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Paving the way with Hemp

beryn peter october 2018 73 resized 200x300 - Paving the way with HempAfter one hundred years of silence, the most diverse plant on the planet is making a comeback. Hemp has more faces than any other plant. Whether you are eating it, building your house from it, nourishing your skin with it or using it to tethering your yacht, hemp does it all. Even though hemp and marijuana are related, you cannot make good fibre from marijuana and you cannot get ‘high’ from smoking hemp.

A Rich History

For over 10,000 years cannabis sativa l. has been an important source of nutrition and medicine for many cultures. In Chinese medicine the leaves, flowers and stalk were all used for a variety of different ailments. Traditionally hemp was also used for currency, paper and fibre for rope, cloth, baskets and clothing.From the 5th Century BC until the late 19th Century hemp sails and ropes allowed ships to rule over the waves.Cotton and linen perish easily, but hemp is strong and durable, sustaining through all weather. It’s pliable nature and resistance to mold still makes hemp rope superior to plastic ropes today.Another historical accolade for hemp was a car made entirely of hemp, which ran on hemp ethanol, built by Henry Ford in 1925.

“Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed and sow it everywhere.” – George Washington

The Fall of the Hemp Empire

Hemp fell of the map in the western world less than a hundred years ago.The widespread shun of hemp started in the USA in 1937 during the Reefer Madness Campaign. The movement stirred up mass hysteria labelling marijuana as the devils weed. The most powerful newspaperman in America, William Randolph Hearst’s and businessman Darwin DuPont, instigated the campaign. Yet their victim was not marijuana, it was their business competitors:the hemp industry. The campaign was launched just after DuPont had invented nylon and acquired the patent for tree paper, which made the high quality hemp paper and rope a major threat. Their scheme worked well; with the cultivation and import of hemp out of the way DuPont made billions on paper, plastic, paints and other petrochemical products.

Soon the whole western world could no longer tell the difference between marijuana and hemp. Yet in Asia the massive hemp industry carried on undisturbed. Many European countries such as France, Germany, UK, Spain, Holland and Italy realized there was no logic to banning hemp and reinstated production.

A Nutritional Gem

Technically a nut, hulled hemp seed typically contains around30% oil (8% saturated fat) and up to 37% protein, with considerable amounts of nutrients essential for a healthy body including vitamin A,B’s and C, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium and sulphur. Hemp seeds typically contain over 20 trace minerals.

The ‘taboo stamp’ prevented nutritional research on this plant until recently. Studies have now shown that this delicious little seed is a potent source of brain food.Even though hemp and marijuana are both cannabis there is now an easy way to tell them apart. Scientists test hemp to make sure it has less than 0.3g of the psychoactive compound THC, meaning there is absolutely no chance you can get‘stoned’ from eating hemp products.

ESSENTIAL FATS

Hemp seeds are full of essential fatty acids (EFAs), essential because your body can’t make them itself. In contrast to the shorter-chain and more saturated fatty acids, the body doesn’t use EFAs as an energy source;it uses them as raw materials for making cell membranes, regulating inflammation and for hormone production. EFAs help your brain to absorb and use proteins, especially when you are growing, as well regulating your immune system. EFAs are usually found in raw nuts, seeds and deep-water fish. Hemp seeds contain a higher percentage of essential fatty acids than any other food.

The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio in hemp seed oil is considered to be optimal for human health (more so than flax). Hemp seed oil is over 80% in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), and is an exceptionally rich source of the two EFAs linoleic acid omega-6(55%) and alpha-linolenic acid omega-3 (25%). Hemp oil also contains a decent level of the omega-6 gamma linoleic acid (GLA), a well-known anti-inflammatory.

Omega-3

Omega-3’s are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties, but there is so much more to this primary nutrient. Omega-3 is divided into two main categories’. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)is essential for the growth and repair of the brain,and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)is needed for the growth and repair of all connective tissue and is known to reduce cardiac risk factors.

Most plant sources of omega-3 come in the form of ALA (alphalinolenic acid), which needs to be converted by the body into EPA and DHA. Hemp oil also contains SDA (stearidonic acid), a form of omega-3 normally found in fish oil. According to the 2009 study on SDA published in The Journal of Nutrition, it appears to functions most like EPA compared to ALA. And a significant increase of EPA has been seen in people that ingest SDA.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a high-grade antioxidant, which works to prevent free-radical damage. It is also essential for healthy hormones and nervous system, plus it improves muscle strength and repairs skin damage making it an all round top longevity nutrient. This is great news especially since the large majority of vitamin E supplements are derived from either apetrochemical source or GMO soya.Keep your eyes pealed for dl-alpha-tocopherolthis label shows the vitamin E source is synthetic.

Lecithin

Hemp has a good dose of lecithin a fat essential for all cells. It is also found in other seeds and egg yolk.Lecithin is used in the brain to reinforce neurological pathways. It is also needed for healthy liver, gallbladder and skin. Unlike soya lecithin, hemp seeds do not contain GMO.

