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5 Top Vegan Foods Packed With Protein

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5 Top Vegan Foods Packed With Protein
Photo Credit: www.health.com

If you’re working on reducing your intake of meat and dairy products to improve your health, or have decided to give these types of foods up altogether, you may find it challenging to find new sources of protein.

One of the most common arguments against vegetarianism and veganism is the lack of sufficient protein needed by the human body. But adding protein to a meatless diet is much easier than many people think, even if you want to cut out dairy as well. Many vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains are abundant in protein, as long as you know what to look for.

Here’s a short list of foods packed with protein even vegans can eat. I’ve included some suggestions for products to help you fill your pantry, but don’t forget to look in your healthy grocer’s bulk food bins for many of these protein-packed food.

1. Quinoa

It doesn’t matter if you think quinoa is a seed or a grain, it is one of the best sources of vegan protein. Native to South America, this widely popular grain is a delicious and highly-nutritious substitute for modern wheat, and is very versatile to cook with. Considered one of the world’s greatest superfoods, quinoa is extremely high in protein and calcium and is thus highly valuable to vegetarians and vegans. Frequently prepared as a side dish and used in salads, this grain can also be used to make breads, pastries and pasta dishes.

Recommended Products:

Organic whole grain quinoa from truRoots
Organic pre-ground quinoa flour from Bob’s Red Mill
Organic quinoa pasta from Tresomega

Resources:

Cooking With Quinoa: the Supergrain by Rena Patten
500 Best Quinoa Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury

2. Hemp Seed

Hemp seeds offer easily digestible protein and all the essential omega-3 and 6 fatty acids needed by the human body. Hemp seeds are also rich in antioxidants, fibre, various minerals, such as zinc, and many vitamins including a hefty dose of vitamin E. They have been used to reduce dry skin and hair, help with muscle regenerations, reduce inflammation, ward off heart disease, and improve immune system function. When blended with water, hemp seeds make a great replacement for cow’s milk.

Recommended Products:

Organic hemp protein from Nutiva
Raw shelled organic hemp seeds from Manitoba Harvest
Organic Hemp Milk Making Kit from Handy Pantry

3. Nuts (Almonds and Peanuts)

If you’re looking for a hefty serving of protein and calories without a lot of bulk, then nuts are a perfect solution. You can have them as a snack, or add them to all types of dishes. Soak them overnight and then blend with different amounts of water to create nut milks and cheeses. Nuts offer plenty of protein, as well as other nutrients like vitamins A and E, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium, fibre and essential fatty acids. The top four nut varieties with highest protein content include:

  • Almonds at 21.2g of protein per 100g serving
  • Pistachio nuts at 21g of protein per 100g serving
  • Brazil nuts at 14.3g of protein per 100g serving
  • Peanuts at 24.4g of protein per 100g serving

Recommended Products:

Almond meal/flour from Bob’s Red Mill
Nut milk bag fine mesh strainer from Best Health
Raw unpasteurized organic almonds from Terrasoul Superfoods
Organic raw Brazil nuts (no shell) from Food to Live
Organic raw almond butter from Artisana
All natural smooth peanut butter (GMO-free) from Teddie

Resources:

DIY Nut Milks, Nut Butters, and More: From Almonds to Walnuts by Melissa King

4. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a great way to add protein, iron, zinc and especially magnesium to your diet. When small, they can be toasted and eaten whole as a snack or topping, while larger seeds can be shelled and can be ground up to use in baking.

Recommended Products:

Organic shelled pumpkin seeds from Green Bulk
Dry roasted premium pumpkin seeds with Himalayan salt from Farm Fresh Nuts

5. Sprouts

Sprouted seeds, commonly called sprouts, such as alfalfa, mung bean and clover, are packed with protein and many vitamins such as A, B, C, E and K and minerals such as iron, calcium and magnesium. Sprouts are best if eater raw, so put them on your salads, stir fries and in smoothies. It’s easy to grow your own sprouts at home. Here are a few resources to get you started.

