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Typically, “functional foods” are those that can provide additional health benefits beyond fulfilling basic nutritional needs.

For example, fatty, cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain omega-3 fats, which can positively impact your health and wellbeing in a number of ways.

Colorful fruits and vegetables like broccoli, berries, and Brussels sprouts are another good example. They contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but also other goodies like sulforaphane, anthocyanins, and carotenoids that can reduce the risk of disease, support brain, eye, and heart health, and more.

And even much-maligned foods like beef, pork, and lamb contain a special type of fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), that’s associated with a reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes and cancer (and grass-finished/fed meat are particularly rich in CLA).

All this is why food and supplement marketers have seized on these types of foods and molecules and spent who-knows-how-many millions of dollars over the last decades promoting their purported wonders.

For example, several well-known wellness gurus are trying to make sulforaphane out to be the natural cure for cancer, when it’s far from a magic bullet. Omega-3 fats are important, but they can’t bulletproof you against heart disease as some people claim. And while CLA has some health properties, it’s hard to quantify how helpful it really is for the average healthy person.

So, my point is while some foods are more nutritionally “special” than others and deserve consideration in your meal planning, most aren’t as helpful or vital as many self-styled diet experts would have you believe.

And that’s why I wanted to get Kurtis Frank, the director of Research and Development for my supplement company Legion Athletics, onto the show to break down the real science of functional foods.

Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • What a “functional food” is and isn’t
  • The best functional foods you can eat
  • The most popular foods marketed as “functional” that really aren’t
  • And more.

Click the player below to listen now!

Time Stamps:

7:49 – What are functional foods?

10:31 – What are the health benefits of fish?

11:39 – What type of fish are good for omega-3 fatty acids?

14:25 – What are the good molecules in broccoli?

16:21 – Is there a physiological difference between eating broccoli regularly versus supplementing?

17:26 – How many servings of fish do you need every week to meet a proper dosage of omega-3 fatty acids?

20:40 – How many servings of fish do you need to balance omega-6 intake?

21:36 – Is salmon good for omega-3 fatty acids?

22:28 – Do plant-based people have to worry about balancing their omega-6 intake?

23:21 – If you need high intakes of omega-3s, can you achieve it from food or do you need to supplement?

24:05 – What dosage of omega-3s do you recommend to reduce muscle soreness?

25:15 – How many grams of EPA and DHA do you need for brain boosting?

26:18 – Which foods are marketed as functional foods but are not functional foods?

26:49 – Is there another cruciferous vegetable that has the same health benefits of broccoli?

27:57 – Do you have a lot of variety in your diet or do you like the same foods?

29:03 – Is chlorella a functional food?

32:18 – Are jackfruit and moringa oleifera functional foods?

35:41 – Is kale a functional food?

38:24 – Is garlic a functional food?

40:00 – What’s in garlic?

42:01 – How much garlic should you eat to gain its health benefits?

43:10 – Does cooking garlic alter its health benefits?

46:36 – Which spices are functional foods?

47:16 – Are blueberries a functional food?

47:25 – Do frozen blueberries have better health benefits than fresh blueberries?

48:51 – What are the health benefits of blueberries?

53:19 – Are cranberries a functional food?

55:02 – Is rosemary a functional food?

55:48 – What are the health benefits of rosemary?

56:24 – Which food has the most rosmarinic acid?

58:10 – Is coffee a functional food?

1:00:13 – Is bitter cucumber a functional food?

Episode Transcript:

Mike : [00:00:22] Hey, Mike Matthews here from Muscle For Life and Legion Athletics, and welcome to another episode of the Muscle For Life podcast. This one is about functional foods. What is a functional food? Well, most people, when they refer to functional food, what they mean is a food that has additional health benefits other than just providing basic nutritional needs for the body.

For example, fatty cold water, fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines contain omega 3 fatty acids, which offer a number of unique health benefits. Colorful fruits and vegetables are another example, like broccoli, berries, and Brussel sprouts. Brussels sprouts. I think you could actually go either way on that, I think it can be plural and not. Anyway [laughing], these contain many vitamins, minerals, and fiber, but they also contain goodies like sulforaphane, anthocyanins, and carotenoids.

And those interesting molecules can help reduce the risk of various types of disease, support brain, eye, and heart health, and more. And even much-maligned foods like beef, pork, and lamb contain a special type of fat called conjugated linoleic acid, CLA, that is associated with a reduced risk of type two diabetes and cancer. And all of that is why food and supplement marketers have seized on these types of foods and molecules and have spent who knows how many millions of dollars over the last decades promoting their purported wonders.