PROTEINS

Proteins are large, complex molecules that have many important jobs in the body. Protein can be used as an energy source as well as growing and repairing organs, connective tissue and muscles, plus creating hormones and neurotransmitters. Proteins are constructed from a set of 22 amino acids, eight of which cannot be made by the body and therefore need to be obtained through food. Hemp seeds are a complete protein. Hulled hemp seeds contain a good dose of the eight essential amino acids.Hemp protein is made up of albumin (35%) and globulin edestin (65%), which are both highly absorbable. Edestin is described as a “sturdy” protein, pure, easy to prepare, and highly stable. Globular proteins include hemoglobin (blood protein),hormones, antibodies and enzymes; therefore edestin can be used to make these useful molecules.

A study looking at hemp protein, published in the journal Food Chemistry, found the proportion of digestible (bioavailable) amino acids in hemp protein(88–91%) was significantly higher than that of soya protein. The researchers verified hemp “can be utilized as a good source of protein nutrition for human consumption.” A 2010 study published in the Journal Agricultural and Food Chemistry writes, “Hemp proteins are equal to or greater than certain grains, nuts and some pulses.” Unlike some nuts and soya beans hemp seeds are also free from enzyme inhibitors that prevent the absorption of nutrients.

Unlike meat and pulses, hemp seeds do not have to be cooked. Many amino acids are heat sensitive, especially lysine, proline, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, threonine, alanine, glycine, serine, cystine, tyrosine and arginine. When food is cooked these amino acids either die or become denatured, and the bioavailability of all remaining amino acids is compromised to some degree.

DNA, Moods, Heart, Immunity and Erectile Dysfunction

Edestin (only available in hemp) is exceptionally high in the amino acid arginine, needed for lowering inflammation, repairing blood vessels, kidney function, reversing erectile dysfunction and supporting a healthy immune and cardiovascular system. The core string of DNA used to hold genes together is rich in arginine, making hemp protein a primary food for DNA repair and longevity. It also contains a high level of the essential amino acid methionine, which is needed for liver protection and efficacy. Methionine has been found helpful for people with allergies and even schizophrenia.

Edestin is one of the few plant sources of tryptophan, an essential amino needed by the body to make the neurotransmitters serotonin and melatonin. Both these neurochemicals work to calm the nervous system, help balance mood, behavior and mental abilities and are mandatory for sleep and a healthy endocrine function.

Infant Nutrition

According to the World Health Organization hemp seeds contain the sufficient nutritional requirement of amino acids (except lysine) needed for infants and children and can be used as a valuable source of nutrition.

Hormones

Apart from vitamin E, hemp seeds also contain up to 4% GLA, which the body needs for hormone production. GLA has been found to improve breast sensitivity in women during PMS. The good news is that even though GLA doesn’t normally occur alongside omega-3 in plant form, it does in hemp oil.

Liver

Sulfur-bearing amino acids are needed by the liver to support sulfation: the elimination of toxins and breakdown of old hormones and neurotransmitters. During sulfation toxins are bound to sulphate and ushered down the intestinal tract to be eliminated from the body. Sulfation can be enhanced by amino acids like methionine and cysteine found in hemp seeds.

Lecithin from hemp oil also regulates fat metabolism in the liver. It binds to triglyceride lowering proteins and boost levels of HDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Lecithin is rich in phosphatidylcholine, which is needed by the liver to produce low-density lipoproteins to carry fats from the liver.

Immune

Protein has an important role in our immune system. The most significant gamma globulins are immunoglobulins, a form of antibody. Edestin is similar to serum globulins as it can be metabolized in the human body to biosynthesize immunoglobulins. The body’s ability to fight invaders or infections depends on its ability to produce antibodies. If one is deficient in globulin proteins the body may not be able to produce enough antibodies. Thankfully hemp protein is one of the best sources of gamma globulins.

Inflammation

GLA does more than support hormone pathways it also has a potent anti-inflammatory action. In the 2010 study published in the journal Inflammation researchers found that GLA inhibits inflammatory responses by deactivating the inflammatory proteins NF-kappaB and AP-1, plus it reduced oxidative stress.

Autoimmune diseases

All autoimmune disorders involve chronic inflammation including multiple sclerosis. In a 2013 trial researchers found hemp oil beneficial for multiple sclerosis and found a clear improvement in all clinical scores.

Arthritis

The use of hemp seeds in rheumatoid arthritis has been suggested for centuries. Hemp seed has been used as a treatment for these diseases in Korean and Chinese folk medicine. A 2014 study found that hemp seed oil treatment reduced the survival rate of and promoted cell death in the arthritic cells.

Skin

The 2009 study on hemp seed oil and dermatitis found that, “Dietary hemp seed oil caused significant changes in plasma fatty acid profiles and improved clinical symptoms of atopic dermatitis. It is suggested that these improvements resulted from the balanced and abundant supply of PUFAs in this hemp seed oil.” This said ingesting hemp oil could help improve the general quality and hydration of your skin.

 Heavy Metal Detoxification

Heavy metals have the capacity to cause quite a bit of mischief within the body. They can lock into receptor sites and create ‘broken telephone’ messages within cellular communication. The results can be disastrous. According to this 2010 study hemp even has the ability to help chelate heavy metals from the body.

 Antioxidant

Both hydrolysate and edestin have been found to contain valuable antioxidant properties to help prevent cellular damage within the body. A 2010 study found, “A novel antioxidant peptide derived from hemp seed by-product was investigated. The peptides possessed protective effects against cell death and oxidative apoptosis.”

