It is widely acknowledged around the world how critical it is to bring whole foods back into our diet. As we know our own government through the USDA and the CDC has been urging us to consume at least 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Yes, daily.
Nine servings of fruits and vegetables—that’s a lot! Why so many? The key word here is VARIETY. In order to get the phytonutrients our bodies need today to fight and survive against the onslaught of pathogens, toxins, and stress of life, we must have a variety of vital, clean, whole foods. That is the concept of the Therapeutic Foods, and more practically speaking, the purpose of the Therapeutic Foods Platform.
Thus far when we’ve talked about the Therapeutic Foods Platform we have included the Wild Blueberry Daily, the Cruciferous Sprouts Complex, Organic Chlorella and a selection of one of our seven synbiotic (probiotic) formulas. Now we are adding the Energy Sustain Complex, a perfect whole food comprised of a global blend of indigenous organic seeds and grains. Let’s go a bit deeper into the Energy Sustain Complex to learn about its functional purpose.
Energy Sustain Complex is a mix of indigenous organic seed and grains from different parts of the world. The formula is comprised of foundational foods that have been with us for thousands of years, and are an important part of our evolutionary history. Their benefits are well documented and researched.
The blend is a whole food source of vegan, non-GMO, yeast free, soy free, glutan free, Kosher, organic seeds and grains that supply a perfect ratio of complex carbohydrates to proteins, excellent fiber (we need 25-35 grams of fiber per day. How many of us ingest enough fiber?), essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The ingredients are organic, USA sourced: Amarath, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Millet, Chia and Oat Bran.
The Energy Sustain Complex: Science and Attributes
Millet may be the oldest, having been dated back to as early as 8300 BC in China and Korea. Millet is very rich in B vitamins, especially niacin, B6 and folic acid, and essential minerals such as calcium iron, potassium, magnesium and zinc. The Hunzas, who live in a remote area of the Himalayan foothills and are known for their excellent health and longevity, enjoy millet as a staple in their diet. Millet is highly nutritious, non-glutinous, and like buckwheat and quinoa, is not an acid forming food, therefore soothing and easy to digest. In fact, it is considered to be one of the least allergenic and most digestible grains available, a warming grain to help to heat the body in cold or rainy seasons. It is nearly 15% protein, contains high amounts of fiber, B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, the essential amino acid methionine, lecithin, and some vitamin E. It is particularly high in the minerals iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. The seeds are also rich in phytochemicals, including phytic acid, which is believed to lower cholesterol, and phytate, which is associated with reduced cancer risk.
Amaranth was domesticated in Mexico as early as 7000 BC. Early Aztecs used it both for food and in their religious ceremonies. The name amaranth hails from the Greek for “never-fading flower.” The plant is an annual herb, not a “true” grain and is a relative of a common wild plant also known as lamb’s-quarters. Amaranth has exceptional nutritional value for humans due to its ease of digestion, 12% overall protein content and unusually high content of lycine and methionine, two essential amino acids that are frequently not found in grains. The fiber content of amaranth is three times that of wheat, while its iron content is five times more than wheat. Amaranth also contains calcium, potassium, phosphorous and Vitamin A and C. It offers two times more calcium than milk. Amaranth supplies tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) which have cholesterol-lowering activity in humans. Cooked amaranth is 90% digestible and because of this ease of digestion, it has traditionally been given to those recovering from an illness or ending a fasting period.
Buckwheat’s origin began in Southeast Asia, likely from around 6000 BC. From there its use gradually spread to the Middle East and Europe. Buckwheat is a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. Diets that contain Buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The Yi people of China consume a diet high in Buckwheat (100grams per day). When researchers tested blood lipids of 805 Yi Chinese, they found that buckwheat intake was associated with lower total serum cholesterol, lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-the form linked to cardiovascular disease), and a high ratio of HDL (health-promoting cholesterol) to total cholesterol. Buckwheat’s beneficial effects are due in part to its rich supply of flavonoids, particularly rutin. The nutrients in buckwheat may contribute to blood sugar control. In a test that compared the effect on blood sugar of whole buckwheat groats to bread made from refined wheat flour, buckwheat groats significantly lowered blood glucose and insulin responses. Buckwheat also contains almost 86 milligrams of magnesium in a one-cup serving. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and nutrient delivery while lowering blood pressure-the perfect combination for a healthy cardiovascular system. Whole buckwheats also scored highest on their ability to satisfy hunger. Buckwheat is an excellent source of lysine, threonine, tryptophan and sulfur containing amino acids. It contains up to 37% resistant starch. Its glycemic index is 45.
