Botanical Nutrition

by Rob Seeman official blogger of the health food movement


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Come Back to us Whole Foods

Whole Foods has been one of the most successful natural products stores in the United States.  From small beginnings, they have become a publicly traded market leader, and were recently acquired by the ubiquitous AMAZON.

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Beyond the huge corporate story of Whole Foods rise, however, is the fact that they are still a health food store.  In as much, they are part of the larger Natural Products Industry which has done important things as a whole such as fight for the Dietary Supplements Health Education act, strengthen the integrity of the Organic act,  and has generally involved the work of many to bring the natural food and holistic medicine/lifestyle to a wider range of people across the country.

This is why it makes me sad to read things like the following articles posted in my feed this week by former and current employees of Whole Foods;

http://www.grubstreet.com/2018/01/shoppers-complain-whole-foods-still-has-entirely-empty-shelves.html

https://apple.news/AY7dG9MnSS4Gf8zPOgiV0nw

Oh and ESPECIALLY this one since it affects me and a lot of people I care about….

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/whole-foods-places-new-limits-on-suppliers-upsetting-some-small-vendors/2018/01/05/7f58b466-f0a1-11e7-b390-a36dc3fa2842_story.html

My point is this – for many years Whole Foods was based on things like being good to their employees, helping the environment and supporting local food and small businesses.  They referred to their vendors as “partners in the trade.”  They developed groundbreaking vendor partnerships which gave them market advantages and a lot of good will with their business peers.  Unlike the banks which are “too big to fail”, sometimes companies become too big to sustain their success – growing to the point where they can’t see their own shoes that got them to the place where they were. Ever seen a brand go down the toilet? It isn’t pretty.

Once you said we were partners. We supported you as such, and were happy to spend our dollars with you.  Come back to us Whole Foods – it isn’t too late.  We need you now more than ever as part of this movement.  Respectfully, your former partners in the trade.

 

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Beta-caryophyllene cannabinoid research continues to show benefit

You may have read my previous post about BCP (Beta-caryophyllene) a natural cannabinoid (cousin of CBD) found naturally-occurring not just in Hemp, but in many foods such as celery, black pepper and maca root.  Well, you may be interested to know that a continuing and growing body of research shows new and different benefits to human health!

BCP2

This has been one of my most popular blog entries of late, due to some emerging science on the importance on beta-caryophyllene.  Many of you will know that recently the leading company, the Hemp Movement, discontinued CBD and threw their lot in with Plus CBD made by CV Sciences. BCP is also a phytocannabinoid, and a growing body of scientific research indicates that it is a novel compound we should examine as well.

A very recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience found that BCP “BCP alleviates ischemic brain damage potentially by inhibiting necroptotic neuronal death and inflammatory response. This study suggests a novel application for BCP as a neuroprotective agent.”

Another recent study found BCP helpful in non-alcoholic hepatitis.  Researchers concluded that the “antioxidant effect of BCP might suppressed the damage of hepatocytes caused by oxidative stress and following inflammation and fibrosis.”  Hepatocytes are cells in the liver that are damaged in hepatitis progression.

BCP1

You may have read in my first post how I talked about BCP affecting both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors; the two major switches in the human ECS or endo-cannabionoid system.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in an article entitled “Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid”, Gertsch et al write “The psychoactive cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. and the arachidonic acid-derived endocannabinoids are nonselective natural ligands for cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and CB2 receptors. Although the CB1 receptor is responsible for the psychomodulatory effects, activation of the CB2 receptor is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis. Here, we report that the widespread plant volatile (E)-β-caryophyllene [(E)-BCP] selectively binds to the CB2 receptor (K i = 155 ± 4 nM) and that it is a functional CB2 agonist. Intriguingly, (E)-BCP is a common constituent of the essential oils of numerous spice and food plants and a major component in Cannabis.”

