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TMHS 490: Eat These 11 Foods For Total Body Health
Did you know that the kidney bean is actually good for your kidneys? Or that the brain-shaped walnut is proven to have brain boosting benefits? Coincidence or not, there are a long list of foods that have a striking resemblance to the body parts and systems they provide nutrients for.
On this episode of The Model Health Show, you’re going to learn about 11 foods that look like the body part that they support. We’re diving into the compounds and nutrients inside these foods, and how they can contribute to human health. You’ll hear the studies backing up these foods and their role in aiding different body parts and organ systems.
You’re also going to hear ideas for incorporating these 11 foods into your diet, including how to select the highest quality products possible. No matter what your diet is like, I hope you can consider adding some of these nourishing foods to your plate. So listen in, take good notes, and enjoy the show!
In this episode you’ll discover:
- What anthocyanins are.
- The link between blueberry consumption and retina health.
- Two things to look for when shopping for blueberries.
- How the avocado was named.
- The benefits that avocados have on circulation and reproductive health.
- How to extend the shelf life of avocados.
- Ways to incorporate more avocados into your diet.
- How consuming ginseng can lessen stress and fatigue.
- The two main ways of adding ginseng to your routine.
- How much blood the kidneys are responsible for filtering every day.
- The role that kidneys play in regulating blood pressure.
- How consumption of kidney beans can literally relax your blood vessels.
- The link between anthocyanins and antioxidants.
- How chocolate polyphenols can actually improve dental health.
- Why it’s important to source high quality chocolate.
- The health benefits of walnuts, and their protective effects on the brain.
- Ideas for adding more walnuts to your plate.
- The impact that broccoli has on lung health.
- How beet juice intake can affect blood pressure and endothelial health.
- The role that pomegranates can play in normalizing blood pressure.
- What you need to know about commercial pomegranate juices.
- The definition and role of ICAM-1.
- How cranberries can support cardiovascular health.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Onnit.com/model — Get your optimal health supplements at 10% off!
- Organifi.com/Model — Use the coupon code MODEL for 20% off!
- What’s Really Causing Susceptibility to COVID-19? With Dr. William Li – Episode 470
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SHAWN STEVENSON: Welcome to the Model Health Show, this is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. Today we're diving into the peer-reviewed evidence on 11 unique foods, and they're not just unique in their benefits, but they're unique in the way that they resemble the human body. Now, there's a certain science that's been known for centuries, called the doctrine of signatures. Essentially, it's the sign of nature, and it's basically telling us that we come along with instructions in how we interact with food, and that certain foods can tell you the benefits that they have on the human body based on the way that the food looks, smells, tastes, or how it functions itself in nature. And so, to dig deeper into this doctrine of signatures, I wanted to find is there any real-world hardcore peer-reviewed evidence to affirm that just because this food might look like a human body part, does it actually benefit that human body part, and the data that I have is going to blow your mind.
So, let's kick things off with the first of our 11 powerful foods that resemble the human body part that they nourish. And the first one is a food that looks like tiny little eyeballs, and this food is blueberries. Blueberries are actually rich in something called anthocyanins and these are very potent antioxidants that have been found to bolster collagen structures specifically in the retina and provide vision protection, and this is according to Dr. Johanna Seddon, an expert on macular degeneration and a specific peer-reviewed study, and this was published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology, found that blueberry anthocyanins may be able to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress that targets the retina. Now, these anthocyanins are also well noted to protect your retina against damage from UVA light exposure. A lot of folks don't realize that your eyes can actually get sunburned, alright. It's a crazy, crazy phenomenon, but these anthocyanins found in blueberries have been found to protect your eyes against sunburn.
Now, another study, and this was conducted by researchers at the Russian Academy of Sciences, a search that blueberries could significantly reduce the risk of cataracts. Alright, now this just keeps going deeper and deeper and deeper, and make sure that you watch the YouTube version of this episode. After you listen to the audio, go back and make sure to watch the YouTube version so that you can see just how similar these foods, that we cover today, look like the body parts that they support and protect. Now, to dive into another study here looking at macular degeneration specifically, this was a peer-reviewed study published in Advances in Nutrition, and it found that blueberries may actually help to significantly reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Now, these are conditions that are associated with aging. So, blueberries have these capacities by many different factors, it's not just the anthocyanins that have this unique ability to defend the eyes, defend your vision from degradation, especially from accelerated aging, slowing down that degradation and even potentially having some anti-aging effects.
Now, this is just the first of these foods that throughout history, again, utilizing the doctrine of signatures, stating that certain foods based on the way that they look can potentially benefit the human body part that they resemble. Alright, now, while blueberries are more noted to protect vision rather than to improve vision as of now in the peer-reviewed evidence, it's still a good idea to clearly see them as a health food, you see what I did there? Clearly see. So, with blueberries, number one, wild blueberries are going to be ideal. This is because they're going to be packed with more adaptogenic compounds because, therefore, in nature, these blueberries have to create compounds in order for them to defend themselves from environmental pressures, right? So, when we have conventionally raised whatever, whether it's blueberries, whether it's tomatoes, whether it's fill in the blank, if they're not allowed to grow and develop in at least somewhat natural conditions, they're not going to be as robust and be triggered to produce a greater concentrations of nutrients that helps to defend them in that environment, alright, so wild blueberry.
So, any wild food truly, these are more untouched or untampered with foods by humans as well, so that's a good call sign, alright? So, if you can get some wild blueberries, especially there's companies that have frozen wild blueberries that you can utilize. The next step would be organic blueberries. Now, organic, there is a lot of debate going on today about whether or not the organic label is even credible, alright? Now there are certain metrics that have to be followed in order for a company to get the organic certification, but with anything, marketers start to screw stuff up and take advantage of things. But as of now, we can rest assured, to a significant degree, that at least these blueberries aren't going to be sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fungicides, suicides, homicide, -cide means, to kill, these compounds are well noted and well-established to be either neurogenic or estrogenic and have very detrimental effects specifically on a microbiome.
One of the studies that we covered recently on the Model Health Show, highlighted the fact that a specific pesticide has been found to disrupt microbial gene expression. So, disrupting the expression of the genes in your microbiome, your bacteria genes, and if we go gene for gene, in the human body, over 99% of the genes that we carry are from bacteria, not our human genes, alright? If we're going gene for gene, so 99%, and we know that pesticides can definitely cause damage and disruption to microbial gene expression. And also, they have to be estrogenic or neurogenic to either disrupt the reproductive cycle of pests, very small organisms, or the neurological cycle. The neurological connection, the brain, the nervous system of pests so that they can't reproduce and so that they die off.
So, these things are designed to kill very small organisms, and our bodies are largely made of very small organisms, right? We have trillions and trillions and trillions of microorganisms that live in and on our bodies. So, this haphazard use of these compounds has obviously been detrimental in our culture, and right now there are tens of thousands of chemicals that are approved for use in pesticides by the EPA. It's just gotten way out of hand, and so if we can do anything to avoid this, the better.