For example, these days, several well-known wellness gurus are trying to make sulforaphane out to be the natural cure for cancer. When that is far from the truth, it is far from a magic bullet of any kind. And as far as omega 3 fatty acids go, yes, they are important and you do need to make sure that you are getting enough in your diet, whether it’s through eating the right foods or taking the right supplements, but they cannot bulletproof you against heart disease like many people claim.

And while CLA does seem to have some health properties, it is hard to quantify how helpful it really is for the average healthy person. So my point is, while some foods are more nutritionally “special” than others and definitely deserve consideration in your meal planning, most of them are not as helpful or vital as self-styled diet experts would have you believe. And that’s why I wanted to have a discussion about this.

I wanted to get Kurtis Frank, who is the director of research and development for my supplement company, Legion Athletics, and the co-founder of, onto the show to break down the real science of functional foods. And here’s a little sneak peek of what you’re going to learn in this episode, you’re going to learn what a functional food really is and what it really isn’t, you’re going to learn the best functional foods you can eat, the most popular foods that are marketed as functional that really aren’t, and more.


Mike : [00:00:00] What’s up, man?


Kurtis : [00:00:01] Not much, not much at all.


Mike : [00:00:02] It is 2019, The Year of the Beast.


Kurtis : [00:00:06] Oh, yeah, Chinese calendar right? Year of the Boar? I think?


Mike : [00:00:10] [Laughing] Sure.


Kurtis : [00:00:11] I like your interpretation a bit better, though.


Mike : [00:00:14] [Laughing] Mine’s more fun.


Kurtis : [00:00:15] Oh, yeah, definitely. More marketable as well. Year of the Boar just makes me think of troughs filled with macaroni. Not very good for the fitness field.


Mike : [00:00:25] Beast has that Armageddon flavor to it. You can use that fear to sell people stuff, you know?


Kurtis : [00:00:32] [Laughing] There won’t be 2020 might as well get jacked now.


Mike : [00:00:34] [Laughing] Just go down huge, once the nuclear holocaust comes, before you’re evaporated, you’re gonna look pretty damn good.


Kurtis : [00:00:45] Yeah, leave a pretty corpse. If it’s evaporated, at least make the nuke take some time to chew through you.


Mike : [00:00:52] [Laughing] All right well that’s not what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to talk about functional foods, which you had suggest this as a topic and I am excited for it myself, actually, because this is an area that is not spoken about much and I feel like a fair amount of information out there on it is kind of quacky and puts too much emphasis on things that don’t really matter or too little emphasis on things that do matter. So I’m excited to dive into it with you. I think we should just start with a definition of terms, so what are functional foods?


Kurtis : [00:01:27] The general idea of functional foods, the most basic definition, are foods that also have a function, hence the name. But basically speaking, a lot of foods, you eat them because they’re nourishment and you don’t give a second thought about it. But sometimes there are some certain foods that you do give an extra thought about. The best example would be if you’re sick, you have some chicken noodle soup or ginger ale, where sure they’re just nourishment, but they also provide an extra function of helping you while you’re sick.

This idea extended to how functional foods or foods that have these unique components within them are the bridge between diet and supplementation. So very often you hear about people – quacks, if you will – talking about how, “eat this food,” and then they just claim all the benefits of supplementation of a particular molecule of food. So anytime you hear about just hype, where it’s like, “eat broccoli to get jacked,” or like, “eat eggs to lose bodyweight,” or stuff like that, you always talk about functional foods. Which is just, “buy the stuff in the grocery store and you could have an extra benefit.”


Mike : [00:02:39] There’s a lot of detox kind of claims, at least I see that pretty often in the context of functional food.


Kurtis : [00:02:46] Oh yeah. It’s the whole …


Mike : [00:02:48] Detox, weight loss, you know.


Kurtis : [00:02:49] Yeah, “eat this certain food, you get these goodies. Eat these foods they have these negative effects,” or whatever.


Mike : [00:02:55] Yeah, or detox your liver, or detox some other organ.


Kurtis : [00:02:59] Yeah. And a lot of times the claims are just – they’re pretty much made just so you focus on the diet and think you’re doing something useful, whereas in actuality a lot of these detox diets are just, like the detox ones in particular, they’re mostly just laxatives. And they usually recommend eggs because they’re chock full of fatty acids that help lubricate the intestines a bit, help the laxatives work better.

