Tired and stressed during springtime? Let’s get back strength and energy from Nature!

We have all been waiting for the good season to enjoy longer days and the pleasure of sunshine, but, along with good weather, spring brings tiredness, sleepiness, irritability, fatigue, difficulty to stay focused: typical seasonal discomforts. If the problem has no biological causes and is just the consequence of spring, one can seek help from diet supplements, rich in oligo-elements and standardized vegetable extracts, to guarantee the correct daily “re-charge” to our body, along with the proper nutritional intake. Diet supplements are not meant to replace a proper diet, but to contribute to the correct balance of those nutrients that can sometimes be lacking, or that we might need to have more, in specific periods. Indeed, diet supplements can help us live better!

vitalmenteVital Mente, thanks to its composition, is suited for all the states of mental and psycho-physical fatigue and to improve peripheral microcirculation. Therefore, it is particularly suited to this period of the year. It can also be a valid help in case of tiredness associated to the change of season, or to intense work, and it can help students approach semester’s tests and final examinations, in case they feel their memory needs some support.

According to the herbal tradition, many plants can serve as remedies for tiredness. Among them Ginseng, a long used remedy in traditional eastern medicine for its ability to “energize” both mind and body, to increase physical strength and prevent ageing. These properties have recently been supported by modern research, which attributes to Ginseng a stimulating activity on cerebral function with an improvement of the learning ability and reduction of memory loss[1]. The capacity to better manage fatigue and give positive response to stress is the basis of the activity of plants defined as “adaptogens”, among which we find Eleutherococcus, also called Siberian Ginseng, for which recent studies highlight the ability to support brain function and memory[2]. Eleutherococcus acts in sinergy with Ginkgo biloba and Centella, which also are investigated for their ability to protect brain function, particularly form age-related decline[3]. Vitamin C and Vitamin E, along with Zinc and Selenium, protect cells from oxidative stress, aiding the function of the immune system. Active principles of Blueberry give relief to “heavy legs” and, together with Centella, Ginkgo biloba[4] and Zinc, they protect the eye function.

vitalmenteVitamins and minerals, particularly B-group vitamins, contained in Vital Mente are fundamental nutrients to overcome fatigue and difficulty to focus. Indeed, such nutritional factors decrease tiredness by regulating the physiological mechanisms that bring to a fuller metabolism of macro-nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), favoring the conversion of food into energy. They also express a protective activity on nervous system, together with minerals like Magnesium, Copper and Zinc, which eventually aid the cognitive function, i.e. the ability to learn and elaborate.

With the help from all these combined nutrients, we can safely overcome fatigue and stressing times, as well as periods of most intense study.

[1] Kwang-tae Choi, Botanical characteristics, pharmacological effects and medicinal components of Korean Panax ginseng C A Meyer Acta Pharmacol Sin 2008; 29 (9): 1109–1118.
[2] Panossian A, Wikman G, Evidence-based efficacy of adaptogens in fatigue, and molecular mechanisms related to their stress-protective activity Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2009; 4(3): 198-219.
[3] Howes MJ, Houghton PJ, Ethnobotanical treatment strategies against Alzheimer’s disease. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2012; 9(1):67-85.
[4] Seong Hee Shim, et al Ginkgo biloba extract and Bilberry anthocyanins improve visual function in patients with normal tension glaucoma J Med Food 2012; 15 (9): 818–823

Radish sprouts, source of important nutraceuticals: isothiocyanates and anthocyanins

Raphanus sativus (L.) species comprises a large variety of dietary vegetables as radish and horseradish. Among the wide Brassicaceae family, radish represents one of the most consumed vegetables in the world: easy to grow and with a good, sharp and spicy taste. Mature radishes are rich of microelements such as vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3 e C) and minerals (iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus) along with fiber.

ravanelli antocianine isotiacianati

Glucosinolates, which originate isothyocyanates, are the most interesting compounds of Brassicaceae endowed with strong smell and spicy taste. The isothyocyanates, diffused in several Brassica vegetables such as cabbage, radish, broccoli, mustard, rocket endowed with relevant antitumoral, antioxidant and detoxifying properties as shown by scientific in vitro and in vivo studies. Therefore, the intake of Brassica vegetables contributes to protect from several chronic degenerative disorders.

Contrary to other white Raphanus species, red radishes bear a lot of anthocyanins, the typical flavonoids, found in berries and red fruit as well. Natural occurrence of both groups of biocomponents (isothyocianates and anthocyanins) with important antioxidant properties makes cultivar Sango of Raphanus sativus one of the most interesting health promoting food. In particular, in R&D laboratories of BeC, we have recently studied juice of Sango sprouts. It contains a high amount of isothiocyanates comparable to other Brassica sprouts (see our article Food Chemistry 2012), but it contain surprisingly a huge amount of anthocyanins, found only in blueberry and raspberry. Moreover, sprouts offers a wide anthocyanins diversity in comparison to mature plant, where the differentiation produces only a few major components. As shown by several epidemiologic studies, anthocyanins endowed with protective actions from risks related to cardiovascular pathologies, cancer and other chronic degenerative disorders. Such richness and structural diversity in Sango sprouts could strengthen the important dietary value. During our Research project, we identified and characterized different unknown anthocyanins (see our article Food Chemistry 2015) which share cyanidin as structural motif making radish sprouts a unique food in vegetables.

Thanks to a proficient collaboration with University of Bologna it was possible to study antioxidant properties of isolated anthocyanins from Sango which were comparable to antioxidant profile of vitamin E. We highlighted the importance of structural diversity of Sango anthocyanins, responsible of red-violet colour of the sprouts and of the significant properties of sharp tasted isothiocyanates (vide supra).

Due to high content of dietary ingredients such as vitamins ad minerals, along with isothiocyanates and anthocyanins, Sango helps in strengthen muscular tissues and sight, it boasts antiseptic action and improves organism’s barriers, stimulates digestion and protect from action of free radicals.

We are proud to share with you our studies and we’ll let you know future developments.