So, getting organic is going to be ideal; so wild blueberries, organic blueberries, but I still don't want us to be too neurotic. So, if we do have some conventional berries every now and then. But berries are on that list of the dirty dozen specifically strawberry, 'cause it is number one on the list of the "Dirty Dozen" that the Environmental Working Group has noted for us to be more cautious about in our consumption of these things because they're going to have a higher concentration of pesticides and herbicides, and things of that nature. And we might have this idea that we can simply wash them off that, but these foods are grown in soil that is treated with these compounds. It's really these toxic chemicals have integrated themselves into the cellular matrix of these foods, and so washing them off with a little veggie wash, that's just literally window dressing. That's really not getting to the root, and understanding that it's really integrated itself in. So, if we can avoid these things, it's a good idea. But again, any of us, myself included, I'm going to have foods that are not organic, but if I can choose, if I have an opportunity to choose organic, I'm going to choose organic.
So, there's a couple of insights there with blueberries, to get the most out of them, how can we utilize them? Well, super easy to use. Obviously, you throw in blueberries into a smoothie. There's a variety of different dishes that we can make with blueberries as well. We can toss them in the salads, we can have them in your yogurt if you're having a dairy or non-dairy yogurt. The list goes on and on; just eating them by themselves, in a fruit salad, very, very versatile and easy to use. Blueberries for vision is number one on our list of these powerful 11 foods that resemble the body part that they nourished. Now we're going to move on to number two on our list.
And the next one here is avocados. When the Aztecs discovered the avocado, they named it āhuacatl, which many references show the word translating to mean testicle. Now, just to be clear, this could have been a situation where the fruit itself was named āhuacatl, but then when the Aztecs used the word, they used it interchangeably to mean testicles. For example, the Aztecs were out maybe hunting or whatever, and we'll just say, one of the tribesmen, his name was Stan because that was a big name back in those ancient Aztec times. Stan, alright, that part is made up, right, but Stan gets a great kill and then his friend is like, "Hey Stan, you've got some massive āhuacatls."
So maybe āhuacatl meant avocado, but they used it interchangeably, the same way that we would use a word like nuts or balls in our culture to mean testicles. Alright, but nuts are nuts, these are walnuts, chestnuts, things of that nature, but just having that resemblance, people started calling them that at some point. Or balls, and balls are balls, basketballs, soccer balls, but we also interchangeably refer to them as balls. So, this could have been the case with āhuacatl and its name. But it is connected to the reproductive system, for both men and for women. Avocados are also said to resemble the uterus and even the ovaries. Again, definitely check out the video of this episode to see the resemblance, because the uterus itself resembles an avocado, but if you see the fallopian tubes, they sort of look like arms coming off of the uterus and then arms that are holding two avocados. It is remarkable to see first-hand, and also if you think about a baby being the "seed" inside of the avocado and you see that image as well, it's pretty interesting.
Now, how does this play out in the real world? Is there any data to affirm that avocados are beneficial for reproductive health? Well, a joint study conducted by researchers at UC Davis, the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Ohio State University, set out to analyze the benefits of avocados as it relates to women's reproductive health and fertility. They found that the fats and other nutrients from avocados can help improve fertility, support healthy pregnancy and even support milk production while breastfeeding. They noted that more studies needed to be done, but this early data is incredibly encouraging.
So that is specifically looking at women's reproductive health. For men, the reproductive health benefits from avocados, lie in their benefits in supporting healthy circulation, because that's what it's all about, it's about the flow, it's about the blood flow circulation. A study conducted by researchers at Penn State University, put test participants into three different diet groups in a randomized order. They were either put into a low-fat diet group, a moderate-fat diet group, or a moderate-fat diet that included one avocado a day. When the test subjects' blood work was analyzed, after five weeks, the participants on the Avocado diet had significantly lower levels of VLDL particles.
So, this is very low dense lipoprotein, and again, it's not as black and white as LDL is bad, HDL is good. LDL plays incredibly important roles in the human body, but the smaller, denser, very low dense lipoprotein particles have been well established to potentially have more problematic tendencies with their ability to get caught up in places that they shouldn't be, and their propensity towards being oxidized. And that's even more important, they noted in the study that in the Avocado group, they also had significantly lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, than what they saw in the low fat and moderate fat diets that didn't include the avocados. So, the avocados had some really remarkable protective effects, protecting the cardiovascular system. Now, participants in the Avocado group also had significantly higher levels of antioxidants including lutein, which is a potent antioxidant, well noted to be beneficial to the cardiovascular system as well. One of the researchers stated that the addition of the daily avocado helped to prevent the build-up of plaque in the arteries, thus being protective of the circulatory system. Alright, again, it's with male reproductive... With all of us, but with the male reproductive system specifically, circulation matters. Alright. Now, you see here there's like a little Antonio Banderas, and then when I said circulation matters and avocados appear to be very protective and supportive of healthy circulation.
Alright, so avocados resembling the womb, resembling the ovaries, resembling the testicles, there is a little bit of data to support this for sure. And the question is of course, do we utilize this to our advantage? We know that they are an incredible source of monounsaturated fats, which have tremendous data now looking at longevity associated with the consumption of monounsaturated fats from real whole food sources, and also, it's just packed with a plethora of other nutrients. It's one of the best sources of potassium, which is incredibly important for the healthy blood composition, circulation, all those things as well. And the important part in that combination is sodium-potassium pump for all of our cells and specifically our mitochondria to be able to function properly.
The list goes on and on and on. So how do we utilize avocados and get the most out of them? Well, first of all, avocados are really moody, alright. This could be another sign of their reminiscent of male and female reproduction because they're moody, they're unripe, unripe, unripe, unripe, ripe for half a day, then they're nasty after that. Alright, then they just quit on you. They're very moody. They're very like, you got a certain window of opportunity where they're fertile to eat. Come on are you seeing how I'm tying it together? But truly, what can we do to extend that fertility window, that ovulation window for avocados? Here's a super incredible tip that I just learned recently, like the last couple of years.
Once your avocados, start to... Because you'll know like, "Okay, this avocado is going to be good tomorrow," but then if you don't get to it, it might be a wrap. When your avocado is just reaching that point of ripeness and maybe you've got a bunch of them, put them in the refrigerator, stash them in the fridge, and that can extend its window of opportunity, extend its ability to be fresh and to maintain that gorgeousness that we want to see when we open up an avocado. Stash it in the refrigerator. It extends that life span of ripeness and deliciousness for a couple of days. Alright, so leave them to sit out so that they can ripen on the counter, but then stash them in the fridge once they reach that point of ripeness. Alright, so there's a little bit of a tip there and also... Now, this is going to sound crazy, but when they're ripe, you can also freeze the avocados. Alright. Now this might be good for use if you're putting avocados into smoothies, for example, or if you're using it, you can just unthaw it to whip up some guacamole. So, there's a couple of tips because avocados can be a little bit moody.
