For centuries, cultures around the world have been using plants to aid and support dietary needs. Fast-forward to modern times, people are incorporating more plants into foods, drinks, and supplements in effort to achieve optimum health. As part of a weekly spotlight, here is a deeper look at a commonly used ingredient that helps support a natural lifestyle, but you might know very little about.
A reddish pigment known as “the King of The Carotenoids,” astaxanthin is an antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are produced by normal aerobic metabolism in organisms and are unavoidable. However, protecting the cells improves immune system function.
There are two sources of astaxanthin that can be found on the market, natural (Haematococcus pluvialis) and synthetic versions. Naturally occurring astaxanthin is derived from algae and can be found in micro-organisms and marine animals such as shrimp, lobster, crab, and salmon. The best food source to obtain the antioxidant is from wild pacific salmon.
Astaxanthin is considered such an amazing antioxidant because it is 14 – 65 times more potent than either Vitamin C or E. For better adsorption, it is suggested that astaxanthin be taken with a meal or food that contains some healthy fat, such as olive oil.
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Ancient plants have been used by cultures around the world to aid and support dietary needs for centuries. Fast-forward to modern times, people are incorporating more plants into foods, drinks, and supplements in effort to achieve optimum health. As part of an ingredient spotlight, let’s take a deeper look at a commonly used herb that helps support a natural lifestyle.
This sweet leaf is today’s hot new diet fad to hit the shelves of grocery store and health food markets in snacks, foods, and supplements, but this centuries old herb has some history. Stevia Rebaudiana grows naturally in Brazil and Paraguay where for hundreds of years it has been used to sweeten foods, treat burns, and aid stomach discomfort.
Steviol Glycosides is the sweet component that is often extracted from the leaves. The process of extracting the glycosides starts with soaking the leaves in hot water. The leaves are also dried and ground into powder. However, Stevia leaves are sometimes just cooked or chewed raw. Stevia has a sweet licorice flavor that is naturally 100 – 300 times sweeter than traditional sweeteners.
Over 1500 years ago Guarani Indians use Kaa he-he (sweet herb) to sweeten bitter mate, a tea-like drink.
1887 - An Italian doctor hears his native guides describe the strange plant and has broken leaves sent to him and he announces discovery.
1899 – A Swiss botanist documents the plant and sweet taste in detail.
1918 – A botanist for U.S. Department of Agriculture learns of the sweet leaf and within 3 years the government and sugar producers start to take note of its commercial potential.
1931 – Two French chemists isolate the glycoside that gives the plant its sweet taste.
1970 – After strictly enforcing artificial sweeteners, Japan adapts stevia as alternate option.
1994 – Dietary Supplement Health & Education Act (DSHEA): Supplements are now regulated by the FDA for Good Manufacturing Practices.
FDA on Stevia
The Food and Drug Administration reviewed and regarded steviol glycosides as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and does not require approval to use as a food additive. Though stevia’s leaf and crude extract are not considered GRAS.
Ancient plants have been used by cultures around the world to aid and support dietary needs for centuries. Fast-forward to modern times, people still seek and utilize plants by incorporating them into foods, drinks, and supplements to achieve optimum health. As part of a weekly spotlight, we will take a deeper look at commonly used herbs that help support natural living.
Eating healthy or incorporating natural ingredients into ours diets is as easy as actually enjoying what you are actually consuming. Here in the test kitchen, not only do we want to discover recipes featuring ingredients with amazing health benefits, but taste great too.
Turmeric is known for its bright yellow aromatic powder and warm, slightly bitter taste. This is why we love the combination of the turmeric with the white chocolate, as it creates the perfect balance in flavors.
For centuries, ancient cultures around the world have been using plants to aid and support dietary needs. Fast-forward to modern times, people still seek and utilize plants by incorporating them into foods, drinks, and supplements to achieve optimum health.
Over the next six weeks, let’s take a deeper look at commonly used herbs that help support natural living.
Spring brings a sense of renewal with the change of the season as we start to shake off the last days of cooler temperatures. It is also the time people like to “spring clean” their health and fitness by eating clean or trying new regimes. This recipe is not only perfect for those chilly spring nights, but its nutrient packed ingredients are yummy for the tummy and good for it too.
Recipe type: Main Dish / Soup
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 25 mins
In the world of gut health, Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers are often looking for help to aid symptom discomforts. In honor of April being IBS Awareness Month, let’s talk about that “gut” feeling and some possible aids to send your gut some love.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is described as belly discomfort or pain and may include trouble maintaining regular bowel movements. This condition causes the digestive system to be hypersensitive and to over-react to mild stimulation which may result in either bowel muscle spasms or inconsistent muscle movement. Currently, it is not clear what causes IBS though there are a few theories involving hormones, stress, other illnesses, or diet. Irritable Bowel Syndrome affects people of all ages.
