Wednesday, November 2, 2011

All about Maca Powder

Maca Powder, certified organic, from Peru
Maca root has been used by native Indians in Peru as a vital ingredient to health for thousands of years. Maca's use goes back to around 3800 B.C., when Peruvian Indians cultivated and ate it for both its nutritional and medicinal value. Centuries later in 1549 A.D., records indicate that, during his time in Peru, the Spanish explorer Captain de Soto received Maca from the Indians as a gift in return for his help in improving methods of animal husbandry in the Peruvian Castille region. By 1572, as Maca's health-giving properties gained notoriety, the Chinchayochas Indians had begun using Maca root for barter. It was not until 1843 that this plant was studied by scientists and given the botanical name of Lepidium meyenii, Walpers. after German Botanist Gerhard Walpers.

Maca root grows in the mountains of Peru at high altitudes of 7,000 to 11,000 feet, making it the highest altitude growing plant in the world. Maca is a radish-like root vegetable that is related to the potato family, and is tuberous and spherical in form. The root itself is about three to six centimeters across and 4.7 centimeters in length. There are four recognized types of Maca Root based on the color of the root. Root color varies from creamy yellow or light pink to dark purple or black.

Chemically Maca root contains significant amounts of amino acids, carbohydrates, and minerals including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, as well as vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E. Peruvian Maca also includes a number of glycosides.

As a nutritional supplement, Peruvian Maca has generalized tonic effects on the biochemical functioning of the human body. Chief among these effects is the enhancement of endocrine function. The endocrine system includes all of the glands, and the hormones they secrete, that exist in the body and that control such conditions as fertility, sexual function, digestion, brain and nervous system physiology, and energy levels. Hormonal regulation is responsible for all of the physiological attributes that enable us to enjoy the myriad sensations of being vibrantly alive, including those related to sexual arousal, physical activity and mental-emotional states of being. Maca root has also been called an adaptogen, which means that it increases the body's ability to defend itself against both physical and mental weakening, hence potential illness. It is believed it achieves this by supporting adrenal and pituitary gland health, both of which underlie proper endocrine function.

Maca Powder is a Certified Organically grown and processed product, non-irradiated, and chemical-free. The Maca root is dried at a low temperature, ensuring maximum preservation of nutrients. The result is the optimal light-colored and non-oxidized sweet taste of a high quality product.

Known Modern Applications:

Traditionally, Maca has been used for a variety purposes, which can differ for men and women. For example, women have found it helps relieve the symptoms of PMS and menopause. Women tend to notice a dramatic decline in hot flashes and night sweats. Men have used it to enhance fertility and sexual function. Users of Maca root tend to derive a variety of benefits in accordance with their individual needs. However, both men and women have found that it significantly boosts libido and sex drive, increases energy, stamina and the feeling of general well-being. In fact, recently Maca has been used as an excellent alternative to anabolic steroids among athletes seeking muscle hypertrophy. Unlike many other energy- and muscle-boosting substances, such as anabolic steroids, Maca contains no chemicals that interfere with or over-activate normal endocrine function.

How Can Maca Benefit You?:

  • Male:
  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • Fertility enhancement
  • Improves physical and emotional well being
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Balance hormones
  • Female:
  • Treat PMS (Mood Swings)
  • Menopause symptom relief (Hot Flashes)
  • Sexual stimulation
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • HRT alternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Balance hormones
Menopause? No Problem - Symptom Free Menopause:
  • Benefits of Maca Powder: Energy - Balance - Vitality!
  • Increases libido
  • Deeper sleep
  • Balances moods
  • Enhances memory and brain function
  • Increases energy levels
  • Helps adapt to stress
  • Slows the aging process
  • Lessens aches and pain, more endurance and stamina
  • Prevents osteoporosis, high calcium and vegetable protein
  • Reverses vaginal dryness
Menopause doesn't have to be unbearable - implementing Maca Powder into a sensible diet & lifestyle regime can produce positive effects.

How does Maca Root aid in the relief?

First and foremost it balances the hormonal system. It works on the pituitary gland, which regulates all hormone production in the body. Hot flashes are diminished; sleep is normalized while stress levels are reduced when incorporating Maca Powder into a daily wellness routine. Peruvian Maca root encourages the body to produce its own hormones to restore balance, instead of introducing hormones to the body. It's the simple, natural approach that brings a world of difference to women suffering from the sometimes debilitating symptoms.

Maca root is a superfood naturally high in vitamins and minerals the body needs for nourishment. Its adaptogenic qualities make it a multi-faceted herb useful for a wide variety of conditions that women of all ages can benefit from.

Adaptogens increase the body's ability to cope with physical, chemical and biological stress. Characteristics of an adaptogenic herb are non-toxic, while increasing resistance to stress, fatigue & distress - helping the body regain balance. Ginseng is another (perhaps more familiar) adaptogen, that has been used in Asia for thousands of years for strength and vitality and it's reputed aphrodisiac effects. Maca root falls into this same category, yet it is relatively new to North America although it's been used in Peru for thousands of years.

How do I take Maca Powder?

Maca Powder is a 100% Certified Organic Powder that can be added to a breakfast fruit smoothie - blend fresh fruit, 1 tsp. of Maca powder with soy/rice milk or yogurt. It is naturally sweet flavored and blends in well. OR sprinkle it on top of your cereal or mix in with muesli. If you prefer capsules, Maca Powder can be put into vegi-caps, non gelatin capsules that are easy to take - wherever you are, great for people on the go with busy schedules.

How soon will I see results?

Each individual is different, some women experience decreased hot flashes within days of taking Peruvian Maca root while others may take weeks to fine tune the hormonal system - it depends on the condition of your body. But be patient! The results are worth it.

Maca Root Active Ingredients:
  • Alkaloids
  • Trypterphene
  • Phenolic compounds
  • Flavonoids and/or coimarins
  • Tannins
  • Glycosides
  • Saponins
  • Free amino acids
  • Secondary aliphatic amines
  • Tertiary amines
  • 2 groups of novel compounds -- the macamides, and the macaenes (these agents are believed to be directly responsible for maca's sex-boosting powers)
  • Maca Root Powder Nutrition - 10+% protein, 60% carbohydrates and fatty acids.

1. HOW MUCH MACA ROOT POWDER SHOULD I TAKE? Maca root is a food and therefore should not be used in extremely small quantities. For it to be effective and to achieve results, proper dosages should be followed. In keeping with original ancestral Peruvian dosages, you should mix 3/4 to 1 teaspoon of Maca into smoothies, yogurt, herbal teas, fruit juices, etc. Or if you are using vegetarian capsules take 2 to 6 - 500mg Capsules per day or as directed by your health practitioner.

2. HOW DO I STORE MACA ROOT POWDER? It is best store Maca Root Powder in dark dry cupboard. Some people store it in the refrigerator but this is not necessary but some feel it keeps the powder fresh and the consistency lighter.

3. IS MACA ROOT SAFE? Yes. There are no reports that Maca has any level of toxicity.


5. ARE THERE ANY SPECIFIC MEDICAL RECOMMENDATIONS TO BE AWARE OF WITH MACA ROOT USAGE? Given the high potassium content in Maca, it is not recommended for people with renal insufficiencies.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

All about Goji Berries

Goji Berry (Lycium) is also commonly known as Wolfberry. Like many of the herbs and natural supplements that have been found in Asia, Goji Berry is known to have to many positive effects for people who want to promote total body health. Goji has been around for more than 6,000 years and can be cultivated in many temperate climates throughout the world.

One of the most important tests for Goji Berry was run in 1994, when scientists found that patients suffering from cancer were more receptive to their treatments and showed better results from those treatments when they had eaten the berries. This makes sense because the primary draw of Goji is the fact that it has antioxidants that are known to fight off cancer and other infectious diseases.

Goji Berry is good for promoting proper cell growth and the antioxidants found within it are very powerful in disease prevention. One of the interesting finds was that Goji could help lower glucose levels in individuals and also lower cholesterol in some people. There are many things that are not yet known about Goji Berry, but all of the tests up to this point indicate that it can be a very good item for those people looking to get healthier and ward off potential disease in the future. It makes sense for those folks who just want to take a holistic approach to their health.