But the more you focus on the diet, the less you focus on the supplements and the supplements are the actual scam part of these detox things. So in that way, the functional foods, despite them technically being something worth looking into, it can also be used as red herrings when it comes to overall dietary regimens.


Mike : [00:03:42] Right, right. So that is what a functional food is, where do you want to take this from here? I mean, ultimately you want to get to some practical – what are some functional foods that are worth working into your diet and why? But I’m just going to defer to – I know you have kind of an outline of how you want to go through this, so that’s what functional foods are. Where are we going next?


Kurtis : [00:04:07] I think the best place to start would be with fish. Just fish products in general, because fish oil is a dietary supplement and it’s just straight-up taken from fish. And fish is a great functional food in this essence, because not only is it nutritive, but it contains within it the fish oil dietary supplement. So if you were to have the food, you get the benefits of just the proteins within the like, say, salmon itself, but you also get the benefits of dietary supplementation.


Mike : [00:04:37] Now, some fish are better than others for that though, right?


Kurtis : [00:04:40] Like when it comes to fish, the general rules are if you want the omega 3 fatty acids, you go for cold-water fish, the ones that are just more fattier. Because if the fish exists in cold water, it needs to have some fat just to protect itself. Whereas warm water fish can be leaner because they don’t need that temperature coating. And you also want fish that are not necessarily predatory, but you don’t want them to be like crustacean bottom feeders as well. So you want fish lower on the food chain because then they have like the lowest level of mercury buildup.


Mike : [00:05:12] Makes sense. What are some specifics? I’m sure some people listening are like, “what should I be looking for?”


Mike : [00:05:19] So basically, any sort of bottom-feeding crustacean in particular, mollusks, oysters, crabs, and all that, you don’t really know what you’re getting into unless you know the location that they’re from because they literally eat anything that’s on the seafloor and it could just be a regular bottom-feeding fish or it could just be a shark. They’re just eating it all up and they’re storing everything in their body.

When it comes to more predatory species, the most problematic ones, even though they’re not common in the diet, would be whale and shark. I can’t remember the last time I heard someone saying that they had a shark steak, but a shark is perhaps the highest in these toxins and same with whale meat.


Mike : [00:06:03] I think shark stake – I feel like I have heard of these, kind of a fancy thing. So it’s probably mostly going to affect the pedophile elites, so who cares, eat all the sharks you guys want to eat.


Kurtis : [00:06:14] Yeah, except shark fins soup because that’s just like – that one’s stupid.


Mike : [00:06:19] Yeah, we’re talking about thick, juicy shark steak that you might find at like a three Michelin star restaurant or something.


Kurtis : [00:06:25] Yeah. Anyway, the reason I wanted to start off with … I should also mention that most of the fish on the market is pretty okay. The only ones that are a problem would be, I think catfish. The species of tuna known as albacore is pretty up there. Skipjack and yellowfin should be okay. Once you’re trying to decipher the differences between different species of tuna, that’s pregnant women territory when it comes to mercury levels.

For just day-to-day health reasons, don’t worry about it too much, it’s just a general theme. But the main reason I wanted to bring a fish in particular is because on the topic of functional foods, food with a function, we can measure the fish oil within the food. And this is important because we just get sort of an idea that there are indeed molecules within this food and they are there at a certain level and they could actually be taken out of the food if need be.

The main problem when it comes to functional foods is that sometimes people say, “eat broccoli because it’s good for you,” and then you ask, “why?” And then they respond with, “well, because it’s good for you, obviously.” Like, they always will be traced back to a molecule or class of molecules, you will be able to measure them, and there should be supplemental alternatives for a lot of these things, the only thing is we eat the functional foods because they’re cheaper than actually taking this stuff out of the food products and putting into a pill.


Mike : [00:07:59] So in the case of broccoli, what does that look like?


Kurtis : [00:08:02] That would be the isothiocyanate class. It’s a class of a lot of different molecules, but the ones we focused most on are I3-c, indole-3-carbinol, and diindolylmethane (DIM). I3-c and DIM aren’t too popular these days as sulforaphane.


Mike : [00:08:22] They’re still fairly popular, I mean, I still get people asking about them because they’re sold usually as estrogen blockers.


Kurtis : [00:08:31] Yeah, like anti-estrogens and all that. And then there’s the sulforaphane, which has the anticancer side of things. But these are the isolated molecules within broccoli that people start measuring out and just calculating, and you can actually see that within these plants exist the good molecules. And as long as we can get that basis of figuring out what the good molecules are in the plant, then we can start measuring how much of them are actually in the plant.