 

 


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Hemp Movement to discontinue Super Hemp CBD; endorses Plus CBD

The Food Movement  first came to being in 2011.  Through our unique relationship with our friend Stuart Tomc, we were able to be one of the first companies to bring the legal and safe dietary supplement CBD (cannabidiol) to the health food market in our sister company the Hemp Movement, and the product Super Hemp CBD.Super-Hemp-Plus-CBD.jpg

At this point in the evolution of CBD in the natural marketplace, it has become clear to us that there is only one company to support going forward – and that is the brand Plus CBD by CV Sciences.  The only company pursuing clinical work, true GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status – and the main brand selling THE REAL CBD.  Not trying to convince you that you need “something else” with marketing and misdirection.  In the Endo-Cannabinoid system, there is no “alternative” to CBD any more than there is an “alternative” to the key to the lock on your front door.

In light of that kind of misinformation, I wanted to make this announcement as a service to all of the people who might get the wrong idea through rumors or innuendo.  Super Hemp CBD is not being discontinued, in so much as the identical (actually slightly improved with the addition of extra virgin olive oil) product is now available from CV Sciences, and is available in the best health food stores everywhere including throughout the Midwest from the Hemp Heroes at Fresh Thyme Farmers Market.

The Food Movement will continue to make the finest organic super foods, bioactive food-based dietary supplements and other great products such as our new Boneless Broth.  Thank you to everyone who has helped to bring this potentially life-saving plant-based nutrient to more people, and helped to distinguish a safe, legal dietary supplement from its cousin mary jane.  May God bless plant medicine and the continued education of our species.

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What makes Miso the ultimate umami souper food?

Miso is the most prevalent form of fermented food in the world, traditionally made from fermented soybeans, aspergillus oryzae culture (koji) and salt.  Other ingredients are frequently incorporated such as grains, sea vegetables, mushrooms and scallions.

Miso is a traditional soup which has been popular in Japan for hundreds of years, and is linked back to origins in China in the 3rd century BCE  and another fermented food called Hishio.

Food Movement Miso

Have you ever eaten in a sushi or traditional Japanese restaurant? Chances are you’ve had Miso soup.  But did you know it has some amazing health benefits as well?

Miso owes it’s highly satisfying savory taste to the interaction between protein phytochemicals called glutamates, and their interaction with various other peptides.  In fermentation the components of the original soy bean are transformed, made digestible, and given that unique “Umami” taste.

Studies indicate that Miso may lower blood pressure through the activation of the body’s dopamine pathways, may help to prevent stroke,  and to even protect against cancer and radiation exposure.

There is a definite connection between Miso’s unique properties, the Umami taste, and the presence of unique glutamates and peptides formed by fermentation.  In addition, the savory flavor may bet activating part of our pallet and our brain that is missing when we concentrate only on salty and sweet foods.

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Moringa : Super Foods Best Kept Secret

Have you heard of Moringa, known as ‘the Miracle Tree’? If not, you’re not alone – but this may be a super food you really want to look into.  Known as the “miracle tree”, it may be one of the best kept secrets in health food in the US – but its impact has been felt all around the world.

Moringa

The plant, latin binomial Moringa oleifera, is native to India, and is now grown on many continents.

The Food Movement began importing Moringa in 2011, and since that time demand and presence in the US natural marketplace has steadily grown.  One of the reasons for this is that of all the ‘green foods’ one can choose as a supplement – Moringa has some really unique phytochemical benefits beyond the usual suspects of chlorophyll and vitamins.  The leaves provide a source of complete protein, and are an unusually rich source of nutrition.

A 2017 review in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine concluded ” ..due to its high nutritional value and several medicinal properties, this tree may act as a nutritional and medical alternative for socially neglected populations.”

moringa facts

Another review in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that “A rapidly growing number of published studies have shown that aqueous, hydroalcohol, or alcohol extracts of M. oleifera leaves possess a wide range of additional biological activities including antioxidant, tissue protective (liver, kidneys, heart, testes, and lungs), analgesic, antiulcer, antihypertensive, radioprotective, and immunomodulatory actions. A wide variety of polyphenols and phenolic acids as well as flavonoids, glucosinolates, and possibly alkaloids is believed to be responsible for the observed effects. ”

Due to these unique properties it has been labeled “the miracle tree” and groups like Trees for Life have planted millions of the plant across starvation-ravaged African nations.  In addition to providing nutrition and medicine from the leaves and pods, the seeds of the Moringa tree can also be used to purify brackish water and are recommended for such purposes by the World Health Organization.

