Pesto Baked Egg

Pesto Baked Egg

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

This fun breakfast recipe is the perfect way to boost your brain function in the morning. While this breakfast is low in carbohydrates, the eggs and kale are bursting with choline and vitamin K, which are important nutrients to keep your thinking skills sharp. In fact, in our upcoming article, Top 10 Brain-Boosting Foods, both eggs and kale were listed as foods beneficial to supporting brain health.

Egg yolks are a wonderful source of choline, which is a main component of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are what our brain cells, neurons, use to communicate with each other. Acetylcholine, specifically, has been shown to play an important role in memory. So, by extension it is important that our body has a sufficient supply of choline to make this neurotransmitter to help us remember all the things we need to! (1)

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable rich in nutrients! Research has shown that individuals who have higher levels of vitamin K, achieved through consuming their leafy greens, have less memory challenges than those with lower levels of vitamin K. (4)

Other hidden gems in this recipe include garlic and olive oil, which act as immune system supports and antioxidants, respectively, while adding a delicious flavours!

For added benefit, try switching your store-bought pesto, for our home-made nutrient dense Holy Basil Pesto. This pesto recipe is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, which is another great way to support brain health. It also has adaptogenic properties, meaning it helps individuals adapt to stress, which is key whether recovering from a brain injury, or just coping with the challenges of everyday life.

 

References

  1. Haddelmo, M. (2006). The Role of Acetylcholine in Learning and Memory. Current Opinon in Neurobiology, 16(6), 710-715. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.09.002
  2. Nurk, E., Refsum, H., Bjelland, I., Drevon, C., Tell, G., Ueland, P., … & Vollset, S. (2013). Plasma free choline, betaine and cognitive performance: the Hordaland Health Study. The British Journal of Nutrition, 109(3), 511-519. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001249.
  3. Ferland, G. (2012). Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions. Advances in Nutrition, 3(2), 204-212. doi: 10.3945/an.111.001784
  4. Nurk, E., Refsum, H., Bjelland, I., Drevon, C., Tell, G., Ueland, P., … & Vollset, S. (2013). Plasma free choline, betaine and cognitive performance: the Hordaland Health Study. The British Journal of Nutrition, 109(3), 511-519. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512001249.

 

Pesto-Baked Egg

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1⅔ tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups Kale Leaves thinly sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¼ cup Pesto
  • ¼ cup Cherry Tomatoes

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350*F. Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil into each of four 6-8 ounce ramekins.
  • Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add kale, garlic, and sea salt, then cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until kale is wilted and garlic is tender.
  • Divide garlic between ramekins, then crack 1 egg into each, taking care not to break the yolk.
  • Top with pesto and bake 10-15 minutes, or until the egg is set.
  • Remove from oven, and top with sliced cherry tomatoes. Enjoy!
Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Detoxifying vegetables and fruits

Lion’s Mane mushroom is known by many names, including the Latin Hericium Erinaceus, along with Bearded Hedgehog mushroom, and Monkey’s Head mushroom. Lion’s Mane mushroom has long been a staple for culinary and medical uses in Asian countries like China, India, Japan and Korea.

Human and animal studies alike have proven Lion’s Mane mushroom boasts countless medicinal and health promoting properties including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and immune modulating components. Extracts from Lion’s Mane mushroom have been shown to have antibiotic, neuroprotective, glucose-lowering, and even anti-cancer effects.

Below, we review our Top 4 Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom in more detail:

#1. Lions Mane Mushroom is Neuroprotective

Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane mushroom helps to combat Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and cognitive decline.

Two specific compounds have been identified in Lion’s Mane mushrooms that can stimulate the growth of brain cells these are hericenones and erinacines (1).

In fact, Lion’s Mane mushroom and its extracts have been found to reduce symptoms of memory loss in mice, as well as prevent neuronal damage caused by amyloid-beta plaques, which accumulate in the brain during Alzheimer’s disease (2,3,4). Additional animal studies have confirmed that Lion’s Mane mushroom may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease, a degenerative brain disease that causes progressive memory loss.

