Monthly Archives: November 2012

The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Flax Seed

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Add a Boost with Green Blend, featuring Flax Seed

Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) (binomial name: Linum usitatissimum) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae. It is native to the region extending from the eastern Mediterranean to India and was probably first domesticated in the Fertile Crescent. It is known as Λινάρι (Linari) in Greek.[1] Flax was extensively cultivated in ancient Ethiopia and ancient Egypt.[2] In a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia, dyed flax fibers have been found that date to 30,000 BC,[3][4] implicating it as the first domesticated species in human history. New Zealand flax is not related to flax but was named after it, as both plants are used to produce fibers.

[1] Alister D. Muir, Neil D. Westcot, Muir, Alister D; Westcott, Neil D (2003). Flax: The Genus Linum. ISBN 978-0-415-30807-6., page 3 (August 1, 2003).

[2] Balter M. (2009). Clothes make the (Hu) Man. Science, 325(5946):1329.doi:10.1126/science.325_1329a PMID 19745126

[3] Flax nutrition profile”. Retrieved 2008-05-08.

[4] Alpers, Linda; Sawyer-Morse, Mary K. (1996-08). “Eating Quality of Banana Nut Muffins and Oatmeal Cookies Made With Ground Flaxseed”. Journal of the American Dietetic Association96 (8): 794–796. doi:10.1016/S0002-8223(96)00219-2. PMID 8683012.

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The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Riboflavin

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Add a boost with Women’s Blend, featuring Riboflavin

Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2 or additive E101,[1] is an easily absorbed micronutrient with a key role in maintaining health in humans and animals. It is the central component of the cofactors FAD and FMN, and is therefore required by all flavoproteins. As such, vitamin B2 is required for a wide variety of cellular processes. It plays a key role in energy metabolism, and for the metabolism of fats, ketone bodies, carbohydrates, and proteins.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riboflavin

 

The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Chlorella

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Add a boost with Green Blend, featuring Chlorella

Chlorella is a genus of single-cell green algae, belonging to the phylum Chlorophyta. It is spherical in shape, about 2 to 10 μm in diameter, and is without flagella. Chlorella contains the green photosynthetic pigments chlorophyll-a and -b in its chloroplast. Through photosynthesis, it multiplies rapidly, requiring only carbon dioxide, water, sunlight, and a small amount of minerals to reproduce.[1]
The name Chlorella is taken from the Greek chloros, meaning green, and the Latin diminutive suffix ella, meaning small. German biochemist and cell physiologist Otto Heinrich Warburg, awarded with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1931 for his research on cell respiration, also studied photosynthesis in Chlorella. In 1961, Melvin Calvin of the University of California received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research on the pathways of carbon dioxide assimilation in plants using Chlorella. In recent years, researchers have made less use of Chlorella as an experimental organismbecause it lacks a sexual cycle and, therefore, the research advantages of genetics are unavailable.
Many people believed Chlorella could serve as a potential source of food and energy because its photosynthetic efficiency can, in theory, reach 8%,[2]comparable with other highly efficient crops such as sugar cane.

[1] http://illumin.usc.edu/163/underwater-habitats/

[2] ^ I. Zelitch, Photosynthesis, Photorespiration and Plant Productivity, Academic Press, 1971, p.275.

Belasco, W. (July 1997). Algae Burgers for a Hungry World? The Rise and Fall of Chlorella Cuisine. 38. pp. 608–634..

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/ingredReq.do?id=6917&lang=eng

 

The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Vitamin B1

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Vitamin B1[1], named as the “thio-vitamine” (“sulfur-containing vitamin”) is a water-soluble vitamin of the B complex. First named aneurin for the detrimental neurological effects if not present in the diet, it was eventually assigned the generic descriptor name vitamin B1. Its phosphate derivatives are involved in many cellular processes. The best-characterized form is thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), a coenzyme in the catabolism of sugars and amino acids. Thiamine is used in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). In yeast, TPP is also required in the first step of alcoholic fermentation.[2]

Thiamine is a colorless compound with a chemical formula C12H17N4OS. Its structure contains a aminopyrimidine ring and a thiazole ring with methyl and hydroxyethyl side chains linked by a methylene bridge.