Ear, Nose and Throat

Hemp seed oil was dispensed in an open clinical trial involving in and outpatients, for the treatment of chronic ear, nose and throat disorders for a total of 117 cases. “The results allowed us to consider hemp seed oil as an effective means for treating ENT disorders as well as injuries resulting from traumas or burns.”

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a dangerous disorder than can lead to many health problems. The 2014 study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that hemp seeds have strong hypotensive effects and can be used as a therapeutic agent for both the prevention and treatment of hypertension.

 Heart

The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in hemp seeds have beneficial effects on our cardiovascular health. A 2010 meta-analysis study found, “The data supports the hypothesis that hemp seed has the potential to beneficially influence heart disease.” A 2007 study on hemp seeds and heart health writes,“Our data demonstrate that dietary hempseed can provide significant cardioprotective effects during postischemic reperfusion. This appears to be due to its highly enriched PUFA content.”

Immune Boosting

Tony Budden, owner of the hemp company, Hemporium shares the story which exposes the strength of hemp’s immune boosting capacity;“ In the 1950’s a Czechoslovakian orphanage lost access to medical care. This was a great problem as many of the children were suffering from TB. The doctor decided to feed the children with hemp porridge everyday knowing that the protein would help build the immune system to fight the TB. It worked. The hemp seeds also helped to prevent the wasting syndrome, which happens when TB blocks the absorption of nutrition.”

Neurology and Cannabinoids

Hemp seeds also contain an interesting oil called cannabidiol or CBD oil. In the last decade science has identified the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. This has triggered an exponential growth of studies exploring the endocannabinoid system and its regulatory functions in health and disease. The endocannabinoid system has been found to have a key role in both in the central and peripheral nervous systems and in peripheral organs.

Modulating the activity of the endocannabinoid system, cannabidiol has been found to be neuroprotective.CBD shows therapeutic promise in a wide range of diseases and pathological conditions such as anxiety disorders, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease, neuropathic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injury, to cancer, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, glaucoma, obesity/metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis.

Bones, Connective Tissue and Organs

Hemp leaves are also edible and make fabulous tea. Hemp leaves contain an abundance of silica and compelling data suggests that silica is essential for health. Orthosilicic acid is the form of silica predominantly used by the human body and is found in numerous tissues including bone, skin, tendons, aorta, liver and kidney.

Dietary Fibre

Hemp seeds are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Beneficial bacteria in the gut feed on soluble fibre, which also helps regulate blood sugar balance. Insoluble fibre is necessary to enable waste products to be eliminated out of the gut and also plays a role in blood sugar regulation.

Dr Axe’s View on Hemp

World-renowned doctor of natural medicine, clinical nutritionist and founder of the Exodus Health Center Dr Josh Axes said, “Hemp seeds are great for people who want to pack on muscle, build strong bones and people who want to lose weight. Plus it’s helpful for people who have trouble sleeping or struggle from depression or anxiety.” According to Dr Axe 3 tablespoons of hemp seeds equals 10g protein and 3000 ml omega 3 in the ideal ratio for your body. He says it’s, “healthier than flax. It has almost no carbs or sugar, but very high in fibre.”

And it has 50% your daily requirement of magnesium. “We know magnesium is critical for relaxing muscles, for proper brain function, for improving digestion and I found that magnesium is the number one mineral most people are deficient in today.” Also it has 50% of your daily value of phosphorus and 25% your daily value of zinc (essential for healthy hormone balance).

Body Products

The rich elements of hemp oil make it an absolute must when it comes to skin and hair products. Many companies have caught on to hemp oil’s nourishing qualities and are now using it in moisturizers, body butters, lip balms, soap, shampoo, conditioner and even deodorant.

Antibacterial

A 2009 study found hemp oil has potent antimicrobial (bacteria and fungus) properties. “The results showed that essential oils of industrial hemp can significantly inhibit the microbial growth.” In the 2014 study on the antibacterial qualities of hemp the researchers found, “Cannabinoids, alkanoids, other bioactive compounds or phenolic compounds of lignin may contribute to the antibacterial character of hemp.”

The Future of Hemp

Striving forward with a 300 million dollar hemp industry, Canada is a prime example of why we should put aside our prejudice of this non-psychoactive plant and get on with reaping the benefits.

 Today modern clothing and furnishing manufacturers have caught on to the old wisdom of hemp fabric and are once again beginning to utilize it in every way possible. The other, often understated strength of the hemp plant is its immune system. There is no need to use any form of pesticides or other toxic chemicals when growing hemp as it grows like a weed, so to speak. In fact even though Canada has a massive industry in hemp production, there is no registered pesticide, herbicide or fungicide recommended for use. The height and bushiness of hemp shades the ground further preventing growth of invasive plants within the plantations. And with modern technology we can even make houses out of hemp fibre.

The diversity of hemp oil is gaining popularity and it is even being used to make fuel and plastic. In fact the environmental benefits of using hemp are so huge they could potentially assist in reforming the international, food, housing and forest crisis. The possibilities are endless.

“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” – Henry Ford

 

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Coconut Blossom Nectar – The New Wholefood Sweetener

coconut blossom nectar dark blog 300x300 - Coconut Blossom Nectar – The New Wholefood SweetenerWhy Coconut Blossom Nectar?