Also, if we can get avocados organic, if we can, when we have the opportunity, all good, but this isn't on that list of the Dirty Dozen. Avocados do appear to be a little bit more resilient when they're conventionally grown, so just keep that in context and... What are we using it for? Well, obviously, I mentioned some folks have never even experienced putting avocados in a smoothie. If you have the right recipe, it's amazing, it's so amazing, so creamy and smooth. Also, you can make a great pudding with avocado, adding in some high-quality chocolate and some other ingredients. Obviously, guacamole. And I like to say that guacamole is what happens when an avocado gets its wings. Alright, that's what... There's the Angel song, but also, we can utilize it obviously tossing in a salad, and sushi rolls. You can even do some mock tuna or mock salmon sushi rolls, or you can add avocados to a plethora of other dishes, it's just one of those great sides that really pair well with so many different foods. So, the versatile avocado and its benefits on human reproduction.
Alright, now we're going to move on to number three on our list, and number three is ginseng. Now, hopefully, again, if you're watching this on YouTube, you can see that ginseng sort of looks very human-like in its presentation. The particular picture, there's one of the images has a bunch of ginseng in a bowl, and it looks like a bunch of people laying around on the couch, like mingling, having a good time. That's how ginseng looks. So, if we're talking about ginseng, we're talking about it being viewed as a whole-body tonic and a whole human vitalizer. So, it's all about energy. So, what does the data show?
The randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study, published in the journal, PLOS ONE, found that after four weeks, participants using ginseng experienced less physical and mental fatigue and were also found to have less oxidative stress than those taking the placebo. Alright, now oxidative stress that's associated with aging, we're going to all experience some oxidative stress, but when it becomes excessive, like all the things that our cells are battling with today in our very abnormal environment, it's leading to accelerated aging. Now, that's just one, there's so many aspects here with ginseng really operating as a whole human vitalizer. Another study, and this was published in the International Journal of Impotence Research. Again, this is going back in kind of parlaying, you see this was back-to-back with avocado for good reason.
what they did was they put ginseng, head-to-head with the placebo and head-to-head against a drug used for erectile dysfunction. 30 men were placed into each group, the ginseng group, the erectile dysfunction drug group, and the placebo group. Although complete remission was not seen in any of the groups, the participants receiving ginseng had a 60% improvement in erectile dysfunction symptoms compared to just a 30% improvement from the medication and a 30% improvement in the placebo group. Again, the medication was only effective as the placebo, and this is what's consistently seen in clinical trials as a little side bar, is that in clinical trials when there is a belief system around a medication that it might be treating a particular issue, and there is a positive association, for example, a blood pressure medication or something to help to manage a normalized blood sugar, the list goes on and on and on. In clinical trials just the belief that this drug is going to have a therapeutic effect, leads to the therapeutic effect happening more often than not.
As a matter of fact, in clinical trials, placebos are somewhere in the ballpark of about 33% effective on average for addressing that chronic issue or acute issue that the researchers are trying to target. So, in clinical trials, we have to account for the placebo having a therapeutic effect, like what we're seeing here in this study. The placebo was comparative, the placebo performed just as well as the medication, but what performed better than both of them was ginseng. Now, let's look at energy again in a more specific way. What about when you're dealing with extreme conditions? Our conventional cancer treatments are well noted to carry chronic fatigue as a major side effect. Well, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial cited in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, show that cancer survivors utilizing ginseng has significantly lower fatigue levels than those in the placebo group.
Alright, so again, how often do you hear things like this that can start to stack conditions in people's favor, regardless of the situation that they find themselves in? There's so much to behold from the incredible foods that have been around for thousands of years throughout human evolution to fortify and support human health. And now again, many of the peer-reviewed journals that are focused on pharmacology are giving so much credibility. Really, this is where the credibility is, is with real food, because it's coming along without detrimental side effects, that's the key. The side effects that come coupled with all of these recent drug inventions again, these things were made recently. We might have a new drug that was invented last year, whereas we have human genes and gene expression in our DNA has been evolving for hundreds of thousands of years and have never interacted with this brand-new thing. What's going to be the outcome?
Well, when we have this term side effect, it's not really a side effect at all, it's a direct effect, because every single cell in your body is going to be affected when you consume anything, that's what's so crazy about our system today. It is so hyper-focused on compartmentalizing human health. So, this particular thing is only going to affect pancreas function, or this particular thing is only going to affect the brain, this particular thing is only going to affect the heart, this is a heart medication, it's a cardiovascular system medication, and nothing could be further from the truth, it's affecting everything.
Alright, so even going back to the research that we covered on blueberries, for example, there's a tremendous amount of research now identifying benefits with blueberries. We just targeted the thing that they look like. It's great for the eyes, but if it's great for the eyes, it's also probably great for the heart. There's a tremendous amount of data on blueberries being beneficial for helping to manage blood pressure, helping to improve the health of our microbiome, and even a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan published data finding that blueberry intake can potentially affect genes related to fat-burning. So, it's literally it's an epigenetic influence. So, if we look at the fields of nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics and understanding how food, literally every bite of food that we eat has an impact on our gene expression, and also our genes have an influence on which foods are going to be good for us, are going to be ideal for us.
And so, keeping all these things in context in a world that compartmentalizes things, we want to think bigger than that. However, it can be really powerful and a great affirmation when we do learn about certain foods that do have clinical evidence and their resonance with certain human body parts that they just so happen to look like as well. So, with ginseng, there's a wide range of types of ginseng, and this is something that you can experiment and try out different forms of ginseng. They're generally found in supplemental forms, so in capsules, or ginseng powder that can be added to different dishes, that can be added to smoothies and things of that nature. They're also found readily in peas. Again, organic if you can, it's always great to be conscientious about the sources that you choose for any supplements, especially. So, ginseng is that whole body tonic it's again, looking like a human who's maybe doing a little dance or something like that.
So, shoutout to ginseng. Alright, we're going to move on to number four on our list, and if this one wasn't one of the more Captain Obvious ones, and this is the kidney bean resembling the kidneys. One of the major roles of the kidneys that most folks don't realize is in helping to manage the cardiovascular system. Your kidneys literally function as a filter to remove excess metabolic waste products from your system. They are incredibly important and also helping to remove excess fluids from the system. And a big workload of filtering your blood is taken on by the kidneys. Your kidneys filter about 200 quarts of your blood each and every day. Your kidneys also, in how they really relate to the health of our blood and managing the cardiovascular system, your kidneys work along with your brain to manage your blood pressure.
When we think about blood pressure, we tend to think about the heart, the arteries, maybe we might consider that, and we just think that that's all handling itself, but it's really your brain and your kidneys that are major regulators of what your circulatory system is doing. And so, your kidneys and your brain are sending hormonal messages that either relax or constrict your blood vessels. This is how important our kidneys are. And to take it a step further, your kidneys actually produce the hormone erythropoietin that tells your bone marrow to make new red blood cells. To make your red blood cells, your kidneys are the one, this is the organ that's like sending the command for it to get done. Super, super powerful stuff.
