CategoriesIngredients

Black Pepper

What are its benefits?

Long enjoyed around the world for its flavor and pungency, black pepper has caught the interest of scientists in recent decades. While little research has been done so far on black pepper’s effect on the microbiome specifically, many studies indicate that the bio-active compound in black pepper, piperine, may have a wide range of health benefits:

  • Has antioxidant properties
  • May effectively fight inflammation
  • Has been shown to improve brain function in animal studies
  • May improve blood sugar control
  • May lower cholesterol levels
  • Has anticancer and antitumor activity
  • Has been shown to improve depression when consumed with turmeric

What is it?

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) is a perennial climbing vine and the spice is made from its fruits (the peppercorns). Native to India, it is one of the earliest spices known. Used in cuisine worldwide, pepper is also used in medicine as a carminative (to relieve flatulence) and as a stimulant of gastric secretions. Black pepper is a good source of manganese and vitamin K, among other vitamins and minerals.

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CategoriesIngredients

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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CategoriesIngredients

Red Reishi Mushroom

What are its benefits?

Used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat diabetics, red reishi mushroom is included in the shake base blends based on research that indicates it does reduce body weight, inflammation, and insulin resistance in mice fed a high-fat diet. The study in question concerned obesity, which is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation and imbalance in the intestinal microbiota. The results showed decreased Firmicutes-to-Bacteroidetes ratios and lower levels of endotoxin-bearing Proteobacteria, indicating that red reishi mushrooms help balance the microbiome. Furthermore, results indicated they help maintain the integrity of the intestinal barrier and reduce metabolic endotoxemia.

 

Other research shows red reishi mushroom has antioxidant properties, which helps reduce oxidative stress in cells. In addition, reishi has been shown to help increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy while protecting against some of its damaging effects.

What is it?

Red reishi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum) are highly nutritious, containing polysaccharides, proteins, minerals, vitamins (B, D), are low in fat (5%, mostly linoleic acids) and are free of cholesterol.

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CategoriesIngredients

Fenugreek

What are its benefits?

An herb long used in traditional medicines and in Indian cuisine, fenugreek is the subject of modern research. The results of human studies suggest that consuming fenugreek improves elevated blood glucose and lipid levels associated with diabetes and obesity.

 

In addition, a 2020 study found that fenugreek had a beneficial impact on the gut microbiome of mice that were on a high fat diet. While improving the metabolism of the mice (measured by lower cholesterol and lower blood sugar), the population and diversity of the gut bacteria were also improved.

 

Results of another study indicate that the extract of fenugreek seeds contains antioxidants and protects cellular structures from oxidative damage.

 

Nutritionally, fenugreek seeds contain a good amount of fiber and minerals, including iron, manganese, and magnesium.

What is it?

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual herb with yellow flowers and seed-containing pods. The hard, yellow-brown mature seeds possess an unusual aromatic odor and are used in curry recipes, chutney, spice blends, and some vegetable soups. They have a slightly sweet, nutty taste.

 

Fenugreek seeds are composed primarily of carbohydrates (mainly mucilaginous fibers in the cell walls), proteins, and lipids. Other important components include alkaloids, free amino acids, saponins, and glycosides.

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