The antioxidants within Goji are most well known for fighting off disease within the liver. For people who want to protect their liver in the face of alcohol or drug use, the berry supplements can be especially helpful.

Improved eyesight is thought to be a positive effect, while increased leg strength is, as well. This promotes the theory that the berry helps to improve the body as a whole, instead of just helping to improve any one particular area. With this knowledge, people have been much more likely to try Goji as a part of their daily routine. Those who use it daily have found that Goji increases their energy levels to a point where they feel more able and much more refreshed than in the past.

Goji Berry has also been found to help increase fertility in women and help improve sexual function in men. One reason for this is that it improves circulation throughout the body, allowing people to perform at their peak in a host of different activities. Sexual activity is one of those and although it is a nice side effect, it is not the focus of Goji Berry.

Improving immune function and longevity are two items that most people cite when they use Goji Berry. They want to ward off not only things like cancer through the antioxidants, but they also want to stay healthier on a day to day basis. Having to constantly fight off things like a cold or the flu can weigh on the body and it can make life difficult for people during their routine. In order to stay healthy for longer, the body has to stay sharp and this can only happen when you are free of disease. In this way, vitality and long term function is increased by Goji Berry.

All in all, Goji is popular not just for one purpose, but because it helps to improve the body in lots of different ways. The tests have shown that it has significant power to both prevent and help cure diseases such as cancer, while other tests have proven Goji to be an effective holistic treatment. Total body health is a concern for most, so it figures that those people would want to use Goji to not only lengthen life, but improve the quality of their life.

All about SuperGreens

Spirulina is a simple one-celled microscopic fresh-water blue-green algae with the scientific name Arthrospira platensis.

Spirulina is often deemed the most nutritionally complete of all food supplements, containing a rich supply of many important nutrients, including protein, complex carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins A, K, and B complex. It also has a high supply of carotenoids such as beta carotene and yellow xanthophylls which have antioxidant properties. It is also rich in chlorophyll, fatty and nucleic acids, and lipids. Thus, spirulina has countless uses as a supplement for maintaining good health and for preventing diseases.

Spirulina is the richest beta carotene food, with a full spectrum of ten mixed carotenoids. About half are orange carotenes: alpha, beta and gamma and half are yellow xanthophylls. They work synergistically at different sites in our body to enhance antioxidant protection. Twenty years of research proves eating beta carotene rich fruits and vegetables gives us real anti-cancer protection. Spirulina contains the 9-cis isomer. As suspected, natural carotenoids in algae and vegetables have the most antioxidant and anti-cancer power.

Spirulina is an ideal anti-aging food, with its concentrated nutrient value, being easily digested and loaded with antioxidants. Beta carotene is good for healthy eyes and vision. Spirulina beta carotene is ten times more concentrated than carrots.

Iron is essential to build a strong system, yet is the most common mineral deficiency. Spirulina is rich in iron, magnesium and trace minerals, and is easier to absorb than iron supplements.

Spirulina is the highest source of B-12, essential for healthy nerves and tissue, especially for vegetarians.

About 60% of spirulina’s dry weight is protein, which is essential for growth and cell regeneration. It is a good replacement for fatty and cholesterol-rich meat and dairy products in one’s diet. Every 10 grams of spirulina can supply up to 70% of the minimum daily requirements for iron, and about three to four times of minimum daily requirements for vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene), B complex, D,and K. By itself, it does not contain vitamin C, but it helps maintain this vitamin’s potency.

Spirulina is rich in gamma-linolenic acid or GLA, a compound found in breast milk that helps develop healthier babies.

Spirulina stimulates growth of beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in your digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and proper bowel function. It acts as a natural cleanser by eliminating mercury and other deadly toxins commonly ingested by the body.

Spirulina also increases stamina and immunity levels in athletes, and its high protein content helps build muscle mass. At the same time, it can curb hunger that may develop during the most demanding training routines. Thus, it indirectly acts as an effective way to maintain an athlete’s ideal body weight.

As well as beta carotene, Spirulina contains other nutrients such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, and chromium. These nutrients help fight free radicals, cell-damaging molecules absorbed by the body through pollution, poor diet, injury, or stress. By removing free radicals, the nutrients help the immune system fight cancer and cellular degeneration. In some findings, spirulina has helped reduce oral cancer tumors in laboratory rats, and may thus provide a big medical breakthrough in cancer treatment.

Spirulina’s ability to reduce the bad cholesterol LDL in the body helps prevent the onset of cardiovascular diseases, such as hardening of the arteries and strokes. It also helps lower blood pressure. While not clinically proven, spirulina may also protect against allergic reactions and liver infection.

Research confirms Spirulina promotes digestion and bowel function. It suppresses bad bacteria like e-coli and Candida yeast and stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Healthy flora is the foundation of good health and it increases absorption of nutrients from the foods we eat, and helps protect against infection. Spirulina builds healthy lactobacillus, aiding assimilation and elimination and relieving constipation.

In 1994, a Russian Patent was awarded for spirulina as a medical food to reduce allergic reactions from radiation sickness. 270 Children of Chernobyl consuming 5 grams a day for 45 days, lowered radionucleides by 50%, and normalized allergic sensitivities. Today we are subject to an onslaught of toxic chemicals in our air, water, food and drugs. Our bodies need to continually eliminate these accumulated toxins. Spirulina has a completely unique combination of phytonutrients - including chlorophyll, phycocyanin and polysaccharides, that can help cleanse our bodies.

Spirulina is now commercially available in tablet or powder form. Some health tonics contain spirulina as part of their ingredients. A simple daily regimen for spirulina involves taking 1 tbsp of powder once a day.

Spirulina Herb Information / Side Effects

Latin Names: Arthrospira platensis

Common Names: Macroalgae, Phytoplankton, Spirulina

Uses: AIDS/HIV, arthritis, athletic nutrition, enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification, supporting cardiovascular function and healthy cholesterol, strengthening the immune system, improving gastrointestinal and digestive health, reducing cancer risks with antioxidant protection, general and long term health.

Precautions and Contraindications

While it has a very high nutritional value, spirulina may also cause some side effects. Some individuals may suffer from allergic reactions to this algae, including rashes, hives, and difficulty breathing. Some commercial versions of spirulina supplements may have also been contaminated with toxic substances during production. It is therefore absolutely critical to buy spirulina only from reputable sources.

People with the rare metabolic condition phenylketonuria (PKU) are not able to metabolize the amino acid phenylalanine, and therefore should avoid taking spirulina. Likewise, people with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, or lupus should not take spirulina, as it could stimulate the immune system and worsen the condition. Spirulina may also counteract the effectiveness of certain medicines, such as prednisone, which are commonly used for treating asthma and other inflammatory diseases.

While spirulina may appear safe at large doses, healthy adults should seek a doctor’s advice for the right dosage. Children and pregnant or nursing women should also consult a doctor before taking spirulina.


Chlorella is a fresh water, single-celled algae that grows in fresh water. Chlorella emerged over 2 billion years ago, and was the first form of a plant with a well-defined nucleus. Because Chlorella is a microscopic organism, it was not discovered until the late 19th century, deriving its name from the Greek, "chloros" meaning green and "ella" meaning small. In fact that chlorella contains the highest amount of chlorophyll of any known plant.

It is thought to boost the immune system and help fight infection. It has been shown to increase the good bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which helps to treat ulcers, colitis, diverticulosis and Crohn's disease. It is also used to treat constipation, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Chlorella has been used to treat cancer and also help protect the body from the effects of cancer radiation treatment.

The algae, which is a popular food supplement in Asia and has been used as energy-producing food for centuries, is often used to prevent or curb the spread of cancer, enhance immunity, promote a good balance of bacteria in the gut, and lower blood cholesterol. In Japan, it is traditionally used as a treatment for duodenal ulcers, gastritis, hypertension, diabetes, hypoglycemia, asthma, and constipation. More recently, it is has been touted as an effective therapy for elevated cholesterol levels, a prophylactic to ward of infections and, and adjunct treatment for cancer.

Chlorella is now used as an adjunct supplement during radiation treatment for cancer. Its abundance of chlorophyll is known to protect the body against ultraviolet radiation.

