Four Organic Ingredients to Upgrade Your Life: Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Ginger Root, and Tart Cherry

Four Organic Ingredients to Upgrade Your Life: Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Ginger Root, and Tart Cherry

Ashwagandha: The Modern Benefits of an Ancient Herb

For close to 3000 years, the ashwagandha root has been utilized as a healing plant. It grows wild in South East Asia and particularly India but is now cultivated across the globe.

Ayurvedic medicine is often credited with bringing ashwagandha to the attention of the West. When it comes to the many healing properties of the ashwagandha herb modern science has been playing catch-up with traditional medicine.

Why has ashwagandha been such an enduring success? Partly because the health benefits of taking ashwagandha target all of the body’s main systems. Here are some of the main areas where ashwagandha helps:

Five Main Health Benefits of Ashwagandha:

  • ANTI-INFLAMMATION - Ashwagandha root slows and inhibits inflammation which can cause countless problems in the body. Tumour growth, which can lead to a range of painful symptoms and even cancer in the extreme, is inhibited by the presence of ashwagandha.  
  • ANTIBACTERIAL - In clinical trials the ashwagandha herb destroyed a range of bacteria. The list includes Salmonella and E. Colli which are common sources of bacterial infection.
  • ANTIOXIDANT - Enzymes released by ashwagandha boost the body’s natural antioxidant system. A great balance of antioxidants reduce stress to cells and damage to the brain and nervous system.
  • ANXIETY & DEPRESSION - Clinical trials show that ashwagandha has strong anti-anxiety and antidepressant qualities. Trials have demonstrated ashwagandha to be more effective than synthetic drugs such as diazepam in treating mood changes related to addiction withdrawal.  
  • CARDIO BOOST - Several studies have linked ashwagandha to lower blood pressure. Overall heart health improves thanks to the anti-inflammation and antioxidant properties of ashwagandha.  

Ashwagandha is a healing extract with a number of interlocking benefits for both short and long term health boosts. 

Turmeric: Modern Benefits of an Ancient Spice

If you know your way around the kitchen you’ve probably come across the bright yellow spice known as turmeric. It’s a tasty ingredient commonly found in spicy dishes such as Indian curries.

So how did this exotic spice find its way into our cupboards in the first place?  Once again, ancient wisdom paved the way. Science is only now catching up to why your body craves turmeric. The spice has a number of health promoting benefits you should know about:

Three Main Health Benefits of Turmeric:

  • Anti-Inflammation - Turmeric has been used for centuries in the treatment of joint pain and arthritis. It helps reduce and prevent swelling and can help ease the pain of your joints stiffening as you age.  
  • Digestion - Turmeric works the same anti-inflammatory magic on the digestive system. Many of our modern processed foods irritate and inflame our stomach and digestive track.Turmeric’s active ingredient can soothe long standing issue such as Crohn’s Disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The spice also helps preventatively with milder forms of upset such as indigestion.
  • Circulation - Turmeric is a great supporter of your heart and circulatory system. The spice helps keep your blood flowing without the blockages caused by blood clots. It has powerful antioxidant capabilities on its own but it has an important side-benefit; it increases your body’s antioxidant capacity by boosting your body’s antioxidant enzymes. This one-two punch can radically slow your aging process and help cut down on several age-related diseases.

All of these benefits of Turmeric come from the absorption of the main active ingredient called curcumin. So what do you need to know about curcumin and how does your body absorb it? Here’s the rundown:

Curcumin: The Active Ingredient in Turmeric - Three Essential Facts

  1. Turmeric is the best way for your body to absorb curcumin. However, not all Turmeric is created equal - you need the right high-grade dosage of turmeric to feel the benefits.
  2. Even if you’re exposed to high levels of turmeric in your diet curcumin can still be tough to absorb through eating alone.
  3. Most standard turmeric isn’t water soluble making it hard to digest.
Infographic illustrating synergy of Upgraid's ingredients in action; ashwagandha, turmeric, ginger root, tart cherry fruit

Ancient & Modern Benefits of Ginger Root

Ginger root is the potato-like root of a Chinese plant commonly used in East Asian medicine and cookery. You may have seen ginger in the fresh produce aisle at your local grocery store. Most people appreciate the zingy, fresh taste and heat that ginger brings to their favorite dish.

