What is plant-based wellness?
At GreenBox, we like to think of the plant-based wellness movement as a revolution in how we think about our health and the planet. For many years, artificial ingredients permeated our food options as a surge in convenience invaded the shelves of our local grocery stores. It has only been recently that nutritional science began to demonstrate natural ingredients were much healthier for our bodies than the processed foods we had been shovelling into our mouths as we rushed out the door. The revolution did not stop there, as it started to become much clearer that popping a pill for every problem is a better way to create dependence than it is to promote wellness. Often brushed aside as unproven or unscientific, herbal medicine jumped back to the forefront as centuries’ old remedies for stress or fatigue became popular with a population looking for natural solutions without the harsh side effects of pharmacological drugs. Today, we stand at the crossroads of an amazing movement, one which is healthier for our bodies, our mood and the planet. At GreenBox, we are leading the revolution, and reintroducing the world to ancient remedies with a 21st century twist. Here are our three top picks of the moment:
This potent plant-based beauty is known as the “Prince of Herbs” in Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems, developed in India more than 3,000 years ago. Ashwagandha comes from the Sanskrit “smell of a horse” which not only refers to the smell of this herb but also eludes to its strengthening and aphrodisiac properties. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen which nourishes the nervous system and restores overall health. Adaptogens help our bodies fight off stress via a stimulating effect that holds off exhaustion. Ashwagandha helps normalize the bodies responses by modelling the release of stress hormones like cortisol from the adrenal glands, raising what is low (energy, memory capacity, mood) and decreasing what is high (stress). An amazing herb no doubt and one to add to a daily routine. Ashwagandha can be taken in concentred powder form. It has a slightly bitter taste so is often added to milks, smoothies, coffees or teas. To have an effect, you need to be consuming 3-5g daily, or approximately 1-2 teaspoons.
This spice is well known for giving curry its yellow colour and packs a wellness punch. The root of turmeric is widely used to make medicine which contains a yellow-coloured chemical called curcumin. This natural compound is responsible for many of the healing powers associated with turmeric. Turmeric has a long history of medical use, dating back nearly 4,000 years to the Vedic culture in India. Because of its brilliant yellow colour, turmeric is also known as “Indian saffron.”. With its inherent qualities and high content of the important bioactive compound curcumin, Indian turmeric is the best in the world. Turmeric has many potent properties. As an antioxidant, turmeric can scavenge free radicals and increase antioxidant enzymes. Some evidence suggests turmeric exhibits anti-inflammatory activity. While Turmeric exhibits strong antimicrobial properties, where extracts have been found to inhibit the growth of foodborne pathogens. Turmeric can be hard to absorb. Studies have shown taking it with piperine which is found in black pepper, makes it easier for the body to access the medicinal value in turmeric. It is also better consumed with milk, nutmilk or coconut oil as curcumin is fat-soluble.
There has been buzz about Cannabidiol for years and if you have not tried it yet, you have probably heard from a sore and achy friend about its potential to bring relief for pain or inflammation. Often abbreviated as just “CBD”, there are a few misconceptions about the newest plant-based power on the block. CBD is one of over 100 cannabinoids derived from the hemp plant. It will not get you high and is 100% legal to consume in the UK and most European countries. The body has a natural system filled with receptors that interact with cannabinoids. CBD entices the body to create its own endogenous cannabinoids which create a positive effect on the body’s pain and inflammation responses. CBD can be ingested in an oil called a tincture, applied on the skin with a topical or inhaled through vaporizing technology.