Friday, July 9, 2010

foods that give you Wings (and a story about redbull)

A few weeks ago, I picked up my friends en route to a cook out. One of them does promotional work for a popular 'extreme' energy drink that was sponsoring a block party earlier in the day. He offered me one and divulged that he had at least EIGHT super sized cans of the stuff in the last 24 hours. 0_0. Then, with disgust, he explained that the most popular energy drinks on the market all contain taurine, an almost amino acid (it lacks a carboxyl group, exempting it from being a true amino acid) produced by the body through the synthesis of two amino acids, methionine and cysteine. And that its a main component of bile acid. And is derived from bull intestines. With regret, I immediately remembered the free redbulls I chugged a few weeks prior at a dj battle they sponsored. yuck.
In the days following our conversation, I read up on taurine and learned that while it was infact first derived from the testicular and lower intestinal fluids of oxen and bull almost 200 years ago as a metabolizer, it is no longer used in most commercial energy drinks sold in the US -small sigh of relief. Cheaper, chemically synthesized versions are used in Redbull, Mtn Dew AMP and many of the other brands you may be familiar with. But as we know,'cheaper' & 'synthetic' are two terms to be weary of in food. I found several articles listing adverse health affects of taurine supplementation including depression and rapid muscle deformation. Others claimed that vegans maintain significantly lower levels of taurine than meat eaters, which makes sense because it is only found in trace amounts in a limited variety of plant life including seaweed & fungi. Our bodies-veg or not- produce taurine naturally as an acid component in bile; an intestinal fluid essential to the food digestion process. So, taurine being marketed as an energy booster is, at best, an indirect truth. Our bodies derive energy from the foods we consume. When your digestive system is working at full capacity, your energy is on trill. Skip the bull (looks in mirror and takes own advice) and reach for these upful digestive aides/energy boosters straight from erf!

Pineapple: Contains the enzyme Bromelain which breaks down proteins. When I have it in house, I eat a few pieces after every meal.
Papaya: Contains Papain which also breaks down proteins. I found some little papaya enzyme tablets in a health food store a few months ago for a dollar. great when you're on the go.
Mango: Fiber galore. Have some and feel your belly go to work.
Ginger: Stimulates blood flow to your digestive organs. Is there anything good that ginger doesn't do?
Kombucha Tea: Fermented & full of lactobacillus bacterium which aid in digestion. I Love Synergy Raw Organic Kombucha ! Some Whole Foods brew kombucha in-house and you can bring your own containers and take it home by the ounce/gallon.
Turmeric: Aids in the protection of the liver, which is a major center of digestion and detoxification in the body.
Ginseng: Stamina enhancer, overall energy booster.
Fennel Seed: Extremely savory in flavor. Chew a few seeds after a meal to aid in digestion.
Maitake Mushroom: Stimulates the immune system and fights chronic fatigue. They're delicious.
Bee/Flower Pollen: Sidestepping the vegan/vegetarian argument, pollen contains all 22 amino acids (wow), along with vitamins, minerals and enzymes. known as a 'superfood'

happy eating/living


Moon said...

very very good read to whomever it concerns!

Apeksha said...

so when you say bee pollen… you mean the from the hive kind right (possibly canned)? I dont know where to buy that stuff. Or how they can even package that way, but I just want to be sure. Do you take it from the plants///like shake the flower petals?

WaxTransparent said...

Peace Apeksha...
That is a great question...I dont see why you couldnt gather pollen from plants on your own. Shaking/licking the petals seems like a good enough way to do it. Very 'back to eden'. Ive read that a gram of raw pollen is a decent serving size. When I have it dry, which is how its most commonly sold in stores, I take about a teaspoonful. Bees are very discerning in the type of pollen they collect. Of the two varieties, Anemophile & Entomophile, bees only collect the more nutrient rich, non allergenic variety Entomophile. The 'vegan/vegatarian argument' I was refering to concerns the process in which bees gather the pollen. It involves mixing the pollen with a stomach secretion, allowing the tiny grains to stick together and form the 'pebbles' you see in the picture. Nay-sayers argue that harvesting 'kept bees' for human gain is immoral, however many vegetarians and naturalists consider bee pollen to be an extraordinary case and highly advocate its consumption. I have seen flower pollen extract for sale in capsule form, however its never been clear whether it was derived straight from the plant or somehow gathered from bees or other pollenating birds and insects. You can find different types of pollen at health food stores (if you're in the dc/md area try GLUT CCO-COP) and some chains like gnc, whole foods & the vitamin shoppe. There are dozens of small farms selling heirloom batches of bee pollens, royal jellies, propolis, honeys and the like via the net. There's plenty of reserach out there concerning Palynology. An enthuisiast name Joseph put this site together....

APEKSHA said...