Tag: inflammation

Chef V’s Top 12 Foods For Conquering Seasonal Allergies

super bloom California poppies

The wild, wet Winter and Spring of 2022/2023 are mercifully over. Thanks to all the rain that drenched San Diego, West Coast headquarters of ChefV.com, there’s a super bloom of flowers. But with the beauty comes the beast of seasonal allergies.

No matter where you live, certified nutritional therapist and ChefV.com founder Veronica “V” Wheat serves up the best foods for fighting seasonal allergies. Dig in!

Before I reveal my top foods for fighting seasonal allergies, let me come to the defense of flowers. You see, I think pollen needs a new publicist. While it’s true that some people are naturally very sensitive to pollen, I don’t think we were put on God’s great green Earth to suffer at the hands of microscopic flower dust. 

At the very least, pollen isn’t the only reason that inflammatory molecules like histamine in many people goes rogue, never letting its foot off the immune response accelerator. 

I think a big reason for the spike in allergies is exposure to chemicals. That’s why I highly recommend not using household cleaners and beauty products that contain fragrance and other synthetic chemicals. 

cleaning supplies

So is it your imagination? Does it seem like the rate of allergies is skyrocketing? No, it’s not you.

A 2022 study published in the journal, Nutrients, says that a “prevalence of allergic diseases and asthma has increased significantly in the last decades, especially in the western world." Along with obvious reasons such as poor diet, stress and chemicals, the study offers an interesting theory.

“This phenomenon [increase in allergic diseases] has been attributed mainly to changes in environmental exposures and lifestyle. It is understood that a lack of natural stimulation of the immune system by the microbes from the external environment favors an allergic response. Our hygienic, modern lifestyle lacks sufficient contact with nature and has changed our immunity and reduced the diversity of our internal microbiome.” 

In other words, could it be that over-using disinfectants and hand sanitizers has caused a spike in allergies? Hmmm. Food for thought. 

Now let’s check out some of my favorite foods for preventing an overactive immune response and seasonal allergies.

1. Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is so last week, when I talked about it at length here. But one thing I didn’t mention: Is using bee pollen the equivalent of fighting fire with fire? After all, if pollen makes people sneezy and go through half a box of tissues, how can consuming bee pollen help? For starters, I should point out that bee pollen is not safe for everybody. Some people may be allergic to it. But if you’re not, bee pollen works by reducing histamine. 

A 2008 study showed for the first time that bee pollen inhibits the activation of mast cells. Mast cells secrete histamine and sound the alarm in your immune system. 

2. Raw, Local Honey

Pollen isn’t the only functional food from bees. Of course, bees make honey. But not any honey will do for the relief of seasonal allergies. You need to consume raw, local honey. Why raw? Because with regular honey that’s pasteurized, the antioxidants are destroyed. (It’s the same reason Chef V Organic Green Drink is never pasteurized!)

And why is it important to consume local honey? When you consume local honey, you’re getting small amounts of pollen that’s local to your area. This will get your immune system to recognize that pollen is not a threat. 

How good is honey overall, according to the research? This 2021 study says that the “therapeutic properties of honey such as anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and wound healing have been widely reported. A number of interesting studies have reported the potential use of honey in the management of allergic diseases.”

3. Quercetin-Rich Foods

Quercetin is the queen of antioxidants, and one of the best phyto(plant)-nutrients for getting those mast cells to chill out. So where can you find quercetin? The mighty duo of black kale and green kale, which are 2 of the 7-certified organic leafy veggies in Organic Green Drink. 

You can also find quercetin in broccoli, onions, capers, blueberries and apples. I’ll be the first to admit that quercetin won’t work as quickly as Benedryl. So the key is to start eating plenty of these foods before allergy season begins. (You can also take a high-potency quercetin supplement.)

4. Citrus Fruits

No surprise here, because vitamin C acts like a natural antihistamine

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

This is a tricky one for vegetarians because the best sources of omega-3’s are wild salmon and other cold-water oily fish. These fish contain DHA/EPA, which are more potent omega-3 fatty acids than ALA, the vegetarian source.

For vegans, I recommend taking an algae oil supplement. Algae is naturally-high in omega-3s. Salmon feed on algae and this is the reason why they are rich in this anti-inflammatory healthy fat. 