Older adults with mild cognitive impairment were studied and found that consuming 3 grams of powdered Lion’s Mane mushroom every day for four months improved their mental functioning significantly. It’s important to note that these benefits were transient, and disappeared when supplementation stopped (5).

#2 Lion’s Mane Mushroom May Help Prevent Cancer Growth

In 2012, a study evaluating the medicinal potential of 14 types of mushroom found that Lion’s Mane mushroom had the fourth highest antioxidant activity, which researchers described as “moderate to high.” (6) Antioxidant activity protects the body on a microscopic and cellular level from toxins, those we naturally produce during metabolism, and those we intake as a result of 21st century life.

Various studies have also shown Lion’s Mane mushroom’s ability to support various immune responses in the body. Specifically, it has been shown to increase levels of T cells (the part of our immune system that attacks foreign pathogens ) and macrophages (a type of white blood cell that destroys bacteria and other harmful organisms), and appeared to promote anti-tumor activity of the immune system in mice (16).

#3 Lion’s Mane Mushroom May Reduce Anxiety and Depression

There have been numerous studies showing that consuming Lion’s Mane mushroom can help with reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. A daily dose of Lion’s Mane mushroom is a good way to help support the health and growth of nerves within the hippocampus, which is the part of our brain that controls emotions.

In a Japanese study, women with a variety of health complaints, including menopausal symptoms and poor sleep quality, ate cookies containing Lion’s Mane extract or placebo cookies for 4 weeks. The participants who ate the extract reported lower levels of irritation and anxiety than those in the placebo group (7).

#4 Lion’s Mane Mushroom Supports Nerve Health

Lion’s Mane mushroom has been shown to be of use in the regeneration of peripheral nerves (that is, those outside of the spinal cord), suggesting it could have a benefit to help the physical recovery of those who have experienced trauma. (11)

Research determined that Lion’s Mane mushrooms extracts may promote the growth of nerve cells and therefore, more rapid repair after injury. (9) One study found that rats with nerve damage receiving a daily extract of Lion’s Mane mushrooms had quicker nerve regeneration than control animals (10).

One of the complications of diabetes is nerve damage resulting from prolonged periods of high blood sugar. In a 2015 study on rats, in which they ingested Lion’s Mane mushroom extract for 6 weeks, showed positive results, including lower blood sugar levels, reduced feelings of nerve pain, and improved antioxidant activity (8).

In fact, Lion’s Mane mushroom extract has been shown to reduce recovery time by 23–41% when given to rats with nervous system injuries (12). Lion’s Mane mushroom extract may also help reduce the severity of brain damage after a stroke. In one study, high doses of Lion’s Mane mushroom extract given to rats immediately after a stroke helped decrease inflammation and reduce the size of stroke-related brain injury by 44% (13).

How Do I Take Lion’s Mane Mushroom?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms can be enjoyed as a food for culinary uses such as being used raw in a salad or smoothie, cooked in stir-fries or soups, dried and used as an herb, or steeped as a tea.

Lion’s Mane mushroom can be prepared and cooked like any other meaty mushroom. It tends to be in season in the late summer through fall. When cooked, it has a flavour and texture has been described as similar to crab or lobster.

Alternatively, Lion’s Mane extracts are often used in natural health products and supplements such as these Host Defence Lion’s Mane capsules.

Many local health food stores also stock Lion’s Many mushroom beverages. Lion’s Mane (and other medicinal mushrooms) can be powdered and used in a tea or as an instant coffee substitute. Because of the brain-boosting properties of Lion’s Mane mushroom, using it as a coffee substitute that can elevate your focus, memory, and creativity is an ideal option for many individuals!

References 

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24266378/
2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21383512/
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27350344/
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27350344/
5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18844328/
6. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/464238/
7. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/biomedres/31/4/31_4_231/_pdf/-char/en
8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415746/
9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26853959/
10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176599/
11. Lai P,L., Naidu M., Sabaratnam V., Wong K,H., David R,P., Kuppusamy U,R., Abdullah N., Malek S,N. (2013). Neurotrophic properties of the Lion’s mane medicinal mushroom, Hericium erinaceus (Higher Basidiomycetes) from Malaysia. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms. 15(6):539-54. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24266378
12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21941586/
13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25167134/
14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26244378/
15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28087447/
16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11842649/

 

Turmeric Hummus

Turmeric Hummus

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

 Who doesn’t love a ONE-step recipe?!

