How Can Using Vegan Protein Powders Save The World?

Vegan Protein Powders – Why Should You Use Them?

Vegan protein powders are revolutionising the fitness, diet, nutrition industries and the way we think about food in general. In a world where time is of the essence and the strains on the environment are making everyone think more seriously about a vegan diet, vegan protein powders are a great solution for everyone.

It’s incredible to think that in the history of human civilisation, diet has been a limiting factor on the lengths of peoples’ lives. Consider the hunter-gatherer days where survival depended on the next meal and thousands of years of human history, where a lack of knowledge on the existence of vitamins lead to a whole host of diseases such as scurvy and rickets. Well now we can survive entirely on powders and herbal supplements and get all the nutrients we need!

Even with the knowledge we now have on health and nutrition, modern-day life can be jam-packed with work and social obligations and it can be difficult to find the time and energy to prepare and cook nutritionally complete meals.

More and more people are turning to protein powders and herbal supplements to provide a fast and filling meal with the assurance of knowing that what they’re putting into their bodies is great for their health. The nutritional content of meal replacement and protein powders also make it super easy to measure the intake of calories, fats and proteins to formulate easy to follow diet and/or muscle gain plans. The question is, which protein powders are the best?

Animal and Plant-based Protein – What’s the difference?

Protein powders are used in fitness to build muscle, recover after a workout and can help with weight loss.

The most common types of protein powders available are:

· Whey Protein
· Casein Protein
· Beef Protein
· Egg or Egg White Protein
· Plant-Based Protein

The benefits of animal protein powders compared to plant-based, vegan protein powders are largely debated in the fitness industry since animal-based whey protein is the most popular and cheapest option, but as the environmental benefits of switching to a vegan diet become more clear, more research is going into the health benefits of vegan protein powders.
Whey is a by-product of cheese-making, produced when milk is separated into curds and whey.

The curds are used to make cheese or casein protein powder and the whey can be processed into protein rich powders which are a popular supplement, as they allow the body to build mass quickly, are easily absorbed into the body, help decrease appetite and are available widely and cheaply. Casein protein is absorbed very slowly and so is usually taken before sleep as a meal replacement.

Whey protein is available as a concentrate, an isolate or a hydrolysate depending on the levels of processing. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein and this is the reason why some might consider it to be better than plant-based protein powders.

Of course, there are also downsides to whey protein. As allergies increase in the population, many people looking for a protein powder would need to consider an alternative. The lactose in whey can cause flatulence and even bloating and diarrhoea when consumed in excess or by those with a lactose intolerance. Whey protein Isolate can be a substitute in this case since the processing removes a significant amount of fat and lactose, but the process can destroy some of the protein, making it less effective.

It is now well known that livestock is a large contributor to global carbon emissions. In fact, livestock is responsible for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, a similar proportion to transport emissions, with 65% of that from cows used for beef and dairy farming. According to studies, cutting meat and dairy from your diet could reduce your carbon footprint from food by two-thirds. There is also the question of animal welfare.

You can buy organic whey protein but that doesn’t mean the cows that produced the milk were free-range. It just means that the cows weren’t pumped full of hormones and antibiotics to make them milk and beef producing machines.

This practise is now illegal in the UK but if you’re purchasing animal protein from another country, make sure to check the regulations, especially since those hormones could end up in you. It could take some difficult research to make sure your animal protein powder came from a cruelty free source.

By choosing a plant-based protein powder, you can contribute to a kinder, cleaner environment.

The Benefits of Using Vegan Protein

Plant-based, vegan protein powders such as brown rice, pea and soy are a great alternative if you have a sensitive gut or are trying to do your bit in reducing the impact of human food production on the environment. They do everything a protein powder should, build and repair muscle and help with weight loss and all nine essential amino acids can be had by combining varieties of vegan protein powder and herbal supplements.

A single plant type does not typically contain all the essential amino acids, as animal protein does, and therefore needs to be combined with others.

A 2011 study conducted on 24 college-aged, resistance-trained males tested brown rice protein against whey protein on the perceived recovery, soreness and readiness to train in the individuals, over 8 weeks of training 3 days per week, and found no detectable differences. Both groups showed similarly improved body composition and exercise performance.

A 2015 study compared the effects of pea protein against whey on 161 males, aged 10 to 35, over 12 weeks of resistance training on upper limb muscles. Whey and Pea protein showed a similar increase in muscle thickness in the subjects, both greater than the placebo group, who unknowingly had not ingested protein after exercise.

With the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets, there have been many studies into the health benefits of a plant-based diet. Studies have shown that these diets can reduce the risk of several diseases and be beneficial to people with diseases such as:

· Type 2 Diabetes
· Obesity
· Cancer
· Heart disease
· High blood pressure

Plant-based protein powders can be easily mixed and combined with other herbal supplements to make them complete. Brown rice and pea protein powders can be combined to complete the amino acid profile and our own herbal living vegan protein powders are packed with phytonutrients to make them great for your health.

Common sources of vegan protein that can be mixed to form a complete protein powder are:

· Sacha Inchi – A seed with lots of health benefits
· Sunflower Seed
· Pumpkin Seed
· Chia
· Soy
· Pea
· Brown Rice

However, there could even be a better alternative, potentially the best vegan protein powder, Hemp.