It is a nutrient-dense superfood that contains 60% protein, 18 amino acids (including all the essential amino acids), and various vitamins and minerals. One of its unique properties is a phytonutrient called CGF.

Chlorella provides all of the dietary-essential amino acids in excellent ratios. It is also a reliable source of essential fatty acids that are required for many important biochemical functions, including hormone balance. Chlorella also contains high levels of chlorophyll, beta-carotene and RNA/DNA. More than 20 vitamins and minerals are found in chlorella, including iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, pro-vitamin A, vitamins C, B1, B2, B2, B5, B6, B12, E and K, biotin, inositol, folic acid, plus vitamins C, E and K.

Although the algae grow naturally in fresh water, Chlorella destined for human consumption is generally cultivated outdoors in mineral-rich freshwater ponds under direct sunlight. The entire process from strain maintenance in the laboratory to harvesting of the final product is monitored by microbiologists to ensure optimal nutrient value and product purity.

Chlorella may play a role in healing fibromyalgia, hypertension, or ulcerative colitis and has a healing effect on the immune system. More studies are needed to confirm initial findings.

Research conducted in Japan suggests that chlorella may have antitumour activity against breast cancer. However, its main use in cancer therapy is to help remove radioactive particles from the body after radiation treatment.

So far, the bulk of evidence for chlorella's long list of medicinal powers comes from animal studies. Studies in mice have shown that Chlorella vulgaris can protect against the development and spread of cancer, and other rodent studies have shown that it lowers cholesterol and helps organisms get rid of toxic chemicals, such as dioxins.

Chlorella Herb Information / Side Effects

Latin Name: Chlorella pyrenoidosa
Common Names: Chlorella (Algae)
Properties: anti-oxidant, anti-tumour, prophylactic.
Contains:Calcium, CGF (phytonutrient), beta-carotene, biotin, carotenoids, chlorophyll, Essential fatty acids (EFAs), folic acid, inositol, iodine, iron, magnesium, PABA, pantotheneic acid, phosphorous, potassium, proteins, RNA/DNA, vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12, E and K, zinc
Indicated for:Asthma, boosting immune system, cancer, colitis, constipation, Crohn's disease, diabetes, diverticulosis, duodenal ulcers, fibromyalgia, gastritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, hormone balance, hypertension, hypoglycemia, preventing and fighting infection, protecting the body from the ill-effects of both cancer radiation treatment and ultraviolet radiation, toxic chemical disposal, ulcers and ulcerative colitis.
Do not use Chlorella if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Although unlikely, chlorella may cause allergic reactions such as breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest, chest pain, skin hives, nausea, diarrhea or stomach cramps, rash, or itchy or swollen skin and heightened sensitivity to the sun. In the event of these occuring stop taking the capsules. As with all allergic reactions, it is always prudent to seek medical advice from your doctor.
Chlorella supplements can be rich in vitamin K, which can reduce the effectiveness of the blood-thinning drug warfarin.

Wheatgrass is made from the cotyledons (seed leaves) of the normal wheat plant (Triticum aestivum). It is usually sold as a juice or powder concentrate. Consumers of wheatgrass report that their levels of energy greatly increase, their skin clears up and illnesses, coughs and allergies are alleviated.

  • 30mls of wheatgrass juice has the same nutritional value of 1 kg of green leafy vegetables.
  • 90 minerals can be found in the wheatgrass including potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
  • Wheatgrass contains enzymes such as cytochrome oxidase, protease, amylase, transhydrogenase, and lipase.
  • Wheatgrass contains 19 different amino acids.
  • The juice of wheatgrass allows the body to increase red blood cell production, thereby increasing oxygenation.
  • Wheatgrass contains a large amount of vitamin C.
Numerous health experts have determined that the chlorophyll within the wheatgrass is practically identical to that of the hemoglobin which is found within the blood of a human. The only determined difference between the two is that chlorophyll’s central element consists of magnesium while hemoglobin’s is iron.

Because of the close similarities between the hemoglobin and the chlorophyll, the body is able to make hemoglobin from the chlorophyll with ease. This serves to increase the count of red blood cells so as to deliver oxygen as well as other nutrients more efficiently.

Studies have shown that chlorophyll is able to generate red blood cells, improve blood pressure through the dilation of veins, eliminate carbon dioxide, and increase metabolism. Along with the other benefits, the consumption of chlorophyll is a great way to obtain additional energy and alkalize the blood.

Wheatgrass is highly beneficial when it comes to cleansing the body. Wheatgrass powder and juice have been shown to be a “complete” food meaning that it provides the body with almost all of the nutrients which is required for energy and survival. Only 140 g of wheatgrass can provide you with the same nutrients as 3 kgs of green, fresh vegetables.

Wheatgrass provides the consumer with vitamins E, C, and B as well as carotene which are all essential in eliminating the free radicals from the body. The substance is also known for its wonderful ability to cleanse the gastrointestinal tract, the blood, as well as the organs.

Because wheatgrass contains large amounts of saponin, it is able to boost the lymphatic system, thereby removing toxins from the body’s cells. Studies show that wheatgrass allows the body to detoxify through increasing the removal of crystallized acids, fecal matter, as well as hardened mucous. It is a fast and sure way to remove waste as well as generate a highly nutritious environment.

Wheatgrass has been shown to contain large amounts of amino acids, which are necessary to the building of protein. They are also necessary to the regeneration and growth of the body’s cells.
The juice of wheatgrass contains numerous amino acids including serine, arginine, absenisic, aspartic acid, lysine, alanine, glycine, methionine, tryptophane, leucine, valine, and phenylalanine.

Wheatgrass has been shown to protect and fight certain illnesses. The organic wheatgrass juices and powders are highly effective in the boosting of the immune system, which allows the body to fight and recover from a variety of ailments and illnesses. Wheatgrass is an excellent means of obtained beta carotene, which contains a number of B vitamins along with E, K, H, and C. It also possesses more than 90 minerals and 19 different amino acids. Wheatgrass also possesses many different enzymes, all of which promote the breaking down of fats, weight loss, and various biological functions.

Studies have demonstrated that the consumption of wheatgrass reduces carcinogen absorption while strengthening the cells, neutralizing toxic elements, and detoxifying organs such as the liver.

Wheatgrass is a living food and is anti-bacterial, and the consumption of wheatgrass can detoxify both the blood and lymph cells and well as eliminate toxins and poisons from the body in an effective and efficient manner.

E3LIVE (blue-green algae: Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA))

"The health benefits of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae (AFA) have been reported for more than two decades, yet it is only recently that science has revealed the mechanisms by which AFA acts on the body, and the astonishing health benefits of AFA. AFA contains a wide variety of phytonutrients that promote health, such as chlorophyll, carotenoids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. AFA contains unique molecules that modulate various aspects of human health such as:

  • Phenylethylamine (PEA) known as the "molecule of love." Beside enhancing concentration and attention, PEA is a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant.
  • Phycocyanin, the blue pigment in AFA, which is a natural selective COX-2 inhibitor with strong anti-inflammatory properties.
  • A polysaccharide that stimulates the migration of immune cells in the body; the only natural compound known to stimulate immune cell migration.

But the most extraordinary discovery is the ability of AFA to stimulate stem cell release and migration, making AFA the first natural compound known to stimulate the natural innate phenomenon of healing, regeneration and repair in the human body."

Like your skin, your hair and nails express your overall health. The nutrients present in blue-green algae will stimulate hair and nail growth while providing energy and the natural antioxidants to give your skin a younger and more supple look. AFA is a beneficial whole food supplement. It can be added to many topically applied skin and hair care products for increased absorption and nutrition.