Thiamine is found in a wide variety of foods at low concentrations. Yeast, yeast extract (e.g., Marmite), and pork are the most highly concentrated sources of thiamine. In general, cereal grains are the most important dietary sources of thiamine, by virtue of their ubiquity. Of these, whole grains contain more thiamine than refined grains, as thiamine is found mostly in the outer layers of the grain and in the germ (which are removed during the refining process). For example, 100 g of whole-wheat flour contains 0.55 mg of thiamine, while 100 g of white flour contains only 0.06 mg of thiamine. In the US, processed flour must be enriched with thiamine mononitrate (along with niacin, ferrous iron, riboflavin, and folic acid) to replace that lost in processing. In Australia, thiamine, folic acid, and iodised salt are added for the same reason.[3] A whole foods diet is therefore recommended for deficiency.

Some other foods rich in thiamine are oatmeal, flax, and sunflower seeds, brown rice, whole grain rye, asparagus, kale, cauliflower, potatoes, oranges, liver (beef, pork, and chicken), and eggs.[4]

Thiamine hydrochloride (Betaxin) is a (when by itself) white, crystalline hygroscopic food-additive used to add a brothy/meaty flavor to gravies or soups. It is a natural intermediary resulting from a thiamine-HCl reaction, which precedes hydrolysis and phosphorylation, before it is finally employed (in the form of TPP) in a number of enzymatic amino, fatty acid, and carbohydrate reactions.[5][6]

 

 

[1] Natural Health Products Ingredients Database –

Vitamin B1: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/ingredReq.do?id=10905&lang=eng

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/ingredReq.do?id=2963&lang=eng,

[2] Health Canada. Product Licensing. Compendium of Monographs:

Vitamin B1: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/monoReq.do?id=179&lang=eng

Multivitamin: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-prod/monograph/multi_vitmin_suppl-eng.php

[3] Food Standards Australia – Addition of vitamins and minerals to food. Also see Standard 2.1.1 – Cereal Products. The few exceptions include organic wholemeal flour (on the assumption that the wholewheat will have kept more of the nutrients).

[4] Combs, G. F. Jr. (2008). The vitamins: Fundamental Aspects in Nutrition and Health (3rd ed.). Ithaca, NY: Elsevier Academic Press. ISBN 9780121834937.

[5] Skylabs Inc. “Thiamine Hydrochloride Information.” 2007.

[6] Thiamine hydrochloride Home > Drug Prescribing Database > T > Thiamine hydrochloride

http://www.healthdigest.org/topics/category/1672-thiamine-hydrochloride-dosage-interactions-side-effects-how-to-use

The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Chamomile

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Add a boost with Relaxing Blend, featuring Chamomile.

Chamomile or camomile (/ˈkæmɵmiːl/ kam-ə-meel or /ˈkæmɵmaɪl/ kam-ə-myl)[1] is a common name for several daisy-like plants of the family Asteraceae. These plants are best known for their ability to be made into an infusion which is commonly used to help with sleep and is often served with either honey and/or lemon. Because chamomile can cause uterine contractions which can lead to miscarriage, the U.S. National Institutes for Health says pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume chamomile. [2] Chrysin, a flavonoid found in chamomile, has been shown to beanxiolytic in rodents.[3][4]

In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile is known to have antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, and sedative properties. It has been used historically to treat menstrual cramps, to soothe an aching stomach, to speed the healing process of wounds (when used as a poultice), and most commonly as a sleep aid.[5]

[1]  Ogata-Ikeda, Ikuko; Seo, Hakaru; Kawanai, Takuya; Hashimoto, Erika; Oyama, Yasuo (2011). “Cytotoxic action of bisabololoxide a of German chamomile on human leukemia K562 cells in combination with 5-fluorouracil”. Phytomedicine 18 (5): 362 5. doi:10.1016/j.phymed.2010.08.007. PMID 20863677.

[2]  Brown, E; Hurd, NS; McCall, S; Ceremuga, TE (2007). “Evaluation of the anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a Passiflora incarnata extract, in the laboratory rat”. AANA journal 75 (5): 333–7.PMID 17966676.

[3] Wolfman, Claudia; Viola, Haydeé; Paladini, Alejandro; Dajas, Federico; Medina, Jorge H. (1994). “Possible anxiolytic effects of chrysin, a central benzodiazepine receptor ligand isolated from Passiflora Coerulea”. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 47 (1): 1–4. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(94)90103-1. PMID 7906886.
Oxford English Dictionary, online edition, entry “camomile | chamomile”

[4]  Amsterdam, Jay D.; Li, Yimei; Soeller, Irene; Rockwell, Kenneth; Mao, Jun James; Shults, Justine (2009). “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Oral Matricaria recutita (Chamomile) Extract Therapy for Generalized Anxiety Disorder”. Journal of Clinical Psychopharma

[5] http://www.steepingaround.com/post/25186656665/show51

http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/ingredReq.do?id=8346&lang=eng