Hemp Protein – A Complete Protein

Don’t be fooled, hemp protein won’t get you high. In fact, hemp is an incredibly useful product that is often misunderstood. Check out our post on everything hemp can do here… https://www.herbal-living.co.uk/an-introduction-to-hemp/

Hemp protein powder is made by grinding hemp seeds and it has all nine of those essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is naturally high in fibre and contains a balance of fatty acids that are essential to good health. Due to its association with the high-inducing chemical THC from the cannabis plant, there has been relatively little study into the extra advantages of hemp protein, but studies have suggested that hemp protein could have the following benefits:

· Lowers cholesterol levels through antioxidant activity and therefore reduces the risk of heart disease
· Reduces high blood pressure
· Reduces kidney damage
· Promotes healthy weight loss
· High fibre improves gut health and allows more time for the absorption of nutrients in the gut
· Easy to digest so all those essential amino acids can be absorbed and repair and maintain the body

As the popularity of hemp protein powder increases, more and more studies are being planned. This could be the best vegan protein powder out there.

So which proteins best?

When it comes to protein powders, it’s not all about building muscle and losing weight. Protein powders as meal replacements make life easier and save time in a busy day. They are quick and easy to prepare, come in a variety of flavours and ensure that you get all those essential nutrients that your body needs to thrive. And of course, if you do want to beef up or slim down, protein powders make this super easy and convenient. Choosing a vegan protein powder and herbal supplements will not only contribute to easing pressure on the environment but can provide you with extra fibre and vitamins needed to boost your health. There’s really no reason not to switch to plant-based goodness.

Sources

NCBI: Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets

myprotein.com

Men’s Health

Shape.com

Examine.com
NCBI: The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance


NCBI: Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein
NCBI: Protein – Which is Best?

Healthline: Hemp Protein Powder: The Best Plant-Based Protein?

Examine.com

PeaceHealth: Hemp Protein

Nutrex.com

fao.org

Oxford University Research Archive

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What are the top 10 foods to help your body combat COVID-19?

How to protect yourself from COVID-19 through your diet

In December 2019, the current coronavirus pandemic out broke in the Wuhan city of China. Since then it is wreaking havoc all over the world. According to the latest estimates, (as of 14 May 2020) of the World Health Organization, globally confirmed coronavirus cases stood at 4.35 million with near 300,000 deaths. The United States and Europe are the worst victims of the virus.

The virus coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes the coronavirus disease in which the respiratory system especially lungs are affected. The coronavirus disease is infectious and it spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or exhales. The droplets exhaled by the infected person are too heavy to remain suspended in the air and therefore they quickly fell on the surfaces and earth so the room and other nearby surfaces also become contaminated.

COVID-19 has brought the world to it’s knees

So far no vaccine or other treatment is available to cure the disease. This is why, after it originated in Wuhan, it has engulfed the whole world and the situation has become a global emergency. Governments all over the globe are almost following the same strategies to deal with the global pandemic. The major preventive measures adopted by governments include social distancing, frequent washing of hands, and other sterilization measures.

Although coronavirus is not a comparatively lethal non-availability of vaccines and other treatments, it is a feared disease. Most of the infected people will experience mild to moderate disease symptoms and will recover without any treatment however children, old people, and people with weak immunity are at the risk.

For anyone who wants to survive the pandemic, he must follow the preventive strategies, and also, he must boost his/her immunity. Luckily nature has endowed us with various means of boosting our immunity and diet is one of them.

We can boost our immunity by eating the right type of food. If your diet contains the following food items, your immune system will be strengthened to fight off coronavirus more effectively.

In this post we run through some of the most effective diet choices to boost your immunity
  1. Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is a natural immune booster. Vitamin C helps strengthen your immune response by increasing the production of white blood cells. It has also strong antioxidant properties. It fights off bacterial infections and facilitates wound healing. Besides increasing the immunity, it also helps in the healthy functioning of several human organ systems like nervous, immune, skeletal, and respiratory systems by facilitating the production of collagen-a fibrous protein.

Vitamin C is also beneficial for eye health, helps alleviate common cold symptoms, and protects from cancer. Vitamin C also contributes to heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels, manages diabetes, treats anemia, and reduces seasickness.

The following is a list of vitamin C rich food sources.

  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Pomelo
  • Citron
  • Kumquat
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Capsicums
  • Cauliflower
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme
  1. Bell Pepper: Bell pepper is another healthy food and it helps in supporting your immune response. Bell pepper is also rich in vitamin C and it contains some other antioxidant chemical which helps fight off allergic reactions and bacterial infections. Bell pepper also contains high amounts of vitamin D-another immune booster vitamin.

  2. Broccoli: Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family and it is one of the healthiest foods with amazing health benefits. Besides abundant vitamin C, it also contains vitamin K, potassium, dietary fiber, and folate. Broccoli improves your immune response and also helps in wound healing, neutralizes free radicals, and facilitates collagen production in the body.

  3. Garlic: Garlic is a bulb-shaped aromatic veggie used by humans for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Garlic contains antibacterial compounds and its antibiotic properties are clinically proven. Garlic contains important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B1, B6, C, manganese, calcium, selenium, copper, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, and iron.