And I like bringing up broccoli because you’re not going to be getting much sulforaphane in and of itself. You’re probably not going to be getting much indole-3-carbinol nor diindolylmethane.


Mike : [00:09:10] And you’re saying that that is true regardless of how much broccoli you’re eating. Like, what if you eat two servings of broccoli every day? Which is actually what I do. I’m asking for myself, for example.


Kurtis : [00:09:22] The entire class, the isothiocyanates, there’s a decent amount in broccoli, so you’re going to be getting some health benefits, and two servings a day is more than enough, you can have one serving broccoli and still be good. It’s just, when you have studies on isolated DIM and you try to compare that to eating the food in and of itself, that’s where the problems may arise because the doses are a bit off. You’re basically taking the equivalent of two kilograms of broccoli and assuming that one serving has just as much DIM.


Mike : [00:09:54] Yeah, sure, that makes sense. And functionally speaking or practically speaking, do you think that there would be a significant difference between the amount that you can get from eating broccoli regularly vs. supplementing? Like, obviously you can get a lot more of the individual molecules, but do you think it’s going to make a big difference physiologically?


Kurtis : [00:10:15] When it comes to sulforaphane, potentially. But when it comes to the other ones, I don’t really think so. I think you can just have like, two servings of broccoli a day and get most of the isothiocyanates out of the way. But you could potentially micromanage a higher dose of sulforaphane if you just have broccoli, maybe some like broccoli sprouts or whatever the heck Rhonda Patrick’s talking about this month, [laughing] because that’s just her thing, to talk about sulforaphane.

But yeah like, just having one or two servings of broccoli may not be enough to get the ideal amount of sulforaphane, but it is enough to get some benefits of the broccoli. And it won’t be enough to claim that it is a functional food, just beyond healthy in a way.


Mike : [00:10:59] Okay, and going back to fish for a minute, is it practical to get – I mean, I guess for basic health reasons, you probably could get enough omega 3 fatty acids if you just ate fish semi-regularly. Right? Don’t you have to weigh against the amount of pollutants in fish because there is a point where it becomes unhealthy, correct me if I’m wrong, but becomes unhealthy to be eating more and more fish, and so if you have basic health needs for omega 3, you probably could get there just if you regularly eat fatty fish.

I’d be curious as to your thoughts on that and how many servings a week of, let’s say, something like salmon. Or mackerels are another good source. Right? Anchovies or good source. And then you have the higher doses, though, that people that are more concerned with performance or let’s say someone who lifts a lot of weights and they want maximum joint benefits, for example, that now becomes kind of impractical to achieve through diet alone. No?


Kurtis : [00:11:56] I would agree with you on that one. When it comes to basic health reasons, the general recommendation is around one to two servings of fish a week. But in actuality, you just kinda want to balance out the omega 3 animal-sourced fatty acids, like not plant omega 3, just animal omega 3, against animal omega 6. The ideal ratio, it’s somewhere between two to one to one to two in that range. No one really knows, they just argue about it. But as long as you try to balance them out, you should be good.


Mike : [00:12:30] So two to one to one to two. So you’re saying, some people are saying that you should be, two to one omega 6 to omega 3 and other people are saying it’s the other way around?


Kurtis : [00:12:40] Yeah, but they both agree that a twenty to one ratio in either way is horrible.


Mike : [00:12:44] Well, sure [laughing]. Isn’t there some evidence that the absolute amount of omega 3 is more important to the ratio or no?


Kurtis : [00:12:52] It really depends on what you’re talking about. The absolute amount is a bit more relevant when it comes to immunology. Particularly when it comes to omega 3’s ability to, I guess, be an immunosuppressant. So you can have, let’s say, one gram of omega six and one gram of omega 3 each day for a week and then you just happen to eat more omega 6, and then you want to take more omega 3 to balance it out.

If you have pulled the ratio, most of the problems will just evaporate because the ratio is upheld, but some of them will persist and maybe even get worse just because you’re eating more. And a lot of those do pertain to just how fish oil could suppress the immune system. But at the same time, it’s not really something that the average person needs to worry about, it’s more if you are in an immunocompromised state and you’re like 70 years old and you’re easily sickened, don’t take like, 10 grams of fish oil, it will not benefit you there.


Mike : [00:13:56] So if your average person went for – let’s just go down the middle and say a 1:1 ratio, they have nothing to worry about.


Kurtis : [00:14:04] Yeah, pretty much. Like, if you want oil for health, just aim for a 1:1 ratio, don’t care too much if you’re bit on the left or on the right, and you should be good.