Well, this tasty Turmeric Hummus recipe is just that!

Turmeric Hummus is an easy side dish, dip, spread, or addition to your next wrap or sandwich.

Chickpeas, the main ingredient in hummus, are known to pack a protein punch, but did you know they are also full of magnesium? Magnesium interacts with enzymes throughout your body to promote chemical reactions important for making proteins, releasing energy, and maintaining cardiovascular health. Magnesium’s interaction with the brain has more recently been explored, and it is believed to help prevent neuron death after a brain injury! (1)

Turmeric is this recipe’s secret ingredient. While adding a bold flavour to your hummus, turmeric also fills this recipe with an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound called curcumin. Curcumin is powerful because of its ability to cross the protective barrier that separates our brains from the rest of our bodies. Once in the brain, curcumin acts to reduce oxidative stress and neuroinflammation, helping our brain to think efficiently! (2)

This hummus also contains ingredients which work as anti-microbials. Garlic is known to support our immune system as an anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. Meanwhile, apple cider vinegar has also been shown to have anti-microbial properties and decreases inflammation in response to an infection. (3)

For an added touch, feel free to top with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of turmeric, paprika, or cayenne.

  1. Erdman, J., Oria, M., & Pillsbury, L. (2011). Nutrition and Traumatic Brain Injury: Improving Acute and Subacute Outcomes in Miliiatary Personnel.  National Academies Press (US). Washington, DC.
  2. Misra, S., & Palanivelu, K. (2008). The effect of curcumin (turmeric) on Alzheimer’s Disease: An Overview, Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology, 11(1), 13-19. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.40220
  3. Yagniik, D., Serafin, V., & Shah, A. (2018). Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1732. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-18618-x

 

Turmeric Hummus

Who doesn’t love a ONE-step recipe?! This tasty Turmeric Hummus recipe is just that, making it an easy side, dip, or addition to your next wrap or sandwich.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Chickpeas cooked
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • ½ tsp Salt

Instructions
 

  • Add ingredients to the bowl of a food processor with the S-blade. Blend until the mixture reaches a creamy consistency. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Per 1 Serving:
 
Calories - 281
Sugar - 4g
Fiber - 7g
Carbs - 24g
Fat - 18g
Protein - 8g
Ashwagandha Moon Milk

Ashwagandha Moon Milk

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

Looking for a calming bedtime beverage?

Ashwagandha Moon Milk is ideally sipped daily before bedtime.

Moon milk contains a blend of adaptogenic herbs and spices, including Ashwagandha, to help inspire a restful night’s rest.

Adaptogens are herbs that help us be more resilient to stressors. Ashwagandha specifically can help balance blood sugar levels, reduce anxiety and depression, improve sleep quality, and reduce pain and inflammation. If you’re interested in the health benefits of Ashwagandha, we’ve written about it in more detail here.

The addition of warming herbs and spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg compliments the bitter and pungent flavours of Ashwagandha perfectly. These spices aren’t without their own health benefits, however! Warming spices are known to benefit circulatory health, help control blood sugar levels, and promote digestive health. Plus, these warming spices have a comforting aroma, and a calming, nourishing effect.

Dosage:

Consume 1 teaspoon Ashwagandha powder (equivalent to 1-gram or 1,000-milligram extract) per day. As with many herbal remedies, it can take,6 to 12 weeks to observe the full effects. Dosages used in studies range from 250mg per day up to 600mg per day.