Recommended Products:

Organic alfalfa sprouting seeds from Handy Pantry
Mung bean organic sprouting seeds from Handy Pantry
4-Tray kitchen seed sprouter from Victorio

Resources:

Build Your Own Automatic Seed Sprouter by Suburban Barnyard
The Magic of Sprouts by Dueep J. Singh
Alfalfa Sprout Greats: The Top 35 Alfalfa Sprout Recipes by Jo Franks

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Ginkgo Biloba Benefits: Brain Health, Kidney Function, And More

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Photo Credit: www.rebuildyourvision.com

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

One of the world’s most ancient trees, Ginkgo biloba is considered a “living fossil” because it’s been around for nearly 300 million years.[1] Used for centuries, remedies from Ginkgo are thought to improve memory, boost cognitive function, support healthy blood flow, and promote sexual function in men and women.

Even sceptics have been swayed by Ginkgo’s ability to support the brain, kidneys, and other body systems. Curt W., an art director from North Carolina, started taking Ginkgo after reading an article about its potential to promote concentration. “I’m not a big supplement guy, so I wasn’t expecting much. But after a month or so of taking Ginkgo biloba extract, I started noticing a difference in my ability to focus. Now I tell all my friends about it.”

Let’s take a closer look at this ancient plant, and explore some of the many ways it supports wellness.

What Is Ginkgo biloba?

Native to China but cultivated worldwide, Ginkgo biloba — also called the maidenhair tree — can grow to be over 100 feet tall. The trees themselves can live for 1,000 years, thanks to an unusually strong resistance to insects and other pests.[3]

Many people in Asia harvest Ginkgo tree nuts, which are both tasty and nutritious (but shouldn’t be consumed raw).[1] Ginkgo has played an essential role in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, especially for elderly people and those with certain health conditions. It is an important tool in the complementary and alternative medicine toolbox for healthy people, as well.

In addition to eating nuts, people harvest the Ginkgo tree leaves to make herbal remedies. Ginkgo biloba leaves are rich in bioactive constituents, including potent antioxidants like flavonoids and anthocyanins. Because Ginkgo leaves contain so many health-supporting nutrients, they have been extensively studied, and preparations made with them are among the most popular natural health solutions in the world.[4]

Now that you know a little bit about Ginkgo biloba, let’s dig into some of the reasons you should take it.

8 Reasons Why You Should Take Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba offers so many health benefits to both body and mind! Here are eight reasons why you should consider adding Ginkgo to your wellness regimen.

1. Supports Brain Health

Among its many uses, Ginkgo biloba is most well-known for supporting brain health. Ginkgo extract provides support for people experiencing mild cognitive issues.[5] For people who find themselves becoming more forgetful as they hit middle age and beyond, Ginkgo may improve cognitive function, specifically memory and ability to focus on tasks.[6]

Supplementing with Ginkgo may also support healthy brain function in people with cognitive issues or those who are dealing with age-related brain changes.[5] Experts recommend the use of Ginkgo for adults of all ages who want to stay sharp. “I really feel like it helps me focus at work,” Curt W. says.

2. Protects the Kidneys

The kidneys are the body’s filtration system, removing toxins from the blood. Your kidneys are constantly working to protect you from environmental pollutants like heavy metals, harmful chemicals, and toxins. They help reduce the environmental stress you are under.

Ginkgo biloba has renoprotective effects, meaning it can protect the kidneys from damage.[7] Ginkgo may support these organs after exposure to toxins, like the widely-used herbicide glyphosate, as well as mercury, uranium, and naphthalene.[8] It can also help protect against toxins formed in the gut that are associated with liver disease.[8]

3. May Help With Weight Loss

There are many reasons why people have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, and Ginkgo may offer support for a wide range of them. It can help women maintain a healthy weight as they go through menopause.[9] Ginkgo extract could support weight loss for people who have trouble making changes to diet and lifestyle by shrinking fat cells.[9]