Tomato Paste

From what I’ve read, tomatoes are a great seasonal allergy fighter. That’s because they’re high in vitamin C and lycopene, another type of antioxidant. But I don’t think adding a few slices of tomato to a sandwich or salad is going to do you much good if you’re suffering with seasonal allergies. 

Instead, I’d go with tomato paste, which is much richer in lycopene per serving than a regular tomato. A 2021 study says that lycopene was “effective in the treatment of allergic rhinitis, and this effect was found to be stronger with increasing doses of lycopene.” 

7. Nettle Leaf

Want the sciency explanation how nettle leaf works? Here’s straight from the horse’s mouth (this 2009 study) “Nettle inhibits several key inflammatory events that cause the symptoms of seasonal allergies. These include … activity against the Histamine-1 receptor and the inhibition of mast cell…preventing degranulation and release of a host of pro-inflammatory mediators that cause the symptoms of hay fevers.” 

So start drinking nettle tea. 

8. Fermented Foods

Remember those researchers from the Nutrients journal who suggested that people aren’t exposed to enough germs in the natural environment as a reason for the soaring rates of allergies? 

They also said that we should be consuming more fermented foods like all-natural, sugar-free, plain yogurt, tempeh, kefir and sauerkraut. “The metabolic and enzymatic activity of microorganisms involved in fermentation can exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action.”

9. Ginger 

A 2016 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry says that ginger “suppresses cytokine production for T cell activation and proliferation, thereby not causing B cell and mast cell activation and resulting in prevention or alleviation of allergic rhinitis symptoms.” 

10. Turmeric/Curcumin

Turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, contains potent anti-allergenic properties. A 2016 study showed for the first time that curcumin may “improve nasal airflow and modulate immune response in patients with allergic rhinitis.” 

11. Pineapple

Bromelain, the main enzyme in pineapple is best known for supporting digestion. But it also may help reduce inflammation associated with allergies. A 2012 study found that bromelain “was found to [prevent the] development of allergic airway disease (AAD) … From this reduction in AAD outcomes … bromelain may have similar effects in the treatment of human asthma and hypersensitivity disorders.”

12. A Rainbow of Veggies

As if you need another reason to eat veggies! Eating a diverse range of colorful veggies like green leafy veggies in Organic Green Drink, squashes, red bell peppers and carrots ensures that you’re getting adequate antioxidant pigments called carotenoids. 

Carotenoids support healthy inflammation levels. But don’t just take my word for it. Says this study:

“High plasma carotenoid concentrations reflecting a diet high in various fruits and vegetables might have a protective effect on allergic rhinitis in adulthood.”

I include many of these seasonal allergy fighters in my recipes, which you can find here

Good luck this allergy season!

Love, 

Veronica “V” Wheat
Founder, ChefV.com

CRP: The One Blood Test You Should Beg Your Doctor To Take

CRP: The One Blood Test You Should Beg Your Doctor To Take

CRP is the one blood test you should beg your Doctor to take. Virtually every disease is caused by inflammation. Inflammation manifests in many different ways, from auto-immune disorders to cancer and diabetes, and even weight gain. But how do you know if your body has inflammation? After all, sometimes, inflammation has no symptoms–until a heart attack or stroke strikes.

Thankfully, there’s a simple blood test you can get from your doctor. It’s called the “C-Reactive Protein” (CRP) blood test. Next time you go for your checkup, ask your doctor to test your CRP levels. If you are diagnosed with high levels of CRP, then you can make some lifestyle changes before serious symptoms or disease occurs….

What is C-Reactive Protein?

So what do my Organic Green Drinks and Cleanses have to do with a protein called CRP that’s created by the liver when the body’s inflammatory response kicks in?

They have everything to do with C-Reactive Protein, that’s what. You see, one of the best ways to stay healthy and avoid disease is to have as little CRP as possible. CRP isn’t inherently bad. You actually need some of it to fight infections. But when levels of this protein are high, it’s an indication that there’s too much inflammation in the body. This is why its important to know what can raise your CRP levels, and how to reduce CRP levels.

CRP and inflammation

As I mention above, all disease is triggered by inflammation. Even diseases that are passed down by your ancestors are at greater risk for being expressed if you have more inflammation in your body. In other words, if you eat healthy, just because you may inherit a disease potential does not mean the genes for that disease will express. However, if you eat a diet that’s full of refined carbs like bread and baked goods and lots of added sugar, you’re at more risk for those genetic switches being turned on.

