With the holidays fast approaching, and massive thanksgiving dinners behind us, I’m sure diet is on a lot of peoples’ minds. I admittedly and writing this, while quite uncomfortably full of fries (cringe). I am sure you’ve all hear the saying “You can’t out train a bad diet”. And in a large part, it is true. Weather it’s weight loss, muscle gain, or re-composition, nutrition plays a huge role in your progress. Diet is more than just macros though. Yes, as previously mentioned, carbs are carbs, and fats are fats. So, brownies versus brown rice? Who cares?! Pass the cake!
Well, gut health is an increasingly popular topic in terms of diet and nutrients. If you aren’t able to properly absorb your food are you getting the full advantage of that green smoothie? I recently had the opportunity to connect with Genuine Health and try their new “Fermented Gut Superfoods+”. I opted for the Orange Ginger flavor, as I have been feeling a little under the weather, and straight up love anything ginger.
This bad boy is packed with an organic fermented superfood blend of organic spirulina, organic cabbage, organic cauliflower, organic spinach, organic black currant, organic raspberry, organic mulberry, organic broccoli, organic carrot, organic beet, organic grape, organic kale, organic sea buckthorn, organic pomegranate, organic sweet potato, organic apricot, organic bitter melon, organic ginger, organic cinnamon, and organic clove. Because fermentation amplifies nutrition, by boosting nutritional quality and intensifying the strength of phytonutrients, it can improve digestion and can help to encourage a healthy gut microbiome. In addition, Genuine Health adds organic isomalto-oligosaccharides (VitaFiber™ fermented prebiotic fibre), Organic orange flavour, Organic beet juice, Organic orange, Organic fermented cocoa bean, Organic ginger extract, annnnnnnnd Organic stevia leaf extract (for sweetness). It is important to note, that fermented fiber that is easy to tolerate, so you get all of the benefits of a prebiotic fiber and none of the bloating (because no one wants to feel, or look, like a beached whale).
I realized that is a lot to take in, and again, why should you care? Being the benevolent human being I am, let me break down some of the benefits for you. Diligent readers (do those exist?) will know about the benefits of fiber. But let’s talk more about that long list of what sounds like the ingredients of an elaborate health smoothie at whole foods.
Spirulina is a natural algae powder. This is what tend to give that swamp water look and smell of some green drinks. But it doesn’t have to when done right, I swear! I is is incredibly high in protein and a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. It is largely made up of protein and essential amino acids. The high concentration of protein is ideal anytime the immune system needs a boost Cold season anyone?). Spurlina is considered a complete source of high-quality protein and is often compared to eggs for the amount of protein per gram. Spurlina is also incredibly high in Vitamin B1, which is necessary for the digestion of fats and proteins. It is often taken for increased energy, eye health, brain function and for improving nerve functioning. And to pack another punch, Spurlina is one of the best plant sources of iron. Even for those who consume meat, it has a highly absorbable form of iron that is gentle on the digestive system, and has over 26 times the calcium in milk.
Ok. How about cabbage? Sounds gross, I know. You’re probably thinking of some terrible soviet stereotype. But, did you know that cabbage was one of two vegetable types (the other type was root vegetables) found to be a mainstay for prevention of type 2 diabetes in a recent study of over 57,000 adults in the country of Denmark? In this very large-scale study, adults who closely followed the Healthy Nordik Food Index were found to have the lowest incidence of type 2 diabetes. Researchers have now identified nearly 20 different flavonoids and 15 different phenols in cabbage, all of which have demonstrated antioxidant activity. This is one key reason why an increasing number of studies link cabbage intake to decreased risk of several cardiovascular diseases. Pretty great, right? To top that off, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin C and vitamin B6. It is also a very good source of manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B1, folate and copper. Additionally, cabbage is a good source of choline, phosphorus, vitamin B2, magnesium, calcium, selenium, iron, pantothenic acid, protein and niacin!
Ok, next let’s dive into something a little more obscure than your standard spinach and kale. Black Currant. These richly dark berries are packed with Vitamin C. That’s probably no surprise, as most berries tend to be. And as a rule of thumb, the darker the colour, the richer the nutrients. And these and boys are so dark, they’re called black… Black currant is also packed with an electrolyte, potassium. Which is responsible for regulating your heart’s electrical activity and keeping the acid-base balance in check. It is also needed for smooth muscle contraction, so it is essential for healthy digestion and good muscle function. Seems pretty important to me. I addition, and particular important to our friends of the vegan/vegetarian inclination, is iron. As someone who has been off and on (mostly on) deficient my entirely life. I know how important iron is. This mineral that is found throughout your entire body, iron is needed to make your blood cells. It also helps produce oxygen-bearing proteins (hemoglobin and myoglobin), and forms many parts of various proteins throughout your body.
Ok… I said I was benevolent, but I am no saint. SO, this is all you get from me today! Hopefully you feel a little more enlightened, and if not, you now have some “fun facts” to impresses your dates, coworkers, or family members over the holidays.