  • VITAMIN B1 - Thiamine 4.70mcg* A protein builder that helps give hair shine, volume and good texture. Enhances circulation to bring nutrients to the scalp and nails.
  • VITAMIN B2 - Riboflavin 57.30mcg* Stimulates health and growth of hair, nails, skin cells. Helps eyes by bringing oxygen to body tissues. Can help eliminate dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.
  • VITAMIN B3 -Niacin .065mg* Supports healthy hair, nail and skin by aiding in digestion and improving circulation.
  • VITAMIN B5 - Pantothenic Acid 130.00mcg* Helps produce full, healthy hair and stronger nails by stimulating vitamin utilization and releasing energy from food. With Folic Acid, it can help to restore your hair's natural color and may aid in preventing hair loss.
  • VITAMIN B6 - Pyridoxine 11.10mcg* Supports the growth of red blood cells that are important for healthy hair, scalp, and nail maintenance. Helps prevent dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.
  • VITAMIN B12 - Cobalamine 8.00mcg* Stimulates health and growth of hair, nails, skin cells. Helps eyes by bringing oxygen to body tissues. Can help eliminate dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.
  • FOLIC ACID 1.00mcg* Helps maintain healthy hair, nails and skin. May aid in preventing hair loss. With Pantothenic acid, may delay graying of hair.
  • VITAMIN C - 6.70mg* Supports hair and nail growth by improving circulation. Useful as treating dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.
  • VITAMIN E - Tocopherol 1.70iu* Key to hair health, nail growth and supple skin by supplying oxygen to the body and improving circulation. Helps combat dandruff. May aid in preventing hair loss.
  • COPPER 4.30mcg* Necessary for healthy hair, stronger nails. An important anti-graying agent.
  • IRON 350.70mcg* Helps maintain healthy hair, nails and skin tone. May aid in preventing hair loss.
  • SELENIUM 0.67mcg* Helps in treatment and prevention of dandruff. Necessary for healthy hair and nails. May also increase the elastic youthfulness of the skin and be helpful in removing age spots. When taken in the natural AFA form of selenomethionine, skin cancer incidence from ultraviolet light may also be reduced.
  • SILICON 186.50mcg* This is a useful raw material for strengthening the human skin.
  • ZINC 18.70mcg* Stimulates hair and nail growth. Aids in preventing hair loss. May help treat and prevent dandruff.
  • BIOTIN 0.30mcg* Helps produce healthy-looking hair and nails.
  • LYSINE 35.00mg* An essential amino acid. Along with vitamin E and iron, lysine helps form collagen, an important skin protein.
  • METHIONINE 7.00mg* Methionine is the rarest of the essential amino acids. Its sulfur content makes it important for skin and nail growth.
  • GLYCINE 29.00mg* Glycine is a nonessential amino acid but has many healing properties. It is used orally and in ointments to heal wounds because skin collagen is a protein that requires high amounts of glycine.
  • PROLINE 29.00mg* A nonessential amino acid and a main component of collagen. Proline is helpful in skin, seems to help in wound healing, as does glycine, because proline increases collagen synthesis.
  • SERINE 29.00mg* Serine is needed in the formation of the phospholipids of cell membranes and contributes to "membrane fluidity." It is good for the skin and has even been used as a natural moisturizer in skin creams.
  • BETACAROTENE 2000iu* Protects the cell membranes and stimulates the growth of new skin cells.
  • CHROMIUM 0.53mg* Helps with acne
    *Indicates amount contained in 1 gram of E3Live™ Aphanizomenon flos-aquae

  • **These statements are not evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. These products, and the information contained at this website, are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease. Results may vary.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All about Coconut

(Cocos nucifera)
The Tree of Life

The scientific name for coconut is Cocos nucifera. Early Spanish explorers called it coco, which means "monkey face" because the three indentations (eyes) on the hairy nut resembles the head and face of a monkey. Nucifera means "nut-bearing."

The coconut provides a nutritious source of meat, juice, milk, and oil that has fed and nourished populations around the world for generations. On many islands coconut is a

staple in the diet and provides the majority of the food eaten. Nearly one third of the world's population depends on coconut to some degree for their food and their economy. Among these cultures the coconut has a long and respected history.

Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest because it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations. Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all illness. The coconut palm is so highly valued by them as both a source of food and medicine that it is called "The Tree of Life." Only recently has modern medical science unlocked the secrets to coconut's amazing healing powers.

Coconut In Traditional Medicine

People from many diverse cultures, languages, religions, and races scattered around the globe have revered the coconut as a valuable source of both food and medicine. Wherever the coconut palm grows the people have learned of its importance as a effective medicine. For thousands of years coconut products have held a respected and valuable place in local folk medicine.

In traditional medicine around the world coconut is used to treat a wide variety of health problems including the following: abscesses, asthma, baldness, bronchitis, bruises, burns, colds, constipation, cough, dropsy, dysentery, earache, fever, flu, gingivitis, gonorrhea, irregular or painful menstruation, jaundice, kidney stones, lice, malnutrition, nausea, rash, scabies, scurvy, skin infections, sore throat, swelling, syphilis, toothache, tuberculosis, tumors, typhoid, ulcers, upset stomach, weakness, and wounds.

Coconut In Modern Medicine

Modern medical science is now confirming the use of coconut in treating many of the above conditions. Published studies in medical journals show that coconut, in one form or another, may provide a wide range of health benefits. Some of these are summarized below:
  • Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, hepatitis C, SARS, AIDS, and other illnesses.
  • Kills bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum disease and cavities, pneumonia, and gonorrhea, and other diseases.
  • Kills fungi and yeasts that cause candidiasis, ringworm, athlete's foot, thrush, diaper rash, and other infections.
  • Expels or kills tapeworms, lice, giardia, and other parasites.
  • Provides a nutritional source of quick energy.
  • Boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance.
  • Improves digestion and absorption of other nutrients including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
  • Improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose.
  • Relieves stress on pancreas and enzyme systems of the body.
  • Reduces symptoms associated with pancreatitis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces problems associated with malabsorption syndrome and cystic fibrosis.
  • Improves calcium and magnesium absorption and supports the development of strong bones and teeth.
  • Helps protect against osteoporosis.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with gallbladder disease.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers.
  • Improves digestion and bowel function.
  • Relieves pain and irritation caused by hemorrhoids.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Helps protect the body from breast, colon, and other cancers.
  • Is heart healthy; improves cholesterol ratio reducing risk of heart disease.
  • Protects arteries from injury that causes atherosclerosis and thus protects against heart disease.
  • Helps prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Functions as a protective antioxidant.
  • Helps to protect the body from harmful free radicals that promote premature aging and degenerative disease.
  • Does not deplete the body's antioxidant reserves like other oils do.
  • Improves utilization of essential fatty acids and protects them from oxidation.
  • Helps relieve symptoms associated with chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Relieves symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement).
  • Reduces epileptic seizures.
  • Helps protect against kidney disease and bladder infections.
  • Dissolves kidney stones.
  • Helps prevent liver disease.
  • Is lower in calories than all other fats.
  • Supports thyroid function.
  • Promotes loss of excess weight by increasing metabolic rate.
  • Is utilized by the body to produce energy in preference to being stored as body fat like other dietary fats.
  • Helps prevent obesity and overweight problems.
  • Applied topically helps to form a chemical barrier on the skin to ward of infection.
  • Reduces symptoms associated the psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.
  • Supports the natural chemical balance of the skin.
  • Softens skin and helps relieve dryness and flaking.
  • Prevents wrinkles, sagging skin, and age spots.
  • Promotes healthy looking hair and complexion.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
  • Helps control dandruff.
  • Does not form harmful by-products when heated to normal cooking temperature like other vegetable oils do.
  • Has no harmful or discomforting side effects.
  • Is completely non-toxic to humans.
See Research to read some of the published studies regarding the above mentioned uses of coconut products.

Coconut Oil

While coconut possesses many health benefits due to its fiber and nutritional content, it's the oil that makes it a truly remarkable food and medicine.

Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.

Coconut oil has been described as "the healthiest oil on earth." That's quite a remarkable statement. What makes coconut oil so good? What makes it different from all other oils, especially other saturated fats?

The difference is in the fat molecule. All fats and oils are composed of molecules called fatty acids. There are two methods of classifying fatty acids. The first you are probably familiar with, is based on saturation. You have saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats. Another system of classification is based on molecular size or length of the carbon chain within each fatty acid. Fatty acids consist of long chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached. In this system you have short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), and long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Coconut oil is composed predominately of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

The vast majority of fats and oils in our diets, whether they are saturated or unsaturated or come from animals or plants, are composed of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA). Some 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are LCFA.