Now, when it comes to regulating the blood, it's no wonder that this powerful organ's namesake, the kidney bean has some targeted effects. A randomized crossover trial published in the journal, Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, found that kidney beans elicit a positive effect on relaxing blood vessels for several hours after eating. Kidney beans are also a dense source of other healthy blood supporting compounds; things that are needed to literally build our blood, like iron and potassium. And they're also a great source of anthocyanins, alright. Those anthocyanins that we talked about a little bit earlier in our conversation about blueberries.
So, if we're talking about antioxidants, a great way to identify antioxidants, in that spectrum is colors. So again, this doctrine of signatures, certain colors relate to certain antioxidants. So that kind of bluish reddish hue is a good indicator that it's going to be a source of anthocyanins for example. So again, nature didn't come without instructions, and if we can tap into a little bit more of what our ancestors knew and our relationship with these foods and the human body, I think we're going to be better for it. So, kidney beans, helping to benefit the kidneys through the dynamic of helping to relax the blood vessels and lowering, normalizing blood pressure, especially in the context of folks who have hypertension. So, that is number four on our list of these incredible foods that resemble the body parts that they are good for.
Next up on our list, and now this one was going to be a little surprising. Because I don't think a lot of folks have actually seen this before. Now recently, just within the last decade or so, a lot of folks have been able to have a new relationship with chocolate and start to understand the root of where chocolate comes from. Because growing up, we just saw it as candy, right? It's just like 3 Musketeers, Mars, Butterfinger, Twix, whatever has got that chocolate coating or a Hershey's bar right so we got chocolate candy. And we don't know where it comes from, we just think it's just chocolate, it's just made up. But chocolate actually comes from a powerful root, it comes from the root of cacao, right? So, this botanically it's a pod that when you cut it open, there are a bunch of seeds within it that is covered with fruit, it's a fruit covering, but within it are what we call these chocolate beans.
So, the cacao beans are inside covered by fruit. But again, you've got to see the YouTube video on this one. When you cut the pod open and you see that plethora of fruit-covered seeds within the cacao pod, it looks damn close to some teeth. It looks like that cacao pod is smiling at you. And it is super weird, alright? Chocolate and its root cacao is beneficial for our teeth. Alright, now listen to this, a study conducted by researchers from the department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Naples in Italy, found that the polyphenols in chocolate have anti-cariogenic, aka anti-cavity effects. Specifically, the researchers found that chocolate polyphenols significantly reduce biofilm formation and acid production that is detrimental to our teeth. Again, you've got to see the video on this one to see how much it resembles teeth, it's really weird.
Now, theobromine, specifically, and this is an alkaloid found in chocolate, it is also well noted to have benefits for the cardiovascular system, but it also appears to have benefits for our teeth. A study published in the Dental Research Journal revealed that the theobromine in chocolate-based non-fluoride toothpaste outperformed two commercial fluoride toothpastes, including kids Colgate in defending against cavity-associated microbe activity.
That's bananas. Brushing your teeth with chocolate compounds? Who knew? Who knew outperformed fluoride toothpaste including kids Colgate, which again, comes along with the a plethora of whatever? So, understanding this compound, theobromine, but let me share this actually with you, this is a little fun fact. The compound theobromine is derived from the cacao tree itself. The name of the cacao tree, that's where the compound theobromine is alkaloid gets its name. The scientific name of the cacao tree itself is Theobroma cacao. Thus theobromine, but Theobroma Cacao, which means food of the gods in Greek.
Now, let that dance around in your mental dance floor for a little bit. Alright, shout out to Kevin Bacon, shout out to footloose. The food of the gods. Really, really, cool. Now, overall, the tannins, polyphenols and flavonoids found in dark chocolate and its origins, cacao, are protective of our teeth. Chocolate also contains a plethora of nutrients that are needed for healthy teeth and gums like calcium, magnesium and potassium. Again, mountains of peer-reviewed evidence demonstrate the benefits that high quality chocolate have on things like cardiovascular health and brain health, and we've talked about this several times here on The Model Health Show. But its benefits for our teeth are another way that chocolate can put a smile on your face.
Now, this really leans into the importance of the quality and source of chocolate. Alright. This matters so much. When we're talking about these benefits, we are not talking about jamming down some Twix, we're not talking about jamming down a Hershey's bar. We're talking about getting closer to the root of chocolate, the high-quality chocolate. The root of cacao. So, there are wonderful companies now that are making dark chocolate bars that aren't including a tremendous amount of heavily refined sugar and just going overboard in the process, the extraction process, the processing of the chocolate to keeping it closer to its roots so that it has more bioavailable nutrients, so that's one aspect of it. For sure. So, we've got, of course, cacao powder that you can use for smoothies. There's cacao nibs, you can get the little pieces of the chocolate beans and add them to different dishes as well, toss them into smoothies and things like that too. So, it's upgrading the sourcing of chocolate. By the way, traditionally, if we're talking about ancient civilizations like the Aztecs, like the Mayans, chocolate was actually used as a form of currency. Alright? What?
Alright. Forget Bitcoin. If you want to get a new sweater, you'd be like, "Here's 17 chocolate beans. Let me get that." Instead of the Gucci, it's the Aztec Gucci, I don't know, but you go, and you buy your clothes and your food and your livelihood, you use those chocolate beans. It was this valuable for them to utilize this and they were rich with sources of gold and things of that nature, but one of the rulers, he had a vault full of... And I picture it like Scrooge McDuck just full of these chocolate beans and diving in and going swimming in the chocolate beans, but this is how valuable it's been for cultures of the past because they knew something remarkable about this food.
But oftentimes, if we're talking about combining with things, and it wasn't necessarily... The chocolate combined with the sweet is a newer invention because there's some evidence that the traditional hot chocolate drink was really something that was more spicy. Alright. And so, leaning into that a little bit, how about using chocolate in some savory dishes? There's a great chocolate chili recipe; you could toss a little bit of cacao powder into your next chili, maybe with some kidney beans in the chili. You start stacking it. That's what it's all about. But one of the most common ways, and the easiest on rap for folks is making a chocolate smoothie but upgrading those ingredients.
When we're talking about high quality protein powder that has a high-quality source of cacao in there too, high quality cocoa, it just is going to up level and extract some of these benefits that again, it's not just good for our cardiovascular system, our brain, but also noticeably for our teeth, surprisingly, in the data. And so, throwing together a smoothie that combines, and what we can do, again, we can stack here with some of these foods that we've already covered, but again, we've got to keep in mind that your source, your protein from random company X chocolate protein can be very sketchy.
I can't even tell you, over the years, I've experimented with so many different protein powders, so many different sources and forms, everything from colostrum-based to plant-based pea protein, pumpkin seed protein, rice protein, you name it, I've experimented with it. Oftentimes, for months at a time, sometimes even years, to see what it does, and also in my clinical practice and recommending just based on people's preferences, different sources of protein is a wide range, but of course, if you're going to do a whey protein, you want to make sure that it's a grass-fed whey without all those crazy ingredients.
