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Plants are medicine, and science backs it up

The food you eat each day is information for your body. Whether you seek to wake up your libido, focus more intensely at work, or reset your natural detoxification systems, you have agency over how your body works—and food is the foundation of that empowerment. 

Functional foods are overachievers in delivering this type of information to the body. Though it might sound like the product of a futuristic science lab, 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 may trigger inflammation which can show up on the skin as blotches, redness, and textural issues. Plants like schisandra, found in our Youth and Beauty Tea, are adaptogens, which act as regulators to the body’s stress response. Schisandra, with its high antioxidant count and abundance of vitamin C and E, helps to quell inflammation and promote a healthy glow by deactivating free radicals, the culprit for dullness, and enhancing vibrancy.

 

Foods To Heighten Mental Clarity

L-theanine, an amino acid found in green and black tea, can improve attention and mental clarity, which is why we added it (alongside organic maca, lemon, and vitamin B12) to our Energy Effervescents. Transform water into a sparkling afternoon pick-me-up with one superfood-infused sachet, no caffeine—or the crash that ensues—involved. 

You have agency over how your body works—and food is the foundation of that empowerment. 

 

Foods To Boost Sex Drive

Boost a naturally healthy libido with some key nutrients. Stock up on dulse and seaweed, sea vegetables you'll find sprinkled in the Sakara Earth Bowl and Sakara 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. More nitric oxide-producing plants? Spicy arugula, juicy watermelon, and antioxidant-rich beets.

 

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. (You can also find it in our Energy Protein Super Bar.)

 

Food To Fuel Your Detox Organs

A delicious cleansing ingredient is watermelon radish, found in our 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 essential 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. Blue spirulina, a powerful blue-green algae that paints our Detox Protein Super Bar its vibrant shade, also supercharges detox pathway activity, helping rid the body of toxins and leave us feeling vibrant.

 

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 dishes like our Pumpkin Pie Parfait 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: Best foods for brain fog, Best foods for digestive issues, Best foods for gut health, Foods for gut health

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