Coconut Blossom Nectar is generating much interest in the health food market these days and it’s easy to see why. It’s really tasty and Coconut Blossom Nectar scores low on the Glycemic Index. It has been tested and sits at 36 out of 100 on the GI scale, making it a great sweetener for diabetics when used in small amounts. It naturally contains more vitamins, minerals, amino acids than processed sugar, as well as many other nutrients such as potassium, iron and zinc.

How is Coconut Blossom Nectar harvested?

Coconut Blossom Nectar is derived from the sap of coconut blossoms and is heated at a temperature of between 60 – 70 degrees to form a thick syrup similar to maple syrup. Heating the nectar at these low temperatures, rather than boiling it, allows the nectar to retain its nutritional.

We pride ourselves on sourcing sustainable raw materials, so you will be pleased to learn that the extraction process of Coconut Blossom Nectar doesn’t harm the coconut tree in any way and the coconut tree continues to blossom and produce sap for many years to come. Coconut Blossom Nectar needs to be hand harvested thus it doesn’t lend itself to mass production, therefore it is extracted on a small scale by skilled locals in the surrounding areas. This uplifts local communities and allows individuals to support their families.

Health Benefits of Coconut Blossom Nectar

> Low GI

Coconut Blossom Nectar is known for its low GI index of 36, compared to organic sugar at 47 and refined sugar at 80. This therefore makes it a safer alternative for diabetics or anyone who wishes to maintain balanced blood sugar levels. Balancing blood sugar levels is not only important for your health but can also aid in weight loss as balancing blood sugar levels can reduce sugar cravings and other addictive eating behaviours.

One should also be aware of the Glyceamic load of a food when eaten in large amounts. Low GI does not mean “eat with reckless abandon.”

> Low Fructose

Coconut Blossom Nectar also has a low fructose content which means it is a healthier option if you are watching your waistline. Fructose is metabolised by your liver and can immediately be converted into fat if too much is consumed. Coconut Blossom Nectar is primarily made up of glucose and sucrose, so it is processed by the intestine which means your body can assimilate and use it more effectively than fructose.

> High in Inulin

Coconut Blossom Nectar is also high in inulin which is a prebiotic fibre and so aids in the process of digestion and can increase the healthy flora in your gut microbiome.

> Nutrients and minerals

Although it is not to be considered a mineral rich food to rely on for your daily nutrition, Coconut Blossom Nectar contains more nutrients and minerals when compared to other processed sugars. For example, Coconut Blossom Nectar is richer in zinc, magnesium,  iron,  B vitamins and even Vitamin C than processed brown cane sugar.

For a sweetener it’s also interesting to note that there are 17 amino acids found in Coconut Blossom Nectar. Certainly not in the amounts that one requires for building muscle, but even in small quantities it’s nice to know that you are adding some goodness to your food. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and make up our cells, tissues and muscles. They are also essential for muscle growth and tissue repair. Coconut Blossom Nectar contains the 9 essential amino acids that the body doesn’t naturally make and we must obtain these through the foods we eat.

> Additive Free

Along with all the health benefits of Coconut Blossom Nectar, depending on the brand you buy, it is also free of additives, preservatives, chemicals, GMOs and is unrefined. This is due to its naturally delicious taste so nothing extra needs to be involved in the extraction process.

Light vs. Dark Coconut Blossom Nectar

There is not much difference nutritionally between light and dark Coconut Blossom Nectar, only the taste and colour vary.

Dark Coconut Blossom Nectar is heated at 70 degrees which gives it a caramelised brown colour with a dark maple syrup flavour.

Light Coconut Blossom Nectar is heated to 63 degrees and is golden brown in colour. The flavour produced is sweet with delicate citrusy notes.

How to use coconut blossom nectar

Coconut Blossom Nectar has many uses and can be a great addition to your daily diet. This natural sweetener can be used to  sweeten hot drinks, juices, smoothies and can also be used in raw desserts. It can even make a great addition as a delicious topping to your breakfasts such as oats, chia pots or smoothie bowls. Coconut Blossom Nectar has also been known to be incorporated into dressings which can be drizzled over your salads, soups or other lunch or dinner dishes. With all these benefits and more its easy to see why Coconut Blossom Nectar is fast becoming the sweetener of choice.

Small quantities is key

As with any type of sugar, one must be careful of using too much. Just because it’s a healthier option than processed sugar, does  not mean one should consume Coconut Blossom Nectar in everything. We recommend limiting yourself to 1 – 2 teaspoons a day.

 

 

 

 

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GMO vs. Non-GMO

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In recent years, the question of GMO vs. Non-GMO has come up more and more in consumer conversations and we’ve seen a 150% growth in interest in this topic over the last year alone. However, there are still many misconceptions about genetically modified food and their organic heirloom counterparts.

What is GMO?

It’s a genetically modified organism is created by merging the DNA from different species to create this organism; combining plant, animal, bacteria and/or virus, which cannot be produced in nature or through traditional crossbreeding.

When modifying the organism, scientists will remove certain genes from the DNA of a plant, animal, bacteria or virus different to that of the organism they are modifying. These genes are then combined with the DNA of the organism they are modifying in the hopes that these newly added genes will create new traits.

As a result, in some instances, plant foods in particular can be modified in such a way that the food is able to produce its own pesticide. Needless to say, this internal pesticide is consumed when you eat the plant.

Also, pesticides used on GMOs cannot be washed off as they are absorbed into the crops. For Bt GM crops which are genetically modified to carry the Bacillus thuringiensis gene, making the plant produce a crystal toxic to insects, this is in addition to the insecticide already present within the crop itself.

