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6 Natural Sugar Substitutes


 

Refined sugars, such as sucrose and high fructose corn syrups, are known to be bad for you as they contain a high level of calories with no essential nutrients (hence being known as 'empty calories'). Ingesting high levels of refined sugar results in a spike in your blood-glucose levels. Having too much glucose in your bloodstream is highly toxic and can lead to a barrage of disorders such as insulin resistance, type II diabetes, weight gain and heart disease.

We know it's hard to go cold-turkey in getting a sweet fix, so we put together a list of six sugar substitutes and natural sweeteners which are lower in calories than regular sugar and won't spike your blood-glucose levels, meaning they are a better option for the whole family!

 

1. Monk Fruit

 

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Xanthones from Mangosteen: a potential treatment for tuberculosis


 

Published in the European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2016), researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) have discovered that unique antioxidants known as ‘xanthones’ found in the pericarp (peel) of mangosteens, could be beneficial in the fight against tuberculosis.

 

The researchers at NUS discovered that the xanthones in mangosteen were very effective at inhibiting and killing the bacterium responsible for causing tuberculosis, known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. They also found that xanthones are unlikely to develop drug resistance, a common problem with current TB drugs. NUS researcher’s reasoning for conducting this research was due to the interesting results of previous studies using mangosteen. Key compounds found in the fruit, mangostins and xanthones, have been linked to a multitude of potential health benefits and more specifically, that xanthones were effective against Staphylococcus (another type of disease causing bacteria).

 

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Amaranth: the Peruvian "Golden Grain"

amaranth seeds

 

Cultivated by the Aztecs 8,000 years ago, amaranth is one of the world's oldest known food crops. The native Peruvian crop was a staple food of the Aztec's (known as the "golden grain"), and an integral part of their religious ceremonies.

 

What is amaranth?

 

Although it's often referred to as a grain, amaranth is actually the seed of the amaranth plant. High in protein, amaranth contains all the essential amino acids (including lysine), and is also packed with dietary fibre. Being gluten free, amaranth is a great way for those following a gluten free diet to boost the nutritional power of their recipes.

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Mediterranean diet - the secret to a long and healthy life?


 

The Mediterranean diet has been touted as one of the healthiest in the world. But why is this exactly?

 

Scientists believe it is due to the olive oil. A study recently published in Circulation has found that olive oil may have the potential to lower the risk of heart disease, as it helps maintain healthy blood flow and clear debris from arteries.

 

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The Power of Red and Black Maca


 

Maca has been used by the native Peruvian people since pre-Incan times, for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. It is an important staple in the diets of these people, as it has one of the highest nutritional values of any food crop grown there.

Many of you will be familiar with yellow maca root, the most common and least expensive variety of maca (making up ~60% of the annual harvest in Peru). However, there are other varieties of maca which the Peruvians have also been consuming for over 2,000 years, known as red and black maca. Rarer than the yellow variety, both red and black maca are thought to have a host of their own unique health benefits.

So, what are the benefits of red and black maca?

 

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