The size of the fatty acid is extremely important. Why? Because our bodies respond to and metabolize each fatty acid differently depending on its size. So the physiological effects of MCFA in coconut oil are distinctly different from those of LCFA more commonly found in our foods. The saturated fatty acids in coconut oil are predominately medium-chain fatty acids. Both the saturated and unsaturated fat found in meat, milk, eggs, and plants (including most all vegetable oils) are composed of LCFA.

MCFA are very different from LCFA. They do not have a negative effect on cholesterol and help to protect against heart disease. MCFA help to lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease. It is primarily due to the MCFA in coconut oil that makes it so special and so beneficial.

There are only a very few good dietary sources of MCFA. By far the best sources are from coconut and palm kernel oils.

Copyright © 2004 Coconut Research Center

This website is for educational purposes only. The information supplied here comes from a variety of sources and authors and not every statement made has been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Shelf Life of VIRGIN Coconut Oil?

Our producers have had samples of VIRGIN coconut oil have not shown any signs of rancidity even after 3 years.

2. Is Coconut Oil a Seed Oil?

No. Coconut oil is classified as a vegetable oil, even if the coconut fruit that matures is actually the seed from which the new coconut tree will grow from.

3. What is the difference between VIRGIN & COPRA?

If you buy regular coconut oil, chances are it came from dried copra. This usually sits in a warehouse and gets oiled after a few months. This is bleached and deodorized. This is why there is no coconut aroma. High heat is also used which is why this type of oil is yellowish in color.

VIRGIN coconut oil is cold-pressed immediately upon opening of the coconut. The oil is extracted before the fermentation process sets in. It is normally bottled or packed within 8 hours from the time the nut is opened. This is not bleached nor deodorized, maintaining the freshness and the faint sweet coconut scent It will also be clear as water in liquid form because no high heat was used in it’s processing. If heated too much it will have caramelized sugars and have too srtong of a coconut smell and a buttery texture.

Some people still use the old fermentation process, which is expelling the coconut milk then letting the coconut milk sit for 20 to 36 hours to allow the natural fermentation process to separate the oil. This process turns the oil sour and has a short shelf life due to the high moisture content. This home made oil is alright for home use, if the oil will be used immediately. The shelf life of this type of oil is two weeks to a maximum of two months. This type of oil turns rancid in a short period of time because of the high moisture content.
4. What is Organic VIRGIN Coconut Oil?

Organic VIRGIN Coconut oil is Oil produced from a Certified Organic Farm . The process should have also been Certified as Organic. The processing plant is also inspected and certified to have used only food grade equipment, usually only stainless steel. That the processing is natural with no chemical preservatives or additives.

All Philippines coconut trees used to be ORGANIC. Today however, we are SAD to SAY that the Philippines Coconut Authority has started promoting the use of fertilizer on the coconut trees to improve the yield of nuts from the coconut trees.

If you are buying ORGANIC, ask for the Organic Certification.

If you are purchasing VIRGIN COCONUT OIL then the VCO must be clear as water and have a sweet coconut scent. If is not clear as water and does not have a mild coconut aroma then you know it is not VIRGIN COCONUT OIL.

Fermented Coconut Oil will have a Sour and Rancid smell. Some producers will also try to filter their fermented VCO in charcoal to try to remove the sour smell but instead that process gives the VCO a burnt smell and taste.

So, do a smell and taste test.

Not all Virgin coconut Oil are alike. Just like not all Coconuts are Organic.

5. What are the attributes of Coconut Oil?

Coconut oil is one of the most stable oils and is highly resistant to rancidity (It is the unsaturated fats in the common seed oils that are easily oxidized and susceptible to rancidity). It is stable because of its high proportion of saturated fats. Coconut oil is mild on the skin and is widely used in the tropics. Film-forming qualities allow it to act as a skin moisturizer and a protectant against moisture loss. Its natural detergency and lathering capabilities give a double purpose as a cleansing agent for soaps and shampoos.

Specific Product Information


Most dried coconut has had much of the juice pressed out before drying. This is from the whole nutmeat. For great coconut milk blend it in water with 25% Macadamia or other nuts to emulsify. Certified Organic, Unheated.


Creamy smooth made right here from whole coconut meat. Tastes like fresh coconut. Certified Organic. Unheated


Coconut flour is a good source of dietary fiber. It contains 7% coconut oil and 58% total dietary fiber. It is made from fresh coconut meat. Unheated, Certified Organic from Philippines, Comes in vacuum sealed 1 lb bags


Cold Pressed from Philippines Extra Virgin, Certified Organic
Awarded "Best Organic Virgin Coconut Oil"
no preservatives, no transfat, First pressing only


Unheated Evaporated nectar from the flower stem of coconut palms. The taking of this nectar does not interfere with the coconut crop or hurt the tree so it is very sustainable. Very low glycemic index. Rich in minerals.  Keep cool 

COCONUT SUGAR (more info)

Made from the sap or nectar from the coconut palm tree flower similar to the way maple sugar is produced, coconut sugar or palm sugar, has a unique creamy, caramel sweetness.  One of the lowest glycemic index sweeteners on the market, Coconut palm sugar is highly nutritious and ecologically beneficial with a great taste.Coconut sugar is rated low glycemic at 35 compared to honey at 55. Certified Organic.  Heated but we still think it is one of best sweetners.


All about Irish Moss

I gratefully acknowledge the authors of the book Sweet Gratitude (Matthew Rogers and Tiziana Alipo) for the following information on Irish Moss.
Irish moss (Chrondrus crispus) is a type of seaweed that is purple to green when fresh; when cured and dried it turns to a yellow-brown transparent colour. Other common names for Irish moss are pearl moss, carrageen, red seaweed, or chondrus. This algae appears at low tide on all the shores of the Atlantic and comes from a genus of about fifteen species of marine algae. These plants, ranging in size from 3-12 inches, are collected wild, growing on rocks and stones in pools and shallow saltwater, and may be harvested by boat using a rake and by hand from the submerged rocks. It is found along the shorelines of Canada, New England, Europe, and the Caribbean.
Like all sea vegetables, Irish moss is rich in minerals and has astonishing detoxifying properties. One of its common names, carrageen, is derived from a village in southeastern Ireland (Carragheen) where the seaweed is plentiful. During the potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century, thousands of beleaguered Irish saved themselves from starvation by eating the humble, bushy seaweed known as Irish moss. Irish immigrants who found it growing in Canada and on the New England shores were the first to harvest and use it in America, and this is how the plant became known as “Irish moss.”
The entire plant, which is dried and then soaked to swell back to its original size, is used medicinally and for culinary purposes. Used commercially, it is included in cosmetics as a skin softener in creams and lotions and as a rinse for dry hair. Irish moss is a stabilizing agent for the food industry in dairy products, desserts, salad dressings, and sauces. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry to stabilize cod liver oil and toothpaste, and has a wide variety of other commercial uses in the textile, leather, brewing, printing (as an ink), and paint industries. Irish moss has a high mucilage content, sulphur compounds, protein, iodine, bromine, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, gel-forming polysaccharides (known as carragheenans), pectin, B vitamins, and vitamin C.
Respiratory System: Irish moss has a soothing effect on virtually all the mucous membranes throughout the body. This sweet, salty, mucilaginous herb has a softening effect on tissues and helps many respiratory problems including bronchitis and pneumonia. It is especially effective for pulmonary (lung) conditions, with its ability to absorb liquid and eliminate it from the body. As an expectorant, Irish moss relieves dry coughs, and the high mucilage content alleviates catarrh (inflammation) of the nasal passages and eases sore throat.
Digestion and Thyroid Function: Irish moss soothes the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, and the high mucilage content helps to ease gastritis, dyspepsia, nausea, heartburn, and indigestion and is also used to prevent vomiting. Irish moss is a mild and effective laxative and soothes inflamed tissues of the intestinal tract, providing help for intestinal disorders. In addition, Irish moss is said to absorb toxins from the bowel and draw radiation poison from the body. Irish moss is rich in iodine, supplying the nutrient throughout the intestinal tract. Iodine is highly important in supporting good thyroid gland health and relieving the many problems associated with poor thyroid function and iodine deficiency (goiter, fatigue, inability to tolerate cold, slow heart rate, low metabolism, poor skin and hair condition, etc.).
Weight Loss: Irish moss helps to reduce the appetite by virtue of its ability to absorb moisture, increasing the feeling of “fullness.” The raised metabolic rate caused by improved thyroid function (resulting from Irish moss's iodine content) helps to increase energy, burn fat, and may be helpful in weight-loss regimens.
Blood Pressure: Because Irish moss contains blood-thinning properties and is considered an anticoagulant, early research has claimed that Irish moss can reduce high blood pressure and the risk of arteriosclerosis.
Skin Care: Irish moss is wonderful used externally. It softens and soothes the skin and other exposed tissue. It eases sunburn, chapped skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and rashes. It counters premature ageing when used topically for smoothing wrinkles.
Pregnancy: Irish moss is great for pregnant women. It is highly beneficial in supporting the healthy production of amniotic fluid. After birth, the baby benefits from the nourishment it adds to breast milk.