Contrary to popular belief, GM crops do not mean less spraying of pesticides. In fact, GMO’s have lead to massive increases in toxic agricultural chemical use.

GMO’s in South Africa

As of 1 October 2011, the law in South Africa is that food producer, importers and packagers need to specify if a product is made with 5% or more GM ingredients (5% is still too much GMO for anyone to consume)and if the food is grown from GM seeds such as maize products. Also, if the food has not been tested for GMOs it needs to say that it could contain them.  You can read more detail on that here.

A quick look at the label of a product should tell you if what you are buying contains GMO ingredients, but there are only a few companies that comply with the labeling laws. We would recommend becoming familiar with the ethics of the product brand rather than just relying on labeling.

If a product is organically certified, it will also be GMO free.

A product cannot be organically certified if it contains genetically modified ingredients in any percentage.

South Africa is also said to be the 8th largest GMO crop producer in the world with our maize, cotton, canola and soya production. We South Africans have been eating genetically modified food for more than a decade without knowing it.

But why is this conversation such a relevant one and, more importantly, what do you need to know to become an informed conscious consumer?

There is a common, worldwide upward trend amongst consumers wanting organically grown, GMO-free food.

When you start looking into the foods you eat, you need to know what it is you are looking for. Knowing the difference between GMO and Non-GMO foods is one of the simplest ways to invest in your health, now and in the future.

So what is Non-GMO?

In a nutshell, non-GMO foods are foods which have not been genetically modified, meaning the food strain and DNA have not been engineered or altered through the years and still contains the original integrity of the food strains.

What are heirloom seeds?

Heirloom foods are even better as they are grown from the original, non-hybridised, non-GM seeds. They are seeds that are passed down through generations of farming families and have the most diverse colours and flavours available.

Why should you start phasing GMO foods out of your pantry? Like, today!

On the outside, it sounds like a good idea: food that can protect itself from both insects or even disease it comes into contact with while growing. Food that is cheaper, yields more produce and can grow faster …

While this technique has been used for some time, in recent years, scientists, consumer groups and environmental groups, have pointed out that modified foods can have certain risks.

No long-term safety studies exist on either the safety or benefits of GMO ingredients.

  The health and environmental hazards of genetically modified foods

The only human feeding study ever conducted showed transference of foreign DNA into human gut bacteria.  GMOs have been linked to increased allergies, gut-related conditions, autism, auto-immune disease, infertility, birth defects, obesity, cancers, and other illnesses in independent scientific studies on lab animals.

As for the environment, GMO foods can release harmful toxins into the soil, they can create pest resistance that ends up decimating organically grown foods, and they can cause an upsetting disruption to the biodiversity of the plants by interrupting the natural genes. GMOs and increased pesticide use are a major factor in the increasing death rates of bees and butterflies, as well as bird populations.

GMO pollen can travel for miles by wind or via pollinating animals like honeybees. GMO genes then infect non-GMO and organic crops. Allowing the increased use of GMO agriculture could mean the contamination and eventual extinction of natural species; animals and plants alike.

For more in depth information on GMO’s you can watch the free movie “Genetic Roulette” based on the book by Jeffery M Smith here. Make time for it, it’s worth it. If you only have 10 minutes then you can find the shorter version at the end of this page.

When these risks were exposed and made public, consumers began to demand that products be labelled as GMO or non-GMO so that they can decide what kind of food they eat.

If  you join the growing legions of consumers taking back control over what they and their families eat, there are many ways you can avoid genetically modified foods when the label isn’t giving you the information you need.

How to avoid GMO foods

♥ Buy locally grown food

Explore farmers markets nearby and support local small farmers producing small scale crops through sustainable business practices.

Locally grown food generally comes from small scale farms offering fresh from the farm foods. If you can, start a conversation with them! Check with the farmer if the seeds used are non-GMO, or even better, heirloom seeds. And check if pesticides are used – non-GMO doesn’t mean it’s organic. Not only will you be buying quality, nutritious food, but you will also be supporting your local farmer and their workers meaning you are consciously choosing to invest in your local community.

♥ Grow your own

Another super easy way to commit to a GMO-free diet is to grow your own food.

If you have a garden, why not put it to good use by planting vegetables? It’s not as hard as it seems and along with improving your diet, it may also become a favourite pastime where you reconnect with nature the soil from which you grow your foods.  You can get in touch with Soil For Life to take a course on making a garden, or you can buy their book here.

♥ Know the ethics and standards of the businesses you buy from

If you understand how and why a business does what it does, it means you can buy their products with confidence.

At Soaring Free Superfoods, we stock a range of organic superfoods, free from genetic modification. Our product ranges will provide you with healthy, nutritious superfoods which contain the original integrity of the plant strains. We care about how the environment is affected by the farming adnd harvesting methods used to grow these superfoods. That means organic, non-GMO or wildcrafted with integrity is the only way to go for us.

What’s the bottom line ?

Love is the bottom line. Making conscious purchase decisions means that you are aware of how your money-vote impacts the world around you. By wisely choosing to support conscious companies who lead sustainable business practices and who invest in building communities, you as a consumer, are driving the change towards a more eco-friendly and ethical practices.

