Is Pizza Seasoning the New Superfood?


Is Pizza Seasoning the New Superfood?

Just when you thought there couldn’t be any further breakthrough news about the common herbs and spices often used in cooking, something like this comes out of nowhere.  

How about an herb that has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges
and 4 times more than blueberries?

Surely this must be some rare, exotic herb found only in the impassable upper reaches of the Himalayas, right? 

Try your household spice rack instead.

Yes, in addition to making your pizza and pasta sauces taste better, oregano (yup, regular oregano spice) may truly be the new superfood  -- and not just for its staggering antioxidant power. 

Much like other healthful herbs such as cinnamon, turmeric and cloves, oregano exhibits a serious array of anti-inflammatory properties that may also make it among the most promising remedies for the variety of inflammation-related problems (such as chronic pain, osteoporosis, Crohn’s disease, and numerous others) that plague so many of us as we age. 

And in the brain health department, oregano could even help to improve memory.

The research: researchers at Bonn University and the ETH in Zurich have discovered that oregano contains a substance called beta-caryophyllin (E-BCP). "Our results have revealed that E-BCP inhibits inflammation.
Experiments on mice have shown that this substance is also effective
against osteoporosis," said Professor Dr. Andreas Zimmer of the Life
and Brain-Zentrum in Bonn.


Beta-caryophyllin docks on specific receptor structures in the cell
membrane also known as cannabinoid-CB2 receptors and produces changes
in cell behavior. "We have used E-BCP to treat mice with paws swollen due to
inflammations. In up to 70 percent of cases the swelling subsequently
subsided," said Dr. Jurg Gertsch of the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland.

This CB2 receptor also has a "brother" by the name of CB1, which is best
known to drug researchers and is found in the nerve cells of the
brain. Both receptors are part of the so-called endocannabinoid system, which
researchers are finding to be of increasing significance for a variety
of disorders. If this system gets out of control it can result in
cardiac disorders, allergies and chronic pain, and yes -- it can even affect
the memory.

"Endocannabinoids are formed by the body itself and maintain its
equilibrium," said Professor Zimmer. So in the case of an inflammation they act like a brake, preventing the immune system from over-reacting to the extent that its defensive reaction runs amok.

E-BCP might also help us to control chronic disorders as Chrone´s
disease, an inflammation of the intestinal tract. The researchers believe that, E-BCP could possibly form the basis for new drugs.

Antioxidant Superpower

In comparison to the antioxidant activities of a few select fruits and vegetables, the potency of oregano ranks supreme: oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges
and 4 times more than blueberries. Yes, those were real stats.

For example, one tablespoon of fresh oregano contains the same
antioxidant activity as one medium-sized apple!

Impressive as oregano is, it’s also important to take such research findings holistically – and realize that the point is not to stop eating apples or other wholesome foods and try to substitute oregano. Far from it. 

oregano3Whole, natural organic foods each contain their own unique properties, complex array of nutrients and chemicals, and health benefits, so it should never be a case of shutting out a proven-to-be-healthful food (such as applies) in favor of something else – particularly for an herb or supplement or (worse) pill product from a shelf. 

Rather, the point is to try to consistently maintain rich, varied diet consisting of a wide array of healthful natural foods, and then augmenting further by adding some of the uniquely beneficial ones (such as oregano, turmeric, cinnamon, blueberries, green tea, etc.) to further boost the benefits. 

That said, oregano is exciting enough that we’ve added it to our daily diet here at BrainReady: there are so many ways to incorporate it into the foods you already eat, whether sprinkling it on top of whole-grain pasta/sauce and seafood, sprinkled on vegetables with some organic extra virgin olive oil, or even mixing some ground oregano with cinnamon and turmeric and some water to drink as an after-dinner herbal digestive of sorts. 

It’s good stuff, and it’s hard to beat the health benefits when it comes to spices!

- The BrainReady Team

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