Basic Directions for Using Irish Moss
Soaking Irish Moss
Properly soaking the Irish moss has a huge impact on the entire recipe. Closely following these directions will result in an ingredient that is as consistent as possible for the best results in the finished product. Irish moss soaked according to these directions and stored covered with water will last for at least a week when kept in the fridge in an airtight container. After one week you may see a difference in colour and size. The Irish moss may look transparent and swollen. If this is the case you will need to add an additional 1/4 – 1/2 ounce of Irish moss to each recipe. Soak only the amount you think you will use for one week.
Unsoaked Irish moss will last in an airtight container in the fridge for months.
All preparation steps for Irish moss use cold water only. Rinsing or soaking in warm or hot water will cause the Irish moss to lose its mucilaginous gelling properties, making it less effective in these recipes.
Directions for Rinsing/Soaking Irish Moss
  • Thoroughly rinse small amounts of the Irish moss under cold running water. Ideally use filtered water. This process should remove any presence of sand, other seaweeds, or any small little plastic treads (usually light blue or red in colour) which are left over from harvesting.
  • As you wash the Irish moss one piece at a time, place rinsed pieces in an empty container. Whatever size container you container (if the container is too small, shake well with lid on to create friction and release more impurities. Drain the water and repeat two more times. The water from the re using, do not fill it up more than three-quarters of the way.
  • Once finished with rinsing, fill the container with water. With your hand mix the Irish moss in the last rinse should be really clean. If not, repeat one more time.
  • Now fill the container with water again, completely covering the Irish moss. Put lid on container and place in fridge for at least 24 hours before using.
  • Don't rinse the Irish moss after the soaking process is complete, and don't drain or replace the soaking water.
Using Irish Moss in the Recipes
Irish moss needs to be blended extremely well. All recipes using Irish moss specify the amount of liquid (usually 1 cup total) along with the measurement (in weight) of Irish moss. These ingredients are blended first until the Irish moss is completely broken down and smooth. This is what we call the “initial blending phase.” Then the remaining ingredients can be added and the recipe completed.
Irish Moss Blending Directions
  • Using a scale, weigh the amount of Irish moss called for in the recipe. When measuring Irish moss always double-check the weight. Remove from scale, dry any excess water from the scale top, and weigh the Irish moss again. The first measurement may contain up to a 1/4 ounce of water, and this will affect the recipe.
  • Coarsely chop the Irish moss and add to blender.
  • Add to blender the specified amount of liquid required for the initial blending phase.
  • Blend until mixture becomes smooth and jelly-like, and there are no visible small pieces of irish moss. The amount of time this requires will vary greatly, depending on what kind of blender you are using and/or how sharp the blade is.
  • There will always be small pieces of unblended Irish moss on the sides of the blender and underneath the lid. Stop blending and with a spatula scrape down the sides of the blender, as well as underneath the lid. Resume blending until all the Irish moss is completely broken down.
  • Stop blending and add the remaining ingredients of the recipe you are making, unless the recipe calls for coconut oil and lecithin, which always go in last.
Useful Tips
Whole-food Irish moss is available but usually hard to find unless you are looking on the internet. It should come covered in sand and salt and have a strong oceanic smell. This is perfectly normal. If properly prepared, the flavour and odour of the Irish moss become totally unnoticeable with all the other flavours it is being combined with.
More widely available is the flaked and dehydrated Irish moss. This form of Irish moss has the same gelling abilities as whole-food Irish moss. Whole-food Irish moss should be stored in the fridge, and it keeps very well.
For an easy way to use Irish moss medicinally, try gelatinizing some water. Simply blend 1 ounce Irish moss with 1 1/2 cups water. Blend until Irish moss is completely broken down. You can keep this in a container in the fridge for at least two weeks. Add 2-3 tbsps or more to juices or smoothies and blend it up briefly before drinking. This is a great way to benefit from the healing powers of Irish moss without making some elaborate raw creation.
Recipes that call for Irish moss always set better in the fridge than in the freezer.