That’s where my Green Drinks, Detox Soups and Vegan Protein Shakes come into play. The antioxidants and other nutrients are a great way how to reduce RP levels, which means your body will have less inflammation.

Whether your goal is to stay healthy and prevent disease or to lose weight (or both), the 7-certified organic green leafy veggies in my Organic Green Drinks can play a big part in preventing inflammation.

But how do you know how much CRP you have?

CRP Blood test

Take a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Blood Test 

Recently, I wrote about a new health trend you’ll be hearing much more about in the near future: DNA testing for weight loss.

Basically, I said that until the science catches up, getting your DNA tested to find out the best form of exercise and supplements to take is probably a waste of money.

But there is one test I’m all in favor of you getting: the C-Reactive Protein Blood Test, or CRP Blood Test. It’s easy to do and your health insurance plan (if you have one) likely covers it in a normal panel blood test (along with A1C blood sugar and cholesterol markers).

Your body has dozens of inflammatory markers. CRP is the easiest one to test and it seems to provide good insight into your inflammation levels. (Don’t get a test done while your sick, especially if you’re fighting an infection because your body’s CRP levels will be inflated and won’t give an accurate reading of the levels when you’re healthy.)

Why is CRP so important? Because it’s a good predictor of heart attacks and strokes. It can also reveal if you’re at risk for developing diabetes and arthritis. In fact, according to WebMD, a Harvard Women’s Health Study revealed that in healthy postmenopausal women, those with the highest CRP levels were more than four times as likely to have died from heart disease or suffer a non-fatal attack or stroke, compared with those with the lowest levels.

See why CRP is so important?

CRP test and inflammation

How to Reduce CRP Levels

Look, I realize that CRP might not be a super sexy health topic. It’s not as celeb-gossip worthy as Intermittent Fasting or Keto. But as a certified nutritional therapist, I feel it’s my duty (and honor) to share with you simple yet important wellness advice. It’s easy to fall prey to food, drinks and other lifestyle choices that can cause serious inflammation in your body.

But it’s just as easy to avoid it.

Start off each morning by lowering your CRP levels with 16 ounces of my Organic Green Drink.

CRP and green drink

If you have time before you go to work, do a little yoga routine at home or go take a class (or do yoga any other time of day). Think I’m biased because I love yoga myself? Well, I do love yoga. But I bet you didn’t know that yoga is clinically proven to reduce CRP levels. Don’t believe me? Check out this research. And as you might expect, mindfulness, meditation, breathing exercises, and moving meditation exercises such as Tai Chi, can also reduce CRP levels. (So, too, can sex! Again, don’t take my word for it; look at the research.)

A few more simple ways to keep your inflammation level down is by taking a quality fish oil supplement and probiotic and getting 7 or more hours of restful sleep every night. And remember to keep your added sugar intake to a minimum and exercise almost every day.

Eating the right foods makes a difference in your CRP levels. Try healthy wild salmon, real olive oil, cruciferous veggies, and nuts and seeds.

If you’re feeling great and doing most of these things already, then no worries. But if you are concerned about the level of inflammation in your body, it’s really easy to get a CRP blood test (unless you’re like me and deathly afraid of needles; sorry can’t help you with that phobia!

To your health (and low levels of CRP),

Veronica “Chef V” Kress

Chef V

Chef V Detox + Green Drink Lowers Inflammation: C-Reactive Protein down 34.1%

Good news if you’re on a CHEF V GREEN DRINK PLAN or about to do a 21 DAY DETOX… A study Chef V commissioned from an independent laboratory concluded that when study participants completed the Chef V detox and continued to use the Chef V GREEN DRINK plan, “CRP levels were reduced by 34.1% from Baseline to Day 28. This is a substantial improvement in a biomarker tied to stress and the stress response”.

High levels of C-Reactive Protein indicate chronic inflammation in the body. 

Did you hear the news? 

Yes, I’m pregnant. But that’s not what I wanna talk about. 

We commissioned a neutral third-party lab testing company to conduct the effects of doing a STARTER 21 DAY DETOX, followed by 7 days of consuming ORGANIC GREEN DRINKS and eating a healthy diet. 

As I expected, the results were incredible. Sure, there was some impressive “beach body” before/after results. And I’ll be telling you all about that soon. But the first specific topic I want to discuss in depth from the study is protein. 

Not the kind you eat, but one of more than 10,000 proteins in your body: C-Reactive Protein. 

