18 Healthy Reasons to Sip Kombucha

Kombucha is the rage among health food lovers. Now researchers have gathered 75 studies attesting to its proven health properties

Fermented tea known as kombucha has been rapidly growing in popularity among health food lovers. But it’s actually been around for thousands of years. It originated in China in the third century B.C. Then it made its way to Russia, India, and Japan where it became a staple among Samurai warriors. Today it is also popular in Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Indonesia and many other cultures.

Kombucha — or “the booch” to its fans — is made from green, black or white tea. It’s fermented for at least a week with sugar and a fungal culture consisting of a mixture of bacteria and yeast. The starter is called a “SCOBY,” which is an acronym for “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.”

The culture, also sometimes referred to as the “mother,” resembles a light brown, tough, gelatinous disk, which is a living, growing organism. With each batch of the tea, the organism can regenerate and create a new culture called the “baby,” which can be shared with a friend much like the sharing of a sour dough starter.

Sometimes called “mushroom tea,” kombucha has been associated with a long list of health benefits. It’s a probiotic drink with helpful bacteria that support digestion and the immune system. It also contains enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants and polyphenols.

But relatively little scientific evidence has confirmed the health claims of traditional cultures drinking the tea. Researchers from the University of Latvia gathered 75 studies attesting to the proven health properties of kombucha.[1]

Here are 18 healthy reasons they suggest to raise a glass of kombucha. 

1. Detoxification

Kombucha contains substantial amounts of glucuronic acid (GA). GA is well known as a detoxicant. In the body it combines with toxins like pharmaceuticals and environmental pollutants. It then converts them into compounds that are soluble and the body can excrete. Drinking kombucha may also help prevent tissues from absorbing industrial toxins in the environment. 

2. Antioxidants

Kombucha contains abundant antioxidants including vitamins E, C, beta-carotene, and other carotenoids. Like black tea, kombucha also contains polyphenols and other compounds with antioxidant powers. But because it is fermented, kombucha is much more powerful than plain tea. Its antioxidant activity has been found to be 100 times higher than vitamin C and 25 times higher than vitamin E.[2] For that reason drinking traditional kombucha may help cure chronic illnesses caused by oxidative stress. 

3. Energy

Kombucha sets iron free from black tea. That helps increase levels of blood hemoglobin, and improves oxygen flow to tissues. It also improves the body’s absorption of other non-heme (plant-derived) iron. 

4. Immunity

Oxidative stress suppresses the immune system but kombucha’s high levels of vitamin C support immunity. Its antioxidant power also protects against cell damage, inflammatory diseases, suppressed immunity, and tumors.

5. Gastric Illnesses

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are toxic to the gut. They can lead to gastric ulcers. Indomethacin, a popular NSAID, can disrupt blood circulation to the stomach’s mucous membrane. Kombucha has been shown to effectively heal gastric ulceration. The researchers believe the fermented tea protects the mucin content of the stomach. Its antioxidant activity also protects the lining of the gut. Kombucha also reduces gastric acid secretion that can damage the mucous membrane. In fact, kombucha has been found as effective in healing ulcers as prescription omeprazole (brand name Prilosec).[3]

6. Obesity

Kombucha helps balance the metabolism. Animal studies show the tea may cause weight loss by encouraging calorie restriction.

7. Diabetes

Research dating back to 1929 found kombucha can decrease blood sugar levels. More recent animal studies report that kombucha significantly reduces blood sugar levels in diabetic rats.[4] Another study suggested kombucha may be considered a candidate for the treatment and prevention of diabetes.[5]

8. Kidney Toxicity

Kombucha may help eliminate kidney damage caused by environmental pollutants and may be beneficial to patients suffering from renal impairment.[6] Kombucha has also been used to prevent calcification in the kidney and may prevent the formation of kidney stones.[7]

9. Endothelial Function

Oxidative stress can damage the lining of blood vessels. That damage is a precursor to atherosclerosis, and a threat to heart health. Antioxidants in kombucha help promote regeneration of cellular walls in blood vessels.[8]

10. Atherosclerosis

In clinical trials involving 52 atherosclerotic patients with high cholesterol, kombucha helped lower levels to normal. In studies involving ducks, kombucha significantly reduced levels of LDL cholesterol and simultaneously raised HDL levels after just 10 days. Other animal studies show kombucha may decrease total cholesterol as much as 45–52%. It may also significantly decrease triglyceride and LDL levels while increasing HDL.[9]

11. Hypertension

Kombucha has been used to prevent headaches and dizziness caused by hypertension. It’s been recommended for treating high blood pressure.

12. Anemia

Organic acids found in kombucha convert trivalent iron compounds from plant sources to divalent iron ions. This makes iron from plant sources more available to the body. And vitamin C in kombucha enhances iron absorption. Researchers suggest kombucha is particularly recommended for elderly people and vegetarians because it enhances the absorption of iron and helps prevent iron deficiency.

13. Liver Function

Kombucha protects against liver toxicity in animals from overdoses of acetaminophen (Tylenol).[10] Researchers suggest it might provide a useful therapy for humans as well.[11]

14. Nervous System

Kombucha contains several amino acids, methylxanthine alkaloids (caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and B vitamins (including folic acid-B9), necessary for normal metabolism in the nervous system. It can help with headaches, nervousness, and epilepsy prevention. It may also prevent depression in the elderly.

15. Asthma

Daily kombucha may help asthma patients. It contains significant amounts of theophyline, a bronchodilator.[12] The treatment dose of theophyline is 0.18–1.0 g daily. Just one cup of kombucha contains about 1.44 mg.

16. Joint Problems

Glucuronic acid in kombucha can be converted by the body into glucosamine, chondroitin-sulphate, and other polysaccharides and glucoproteins associated with cartilage, collagen, and the fluid that lubricates joints.[13] It may also help relieve arthritis, rheumatism, and gout.

17. Cancers

Consumption of kombucha has been associated with lower cancer rates. Researchers believe it increases the immune system’s anticancer defenses. It may prevent cancer proliferation at early stages of tumor growth due to its glucuronic, lactic, and acetic acid content, as well as its antibiotic compounds. It may have anticarcinogenic effects especially for hormone-dependent tumors.

Cell studies suggest it may be useful for prostate cancer treatment and prevention.[14] It’s also been studied as an anticancer agent against human lung, osteosarcoma, and renal cancer cell lines. 

18. Antibiotic Resistant Infections

Kombucha contains strong antibacterials to combat infectious diseases such as diptheria, scarlet fever, influenza, typhoid, paratyphoid fever, and dysentery.[15] Its high total acidity makes it effective against Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus. It’s been suggested that kombucha may be an effective alternative to synthetic antimicrobials that are becoming increasingly ineffective.[16]

How to Enjoy Kombucha at Home

Kombucha is widely available in health food stores. When you buy a bottle you’ll notice a thin layer of the SCOBY at the bottom. The instructions may caution against shaking the contents. That’s because it should be a little effervescent. 

Because it’s a fermented food, kombucha can develop an alcohol content that approaches the FDA’s upper limit for a non-alcoholic beverage of 0.5% by volume. Some people report getting a buzz from the drink but others don’t notice any effect at all.

The Latvian researchers note that a series of microbiological and biochemical tests on kombucha have repeatedly found it safe for human consumption. Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats, quotes an FDA official as saying that when reasonable care is taken, “you’re more likely to find contamination in a cup of coffee than in a cup of properly prepared kombucha.”

But there have been isolated reports of sickness after drinking kombucha. Alternative health guru Dr. Andrew Weil does not recommend drinking the homemade version for fear of contamination with aspergillus, a toxin-producing yeast which he believes would be risky for those with already compromised immune systems, like AIDS patients and cancer patients, as well as for pregnant and nursing mothers.