Ginger didn’t just end up on your plate and in your teacup for its taste. Ginger has a solid track record in traditional herbal medicine in China and beyond. It’s one of the original ‘superfoods’. Unlike many so called superfoods which can be hard to pack into your diet ginger is worth the title.

So why put ginger root into a supplement? What can this traditional spice do for your health? 

Much like turmeric (ginger root is closely related to turmeric in the plant kingdom)  ginger contains an active ingredient - gingerol. Gingerol is the part you want to be available to your body for absorption. Here are some of the health benefits of absorbing ginger root’s active ingredient, gingerol:

Five Main Health Benefits of Ginger Root

  • Stomach Settler - Ginger root is great at calming an upset stomach and helping to prevent vomiting. It’s particularly prized for being super effective against sickness related to pregnancy. There’s some scientific evidence that ginger can help with motion sickness such as sea sickness, too.  
  • Soreness Soother - Ginger root has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. That means that ginger is great at reducing swelling and soreness related to exercise. Long-term, having plenty of ginger in your diet can effectively reduce day to day muscle pain and workout stress.
  • Joint Discomfort Aid - Joints get stiffer as you get older. Ginger can help ease the stiffness in your joints as well as decrease joint pain even for those with ongoing arthritis symptoms.
  • Blood Sugar Blocker - The science is fairly new on ginger’s benefits in lowering blood sugar but results continue to roll in. It’s an area where we don’t have a lot of solutions to change other than diet. 

Ginger is a superfood that your body deserves and needs right now. The easiest way for your body to naturally access gingerol is through digestion.

Ancient & Modern Benefits of Tart Cherry

Tart Cherry is a little different from the more common sweet cherry we all know and love. The sour, zingy taste probably rules it out for desert! Tart cherries can hold their own, though.

For a start they are super nutritious. A single serving can be forty percent of your recommended daily vitamin C. You can gain five times the antioxidants and up to twenty times more vitamin A from a serving of tart cherry than from their sweeter cousin. Tart cherry generally has less sugar too, which is a neat bonus in looking after your health.

Aside from the purely nutritional side; how can tart cherry help sustain health benefits in other ways? Let’s take a look at the main areas of your life that stand to benefit from getting enough tart cherry: 

Three Main Benefits of Tart Cherry

  • Strength and Endurance - studies suggest that tart cherry can help reduce soreness and boost recovery in distance runners. It’s also proven to help reduce muscle loss in athletes who do resistance and weight training. Tart cherry can help you keep those gym gains even if you miss a session.
  • Sleep - You have coffee, tea and energy drinks to keep you awake but what about the flip side? What can you take to help you fall asleep naturally? Jumping straight to synthetic sleep hormones have potentially harmful side effects for your body and sleep patterns. Tart cherry is naturally rich in two chemical compounds that help your body create the sleep hormone melatonin. Tart cherry can also help you sleep for a longer duration. This makes tart cherry a perfect support for those with insomnia and other sleep disorders.
  • Immunity - How do you protect yourself in times of bodily stress? Tart cherry is rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants boosts the immune system and helps prevent infections. A study of marathon runners showed those who took tart cherry supplements after a race halved their likelihood of getting ear, nose and throat infections.

Tart cherry is among the best dietary antioxidants found in nature. What is an antioxidant and why is it important? Here’s a quick breakdown:

Tart Cherry: The Master Antioxidant

  • Oxidants come from processes both within and outside your body and are impossible to avoid.
  • Breathing, breaking down food and inflammation create oxidants and you need all of those processes for survival. External things like smoking, alcohol, X-rays and environmental pollution can also add up. 
  • Your body has a natural antioxidant system to deal with oxidants. 
  • The cells of your body can be damaged by oxidation. As we age our bodily system becomes less efficient in dealing with the threat.
  • Having great sources of antioxidants such as tart cherry in your diet can make sure you keep system balance more easily.        

Let us know your favorite health boosting ingredient in the comments below!