If you’ve never had your levels of C-Reactive Protein tested by your doctor, I highly encourage you to do it the next time you get a physical. 

Here’s why…

red-gold-body-inflammation

Why we Studied C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels in our Clinical Research

CRP is made by the liver in response to inflammation in the body. 

Before I further explain, a quick note about inflammation. It’s a good thing our bodies experience an inflammatory response. That’s how we get things to heal, like cuts, bruises, runny noses, and sore throats. 

However, certain factors can cause chronic inflammation in the body. Here are a few things that can produce high levels of internal inflammation:

  • Frequently eating heavily-processed food
  • Drinking alcohol excessively
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Exposure to environmental toxins

When it comes to toxins, I’m not talking just about things like mold or oil spills. In addition, household cleaning products and body/haircare products made with petroleum-based chemicals can create chronic inflammation. (So spend the money and purchase organic.)

If you have high levels of CRP, it indicates that there’s chronic inflammation in your body. It can even mean there’s an underlying infection you’re unaware of. And more bad news if you have high levels of CRP. The Mayo Clinic suggests that high levels of CRP are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack or stroke. 

So should you schedule a blood draw at the doctor’s office the first chance you get? 

It’s not a bad idea to have your CRP levels checked. Thankfully, there’s an easy way to lower your CRP levels. 

knee pain

Chef V 21 DAY DETOX Lowers Inflammation Marker By Over 34%

As I said earlier, the research study evaluated the effects of doing the 21 DAY DETOX (Starter version) followed by 7 extra days of eating clean and starting each day with an Organic Green Drink. 

Incredibly, CRP levels plummeted, on average, by 34.1%. 

This is huge because unexplainable chronic pain and autoimmune conditions cause high levels of CRP. According to Medical News Today, conditions that elevate CRP levels include: 

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Obesity

Symptoms of High C-Reactive Protein Levels

You can have high CRP levels without having a diagnosed disease. However, if you do have elevated CRP in your body, you’ll likely feel at least one of these symptoms:

  • Fatigue (even if you’re getting plenty of sleep)
  • Aches and pains or stiffness, soreness and muscle weakness
  • Poor sleep
  • Digestion problems
  • Fevers or headaches

Considering that the Chef V study participants had a 34% average reduction in CRP levels after 28 days, it's no wonder the researchers concluded:

“At the conclusion of the study, participants experienced significant improvements in:

  • Muscular complaints
  • Body and joint aches
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain.”

The Easy Way To Support Normal Inflammation In The Body

Hey, I get it. Snacky foods exert a powerful force on us like a magnet to a fridge. Even I—a certified nutritional therapist, yoga practitioner, and healthy cookbook author—am not immune. French fries are my kryptonite. 

But this is why I formulated Organic Green Drink and started delivering them to customers. Starting your day by drinking 7 leafy green certified organic veggies is so easy. It balances out the toxins you’re exposed to, whether it’s from breathing car exhaust or you just can’t say no to happy hour.  

START IT UP!

And if your diet hasn’t been squeaky clean, there’s no need to panic if it isn’t all organic! That’s why I created the 21 DAY DETOX. It’s the easiest, safest, and most affordable way to reboot your digestive and elimination system. Your liver will thank you in many ways, including having clearer skin and more energy.

If you’ve never done a detox before, select a STARTER plan. It’s the same detox that was used in the lab study that reduced CPR levels by 34%. 

With the STARTER detox, only 3 days out of the 21 do you eat a calorie-reduced diet. But even on those 3 days, you won’t feel famished or deprived of nutrients. We provide everything you need to thrive. Not only that, all our detoxes come with practical nutrition resources that help keep your results going long after you finish the 21 DAY DETOX. 

Keep Up The Good Work!

This news isn’t just for new customers. If you’re already on the CHEF V GREEN DRINK Plan or have completed a 21 DAY DETOX, I want you to know I appreciate you!

I hope that by reading this article and future ones where I’ll be discussing other impressive outcomes from the study, you’ll be motivated to stay on the CHEF V path! 

I’ve been extolling the benefits of Green Drink and 21 DAY DETOX for years. And now, we can say that these benefits are supported by science. 

