For today's Food Focus, I actually want to share with you an easy way to STRESS LESS by adding a part of an awesome vegetable that actually works for relaxation as well as a hot tub. What?
Let me explain.
ETAS (Enzyme-Treated Japanese Asparagus) is what is called a functional food, foods that have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. This particular stem supports mood and cognitive function, protects neuronal cells, and induces the production of natural anti-stress molecules called Heat Shock Proteins, also released when we sit in a jacuzzi and our body temperature is raised.
Who can be stressed when soaking in a hot tub?
According to a Pub Med study,"Enzyme-treated asparagus extract (ETAS) has been developed as a novel anti-stress functional food ingredient that is produced from asparagus. Two human intervention trials with ETAS were conducted in healthy adult male volunteers. Study 1 was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the effects of ETAS on expression of heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) mRNA in blood and the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The ETAS group showed a tendency to enhance HSP70 mRNA expression level compared to the placebo group. Several ANS condition parameters were significantly improved in the ETAS group when compared to the placebo group. In Study 2, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial investigated the influence on stress-related hormones and sleep. Serum and salivary cortisol levels were significantly elevated compared to baseline during the placebo period, but remained unchanged during the ETAS period. The salivary chromogranin A level was significantly decreased in the ETAS-treated subjects compared to their baseline levels. The actual sleep time was not significantly different between ETAS and placebo. However, when the subjects were divided into two categories based on sleep efficiency or the average of night sleeping time, ETAS intake was effective to modulate the sleep state among those with low sleep efficiency or excess sleep time."
We can all use more stress relief in our busy lives, and if we can get this resilience by eating an already healthy plant food, I'm all in. It can be hard to get the amount we need from eating asparagus alone, so some nutraceutical companies are adding them to supplements. The doctor I work with, Michelle-Carrillo Massa, MD, traveled to Japan in 2018 to see the specific one that our company trademarked. It's amazing the facility it is processed in (super sustainable!) and the benefits the country are using this stem for! I chose to add this to my daily day by SuperFoods so when I can't get in a boiling pool of bubbles, I am covered for stress resilience and mood support!
Addition reading and resources:
Dr. Michelle Carrillo-Massa, Advanced Natural Medicine of Jupiter, 2018