Ashwagandha Moon Milk

Ashwagandha Moon Milk is ideally sipped daily before bedtime. Moon milk contains a blend of adaptogenic herbs and spices to help inspire a restful night’s rest.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Milk of Choice whole, almond, coconut, etc.
  • ½ tsp Ground Ashwagandha Powder
  • ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Ground Ginger
  • pinch Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Honey or Maple Syrup

Instructions
 

  • Bring the milk to a low simmer, but don't let it boil.
  • Once the milk is hot, whisk in the Ashwagandha, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Gently simmer for 5 mins.
  • Stir in the coconut oil, and pour the moon milk into a cup. Sweeten with honey or maple syrup, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

Nutrition Per 1 Serving:
 
Calories - 104
Sugar - 8g
Fiber - 1.5g
Carbs - 10.5g
Fat - 7g
Protein - 1g
Top 10 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Top 10 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

Detoxifying vegetables and fruits
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, as well as Indian ginseng and winter cherry, is a small evergreen shrub. It grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

Ashwagandha has been used for over 3,000 years in ancient Ayurvedic medicine practices to help relieve stress, increase energy levels, improve concentration and many more benefits. It’s now grown in popularity in the western world over recent years for its various health benefits as well (1).

So, let’s have a look at some of the amazing health properties that Ashwagandha can provide us!

Top 10 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

  1. Balance Blood Sugar
    Ashwagandha can reduce blood sugar levels in both healthy people and those with diabetes (2, 3)
  2. Treat Cancer
    Ashwagandha can help treat several types of cancer, including breast, lung, colon, brain, and ovarian cancer. The mechanism of action is through inducing apoptosis, which is the programmed death of cancer cells and impeding the growth of new cancer cells (4, 5, 6, 7)
  3. Reduce Stress
    Ashwagandha can help to reduce stress and levels of cortisol by up to 30% in chronically stressed individuals (8)
  4. Reduce Anxiety
    Ashwagandha can assist in reducing anxiety and improving sleep issues (9)
  5. Improve Depression
    Ashwagandha can help reduce symptoms of depression (10)
  6. Improve Male Fertility
    Ashwagandha can help boost testosterone and fertility in men by improving sperm count and sperm quality (11,12)
  7. Improve Body Composition
    Ashwagandha may help improve muscle strength, muscle mass and body composition and reduce body fat percentage (13, 14)
  8. Reduce Pain and Inflammation
    Ashwagandha can reduce inflammation, including inflammatory markers such as natural killer cells and c-reactive protein, and can act as a natural pain reliever (15, 16)
  9. Protect Cardiovascular Health
    Ashwagandha can reduce total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood (17, 18)
  10. Improved Cognitive Function
    Ashwagandha can improve memory, reaction time and attention span for many individuals (19)

Ashwagandha Risks

While it is generally considered safe, large doses of Ashwagandha might cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and vomiting. Liver problems might occur, but this is very rare.

Ashwagandha may also interact with thyroid, blood sugar and blood pressure medications and is not advised to consume when pregnant or breastfeeding. Ashwagandha might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. For this same reason, Ashwaganha is not recommended for people that are on immune suppressant drugs. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using Ashwagandha.

Ashwagandha may slow down the central nervous system. Healthcare providers worry that anesthesia and other medications during and after surgery might increase this effect. Stop taking Ashwagandha at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery (20)

How Do I Take Ashwagandha?

The recommended dosage of Ashwagandha depends on the type of supplement because extracts are more potent than whole Ashwagandha root or leaf powder. So, it is important to follow instructions on labels or seek advice from a qualified health professional. Standardized Ashwagandha root extract is commonly taken in 450–500mg capsules once or twice daily.

You can purchase whole Ashwagandha powder and add in your smoothies or sprinkle on your oatmeal or yoghurt. You can purchase If consuming Ashwagandha as a tea, it can be difficult to determine if you are getting enough to establish a therapeutic dose. However, if you’re just looking for a supportive herbal addition to your diet, tea or Ashwagandha Moon Milk are great options!

For more Ashwagandha supplement options, check out our online dispensary. This is one of our favourites:

If you have taken Ashwagandha in the past, or opt to try it now, come find us over on Facebook or Instagram and let us know how it worked for you!

REFERENCES
1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19633611/
2. https://blog.priceplow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/withania_review.pdf
3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23125505/
4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17003952/
5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17003952/
6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20840055/
7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24046237/
8. https://blog.priceplow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/withania_review.pdf
9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/
10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/
11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19789214/
12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23796876/
13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26609282/
14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21170205/
15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26397759/
16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19504465/
17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16713218/
18. https://blog.priceplow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/withania_review.pdf
19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28471731/
20. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-953/ashwagandh