Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, April 2018

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NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ■ 47 APRIL 2018 The New Kale Tiring of spinach and kale? Looking for a hot new green that not only packs impressive nu- tritionals but has an alluring history dating back to the age of the ancient Mayans? Luna suggests you give chaya (Cnidoscolus chaya- mansa) a try. T e leaves of this plant common to Mexi- co are as culinarily intriguing (despite having stinging hairs that you need to cook to de- sting) as they are medicinally so, and Luna adds that high levels of antioxidants, cal- cium, and iron "make chaya a novel ingredi- ent" for the next generation of greens-based superfoods. As for its wellness benef ts, a recent in vivo study 14 on diabetic rats found that four weeks of treatment with a chaya ex- tract yielded a hypoglycemic response relat- ed to decreases in glucose absorption rather than to insulin secretion or starch-digesting enzymes. T e researchers also noted that the plant appears to reduce hyperlipidemia, and they suggested functional beverages as an applicable use. What's Old Is New Again "Traditional Chinese medicine goes back thousands of years," notes Brien Quirk, direc- tor of R&D, Draco Natural Products (San Jose, CA). Looking ahead, he and his colleagues are placing bets on four traditional Chinese medicine herbs "with signif cant health ben- ef ts that we think have strong potential to be- come popular botanical ingredients." He calls Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) "a po- tent anti-inf ammatory with ef ects on joint health and an anti-anxiety actor that works on GABA"—gamma-aminobutyric acid— "receptors." A 2015 animal study 15 suggests it contains compounds that protect cognitive health, too. Yuan zhi (Polygala tenuifolia) also appears to moderate mood and cognition; a 2011 study 16 in rats found that 3,6'-disinapoyl sucrose (DISS), an active oligosaccharide es- ter present in the plant's roots, signif cantly in- hibited activity of monoamine oxidase (MAO) A and B and blocked elevation of plasma cor- tisol levels—all signaling an antidepressant ef- fect. Finally, among Sophora flavescens's ben- ef ts are anti-itch and antihistamine ef ects 17 when ingested, while, studies link Rehman- nia glutinosa to, among other ef ects, bone health 18 and blood sugar control 19 . View references online at www.NutritionalOut- cals-watch-2018 Kimberly J. Decker writes for the food and nutrition industries from her base in the San Francisco area, where she enjoys eating food as much as she does writing about it. Baikal skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) SHUTTERSTOCK.COM/ MARIOLA ANNA S N o u r i s h i n g m u s c l e s Wake up to the possibilities of Overnight Recovery Protein to boost muscle recovery during your night's sleep! Interested to learn more? Email:

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