    Garlic helps treat a variety of human illnesses like common cold, hypertension, and it improves heart health by lowering down the bad cholesterol levels. Garlic has also anti-cancer properties and it is one of the natural immune boosters.

  4. Ginger: Like Garlic, Ginger is also used for its wonderful medicinal properties by humans since ancient times. This irregular herbaceous rhizome is rich in some essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals like vitamin B3, B6, C, manganese, zinc, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. Ginger has strong antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral properties and it contains strong antioxidative compounds.

    Ginger supports your immune system in a variety of ways; it strengthens the immune response by its antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties, by killing viruses of common cold, by destroying parasites and their eggs, by raising spleen and thymus indices, by increasing the rate of phagocytosis, and by improving the performance of several organ systems like circulatory, and digestive systems.
  5. Spinach: Spinach is another healthy food that positively impacts the immune system. Spinach is rich in folate, nitrates, and other antioxidant compounds. Folate facilitates the production of red blood cells and in consequence, the oxygen-carrying capacity of your blood is increased. Nitrates present in spinach regularize blood pressure and antioxidant compounds help your body to get rid of hazardous free radicals. 
  6. Mushrooms: Mushroom is yet another healthy food that can help you fight off coronavirus. Mushroom facilitates calcium absorption and thus making your bones healthier. It is rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D is having several health benefits like it promotes healthy bones and teeth; improves the functioning of the immune, and nervous systems, lowers risks of cancers, and supports pulmonary and heart health. Vitamin D is also helpful in weight-loss, reduces depression, and minimizes your chances of developing flu.  Mushroom is also found effective in treating some types of cancers and respiratory diseases.
  7. Chickpeas: Chickpeas is also healthy food as it contains proteins, zinc, and other antioxidant chemicals. Proteins help repair body tissues and facilitate the production of antibodies-pathogen-fighting proteins. Zinc found in chickpeas regulates your immune responses and the antioxidant compounds help neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals.
  8. Yogurt: Yogurt is a great source of probiotics-good gut bacteria. Probiotics not only maintain a good digestive system but they also support your immunity by fighting off the common cold and influenza-like infections.
  9.  Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E. Vitamin E exhibits antioxidative properties. Vitamin E improves heart health and immune functioning, lower certain cancers risks, and promote eye health.

    As it has antioxidant properties, vitamin E neutralizes free radicals and helps protect body cells. Vitamin E has also a positive impact on blood pressure and muscle functioning. The vitamin has also improved digestion of people suffering from cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease.

    It is suspected to have a positive impact on Alzheimer’s disease, menstrual cramps, glomerulosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels in the kidney), G6PD deficiency, intracranial hemorrhage, inflammation of the liver, Parkinson’s disease, premenstrual syndrome, sunburn, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Besides, eating healthy, hygienic handling of food is also necessary to reduce the risk of being infected from this deadly coronavirus. Also, eating homemade healthy food will help you protect from the pandemic.

Bottom Line 

Coronavirus pandemic has crippled almost every major sector of countries all over the world. To date, there is no vaccine or other treatment available for the virulent coronavirus disease. Certainly, there are preventive strategies as recommended by WHO, which we can follow for our safety. But besides these measures, we can make ourselves and our loved ones safer by eating healthy homemade food.     

Check Our Article How to Increasing your body’s Natural Immunity.

Sources

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/myth-busters

https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/easy-affordable-and-healthy-eating-tips-during-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak

https://www.eufic.org/en/food-safety/article/food-and-coronavirus-covid-19-what-you-need-to-know

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/03/stock-up-on-9-healthy-foods-to-boost-immune-system-during-coronavirus-doctor-dietitian.html

https://www.fsai.ie/faq/coronavirus.html

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/diet/coronavirus-prevention-foods-in-india-what-to-eat-to-prevent-coronavirus-top-5-antiviral-food-items-which-are-easily-available

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

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The 3 most important vitamins for immunity

What even are Vitamins?

You must have heard about vitamins. Your doctor must have advised you to take them in sufficient quantity for maintaining good health. But what are vitamins? Vitamins are chemical compounds that are required by your body for carrying out vital bodily functions and for good health. So far, we know about thirteen vitamins. The human body can’t make vitamins on its own so you must get them from your diet.

Two main types of Vitamins

Vitamins are of two types; fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins get stored in your body fat so they remain available for future use and you are not required to take them frequently. Vitamin A, D, E, and K are examples of fat-soluble vitamins.

On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, and excess of these vitamins are flushed out from your body by your excretory system. So for staying healthy, you must replenish water-soluble vitamins from your diet constantly. Vitamin C and B vitamins family (B1, 2, 3, 6, 9, 12), and pantothenic acid are examples of water-soluble vitamins.

Vitamins are not known as essential nutrients, you can’t get energy from these versatile chemicals but still they play critical roles inside the human body.

Help your body maintain balance

They are helpful in the synthesis and maintenance of body tissues and organs like muscles, bones, and skin. They are required for extracting energy from the food and most importantly, vitamins help you stay healthy as they strengthen your immune system.

Almost all vitamins are required for good health but vitamin A, C, and E positively affects your immune response to a great extent. We will now discuss the role of each of these vitamins in strengthening immunity in detail.