The maltodextrin, or any unnecessary things, but low glycemic sweeteners in there. And my favorite what is in our cabinets, we use the protein from Onnit. It's in a league of its own, hands down. It's just incredible. That's O-N-N-I-T. The whey protein from Onnit, the sourcing is remarkable. And also, it's coming along with digestive enzymes and low glycemic sweeteners as well. My wife loves the chocolate, she loves it. It's her daily thing. And so, we've got that and also, they got a wonderful plant-based protein as well, chocolate protein. So that's another way that we could build and stack and do a smoothie, a chocolate smoothie with higher quality chocolate and higher quality proteins. We know how important protein is. When we talk about some building block of the human body, building blocks of the human body is amino acids. No, I don't think we get it. Literally, our cells require protein.
If we're talking about hormones, for example, hormones are these biochemical messengers that allow ourselves to talk to each other, it's pretty important. Hormones are made from proteins. This is so important on so many levels. And being muscle protective, especially as we're performing, especially as we're moving on an age, one of the biggest detriments that we see that decline is really taking place with a loss of functionality, losing muscle, sarcopenia and all these other issues, we've got to be protective of our muscle. It's so valuable. Our muscle is like a reservoir for anti-aging hormones. It is so protective at keeping us younger longer, functional longer. We need protein to build that muscle.
So, I can go on and on. I'm so passionate about this because it's something so simple and readily available, plus we can stack the smoothie with more real foods as well, but that's onnit.com/model. That's O-N-N-I-T.com/model. You get 10% off their incredible proteins and also you got a plethora of other earth-grown nutrients with their supplement formula, it's great snacks. Their protein bites, chocolate protein bites have got a peanut butter cup. But it's just again, real food-based, minimal ingredients, super foods implemented in their digestive enzymes. Tasty, but lower glycemic. Upgrading the snacks, because for a lot of people, going straight from snacking on candy and whatever else that is, to snacking on some celery, that's a big jump, that's a big jump. So, this is why I love companies that are upgrading the things that we're used to. Again, that's onnit.com/model for 10% off everything they carry.
And let me give you a recipe, a smoothie recipe that I just had. This is one of my favorite smoothies. You take... Now, we're going to stack some of the foods that we've already covered here today. It's going to be a smoothie; we're going to use this as the base. For the creaminess, we're going to use avocado. Alright, so you take half of a small ripe avocado, you toss that into the blender. Then one cup of frozen blueberries. So, we've got our blueberries, we've got our avocado. Then we use the chocolate protein from Onnit, and then you add your favorite milk. So, whatever, it could be a non-dairy or a dairy milk, whatever it is that floats your boat. There are so many different things that people are milking today. They're milking the tit of almonds, they're milking oats, they're milking flax, they're milking cashews, everything is getting milked out there. So, there's a plethora of different milks. Whatever milk you're into, hemp milk, there's so many different kinds of milk.
And have you ever made your own nut milk? Do you have a nut milk bag? Probably the worst product name ever invented. But yeah, we used to make nut milk all the time. So anyways, add your favorite milk and add some ice. And also, something for a little bit more of that satiety factor, the taste and to match up with the fats in there, a nut butter of your choice as well. So, this could be some organic peanut butter, this could be some organic almond butter, or whatever the case might be, or it can be the next body mimicking nut that we're going to cover right now.
The next one of our powerful foods that actually resemble the human body part that they have peer-reviewed evidence on its benefit is walnuts and the human brain. Now, again, make sure to check out the YouTube version because it is uncanny how much a walnut looks like the brain. Now, strikingly compounds found in walnuts have been shown to be remarkable in their effects on the human brain. Notably, compounds in walnuts have been shown to help scrub your brain clear of the harmful amyloid beta peptide that leads to bonafide amyloid plaque build-up in the brain. And this amyloid plaque build-up is associated with dementia and Alzheimer's and more, and walnuts have some protective benefits here. The data highlighted in the journal, Neuro-Chemical Research demonstrates that walnuts have the potential to reduce oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and protect your brain cells from an early demise.
Walnuts are packed with brain healthy vitamins, minerals, and fats. And recent research from UCLA suggests that eating a handful of walnuts per day may actually help to boost memory. The research has found that walnuts appear to have benefits on improving memory, concentration, and the speed at which your brain processes information. Again, it's not just the structure of the brain and being protective of that, but also the functionality and that playing out in the real world with improved memory.
Walnuts compact in their very own hard shell, like your cranium, for example. And again, it's another little bit of... That's really interesting. That's an interesting coincidence. And without a special equipment, it can be really hard nut to crack. Now, also in that same lane of functionality and that whole body benefit, walnuts have been found to interact with the brain and other organs to coordinate the release of certain satiety hormones. So, these hormones that help us to feel satisfied, to experience a sense of fullness and not be experiencing ravenous hunger. So, these nuts, including walnuts, are a great category of foods that have really great benefits on our satiety hormones, but notably here in this context, walnuts. So not only do they look like the brain, they have a beneficial impact on our brain cells as well. With this, walnuts again, super easy to use. We could snack on walnuts. We could add some to a smoothie. You can get yourself some walnut butter. Easy to add to trail mix salads. You can obviously use them in a variety of culinary dishes. This is something simple to add to snack. So, sprinkling on some yogurt, gluten-free oats, or whatever you're into. Walnuts, easy add-in, but the question is, are you using them because your brain really seems to like them?
Alright, we're going to move on. We're at number seven on our list of these 11 powerful foods that surprisingly resemble the organs in the human body that they have benefit for, clinically proven benefit. Alright, now this next one is, ooh, we tend to think of our lungs simply as these air-filled sacs in our chest. We got these sacks in our chest, but there's a lot more than air going on in there. Within the lungs, helping to make the breathing magic happen are the bronchi, which strikingly resemble the larger stems of broccoli. The bronchioles, which mimic the way broccoli has smaller branches springing off from the large main branch. And the alveoli, which are the tiny air sacs at the end of the bronchioles that resemble the buds from the flowering head of the broccoli. Again, you've got to see the YouTube version to see just how similar broccoli looks to the inner workings of the lungs.
Now, the lungs are incredibly complex and powerful. Take the alveoli, for example. These tiny buds are where the lungs and the blood exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide during the process of breathing in and breathing out. That's some seriously powerful activity happening in those tiny little buds. Now, they're tiny, but they are incredibly mighty in their performance. Now, how does the broccoli and lung health connection play out in the real world? Because again, once you see this similarity in their appearance, it's really, really crazy and cool, but how does this play out? Well, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that sulforaphane, a plant chemical that is made by broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables, helps to restore the immune system pathways within the lungs that clean out harmful pathogens and reduce the risk of infections. Researchers at UCLA also noted the potent ability of sulforaphane to reduce inflammation specifically in the lungs.
Another study, this was featured in the journal, BMC Cancer, revealed some remarkable benefits in reducing lung cancer risk in smokers and former smokers. The research has found that the isothiocyanates that are uniquely found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have a cancer-modulating effect that defends the lungs against smoking-related damage. They noted that the isothiocyanates modulate carcinogen metabolism and facilitate carcinogen detoxification. That's really, really powerful.
