Greetings to all & welcome back to another episode! Hope you’ll have had an amazing week, if not, I encourage you to hang in there, because after every storm, there’s a bright n sunny day! Don’t worry, just be happy!
Okay, so in today’s episode, I’ll be talking about 2 superfoods. Its not that, these are the only 2 superfoods. Almost all natural, raw, whole, unprocessed foods that are derived from nature are superfoods & are special in their own way. Think about the movie Avengers, where every superhero, they have their own unique strengths & superpowers. So, from time to time you’ll hear me talking about different nature derived foods & their unique superpowers! So, this is going to be an ongoing series of episodes.
I would also like to notify you’ll of a small change. The last episode, I was mentioning all the studies as I was going along in the episode itself, which I later realized, might’ve not been such a great idea, might’ve been a little, too much. While it also took up much of the time & ate up all the space in the show notes. So, I decided to add all of the research in the transcript itself. As always, you’ll find the link in the show-notes.
Before we begin, I’d like to remind all of you’ll that food is more than just calories & its not just limited to those few nutrients & minerals that we humans have discovered! Its way more than what we can imagine. There’s way too much that we haven’t figured out & I believe that we are nowhere close to doing that, specially when the financing & interests are riding along in a different direction. I truly believe that our ancestors knew more, maybe not in terms of the technicalities but in terms of what works & what does not! As I have been learning more, I realize that what my mom & grandparents spoke about in terms of nutrition, the do’s & dont’s, its been true all along! Its just that I have learn’t the technicalities.
Starting with our very first superhero, the apple! The real, original fruit apple, not the iphone. The saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, yep it holds true! A whole, fresh apple offers around 400 constituent nutrients, atleast as far as we know till date. Its brimming with nutrigenomically active compounds, apart from vitamin C, it contains phlorizin, over a dozen polyphenols & there are potent antioxidants which are concentrated in its peel. Infact the skin contains astringent properties that cleanse the epithelial tissue for healthy oral, gut & cardiovascular health & not just that the peel was experimentally confirmed to kill cancer cells, likely due to its high content of phenolic compounds, antioxidants and anti-proliferative action (9). Basically, consumption of apples is associated with a reduced risk of cancer in different anatomical sites (25). While the apple pectin has the capability of enhancing detoxification by drawing out bile & accumulated toxins.
Apple contains structured water molecules, which is capable of holding & transmitting energy & information (1) And this structured biological water, nourishes & infuse the tissue with both energy & information. The apple also has its own health-promoting microbiome like other nature derived foods, that help to diversify & support our own microbiome. And here’s a fun fact. The researchers at oxford found that, the vascular benefits of eating one apple a day were equivalent to the benefits of taking modern statin drugs & that was published in the British Medical Journal (2)
Be it the peel or pectin, like I said, there’s always more that’s still to be discovered. And one thing is pretty much a given by now, that apple has anti-tumor properties, specially when apple cider vinegar has been found to contain alpha-glycan, an anti-tumor compound.
And now, revealing the greatest superpower of apple. It has been found to protect against the exposure of the deadly man-made radioisotope, plutonium! And there are not many foods or substances, natural or synthetic, which are capable of doing that! Since apple has the capability to remove carcinogenic radioisotopes that have accumulated in the body, as a result of exposures to uranium or nuclear energy & disaster associated pollutants.
Post-Chernobyl, for instance, apple pectin was used to reduce Cesium-137 levels in exposed children, which it did & in some cases, by over 60% (11). From 1996 to 2007, a total of more than 160,000 children who were exposed to cesium, received pectin food additives. As a result, levels of Cesium in the organs of these children decreased after each course of pectin additives by an average of 30-40% (12). There were even significant reductions noted in a short time span of 16 days (13)! And its the apple pectin that actually prevents plutonium from being absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract & that’s how it protects against it (14).
And if all that still does not sound convincing enough to bite into an apple, then let me tell you about some of the noteworthy, evidence-based medical properties of apple. Apple along with chamomile helps in shortening the course of diarrhea while relieving associated symptoms (15). It has positive effects associated with weight loss (17). Has anti-influenza properties (18). Promotes hair growth (19), has positive effects on vascular oxidative stress & endothelium function (20), its also associated with improved joint function & serum antioxidant protection status (26), inhibits staphylococcal infections which are capable of causing profound bodily harm (21) & apples have been found to be a super-brain food as well since it has shown to prevent a decrease in cognitive performance which is experienced with aging (22) while also reducing the production of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain which is associated with Alzheimer’s disease (23) & preventing oxidative damage!
And I can go on & on & on. The list is pretty much endless & I’m not even doing any justice by mentioning only these many fascinating properties of the apple. I’ve not even scratched the surface on its benefits. Infact, its not just the apple itself, I even recollect coming across a research paper on the beneficial effects of the leaves of the apple. If I had to cover all the beneficial effects of the apple, I think it’ll take many many months wherein all the episodes I’ll be speaking about just the apple & nothing else! So you can imagine the power of nature derived foods!
