I first heard of the health benefits of Ashitaba when I was listening to a podcast on my morning run. The podcast was all about the healthiest foods on the planet and the expert being interviewed was raving about Ashitaba, claiming it was the healthiest food he consumed daily. I was so intrigued that I stopped and googled it right on my running trail. Then, I ordered the powder from Amazon and continued on my run. Gotta love the convenience of smartphones!
Of course, I needed to do some more research…
For over 2,000 years, Ashitaba has been used in the East as a way to live longer and healthier. The plant is native to the volcanic island Hachijo, off of Japan, but can be grown by those in the West with a green thumb. The plant has been a part of the island dweller’s diets for centuries, which accounts for them boasting the longest life spans in the world. Ashitaba has a huge number of health benefits that are simply amazing, by anyone’s standards. If you are looking for a way to slow down the aging process (and who isn’t?) and keep your common chronic diseases at bay, you are going to want to know about this tasty plant! Let’s talk about the health benefits of Ashitaba.
Health Benefits of Ashitaba
Ashitaba is a treasure trove of dietary health, including 13 minerals, 11 vitamins, carotene, saponins, proteins, fiber, germanium, glycosides, chlorophyll, enzymes, coumarins, and a rare type of flavonoid called chalcones. Due to its mixture of amazing properties, it’s been studied at length. Ashitaba has been found to aid in the relief of a huge variety of illnesses and diseases, including:
* Prevents cancer
* Decreases symptoms of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis and rheumatoid
* Reduces symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome
* Decreases symptoms of GI disorders, such as gastrointestinal reflux and gastritis
* Increases brain function, including concentration, attention span, and memory
* Accelerates wound healing
* Balances PH levels
* Decreases bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol
* Prevents diabetes and sustains healthy blood sugar levels
* Detoxifies the body
* Anti-bacterial properties
* Strengthens immune system
The Many Health Benefits of Ashitaba
Nerve Growth Factor
The most amazing health benefit of Ashitaba has to be the fact that consuming it “turns back on” nerve growth factor in your brain. Nerve growth factor is a protein present from conception to develop your brain to increase cognitive function, such as nerve signaling, motor function, social communication, memory, etc. It is vital to sustaining a strong link between our neurons and our brains. But once we hit our 30s, the amount of nerve growth factor is depleted in brain tissue.
Scientific studies prove that consuming Ashitaba causes new brain cells to grow and develop to increase our brain functioning well into late life. This plant essentially removes the worry of decreasing memory, reaction time, intelligence and general brain function as we age. I told you it was fabulous! It can also be used to regenerate brain cell growth in those who have sustained brain injuries so they can regain their former brain function. Ashitaba can also reduce the severity of the symptoms of degenerative brain diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s so powerful that studies show it can improve cognitive function within only a few days.
Ashitaba is an adaptogenic plant, which means it protects every cell in our bodies from evasive stresses of modern life. Ashitaba supports the endocrine system. This is where our bodies determine if a stressor is a threat. It then helps us deal with physical and emotional stressors within our environment. Chronic stress is one of the most serious issues, and it negatively impacts our health in many different ways. Stress comes in many forms including overwork, sleep deprivation, chemical toxins, depression and anxiety, illness and drugs. All different types of stress we encounter break down our body and cause aging. But the powerful compounds found in Ashitaba, we can minimize its effects and help us live longer happier lives. Many people now believe that Ashitaba is more effective than any other adaptogenic plant, such as ginseng and elderberry.
When our cells become oxidized, our bodies start breaking down, causing common signs of aging. The powerful antioxidants in Ashitaba reduce the amount of oxidation that occurs, keeping us more youthful in body and mind. In scientific studies, Ashitaba was found to be more powerful than any other herb tested.
Ashitaba is one of the few natural sources of mineral germanium, which speeds healing in the body and protects it from the aging process due to free radicals. It also improves the immune system and is being used to aid the prevention and treatment of cancer. Further benefits include purifying the blood and improving the oxygen supply in the body, which increases the health of vital organs and gives us more energy. And if that weren’t enough, it also detoxes the body, helping it shed toxic radiation and heavy metals.
What’s not to love about Ashitaba? It’s an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial, anti-tumorigenic and a detoxifier.
Now, I know your next question: How can I add this fantastic plant into my diet so I can get the health benefits of Ashitaba? That’s easy. It’s delicious, so you can cook it or eat it raw if you want to eat the plant. It tastes a bit like celery, but more bitter. You can find the seeds online if you want to grow your own on your patio. It’s great chopped up and put on a salad. You can also get it powdered to add to your breakfast smoothie or in pill form. I prefer the powder because I can just add it to smoothies! You can even get it as a tea, so there are lots of ways to add it (or sneak it in) to your daily nutritional arsenal.