut-specific probiotic strains on weight loss.

5. Helps Reduce Stress and Maintain Brain Health – While your mood can affect what you eat, the reverse is also thought to be true. What you eat can affect your mood and brain function. An increasing number of studies are discovering an intimate connection between your gut and brain. They’ve found that the type of bacteria present in your gut may have the ability to send messages to your brain, influencing the way it functions and perceives the world. For instance, fermented, probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut contribute to the creation of a healthy gut flora, which research shows may help reduce stress and maintain brain health. Probiotics have been found to help improve memory and lower symptoms of anxiety, depression, autism and even obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Sauerkraut may also maintain brain health by increasing your gut’s absorption of mood-regulating minerals, including magnesium and zinc. That said, some researchers warn that compounds in sauerkraut may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a type of medication prescribed to treat depression, anxiety disorders and Parkinson’s disease.

6. May Reduce the Risk of Certain Cancers. Cabbage, the main ingredient in sauerkraut, contains antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.Researchers believe these compounds may help reduce DNA damage, prevent cell mutations and block the excessive cell growth that typically leads to tumor development. The cabbage fermentation process may also create particular plant compounds thought to help destroy precancerous cells. Certain carcinogens are believed to become cancer-causing after they’ve been “activated” by particular enzymes. Two recent studies suggest that cabbage and sauerkraut juice may help prevent cancer from developing by reducing the production of these carcinogen-activating enzymes. In another study, researchers observed that women who ate a lot of cabbage and sauerkraut from their teens into adulthood had a reduced risk of breast cancer. The women consuming more than three servings per week had a 72% lower risk of breast cancer than those who ate less than 1.5 servings per week. A recent study in men shows cabbage had similar effects on the risk of prostate cancer.

7. May Promote Heart Health – Sauerkraut may contribute to a healthier heart. That’s because it contains a good amount of fiber and probiotics, both of which may help reduce cholesterol levels. Probiotics such as those found in sauerkraut may also help lower blood pressure slightly. People seem to achieve the best results when they take at least 10 million CFUs per day for longer than eight weeks. Moreover, sauerkraut is one of the rare plant sources of menaquinone, more commonly known as vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is believed to help reduce heart disease by preventing calcium deposits from accumulating in the arteries. In one study, regular intake of vitamin-K2-rich foods was linked to a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease over the 7ñ10 year study period. In another, women reduced their risk of heart disease by 9% for every 10 mcg of vitamin K2 they consumed per day. For reference, 1 cup of sauerkraut contains about 6.6 mcg of vitamin K2.

8. Contributes to Stronger Bones – Sauerkraut contains vitamin K2, which plays an important role in bone health. More specifically, vitamin K2 activates two proteins whose function is to bind calcium, the main mineral found in bones. This is thought to contribute to stronger, healthier bones. In fact, several studies have shown that vitamin K2 may benefit bone health. For instance, a three-year study in postmenopausal women observed that those taking vitamin K2 supplements experienced a slower age-related loss in bone mineral density. Similarly, several other studies have reported that taking vitamin K2 supplements reduced the risk of spine, hip and non-spine fractures by 60ñ81%. However, some of these studies used supplements to provide very high doses of vitamin K2. Thus, it’s unknown whether the vitamin K2 you’d get from eating sauerkraut alone would provide the same benefits.


1. Contains Iodine and Tyrosine, Which Support Thyroid Function – Your thyroid gland releases hormones to help control growth, energy production, reproduction and the repair of damaged cells in your body. Your thyroid relies on iodine to make hormones. Without enough iodine, you may start to experience symptoms like weight changes, fatigue or swelling of the neck over time. The recommended dietary intake (RDI) for iodine is 150 mcg per day. Seaweed has the unique ability to absorb concentrated amounts of iodine from the ocean. Its iodine content varies greatly depending on the type, where it was grown and how it was processed. In fact, one dried sheet of seaweed can contain 989% of the RDI. Seaweed also contains an amino acid called tyrosine, which is used alongside iodine to make two key hormones that help the thyroid gland do its job properly.