Ginkgo also has the potential to promote normal insulin balance, which could be particularly beneficial for people dealing with blood sugar challenges related to obesity. Even if people aren’t able to change the way they eat, Ginkgo can support healthy blood sugar levels.[10]

4. Lifts Your Mood

Looking for a natural way to lift your spirits? Ginkgo may help. When used alone or combined with other treatments, Ginkgo biloba extract can support mental health.[11] The same chemical constituents that make this herb good for the brain when it comes to memory and cognition can also help you maintain a positive mood.[11]

Ginkgo’s brain-supporting constituents promote mental clarity. It’s hard to be cheerful when your brain is feeling foggy! Ginkgo biloba can be a ray of sunlight through the clouds.[5] This is one of the benefits Curt W. likes the most about taking Ginkgo. “I used to really struggle with brain fog, and my mind is much clearer now,” he explains.

5. Supports Heart Health

A healthy heart is vital for overall wellness, and Ginkgo helps keep the cardiovascular system strong. Ginkgo extract promotes normal coronary blood flow. This is especially helpful for older people experiencing age-related diminishment of blood flow through the arteries.[12]

The bioactive compounds found in Ginkgo leaves protect the heart in different ways.[13] Terpenes in Ginkgo biloba provide cardioprotective benefits by reducing cell-damaging free radicals.[14] Ginkgo also supports healthy blood flow, which can lead to better overall heart function.[13]

6. Has Anti-Aging & Antioxidant Properties

Ginkgo’s healing properties may support different parts of the body during the aging process.[12] We’ve already mentioned the brain, heart, and circulatory system, all of which have been shown to benefit from Ginkgo biloba’s anti-aging effects.[5, 12, 13] Ginkgo might even protect your ears from age-related hearing issues.[15]

Much of Ginkgo’s anti-aging power seems to come from its antioxidant content. Aging causes oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, lipids, and other macromolecules, and antioxidants in Ginkgo biloba extract may be effective at fighting oxidative stress related to aging.[16]

7. Supports Healthy Sexual Function

Ginkgo biloba boosts blood flow, influences nitric oxide systems, and relaxes smooth muscle tissue — all of which are important for healthy erectile function and arousal in men.[17] For women, Ginkgo biloba extract can have a positive impact on sex drive and increase arousal.[17]

Ginkgo may be especially useful for men and women experiencing sexual side effects from certain medications. Supplementing with Ginkgo biloba extract can help with sexual health issues.[18]

8. Eases Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

What woman doesn’t deal with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occasionally, if not monthly? For many, PMS comes with uterine discomfort, irregular moods, food cravings, and more. PMS can range from inconvenient to incapacitating.

If you struggle with PMS, you may want to consider adding Ginkgo to your supplement regimen. Ginkgo biloba extract can help reduce the physical discomfort of PMS while promoting emotional balance.[19]

Best Ways to Take Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba is typically prepared in one of three ways. They are:

  • Tea
    You can brew Ginkgo biloba leaves into tea. Ginkgo leaf tea is sold in teabags, or you can buy dried leaves and brew your own using a teapot and strainer.
  • Tablets
    For those that prefer their herbs in pill form, Ginkgo biloba is sold in tablets. You can also find it in capsules.
  • Liquid Extracts
    This method of preparation captures an herb’s potency and keeps it intact. Ginkgo can be made into a single liquid extract or combined with other healing herbs to form a potent blend like Renaltrex®, formulated to gently flush the kidneys of accumulated toxins.
Points to Remember

Leaves from the ancient Ginkgo biloba tree have long been used as an herbal remedy. Many people rely on the healing power of this resilient plant. Ginkgo biloba preparations are among the most popular supplements in the world!

Ginkgo biloba supports the brain during the aging process, specifically with memory loss and concentration.[5] Ginkgo also promotes healthy kidney function and helps the heart.[813]

Ginkgo appears to support aging gracefully in the mind and body, largely because of its antioxidant properties. It also promotes healthy sexual function and eases PMS symptoms.[16,17,19]. It can help with weight maintenance and lift your mood when you’re feeling low.[911]

You can find Ginkgo biloba in liquid herbal extract, teas, or tablets or capsules. You can use it alone or in combination with other healing herbs.