Choose Organic GMO-Free Superfoods

Superfoods are truly worthy of their name. Unlike much of the food you buy these days, superfoods are high-return nutritional investments as they are more densely packed with quality, high integrity vitamins and minerals, including anti-oxidants, fibre, and healthy fats, than many other foods and commercial supplements. They are still in their wholefood form the way they are designed in nature. Including superfoods into your diet can elevate your energy levels, as well as many other benefits, even when consumed in small amounts. We find that people experience each of the superfoods differently and that therefore, they have their favourites. Find the superfood that fuels you!

Soaring Free Superfoods is committed to helping you live a healthier lifestyle through providing you with healthier nutritional supplement choices that are naturally from our earth and processed to maintain their integrity. Our product range is available to order online, and are certified organic or wildcrafted and certified pesticide free.

They are ethically & sustainably sourced to show that we respect Mother Earth and all the life she supports.

♥ You can rest assured that your money is voting for ethical industry.♥

 

 

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Sustainable Business & Reflections on 2018

2018 has been our year of birth and new beginnings …

beryn 3 199x300 - Sustainable Business & Reflections on 2018This year we celebrated the blissful birth of our new baby girl, Teela Skye. Our eldest daughter, Katara Eden is already 6 years old. And Soaring Free Superfoods, our ‘first child-creation’ is now 12 years old. How time flies!

It is said that your children reflect EVERYTHING back to you, and that you learn, grow and see yourself through their eyes, actions and words daily. Conscious parenting is not for the faint-hearted and neither is conscious business. Someone once told me that business is a reflection of your sub-conscious. I took those words to heart and it has guided my approach in all aspects of business. I no longer see ‘work’ as ‘the daily grind’ but as part of life-learning. It is a chance to review and release old patterns and programs that no longer serve and to awaken instead to the highest vision and version of what you would like to contribute to the world.

“I don’t think many people can say they are as passionate about their business after 12 years as they were the day they started.”

 

I can! And for a self-funded, family-run business that’s saying a lot! And I can say the same thing about my relationship with Peter after nearly 20 years. Actually, it’s even better than when we started!

beryn blogs 2 199x300 - Sustainable Business & Reflections on 2018Peter has a pioneering spirit that is always looking to push the boundaries of what is possible; and as the female in the relationship, I love to nurture, feed and see things grow and flourish. We make a great team, and we are not alone. In the same way as we have experienced the real birth of our new baby and the excitement, wonder, love and bliss that comes with such a creation, it feels as though here at Soaring Free Superfoods, we’ve only just begun. It’s as exciting as ever to be in business today as it was when we first began, 12 years ago. Our baby has ‘grown up’ and is surrounded by the most incredible tribe of loved ones – from our suppliers, our next-level-SUPER team, our organic superfoods, biodegradable packaging and packing partners, to our lifeblood and BEST-EVER customers!

We are passionate about everything we do and how we do it. When I look at the things we are doing in business today I am reminded of Peter’s pioneering visionary capacity, and our core commitment of living in harmony with nature. For example, long before plastic-free became the hot topic it is today, Peter was determined to have our superfoods in plastic-free packaging. It didn’t need marketing hype, it’s just the right thing to do! We started testing our products in alternative packaging over 5 years ago, but the materials were not yet robust enough.

In early 2017 we re-launched our brand into earth-friendly packaging. We are exceptionally proud to have been the FIRST sustainable superfoods brand being committed to the earth by putting the best quality, certified organic superfoods into plastic free, biodegradable and home compostable packaging. This is to truly reflect our ethos of living with in harmony and unity with the earth.

eco badges soaringfreesuperfoods 300x69 - Sustainable Business & Reflections on 2018

Certified organic means no GMO’s, pesticides or herbicides, i.e. no nasties going into your body or being sprayed on the earth. Plastic-free means no plastic ending up in our landfills and oceans.

Our commitment is: healthy body and healthy planet.

Although we are currently still the only superfood company making these investments into sustainable solutions, we hope that others will follow soon. One of the most exciting things about being in business today is recognising that, through this channel, we can have a positive influence on human behaviour. By becoming part of conscious consumer solutions, we can make significant changes to the planet our children will inherit.

I love this quote from the foreword by Naomi Klein in the business book: Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard. In talking about the environmental crisis and posing the question, do we have a chance in the face of the odds? She says:

“If we do, it won’t be because we learned how to be ethical shoppers. Rather, it will be because we found things to do other than shopping.”

This rings so true because it reminds me that even beyond finding conscious consumer solutions we have a responsibility to find things to do other than consume. Collect moments, not things is what I tell my children. This is what Soaring Free is all about. Yes, we provide nutrient dense foods (i.e. consumables), to fuel a life without limits, but what we have always done is share knowledge, learning sources and resources to awaken you to alternative choices. This is our passion.

– Soaring Free –
Awaken your vision
Activate your passion
Live a life without limits

beryn peter october 2018 280 2 300x159 - Sustainable Business & Reflections on 2018– With love from Beryn Daniel
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Coconut Blossom Nectar: The New Agave?

Coconut Blossom Nectar 683x1024 - Coconut Blossom Nectar: The New Agave?Coconut Blossom Nectar is being described as the “new agave” and is higher in nutrients, lower in fructose and is also lower on the glycemic index compared to agave.