Love,

Veronica Wheat
Founder, ChefV.com

Lemon Juice & Water Daily Detox

Lemon Juice & Water Daily Detox: The Absolute Easiest, Cheapest Way

When life hands you lemons, detox that bitterness away with … no, not lemonade — that’s got way too much sugar — lemon juice and water. It’s so simple, but it’s the easiest way to support your body’s natural detoxification process. Learn about the research-backed health benefits of lemon juice and the other best and easiest thing you can do to become a highly-efficient fat-burning machine….

I get the meaning of the maxim, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

Lemons are associated with being sour, bitter, and pessimistic in the common expression.

Kind of like bitter beer face – But I love lemons, bitterness and all.

And every morning, first thing after I wake up, I squeeze a little bit of lemon juice in a cup of warm or hot water. It doesn’t just make the water taste better. I do it because it’s the easiest way to kick-start cleansing and detoxing.

Don’t just take my work for it. Research proves that lemon juice assists in the body’s detoxification process….

lemons

Health Benefits of Lemon Juice

This study in Nutrition Research suggests that lemon juice can help you lose both weight and body fat.

Most studies involving natural, plant-based ingredients use animals as test subjects. But in this study, the participants were 84 women. The ladies were  given a drink containing lemon juice and organic syrups (maple and palm) for 7 days.

I’m not a fan of ultra low-protein, no-food diets lasting longer than one or two days. (Which is why in my Cleanse programs, you get high-protein vegan-friendly shakes.)

Nonetheless, the lemon-sipping ladies in the study also experienced lower blood sugar levels. Another benefit of drinking lemon juice, according to the study, is lower levels of leptin.

Leptin is a hunger hormone. In people who are overweight or have obesity, leptin levels are very high. As a consequence, the brain doesn’t receive the signal to stop eating.

The cherry on top from the study was that the women’s immune systems were stronger and they had lower levels of inflammation.

CRP Blood test

Feeling Backed Up? Drink Lemon Juice!

There are lots of studies proving that lemon juice helps the body shed fat. But all I can say is that if you start drinking water with some lemon juice every morning, you’ll notice some cool things happen.

If you drink a cup of water with lemon juice and wait about 20-30 minutes and then have my Organic Green Drink (7 of the planet’s best leafy green veggies for detoxing), you’re going to experience:

  • Healthier looking skin
  • Better digestion and elimination (less constipation)
  • More energy
  • Less hunger
  • Sharper concentration and focus

But make sure you don’t eat right away after having the lemon juice and water. In fact, for optimal fat-burning and detoxing, drink 16 oz. of Green Drink after the lemon water, and don’t eat your first meal of the day until 11 a.m. or later. This is one of the easiest tips for successful cleansing.

lemon juice & water

Got High Blood Sugar? Drink Lemon Juice

Green leafy veggies, like the 7 different kinds in my Green Drink, are the absolute best thing for supporting the body’s detoxification process.

But in my opinion, the next best thing is drinking water with lemon juice every day. It’s so easy to do.

And for the almost 90 million people with prediabetes and additional 30 million people with type 2 diabetes, drinking lemon juice is an easy way to manage blood sugar levels.

In fact, the American Diabetes Association includes lemons on its list of beneficial foods for diabetes.  The vitamin C in lemons can help improve your fasting blood sugar levels as well as the amount of fats circulating in your blood (triglycerides).

Studies on vitamin C also link the antioxidant to lower insulin resistance. When your body is more resistant to insulin, your body needs to produce more of it to lower your blood sugar levels. That’s not good. Over time, your body may not be able to produce insulin and type 2 diabetes develops.

lemon juice and diabetes

Lemon Juice & Green Drinks: The Easiest Way To Detox The Body

Don’t waste your money on expensive detox supplements.

As a certified nutritional therapist, I have done the research on pretty much every detox product on the market.

I have yet to encounter a more powerful and cost-effective one-two punch than lemon juice and green-leafy veggies for detoxifying the body.

And the easiest way to get your daily dose of green, leafy veggies is by letting Chef V deliver fresh, organic Green Drinks right to your door. The veggies in my green drinks are sourced from local farmer’s markets.

Go ahead and drink lemon juice water and Green Drink every day for a week. I guarantee that you’ll feel so much better adopting this easy routine in your life.

To your health,

Chef V

Chef V

Inflammation Fighters Your Doctor Won’t Tell You

inflammation

When you hear the word, “inflammation” what comes to mind? You probably think it’s something bad. Well, I’m here to tell you inflammation is great! Wait … what? That’s right, you see, you need a little inflammation in your body.