What to do? If you are healthy, try the commercial brands for yourself. For beginners, a good brand to try is GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha. The founder claims he began making kombucha in 1995 after his mother successfully used the drink in her battle against breast cancer.

It’s best to use kombucha in moderation to begin (four to eight ounces a day), even though the bottle may recommend a full 16 ounces per day. And at almost four dollars a bottle, many people may want to keep their intake moderate.

Another reason to start slowly is that kombucha has a detoxifying effect. If the liver is not functioning properly, it can be overwhelmed by the toxins being released. This may be why some people report an allergic reaction to the tea. For that reason, some experts recommend drinking plenty of water while taking kombucha to help flush toxins from the body.

If you are tempted to make your own kombucha, educate yourself first and follow instructions carefully, including using clean equipment, correct temperatures and glass containers.

Kombucha is not a drug but a traditional drink with many health-promoting properties. As with all foods, moderation is key. It’s important to listen to your own body to determine whether it is a good choice for you.

Chlorophyll is plant blood almost identical to our own red blood cells. Chlorophyll cleanses our blood and binds with heavy metals to remove them from our bodies. Chlorophyll cleanses our bowels, increases our red blood count, oxygenates and alkalizes our blood, helps fight disease, strengthens immunity anti-inflammatory, provides powerful antioxidants and if that isn’t enough, Chlorophyll fights cancer.

Chlorophyll is most certainly beneficial to our anti-aging regime of healing, building a strong health base and fighting diseases that are now so common in our society. I would go as far as to say that Chlorophyll is the most valuable medicine and healing factor on the planet. You will not find it in a bottle or a powder or is it expensive. Chlorophyll is simply found in dark leafy vegetables like kale, mustard greens, chard, parsley, spinach, broccoli, beet tops, wheat grass, and dark lettuce.

By consuming dark leafy greens you are living a superior LIFE – spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally – If I could bottle this stuff, I would be rich beyond imagination… But, Chlorophyll, in its purest form, is found right in organic farmer’s garden… A simple bunch of parsley for $2.99, for example, is more powerfully nutritional than a $60 bottle of powdered green juice.

Green juice powders sound like a miracle fountain of youth Godsend, but it is all hype. Juicing all those vegetables instead of eating them looks amazing and to a layman like myself made a lot of sense… But more is not necessarily healthier… I used to juice tons of vegetables and buy every superfood powder on the market along with gulping down handfuls of vitamins and supplements. I got sick from it all which spirited me to research and talk to doctors and scientist that actually knew what they were talking about. Those so-called health gurus are motivated to sell expensive appliances, bottles of worthless powder and books… I embraced the concept of “Less is More” and I never felt better as well as saving a lot of money by avoiding superfoods and juicing unnecessary vegetables.

Don’t be fooled by green powders that claim concentrated chlorophyll. Don’t buy spirulina, concentrated green vegetable powders or juice the dark leafy greens or blend them into smoothies. Your body does a pretty efficient job of breaking down the nutrients from the actual vegetable. When you eat dark leafy greens like kale, mustard greens, chard, parsley, spinach, broccoli, beet tops, and dark lettuce. you are naturally digesting the nutrients as your body intended – chewing, mixing the vegetables with saliva and absorbing them into your body directly along with fiber and all the vitamins, antioxidants and minerals in the vegetable. The juicer and blender compromise the vegetables and fruits and they lose valuable nutrients. Your body is the best way to absorb health.

When you juice and blend vegetables and fruit, you are reducing the fiber and the nutrients to a liquid as well as bypassing your body’s natural process to digest, distribute and absorb valuable nutrients. Juice and smoothies go straight to your liver much like if you drank a coke.

Don’t be tricked by clever marketing that says there and 500 times more nutrients in juicing than eating vegetables. First of all, your body only absorbs what it needs. What it doesn’t need your body flushes out through a very complicated process through your liver. So, by thinking you are absorbing a powerful dosage of nutrients you are actually burdening your liver causing havoc.

The healthiest people in the world live in Blue Zones – Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica Ikaria, Greece – They do not have fancy blenders or juicers or superfoods or Whole Foods stores or do they consume vitamins and expensive supplements. These extraordinary healthy people eat what they grow and what they need, nothing more. The people in the Blue Zones live into their 90’s and 100’s and they thrive like they were in their 40’s…

Live as close to nature as you possibly can. Be active, get to know your organic farmers and eat what they grow in season. Don’t eat too much and share what you have with people less fortunate.

Enjoy the rest of your week and be safe…

Doug Veganhurt

Lemon water is a simple and surprisingly healthy internal cleanser to start your day with. I certainly noticed a difference myself when I first started having the juice of a whole lemon in water first thing in the morning. I really like the way the sharp taste wakes you up and gets you going.

Some resources say that it’s good to have it in warm or even hot water. I suppose in this way you could use it as a healthier replacement for your morning coffee, but I personally prefer it in room temperature filtered water. It’s best to not have it in chilled water though as this can be a bit of a shock to your digestive system when you’ve only just woken up.

It’s also far better to use real lemon juice rather than lemon juice concentrate as these products usually contain sulfites, a preservative some people have a negative reaction to. Natural enzymes, antioxidants and vitamins are also likely to be lost in the manufacturing process so go for real lemons for the most benefits.

Quick and Simple Lemon Juice in Water

  • Grab a lemon.
  • Squeeze it in a citrus juicer like this.
  • Remove the seeds and pour water over the juicer to get as much of the lemon as possible.
  • Then pour it into a glass and drink it straight down.

There are a lot of health benefits associated with fresh lemon water with 12 of the best listed ahead. With a little practice you can make it up in under a minute so there’s no good excuse not to give it a try.

12 Good Reasons to Drink Lemon Water

1. Fresh lemon water, especially first thing in the morning, can help relieve or prevent digestive problemslike bloating, intestinal gas and heartburn and stimulate better digestion in general.

2. Lemons are antiseptic and have a powerful cleansing effect on you liver, kidneys and blood. An overworked liver in particular has an influence on how good you feel so having a simple way to cleanse it each morning can make a big difference to your daily energy over time.

3. Lemon water in the morning is a great way to get a good portion of your essential daily vitamin C. They are also a good source of folate and minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium.

4. The high mineral content of lemons makes them alkalizing to the body, despite their citric acid. It’s actually not the acid content of a food outside the body that determines whether it will have an acid or alkaline effect, but rather the way it is metabolized during digestion that counts.

5. Lemon water assist in elimination and will help prevent either extremes of constipation or diarrhea. Another good reason to have them first thing in the morning.

6. Drinking lemon water is even said to be good for improving your skin. The high vitamin C content would help here, but the overall cleansing, detoxifying, antibiotic and antioxidant effects are likely to be even more important.

7. Limonoid glucosides are an interesting flavonoid compound present in lemons that some research has shown may have anti-carcinogenic properties. Its protective effect also seems to last much longer in the body than most other natural anti-cancer compounds.

8. Lemon water helps your liver to produce more bile to aid in the digestion of fats. This makes them particularly beneficial if you’re planning a big breakfast fry up after a heavy night. And realistically, the nutrients in lemon are far more likely to help clear your head than greasy and potentially dangerous sausages or bacon.

9. The antibacterial properties of lemon can help in curing a throat infection. If you have a sore throat you could make a warm lemon drink to sip every couple of hours. That said, if you are having a lemon water every morning you’re probably unlikely to get one in the first place.

Personally, I can’t remember ever having a throat infection since I started regularly having fresh lemon water first thing.

10. Lemon water is also thought to decrease the amount of mucus and phlegm produced in the body. If you’re drinking cow’s milk often (a big culprit in mucus production) then lemon water each morning may help to lessen mucus levels in your body.