Have you tried Ginkgo biloba extract?

References
  1. Isah T. Rethinking Ginkgo biloba L.: Medicinal uses and conservation. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(18):140-148.
  2. Major RT. The ginkgo, the most ancient living tree. The resistance of Ginkgo biloba L. to pests accounts in part for the longevity of this species. Science. 1967 Sep 15;157(3794):1270-1273.
  3. Brondino N, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of Ginkgo biloba in neuropsychiatric disorders: From ancient tradition to modern-day medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:915691.
  4. Ginkgo. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Updated 10 Mar 2017. Accessed 12 Mar 2020.
  5. Zhang HF, et al. An overview of systematic reviews of Ginkgo biloba extracts for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Front Aging Neurosci. 2016;8:276.
  6. Silberstein RB, et al. Examining brain-cognition effects of Ginkgo biloba extract: Brain activation in the left temporal and left prefrontal cortex in an object working memory task. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:164139.
  7. Chávez-Morales RM, et al. The Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) protects the kidney from damage produced by a single and low dose of carbon tetrachloride in adult male rats. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2017 Sep 5;69(7):430-434.
  8. Pizzorno J. The Kidney Dysfunction Epidemic, Part 2: Intervention. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2016;15(1):8-12.
  9. Hirata BKS, et al. Potential anti-obesogenic effects of Ginkgo biloba observed in epididymal white adipose tissue of obese rats. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019;10:284.
  10. Hirata BK, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract improves insulin signaling and attenuates inflammation in retroperitoneal adipose tissue depot of obese rats. Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:419106.
  11. Montes P, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract 761: A review of basic studies and potential clinical use in psychiatric disorders. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2015;14(1):132-149.
  12. Wu Y, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract improves coronary blood flow in healthy elderly adults: role of endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Phytomedicine. 2008 Mar;15(3):164-169.
  13. Mesquita TRR, et al. Cardioprotective action of Ginkgo biloba extract against sustained ?-adrenergic stimulation occurs via activation of M2/NO pathway. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:220.
  14. Pietri S, et al. Cardioprotective and anti-oxidant effects of the terpenoid constituents of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761). J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1997 Feb;29(2):733-742.
  15. Nevado J, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761) protects against aging-related caspase-mediated apoptosis in rat cochlea. Acta Otolaryngol. 2010 Oct;130(10):1101-1112.
  16. Droy-Lefaix MT. Effect of the antioxidant action of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on aging and oxidative stress. Age (Omaha). 1997 Jul;20(3):141-149
  17. Meston CM, et al. Short- and long-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on sexual dysfunction in women. Arch Sex Behav. 2008;37(4):530-547.
  18. Cohen AJ, Barklik B. Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. J Sex Marital Ther. 1998 Apr-Jun;24(2):139-143.
  19. Ozgoli G, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):845-851.

Originally published at Global Healing Center and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friend

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Why You Should Have A Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamp In Every Room Of Your House

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Carolanne WrightGuest Writer

One of the most disruptive environmental toxins in our modern age, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are difficult to dodge. Wifi and cellphones both generate this invisible menace, as do computers, televisions, cordless phones and microwave ovens. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, miscarriage and thyroid malfunction are all linked with exposure to electromagnetic pollution.

While EMFs are nearly impossible to avoid, we can take steps to reduce the negative impact. One method is through Halotherapy — otherwise known as dry salt therapy.

Salt, Happiness and Health

For over a century, spending time in salt caves for their healing attributes has been a common practice in locations like Germany and Poland. Early on, it was noticed that salt miners didn’t suffer from the widespread respiratory illnesses of the day, which were running rampant. The miners also tended to be exceptionally happy. It wasn’t until science established salt is rich in negative ions that the reason behind their robust health and sunny outlook was finally discovered. In turn, Halotherapy was born.