Agave has taken the health food world by storm over the past few years and has been described as a healthy, natural, low glycemic sweetener that is helpful for those with blood sugar issues. However, recent research has shown that agave nectar may be nothing more than another highly processed sweetener with very little nutrient value when compared to the new natural sugar alternative to hit the market, Coconut Blossom Nectar.

With all the hype around Coconut Blossom Nectar and its benefits, we think this sweet syrup certainly deserves a spot in your cupboard when you’re wanting to replace sugar in your diet.

WHAT OPTIONS ARE THERE?

Honey contains antioxidants and has been known to boost immunity due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties. You will want to consume honey that is raw because although heating honey improves the colour and texture by removing unwanted crystallization, many of the antioxidants and beneficial bacteria are also removed in this process.  Source your raw honey from local farmers or health shops. Honey is also best consumed in small amounts as that’s when you can benefit from the medicinal properties.

Molasses is a sweet brown liquid with a thick, syrup consistency. It is made from boiling down sugar cane or sugar beet juice. Blackstrap molasses is higher in antioxidants than both honey and maple syrup but the taste can be slightly bitter and is best used in baked goods.

Maple syrup contains some important minerals such as zinc and manganese. Although it is lower on the GI scale than sugar, it can still raise blood sugar levels so small amounts in moderation are recommended.

Coconut sugar is extracted from the sap of the coconut palm and even though it is a natural sweetener it is still high in calories and is very similar to normal sugar.

Coconut Blossom Nectar is one of the least processed sweeteners on the market, is a good source of nutrients and is being termed the “new agave” due to its benefits which far surpass those of agave.

TOO MUCH OF A SWEET THING…

That being said, as with any form of sugar, a replacement sweetener should only be consumed in small amounts. Just because it’s a healthier option than white sugar doesn’t mean that we recommend throwing caution to the wind and eating it without consideration. Sugar is still sugar. Limit yourself to 1 or 2 teaspoons a day.

COCONUT BLOSSOM NECTAR VS. AGAVE

Up until recently, agave was considered one of the best natural sugar alternatives as it was said to be lower on the GI scale and sweeter than normal sugar, so less could be used. This meant less calories, but a sweeter the taste. It also had no known effect of raising blood sugar levels due to its high fructose content, so was believed to be good for all and not only diabetics.

Due to recent research, the high fructose content of agave is actually more detrimental to our health than originally thought. Agave contains more fructose than normal table sugar as well as Coconut Blossom Nectar, which only contains 10% fructose.

Sweeteners that are high in fructose are usually lower on the GI scale so agave is favoured by diabetics however, fructose can only be processed by the liver so when you consume more than your liver can metabolise it will instantly turn into fat. It also places a coniderable strain on the liver to digest.

“People think agave is healthier as it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels however research suggests a link between high fructose intake and insulin resistance which can cause obesity and heart complications.”

In its original, natural form extracts from the agave plant contain strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. However, none of these beneficial elements are present in the agave that we can buy in the stores. This is why most natural health experts agree that agave nectar isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and Coconut Blossom Nectar may be better when it comes to a healthy, natural sugar replacement.

NUTRITIONAL ELEMENTS

Coconut Blossom Nectar comes from the sap of the flowers from the coconut tree and contains 17 amino acids in trace amounts, as well as trace minerals such as magnesium, potassium, zinc and small amounts of vitamins B and C.

In comparison to brown sugar, Coconut Blossom Nectar contains more iron, magnesium and zinc.

Due to its low heating process compared to other sugar alternatives, Coconut Blossom Nectar can retain its nutrients and vitamins thus making it a smarter and healthier choice for the health conscious individual.

CONCLUSION

With all the benefits of Coconut Blossom Nectar, it is easy to see why it is the sugar alternative of choice. However, one should still be mindful when it comes to consuming sugar as no matter how natural the sugar is it does affect your blood sugar levels, especially if eaten in excess. Blood sugar levels are affected by a combination of foods so it is the whole meal that matters.

When trying to balance your blood sugar levels we recommend using Coconut Blossom Nectar in moderation with your breakfast, smoothies, snacks and treats. We also suggest sourcing good quality Coconut Blossom Nectar so that you can benefit from the nutrients and vitamins available from this sweet syrupy goodness.

References

https://greatist.com/eat/difference-between-natural-sweeteners

https://draxe.com/agave-nectar/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-healthy-sugars-that-can-kill-you

Other Sweeteners to Consider: Agave and Coconut Palm Sugar

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Spirulina to boost sports performance

Nico Zen on the benefits of spirulina.

We ask vegan super athlete Nico Pfitzenmaier, also known as Nico Zen, what his professional opinion is on how to take spirulina powder for optimal sports performance.

Nico Zen soaring free superfoods vegan athlete 300x300 - Spirulina to boost sports performance” Spirulina powder in my opinion is the most beneficial endurance Superfood. It has become my trusted ‘companion’ whilst training and racing… 

It literally provides everything you need as an athlete:

As a vegan it has become my prime source of protein with 75% of its biomass being pure protein , which is three times more than beef. Spirulina’s protein is easily digested, assimilated and is more absorbable than beef protein. Hence it has a much higher net gain and creates less stress on the body during digestion.

When I do mountain bike races, I take spirulina tables, which I put into a small pop up lid container, in regular intervals. After the first intense phase of the race where the muscles get flooded with lactic acid, I take spirulina tablets to help buffer and alkalize the blood again. Its high mineral density helps to bring down the acidity levels in the body which gives you sense of feeling as if you hit a reset button, so you can keep pushing forward.