11. Many weight loss resources cite the benefits of lemon water and its citric acid in fat burning.

I’d be cautious of too many miracle claims – you’ll still need to avoid the kind of foods that make you fat, get some good exercise and ideally change your meal frequency to one that improves weight loss potential – but lemon water is certainly a beneficial addition to any body fat reduction plan.

12. Lemon water is great first thing in the morning to reduce bad breath. The high antioxidant and antibiotic compounds may also help reduce body odor over time. There really are a lot of good reasons to start your day with the freshly squeezed juice of a lemon in a glass of water.

Lemon Water Precautions

A few precautions to go along with all the lemon water benefits.

To start with, citrus seeds are not good for you. While one or two won’t hurt, it’s best not to swallow or particularly chew them. If you use a citrus juicer with slots to catch them just leave them in the strainer. If any do make it through then the smaller ones will usually float and are easy to remove with a teaspoon, while the larger ones can be left at the bottom of the glass.

Try to avoid having sugar, honey (unless it’s local raw or manuka honey), maple syrup or other sweeteners with your lemon water as the simple sugars will reduce the benefits.

If you don’t like the sharp citrus tang then just shot it down quickly and you’ll barely taste it.

That said, what’s with our obsession with everything having to be sweetened? The human palate is designed to enjoy a variety of different flavors and tastes. Ayurvedic medicine for instance, recognizes the importance of having a range of different tastes in your diet to maintain both physical and emotional balance.

Some people are also concerned about the citric acid in lemons having a sensitizing effect on their tooth enamel. Personally, I haven’t noticed any problem with this but it would make sense not to let the lemon water linger in your mouth and just drink it straight down.

I tend to follow my glass of lemon water with another glass of plain water and swirl it around a bit to wash my mouth clean. If you’re concerned about this another option could be to use a straw to sip it so less comes into contact with your teeth. It’s also probably best to wait half an hour before brushing your teeth.


Having a glass of fresh lemon water first thing in the morning can have a lot of health benefits. Even the busiest person should be able to find the time for this simple step to better health and energy,

As with any new habit, I’d suggest trying it for at least two weeks every morning and see how it is making you feel. I’d love to hear your thoughts and results in the comments below.

Ever heard of the four noble truths of Buddhism? If you haven’t, it’s basically the four principles of life that govern Buddhism philosophy. They are:

  1. The truth of suffering (dukkha)
  2. The truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya)
  3. The truth of the end of suffering (nirhodha)
  4. The truth of the path that frees us from suffering (magga)

In this article, we’re going to talk about the second noble truth on what causes our suffering and then discuss strategies we can use to overcome it.

What Causes Our Suffering

According to Buddhism, suffering arises from attachment to desires. These desires can vary from material objects, sensual pleasures or even your relationships. The reason desiring causes suffering is because attachments are transient and loss is inevitable.

Buddhism says that the only constant in the universe is change, and by desiring you are trying to control and make something fixed. Suffering will follow because you are going against the forces of the universe, which is what causes anxiety, depression and negative emotions.

Suffering Ceases When Attachment To Desire Ceases

The end to suffering is when the mind experiences freedom from attachment. It’s letting go of any craving or desiring. This state of enlightenment is called “nirvana” which means freedom from all worries, anxieties and troubles. They say that it isn’t comprehensible for those who have not attained it.

How Do You Eliminate Desire?

It’s important to remember that it’s impossible to eliminate desire completely. In fact, most people that embark on this journey face the obvious dilemma that when you “try” to eliminate desiring, you are desiring not to desire.

What we really need to do is eliminate attachment and desire as much as we can.

In order to end suffering, Buddhists say we must follow the Eightfold Path. This liberation from suffering is what many people mean when they use the word “enlightenment.”

There are eight attitudes or paths you must follow to find freedom from suffering:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

What Are Some Practical Strategies?

Here is a brilliant article from Tiny Buddha on 6 ways to decrease suffering. I’ve summarized the most important points below. If you have time, I highly recommend you read it.

1) Let go of creating stories.

When we experience suffering, we tend to create “stories” about what happens. For example, when we face the end of a relationship, we tell ourselves things like “I will never find someone as good again” and “there is no way out of our suffering”. However, this simply adds layers of meaning that don’t exist within the original feeling. Instead, practice positive self-talk and living in the moment. You’ll find that things aren’t as bad as you think and your reality exists only in each moment.

2) Embrace Change.

Buddhism says that the only law in the universe is change. Keep in mind that all feelings, whether negative or positive, will change. This will give you hope during the bad times, and make you realize to enjoy every moment you can because they don’t last forever.

3) Smile, even if you don’t feel like it.

Thich Nhat Hanh once said, “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” This is a wonderful reminder that we have more power to change our mood than we realize.

4) Jolt yourself out of your usual routine. 

Whatever it is that may pull you out of your rut, give it a try and see how it changes the nature of your suffering.

5) Soften someone else’s suffering.

Everyone experiences suffering, and it’s helpful to realize that someone is probably suffering more than you right now. Be kind to someone else. Get yourself thinking about others and it will improve your well being.

6) Remember your basic goodness.

“Basic goodness” is a wonderful concept that comes from the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. It reminds us that no matter how chaotic or negative the circumstances of our life, there is a ground of basic goodness in ourselves and in the universe that we can count on.

Originally published on the Ideapod blog.

The alkaline diet is based on the idea that replacing acid-forming foods with alkaline foods can improve your health.

Proponents of this diet even claim that it can help fight serious diseases like cancer.

This article examines the science behind the alkaline diet.

What is the alkaline diet?

The alkaline diet is also known as the acid-alkaline diet or alkaline ash diet.

Its premise is that your diet can alter the pH value — the measurement of acidity or alkalinity — of your body.

Your metabolism — the conversion of food into energy — is sometimes compared to fire. Both involve a chemical reaction that breaks down a solid mass.

However, the chemical reactions in your body happen in a slow and controlled manner.

When things burn, an ash residue is left behind. Similarly, the foods you eat leave an “ash” residue known as metabolic waste.

This metabolic waste can be alkaline, neutral, or acidic. Proponents of this diet claim that metabolic waste can directly affect your body’s acidity.

In other words, if you eat foods that leave acidic ash, it makes your blood more acidic. If you eat foods that leave alkaline ash, it makes your blood more alkaline.

According to the acid-ash hypothesis, acidic ash is thought to make you vulnerable to illness and disease, whereas alkaline ash is considered protective.

By choosing more alkaline foods, you should be able to “alkalize” your body and improve your health.

Food components that leave an acidic ash include protein, phosphate, and sulfur, while alkaline components include calcium, magnesium, and potassium (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

Certain food groups are considered acidic, alkaline, or neutral:

  • Acidic: meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, grains, alcohol
  • Neutral: natural fats, starches, and sugars
  • Alkaline: fruits, nuts, legumes, and vegetables

Summary According to proponents of the alkaline diet, the metabolic waste — or ash — left from the burning of foods can directly affect the acidity or alkalinity of your body.

Regular pH levels in your body

When discussing the alkaline diet, it’s important to understand pH.

Put simply, pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline something is.

The pH value ranges from 0–14:

  • Acidic: 0.0–6.9
  • Neutral: 7.0
  • Alkaline (or basic): 7.1–14.0

Many proponents of this diet suggest that people monitor the pH of their urine to ensure that it is alkaline (over 7) and not acidic (below 7).

However, it’s important to note that pH varies greatly within your body. While some parts are acidic, others are alkaline — there is no set level.

Your stomach is loaded with hydrochloric acid, giving it a pH of 2–3.5, which is highly acidic. This acidity is necessary to break down food.

