Our Nutritional Additives
by Dan Moore, Prepared Foods Manager
Over the past year there have been a number of changes in the Juice Bar. We’ve added Just Coffee, increased our bakery offerings, and done some redesign work. Our two biggest changes recently are the long overdue switch to organic dairy for your coffee drinks and the addition of Just Bagels (no relation to the coffee) for you to grab and toast in the morning. One thing that hasn’t changed, but it may seem new to you, is our list of nutritional additives for your juices and smoothies. Here’s a brief summary of the nine additives available to you, from the book Prescription to Nutritional Healing by Phyllis A. Balch and the Living Naturally found on our website and at the kiosk next to the book section in the store.
Lactobacillus Acidophilus is a type of “friendly” bacteria that assists in the digestion of proteins. Acidophilus helps maintain a balance in our digestive system between healthy and harmful bacteria. Other functions include aiding in the absorption of nutrients such as lactase, the removal of heavy metals ingested from our foods, improved digestion, and according to some studies, as an aid to reducing cholesterol levels. Some things to know about Acidophilus are that it can die at high temperatures, so you don’t want it in your coffee. It should be kept in a cool, dry place, refrigerated but not frozen. Take acidophilus on an empty stomach in the morning and one hour before each meal, and, if you are taking antibiotics, don’t take the acidophilus with them.
Bee pollen is a powder-like material that is produced by the anthers (the pollen producing part of the stamen) of flowering plants and gathered by bees. Bee pollen is extremely high in nutrients and contains protein, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, essential fatty acids, carotene, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and many other beneficial nutrients. Its uses include aiding with fatigue, depression, colon disorders, and allergies through its ability to strengthen the immune system.
Echinacea, a Native American medicinal plant, is one of the most popular herbs in America. Echinacea is used mainly to help improve the immune system. It aids in shortening the duration of cold symptoms, pain, inflammation, urinary tract infections, yeast infections, hay fever, sinusitis, and a number of other health issues.
Ginseng is used throughout Asia as a general tonic to combat weakness and give extra energy. Early Native Americans were familiar with ginseng and used it for stomach and bronchial disorders, asthma and neck pain. Research on ginseng has found it to be beneficial for a number of conditions, including depression, cardiovascular health, ADHD, diabetes, and stress.
Rhodiola, also known as Arctic Root, has been used in India, China and Russia for centuries, and is one of our favorites in the Juice Bar. Rhodiola is helpful with increasing endurance and immunity, reducing stress, improving depression and memory, increasing mental function, and stimulating insulin production.
Soy protein is just what it says, a plant-based protein that helps reduce serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol. Additionally, soy protein has been shown to have beneficial effects on osteoporosis, menopausal symptoms, and heart disease.
Spirulina is a microalgae that thrives in hot, sunny climates and in alkaline waters around the world, and produces twenty times as much protein as soybeans growing on an equal-sized area of land. It contains concentrations of nutrients unlike any other single grain, herb or plant. Spirulina is considered a complete protein because well over half of it consists of amino acids—the building blocks of protein. Spirulina is high in vitamin B-12 (needed especially by vegetarians), iron, protein, chlorophyll, and phycocyanin, a blue pigment that is found only in blue-green algae and that has increased the survival rate of mice with liver cancer. Spirulina is used to cleanse and heal the body, reduce cholesterol, improve the immune system, curb the appetite, and help with mineral absorption.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is another very popular herb in America, and has been used to treat an extremely wide variety of conditions ranging from viral encephalitis to seasonal affective disorder to hemorrhoids. Because St. John’s Wort interacts with a wide variety of medications, it is important to take it only under the guidance of a healthcare provider who is knowledgeable about herbal medicines.
Whey is a normal by-product of cheese making; it is the liquid that is left when the solids in milk come together and are pressed into solid form. Whey protein is produced by filtering and purifying whey then removing the water to produce a powder that, while high in quality protein, is free of fat and lactose (milk sugar). This supplement helps to build lean body mass by increasing the body’s production of muscle protein, protect against muscle-wasting in people with such diseases as HIV, protect against free radical damage, and enhance immune function.
Remember, these are just very brief descriptions of our additives. For more information, check out the two sources mentioned above. As always, no nutritional additive is a substitute for a consultation with your health care provider, so check with them if you have any health concerns.