The inflammation process helps get rid of nasty germs. It also heals injuries. Any time you burn your skin or have some other physical trauma, inflammation comes to the rescue. Your white blood cells, which kick in to fight infections are part of the inflammation process. So, you see, inflammation ain’t so bad….

When you’re healthy, inflammation does a delicate dance. It stays in control, out of sight and mind.

But if you party like a rock star, don’t exercise and eat like crap, here’s what happens….

Certain substances that are in the cells of your immune system and are involved in the inflammation process go crazy. That, of course, isn’t the official scientific explanation. But essentially what happens is, as with the case in autoimmune disease, the inflammation response becomes excessive.  And that’s where my two powerful inflammation fighters come into play: a 21 day Detox, and the use of CBD oil – and CBD oil is getting easier to find across the USA.

CBD oil by mouth

Symptoms of Inflammation

So how do you know if you have inflammation? And what can you do about it? Well, let’s answer the first question.

Beyond the obvious signs of inflammation such as swollen joints or red skin from an injury, here are some signs you may have excessive inflammation:

  • Constantly tired
  • Getting sick often
  • Gaining weight easily and having trouble losing it
  • Digestive issues
  • Skin breakouts
  • Trouble concentrating (brain fog)
  • Headaches

Can you relate to any of these issues? Let’s say you get headaches and acne breakouts from time to time. Sure, you could pop an over-the-counter pain-reliever and use an acne remedy. Problem solved, right? Well, for now, maybe. But putting a “band-aid” on inflammation (no pun intended) does not solve the root cause of inflammation.

But I’m about to share with you 2 things that will greatly reduce it and put your body back in balance….

Chef V 21 day detox contents

21 Day Detox

If you’ve legitimately eating healthy (by that I mean eating minimally-processed-at-most organic plant-based food 90% of the time), and you exercise, and don’t use harsh chemical cleaners at home yet you still have some signs of inflammation, I recommend seeing a functional medicine doctor.

But for most people, it is caused by lifestyle factors. Needless to say, diet is a big one.

And sometimes, it’s not just enough to say to people, “eat a healthy diet.”

Sometimes, you just need somebody to hold your hand.

That’s where I come in.

With a background as a certified nutritional therapist, I created the recipe for my Organic Green Drink. Since then, I’ve created recipes for a plant-based Protein Shake and Detox Soups. These 3 items form the core of my Cleanse and Detox programs.

Now, I’m not just trying to sell you on stuff I sell. My intention is to reset your body and provide you with the lifestyle education you need to keep eating healthy long after you’re done with my cleanse and detox program.

So if you’re ready to dramatically lower your body’s inflammation response, I suggest trying my 21 Day Detox.

The 21 Day Detox combines my 3 Day Cleanse and Healthy Eating recommendations. There’s 3 different plans to choose from: Starter, Classic, Obsessive. The Starter Detox features one 3-Day Cleanse. The Classic has two different stretches of doing the 3 Day Cleanse and the Obsessive has three. For each day during the 3 Day Cleanse phase, here’s what you’ll get in these powerful fighters:

  • Four 16-oz servings of Organic Green Drink
  • 2 packets of Chocolate Vegan Protein Shake
  • 1 container of Detox Soup (either Sweet Potato Curry or Ginger Carrot Zing)

For the rest of the time you’re doing the 21 day detox, you’ll get a 16oz Green Drink and Protein Shake each day. I recommend having those two for breakfast. Then, you have lunch and dinner. I provide you with a meal planner, as well as a Healthy Eating Guide, which includes a “Eat This, Not That” easy-to-follow chart, and a Healthy Portions chart.

We deliver the Green Drinks, Protein Shakes and Detox Soups right to your front door. And you’ll get my healthy eating advice emailed as soon as you order.

If you’re suffering from excessive inflammation, doing a 21 Day Detox could finally provide the relief you’re looking for.

And not only that, it will educate and inspire you to stick with healthy eating habits long after the 3 weeks are over.

Chef V 21 day detox

Chef V

Despite What TikTok Says Is Berberine Really “Nature’s Ozempic” For Weight Loss?

electrolytes

Thanks to a huge TikTok trend, berberine is now promoted as “nature’s Ozempic.” What the heck is berberine and does it really help you lose lots of weight by suppressing appetite the same way Ozempic does? Certified nutritional therapist and ChefV.com founder Veronica Wheat weighs in (no pun intended).

