From The Blog

By Sayer Ji • Originally posted on Greenmed.info | Photo by William Ismael

The world’s most extensively researched spice continues to prove itself capable of remarkable therapeutic properties, with the latest study showing it may compensate for one of the plant-based diet’s most heavily debated shortcomings: DHA omega-3 fatty acid deficiency.

Why Turmeric May Boost Vegetarian Brain’s Omega-3 (DHA) Levels, NIH Research Reveals

A fascinating new study on the golden-hued polyphenol found in turmeric root known as curcumin reveals a new mechanism by which this extensively studied phytocompound may alleviate cognitive disorders, especially in vegetarians and vegans.

In the National Institutes of Health funded study titled, “Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders,” researchers found that curcumin enhances the biosynthesis of the essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in the rat brain. DHA deficiency is quite common and can have a wide range of adverse consequences to the optimal functioning of the brain. If this animal study’s results are applicable to human physiology and metabolism, it may contribute significantly to validating the role of vegetarianism or a more plant-centric diet in human nutrition.

Curcumin has been the subject of over 7,000 published studies in the past 45 years, over 1500 of which can be found on the GreenMedInfo.com database showing its potential therapeutic value in over 600 health conditions, making it possibly the world’s most important herbal compound.

By Sayer Ji • Originally posted on Greenmed.info | Original image from Beet Man

In an era where clever marketing has transformed exotic berries, tubers and plant extracts from geographically distant regions into “super foods,” ostensibly better (and that much more expensive!) than culinary standards found at your local supermarket, e.g. garlic, onion, and kale, we should be reminded that the true nutritional super heroes are too busy performing anonymous feats of healing to garnish that kind of attention.

Which leads us to beets. Anything we can eat that bleeds as red and readily as the beet deserves our immediate respect.  In fact, this vegetable often leaves a veritable crime scene behind it, converting a spotless kitchen counter into a nutrient-dense blood bath in a matter of minutes.  There is ancient wisdom buried in the ‘doctrine of signatures’ that reveals itself so bloodily in the beet: it nourishes our blood and circulatory system. Indeed, thanks to the burgeoning growth of food science on the topic, we now know that beets are one of Nature’s finest cardiovascular tonics…

Beet’s Blood Vessel Dilating Properties

A 2008 study published in the journal Hypertension found that beets contain pharmacologically significant quantities of blood vessel dilating nitrate. Three hours after ingesting 500 ml of beet juice study subjects experience a significant drop in blood pressure that could be directly correlated with increased plasma nitrate concentrations. [i] As endothelial dysfunction, or the inability of the blood vessels to dilate fully, is considered the ‘canary in the trousers,’ beets’ legendary ability in ancient times to enhance virility and act as an aphrodisiac now makes perfect scientific sense.