2. Good Source of Vitamins and Minerals – Each type of seaweed has a unique set of nutrients. Sprinkling some dried seaweed on your food not only adds taste, texture and flavor to your meal, but itís an easy way to boost your intake of vitamins and minerals. Seaweed also contains small amounts of vitamins A, C, E and K, along with folate, zinc, sodium, calcium and magnesium. While it may only contribute to a small percentage of some of the RDIs above, using it as a seasoning once or twice per week can be an easy way to add more nutrients to your diet. The protein present in some seaweeds, such as spirulina and chlorella, contain all of the essential amino acids. This means seaweed can help ensure you get the full range of amino acids. Seaweed can also be a good source of omega-3 fats and vitamin B12. In fact, it appears that dried green and purple seaweed contain substantial amounts of vitamin B12. One study found 2.4 mcg or 100% of the RDI of vitamin B12 in only 4 grams of nori seaweed.

3. Contains a Variety of Protective Antioxidants – Antioxidants can make unstable substances in your body called free radicals less reactive. This makes them less likely to damage your cells. Furthermore, excess free radical production is considered to be an underlying cause of several diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. In addition to containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, seaweed boasts a wide variety of beneficial plant compounds, including flavonoids and carotenoids. These have been shown to protect your bodyís cells from free radical damage. A lot of research has focused on one particular carotenoid called fucoxanthin. It ís the main carotenoid found in brown algae, such as wakame, and it has 13.5 times the antioxidant capacity as vitamin E. Fucoxanthin has been shown to protect cell membranes better than vitamin A. While the body does not always absorb fucoxanthin well, absorption may be improved by consuming it along with fat. Nevertheless, seaweed contains a wide variety of plant compounds that work together to have strong antioxidant effects.

4. Provides Fiber and Polysaccharides That Can Support Your Gut Health – Gut bacteria play an enormous role in your health. It ís estimated that you have more bacteria cells in your body than human cells. An imbalance in these ìgoodî and ìbadî gut bacteria can lead to sickness and disease. Seaweed is an excellent source of fiber, which is known to promote gut health. It can make up about 25 to 75% of seaweedís dry weight. This is higher than the fiber content of most fruits and vegetables. Fiber can resist digestion and be used as a food source for bacteria in your large intestine instead. Additionally, particular sugars found in seaweed called sulfated polysaccharides have been shown to increase the growth of ìgoodî gut bacteria. These polysaccharides can also increase the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which provide support and nourishment to the cells lining your gut.

5. May Reduce Heart Disease Risk – Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Factors that increase your risk include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking and being physically inactive or overweight. Interestingly, seaweed may help reduce your blood cholesterol levels. One eight-week study fed rats with high cholesterol a high-fat diet supplemented with 10% freeze-dried seaweed. It found the rats had 40% lower total cholesterol, 36% lower LDL cholesterol and 31% lower triglyceride levels. Heart disease can also be caused by excessive blood clotting. Seaweed contains carbohydrates called fucans, which may help prevent blood from clotting. In fact, one animal study found that fucans extracted from seaweed prevented blood clotting as effectively as an anti-clotting drug. Researchers are also starting to look at peptides in seaweed. Initial studies in animals indicate that these protein-like structures may block part of a pathway that increases blood pressure in your body.

6. May Help Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by Improving Blood Sugar Control – Diabetes is a major health problem. It occurs when your body is unable to balance your blood sugar levels over time. By the year 2040, 642 million people worldwide are expected to have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Interestingly, seaweed has become a research focus for new ways to support people who are at risk of diabetes. An eight-week study in 60 Japanese people revealed that fucoxanthin, a substance in brown seaweed, may help improve blood sugar control. Participants received a local seaweed oil that contained either 0 mg, 1 mg or 2 mg of fucoxanthin. The study found that those who received 2 mg of fucoxanthin had improved blood sugar levels, compared to the group who received 0 mg. The study also noted additional improvements in blood sugar levels in those with a genetic disposition to insulin resistance, which usually accompanies type 2 diabetes.