On the other hand, human blood is always slightly alkaline, with a pH of 7.36–7.44 (3Trusted Source).

When your blood pH falls out of the normal range, it can be fatal if left untreated (4Trusted Source).

However, this only happens during certain disease states, such as ketoacidosis caused by diabetes, starvation, or alcohol intake (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

Summary The pH value measures a substance’s acidity or alkalinity. For example, stomach acid is highly acidic, while blood is slightly alkaline.

Food affects the pH of your urine, but not your blood

It’s critical for your health that the pH of your blood remains constant.

If it were to fall outside of the normal range, your cells would stop working and you would die very quickly if untreated.

For this reason, your body has many effective ways to closely regulate its pH balance. This is known as acid-base homeostasis.

In fact, it’s nearly impossible for food to change the pH value of blood in healthy people, although tiny fluctuations can occur within the normal range.

However, food can change the pH value of your urine — though the effect is somewhat variable (1Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).

Excreting acids in your urine is one of the main ways your body regulates its blood pH.

If you eat a large steak, your urine will be more acidic several hours later as your body removes the metabolic waste from your system.

Therefore, urine pH is a poor indicator of overall body pH and general health. It can also be influenced by factors other than your diet.

Summary Your body tightly regulates blood pH levels. In healthy people, diet doesn’t significantly affect blood pH, but it can change urine pH.

Acid-forming foods and osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease characterized by a decrease in bone mineral content.

It’s particularly common among postmenopausal women and can drastically increase your risk of fractures.

Many alkaline-diet proponents believe that to maintain a constant blood pH, your body takes alkaline minerals, such as calcium from your bones, to buffer the acids from the acid-forming foods you eat.

According to this theory, acid-forming diets, such as the standard Western diet, will cause a loss in bone mineral density. This theory is known as the “acid-ash hypothesis of osteoporosis.”

However, this theory ignores the function of your kidneys, which are fundamental to removing acids and regulating body pH.

The kidneys produce bicarbonate ions that neutralize acids in your blood, enabling your body to closely manage blood pH (9Trusted Source).

Your respiratory system is also involved in controlling blood pH. When bicarbonate ions from your kidneys bind to acids in your blood, they form carbon dioxide, which you breathe out, and water, which you pee out.

The acid-ash hypothesis also ignores one of the main drivers of osteoporosis — a loss in the protein collagen from bone (10Trusted Source, 11Trusted Source).

Ironically, this loss of collagen is strongly linked to low levels of two acids — orthosilicic acid and ascorbic acid, or vitamin C — in your diet (12Trusted Source).

Keep in mind that scientific evidence linking dietary acid to bone density or fracture risk is mixed. While many observational studies have found no association, others have detected a significant link (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).

Clinical trials, which tend to be more accurate, have concluded that acid-forming diets have no impact on calcium levels in your body (9Trusted Source, 18, 19Trusted Source).

If anything, these diets improve bone health by increasing calcium retention and activating the IGF-1 hormone, which stimulates the repair of muscle and bone (20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source).

As such, a high-protein, acid-forming diet is likely linked to better bone health — not worse.

Summary Although evidence is mixed, most research does not support the theory that acid-forming diets harm your bones. Protein, an acidic nutrient, even seems to be beneficial.

Acidity and cancer

Many people argue that cancer only grows in an acidic environment and can be treated oreven cured with an alkaline diet.

However, comprehensive reviews on the relationship between diet-induced acidosis — or increased blood acidity caused by diet — and cancer concluded that there is no direct link (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).

First, food doesn’t significantly influence blood pH (8Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source).

Second, even if you assume that food could dramatically alter the pH value of blood or other tissues, cancer cells are not restricted to acidic environments.

In fact, cancer grows in normal body tissue, which has a slightly alkaline pH of 7.4. Many experiments have successfully grown cancer cells in an alkaline environment (25Trusted Source).

And while tumors grow faster in acidic environments, tumors create this acidity themselves. It is not the acidic environment that creates cancer cells, but cancer cells that create the acidic environment (26Trusted Source).

Summary There is no link between an acid-forming diet and cancer. Cancer cells also grow in alkaline environments.

Ancestral diets and acidity

Examining the acid-alkaline theory from both an evolutionary and scientific perspective reveals discrepancies.

One study estimated that 87% of pre-agricultural humans ate alkaline diets and formed the central argument behind the modern alkaline diet (27Trusted Source).

More recent research approximates that half of pre-agricultural humans ate net alkaline-forming diets, while the other half ate net acid-forming diets (28Trusted Source).

Keep in mind that our remote ancestors lived in vastly different climates with access to diverse foods. In fact, acid-forming diets were more common as people moved further north of the equator, away from the tropics (29Trusted Source).

Although around half of hunter-gatherers were eating a net acid-forming diet, modern diseases are believed to have been much less common (30).

Summary Current studies suggest that about half of ancestral diets were acid-forming, especially among people who lived far from the equator.

The bottom line

The alkaline diet is quite healthy, encouraging a high intake of fruits, vegetables, and healthy plant foods while restricting processed junk foods.

However, the notion that the diet boosts health because of its alkalizing effects is suspect. These claims haven’t been proven by any reliable human studies.

Some studies suggest positive effects in a very small subset of the population. Specifically, a low-protein alkalizing diet may benefit people with chronic kidney disease (31Trusted Source).

In general, the alkaline diet is healthy because it’s based on whole and unprocessed foods. No reliable evidence suggests it has anything to do with pH levels.

thank you Written by Joe Leech, MS

Juice fasting has a great ability to encourage healing and cleanses the body while supplying a remarkable increase in vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Cancer cells, toxins, built-up chemicals, excess body fat, transformed fatty acids, impacted mucus in the bowel, sickness and disease are all dramatically impacted. Living fruit and vegetable juices are radiating with healing properties. Antioxidantsattache themselves to toxins, effectively removing them from the body. There will be periods of toxic crisis, but once you learn not to fear them they can bring exciting anticipation that your body is going through deep cleansing.
All the essential nutrients in fruit and vegetables are locked within their fibres. A juice extractor frees these essential nutrients so they can be absorbed and used directly, requiring a minimum amount of digestive effort. Therefore the metabolic energy can be used 100% for cleansing mucoid matter from the lymph and toxins from the cellular tissue. What you need to increase the number of enzymes, vitamins and minerals absorbed into the body is a juice extractor!

For most health conditions, juice fasting is the best method to transform health. Because juice fasting removes toxins and excess fatty tissue while supplying a full spectrum of nutrients, it has an advantage over any weight-loss program. It’s also a great kick start to lose a ton of weight.

For most health conditions, juice fasting is the best method to transform health. Because juice fasting removes toxins and excess fatty tissue while supplying a full spectrum of nutrients, it has an advantage over any weight-loss program. It’s also a great kick start to lose a ton of weight.
I typically juice carrots, parsley, beets, beet tops, red cabbage, kale, apples, chard, spinach and cucumbers. I also blend fruits like papaya, blueberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and tomatoes.

Seaweed salt is a delicacy hand-harvested in the estuaries of the great French rivers as they flow into the sea in Brittany. While Fleur de sel, which is produced in the Camargue, is the caviar of the salt world.

The origins of salt date back thousands of years; it is mentioned in the Bible in connection with Lot’s wife who was transformed into a salt statue because she turned to look at the city of Sodom.

A little tip to keep your champagne well chilled for longer: add a few spoonfuls of coarse salt to the ice in the bucket.

Apart from sea salt, which is produced in salt pans, salt is extracted from mines: the oldest ones are in Eastern Europe, but they are to be found throughout the continent as well as in Pakistan, USA and Canada.