Now, circling back to the anti-inflammatory effects that broccoli compounds have on the lungs, I was shocked by how many peer-reviewed papers have come out recently analyzing the benefits that these broccoli compounds can have against COVID-19. I couldn't believe it. Who thinks of that? But I love it because this is the world that we live in right now. Yes, there's a lot of nonsense. Yes, a lot in medicine has been barking up the wrong tree. But there's so many folks now who are aware of the remarkable benefits and compounds that are found in foods that have just amazing benefits in the human body. Whereas food has largely been brushed off to the side in its importance in medicine and negating the fact that our tissues are literally made from food, and we're trying to adjust and treat tissues with these external synthetic treatments, these newly invented treatments, not understanding that our tissues themselves are made from the things that we eat. So, does food matter? Of course, it matters. And now, many researchers have really put this top of mind, they're looking at things like this because again, I was shocked. I couldn't believe how many studies were looking at these broccoli compounds and their relationship with COVID-19.
Now, check this out. A report published in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences highlighted how sulforaphane acts upon the defensive pathways used by the lungs and other tissues that combat excessive inflammation triggered by COVID-19. Another study published in the World Allergy Organization journal titled "Efficacy of Broccoli and Glucoraphanin in COVID-19." A paper, again, looking at broccoli and COVID-19. Who knew? Who thought of this? Alright, so the title of paper again was "Efficacy of Broccoli and Glucoraphanin in COVID-19: From Hypothesis to Proof of Concept with Three Experimental Clinical Cases." So, that’s the title of the paper. And this paper analyzed several studies employing broccoli compounds in relationship to COVID-19. In one study, the scientists detailed that capsules of broccoli seeds containing glucoraphanin, so this is another one of these compounds that are abundant in broccoli. And they found that consuming these capsules of broccoli seeds containing glucoraphanin being taken before the onset of SARS-CoV-2 infection and were continued daily for over a month after the first COVID-19 symptoms. So, they started taking them before they got the infection and they continued taking them. And the research has stated that this intervention, consuming these broccoli concentrates, was found to reduce many of the symptoms of COVID-19 rapidly.
Another aspect of the study found that the intervention led to a reduction in severity of cytokine storms. Now, I’ll tell you, this doesn't sound real. Broccoli versus COVID, it doesn't sound real. It doesn't. Alright, because our paradigm is such that we're looking for a new drug, some kind of like scientists come together and we find this thing and... This doesn't fit into that paradigm, but the data exists. It's really interesting. It's not saying that this is some curative agent, some magic end all be all, but there are some notable compounds in here that are helping to reduce inflammation and helping to reduce the severity of symptoms, so we should definitely acknowledge that. And this is why, again, there's multiple papers looking at this, and... I was going to say, this is why we need to investigate this further. Because if this is beneficial here, what else can it be beneficial for?
Now, the most concentrated form of these compounds, as kind of highlighted a little bit in that last study I mentioned, are the nutrients found not just in the broccoli itself, but in broccoli sprouts, which echoes the advice from Harvard researcher and founder of the Angiogenesis Society, Dr. William Li, who was on The Model Health Show several times, and on recently to talk about COVID-19. And he's got some incredible insights very early on in this, in being able to get lung tissue from a cadaver and see the interaction that COVID-19 has on lung tissue and finding that this is much more related to the capillary function, the endothelium, than what most folks realize. So, this being more of a circulatory issue, not just this strictly respiratory condition. So really powerful stuff. We'll put that episode with Dr. William Li for you in the show notes. But he talked about on the show how powerful broccoli sprouts can be as a preventative and supportive agent in relationship to this infectious disease that's on everybody's minds.
So, really cool stuff there. Broccoli resembles the inner workings of our lungs. And just so happens, there's a tremendous amount of peer-reviewed evidence showing that broccoli does in fact have benefits, substantial benefits, for our lungs. So, same tenet here. We can get organic broccoli all good. We can get fresh broccoli; frozen broccoli is a super easy thing to always have on hand in the freezer. Combining broccoli with some high-quality fats is going to... Because there's going to be fat-soluble nutrients in the broccoli as well. So obviously broccoli is kind of a stand-alone thing, but broccoli, funny enough, can also be added... Some people add broccoli to different soups and smoothies and things like that as well. I'm not saying you do that; I'm not saying it's delicious, but some folks do. But the broccoli sprouts, one of my mother-in-laws, one of my greatest teachers and mentors, she would put the broccoli sprouts right on top of the salad looking like a whole bunch of Albert Einstein's hair on top of her salad, and then she'd tear that up and then... So that got me interested in the sprouts, so I got into the sprout life. Alright, so shout out to Mama Mukami. I appreciate you immensely always. Alright, so broccoli sprouts, broccoli, add it in.
Alright we're going to move on here. We're up to eight here on our list of foods that resemble the human body, different parts of the human body, and this one is looking at something that resembles directly human blood. I don't think there's any natural whole real food that resembles blood more than beets. Alright, beets. If you've ever seen a beet juiced or juice a beet yourself, it comes gushing out like a scene from Blade 3. Alright, Blade 3. Apparently, the progression of the Blade movies went downhill, but I like Blade 3, 'cause it had Ryan Reynolds in it. It was great, I thought it was good. But shout out to Wesley Snipes... And this coming... They're redoing it now, as well Marvel Universe is bringing Blade into the thing. Arguably, Blade kicked off the new Marvel paradigm and gave them a lift to do what they're doing today. Because Marvel, at the time, they were selling off their rights and their properties, their characters, left and right to try to stay afloat. So, big shout out to Blade and to Wesley Snipes. Anyways, blood, back to blood. If you guys are like, "What is Blade?" He's a vampire. Okay.
So, beets and blood. Now, obviously, the blood is also referred to as the river of life within our tissues, and it's transporting nutrients and oxygen everywhere that it needs to go, to fuel, to provide nutrients to everything from our eyes to our spine, to our toes. Thank you, blood, this river of life in our tissues for doing the incredible job that it does. Now, how do beets, which again, look like more than any other whole food, blood, it's kind of creepy, but how does this play out to benefiting our blood? Well, a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial analyzed the effects of beet juice on blood pressure and endothelial function of older adults. At the end of the four-week study, the results demonstrated that the participants receiving beet juice had significant improvements in blood pressure, and improvements in large vessel endothelial function.
Now, circling back to a little bit of the science we talked about with COVID-19, the damage to our endothelial function that takes place with that, our body's response, these cytokine storms our response to interacting with this particular virus, a lot of the damages being done to our endothelium and so seeing that beet juice, again of all things has benefits in supporting endothelial function and also improving blood pressure. What's going on here? The naturally occurring dietary nitrates in beets appear to readily improve levels of nitric oxide in the body and support overall cardiovascular performance, and this carries out into the domain of sports and exercise as well, and this is really one of the big places that beets are being utilized today, is in sports and sports performance, and there's some really cool data on this too. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that drinking beet juice boosts stamina up to 16% during exercise and sports training.