Vitamin A

Chemically, vitamin A is referred to a group of retinoids like retinol, retinal, and retinyl esters [1-3]. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and once into the body, it remains available for future use. In the human diet, vitamin A is available in two forms, preformed vitamin A (retinol and retinyl esters) and provitamin A carotenoids. Preformed vitamin A is naturally present in animal-based sources like dairy products, meat, and fish while provitamin A carotenoids come from plant-based sources, and once into the body, it is converted into vitamin A. 

Sources of vitamin A include fish, meat, dairy products, and vegetables especially colorful vegetables as they are rich in provitamin A beta-carotenes.

Vitamin A plays a very important role in maintaining human health. It helps in maintaining the healthy functioning of your respiratory and digestive systems by maintaining a healthy lining of respiratory and digestive tracts. The healthy lining acts as a barrier against microbial infections. Vitamin A also helps you to keep your skin healthy. A healthy skin not only keeps you healthy but it also gives you an attractive look. 

Sweet potato is incredibly high in vitamin A!

Vitamin A is a powerful Antioxidant

Vitamin A has also strong antioxidant properties. It neutralizes the harmful free radicals and thus help against cell damage, reduce cancer-risks, and fights off infections.

Retinols are used by the human eye cells-rods and cones- so vitamin A is also helpful in maintaining eye health and it reduces the chances of night blindness. Another significant role of vitamin A includes its positive impact on bone and teeth growth.

Deficiency of vitamin A results in night blindness or an inability to see in dim light. Vitamin A deficiency also increases the risk of dying from measles and diarrhea and in pregnant women, its deficiency causes anemia and obstructs the normal growth of the fetus. Other deficiency symptoms may include skin problems like acne.       

Vitamin C

Ascorbic acid is the chemical name of vitamin C. It is a water-soluble vitamin and you need to replenish its supply regularly. Naturally, vitamin c is present in several fruits and vegetables. It is most abundantly present in citrus fruits as it is acid by nature. Besides citrus fruits, the following is a list of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables.

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Capsicums
  • Cauliflower
  • Papaya
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Cantaloupe
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme

An immunity powerhose!

Of all the vitamins, vitamin C has the most profound effect on the human immune system. It exhibits strong antioxidant properties and neutralizes the harmful free radicals-by-products of cell metabolism. Vitamin C fights off infections and helps reduce the harm of inflammation and tissue damage. It also helps the wound to heal up quickly. It helps treat scurvy. Vitamin C was discovered in 1932, and even before its discovery, nutrition suspected the preventive role of citrus fruits in developing scurvy.

Vitamin C is also suspected of having cancer-protective properties and it helps treat the symptoms of the common cold. The vitamin also impacts eye health positively.   

Vitamin C facilitates the production of collagen-a fibrous protein present in connective tissues like blood, cartilage. Therefore by facilitating the synthesis of collagen, it helps in the healthy functioning of several human organ systems like nervous, immune, skeletal, and respiratory systems. Vitamin c also helps in the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters-chemical messengers- and therefore contributes towards brain health.

Everyone knows citrus fruits are an excellent source of Vitamin C

How can you increase Vitamin C levels?

Other benefits of vitamin C include its contribution to heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels, diabetes management, anemia treatment, and reducing seasickness.

Deficiency of vitamin C results in low production of collagen and in consequence connective tissues weaken and you feel symptoms like joint pains. Vitamin C deficiency also decreases the rate of wound healing and its deficiency also results in scurvy. Other deficiency symptoms may include skin problems like skin wrinkling. 

Vitamin E

Chemically, the vitamin E is tocopherol-based chemical compounds. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and it remains available inside the body’s fatty tissues for future use. Vitamin E occurs naturally in a wide range of foods but however, it is predominantly present in plant oils, seeds, and nuts. Besides these sources, the following are the natural sources of vitamin E.

  • Mamey Sapote
  • Abalone
  • Chillies
  • Goose meat
  • Avocado
  • Atlantic salmon
  • Mango
  • Kiwi fruit

Vitamin E exhibits strong antioxidant properties. Just like the other two vitamins discussed above, it also neutralizes the harmful free radicals and helps protect body cells and tissues from the damages of these hazardous chemicals. Vitamin E fights off the infection, reduces inflammation, and maintains your skin in sound health. Healthy skin is the first barrier against pathogens.

Vitamin E is also involved in other immune functions like regulation of gene expression and cell signaling. Although not proven scientifically but vitamin E is suspected for its positive impact on a wide range of human diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, menstrual cramps, glomerulosclerosis (hardening of blood vessels in the kidney), G6PD deficiency, intracranial hemorrhage, inflammation of the liver, Parkinson’s disease, premenstrual syndrome, sunburn, and rheumatoid arthritis.

The deficiency of vitamin E is rare. Deficiency of vitamin E results in symptoms like ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response. 

Nuts and seeds are an excellent source of Vitamin E!

Using plant based supplements to increase your immunity

Conclusion

Human health is a precious gift from the heavens. We all want to remain healthy all year long and for preserving our health, we need to make conscious efforts towards this end. While a balanced diet, regular exercise, and positive thinking are also mandatory for a good immune response. But the role of vitamins in strengthening our immune system is proven scientifically and we must add them in our daily diet. All of the vitamins are necessary for our immune system but it is heavily impacted by vitamins A, C, and E. So don’t miss on them. 