Today, a variety of health issues are addressed through exposure to manmade “salt caves — where a natural microclimate is created by dispersing a dry salt aerosol in high concentrations into a halo chamber, whose surface is covered with layers of salt.” [source] When the salt is inhaled, it travels throughout the respiratory system and absorbs excess moisture, clears mucus, reduces inflammation and kills bacteria. The therapy has also been shown to be effective for those with skin and digestive ailments, as well as those who struggle with stress, headaches, fatigue and mood disorders, according to a study published in the Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine.

Negative ions have been dubbed “the happy element” because they help to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood — especially to the brain. Negative ions also speed up the oxidation of serotonin (5-hydroxtryptamine), which has positive effects on mood, pain relief and sexual drive. They also counteract free radicals — known as positive ions — which are created through exposure to environmental toxins — like chemicals, electronic equipment, cellphones and radiation. Moreover, negative ions encourage proper pH and hormonal balance in the body, while also strengthening metabolism and the immune system.

More than any other time in history, we are bombarded by positive ions, which is why making a conscious effort to introduce negative ions into our surroundings is becoming increasingly important. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of Himalayan crystal salt lamps.

Bringing Home the Benefits of a Salt Cave

With their soft orange glow, Himalayan salt lamps aren’t just a soothing addition to your environment. The lamps can also improve clarity, sleep, disposition and overall health. A seemingly tall order, the secret behind Himalayan salt lamps is their ability to generate negative ions and dry out the air — which helps to reduce airborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria and mild.

From a scientific standpoint, there are three principles at work with crystal salt lamps:

  • Ionization — The emission of ions is primarily caused by the alternating actions of the heated salt’s ability to first attract and absorb water, and then evaporate it. The salt goes into a solution as it mixes with the water molecules.
  • Sodium, as positively charged ions, and chloride, as negatively charged ions, become neutral and are released into your environment — which helps reduce pollutants such as allergens and irritants from your air.
  • Electromagnetic oscillation — Every form of life on the planet depends on the electromagnetic field of vibration (known as the Schuman resonance frequency). Due to electronics and industrialization, your body receives artificial electromagnetic wavelengths with many diverse frequency values.
  • Because of the neutral atomic structure of crystal salt, a heated salt lamp helps you harmonize and balance these artificial frequencies, and neutralize “electro-smog”.
  • Transparent-crystalline structure developing the light waves — It’s well-known that you need the light waves of the rainbow spectrum (300-700 nanometres) for your health and preservation of your body. Your cells are supplied by light with new energy in the form of electromagnetic wavelengths.
  • The wavelengths of salt crystal colours fall within the upper nanometre zone (600-700 nanometres) — producing positive and soothing effects.

For optimum benefit, place the lamp in areas where you spend a good deal of time which have high levels of positive ions — such as by your computer, television and next to your bed. Since children are especially sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, make sure to have at least one salt lamp within their bedroom to reap the full calming benefits.

Without a doubt, Himalayan salt lamps are an excellent first step to reduce a number of health effects associated with electro-smog. For additional ideas on how to protect yourself, have a look at the following articles:  It’s True: You Really Can Protect Yourself Against Electromagnetic Radiation — Here’s How and Beware: Shoes Can be Hazardous to Your Health.

Editor’s Note: With the rising popularity of Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamps, there are (ofcourse) many fakes on the market. Check out this article for a simple guide to help you tell the difference between a cheap fake and the real deal.

Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Carolanne Wright
About the Author

Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanns on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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3 Scientifically Proven Ways Meditation Boosts Your Immune System

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Meditation 2020
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

Did you know that you can naturally boost your body’s ability to fight off harmful organisms and increase your body’s resistance by simply meditating? I’m going to tell you how meditation and mindfulness training can do just that.

I meditate daily, and I’m always trying to remain present and live in the moment because I’ve always believed that mindfulness and meditation share a powerful relationship with our body and our immune system.

Watch the video below or read the transcription to learn more.