All about Cacao

About Theobroma Cacao
Swedish Scientist Carl von Linnaeus officially named the chocolate tree Theobroma cacao back in 1753. Literally translated “cacao, food of the goods,” he named the genus exactly what the Central Americans called it.
Cacao trees thrive best in tropical/subtropical climates and can grow anywhere from 10-30 feet high when mature. The tree flowers and produces fruit all year. The flower/fruit grow straight out of the trunk and large branches. Once pollinated, the flower develops into a pod-like green fruit that matures into the characteristic red, orange, yellow, and even blue and purple pods, depending on the variety. It takes 5-6 months for the pod to ripen. The ripe pod is about 18-20 cm long and contains 20-50 almond-like seeds surrounded by a sweet white pulp. These seeds are the cacao “beans.” Cacao is indigenous to Central/South America but now grows in most tropical climates in the 20-degree latitude zone around the world. Cacao will grow on its own but thrives best under a canopy of other mixed trees (in partial shade) in a jungle type of ecosystem.
Main Varieties of Cacao
The three major varieties of cacao that are heavily cultivated are called Criollo, Forastero, and Trinitario. The Criollo cacao pods are longer and deeply ridged, and are red/yellow but sometimes blue/purple. Criollo is prized for its amazingly rich, pronounced flavour and aromatic nuances. Compared to other varieties, Criollo is prone to disease, ripens late, and has small harvests, which accounts for why this variety makes up only 5% of the world cacao crop. Because of its lower productivity, Criollo is used only in very high-end chocolates since it has the best flavour. Criollo is mainly grown in Venezuela, Ecuador, and Colombia.
Forastero was cultivated later than Criollo, and it has fruit pods that are yellow/orange, rounder, and less ridged than Criollo pods. Forastero cacaos are more vigorous, hardy trees that are very disease-resistant. Originally from the Amazon basin, they are mainly cultivated in Africa and Asia today, comprising 80% of the world's crop. The flavour of Forastero beans is less refined and complex than Criollo, but the plant is so much easier to grow.
Trinitario is the natural hybrid of the Criollo and Forastero subspecies and was domesticated in the late eighteenth century. Trinitario is the best of both worlds; it has the rich flavour and complexity of Criollo and the robust strength of Forastero. Trinitario is mainly cultivated in South America and the West Indies and accounts for 15% of the world cacao harvest.
Cacao vs. Cocoa
A slight changing of the letters represents a very major difference. “Cocoa” was the British term for cacao. The current association with the word “cocoa” is the defatted, alkalized powder form of chocolate invented by the Dutchman Coenraad Van Houten in 1828.
As early as 1815 in his Amsterdam factory, Van Houten had been developing a very efficient hydraulic press that squeezed the oil out of cacao. This new process reduced the fat content of cacao to 27% (from 50-55%), and primed it to become ground into powder. He eventually treated his cocoa powder with alkaline salts (potassium or sodium carbonates) in order to have the powder dissolve well in water. Van Houten created what would eventually be called “cocoa” or “cocoa powder.” This processing of chocolate became known as “Dutching,” which “cooked” the chocolate, giving it a darker colour and a diluted flavour. Dutching made it possible to create large-scale manufacturing and distribution of cheap chocolate, eventually available to millions of people worldwide in powdered and solid forms.
The nutritional value of cacao was further lessened then “milk chocolate” was invented due to the efforts of two Swiss men: chemist Henri Nestle and chocolate producer Daniel Peter. In 1867, Nestle developed a process to powder milk via evaporation. This single discovery has led to Nestle becoming the largest food corporation in the world. Then, in 1879, the first milk chocolate bar was produced after Daniel Peter experimented with adding the milk powder to chocolate. Although generally praised as a great milestone in the evolution of chocolate, it was this addition of powdered milk that blocked the body's absorption of the healing nutrients of cacao. The occasional person who thinks they have an “allergy” to chocolate is, with the ultra-rare exception, usually allergic to the pasteurized dairy, refined sugar, or caffeine that is in most chocolate.
Benefits of Raw Cacao
Magnesium: This is one of the most essential minerals, yet studies say that more than 80% of the US population is deficient in magnesium. In nature, the most concentrated source of magnesium is raw cacao! Other good sources of the mineral include certain nuts and any chlorophyll-rich green veggies. Magnesium is found at the center of the chlorophyll molecule. Magnesium supports the heart, increases brainpower, relaxes the muscles, increases flexibility, causes healthy bowel movements, and helps build strong bones. As one of the body's primary alkaline minerals, magnesium assists the normal functioning of several chemical enzymatic processes-facilitating more than three hundred different detoxification and elimination functions.
Chromium: This mineral helps balance blood sugar levels, and cacao has ten times the amount of chromium as whole wheat, a chromium-rich food, making it the highest food source of this mineral.
Antioxidant Power: Raw cacao beans are super-rich in antioxidant flavonols. They contain 10,000 mg (10 grams) of flavonol antioxidants (that's a 10% antioxidant concentration level!). Thai makes cacao possibly the best source of antioxidants, with 20 to 30 times more than red wine or green tea.
Vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, C and E are all present in significant quantities in raw cacao.
Other Nutrients, such as fiber, iron, niacin, phosphorous and hundreds of other chemicals and phytonutrients, are found in cacao.
As stated earlier, cacao is highly complex in its structure, and not all its constituents have even been identified yet. It is clear that there are very special and unique properties in cacao, especially in relation to human brain chemistry. On the next page are listed the four main chemicals that are found in high amounts in cacao and certainly produce noticeable effects.
The “Happy Brain” Chemicals
Theobromine: The base chemical theobromine is sparsely distributed in teh plant kingdom, occurring in only nineteen known species, but you may have heard of these other popular theobromine-containing substances: coffee, tea, yerba mate, and the kola nut. Yes, theobromine is the sister molecule to caffeine; however, it is much milder and has only about a quarter of the stimulating power that caffeine has. Theobromine dilates blood vessels, has proven to be an effective cough remedy, and has shown cariostatic effects (it destroys the bacteria that causes tooth decay). Depending on the study, caffeine has been found in low amounts, or not at all, in the cacao bean (or in the shell and not in the bean). This inconsistency is considered to be the result of confusion between the two very similar molecules, theobromine and caffeine. One thing is for sure, cooked chocolate definitely has caffeine, a result of the chemical transformation of theobromine to caffeine when it is exposed to heat.
Phenylethylamine (fennel-ethel-uh-mean) or PEA: This is sometimes called the “love” of “happy” chemical. The brain releases PEA naturally when we are really excited, happy, or sexually aroused. PEA is the structural molecule behind catecholamine neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in parts of teh brain that control our ability to pay attention and stay alert. When the brain is flooded with EPA, different chemical reactions take place that make one excitable, joyous, and focused! So our brains naturally produce this wonderful chemical, but it is also found pre-made by nature in (only) two amazingly synergistic raw foods: raw cacao and blue-green algae (E3Live!).
Anandamide (uh-non-da-mide): This neurotransmitter known as the “bliss” chemical is an endogenous cannabinoid naturally found in the human brain. It is a type of brain lipd (oil) that is released when we are feeling really good. The name is derived from the Sanskrit word “ananda,” meaning bliss. Cacao and cannabis (marijuana) are the only plants known to contain cannabinoids, chemicals that lock onto certain receptor sites in the brain in a “lock & key” system. The result is the feeling of being elated or high.
The chemical our body produces that normally fills the cannabinoid receptors is anandamide. Anandamide is highly involved in the chemical regulation of things like mood, memory, appetite, and pain perception. Sometimes the body releases anandamide to help cope with the stress and pain of intense exercise (like runner's high). Cacao also contains anandamide inhibitors, two structural cousins of anandamide. What these chemicals do is inhibit the metabolism of anandamide, meaning they decrease the body's ability to process anandamide. This means that natural and/or plant-derived anandamide lingers in the body longer, drawing out the elated sensation.
Tryptophan (trip-tow-fan): Cacao contains significant quantities of the essential amino acid tryptophan. Obtaining tryptophan in the diet is necessary for the production of serotonin, a major neurotransmitter. Tryptophan reacts with vitamins B3 and B6 and, in the presence of magnesium, serotonin is produced. Since cacao contains all those nutrients (tryptophan, B3, B6, and magnesium), regular consumption of cacao ensures healthy serotonin levels. Serotonin is our “stress-defense shield” and typically lowers anxiety and increases our ability to fend off stress. Tryptophan also triggers production of other tryptomine neurotransmitters such as melatonin and dimethyltryptamine (DMT), both of which are associated with sleep. Large doses of cacao will usually produce such results, despite all the stimulating qualities cacao also possesses. Tryptophan is highly heat-volatile and is usually destroyed or severely damaged by cooking.
Raw, Organic, Fair-Trade Cacao
When choosing what kind of cacao beans/nibs/powder/butter to purchase, make sure the products are raw, organic, and fairly traded. Cacao comes in whole-bean form, shelled, and broken up “nib” form, and in the form of cacao powder that has had all the fat removed from it, but without additives and cooking. Cacao powder is the most versatile of the three forms, and the most accessible as it really delivers the full-on chocolate flavour. If purchasing whole beans, check for mold contamination as this can sometimes happen.
All three forms have their own various applications, and it is nice to have all of them on hand if you are serious about cacao and raw desserts. Also available is cacao butter, with is the same as “cocoa butter” only raw. Regular, even expensive cocoa butter is generally produced using very high heats and chemical solvents like hexane. Cacao butter is produced at a raw temperature and without chemicals. This stuff is amazing and has all sorts of uses, especially for making white-chocolate-themed desserts.
Cacao should ideally be stored in airtight, glass jars. Don't keep cacao in the fridge, except for cacao butter, as the moisture can trigger mold formation.
Please support fair-trade organic cacao growers, as more than 80% of the world's cacao crop comes from West Africa, where horrible working conditions, including child slavery, degrade humanity on a daily basis (not to mention the pesticides). All the big candy companies get their chocolate from these West African growers, so vote with your dollars for fair-trade, organic cacao!
Cacao is one of the main crops contributing to the preservation of the rainforest. Since cacao naturally thrives best underneath the canopy of larger trees in a jungle setting, organic cacao is a sustainably grown crop. It is at the forefront of many plants that are helping to make the rainforest more valuable intact rather than destroyed. We can eat the most delicious, natural chocolate and save the rainforest at the same time! But only when the cacao is organic and fairly traded.

All about Nuts


The almond that we think of as a nut is technically the seed of the fruit of the almond tree, a medium-size tree that bears fragrant pink and white flowers, native to the Middle East. Like its cousins, the peach, cherry and apricot trees, the almond tree bears fruits with stone-like seeds (or pits) within. The seed of the almond fruit is what we refer to as the almond nut.

Almonds are classified into two categories: Sweet (Prunus amygdulus dulcis) and Bitter (Prunus amygalus amara). Sweet almonds are the type we eat; and bitter almonds are used to make almond oil and flavouring agents for food and liqueurs such as amaretto. Bitter almonds are mostly inedible by themselves, as they contain several toxic substances (these toxins being removed in the processing of the oil). Almonds are notorious for being a crop that needs a lot of love and attention, thus making them one of the most pesticide-sprayed crops. This is the reason why organic almonds are so expensive. Support organic, raw almonds!
Nutritionally, almonds are a power food. Just one ounce (~23 almonds, or a medium handful) contains 6g of protein, 7.3 mg of vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), 19% of the RDA for magnesium, and 14% of the RDA for phosphorous. Almonds are also a good source of riboflavin (vitamin B2), containing 17% of the RDA in just one ounce. Just one ounce contains 80 mg of calcium (7% RDA), and 1 mg of iron (6% RDA), as well as 4g of fiber (the highest fiber content of any nut or seed). Almonds are generally believed to be the most alkaline of all the nuts. They are also high in potassium and tryptophan (an essential amino acid which aids in sleep). Almonds are a great source of manganese (one ounce contains 32% of the RDA) and copper (one ounce contains 14% of the RDA), two trace minerals essential for the production of the key enzyme superoxide dismutase. This enzyme disarms free radicals produced within our mitochondria (which is known as the “energy production factory” in our cells), thus helping to keep our energy level high.