Sources

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

https://thriva.co/hub/vitamins/what-are-vitamins

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-a#what-it-is

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219352#what_is_vitamin_C_and_why_do_we_need_it

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/#h5

https://www.healthline.com/health/all-about-vitamin-e

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-e/art-20364144

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What on earth is a Phytonutrient?

What is a pyhtonutrient?

In Greek ‘Phyto’ refers to plant and nutrient is any element or chemical compound required by humans for a healthy living. So phytonutrients or phytochemicals are plant-based nutrients. These phytonutrients help protect plants from hazardous microorganisms and fungi while in animals, they raise the body’s natural defense and also help in the proper functioning of various organ systems. 

So far more than 25,000 phytonutrients are discovered and these phytonutrients are found in almost every part of the plant like in fruits, vegetables, and even in seeds. In most cases, these phytonutrients are concentrated in colourful parts of the plants like fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, etc. 

Not essential, but proven effective!

Although these important phytochemicals are not considered essential for humans as they are not nutrients in the strict sense of the term however they affect human health. Just like their protective role in plants, the phytonutrients also help us to remain healthy.

Most of the phytonutrients possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties so they help limit oxidative damages and localize inflammations. Certain phytonutrients carcinogens and repair DNA damage (due to toxins exposure). Still other phytonutrients are natural immune boosters and may reduce the risk of coronary diseases.

Based on their chemical structure, phytonutrients are divided into several classes. The following are the classes of phytonutrients.

  • Betalains
  • Chlorophyll
  • Indoles
  • Organosulfides
  • Phenols
  • Terpenes
  • Triterpenes

Each of the phytonutrient class is further divided into groups and every class may contain up to dozens of dozens of phytonutrient groups, which in turn contain hundreds of phytonutrients. The following are phytonutrient groups.

  • Carotenoids
  • Curcuminoids
  • Flavonoids
  • Glucosinolates
  • Hydroxycinnamic acids
  • Lignans
  • Lipids
  • Stilbenes
  • Sulfides
  • Tocopherol

Among the several phytonutrient groups, the following are of more interest as they significantly impact our health.

  • Carotenoids: Carotenoids are colorful plant pigments and they are most abundantly found in colorful flowers, fruits, and vegetables. So far more than 600 carotenoids are discovered out of which alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene are the most common. Each of these carotenoids has its specific benefits like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin are precursors of vitamin A and once into the body, they are readily converted in vitamin A. Vitamin A boosts immunity and reduces the antioxidative damages.

You’ve possibly heard of these compounds, even if you didn’t know they were phytonutrients!

Similarly lutein and zeaxanthin are components of human retina and therefore they are associated with eye health and lycopene lowers down the risks of prostate cancer. For increasing the bioavailability of carotenoids, they must be consumed with fats. Bright colored fruits and vegetables like carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, mangos, spinach, kale, tomatoes, bell peppers, and oranges are rich in these amazing phytonutrients.

  • Ellagic acid: Ellagic acid also known as tannin exhibits strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogen properties. Tannin also lowers blood pressure and helps remove arterial plaque and thus contributing to heart health. Ellagic acid is also known to improve glucose metabolism by blocking the intestinal enzyme alpha-glucosidase, which triggers glucose absorption.

Berries like raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cranberries, and grapes, pomegranates, and walnuts are rich in ellagic acid. 

  • Flavonoids: It is a very large group of phytonutrients and flavones, anthocyanins, flavonones, isoflavones, hesperidin, catechins and flavonols are its famous sub-groups. Flavonoids are linked with longevity and also they support heart health. Flavonols help reduce risks of asthma, some types of cancers, and cardiovascular diseases. Hesperidin present in citrus fruits has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

This diverse phytonutrient group is present in a wide range of fruits and vegetables like apples, onions, coffee, grapefruit, tea, berries, chocolate, legumes, red wine, broccoli, cabbage, kale, leeks, tomatoes, ginger, lemons, parsley, carrots, and buckwheat.

  • Curcumin:  The yellowish curcumin is primarily found in turmeric. This phytonutrient is used as a traditional medicine for thousands of years. Curcumin is an effective anti-inflammatory agent and also exhibits strong antioxidant properties. It has also anti-cancer effects and is found effective in limiting mouth, colon, stomach, and liver cancers. Curcumin also improves cardiovascular health as it helps reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). Curcumin also improves the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Phytoestrogens: Phytoestrogens are also known as Lignans. These phytonutrients are called phytoestrogens because of their estrogen-like effects. Phytoestrogens are suspected of preventing endometrial cancer and osteoporosis. There is also inconclusive evidence about the effectiveness of lignans in preventing prostate cancer. Kale, broccoli, apricots, and strawberries are rich in phytoestrogens.
  • Resveratrol:  Grapes and red wine are rich in Resveratrol and this phytonutrient help reduces the risk of coronary diseases and certain types of cancers. Also, certain animal studies have suggested that Resveratrol may extend life. Resveratrol has also antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties and it helps reduce oxidative damages.
  • Glucosinolates: Glucosinolates are found in vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts. These phytonutrients reduce the risk of certain types of cancers. 