3 Ways Meditation Boosts the Immune System

According to a groundbreaking research study conducted at the University of Southern California in 2016, meditation and mindfulness exercises boosted the immune system in several different ways.[1]

Meditation Boosts Helper T Cells

The first finding was that meditation increased the number of T cells in the body. T cells are your body’s main line of defence against harmful organisms. They attack intruders and break them down so the body can remove them.

We always want to have a strong supply of T cells, and meditation and mindfulness play an important role in stimulating the production of both of them. Stress and worrying, the opposite of mindfulness, can actually damage our immune system and T cell production.

Meditation Supports Healthy Telomeres

The second way meditation and mindfulness positively affected the immune system was with regards to immune cell aging. At the end of each of our chromosomes, there’s a section called a telomere. Telomeres are like caps on the end of each chromosome. And as our cells age or become damaged, these telomeres shorten and become weaker. This is a sign of cellular aging.

Longer telomeres are a sign of youthful cells and, more importantly, a strong immune system. Of the three studies that measured telomerase activity, all showed an increase in activity after mindfulness and meditation.

Meditation Improves Antibody Response

The third way meditation and mindfulness helped the immune system was antibody response. Antibodies are the little warrior cells in our body that fight off disease and harmful organisms. The number naturally increases when fighting intruders off.

Subjects in the research study showed an increase in the major antibody constituents after regular mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques. Antibodies help your body inactivate toxic substances, defend against viruses and bacteria, and help immune cells function better.

This finding means that through regular meditation and mindfulness training, we can actually increase the amount of antibodies in our body before we actually come in contact with any harmful organisms. This results in a more resilient immune system.

Meditation: A Free, Accessible Secret to Health

I’ve always said that meditation and mindfulness have astounding healing benefits for the mind and the body. I believe that meditation is one of the only free, completely accessible secrets to health that we have. Use it to boost your immune system today!

If you don’t know how to meditate, don’t worry: Click here to watch a video I made that will teach you how to get started.

I have more tips on how to boost your immune system that I didn’t cover here, including the one secret most people have never heard of that can regenerate and produce immune stem cells in 72 hours. You can find those in my free Emergency Immune Strengthening Guide. Until next time, live healthy and live happy.

Reference
  1. Black DS, Slavich GM. Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2016 Jun;1373(1):13-24.

Originally published at Global Healing Center and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

Please SHARE this article with your family and friends.

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Enokitake Mushrooms: 7 Benefits Of This Superfood!

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Enokitake Mushrooms: 7 Benefits Of This Superfood!
Photo Credit: Pexels

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

Most of us know that mushrooms taste great in a stir-fry or a warming bowl of soup, but did you know that some varieties of fungi are also known as healing mushrooms and functional foods? Native to Asia but common in North American grocery stores, enokitake are one such mushroom that provides a host of health benefits.

Best known for strengthening the body’s natural immune response, enokitake mushrooms contain potent antioxidants.[1] They also promote liver and heart health and a normal response to inflammation.[1]

More than just a healthy and nutritious food choice, mushrooms like enokitake can make your meals delicious and your body and mind strong! Read on to learn more.

What Are Enokitake Mushrooms?

If you enjoy Asian cuisine or just like different mushrooms, you may have eaten enokitake before. You’ll often find them served in hot pot soups or with noodles, salads, and other dishes.

Quite beautiful, enokitake grow in bouquets of long thin, white stems with little caps on top. They’re fairly common in your average produce department. Their flavour ranges from delicate to earthy, complex, and woody.

Enoki is the name of the Chinese hackberry tree on which these mushrooms grow in the wild, and “take” means mushroom in Japanese, which explains why some people call them enoki and others enokitake.

Native to China, Korea, and Japan, enokitake mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) look quite different in the wild. Due to sunlight exposure, the wild mushrooms have deeper hues, from light or dark brown to earthy red, and with larger caps. The cultivated varieties are delicate white and are also called lily mushrooms, golden needle mushrooms, winter mushrooms, or futu mushrooms.