What? That's incredible, 16% increase in stamina, and also the study noted that their participants even experienced less muscle damage and less fatigue after the exercise and training was over. Alright, really, really cool stuff. So, this is operating on supporting our blood in a myriad of ways, when we're talking about beets, beets again, I mentioned juicing beets, there are a lot of different supplements that include beets right now, but again the quality and the sourcing of these things matter a lot. You can add beets to salads and different things as well, but just one of those really interesting things that has a direct... It looks again, when you see beet juice for example, looks like blood, it looks like a pint of that B Positive, but it really does have some benefits for supporting our blood in both managing blood pressure and in sports performance. So, beets, now moving on to number nine here, and number nine, we're keeping in the same domain, the things that resonate and have a similarity with our blood and even our red blood cells, and this one is pomegranate, alright pomegranate.
A meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled trials published in the journal Pharmacological Research, detailed how pomegranates have antioxidant, anti-hypertensive, and anti-inflammatory effects, specifically in support of the cardiovascular system and the study noted that drinking pomegranate juice consistently had blood pressure normalizing effects in test subjects. There it is, another one of those. This has risen in popularity recently, there's some commercial pomegranate juices out there, but you got to be careful with the sugar content in these things. Alright now, a little fun fact, this is crazy, I never experienced anything like this, but I moved from the Midwest to California not that long ago, it's been about a year and a half maybe. Well, it's been nuts since getting here but in this climate, in this part, this space on how the... Where it's situated on the globe, certain things just grow here. A lot of folks have avocados, the next-door neighbor has orange trees and lemon trees and apple trees and all this stuff, just walking down the street you just see fruit just rolling down the street, literally. I was walking yesterday morning and an orange fell off the tree, just rolled right up to me, creeped me out. Alright, creeped me out.
Alright, so this is something very new to me, I didn't grow up with these kinds of conditions, but earlier this year, I was outside in my backyard, and I noticed there was this fruit hanging down from this bush, right literally not that far from where I am, I went over to it. I approached it cautiously and I was like I know this isn't a pomegranate, just dangling down from this bush/tree, whatever this is, and sure enough, it's a pomegranate tree just sprouted up out of nowhere. So, I took a further investigation, I got a little closer with my curiosity and went over to pick a couple of them, and I found that one of them actually had a little bit of an entry point into it, where a squirrel had gotten in there and was dining on that pomegranate goodness, probably getting that good blood circulation and taking it back to his squirrel companion, never mind.
And by the way, if you've seen it on Instagram, I've got... That's another thing about LA, these squirrels are different here, St. Louis squirrels they are very... They don't mess with people. If you're a 100 yards away, they got caution alright, their yellow light comes up, alright. The squirrels in LA are different, you could walk right by and they're like what you're looking at player? What is it? You know? But if you see on my Instagram, I have a little squirrel buddy that comes up to me and literally he eats out of my hand, which is... I know some people are like don't do that, the squirrel would... If you get this or that.
Just relax, but one day my little squirrel buddy came up to eat a little snack that I have for him, and his teeth were so red, and it just creeped me out. I was like, "Did he just murder somebody?" And I'm just like, "I don't know about my fingers now." and I got very apprehensive, but he's probably jumping into that pomegranate that was right there. So anyways, but there was a couple of other ones that weren't eaten into, and so I brought them in. My mother-in-law was here at the time, she actually... I believe she had one of them. But anyways, pomegranates are not that easy to get the nutrients out of because they're so... It's compartmentalized, it's kind of like this strange cellular world when you cut it open, and so you got to scoop out the seeds and then it takes a tremendous amount to make juice out of. But then the other compounds, there's other things, other factors in there that can be beneficial too that you might be able to extract in different ways than just juicing it in and potentially losing some of the compounds.
So anyways, this was very strange for me, a very weird experience because also it comes up, especially coming from where I come from, where you never saw food just growing outside like that. There's a part that comes up like, "Okay, I'm picking this fruit, but is this FDA approved? I don't know." There's a little bit of a apprehension, there's a little bit of reservation that comes up because of the association with food, you're getting it from a place, an entity. And it's still there... I've had many experiences of going and getting food and I've grown some things, but it's still there, like that little ghost of Shawn Christmas Past comes up and it's just like, "Ooh. The FDA." And now I know that the FDA really isn't... C'mon. You already know. By the way, about 40% of the funding for the FDA comes from pharmaceutical companies who then they're approving the drug from the pharmaceutical companies. Let me stop, let's not go down that track today.
But we're focusing here on this phenomenon, pomegranates are remarkable, and sometimes nature would just present you with a thing that you need to have. This resonance that it has... Again, this was eight randomized controlled clinical trials and published in the journal that focuses on pharmacology, finding that pomegranates have really remarkable antioxidant, anti-hypertension, hypertensive benefits, and anti-inflammatory effects as well. Alright, so but be mindful of that sugar content. There's got to be better ways, as a matter of fact, there is a better way, I'll tell you about in just a moment.
Number 10 on our list, we're staying in that lane with the blood, cranberries. Cranberries, Intercellular Adhesion Molecule one or ICAM-1, is a glycoprotein that is over-expressed in many disease states, specifically in cardiovascular disease, ICAM-1 also has a key function for the blood-brain barrier, and it's a marker for inflammation. Elevated blood levels of ICAM-1 have been shown to be increased in conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorder and dementia, according to data published in Frontiers in pharmacology. As for the blood and cardiovascular system, both ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, Vascular Cell Adhesion molecule one, are expressed within atherosclerotic lesions and elevated plasma levels of these molecules suggest a role in the build-up of plaque within the arteries and this was cited in the journal, Circulation, so not just so good.
So, what food can potentially improve our blood by targeting this specific issue? Over the course of a four-week study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, test participants drinking low calorie cranberry juice had significant decreases in ICAM-1 and VCAM-1 and reduced oxidation of circulating LDL. Again, the oxidation is really the big issue. And now we've got some really cool peer reviewed evidence showing that cranberries, these compounds and this food again, that has this resonant, this is red juice, this blood-like appearance too in the cranberries themselves, looking like little cells, having this benefit for helping to defend the body against plaque buildup in the arteries and in multiple ways, again, targeting ICAM-1, VCAM-1 and also the oxidation of LDL. So pretty remarkable stuff. We got cranberries, pomegranate, beet, like a blood transfusion, really up leveling the quality of our blood, the river of life.
But how can we get all these things without all of the added sugar that comes along with these foods in commercial products? Well, there's a concentrate of beet, pomegranate, cranberry, and even blueberry that we talked about earlier, and other dense superfoods in that red hue, that red blood building hue and adaptogens as well in the Organifi red juice formula. Now, instead of using these crazy sweeteners and sugar, literally sugar that's added to conventional cranberry juice and pomegranate juice, we're using low glycemic natural sweeteners. Alright, so we're getting this flavor sensation, it's kind of like, since this is a concentrate of these red superfoods, it's like red juice that's like red Kool-aid, in a sense, It's like upgrading that whole paradigm and getting this infusion of all these powerful superfoods, these nutrients in a way that tastes good, that's easy to use, and it's a low temperature process to retain a lot of the nutrition that we're looking for in the first place. So, this is why I love it so much. And kids love it.
