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    December 9, 2020

    December 2020 Corporate Newsletter

     A DOSE OF SUPPLEMENT REALITY

    Immunity is at the top of everyone’s mind this year, and that means you are probably hearing about a lot of supplements that claim to help boost immunity. Before you pop that pill or drink that powder, we are diving into some common supplements and if they are actually effective. Read on to learn about Elderberry, Vitamin C Mega-Doses, Adaptogens, and Turmeric.

    Food First

    A true, surefire approach to boosting immunity is through foods that provide us with nutrients. This includes plant-based foods, protein sources, and even healthy fats. Foods you want to make sure you incorporate on a daily basis: 

    • Foods rich in antioxidants, which we primarily find in colorful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds 

    • Gut-healthy foods including fermented probiotic-rich foods (such as yogurt, krauts, and kimchi) and prebiotic foods such as garlic, onions, and asparagus 

    • Anti-inflammatory foods found in healthy fats (such as oils, nuts, and fatty fish), fruits, vegetables, herbs, green tea, and even dark chocolate 

    • Vitamin D-rich foods found in dairy, fish with bones, and mushrooms, along with sunlight exposure

    In addition to food, a lifestyle that includes regular exercise, quality sleep, and stress management will also help to keep immunity in check.

    Elderberry 

    Elderberries are naturally rich in potent antioxidants including anthocyanins, flavanols, and phenols, along with vitamin C and fiber. Early claims indicated elderberry could help shorten the duration of the flu, but further research has shown this is not the case. Likewise, there is no research that confirms elderberry can play a role in preventing COVID-19. Raw elderberries are poisonous, so elderberry is typically consumed in a liquid or capsule form. 

    (Reference: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-elderberry-really-an-effective-cold-and-flu-cure/)

    Vitamin C Mega-Doses

    Reaching for an Airborne or Emergen-C may seem logical when you’re not feeling well, but research indicates that vitamin C in large doses may only help to shorten the duration or severity of a cold, not prevent sickness. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means our bodies don’t store extra. In fact, we typically can’t absorb more than 400 mg of vitamin C at a time. Which means any excess intake of vitamin C gets excreted from the body. Vitamin C supplements have not been shown to protect against or treat COVID-19. 

    (References: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-coronavirus#recommendation, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/immune-boosting-supplements)

    Adaptogens

    Adaptogens may help the body learn how to better “adapt” in states of stress, which can include physical, chemical, or biological needs. While adaptogens don’t have a direct impact on our immunity, stress itself does. Keeping our bodies in chronic, prolonged states of stress make us more susceptible to viral infections. Some common adaptogens you may be aware of: 

    • Ashwaganda: may help to reduce stress and anxiety 

    • Ginseng: may help fight off fatigue, depression, and stress while boosting memory 

    • Schisandra: may help with liver health, stabilizing blood sugars, and exhaustion 

    • Reishi: may help fight infection and certain cancers, but effectiveness has only been shown in those who are already ill. May also help decrease anxiety and depression 

    • Goji Berry: may boost energy, mental/physical performance, calmness, and sleep

    (References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/, https://www.healthline.com/health/stress/smart-girls-guide-to-adaptogens#how-to-use-adaptogens, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/reishi-mushroom-benefits#TOC_TITLE_HDR_3)

    Turmeric

    Turmeric contains an active ingredient known as curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Curcumin is best absorbed along with black pepper (piperine) and foods containing fats, as it is fat-soluble. Curcumin may also play a role in brain health, heart health, joint health, mental health, and cancer prevention. Look for supplements that contain BioPerine (the trademarked name for piperine), which is the substance that enhances curcumin absorption by 2,000%. However, it should be noted neither turmeric or curcumin have demonstrated benefits in directly preventing or treating colds and flu. 

    Cooking with aromatic foods, such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic may provide more health benefits than taking in supplement form. 

    (Reference: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1)

    Supplement Resources

    At the end of the day, remember that the ultimate goal of the supplement industry is to make money. Which means your health may not always be the top priority. Supplements are regulated as food, not medicine, by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Don’t assume because something comes from a plant that it is safe. 

    For more information on supplement safety and regulations, check out these resources: 

    • FDA: https://www.fda.gov/food/dietary-supplements 

    • US Pharmacopecia: https://www.usp.org provides reference standards for supplements 

    • Dietary Supplement Ingredient Datase: https://dietarysupplementdatabase.usda.nih.gov 

     

    RECIPE CORNER: TURMERIC-ROASTED CAULIFLOWER 

    INGREDIENTS:

    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    1½ teaspoons ground turmeric

    ½ teaspoon ground cumin

    ½ teaspoon salt

    ½ teaspoon ground pepper

    2 large cloves garlic, minced

    8 cups cauliflower florets (1 large head; about 2 pounds)

    1-2 teaspoons lemon juice

    PREPARATION: 

    Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk oil, turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper and garlic in a large bowl. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until browned and tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Drizzle lemon juice over the cauliflower. 

    Serves 5.

    NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: Serving size: 1 cup; 124 calories; 9 g fat; 1 g sat; 4 g fiber; 10 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 0 cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 44 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 285 mg sodium; 535 mg potassium

    December 2020 Newsletter

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