Bottom Line

Phytonutrients may not be classed as proper nutrients but considering their significant health benefits, they must be included in daily diet. By daily consuming these amazing plant-based chemicals, you may definitely become healthier.

Sources

https://www.livescience.com/52541-phytonutrients.html
https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq#1
https://www.healthline.com/health/phytonutrients#benefits
https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Vitamins-and-Minerals/Phytonutrients-%E2%80%93-Nature%E2%80%99s-Natural-Defense.aspx
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How Ginger Can Change your Life!

Benefits of Ginger


An introduction to Ginger

You may be amazed to know that ginger is an herbaceous flowering plant. Ginger is familiar to humans for thousands of years and it remained an effective folk medicine since prehistoric times.

Zingiber officinale is the botanical or scientific name of ginger and it belongs to Zingiberaceae or the ginger family and its other famous family members are turmeric, galangal, and cardamom.


Ginger is actually irregularly shaped rhizome or root of the ginger plant which we use as a spice. Ginger has thin skin which you need to peel-off before using it in any form-in beverage, cooking, or raw.
For the first time, ginger was originated in Southeast Asia, and from there, it gradually expanded to almost the whole of the world. India is the biggest producer of ginger-exporting about 34% of the whole global supply.

The ginger that we know and love is actually the root of the plant


Ginger contains important vitamins and nutrients like vitamin B3, B6, C, manganese, zinc, magnesium, folate, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. Our ancient ancestors like Chinese, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs have used ginger as medicine as ginger proves very effective in treating stomach problems like diarrhea, nausea, and in other ailments like menstrual cramps and common cold and flu. Ginger has also shown a positive impact on treating skin burns.


Besides, to be used as a spice and as a flavoring agent, ginger is also used for treating a wide range of health issues like stomach problems, muscle and joint pain, diabetes, headaches, and various inflammations. For centuries ginger has been used as a medicinal herb and it has been known as a natural immune-booster spice.


How Ginger Supports Immune System


Ginger’s bioactive ingredients increase the efficiency of the human immune system. Ginger has strong antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. For instance, ginger has compounds like paradols, gingerols, zingerone, and the like; these compounds have strong anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties.

Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is an excellent weapon in the fight against diseases


Ginger when combined with honey develops anti-viral properties and boosts up the immune system. According to recent research studies, ginger has compounds that help you fight cancer cells in your body.
Anti-oxidative compounds of ginger help your body to get rid of free-radicals. Free radicals are chemically reactive molecules that do significant harm to your body tissues.


On the other hand, anti-inflammatory compounds of ginger soothe your muscles after intense work-out and help to reduce inflammation in cases of infections. Chronic inflammation is known to reduce the immune response. By fighting inflammation, ginger enhances your immune system and keeps it in a ready and responsive state.


Ginger supports your immune system in a variety of ways.


It has strong anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties.
It kills viruses of the common cold and destroys the myriads of cancer cells.
Zingibain found in ginger destroy parasites and their eggs.


Extracts of ginger increase the rate of phagocytosis (eating up of cancer cells and other unwanted substances by immune cells), raise spleen and thymus indices, and thus improve immunity response of the body.
Ginger also boosts immunity by improving the performance of lungs, circulatory, and digestive systems.


Ways to Prepare and Consume Ginger


With its proven medicinal properties, ginger is widely used in almost every home in a variety of forms. The following are different ways of preparing ginger for consumption.

First of all, you can include ginger in any food recipe as it is the most common method of ginger utilization. Some of the famous ginger recipes are ginger chicken, ginger cake, ginger flapjacks, ginger fairings, and ginger jam.


Ginger drinks and teas are also the most common medicinal liquids out there. Ginger tea or beverage is the most effective immune booster liquid especially when ginger is mixed with honey and lemon.

Some popular ginger drinks are fresh ginger tea, ginger root tea, and lemon ginger tea.

Benefits of Ginger
Lemon and ginger tea is an excellent way to keep seasonal illnesses away


Finally, ginger shots are the modern beverages which are available at food and medical stores. Ginger shots are concentrated beverages that are made up of fresh ginger.

Ingredients in ginger shots may vary depending on the type of juice used i.e. lemon juice, orange juice, or apple juice.

Alternatively you can try our all natural ginger complex, find a breakdown of the health benefits it brings here.


Conclusion


Human health is a very precious gift from mother earth and we have to preserve it by every possible means. Health can only be preserved with a robust immune system and ginger is an invaluable natural immune booster, so don’t think and start your ginger therapy today.



Sources:

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-961/ginger
https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/diet/ginger-nutrition-facts-health-benefits-alternative-uses-more/
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990#benefits
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ginger-shots#benefits
https://www.boost-immune-system-naturally.com/health-benefits-of-ginger.html
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/ginger
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ginger-shots#recipe

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What are the health benefits of green tea?

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea

A brief background into green tea

Traditionally, green tea has been used for its medicinal effects in Asia and it’s and Sub-continents since before records began. After water, tea is the most consumed liquid in the world. Out of the total global tea consumption, around one-fifth is the green tea. Green tea is made from the leaves and buds of Camellia sinensis.


