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The food you eat each day is information for the cells, the machinery of the body. Whether you seek to turn on your libido, focus more intensely at work, or reset your detox organs, you have more agency over how your body works than you realize, and food is the foundation of that empowerment. 

Functional foods are overachievers in delivering this type of information to the body. Though it sounds like something scientists in a 21st-century lab would tinker with over lunch, the concept dates back over 2,000 years. It's often attributed to the philosopher, Hippocrates, who said, "let food be thy medicine." The definitions vary, but for our purposes, functional foods are plants that alchemize the body on a cellular level. Meaning: real, whole foods that nourish more deeply than macronutrients and calories, fortify the tiny cells, structures, and bacteria to make you, you

While something like a garnish of fresh herbs can add sensory delight to a dish, functional foods are powerful in that they can actually shift your physical reality. The phytonutrients within deliver far beyond fuel, so mix and match these ingredients to supercharge your results.


Foods To Coax Out Radiance

Chronic stress creates inflammation which can show up on the skin as blotches, redness, and textural issues. Plants like Schisandra, found in Youth and Beauty Tea, are adaptogens, which act as regulators to the body’s stress response. Schisandra, with its high antioxidant count, helps to quell inflammation and promote a healthy glow. This treasured ancient berry is known to deactivate free radicals, the culprit for dullness, and enhance vibrancy. 



Foods To Heighten Mental Clarity

Revered as the most spiritual herb in India, Gotu Kola has helped meditators and those on conscious quests reach mental ascension for centuries. This naturally decaffeinated leaf found in Nootropic Chocolates has been heavily researched to support the central nervous system, suggesting it can protect against memory loss. It not only keeps the brain youthful; thanks to the compounds asiaticoside, madecassoside, and madasiatic acid, it supports collagen production, and creates suppleness head to toe. These properties have helped earn Gotu Kola its Chinese nickname, “the fountain of youth.”

functional foods are powerful in that they can actually shift your physical reality

Foods To Boost Sex Drive

Boost your natural seductive power with some key nutrients. Stock up on dulse and seaweed, sea vegetables you'll find sprinkled in the Sakara Earth Bowl and Rainbow Bibimbap. Seaweed contains iodine, which supports the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland, the gatekeeper of energy and supporter of sex hormones. It is also a potent source of l-arginine, an amino acid that makes nitric oxide—a molecule that facilitates concentrated blood flow in both men and women, making it one of the most prevalent ingredients in over-the-counter arousal supplements



Foods To Quiet Stress Signals

Good news. Chocolate comes with deep health benefits, especially raw cacao. Its healing properties include digestion-relaxing magnesium, an assortment of minerals like iron and zinc, mood-boosting theobromine, and a cannabinoid called anandamide. Also called the “bliss molecule," anandamide is a neurotransmitter that works to control stress-induced anxiety, pain, depression, and appetite. It's made in the body, but can also be found in plants like cannabis and chocolate, for a mood-boosting effect. Sakara’s Dark Chocolate Granola is abundant in both cacao and another stress-busting plant, ashwagandha. Research suggests that the Ayurvedic adaptogen increases the body’s stores of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the primary source of antioxidants and enzymes that combat inflammation and physiological stress.  



Food To Fuel Detox Organs

Stale wellness wisdom may profess that detoxing happens from juicing or fasting, but eating certain foods is what actually aids your detox organs. A delicious cleansing ingredient is watermelon radish, found in the Classic Chopped Salad. Hot pink on the inside, radishes have a phytonutrient called sulforaphane, which can increase the liver’s ability to rid the body of carcinogens. Sulforaphane is also a compound of glutathione, the most abundant nutrient (behind water) in the body, and important in phase II liver detoxification because it binds to toxins that range from environmental pollutants to excess estrogen, and carries them out of your system.  



Foods To Stabilize Blood Sugar

Why is it important to keep blood sugar on an even keel? A rollercoaster of insulin levels, over time, creates hormone imbalance, haphazard energy levels, and excess adipose fat tissue. Luckily, there is one sweet antidote: Ceylon cinnamon, found in the Chaga Chai Detox Bowl and Indian Spiced Samosas. The cinnamon tree, which can grow up to 60 feet tall, is prized in many cultures (ancient Greek and Egyptians believed that it was foraged by the mythical Phoenix). On your plate, cinnamon helps to lower blood glucose levels and combat pathogens in the gut like Candida


More Plants As Medicine

Beauty’s Best Foods

A Grocery List for Mental Health

Eat Your Way to a Better Night’s Sleep

Herbs to Calm, Protect, and Enliven

Filed Under: Sakara 101

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