The Food Movement has sought to combine these benefits – the unique health-giving properties of the tree – along with the beneficial social and environmental impact; by selling organic Moringa in the US to raise money for groups like Trees for Life.  Whether your interest is in Moringa’s ability to combat hunger and lack of clean drinking water on a global scale; or if you’re just looking for health benefits for yourself – Moringa can be a true miracle.

 


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Study shows Moringa, Soy & Mushroom soup powder higher in nutrients than other soup powders

The journal Food Science & Nutrition recently published interesting study from India, as it shows the practical applications of three ‘super foods’ as a whole food soup mix.  Cooked Moringa & Soy were combined with a few other ingredients (corn starch, salt and preservative).  The study, entitled Formulation and nutritional evaluation of a healthy vegetable soup powder supplemented with soy flour, mushroom, and moringa leaf, is linked here.

Moringa The Food Movement

Compared to other soup powders, this combination of super foods (they used the highly beneficial Oyster mushrooms) was found to have thee “Highest content of vitamin D, minerals, protein, and fiber” as well as Vitamin C.

study.jpg

 


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Bioavailable Curcumin and the Brain

Eating yellow Curry every day, say researchers, may make you smarter.  This is in part because of a root called Turmeric which contains a group of compounds referred to as Curcumin.

In the natural business we often hear it said; while Curcumin (technically not one compound but a series of curcuminoid polyphenols) is the most active component of noted herbal healer Turmeric root (scientific name Curcuma longa) it is very poorly absorbed.

a-pile-of-fresh-turmeric-roots

Researchers can measure blood levels of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and total curcuminoids following oral supplementation in order to test the bioavailability of various forms of Curcumin supplementation.

In fact, there are many forms of “absorption enhanced” Curcumin on the market – some of which show little benefit when actually tested in humans.  Because whole Turmeric root has a diverse range of natural compounds, not just Curcumin, whole root may not give much absorption of curcuminoid polyphenols.  Researchers attribute this to poor solubility in water, leading to poor absorption.

A solid lipid Curcumin formulation called Longvida is generating lots of interest after several successful clinical trials.  Longvida, a patented form of Curcumin, was developed in concert with UCLA neuroscientists. Not only is this form of Curcumin better absorbed than other extracts, it has shown some specific neurological benefits.  Lead researcher Katherine Cox has written a very interesting article about the study in The Conversation in which she writes

“Our placebo-controlled, double-blind study examined the effects of 80mg of the lipid-conjugated curcumin in a cohort of healthy older people. For full transparency, note the study was funded by a grant from the company that makes the extract – though it had no input into the design, interpretation or publication of the study.

“We randomly allocated 60 participants (with mean age 69 years) to receive curcumin capsules (the intervention) or a matching placebo (a dummy). Neither group knew whether they were receiving curcumin or a placebo.

“The volunteers underwent a training day to familiarise themselves with the computerised cognitive and mood tests. Then they undertook the tests before taking the capsule, then one and three hours after a single dose. They underwent testing at the same three time points following 28 days on curcumin or placebo.”

The study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology in 2015.  In that paper, the researchers also concluded “A significant acute-on-chronic treatment effect on alertness and contentedness was also observed. Curcumin was associated with significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol and had no effect on hematological safety measures.” That’s right – not only can it improve alertness and happiness; it may just improve your serum cholesterol levels.

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Nordic Naturals, long a natural products industry leader in well-researched and effective nutrients, has recently released their Omega Memory product which combines the special Longvida Curcumin used in the above clinical study along with other ingredients shown to support memory – Phosphatidylcholine and Huperzine A, an extract from Chinese Club moss (Huperza serrata) which has been shown to to inhibit acetyl-choline esterase, a process which can improve memory and recall.  Last but not least the formula also contains 1000 mg of Omega-3 EPA & DHA rich fish oil which has been shown to be of great in benefits in literally thousands of published studies.

Want to find out if Longvida clinically-researched Curcumin will have the same effect on your brain as it did in the scientific study?  Trying Omega Memory with Curcumin from Nordic Naturals; not only are you receiving the same bioavailable Curcumin used in the actual clinical trial – you’re also getting efficacious doses of Huperzine A, Phosphatidyl Choline and the #1 selling (and most bioavailable) fish oil in the world – Nordic Naturals Omega 3.