Table salt must be used sparingly: it is poisonous when consumed in large quantities, so much so that in China it used to be a way of committing suicide.

Fine or coarse, salt is available as a pure product or aromatized with the addition of spices and flowers, as well as being smoked to give a more robust flavour to food.

Goderich in Ontario boasts the largest underground salt mine in the world; it extends for 5 kilometres beneath Lake Huron.

One of the most precious varieties in the world is the pink rock salt to be found in the Himalayan mountains. It is said to be the purest in the world and the only type of salt to contain 84 minerals and trace elements.

The exquisite black Indian salt (kala namak) comes from volcanic rocks. It is used extensively in masala dishes and is often sprinkled on fruit.

Japanese theatres
In Japanese theatres, it used to be customary, before each performance to throw salt on the stage to drive evil spirits away.

To make perfect fish baked in a salt crust, it must be covered with a layer of at least 1.5 centimetres to form a sort of kiln around the food.

In the kitchen, baking food in a salt crust is considered to be an extremely light and tasty cooking method.

Salt is thought to have existed before any form of primitive track: animals used to lick the salty earth and create trails which, down through the centuries, became the roads of today.

Salt is a chemical compound – sodium chloride, and NaCl is the chemical formula by which it is universally known.

The human body contains from 4 to 6 ounces of salt; its function is to control blood volume, as well as regulating digestion and nerve fibres.

The word “salary” still exists today; it derives from the fact that ancient Romans were paid in salt provisions instead of money.

There are a great many quotations regarding salt. “Believe no man unless you have eaten salt with him”, the ancient Greeks used to say. “The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea”, wrote Karen Blixen.

Restaurant ban
In 2010 in New York, a draft bill caused quite a stir: a one thousand dollar fine payable by any restaurant adding salt to its dishes.

Salt road
Ever since the bronze age, salt roads have developed, ancient trails which used to be used for carrying salt and are now a tourist attraction. For instance, the famous via Salaria runs from Rome.

Tequila and the others
Salt and cocktails are a common combo: for example, tequila is drunk neat after a taste of salt and lemon, while salt decorates the edge of a glass used for serving margarita.

Dropping salt is believed to bring bad luck because, in ancient times, it was as precious as gold. To drive away the evil eye, however, a pinch of salt is thrown over the shoulder Visitors The little island of Laeso, Denmark, with less than two thousand inhabitants, is visited by 60,000 tourists each year who arrive just to see where its salt comes from, the most expensive in the world.

Salt pan workers collect salt with small wooden shovels, which they use to form little cones of grains. Later, a machine passes by to collect the little heaps.

X-numbers of use
Precious and eclectic, salt is used in an infinite number of ways: those trying to count them have exceeded 14,000….

As early as 2200 BC, the Chinese emperor Yu tried to tax salt: from then on, the struggle to control it has led to retaliations, such as Gandhi’s salt march against the English tax.

Zero salt
Be careful not to use too much salt: nutritionists recommend a maximum quantity of 6 grams per day, while many natural products, such as fruit and cereals, do not contain as much as a milligram.

Will be Available at Kempinski Bangkok

What is Siberian ginseng and how different from other types of ginseng? What benefits does Siberian ginseng have to offer to make it on the list of superfoods and how can you experience its medicinal properties?

These and some other questions may pop up in your mind if you haven’t heard of this impressive superfood that comes all the way from Asia. But don’t worry, by the end of the article, you will be an expert on Siberian ginseng and will be ready to consume it for its nutritional perks.

What Is Siberian Ginseng?

Siberian ginseng, also known as eleuthero or eleutherococcus, has been used for centuries in its native areas of Asia and Russia. Siberian ginseng grows in the mountain forests of these areas of the world.

This herb is not to be mixed up with its close relative, ginseng. Siberian ginseng is not a true ginseng, because it doesn’t contain ginsenosides.

This potent root is an adaptogen, which means that when it is ingested, it helps the body to increase its resistance to stress. Guess what that means? If you eat Siberian ginseng, your stress resistance can increase too.

Siberian ginseng has been known for aiding your immune system, helping your mental performance and mental health and increasing your energy, vitality and longevity. Siberian ginseng can also miraculously lower your blood sugar, which is one of the first steps to weight loss and preventing or recovering from diabetes.

You can find this root sold in various forms, including solid extracts, liquid extracts, capsules, tablets and roots (dried and cut) for tea. When buying Siberian ginseng supplements, however, make sure to buy high quality supplements, because 25% of the products out there include no Siberian ginseng at all (tip: our Organifi Red Juice is made with the highest quality, tested, organic ingredients and it includes a potent dose of Siberian ginseng along with other powerful superfoods).

Why Should I Use Siberian Ginseng?

Being a powerhouse of nutrients and health benefits, Siberian ginseng is a true superfood. Whether you are dealing with an array of health conditions or just looking to upgrade your life, you can benefit from the superpowers of Siberian ginseng.
Benefits – What Does Siberian Ginseng Do For You?

Siberian ginseng has countless benefits for your physical and mental health, as well as your overall well-being.

Do you want to improve your sleep, increase your energy, reduce inflammation, improve your mental health, better your sexual health, better your physical fitness, or more? It seems like no matter what your health goals are, you can find a healing friend in Siberian ginseng.

Check out some of the powerful benefits that Siberian ginseng has to offer:

Siberian ginseng has anti-inflammatory benefits
Siberian ginseng can increase your cardiovascular performance
Siberian ginseng can decrease fatigue and fight chronic fatigue
Siberian ginseng can give you more energy
Siberian ginseng can fight insomnia
Siberian ginseng can decrease DNA damage
Siberian ginseng can aid your physical fitness
Siberian ginseng can increase your resistance to stress
Siberian ginseng can help your lipid metabolism
Siberian ginseng can improve your glucose metabolism and type 2 diabetes
Siberian ginseng can improve your fibromyalgia symptoms
Siberian ginseng can improve your depression symptoms
Siberian ginseng can help your menopause symptoms
Siberian ginseng can help sexual function, including your libido and fertility

How Should I Use Siberian Ginseng?

You can find Siberian ginseng in many forms in health food stores, vitamin shops, Asian stores and online. There is no one way to take it and you can mix and match depending on your time and mood.

Check out the various forms and ways you can use siberian ginseng.
Fresh Siberian Ginseng

Siberian ginseng is grown in some parts of Asia and Russia. You may also find Siberian ginseng roots in Chinese and Asian herbal stores in North America. If you have the opportunity to try Siberian ginseng fresh, you can try slicing it up and eating it with a little honey on top or make a tea out of it.
Siberian Ginseng Extract

You can take Siberian ginseng as a liquid extract. This is an easy way to add Siberian ginseng to your life by mixing it with water, your green juice, green smoothie or homemade vitamin water. You can buy this online, in vitamin stores and in health food stores.
Siberian Ginseng Supplement

The easiest and quickest way to take Siberian ginseng may just be taking a pill supplement you can easily purchase at vitamin stores, health food stores and online. Siberian ginseng is also included in some supplements that mix various herbs and superfoods together for specific health benefits, including supplements for adrenal fatigue.
Siberian Ginseng Tea

Siberian ginseng tea is a popular healthy beverage enjoyed all over the world. You can buy it online, at health food stores and at Asian supermarkets. You may enjoy Siberian ginseng tea any time of the day.

Siberian Ginseng Powder

Taking Siberian ginseng powder is another way to experience the benefits of Siberian ginseng. Make sure that it is a powdered extract and not just a powder. You can buy some online and at health food stores and mix in 1/4 tbsp or more to your favorite smoothies and raw goodies.