In fact, almost every type of tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis but it is the oxidation level of leaves that makes the difference. In black tea, the leaves are oxidized to a great extent while in green tea; unoxidized or partially oxidized leaves are used. As green tea contains partially oxidized Camellia leaves so the green tea has a higher ratio of antioxidant compounds like polyphenols. Flavonoids are the predominant polyphenols found in green tea.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
Green tea is an excellent refreshing drink!


Uses of Green Tea

Although, green tea is particularly popular for its medicinal properties it has also other uses like green tea bags that are applied onto skin for minimizing the harmful effects of sun’s ultraviolet radiation.


Extracts of green tea are used in mouthwash and gargling with green tea soothes toothache. After pulling out a tooth, green tea candy helps stop bleeding from gum, and green tea is also used to decrease puffiness under the eyes.

Green tea is also very famous for its weight loss properties and people from around the world incorporate it in their diets for losing some pounds of unwanted body fat. In addition to all these beneficial aspects, green tea is actually hailed for its health benefits and the following are some of the health benefits of green tea.


Health Benefits of Green Tea


Green tea helps fight cancers: Antioxidants like polyphenols present in green tea are found useful in limiting tumor growths in several laboratory experiments. Therefore it is no wonder that ratios of cancer in countries with high green tea consumption are lower as compared to countries where green tea consumption is low. Green tea is found effective in skin, breast, lung, skin, esophagus, colorectal, and prostate cancers.


Green tea lowers blood cholesterol level: There is evidence that green tea lowers down blood cholesterol level, it lowers down both total and bad cholesterol of the blood.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
Anything this brightly green has to be good for you, right?


Green tea promotes heart health:

Green tea lowers down blood cholesterol level especially the LDL or bad cholesterol. Therefore, green tea promotes heart health and lowers the risk of cardiovascular complications.


Green tea helps lower risks of type 2 diabetes: Diabetes is one of the most prevailing health issues in the world today. Green tea has proved its effectiveness in lowering the risks of diabetes development. Not-sweetened green tea is a natural remedy for keeping blood sugar level in check.
Green tea helps treat skin inflammation: Green tea helps to relieve the symptoms of skin inflammation. It has shown positive results in the treatment of various skin inflammatory diseases like dandruff, red flaky skin, and psoriasis.


Green tea improves memory:

Various research studies indicate that green tea helps improve memory and therefore it is helpful in certain neuropsychiatric disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.


Side effects of Green Tea


Unlike its health upsides, little information is available on the potential negative side effects of green tea. However, the following are some of the risks which are associated with green tea. If you are caffeine sensitive then you may experience irritability, anxiety, or upset stomach.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
I bet that smells wonderful…


Like aspirin, green tea has also shown some blood-thinning properties so be cautious if you are on a blood related medical therapy.


Finally, excessive use of green tea extracts or green tea-based mouth wash can lead to stomach problems like constipation, indigestion, etc.


Brief Overview of Available Studies into the health benefits of green tea


So far, a lot of studies have been conducting on exploring the nature, medical upsides, and downsides of green tea. The following is a brief overview of these studies.


In 2006, a study, ‘Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan’ published in Journal of the American Medical Association explored the effects of green tea on coronary complications.


In 2007, a study, ‘Green tea polyphenol induces caspase 14 in epidermal keratinocytes via MAPK pathways and reduces psoriasiform lesions in the flaky skin mouse model’ published online on PubMed proved the positive impact of green tea on reducing skin inflammations.


In 2011, an analysis of research studies, ‘Green tea intake lowers fasting serum total and LDL cholesterol in adults: a meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials’ published online on PubMed showed that how green tea lowers down the blood cholesterol level.


In 2013, a study, ‘The Impact of Green Tea and Coffee Consumption on the Reduced Risk of Stroke Incidence in Japanese Population’, published online on AHA Journals surfaced the positive impact of green tea on stroke.
In 2014, a study, ‘Green tea extract enhances parieto-frontal connectivity during working memory processing’ published in the journal ‘Psychopharmacology’ suggested that green tea impacted memory positively.

What are the health benefits of drinking green tea
You can’t go wrong with a cup of green tea!


Bottom Line

As you can see, there has been extensive research into the effects of green tea, and the results all seem to be extremely positive at this time, more and more health benefits are being discovered all the time, switching from black tea to green tea could be an excellent idea after all.

In conclusion, we can safely infer that our ancestors were right in choosing green tea as a medicine. Modern research has only proved the assumptions of our ancestors. It is a high time to include green tea in our diet.

Check our Latest article Top 10 Herbs and Spices for Increasing Natural Immunity


Sources


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269538


https://www.rxlist.com/green_tea/supplements.htm


https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a43325/green-tea-benefits/


https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/11-benefits-of-green-tea-that-you-didnt-know-about.html


https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea#1


https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-green-tea

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A brief introduction to nootropics

What Are Nootropics?


Before 1972, we were not familiar with the term ‘nootropic’. In 1972, Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian psychologist and chemist, invented the term by combining two Greek words, and in the English Language, the nootropic literally means ‘mind-tuner’.


It will be now easy for you to understand that what nootropics really are? These are drugs and supplements to enhance brain performance like memory, creativity, and other mental processes. Nootropics are also often referred to as smart drugs and cognitive enhancers.