With an infant to care for (no hubby Brandon, I’m not talking about you haha) and a green veggie juice delivery business to run, I don’t have the time—or, the interest—to watch TikTok videos. But after hearing about the berberine trend for weight loss, I couldn’t resist plunging down the rabbit hole. 

Here’s just how one of the berberine TikTok videos—which cumulatively have been viewed 100 million times—begins:

“I started taking berberine yesterday and I’m not kidding you, I was stuffed all day.”

Because of testimonials like this, be they fake or real, the fact is that from January to mid-July of 2023, sales of berberine-containing products exploded by nearly 90%. [SOURCE

Why Are TikTok Influencers Taking Berberine For Weight Loss?

So what’s behind the berberine TikTok trend? Well, in case you haven’t heard about Ozempic, it’s a drug that was approved by the FDA in 2017 only for adults with type 2 diabetes. 

Ozempic lowers blood sugar levels by helping the pancreas make more insulin. Besides effectively lowering blood sugar levels, Ozempic users also noticed that their appetites plummeted while on the drug, leading to quick, significant weight loss. 

That explains why celebrities and thousands of “regular people” who could afford the steep cost of purchasing Ozempic off-label (in other words, not for type 2 diabetes) began hoarding Ozempic, creating a shortage of the drug for people living with diabetes. 

The shortage of Ozempic (generic name: semaglutide), its high cost, and lawsuits over its side effects—in some patients, it causes gastroparesis, a severely painful disorder that causes food to move at a snail’s pace through the stomach to the small intestine—has caused people to look for a natural alternative. 

Enter berberine. 

What is Berberine?

Like flavonoids, carotenoids, and allicins, berberine is a chemical found in plants, or in other words, a phytochemical. Phytochemicals are natural compounds that plants use to protect themselves from being devoured by insects. Natural plant chemicals can either be toxic to humans or they can have medicinal-like effects. But does berberine really work like Ozempic for weight loss? I’ll get to that in a sec. 

First, though, it’s important to know where berberine comes from. When it’s extracted naturally, it comes from the roots or bark of the following plants: 

  • Goldenseal
  • European Barberry
  • Oregon grape
  • Phellodendron
  • Tree turmeric

Most of the berberine supplements that TikTokers use for weight loss probably claim to be extracted naturally. However, I’m not sure that’s true. As this study in Nature points out, researchers have figured out how to make berberine from genetically-modified yeast. (Yuck!) And I bet you that using this GMO yeast will prove more cost-effective than having to import the natural sources of berberine. Anyway, that’s food for thought; if you want to try a berberine supplement, do your research and make sure it’s GMO-free. (But wait until the end of the article to make your decision about whether to purchase a berberine supplement!)

What Are The Benefits Of Berberine? 

Berberine has been a compound in many herbs that have been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. According to a research article in Chinese Medicine, berberine was first discovered in 1830 and since then it’s been the most studied alkaloid compound. In the early 1960s, Indian researchers demonstrated that berberine helped prevent diarrhea during cholera outbreaks. 

Even today, herbs with berberine are kept in medicine cabinets in Chinese homes like Immodium or Pepto Bismol to treat diarrhea. 

Having a serious case of the runs is one way to lose weight. But besides diarrhea treatment, what are the other benefits of berberine? And does research support it for weight loss? 

Well, according to the Nature study above: 

“Berberine has been found with pharmaceutical potential to treat obesity, regulate gut microbiota, treat atherosclerosis, or ameliorate Parkinson’s disease. There have been over 80 clinical trials worldwide to investigate berberine’s medicinal uses in these diseases.” 

OK, so wow, 80 studies, that’s impressive. But notice the quote above says “investigate.” In other words, is berberine legit for weight loss or has it been shown to be a dud in research studies? 

What Does The Research Say About Berberine?

The problem with berberine is that it’s really difficult to obtain it from food naturally. It’s pretty much found in just those handful of plants above. So does research support taking a supplement with berberine? Personally, I’m always in favor of using real food instead of supplements whenever possible. However, it  does seem that berberine is at least minimally effective for managing metabolic disorders by lowering: 

  • Triglycerides

    →  Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood. Did you know that Chef V’s 21 DAY DETOX and GREEN DRINK PLAN lowered triglycerides by an average of 23% in a clinical trial? (Learn more.)