You can also buy superfood juice and smoothie mixes with Siberian ginseng powder. When you buy Organifi Red Juice, you will not only benefit from the goodness of Siberian ginseng, but also other superfoods, like rhodiola, cordyceps, reishi and various superberries.
Powerful Herbal Combinations

If you start learning about herbs and superfoods, you will be amazed at how many powerful remedying foods are out there.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to just pick one or two. This is totally the time to indulge and take advantage of a large array of herbs and superfoods. When combined, many of these nutritional powerhouses work together and bring your body even more medicinal benefits.

Knowing this, we’ve packed our Organifi products with numerous potent superfoods (including Siberian ginseng in Organifi Red!) to create a true healing army to support your health and well-being.

Let’s take a look at how Siberian ginseng works together with some other magical herbs.
Siberian Ginseng And Rhodiola

Rhodiola, or otherwise known, golden root, grows in cooler mountain regions of the world. It is also a powerful superfood with many shared benefits that Siberian ginseng has. Both Siberian ginseng and rhodiola can decrease stress, decrease fatigue, increase energy, decrease depression symptoms and improve your performance. When working together, rhodiola adds the benefits of increased focus and help with weight loss.

Organifi Red Juice includes both Siberian ginseng and rhodiola, allowing your body to experience synergy between Siberian ginseng and rhodiola.

Siberian Ginseng And Ashwagandha

Ashwagandhais another potent and popular superfood with countless benefits. Ashwagandha works beautifully together with Siberian ginseng. They both have the power to help to reduce stress, improve depression, better your performance, reduce your blood sugar, lower your fatigue and improve sexual function. Ashwagandha can also improve your cholesterol, improve anxiety, improve your blood pressure and improve Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Organifi Red Juice includes a healthy dose of Siberian ginseng, while Organifi Green Juice is powered by ashwagandha. When consuming both juices regularly, you can experience the best of both worlds in upgrading your health.
Siberian Ginseng Recipes

Red Berry Protein Smoothie
Berry Blast Frozen Yoghurt
Organifi Berry Ice Cream

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is there anyone who should NOT use Siberian ginseng?

A. Do not take Siberian ginseng if you have narcolepsy, heart disease, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, serious mental illness (e.g. schizophrenia or mania), bleeding disorder, hormone-sensitive conditions or autoimmune conditions. If you are experiencing any health concerns, to be safe, talk to your doctor first. If you are taking any of the following medications, please, talk to your doctor before taking Siberian ginseng: anticoagulants, corticosteroids, digoxin, diabetes medication, medication for your immune system and medication broken down by your liver.

Q. What is an effective serving of Siberian ginseng?

A. The standard dose is 300 – 1,200 mg. Since it is often used in a mix with other herbs, talk to your healthcare practitioner and find the right dose for you.

Q. How long can I take Siberian ginseng for?

A. Siberian ginseng can be taken for up to 3 months with 3-4 weeks break after that.

Q. Is Siberian ginseng safe for children to take?

A. Because of some concerns of stimulant effects, it is not recommended to give Siberian ginseng to children, especially long-term, unless recommended by a healthcare professional. Some health practitioners may recommend Siberian ginseng to children during periods of stress. Children still shouldn’t take Siberian ginseng for more than 2 consecutive weeks and should lower their dose based on their body weight (e.g. the adult dose above is calculated based on a 150 lb adult, children who are for example 50 lbs should take ⅓ of the dose).

Teenagers (ages 12 and up) can safely take Siberian ginseng for up to 6 weeks. There is no information on long-term use for teenagers, so it’s recommended to talk to your healthcare providers if you are considering use for longer than 6 weeks.


Siberian ginseng is a potent superfood with countless benefits.You can take Siberian ginseng in various forms, but the most powerful and cost effective way is to take a potent superfood mix where it can work together with other superfoods to enhance your health symbiotically.

Organifi Red Juice is a fantastic superfood juice blend made with Siberian ginseng, cordyceps, rhodiola, reishi and superberries. It can ignite your metabolism, help your mental clarity, fill your body with antioxidants, fight aging, revitalize your skin cells and of course, entertain your taste buds. Just mix it with water or add it to your green juice, smoothie and superfood and raw food recipes.

Are you curious about the surge in popularity of plant-based burgers like the Impossible and Beyond Burgers? Wondering our thoughts on these new food products? This article provides insights and recommendations that will help you make the best decisions for your health and your principles. 

Eating it up…

Both Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat (makers of the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger, respectively) are astoundingly-fast-growing businesses. Beyond Meat took the IPO step earlier this year – a Forbes contributor, in September, called them ‘probably the hottest stock in the world’ and described it as ‘the top-performing IPO of the year and one of the best of all time.’ ‘I’ve never seen anything quite like this…’ ponders this same expert. 

Between them, these two plant-based burgers are now offered in fast-food outlets, restaurants and supermarkets across the US and internationally – Subway, Dunkin’, Burger King, Hard Rock Café, Cheesecake Factory, Applebee’s, TGI Friday’s, and Disney World are among those offering these plant-based burger alternatives. McDonald’s and KFC are rumored to be in testing phase. 

The meat of the issue

Health is usually tipped as the primary driver for choosing plant-based meat products. Curiosity, environmental and ethical concerns are strong motivators too. It’s not just vegans and vegetarians who are opting for plant-based, faux meats – nearly half of those who buy plant-based meat products do not otherwise avoid meat. 

Our focus in this article is do the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger live up to the health hopes of their consumers? 

Spoiler alert – we don’t think they do. Here’s why, and what plant-based burgers we would recommend instead…

The rub with the Impossible and Beyond Burgers

1. Ultra-processed

One way to identify foods according to their degree of processing is to use the NOVA classification system, the most prominent system used in scientific investigations and by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. NOVA recognizes four levels of processing of foods: unprocessed or minimally processed, processed culinary ingredients, processed foods and ultra-processed foods.

According to the NOVA scale, ultra-processed foods are “formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, that result from a series of industrial processes, many requiring sophisticated equipment and technology”. Ultra-processed foods can be identified by meeting at least one of the following characteristics:

  • Food substances never or rarely used in kitchens: these include hydrolyzed proteins and protein isolates that are fractionated, refined, or otherwise chemically manipulated from whole foods.
  • Classes of additives whose function is to make the final product palatable or more appealing: these include flavors, colors, emulsifiers, thickeners, etc. 

According to the NOVA classification, both the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are considered ultra-processed food products. Here is a list of their ingredients, which shows the use of fractionated whole foods, ingredients with other types of industrial processing, flavors, and additives. 

Impossible Burger Beyond Burger 
Ingredients: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Sourced from Impossible Foods 11-03-19Ingredients: Water, Pea Protein Isolate*, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Rice Protein, Natural Flavors, Cocoa Butter, Mung Bean Protein, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Apple Extract, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vinegar, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Sunflower Lecithin, Pomegranate Fruit Powder, Beet Juice Extract (for color) Sourced from Beyond Meat 11-03-19

This is how the Impossible Burger is made:

2. Similar Nutrient Facts to Fast Food Burgers

Most of you will be aware that in Functional Medicine we don’t consider the Nutrition Facts box to be the be-all-and-end-all of a food’s health value. There’s a whole host of nutrition information not covered by it after all. However, it is readily available and often compared. So let’s take a look – how do the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger stack up in the Nutrition Facts box?

To do this evaluation we added, for comparison, another processed, fast-food burger, the Big Mac with no bun. Is it a fair comparison? Impossible Foods seems to think so – their website says: The Impossible Burger is made from proteins, flavors, fats, and binders, like almost every burger you’ve eaten in your life. They themselves are comparing their product to processed burgers. 

