Someone’s junk is another persons…

Somethings are looked at as ugly, a nuisance, good for nothing. Take the dandelion, a weed by most people’s definition that is nothing but a pain in the ass. Having to pull the dandelions out of the ground because they offer no value and take away from your nice manicured front lawn. Yet if you are of Italian descent you might be thinking of making a nice dandelion wine from those ‘weeds’. It wasn’t until the 20th century with the invention of lawns did the dandelion get demonized. Before that grass was cleared to grow dandelions because of their medicinal and magical benefits and also a great source of food. With the need of having to have a beautiful front lawn the dandelion was doomed.

Another weed

Dandelions are bad when you have a well manicured lawn

Just recently I came across information that another ‘weed’, the duckweed (specifically the Mankai duckweed) has been shown to possibly be the only plant that has the vitamin B12 readily available in it. Water lentils, or Duckweed, is also a source of high quality protein and studies have also shown that it does very well in managing glucose levels. Sounds almost like a super food.

Controlled growing

What is Duckweed? If you have come across ponds that don’t have a lot of water movement, and it’s covered in green stuff kind of looking like tiny green lentils than you have more than likely seen Duckweed. And much like the dandelion, this is why people hate Duckweed. But hate it at your own parrel. Let’s look at some interesting facts about Duckweed:

      • Can double in just 16 hours to 2 days
      • Cost effective renewable energy as biofuel
      • Natural water filter
      • Prevents Mosquitos
      • Prevents algae growth
      • and food for humans

Pretty impresive, isn’t it. But let’s focus on the B12 vitamin aspect. If you know your B12 you might be thinking that duckweed is high in B12 because it’s been sitting on top of a pond soaking in all that bacteria. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. Analysis has shown that the Duckweed’s B12 is naturally occurring, not the result of sitting on top of a pond that is bacteria laden. This is great news in that you can harvest Duckweed by growing it in controlled environments.

But think of it. A plant that contains in just 100 grams over 750% of your daily B12 requirement. THIS IS HUGE! Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with supplementing B12 but I think this might be the new response to eating a plant based diet and having to discuss B12 needs and where B12 comes from. “Where do you get your B12 from…” is one of the arguments people use when they find out you are vegan and there is a lot of misinformation out there being perpetuated endlessly. Let’s look at a frequent guess on the Joe Rogan Experience, Chris Kresser. If Joe Rogan wasn’t an honorable person in inviting one of the producers of The Game Changers onto his show to debate Chris following Chris’ ‘debunking’ of the documentary The Game Changers we would have never had heard Chris admit he was factually incorrect on his points on B12. There still is a strong belief that B12 is made by animals, which we know it isn’t, it’s a bacteria found in soil and in ponds.

A plant based, renewable source of B12, protein, and other vitamins and minerals that can double it’s volume in as quickly as 16 hours! This could be the new soy in the sense that it should be readily available and inexpensive to grow as it can be grown in a controlled environment.

Finally

I’m excited about this. A naturally occurring source of B12 and other nutrients. Who knows, maybe this is something I can grow myself and harvest my own Duckweed. It might be worth some looking into.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

Oh yeah Alright

Feels good inside

For the last maybe 5 years, or maybe longer than that a new term arose, superfoods. What does that mean, superfoods. Does it make you superhuman? Probably not. Personally I think the term gets overused and also I think there is the potential for damage in that just like vitamins people will consume superfoods in place of foods they should be consuming on a daily basis.

plant based foods
Plant based foods

First and foremost everyone should be eating a whole foods plant based diet. Not sure what that is? It’s not being vegan for one thing. Veganism is a moral position that has much more to do with the foods consumed. It includes this but also reaches beyond to what you put on your body be it hygiene products, clothing, make up, etc. It can also extend to activities such as not patronizing zoo’s or circuses or other places animals are exploited for our entertainment. If you want to find out more about a whole foods plant based diet I suggest you start with reading the China Study or another option is to watch Fork over Knives.

Back to my point, consuming a whole foods plant based diet should give you all the nutrients you need.

But, if you are looking to increase certain nutrients, not replace eating well then below I’ve listed some foods you might want to add into your daily eating.

What

Chia seeds: Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and antioxidants. Easy to use. I recommend grinding the seeds first as this is easier for your body to digest. Add a tablespoon to a smoothie or shake, to a salad, or a sauce. You can add it to almost anything.

Flaxseed: Also high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Also high in lignans (a powerful antioxidant) and fiber, can be used to improve digestive health. Just like Chia seeds, you can grind up your flax seed and use it the same way; shakes, etc.

Spirulina: Once called ‘the best food for the future‘ by the United Nations World Food Conference. Extremely digestible and contains every natural known antioxidant a healthy body could need. Rich in vitamins, reported to correct anemia, reduce radioactive damage and lower cholesterol. Some studies have shown that because of it’s high anitoxidant properties athletic endurance becomes enhanced significantly increasing the time it took people to become fatigued. Do your homework when buying spirulina. It’s an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water so be sure you are not buying it from a source that has grown it in heavy metal dense water or radio active water.

Hemp Seeds: Also known as hemp hearts. Also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids but also a great source of protein. 3 tablespoons provide 16 grams of protein! That’s huge! Let’s look at the following example: Women usually need 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day. Your protein consumption should be about 10 – 15% of total calories.  Let’s use 2,000 calories as an example, and we’ll also use 15%. 15% of 2,000 = 300 calories. There are 4 calories per gram of protein so 16 grams X 4 = 64 calories or 21% of your daily need! Quiet a bit from a small amount. Lastly, you are probably thinking that my numbers for protein requirements is quiet low. It is by what everyone else is telling you or you have been hearing. If you follow the recommendations that are communicated by the industries that are funded by the industries that sell protein – fitness industry, food industry, the dietitians industry, etc. of course they want you to spend your money on protein powders and supplements – processed protein.

If you follow a whole foods plant based diet you will be get all the protein you need. More on that in another post

Oats: When eating oats be sure to get the steel cut, lesser processed oats. Again, a whole foods plant based diet should minimize as much as possible processed foods. Why do I look at Oats as a superfood? High in complex carbs, fiber, maganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and more. A half cup of oats contain 51 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of fiber. A very nutrient dense food. Oats also have  soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan. Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the gut giving you that satiated feeling helping to prevent unnecessary snacking.

Finally

I’m sure I could have added more things, things such as Tumeric, Garlic, Ginger, etc. all good things. Sometimes I find when coming across lists like these you get overwhelmed in the things you need to eat and then you just give up. I hope my list is simple and something else about my list is it also promotes an easy way to get Omega-3 (DHA) into your diet daily without having to consume pills and without having to consume animal products.

Yours in health,

Darryl