Guess today’s episode is going to be slightly long… Okay, so moving on to our second superhero, its a spice found in almost every kitchen in the world! It has been used as medicine around the globe since centuries & extensive research has uncovered staggering results!! Since this spice has shown to have benefits for over a 100 health conditions! The world’s most versatile remedy, its the humble root, ‘Ginger’! Since there was so much on ginger, I decided to take away the parts which would be more helpful to you. Although you can have ginger everyday, I’ll still discuss where its especially beneficial & comes in handy.
Most of us are well aware of the positive effects of ginger in relation to many gastrointestinal related problems, specially nausea & vomiting. That’s due to its antioxidant properties & the ability to lower oxidative stress. Ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory dis-ease that affects the colon & lower digestive tract is usually triggered by loss of microbial balance in the gut & is mainly exacerbated by oxidative stress. Studies have shown that consuming 2 grams of ginger daily, over a period of 12 weeks showed an improvement in oxidative stress & dis-ease activity, in mild to moderate ulcerative colitis cases (26). And there was another study wherein ginger proved to be effective in treating naseau & vomiting in pregnancy (27) It was a randomized clinical trial comparing effectiveness of ginger to vitamin B6, in pregnant women before 17 weeks gestation & the women that received 1g ginger over a 3 month period experienced a relief in the severity of nausea more effectively than vitamin B6 & a decreased number of vomiting episodes as effective as vitamin B6. While ginger also has a therapeutic effect on motion sickness & seasickness as well (28) (29). Haven spoken about pregnancy, it should also be noted that Ginger is a promising natural galactagogue to improve breast milk volume in the immediate postpartum period without any notable side effect (53).
It has also shown promising results for improving insulin sensitivity, reducing inflammation & even considered as an effective treatment for preventing complications related to type 2 diabetes (30) (31) Infact I was also surprised to learn that 1.2 grams of ginger, daily for 90 days helped in the reduction of fasting blood sugar & hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c that is. While secondary effects have been reduction in serum triglycerides. (33)
Ginger posses analgesic & pharmacological properties mimicking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which makes it efficacious in pain relief (34) accelerating recovery of muscle strength following intense exercise & for this 4g of ginger has proved to be effective (32) (35)
After having gone through many many studies, I can conclude that ginger has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor (36), anti-septic (37), anti-cancer (38) & anti-viral (47) properties, while being excellent for diabetes, nervous system health, reducing oxidative stress, while also being a brain superfood (39) (40) since it reduces memory impairment, inhibits amyloid plaque accumulation, reduces inflammation in the brain hence also makes it great at fighting Alzheimer’s (41) It also has anti-thrombotic effects (42), so its also great for the heart! It even increases bio-availability of micro-nutrients & has beneficial effects on the intestines (43) (49) Supports weight loss (44) (45) Infact, its effects have been comparable to that of ibuprofen (46) and can be regarded as a useful tool for the treatment of acute gouty arthritis (48). Ginger is also extremely effective in reducing heavy menstrual bleeding (50), it has shown to effectively reduce the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms (51) & ginger along with cinnamon, saffron & tribulus terrestris has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing menopausal symptoms as well (52). And lastly, external application of ginger in an oil form (54) on the knee & consumption of 1g of ginger powder for 12 weeks had shown to reduce inflammation markers in patients with knee osteoarthritis (55)
And again, I can keep going, there’s a lot more! But the point is, you can consider using this spice in whatever form you’d like, fresh, powdered, filled in capsules, in the form of tablets, as an external agent, like ginger oil like I mentioned earlier. You can add it to your soups, salsas, dishes or perhaps just mix it in your post-workout beverage. As always, all what I have discussed today, is evidence based, which can be accessed by clicking on the numbers in the brackets in the transcript. I encourage you to explore a few which you may find interesting, since it wasn’t possible for me to talk in detail about all of them.
As we come to an end of today’s episode, there’s one thing I’d like to share with you’ll. People generally tend to ask me, how come I don’t eat those man-made foods & they are usually almost always surprised when I say, I just don’t feel like eating them. Well, I started looking at foods differently ever since I drew the curtains of calories & nutrients & got out of that restrictive thinking! Jumping into the depths & learning that, foods derived from nature have a deeper meaning, they contain far more than what meets the eye! The result is, I, automatically, no longer crave for crap foods or candies & those other man-made foods that are designed & made to not just taste but also look super delicious. I want to pass on & share all what I have learnt over the years & what I am learning & even what I will be learning, to you’ll, with the hope that, you’ll too start seeing what I see now.
No matter how much financial wealth I may have, I will continue treating foods as precious gifts from nature, that deserve to be valued for they have life-giving, life-changing & life-supporting properties, which are beyond our imagination! So, remember to keep your phones aside, switch off that tv & relish those delicious meals, chew your food not because you have to but, to discover more flavor profiles with every bite & feel that sensory delight! Cook your foods with love & with the creativity to make it more delicious, you don’t have to be a chef to do that. Trust me its simple & very much doable even with 2 ingredients or even with just salt!
Its neither eat to live nor is it live to eat, its actually eat like you live, trying to savor every moment & every bite, just like we try to make the best of the rest of our time & hopefully doing the things that give us happiness. Give more importance to food, to what you eat & how you cook, and you’ll experience the extraordinary, like you’ve never before! Remember, foods derived from nature are not medicine, rather, they are the means by which medicines become unnecessary.
This is your host Arjun, signing off….