Here are some hints for these sufferers --
Foods to avoid…
Chocolate, citrus fruits, spicy foods, sugar-free gum & candy, dairy, and alcohol/caffeine all can adversely affect the digestive system for those suffering from IBS.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Written By: HealthPlus Inc.
Having Digestion Problems?
Are you suffering from digestive problems? Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, or constipation?
Don't worry! Digestive problems are actually more common in today’s society than you might think. This is partly due to the different types of foods we eat such as fast food, alcohol, heavy starches, etc.... It is important that your body can digest and break down foods into nutrients containing fats, proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. We know talking about your pooping habits can be kind of embarrassing so here are 10 Herbs That Support Healthy Digestion.
Written by: Health Plus Inc
Why is Turmeric Good for you?
What is Turmeric and where does it come from?
Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) is perennial a herbaceous plant and is considered a part of the ginger family, native to Southern Asia. Turmeric was first used as a dye for its deep orange yellow hue. It's commonly used in Asian foods such as curry and yellow mustard for its warm, bitter taste. Out of all the Southern Asian countries, India remains one of the most prominent producers of turmeric.
How much should I take?
The preparation for turmeric is the same as ginger. All you have to do is peel off the outer layer skin and then either cut or grate the root. The daily amount of turmeric you can take depends on the method of consumption. There are three different ways to consume turmeric: Fresh turmeric root, dried root powder, or supplementation. Each method has different dosage of turmeric.
- cut root: 1.5 - 3 grams per day
- dried powder: 1-3 grams per day
- supplement: 1.2 - 1.8 grams per day
Note: If you are using powder: 1 tbs daily is okay
Overall, Turmeric is really a powerful natural ingredient. Turmeric contains more than 300 antioxidants, making it a powerful healer.
Turmeric Root and Powder image: Turmeric vs. Cumin Spiceography showdown http://www.spiceography.com/turmeric-vs-cumin/
Fresh Turmeric image: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/83809243039532546/
Turmeric Root Capsules image: http://time.com/3984504/turmeric-supplements-curcumin/ Illustration by Peter Oumanski for TIME
Written by: Health Plus Inc
We all have seen the word “prebiotic” on supplements or in relation to healthy living. But what the heck are they!? Well, here is the technical definition according to Mariam-Webster.com, "of, relating to, or being chemical or environmental precursors of the origin of life <prebioticmolecules>; also : existing or occurring before the origin of life." In simple terms, prebiotics are food for the naturally occuring probiotics within the digestive tract. Yes, probiotics are different than prebiotics.
What are prebiotics?
Prebiotics are natural non-digestible fibers that help promote the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut. These fibers are considered soluble fiber and while our digestive system cannot digest them, probiotics can. In order to maintain your good bacteria you will need to feed them prebiotics. These non-digestible fibers can be found in a number of foods such as:
Let’s do a quick breakdown of prebiotics in relations to probiotics.
Probiotics are living microorganisms inside your gastrointestinal tract. This might sound bad but is actually good. They are responsible for aiding in healthy digestion, immune support, vaginal health, and the list goes on! Like all living things, probiotics need to be fed to stay alive. That's where prebiotics come in.
However, these are not typically foods that you would eat in large quantities or every day for that matter. This is why Health Plus has formulated Prebiotic Formula.
Prebiotic Formula contains 2 grams daily to keep probiotics thriving. That's not all! It is also formulated with digestive enzymes and probiotics! Enzymes assist with this breaking down fats, starches, and proteins. They may also help with gas and bloating.
Don't starve your friendly bacteria! They need you. Receive 10% off our Prebiotic Formula with this special blog offer! USE CODE: PREBLOG at checkout!
Written by: Health Plus Inc
Wheat Flour image: http://worldmaxoil.com/portfolio/flour/
Wheat Bran image: What are the benefits of eating wheat bran article by Max. D Gray
Raw Onion image: Credit by Africa Studio http://www.livescience.com/45293-onion-nutrition.html
Raw Leek image: Source: Rodale's Organic Life
Raw Jerusalem Artichoke image: Do Jerusalem Artichoke cause Diarrhea? by ANDREW KNOWLTON
Raw Garlic image: The Benefits of Eating Raw Garlic Gloves by JESSICA BRUSO
Raw Asparagus image: http://cravinggreens.com/2013/05/raw-asparagus-salad-with-parmesan/
Raw Dandelion Greens image: Down & Dirty: Dark Leafy Greens by Nozlee Samadzadeh