My son's best friend who lives next door, shout-out to Avery, he comes over and also, they get Organifi now, but if he's over at my house, they just go and randomly go and crack open a red juice and add it to water stir it up and sip on that. I love that they're doing that, I love it so much. It makes me so happy. And so, it's kid tested, parent approved, but it just makes this process easier. It makes it more of an easy on-ramp for folks to get these good things into their bodies versus like, "Okay, you're going to get healthy. Now, I'm going to need you to start juicing beets every day." So just making it more approachable, and I love things that do that because we've got quite a ways to go in our society. We've moved so far away from interacting with these foods.
As I mentioned earlier, even my interaction with a food growing in my backyard and having some old vibes coming up about it. But us getting closer to our food, getting closer to the sourcing of things, and if we're getting supplements, make sure that we're getting supplements from companies that pay attention to these things that are organic, by the way, organic ingredients in the red juice formula and having a high level of integrity. So definitely check them out, it's Organifi.com/model, and you get 20% off the red juice formula and their other incredible superfoods. So that's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model. Okay. So that's Organifi.com/model. O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I.com/model for 20% off. And those are three foods that are well noted to be beneficial to human blood, and they kind of resemble that as well.
So, we're here at our final food that resembles a part of the human body, but the question is, is there peer reviewed evidence showing that it actually has a benefit for that body part? And the next one is sweet potato and the pancreas. Now, we're going to have, again, on the YouTube version, you could see some images of this. It's pretty striking. I actually took a picture of a sweet potato myself; I just went over, and we got a bunch of sweet potato sitting over there and I went and picked one up, I was like, "No way." It's even got the little curvature at the end of it because the pancreas is... Pancreas isn't a really respected organ. And people are, "brain health, gut health, we've got the heart health." pancreas needs more love. Pancreas is doing so many incredible things, and it's just a strange looking organ, but the benefits... And we're going to talk a little bit about that seen with this interaction with sweet potatoes and the pancreas are pretty crazy.
Now, it's well noted that our pancreas is the home for the production of insulin, specifically the beta cells in our pancreas are making insulin, which insulin is needed to drive glucose into the cells. And having too much glucose floating around in our blood stream can be very, very detrimental and dangerous to our health. So insulin is critically important in that, and most importantly here in this conversation today is insulin sensitivity, because the beta cells can be producing insulin, but if our bodies are inundated with constant influx of sugar, then that signal, that messaging for insulin to be produced is still there, but the ability for the cells to retain their sensitivity to interacting with insulin to open the cell up for that energy to get shuttled into the cell, that can go down. It's sort of like your cells are getting spammed by insulin, and it's starting to go to the junk mail now, so that insulin sensitivity is going down, and so having high level of insulin sensitivity is important for managing issues that can result... You stretch that up further, and we see issues like type 2 diabetes, and which is somewhere in the ballpark of 90% of the cases of diabetes in our country, but then there's type 1 diabetes where there's an absence of the production of insulin by the beta cells in the pancreas.
So, there's a couple of issues here. And again, this is much more rare, but this is a autoimmune tied condition as well. There's a lot of things that we can do with our nutrition, with our sleep, with our movement practices that can help to support folks even if they're experiencing that side of the equation, as well, but we're specifically talking about the skyrocketing increase in type 2 diabetes in our world today and increases in insulin resistance. And so, knowing these things can sweet potato being that it really mimics the appearance of the pancreas, if there was a food that's going to look like it, does it have any benefit here? Well, a study cited in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that the consumption of sweet potatoes can minimize insulin resistance and defend against high blood sugar in people who are suffering from diabetes. This exists. This exists.
And I've got to share this with you because this is fascinating. A new study, and this was published in Food and Nutrition Research, analyzing the effects of white sweet potato on diabetic mice. So again, I wanted to share this because this is fascinating. This isn't human residence here, but of course, a lot of the stuff for prior to human studies are using animal models. But listen to this again. Okay. So again, this is published in Food and Nutrition Research analyzing the effects of white sweet potato on diabetic mice, found that the consumption of sweet potato actually triggered the creation of new pancreatic islets. Now, these are essentially small islands of cells in the pancreas that contain several types of cells, like the all-important alpha and beta cell, so it's literally creating these cells, these islands of cells that contain our alpha and beta cells. Okay. So, we know the beta cells produce insulin, the alpha cells produce glucagon. Glucagon plays a major role in helping to... Insulin is getting released to store energy.
Glucagon is coming along to get that energy out of the cell to be used as fuel, and so specifically, glucagon works a lot more with stored glycogen in the liver, but I'm kind of geeking out on this right now. It's so crazy that this food has been found to trigger the production of the cells that make these hormones. What? In the world, and again, further studies need to be done on this. But there's a new study just came out recently. Seeing this impact on mice, which is oftentimes mirrored in humans, but again, going back, we do have clinical evidence specifically in human trials on the consumption of sweet potatoes, minimizing insulin resistance and defending the body against high blood sugar.
Now, there's many different types of sweet potatoes, everything from this study, again, included white sweet potato, really common, and also in clinical trials is the orange sweet potato. We've got purple sweet potatoes, and we got the Japanese sweet potatoes, which would fall into that white potato goodness inside. It's white, but the outer portion is more of this kind of violet, reddish-purple hue. So many different types of sweet potatoes, different nutrient profiles, and each great source of microbiome-friendly fiber as well. The list goes on and on.
Tons of different ways to utilize sweet potatoes, just traditionally baking it and eating it. You can add a couple of little condiments to it to make it even more tasty. You can use sweet potato as a replacement for so many things. You can make sweet potato muffins, sweet potato pancakes. You can use them in savory dishes as well. So, use them in stews, use them in making your own burrito bowl, and having sweet potatoes along with kidney beans in kind of a nice little chili. There's so many different ways to utilize these incredible foods, but the question is, are we using them? So hopefully, this episode really helped to spark a new association. A new kinship with some of these foods that we've covered. And again, this is going into the doctrine of signatures.
And seeing, hey, we do know that there are these myths out there that these foods look like certain human body parts. But do they actually support them? Do they actually have any protective effects? They actually have any anti-aging effects. Any effects that helped improve those organs? And today, we went through a lot of the peer-reviewed evidence that shows like, "Wow, there is some really cool connections with this." So, if you're watching this on the YouTube version in the comments below, what are some other foods that resemble the body part that they're good for? There are many others that we could have put into this episode. But for you are there any that jump up into your mind that you are aware of that resemble the human body part that they're good for. Leave it in the comment section below, or what was your favorite food that you learned about today. And listen, we've got some powerful epic interviews and masterclasses coming your way very soon. So, make sure to stay tuned. Take care. Have an amazing day, and I'll talk to you soon.
And for more after the show, make sure to head over to themodelhealthshow.com. That's where you can find all of the show notes. You could find transcriptions videos for each episode. And if you got a comment, you can leave me a comment there as well. And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much. And take care. I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to help you transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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