Long used in Eastern traditions, some other medicinal mushrooms include birch polypore, Chaga, Lion’s mane, and Cordyceps. But let’s take a closer look at the health benefits of the mighty enokitake.

7 Health Benefits of Enokitake

Like many mushrooms, enokitake contain an impressive nutritional profile of health-giving vitamins and minerals. Enokitake are especially rich in zinc, copper, potassium, magnesium, folate, and selenium. They’re also high in fibre and low in calories.[1]

Besides their nutrition, enokitake offer many health-giving benefits such as acting as a powerful antioxidant, promoting a healthy immune system, and even improving mood.[2] 

Below are the seven top benefits of enokitake.

1. Boosts the Immune System

One of the most impressive health benefits of enokitake is how they enhance immune responses in the body.[2] The immune system acts as a gatekeeper against disease and infection. It’s also a sensory system that relays information to the brain. When you get sick or have flare-ups of inflammation, or other incursions against your immune system repeatedly, your stress hormone levels rise.[3]

Enokitake enhances how your immune system responds to incursions, having what are called “immunomodulatory” effects.[2] Enokitake also stimulates the normal production of white blood cells, a key part of immune system health.[2] They may also deter harmful organisms and abnormal cell growth and proliferation.[24]

2. Scavenges Free Radicals

Polysaccharides in enokitake scavenge free radicals in your body, especially hydroxyl and superoxide anions. Free radicals act like rogue molecules that can go haywire, damaging cells and accelerating the aging process. Antioxidants counteract these free radicals like a healing balm.

This ability to counteract harmful free radicals means that enokitake and its polysaccharides have an antioxidant and anti-aging effect on cells.[5]

3. Promotes Heart Health

Enokitake mushrooms can make your heart happy and healthy by promoting normal blood pressure, blood cholesterol levels, and more.

When your blood pressure is too high or too low, it can make you feel unwell — and can be associated with different illnesses. Enokitake helps promote normal blood pressure, especially when caused by a poor diet.[1]

The dietary fibre, polysaccharides, and mycosterol in enokitake mushrooms promote normal levels of total cholesterol, as well as “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.[1] Enokitake has particularly high fibre compared to others — an additional reason it can promote a healthy heart.[1]

4. Protects the Liver

Cholesterol — good (HDL) and bad (LDL) forms — can accumulate in the blood, body, and liver. While you can get cholesterol from the food you eat, the liver also manufactures cholesterol. When too much accumulates in the liver, it can cause concerns, particularly fatty liver disease. When your body accumulates too much LDL (low-density lipoprotein) it can negatively affect your liver.

Enokitake extract and powder may promote normal liver levels of cholesterol and triacylglycerol (a triglyceride) — a common dietary fat.[1] This supports liver health!

5. Promotes a Normal Response to Inflammation

Inflammation occurs when your immune system isn’t functioning at its prime. Although inflammation is a natural response, over time, it can become very damaging to the body. The good news? Experts found that enokitake mushrooms helped promote a normal response to inflammation.[6]

Adding enokitake to a plant-based diet (or any diet) — or taking it as a supplement — can reduce redness and swelling in the body, boosting overall good health. Enokitake contains healthy amounts of linoleic acid, a fatty acid precursor to molecules in the body’s inflammatory pathways. By supporting normal levels of tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?) and nitric oxide (NO), enokitake supports healthy levels of inflammation, keeping it in check.[1]

6. Boosts Your Mood!

As mentioned, enokitake mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides. Among their many benefits, they promote normal levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.[12] Both of these compounds play an essential role in a positive mood. The polysaccharides in enokitake also support memory and learning.[1]

As enokitake mushrooms also have a positive effect on the body’s immune system, they, in turn, help the body naturally relieve stress and anxiety.[13] When you feel unwell or are unhealthy, it affects your overall mood and stress level, causing a negative feedback loop. Enokitake can help you turn it around!

7. Promotes Longevity

The polysaccharides in enokitake mushrooms promote longevity through better health and healthy aging.[4] The impressive antioxidant compounds present in this functional food and healing mushroom have some anti-aging properties.