Interestingly, unlike other glycogen sources, spirulina’s glycogen content is immediately available to the human metabolism because it has the same nutrient profile as a human.  Other starch and carbohydrates have to undergo a long process of “reconstruction” into glycogen, while drawing blood from the muscles into the digestive tract. If you use glucose or fructose instead, then you get a short rush which leaves you without the glycogen signal to the liver to provide more energy to your cells, resulting in unstable energy levels.

Nico Zen 1000x640 300x192 - Spirulina to boost sports performanceAnother beautiful benefit of spirulina is that it helps build red blood cells.

Both choloropyll  and hemoglobin belong to the same porphyrin pigment with almost the same chemical structure. The only difference is that the plant “blood” chlorophyll has magnesium in it’s core and hemoglobin in human blood  has iron in it’s core. The similarity of the to structures enable a transformation of chlorophyll into hemoglobin in the human body.

Additional benefits are its antioxidants count – it contains a striking ORAC ( Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ) value of 61900 which is one of the highest of any food. As you may know antioxidants fight harmful free radicals in the body and while training, free radicals get released in the body and  impair our immune function, damages tissue, and generally weakens or destroys cells. Super oxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme found in spirulina, helps as an antioxidant catalyst to get rid of free radicals, slow down inflammation and oxidative stress by reducing cellular damage, including DNA cell damage.

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Beat Flu with Berries (Part 2)

Continuing our look at some of the most potent superfood berries for winter health. Next up, its’s the mulberry.

Mulberries

Eat mulberries just as they come to enjoy their naturally sweet taste and fight dangerous free radicals in your body. You might not think of plants as being fast movers, but the white mulberry bush releases its spores at a speed equal to Mach 0.5 – half the speed of sound. Remembering the doctrine of signatures, that tells us that mulberries are the equivalent of a guided missile when it comes to taking on flu!

In fact, it’s amazing how many nutrients can be packed into just one small berry: carotenes, thiamine, riboflavin, Vitamin C, tannin and the essential fatty acid known as stearic acid. And that’s not all – in fact, we’re only just beginning to list the “ingredients” of mulberry.

These superfood berries are also rich in iron, calcium and dietary fibre. Then there are the flavonoids, anthocyanins, alkaloids and polyphenols (antioxidants which prevent degenerative diseases).

Mulberries can assist with the following health issues:

  • Aging – mulberries are high in resveratrol which slows the aging process and boosts your heart health.
  • Macular degeneration – strengthen your eyesight and counteract the effects of too much screen time.
  • Constipation – mulberries promote gastric juice secretion and improve the digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
  • Blood sugar imbalances – mulberries help balance your blood sugar, which makes them an ideal superfood snack for diabetics.
  • Slow metabolism – burn off abdominal fat with the linoleic acid found in mulberries.

For a warming winter drink, dry our Mulberry Milk recipe: blend Soaring Free Superfoods dried mulberries (and raw honey for sweetness, if desired) into a cup of your favourite nut or seed milk. Warm it up to drink, being careful to keep the temperature below 47°C so that you preserve all the natural goodness.

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Beat Flu with Berries (Part 1)

At Soaring Free Superfoods, we believe that the answers to all our nutritional and medicinal needs can be found in Nature, and that specific plants offer particular benefits. Many raw food experts believe that the shape, colour, texture, taste and even smell of a particular food can give us important clues as to its positive effects on our health.

According to this ancient “doctrine of signatures”, berries are particularly potent: their intense colours and flavours signal to humans (and bears, and birds) that they not only taste good, but can really boost our health.

Berries are especially good at supporting our immune systems, which is great news as flu and colds try to find weaknesses in our armour during winter. Here we take a look at some of the most important superfood berries – fantastic fruits that can have a positive influence on our chances of catching influenza, and which combine being nutrient-dense with their medicinal properties.

Camu Camu Berry

Camu camu berry has more Vitamin C than any other botanical – up to fifty times as much as an orange! Camu camu originates in the Amazon rainforest, which many experts regard as an incredible arboreal apothecary that could contain the plant cures to many diseases and conditions, up to and including cancer.

Rainforests are the lungs of the world – without them, we would all suffocate. Deep within them grow plants that hold the key to human health, and Camu camu is the perfect example. They are also aligned with the doctrine of signatures: each individual Camu camu berry looks a lot like a human cell, and research has shown that they can have positive effect on our health at a cellular level.

Camu camu also contains antioxidants and is rich in health-boosting phytochemicals. The intense Vitamin C content can increase your levels of serotonin – a feel-good hormone that can counteract the effects of depression and lift your mood on cold, dark winter mornings.

Other health benefits of Camu camu include:

  • Boosting collagen production for tendon and ligament health (when used with MSM).
  • Lowering your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
  • Combating candida and other fungal infections.
  • Gum, skin and eye health – clearer skin and more intense colour perception.

To enjoy the health benefits of Camu camu this winter, try our Flu Beater Shot – a silver bullet against influenza. Simply juice one carrot and one third of a pineapple and shake together with a slice of ginger, a slice of fresh turmeric, and one heaped teaspoon of Soaring Free Superfoods Organic Camu camu berry powder

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