According to Corneliu Giurgea, a Romanian psychologist and chemist, who is also considered as ‘father of nootropics’, a substance may be categorized as a nootropic if it exhibits the following properties.

  • Memory and learning enhancer
  • Improve cognition functions
  • Protect brain cells
  • Facilitate information exchange between neurons
  • Possess brain bioactivity

Nootropics work with no psychological side effects


From the above detailed and descriptive definition of nootropics, we can conclude that any substance can be identified as a nootropic if it contributes to brain health without any side effects.

Nootropics Side Effects
Nootropics are the umbrella term for substances that contribute to brain health


Like creatine and caffeine-also classed as nootropics- these smart drugs positively impact your brain functions. They are no medications in a strict sense of the term because they can’t treat any disease but these smart drugs get you smarter by enhancing your mental faculties.

Where most performance enhancing substances, such as cocaine or amphetamines, have very extreme negative psychological side effects, and as such should be avoided at all costs, Nootropics seem to show zero psychological when used correctly.

Are Nootropics Just High Dose Caffeine?


A nootropic usually gets you high and therefore many of us believe that nootropics are nothing but high dose caffeine. But this assumption is wrong as nootropics are more than caffeine. Although, almost every nootropic contains caffeine as an ingredient nootropics also contain many of the other brain-friendly chemicals.


Besides caffeine, a nootropic may contain Alpha-lipoic acid, GABA (gamma-amino butyric acid), DMAE, Choline, vitamin B-3, B-6, B-12, Tyrosine, L-theanine, Vinpocetine, and Taurine among other brain-friendly substances. Therefore nootropics are not just high doses of caffeine; these are brain supplements that contain caffeine as an ingredient.

Are Nootropics Just High Dose Caffeine
Nootropics are so much more than high doses of caffeine


As nootropics are not just high doses of caffeine so they help improve a wide range of brain functions besides getting you high for a while. Below are some of the powerful impacts of nootropics on various mental functions.


Attention: These smart drugs help you to focus and concentrate and thus associated with enhanced productivity.


Memory: Almost all aspects of the memory are enhanced by nootropics like information storage, retention, and recall.


Learning: Nootropics help you focus and enhance your memory so these cognition enhancers boost learning and academic performance.


Mood: Nootropics have a soothing effect on your brain so you feel relaxed.

Relaxed mind helps you to think freely and contemplate deeply, thus help you to come up with creative ideas. These smart drugs have also proven effective in building confidence, inducing sociability, and raising motivation and happiness.


Physical work-out: Stress-resistant and mood-enhancing properties of these smart drugs have added them to the buying carts of sportsmen. Now, these are also used in sports nutrition because of their mood and motivational properties.


Are Nootropics Safe?

Are Nootropics Safe
You might be wondering, with all these benefits, are their any bad side effects?


Nootropics are nutritional supplements that mainly benefit brain health; they do so by improving brain pathways. First of all, nootropics help increase the availability of energy for the brain. The brain is the most energy-hungry organ of our body-consuming nearly 20% of the whole bodily energy.


Another positive effect of the cognition enhancers on the brain processes is that they help increase blood flow to the brain. As the brain is the most energy-demanding body organ so it needs more blood for nutrient and oxygen supply and continuous removal of metabolic wastes from the brain.

Then, these smart supplements improve the functions of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals produced in the brain and they play a critical role in transmitting messages through neurons.

Nootropics increase the brains natural abilities


The brain works on the mechanism of electrical transmission. In the brain, messages are processed through ionic current. Therefore certain waves are produced in the brain. Nootropics enhance some of these brainwaves to help improve cognitive functions.


Our brain is an energy-intensive organ; it means that a lot of metabolic processes are occurring in our brain at any time. Huge metabolic activities result in the creation of metabolic waste. Hazardous free radicals are also produced as metabolic waste which may damage brain cells if not removed or oxidized quickly. Anti-oxidative properties of nootropics help oxidize these potent free radicals quickly and in consequence, your brain performance is boosted.


Finally, our brain cells-neurons- are the most specialized cells of the human body. The more a cell specializes for a certain task lesser are its regenerative and repairing properties. So neurons have the least of the repairing and regenerative capabilities. Nootropics have shown neurogenesis properties and these help in neuron repair and maintenance and thus enhances the brain’s plasticity.

Supplements Turbo Brain Mental Performance Brain Supplement
Turbo brain is one of the highest quality nootropics available on the open market!

In conclusion should you be utilising nootropics?


The very definition of nootropics by its founding father, Corneliu Giurgea, indicates that nootropics are without any side effects that are they are safe. Nootropics are safe because they are not medicines rather they are nutritional supplements. But however, nootropics may sometimes contain suspected ingredients like artificial colors and preservatives which may have potential health risks. Because of these doubtful ingredients, nootropics may have side effects like a fast heart rate, high blood pressure, sleep disturbances, and probably addiction.


So it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking nootropics.
Sources


https://www.mindlabpro.com/blogs/nootropics/what-are-nootropics


https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326379#prescription


https://thrivous.com/blogs/views/what-are-nootropics


https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a27815313/what-are-nootropics/


https://www.caffeineinformer.com/nootropics


https://www.mindlabpro.com/blogs/nootropics/are-nootropics-safe

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