Quinoa has been cultivated in South American Andes since at least 3,000 B.C. and has been a staple food of millions of native inhabitants. The ancient Incas called quinoa the “mother grain,” and revered it as sacred. Quinoa was used to sustain Incan armies, which frequently marched for many days eating a mixture of quinoa and fat. Technically, quinoa is not a true grain, but is the seed of the Chenopodium or Goosefoot plant. Quinoa supplies a uniquely balanced set of essential amino acids and is one of the best sources of plant-based proteins. It contains an almost perfect balance of all eight essential amino acids needed for tissue development in humans. It is exceptionally high in lysine, cystine and methionine-amino acids typically low in other grains. The quinoa seed is also high in calcium and iron, a relatively good source of vitamin E and several of the B vitamins. It is a high iron food that raise the hematocrit, delivering more oxygen to the brain to fight senility. Quinoa is an alkaline food, easy to digest, and provides important dietary fiber. Quinoa is 35 on the Glycemic Index (very low!).
Chia, like amaranth, was also very important to the ancient Aztecs of 7000 BC. Chia seed is a magical whole food, so much so that it was once valued for currency. It was known as the “running food”. Its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the Aztecs of old. The Aztec warriors subsisted primarily on Chia seeds during their conquests. The Indians of the southwest would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24 hour forced march. Indians running from the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seas shells would only bring Chia seed for their nourishment.
Chia’s soluble fiber is highly mucilaginous and forms a gel in the stomach and intestines, slowing down absorption of glucose. The glycemic index of chia is 1—ONE. With Chia seeds regulate more efficiently the body’s absorption of nutrients. Because there is a greater efficiency in the utilization of body fluids, the electrolyte balance is maintained. Chia seeds can contain up to 20% protein, 25% dietary fiber, unusually high levels of healthy ormega-3 fatty acids, and significant levels of antioxidants.
Oats are the most well-known grain of the six. Oats were first brought to North America in 1602. Chiefly a European and North American crop, oats are used for hot or cold cereals, and are becoming more favored as a nutritional component to baked goods. Ingestion of oats rich in water-solble fiber has been associated with reductions in glucose, insulin and cholesterol levels, as well as with increases in meal satiet. Beta-glucan, within the whole-grain matrix of the oat, is thought to be largely responsible for these beneficial effects. Similar to starch and glycogen, beta-glucan consists of chains of glucose molecules linked together. The key difference is that these links can’t be easily hydrolyzed by any of the enzymes produced by the cells lining the intestines. Thus, unlike starches, it can’t be absorbed and is therefore considered an unavailable carbohydrate or fiber.
Beta-glucan’s ability to lower blood glucose and insulin levels depends on at least three factors: how much beta-glucan is consumed, how much available carbohydrate is eaten along with it, and its viscosity once it gets inside the gut. This is where 21st Century technology comes in. Through a strictly-controlled combination of heat, mechancial and hydroulic forces to remove some of their insoluble fiber from the grains, followed by a number of additonal steps including filtration and drying, an exceptionally nutrient-dense powder remains. Once reydrated, the oat is very pleasing to the culinary senses with a smooth mouth feel. This process in regards to the oat bran frees the water-soluble beta-glucan from the convoluted cellular structure of the oat while leaving it unharmed. Studies performed by USDA researchers reveal that there are no major changes to beta-glcuan’s molecular structure and no diminshment of its important biological activities.
The beta glucans enable us to control the glycemic load in accordance to ones energy needs. If a more rapid loading of glucose is required, then simply mix the powder in water (or any liquide of choice), and drink it immediately. Or, if a lower dose of glucose energy is needed, let the mixture sit in the glass for a few minutes before drinking and it will drive the glycemic index lower, reduce the glycemic load, thereby producing a long lasting energy supply for the body. The bottom line is that whether you allow the drink to sit or you drink it immediately the product will not cause an insulin spike. In fact, it will help to bring blood sugar into balance and produce a sustained energy.
And there is much more! Next week we will continue to discuss the attributes of the Engergy Sustain Complex, the ingredients, and practical applications. We are learning from our ancestors how to eat and become healthy again!
The Energy Sustain Complex is a product that can be enjoyed between meals or as a meal replacement. It can be used as a base for adding other ingredient such as fresh fruits, vegetable juice, probiotics, and so on. It makes for a great smoothy.
The Last Quiz Answer: This amazing creature is a Handfish. They are small (up to 15 cm) bottom-dwelling marine fish found in coastal waters of southern Australia and Tasmania. Handfish are unusual, slow moving fishes that prefer to ‘walk’ rather than swim, using their modified pectoral fins to move about on the sea floor. These highly modified fins have the appearance of hands, hence their scientific name, from Latin bracchium meaning “arm” and Greek ichthys meaning “fish”.