CategoriesIngredients

Ginger

What are its benefits?

Scientists have long known that ginger is one of the plants that facilitates digestion and increases bioabsorption of dietary nutrients. Newer research (“Prebiotic Potential of Culinary Spices Used to Support Digestion and Bioabsorption”) shows that ginger changes the microbiome and causes shifts in microbial populations: “Both fibers and phytochemicals in medicinal herbs used as spices appear to promote the growth of beneficial microbes and inhibit the growth of potentially inflammatory species.” Ginger led to an increase in Lactobacillus gut bacteria, a beneficial bacteria that helps the body break down food, absorb nutrients, and fight off “unfriendly” organisms that can cause diseases such as diarrhea. Another study indicated that the components in ginger promote tissue repair and antimicrobial immunity.

 

As a home remedy, ginger is a common treatment for upset stomach and nausea. It seems to aid digestion and saliva flow. There’s evidence that ginger eases muscle and joint pain, as well as pain from arthritis, headaches, and menstrual cramps.

What is it?

Ginger is a flowering tropical plant that grows in China, India, Africa, the Caribbean, and other warm climates. The root of the ginger plant is well-known as a spice and flavoring. The root doesn’t have many vitamins or minerals, but it has a lot of antioxidants.

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Piper Longum

What are its benefits?

Piper longum has been the subject of many scientific studies, one of which showed that a combination of piper longum, turmeric, black pepper, and ginger produced a distinct beneficial shift in the gut’s microbial community in less than two weeks. In addition:

  • Piperine, the major active incredient in piper longum, has been shown to have anticancer and antioxidant properties.
  • Other studies have noted that piperine plays a large role in piper longum’s antiarthritic (anti-inflammatory) attributes.
  • Some extracts of piper longum have shown good antibacterial activity against certain pathogens.
  • Piper longum is also thought to benefit diabetics because it can regulate the rate at which glucose is released in the blood.

What is it?

Piper longum (long pepper) is a flowering vine whose dried fruit is used as a spice. The fruit contains a large proportion of alkaloids and related compounds, the most abundant of which is piperine. Long pepper also contains various nutrients, such as fats, proteins, sugars, carbohydrates, calcium, vitamins C and A, dietary fiber, and sodium ions.

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Triphala

What are its benefits?

Triphala is included in the shake base because of indications that it increases longevity. Triphala is a prebiotic, feeding existing beneficial bacteria in the human gut, Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus. (These are known to have evolved hand and hand with humans since the beginning). Researchers at McGill University studied fruit flies — whose genes are remarkably similar to mammals with about 70% similarity in terms of their biochemical pathways — and found that a combination of triphala and probiotics increased their longevity by 60% and protected them against chronic diseases associated with aging. The mechanism for this was suggested by measurements showing reduced markers of physiological stress, oxidative stress, inflammation, and mitochondrial dynamics — all of which cause aging.

 

Ayurvedic practitioners use triphala for detoxification that aids digestion and microbiome health. Triphala is an ingredient in over 400 Ayurvedic remedies. It’s an antioxidant, and it tones and supports the large intestine to improve motility and absorption of nutrients. Triphala contains a number of polyphenolic compounds which give it a broad antimicrobial spectrum.

What is it?

Triphala is an Ayurvedic compound from India, made from three dried fruits – amla, bihara, and harada. It contains vitamin C, flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins and saponins, along with other potent plant compounds.

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Cranberry

What are its benefits?

Bright red tart cranberries are as healthful as they are pretty. Research indicates their health benefits are thought to be due to their flavonoid and phytonutrient content. These naturally occurring compounds have antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits that are seen in studies of the mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and urinary tract.

  • A specific type of flavonoid in cranberries, called proanthocyanidins, supports urinary tract health by interfering with the ability of pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) to adhere to cell walls, thereby helping to prevent infections.
  • Studies also show that proanthocyanidins have a similar effect on gut bacteria: they interfere with colonization by pathogenic E. coli and lessen gut barrier dysfunction caused by dietary “insult” (for example, antibiotics).
  • Additional research points to beneficial interaction between cranberry components, the bioactive products of their catabolism, and gut microbiota. For example, mechanisms involving adhesion of bacteria and biofilm formation may contribute to clinical benefits on gastrointestinal tract infections and anti-inflammatory actions that are mediated by the gut microbiome.
  • Growing evidence from other clinical trials indicates positive effects of cranberries on various heart and metabolism markers, such as serum lipid profiles, blood pressure, endothelial function, blood glucose regulation, and measures of inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Cranberries may provide numerous cardiovascular benefits. Research shows they can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-oxidation, maintain or improve high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels, reduce aggregation of platelets, and improve vascular function.

What is it?

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a low-growing woody perennial plant. It produces horizontal stems up to 6 feet long, with vertical branches, 2 to 8 inches high, some of which produce buds, flowers, and then berries. The plants are pollinated primarily via honey bees.

Along with flavonoids and phytonutrients, cranberries also provide fiber and vitamin C.

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Allspice

What are its benefits?

In addition to adding flavor to foods, allspice is one of the top spices known to kill food-borne bacteria and fungi. Allspice also contains a large amount of phenols, which have antioxidant properties. Research has shown that two compounds isolated from allspice, eugenol and gallic acid, have some antitumor properties on human cancer cells.

What is it?

Allspice comes from the unripe, dried berries of the Pimenta dioica tree, a tropical evergreen native to Central America and the West Indies. Its spicy, somewhat sweet flavor is similar to cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Allspice contains phenols, and it is an excellent source of manganese, calcium, iron, vitamin B5, copper, gallic acid, quercetin, and ericifolin.

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