You are what you eat ?
We have all been told since we were kids "eat your vegetables, they are good for you"
But why are they so important and what links our food with our wellbeing ?
The discovery of the Endocannabinoid system (ECS), a complex regulatory system, found throughout 90% of our body, has opened up a whole new field of exciting research. It is known that cannabinoids, such as CBD, CBG, CBN and THC which are all found in abundance within the hemp plant interact with our ECS in a synergistic way to help us achieve balance.
We wanted to look at other compounds and plants in our everyday diets to find out if they also interact with the ECS and help with the balancing act.
Omega-3 Fatty acids
Studies have found that foods which are high in Omega-3 interact very well with the ECS, particularly at the CB2 receptor. Omega-3 is found in many foods.
- Hemp seed and hemp oil
- Oily fish such as mackerel
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
Eating a variety of these foods will really help to stimulate your ECS. 1
Falcarinol is a compound that interacts well with the ECS at both CB1 and CB2 receptors. It could also inhibit the breakdown of anandamide, an endocannabinoid referred to as the "bliss molecule". The good news is that we eat foods that contain falcarinol nearly everyday, they include:
These are important foods for stimulating our ECS and although Carrots don't really help you see in the dark, they're a colourful addition to your plate and provide a tried and trusted way to get some good nutrition into your kids ! 2
Cacao is the main ingredient in chocolate. Chocolate gives us a strong sense of wellbeing when we consume it. This could be due to the cannabinoids found in cacao. It is thought that these cannabinoids enhance anandamide levels and also inhibit its breakdown which prolongs the positive effects. Always look for chocolate with 70% or more cacao. 3
Commonly known as the mustard family of plants, The brassica family include some common vegetables such as:
- Brussels sprouts
These vegetables contain glucosinolates, sulphur-containing phytochemicals and studies have shown that consumption of brassicas could reduce the risk for multiple types of cancer. They also interact very well with your ECS so despite what McDonalds have led us to believe, these are what truly constitute a "happy meal" 4
This is a terpenoid found in the essential oils of many plants and herbs, most are very common in your average kitchen cupboard:
- Black Pepper
Beta-Caryophyllene is also the most common terpene found in hemp. Beta-caryophyllene interacts quite readily with our ECS. These herbs and spices which contain beta-caryophyllene, are a "must have" in maintaining our overall sense of wellbeing. 5
This beautiful little plant is of great interest to the scientific community currently researching the ECS.
Echinacea contains compounds called alkamides which are very similar in structure to anandamide. Alkamides interact with both CB1 and CB2 receptors, and may also help protect anandamide. Echinacea is used by people everyday across the world and it's benefits are directly linked to its interaction with the ECS. 6
We set out to look for foods which interact with the ECS and help us achieve homeostasis, the process in which our body is doing the difficult job of keeping everything in check to ensure we feel great.
We have shown links between very common foods which are readily available to most people and how they benefit our every day lives. The endocannabinoid system is the superstar here yet again and we are only recently beginning to understand its importance.
This research and this system was only discovered through the study of the Cannabis Sativa family of plants.
We look forward to more exciting findings from the scientific community. This will give more weight to the argument to lift the prohibition on any natural products that can benefit the health of humanity.