Almonds contain 54% oil, of which 78% is monounsaturated oleic acid (omega-9) and 17% is polyunsaturated omega-6. The oil is commonly used on the skin during massages, and can be a good subsitute for olive oil in the kitchen. In Ayurveda, almond is considered a nutritive for the brain and nervous system. It is said to induce high intellectual level and longevity.
A one ounce serving of almonds contains a similar quantity of polyphenol as ½ c of cooked broccoli.
As almonds contain vitamin E and monounsaturated fat, they aid in reducing LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease.
I also read that the raw unpasteurized almonds contain cyanide, which is apparently why the US govt insists on pasteurizing almonds before sale (small growers have a loophole, which is how we get unpasteurized ones). However, I cannot confirm the accuracy of this claim.
All the almonds are unpasteurized, certified organic, from California. The #1 almonds are either the Aldridge, Nonpariel or Carmel varieties (usually Aldridge) and have few marks from shelling. The #2 almonds are the Butte/Padre varieties and have scratches and marks from shelling. They are still very flavourful, though smaller than the #1s.
The almond meal is sprouted and dried, unpasteurized and certified organic. Must be kept cold.
Almond butter is more nutrient-dense than peanut butter. It contains half the amount of saturated fat, less salt, and eight times as much calcium, half the protein, and one quarter as much niacin (4% of the DV).  Sprouted almond butter is delicious! The almonds are sprouted for 1 day, then dried and ground at low temperatures. No oil is added and this almond butter is not dry. Made from unpasteurized and certified organic almonds. Glass jar.
Brazil nuts are native to South America. They are not grown on plantations, but harvested from the wild Amazon rainforest. The large trees (30-45m in height) live upwards of 500 years and are some of the largest trees in the rainforest.
Brazil nuts are 18% protein, 13% carbohydrates, and 69% fat. The fat breakdown is roughly 25% saturated, 41% monosaturated, and 34% polyunsaturated. The saturated content of Brazil nuts is among the highest of all nuts, surpassing macadamia nuts, which are primarily monounsaturated fat, and the nuts are pressed for their oil. Because of the resulting rich taste, Brazil nuts can often substitute for macadamia nuts or even coconut in recipes, and make a great raw parmesan. Due to their high polyunsaturated fat content, primarily omega-6, shelled Brazil nuts should be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Nutritionally, Brazil nuts are a good source of magnesium, thiamine, phosphorous and copper, and are perhaps the richest dietary source of selenium; one ounce can contain as much as 10 times the adult RDA. Proper selenium intake is correlated with a reduced risk of both breast and prostate cancers.
The brazil nuts are shipped and stored in vacuum packaging and kept cool to preserve freshness.
Cashews are a good source of Copper (31% RDA), Manganese (23%), Magnesium (20%), Phosphorous (17%), Vitamin K (12%), Zinc (11%) and Iron (10%). They also contain Thiamin, Selenium, Potassium, and vitamin B6. Their fat is comprised mostly of monounsaturated omega-6 fatty acids. One ounce of cashews provides 5g of protein.
Most cashews, although sold as raw, have been heated during the shelling process. Truly raw cashews are certified organic from Indonesia. Whole, uncertified organic, probably heated cashews from Vietnam are also available.
From our supplier: “Big Tree Farms works directly with small-scale cashew growers on the Isle of Flores to develop both ecological sustainability on these fragile volcanic lands and economic viability from this beautiful product. Our cashews are hand-picked from Organically Certified trees in Eastern Flores. The cashews are “cracked” open with traditional knives and hand-polished to remove the “kulit ari”, a thin skin protecting the kernel. The result is a truly raw cashew kernel so incredibly sweet, soft and white that you simply won't believe your tastebuds! Following this traditional process of hand-processing cashews is a labour of love that has nearly disappeared around the globe. Traditional producers on average can only prepare 2 kgs of raw kernels daily! But the difference between raw and conventionally processed cashews is unmistakable. By reinvigorating the market for raw cashews we are able to keep the high value work of processing “on-farm” and greatly increase the compensation that cashew growers receive for their efforts. More profit for growers means greater pride of product and more focus on the maintenance, harves and post-harvest handling of these wonderful nuts.”
The cashew shell contains toxins (urushiol, the same toxin found in poison ivy), which is why most cashews sold as raw have been heated – to kill any toxins that get onto the nut/kernel itself. Reactions are similar to those experienced after exposure to poison oak or ivy; cashew poisoning is, however, rare, mostly limited to the handlers of the seed pod.
So if you want truly raw, certified organic cashews, or uncertified organic, probably heated whole cashews, both are available.

Filberts or hazelnuts are local to B.C. They are high in the amino acid tryptophan and are a good nut to eat to aid in healthy sleep patterns. Hazelnuts are an excellent source of vitamin E (21% RDA); vitamin E stops nuts from going rancid.

Hazelnuts contain phytosterols, which is reported to aid in reducing LDL cholesterol levels. Hazelnuts are SUPER-high in manganese (one ounce contains 86% of the RDA!). They also contain copper, magnesium, phosphorus and iron, as well as potassium and zinc. One ounce of hazelnuts contains 12.8 mg of choline, often classified as a member of the B-vitamin family, and essential for maintaining mental alertness and cognitive functioning as well as elevating mood and assisting the liver in its functioning. Hazelnuts contain thiamin (12% RDA), folate (8%) and vitamin B6 (8%).

In taste, hazelnuts go well with chocolate. Our hazelnuts are shelled, certified organic, and grown in BC.


Macadamia nuts come from both Hawaii and Kenya. Like hazelnuts, they contain phytosterols (~32 mg per ounce), which aids in reducing LDL chloesterol levels. They contain 58% of the RDA of manganese, and are a source of copper, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus. As well, they are a good source of thiamin (22% RDA) and have a omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of ~6:1.

Our Hawaiian macadamia nuts are uncertified organic. They are fresh and taste great due to a unique process where they are dried and shelled right after harvest. This insures quality and enhances sweetness and shelf life.

Pecans are a very good source of manganese (63% RDA). They, too, contain phytosterols (which reduce LDL cholesterol levels). They contain 2.8 micrograms of flouride per ounce. As well, they are a source of copper (17% RDA), zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, thiamin and choline.

Our pecans are unheated, uncertified organic, grown wild from very old trees in Missouri. They are small and sweet. Most pecans are shelled by soaking them in 180F water for 20 mins before shelling. These pecans are shelled without using heat.

Walnuts have the greatest concentration of omega-3 fatty acids (2500 mg per ounce) and have a omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 4:1. They contain phytosterols, which reduce LDL cholesterol levels. They are an excellent source of manganese (48% of the RDA), and are a good source of copper (22% of the RDA). As well, they contain magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, folate, thiamin, zinc and iron.

Our walnuts are mostly whole halves, from this year's crop in California. They are certified organic.
Pistachios contain over 30 vitamins and minerals.  They are rich in potassium (helps regulate the body's fluid balance), phosphorus (helps build bones and teeth) and magnesium (important element in the conversion of the body's energy), and are also a good source of vitamin B6 (aids protein metabolism and absorption) and thiamine (enhances energy and promotes normal appetite).  They are cholesterol free and are high in monosaturated fat.  They are high in fiber and iron and contain a large number of carotenoids and xeaxanthin which may reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration (leading to blindness).  They are a good source of vegetable protein and one serving (~50 nuts) contains only 160 calories, making them one of the lowest calorie nut snacks.

Almost all pistachios are dried at very high temperatures.  The ones available through rawfoodsooke are dried at about 45C and are from a family farm in California.  Certified Organic.  In three flavours: natural/plain, lightly sea salted, and flavoured with local BC garlic.