Discover the superfood power of hemp
Dr. David Jockers
2011 January 12
Foods that have an incredible array of health benefits that go well beyond just their nutrient value are considered ‘super-foods.’ One of the oldest and yet seemingly most misunderstood superfoods on the planet is hemp. Hemp is an incredible multi-purpose plant that can be used for anything from paper, rope, and cloth. It is also one of the most nutritionally well-balanced foods on the planet.
Although many people associate hemp with its sister plant marijuana (Cannabis sativa l.) the two are not the same. Hemp products come from a special variety that contains virtually no THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the chemical that gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. Therefore hemp is a perfectly safe food that will not make one “high” or cause anyone to fail a drug test.
Hemp has been cultivated and used by many ancient cultures since the beginning of recorded history. Researchers have found its use in China, India, Babylonia, Persia, Egypt, and the native cultures in North & South America. Hemp fiber was used to make rope and cloth, while the stalk was used to make paper. These cultures also used the seed for nutritional purposes. It can be eaten as shelled seeds, oil, butter, flour, and protein powder.
Hemp protein is one of the very few plant based complete protein sources. This means that it contains sufficient quantities of all 9 essential amino acids. Hemp is a great source of sulfur containing amino acids methionine and cysteine, which are necessary for cellular detoxification and the production of vital enzymes. Additionally, it is rich in branched chain amino acids that are needed for muscle growth and repair.
Almost 60% of the protein in hemp is made up of a globulin source called edestin. Most of the rest is in the form of albumin. Albumin and Edestin have a very similar molecular makeup as the protein found in the human body. Because of this common link, hemp protein is very easily absorbed into human blood and used for roles as critical as DNA repair.
Quinoa nutrition – why quinoa can help you lose weight and improve your health
2011 November 10
Quinoa is native to South America. The pre-Columbian Incas saw it as a sacred food, calling it chisaya mama (mother grain). They planted the first seeds of the season in religious ceremonies using golden tools. Depriving the people of quinoa was one of the means the Spanish used to conquer the Incas. In recent years, people who value nutrition have begun to appreciate the wisdom of the Incas in esteeming this food which offers a host of health benefits.
Technically, quinoa (KEEN-wah) is classified not as a grain but as a type of seed, that of the goosewort plant, a relative of spinach and chard. Quinoa provides a complete protein, making it especially valuable for those who prefer to reduce or completely eliminate animal protein from their diets. It contains all the essential amino acids, including lysine, which is crucial for growing and repairing body tissues. One cup of quinoa provides 9 grams of protein which is one more gram than a medium chicken egg (and unlike the egg, quinoa is unlikely to come from a factory farm).
Its high magnesium and riboflavin (B2) content make quinoa an excellent nutritional ally for migraine sufferers. Magnesium prevents the migraine pattern of constricting and rebound dilating of the blood vessels. Migraine sufferers who consume more magnesium in their diets have reported fewer headaches. Riboflavin’s ability to promote cellular energy production has a beneficial effect on energy, brain and muscle cells metabolism, providing further protection against migraine attacks.
Magnesium’s ability to relax blood vessels also means eating foods high in this mineral helps reduce hypertension, heart arrhythmias and ischemic heart disease.
Digestion and Detoxifying
This seed-like grain has prebiotic properties, feeding the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract. Since it is easily digested, your body can readily access the vitamins and minerals it contains. Quinoa also provides a good source of insoluble fiber, promoting healthy elimination processes, helping maintain colon health and preventing the formation of gallstones. The folate and vitamin B in quinoa also boost the liver’s ability to eliminating toxins from the body. People at high risk for cancer, as well as those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease are often advised to eat more whole grains, yet if they have celiac disease or other forms of gluten sensitivities, they must steer clear of many popular grain products. Quinoa is gluten-free, so those who cannot tolerate gluten can eat it.
Just 1 TBSP a Day: An Easy Way to Lower Your Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and…
2011 July 17
What if consuming a tablespoon or two per day of a simple food could drastically lower your chances of developing cancer, heart disease or stroke, or of contracting a life-threatening virus such as HIV?
Would your interest be piqued?
There is a unique freshwater plant that has been of enormous interest to nutritional scientists over the past decade, and it shows promise for doing all of the above—and then some. It’s one of the most nutrient-packed dynamos of the superfood world.
This simple food is spirulina.
I recently posted a report about the radioprotective effects of spirulina. But its health benefits go far beyond that application. But what exactly is spirulina? You may be surprised!
Spirulina: One of Nature’s Near-Perfect Foods
Spirulina is similar to sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp, nori, Kombu, arame, and wakame. Along with its cousin chlorella (another one of my favorites), spirulina is a member of the “blue-green” family—but this family is actually not truly algae.
Although you will often hear the term “blue-green algae,” spirulina and its kin are actually cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are classified as bacteria because their genetic material is not organized in a membrane-bound nucleus. Unlike other bacteria, they have chlorophyll and use the sun as an energy source, in the way plants and algae do.
Spirulina is primarily produced by two species: Arthrospira platensis and Arthrospira maxima.
One of the special traits of spirulina is its rich protein content—it’s 50 to 70 percent protein by weight and contains all of the essential amino acids. Records of the Spanish conquistadors suggest that the Aztecs consumed spirulina as a food source, and the Kanembu people of Central Africa harvested it from what is now called Lake Chad.
Wild spirulina grows in the alkaline lakes of Mexico and on the African continent, although it is commercially grown and harvested all over the world. It reproduces quickly, and because the individual organisms tend to clump together, it’s easy to harvest. Commercial production of spirulina is estimated to reach 220,000 tons by the year 2020. Japan is the largest producer of spirulina, as well as the largest consumer.