Here’s the comparison:

Nutrient Facts comparison between plant-based burgers and a Big Mac patty without bun 

Per 100g (per single burger in parentheses) *Big Mac pattyImpossible BurgerBeyond Burger
Calories (kCal)236 (330)257 (290)221 (250)
Protein (g)13 (18)17 (19)18 (20)
Fats (g)18 (25)12 (14)16 (18)
Saturated fat (g)6 (9)7 (8)5 (6)
Carbohydrates (g)5 (7)6 (7)3 (3)
Sodium (mg)450 (630)327 (370)345 (390)

*Note that the serving size for a Big Mac patty is 140g, while both the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are smaller, at 113g. The data above are therefore adjusted for comparison to be the equivalents per 100g.

There’s not really much of a difference between all three once you normalize for serving size. Ingredients in a Big Mac patty by the way? 100% beef. Not that we’re recommending it (for other reasons)! 

3. Ingredients not thoroughly scrutinized (applies to Impossible Burger)

Heme is the magic compound in the Impossible Burger, making it taste and bleed as a beef burger would. Although you don’t see it on the ingredient list, it’s there within soy leghemoglobin (SLH). Impossible Foods makes SLH by first genetically engineering yeast to contain the SLH gene. They then grow the yeast via fermentation and then isolate the SHL and add it (and the heme within it) to the burger mix. 

In July 2019, the FDA posted a Rule document amending the color additive regulations to allow for the use of SLH as a color additive. In it it states that: “Impossible Foods made its own determination, to which we had no questions, that the use of soy leghemoglobin preparation to optimize flavor in ground beef analogue products intended to be cooked is generally recognized as safe (GRAS).” They state that their decision was made based on results from a 14-day and two 28-day rat studies that showed “no evidence of mutagenic activity or increased chromosomal aberrations in cells.”

The Center for Science in the Public Interest criticized the FDA’s approval of SLH calling it a ‘barebones’ review of safety. CSPI Senior Scientist Lisa Lefferts said: “FDA’s guidance recommends long-term safety testing for additives like soy leghemoglobin, which fall in the agency’s highest ‘concern level’ category due to the extent of exposure. Instead, FDA relied heavily on a short-term (28-day) study, which provides no evidence of long-term safety.”

Other industrially produced ingredients once approved with GRAS status have had that status reversed as better data became available: partially hydrogenated oils, are perhaps the best known. In 2018, the FDA banned seven artificial flavors commonly used in baked goods, ice cream, candy, beverages and chewing gum, that were found to cause cancer in lab animals. Companies were given a rather generous 24 months to find substitute ingredients. 

4. Potential pesticide residues (applies to Impossible Burger)

Since the Impossible Burger uses soy that is genetically engineered to withstand glyphosate (the main active ingredient in Round Up), several groups have posited the concern that the burgers may contain pesticide residues. 

Impossible Foods has published reports from their six batch tests showing that glyphosate was not detected above 0.005 ppm (essentially a ‘negative’ result). The consumer advocacy group, Mom’s Across America (MMA) published their own testing done in April this year contradicting the Impossible Foods findings – the MMA tests, done through Health Research Institute Laboratories, showed glyphosate levels of 11.3 ng/g (equivalent to 0.0113 ppb). Impossible Foods has heavily contested MMA’s publication with scorching, defamatory tactics.

We’d say the jury’s still out about pesticide exposure from Impossible Burgers. Beyond Burgers, incidentally, are non-GMO (non-genetically engineered) verified and so have less of a concern (but not no concern) about potential pesticide residues.

While we’re on the subject, are vegan diets really a health panacea?

Health is often a major reason for choosing to restrict or avoid meat. However, in our clinic, we routinely see that poorly-implemented vegan diets lead to nutrient insufficiencies (seen on lab tests as well as through other indicators), are harmful to health and can perpetuate the very diseases our patients were trying to address or prevent. 

Vegan diets are not alone there – any diet poorly implemented can have similarly-negative results. Our goals are always to help patients implement the healthiest version of diets, respectful of their wider principles and dietary preferences. 

Where blood sugar and insulin dysregulation are factors however, (type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, PCOS/hormonal imbalances, overweight/obesity, cognitive impairment, and cancer are some relevant examples), vegan diets can in some cases be too high in carbohydrates and too low in other nutrients to be effective therapeutically. 

Our dietary toolkit is broad and evidence-based; applied in a highly personalized way to each individual that works with us. Barring some unique medical situations, plant food dominates our dietary plans, but not usually to the absolute exclusion of meat and fish.   

Let’s not give up on the goals

We agree that eating more plant foods is beneficial for health. Plants contain vitamins, minerals, fiber and powerful (and still not comprehensively understood) phytonutrients, which are essential for addressing the epidemic of chronic disease. High meat consumption, especially processed red meats like bacon, hot dogs, sausages, is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and overall mortality.  

We also concur that finding sustainable foods with low environmental impact is a pressing societal need. We fully recognize the interconnections between ecological and human health and have written and discussed those very issues before

However, we cannot conclude that an ultra-processed food source, especially one with questionable new ingredients, is the solution.

In fairness to Beyond Meats, we think their burger does come out on top in the comparison above, due to better ingredients and non-GMO status. They are, however, secretive about their production processes making it hard to evaluate, and ultimately still fall into the ultra-processed foods category. 

A smattering of the conclusions reached by research on ultra-processed foods (let’s call them UPFs now, for covenience) as a group is pretty convincing:

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, issues raised with UPFs are that they:

  • use chemically-manufactured ingredients not found naturally 
  • are nutritionally-imbalanced 
  • displace whole foods in the diet 
  • are often aggressively marketed without comprehensively or accurately informing the consumer. (For instance, the marketing for plant-based burgers is often more in line with natural, organic items whereas in fact they are highly processed.)
  • are, in general, associated with increased rates of chronic disease – obesity, cardiovascular, cancer, depression, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders and all-cause mortality

What would we recommend instead?

We recommend diverse, ‘clean’ and varied diets based on whole foods as much as possible. Our general guidelines include:

  • Aim for 8+ cups of varied and colorful, non-starchy vegetables per day.
  • Choose organic, whole food products whenever possible.
  • Choose grass-fed, free range, antibiotic / hormone free animal products whenever possible.
  • When opting for packaged foods, choose the least processed options available (e.g., short ingredient list, natural / recognizable ingredients, minimal preservatives / additives / flavorings / colorings). 

To find animal protein sources with a lower carbon footprint, check out our blog post, and to choose and source local food as much as possible, you can use this resource

An alternative to processed burgers, we hope you’ll consider making your own plant-based burgers. Here are some wonderful suggestions: 

And for the occasional meat burger, we like to mix it up with plant foods too. Check out our Beet Beef Burger for Methylation Support. It contains rosemary too, which has been shown to reduce heterocyclic amine (pro-oxidant, pro-carcinogenic compounds formed from grilling all types of foods) formation during cooking.

So, should I buy stock in Beyond Meat?

We’re clearly not in the business of financial advice! However, the same Forbes contributor cited above gave some relevant thoughts that further contextualize the market for plant-based meats and the choices we, as consumers, face. He fires a blazing caution to those who are considering jumping into the Beyond Meat stock craze. He braised it down to two main reasons why your fingers could get a little charred:

Firstly, despite first-mover advantages, plant-based burgers are replicable. Bigger companies are already developing and launching their own versions. Secondly, it’s a craze! The hysteria will fade away. The ‘next new thing’ will rise above it.

From our vantage point, we would simply add that if something doesn’t deliver on one of its primary promises – health – it won’t last in the long run. 