  • Cholesterol

    Cholesterol is a necessary nutrient. But too much of it can accumulate in the arteries as plaque. The clinical trial on Chef V products reduced participants’ total cholesterol by an average of 9.2%; LDL cholesterol (the so-called “bad” cholesterol) by 10.7%, and cholesterol to LDL ratio by 7.7% (Read more about the study here.)
  • Blood Sugar

    The HbA1C test (A1C for short) provides a snapshot of blood sugar levels over the last 3 months. The clinical trial showed Chef V products lowered A1C levels by an average of 1.7%, which is huge for someone managing blood sugar levels. (Details here.)

In addition to these benefits of berberine, research also supports it for cardiovascular health. It also has been shown to improve the gut barrier, making sure no nasty pathogens get in, proving that it may work to help combat diarrhea. 

–> Check out my “Gut Health Survival Guide.” 

Is Berberine Safe To Take? 

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. In the case of berberine, taking it for weight loss could potentially backfire—if you’re taking diabetes drugs—like Ozempic or Metformin—and blood pressure medications. Berberine could potentially cause blood sugar levels to fall too low in some people or counteract the effects of blood pressure medications. So make sure you talk to your doctor before you start using berberine supplements. 

Is Berberine Like Ozempic?

So let’s get to the heart of the matter, or more accurately, the stomach of the matter. Does berberine work for weight loss? And if so, does it work in the same way as Ozempic? 

Let’s answer the first question. If you Google “berberine weight loss pubmed” you can quickly see that the results are a mixed-bag. A meta-analysis (a review of several studies) said there was a “significant reduction of body weight and body mass index (BMI)”. Another study also showed good results but it was on rats. Another study showed “mild weight loss” in people with obesity while another study on its effects on obesity “yielded no significant decline in body weight.” 

But if a whole nation of TikTokers swear by it, shouldn’t that anecdotal evidence count for something? 

I can’t answer that question for you. You’ll have to decide for yourself. There are worse things you can do for your health than taking a berberine supplement. But I’m not convinced that it’s necessary. And more to the point, to answer the second question, berberine is not “Nature’s Ozempic.”

Why Berberine Is Not Like Ozempic

Remember the name semaglutide? That’s the generic name for Ozempic and the more recent drug approved for weight loss, Wegovy, which was created by the same manufacturer of Ozempic in 2021, the first time a weight loss drug was approved by the FDA since 2014. (Weight loss drugs have a bad track record of side effects.)

Semaglutide works by mimicking the role of a natural hormone, called GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1). Here’s why that’s important. GLP-1 tells your body you have eaten. So semaglutide works by tricking your brain into thinking you’ve already eaten. 

Berberine does not work this way whatsoever. So no, berberine is not a surrogate for Ozempic. Yes, berberine’s effects on metabolic disorders is promising as a 2022 study in Molecules describes. 

And yes, these effects do include lowering blood sugar and improving insulin sensitivity, meaning your pancreas needs to pump out less insulin to manage blood sugar levels. It could be that berberine leads to weight loss because of its effects on controlling insulin and other hormones that control the size of your fat cells. 

But that doesn’t mean it works the same way Ozempic does. And to compare berberine to Ozempic is at best false advertising and at worse, potentially dangerous for those who take diabetes medications (see side effects concern above). 

Is Berberine Good For Weight Loss? Conclusion

When you eat real nutrient-dense food, the nutrients activate GLP-1. In other words, you don’t need to purchase berberine supplements in order to tell your brain that you are full. As I cautioned in this article I wrote about Ozempic, lots of people who take the drug for weight loss are doing so at the risk of serious malnutrition. 

Here’s how to eat healthy if you take semaglutide/Wegovy for weight loss; you should only take Ozempic if you have type 2 diabetes.

If you want to lose weight in a safe, effective way that’s backed by research, get on an ORGANIC GREEN DRINK PLAN and maximize your weight loss success with my 21 DAY DETOX

The 38 people who participated in a clinical trial testing the effects of CHEF V products followed the 21 DAY DETOX and then continued with the GREEN DRINK PLAN for 7 days. Their average weight loss during the 28-day study was roughly 8 pounds. That amount is impressive, considering none of the participants had significant weight to lose. 

Whether they would have lost more weight had they also taken a berberine supplement is up for debate. But one thing that’s not for debate is that berberine is nature’s Ozempic. It’s not. 

To your health, 

Veronica “V” Kress
ChefV.com Founder

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.