Enokitake’s antioxidant enzyme activities support the body’s ability to protect and repair itself, particularly your organs.[5] Keeping your liver, kidneys, lungs, and other organs healthy will make a huge difference in your quality of life as you get older.

Best Ways to Take Enokitake

You can find enokitake mushrooms fresh or dried and reconstitute them before cooking, or you can find them in capsules, powders, or liquid extracts.

Fresh Mushrooms

Turn to an Asian-inspired recipe to find the best ways to prepare and serve these delicious mushrooms. You can cook and eat these edible mushrooms in a variety of ways. They are delicious in miso soup, stews, or stir-fries.

Enokitake Stir-Fry

Try the delicious stir-fry below for a taste of enokitake, with all their health benefits.

Equipment

  • Saucepan or wok
  • Knife

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces enoki mushrooms
  • 2 bunches of rainbow chard, chopped
  • 2 small zucchinis, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon low-sodium coconut aminos
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • Juice of ½ lime

Directions

  1. Prepare the thin, white mushrooms by trimming the ends and separating them into strands.
  2. Chop the chard leaves and stems into small pieces.
  3. Slice the zucchini and cut each slice in half.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
  5. Saute garlic until fragrant, and the mushrooms and cook until they just begin to wilt.
  6. Add the coconut aminos and ginger and cook for a further 1 to 2 minutes to coat.
  7. Top with a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

You can eat the vegetables as a side dish or add over brown rice or quinoa for a filling meal!

Supplements

You can buy enokitake mushrooms as a supplement in capsules, powder, or liquid extracts. As powder, you’ll find them mixed with other healthy mushrooms like reishi, Chaga, shiitake, and Cordyceps. Always seek out the highest-quality plant-based supplements with quality controls in place. They may be combined with other healing herbs for immune support or other health benefits.

Global Healing’s Plant-Based Immune Boost is an advanced, Raw Herbal Extract™ formula with powerful ingredients, including enokitake, elderberryEchinacea, pine bark, olive leaf extract, and birch polypore mushroom.

Points to Remember

Enokitake mushrooms (Flammulina velutipes) are native to China, Japan, and the Korean peninsula. These mushrooms have an amazing nutritional profile. They provide a great source of B vitamins, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and calcium, as well as high levels of linoleic acid (a fatty acid), polysaccharides, and other nutritional phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Beyond nutrition, enokitake strengthen and bolster your immune system, which helps to regulate mood while preventing stress and anxiety.[13] These powerful little mushrooms are also very good for your overall heart health, promoting normal levels of cholesterol in the liver and bloodstream. They also promote normal blood pressure and a normal response to inflammation.[1567]

The enokitake mushroom really earns its title as a functional food. Its anti-aging antioxidants and ability to counteract free radicals make this fungus a longevity superfood!

References
  1. Tang C, et al. Golden needle mushroom: a culinary medicine with evidenced-based biological activities and health promoting properties. Front Pharmacol. 2016;7:474.
  2. Wu M, et al. Antioxidant and immunomodulatory activities of a polysaccharide from Flammulina velutipes. J Tradit Chin Med. 2014;34(6):733-740.
  3. Brebner K, et al. Synergistic effects of interleukin-1?, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-?: central monoamine, corticosterone, and behavioral variations. Neuropsychopharmacol. 2000;22:566-580.
  4. Dong YR, et al. Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of Flammulina velutipes polysaccharides and polysaccharide-iron. Carbohydr Polym. 2017;161:26-32.
  5. Yuan F, et al. Characterization, antioxidant, anti-aging and organ protective effects of sulfated polysaccharides from Flammulina velutipes. Molecules. 2019;24(19):3517.
  6. Gunawardena D, et al. Anti-inflammatory effects of five commercially available mushroom species determined in lipopolysaccharide and interferon-? activated murine macrophages. Food Chem. 2014;148:92-96.

Originally published at Global Healing Center and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

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