Thanks to Lindley Wells for her research contributions to this article. Lindley holds a degree in nutrition and integrative health from Maryland University of Integrative Health. Before entering the field of nutrition, Lindley studied environmental policy at Colby College where she focused on sustainable agriculture and domestic and international food regulation/policy. Lindley is deeply passionate about bringing food and nutrition education into schools and to get people of all ages back into the kitchen preparing their own healthful meals. Lindley’s areas of interest include the brain gut connection, eating disorders, culinary nutrition, mindfulness and stress reduction, and the prevalence and physiological impact of chemicals in everyday products. Lindley is a currently in training in our clinic as she works towards the Certified Nutrition Specialist credential.

  • Activated charcoal is trending, but its use as a detox and healing remedy goes way back.
  • Charcoal binds to certain poisons, heavy metals, and other toxins and flush them from your body, making it a wonder substance for acute and general detoxification.
  • Activated charcoal is the byproduct of burning a carbon source like wood or (better yet) coconut shells. The substance is “activated” by high temperatures, resulting in a highly adsorbent material with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, and intestinal gases.
  • The benefits of activated charcoal include general detoxification, digestive health, gas, bloating, heart health, and anti-aging.
  • Take activated charcoal powder or capsules when you eat out at restaurants, drink bad quality coffee, when you travel, when you feel moody or tired, and when you drink alcohol.

Activated charcoal is having a moment. You’ve likely seen activated charcoal “wellness” shots at your local hipster coffee shop, or perhaps you’ve swigged it as a juice. But its use as a detox and healing remedy goes way back — traditional healers have used it for thousands of years, because of its numerous benefits.

Activated charcoal is known for its ability to bind to certain poisons, heavy metals, and other toxins and flush them from your body, making it a wonder substance for acute and general detoxification. It also carries a host of anti-aging and cardiovascular benefits.

One of the main tenets of a Bulletproof lifestyle is avoiding the things that make you weak. This includes energy-sapping processed snacks, sugar, and overexposure to toxic chemicals. But sometimes avoiding crappy food and environmental toxins is easier said than done. Whether you’re forced to eat at a less-than-ideal restaurant or you want to try a deeper detox, activated charcoal is your ally.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is the byproduct of burning a carbon source like wood or (better yet) coconut shells. The substance is “activated” by high temperatures, removing all the oxygen and changing its chemical structure to create much smaller particles with more surface area.[1] The result is ultra-fine charcoal with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind, and remove poisons, heavy metals, chemicals, and intestinal gases.[2]

Just two grams of activated charcoal powder (4 Upgraded Coconut Charcoal capsules) has about the same surface area as a football field. The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged unwanted toxins and gas.

Why use activated charcoal?

Western medicine primarily uses activated charcoal to soak up poisons or other toxins in a hospital setting. It works through a process called “adsorption” (that’s ad, and not ab), which means “to bind to” rather than “to absorb.”

But activated charcoal is so much more than an antidote for drugs and poisons. It’s a global remedy for general detoxification, digestive health, gas, bloating, heart health, and anti-aging. It is a part of my mold toxin detox protocols. In fact, unscrupulous industrial cattle mills intentionally alter spoiled feed with activated charcoal, knowing it will allow them to increase profits without killing the animals.[3]

Benefits of activated charcoal

Ancient physicians used inactivated charcoal for a variety of medical purposes, including treating epilepsy and anthrax. In the early 20th century, medical journals began publishing research revealing activated charcoal as an antidote for poisons and a way to improve intestinal disorders. Current research supports these earlier practices of activated charcoal, and also introduces additional benefits to using it. Here are just a few ways that activated charcoal works.

General detoxification

Toxins from low-quality, processed food, and environmental pollution sap your energy and contribute to brain fog and digestive issues. Chronic exposure to toxins causes cellular damage, allergic reactions, compromised immunity, and rapid aging. Regular use of activated charcoal can remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant, often in minutes.

Relieves digestive issues, gas, and bloating

After digesting foods like beans, the decomposition process from bacteria in your body creates byproducts like gas or diarrhea. Activated charcoal enters the digestive tract and counteracts this process by binding to byproducts and easing these digestive issues.[4]

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Binds drugs, chemicals, and poisons

Activated charcoal adsorbs most organic chemicals, many inorganic chemicals, drugs, pesticides, mercury, and even lead before they harm your body.[5] If you’re poisoned, go to the emergency room. But there’s no reason you shouldn’t start binding a poison right away. A Bulletproof reader inadvertently took a huge dose of Tylenol (the capsules were in the wrong bottle), which is highly toxic to the liver. He realized his mistake, took a handful of activated charcoal capsules, and went to the emergency room. His liver was undamaged, and he credits biohacking.


Activated charcoal has powerful anti-aging properties, and studies show it prevents numerous cellular changes associated with aging. In one study, activated charcoal increased the average lifespan of older test animals by roughly 34 percent.[6] Activated charcoal slows the rate at which the brain becomes sensitive to toxins as you age, which makes for better cognitive functioning. It also builds a better defense mechanism by improving the adaptive functioning of essential organs like the liver, kidneys, and adrenals.[7]

Better heart health

Activated charcoal may also lower cholesterol levels.

In one study, patients with high cholesterol who took 8 grams of activated charcoal three times a day showed a 25% reduction in total cholesterol. They also lowered their LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 41 percent, and increased their HDL (“good”) cholesterol by 8%.[8] Studies examining microscopic tissues show a daily dose of activated charcoal may prevent abnormal hardening (sclerosis) in heart and coronary blood vessels.[9]

When to use activated charcoal

As a biohacker and general health nerd, I quickly realized that it doesn’t matter how clean I eat — our environment is saturated with high levels of toxicity. This is even more of a problem when you have to eat out or are traveling. A commercial flight exposes you to high levels of toxic jet fuel and other airborne contaminants.[10] And that’s not even counting the additives from the crappy airplane food.

Activated charcoal always saves the day when I overindulge on food or when I’m on long trips. And it does wonders when my kids suddenly drop into uncharacteristic fits of whining or tantrums, especially after snacks at a friend’s house. Activated charcoal always brings them back to normal within about 10 minutes. It’s amazing to watch.

Take activated charcoal when:

  • You eat out at restaurants or eat processed junk foods
  • You drink bad quality coffee
  • You’re drinking any alcohol
  • You feel moody or tired
  • You’re traveling, especially air travel (activated charcoal is part of my no-jetlag protocol)

Activated charcoal isn’t just for isolated situations. Taking activated coconut charcoal on a daily basis is a great way to help you thrive in an overly toxin-filled environment. It’s best to take it between meals and a few hours after using any vitamin or mineral supplements, as it may interfere with their absorption. Be sure to take charcoal capsules at a different time to your prescription meds, which won’t enter your body when they bind to charcoal (more on dosing below).

How to take activated charcoal

Everyone responds differently to different doses, so always consult a doctor before using any supplement or binding agent like charcoal.

Charcoal dosage: Take two capsules (1,000mg) when consuming food of unknown quality or when drinking alcohol. Or try it in a recipe. Check out these 10 activated charcoal recipes to get started (including my favorite — waffles with white chocolate frosting).

When to avoid taking charcoal: Never take activated charcoal with prescription medications or with other supplements. Charcoal binds a lot of substances — even the good stuff like prescription medications, vitamins, and minerals. Wait 2-3 hours after taking charcoal to take other supplements or meds and talk to your doctor about the details.

Drink plenty of water: Excessive charcoal consumption, especially without magnesium, can result in constipation. Take 300-400 mg magnesium glycate about 3 hours after taking charcoal and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.

And speaking of poop…

If you use activated charcoal, it will turn your poop black. This is great because it tells you how long food takes to go through your bowel (called transit time), but it can be surprising. Our kids’ preschool called once, concerned over dark stools. I had to explain the difference between bloody stools (which are black) and charcoal

By:Dave Asprey