Kurtis : [00:14:15] And what would that look like with just food. You’re going to have to obviously expand a little bit on the diet there. So obviously the average western eater, their omega 6 intake is out the roof, so what would a more sensible approach look like dietarily?


Kurtis : [00:14:32] I would probably aim for a 1:1 ratio. Like, every time you have a cut of pork or beef, basically the fatty – I’m not even sure pork is considered a red meat – but every time you have a cut of that, at some other point in the week, have a cut of fatty fish.


Mike : [00:14:50] And specifically what type of fish?


Mike : [00:14:53] I usually recommend sardines just because they’re cheap. But also a herring, like if you go to the grocery store, you look for tins of herring, even for people that don’t really like the taste of fish, smoked or kippered herring is pretty darn palatable. Like, a lot of people can get that down.


Mike : [00:15:10] Okay, and what about salmon? Salmon is popular as well.


Kurtis : [00:15:14] Oh, yeah, but it’s a bit more expensive.


Mike : [00:15:16] I’m just saying it’s popular. Especially if you’re only maybe eating a couple of servings a week.


Kurtis : [00:15:22] Well, think about it this way, if the fish does have a fatty acid content, it’s going to be omega 3 fatty acids. There’s no fish that has omega 6 fatty acids predominantly. But anyways, back to the recommendations, every time you have a fatty cut of pork or beef, at some other point in the week, have a fatty cut of fish, and then when it comes to warm water fish like tilapia or cod that don’t have a high-fat content. And when it comes to chicken, don’t worry too much about balancing those ones out, unless you deep fry them. Deep frying may require a bit more offsetting.


Mike : [00:15:58] Yeah, simply because they’re just lean cuts of meat so there’s very little fat content, period. And what about people who don’t eat much in the way of meat? Like, I hear from people regularly who have maybe a serving of lean-ish red meat once every other week and otherwise it’s really just kind of chicken or turkey breast or plant-based sources of protein. Eggs, dairy.


Kurtis : [00:16:21] They may not even need to worry about the omega 3s. They may already be in a good enough position.


Mike : [00:16:27] I mean there would be a benefit to getting some, though, right? Because again, there are quite a few people …


Kurtis : [00:16:34] Yeah, a little bit.


Mike : [00:16:35] Yeah, a little bit, that’s what I’m saying. They’re getting very little, not even really any ELA, nothing really from plants or animals. However, their omega 6 intake is not too high either.


Kurtis : [00:16:44] Yeah, so they could quite literally have one cut of not even super fatty fish, like moderately fatty fish, like once a week and they’d be good.


Mike : [00:16:54] Cool. And then the higher dosages now – that is where it becomes impractical with food, right?


Kurtis : [00:17:00] Oh, yes, if you want to try to use fish oils to reduce any delayed onset muscle soreness, then trying that with food is just … I mean, you can eat a few kilograms of salmon if you want, but financially it’s not advisable. And beyond that, reducing triglycerides, definitely you want to supplement for that, because just powering down so many calories from fish will be counterproductive. Beyond that, yeah you could just pretty much get away with having fish itself without needing to supplement with it, unless you want to get rid of some muscle soreness or reduce your triglycerides.


Mike : [00:17:39] And for the purpose of reducing muscle soreness, what is the daily dosage, what’s the recommendation of omega 3s?


Kurtis : [00:17:47] Scientifically speaking, I don’t really know, because all the studies that I’ve seen on this topic tend to use like university age to barely adapted weightlifters and yet whenever I go out into the real world to see people who swear by fish oil to reduce soreness, they’re always like just over the top powerlifter types. And the powerlifter types tend to start at around four grams combined EPA, DHA, and sometimes they just pop them like candy as well, which at that point it’s just damn near impossible to calculate the dose. [Laughing]

So yeah, if you are going to use it to alleviate joint pain and you hear that four grams combined EPA plus DHA and think, “that’s a pretty high dose, is that a typo?” It’s not. It does start that high. Which is usually why we recommend other things to start with joint pain. Only move it up to fish oil, if it’s like the only option, where even ibuprofen doesn’t work.


Mike : [00:18:49] And are there any other significant benefits that there’s good scientific evidence for enough anecdotal evidence that you get behind it for a higher, let’s say it’s four to six grams of combined EPA, DHA per day?


Kurtis : [00:19:03] Potentially for brain-boosting, like I’m talking about both the elderly and the youth, but the scientific studies of that are very back and forth, so I can’t 100 percent get behind it, but if you want to experiment with fish oil boosting cognition, particularly if you are youth, you may want to experiment with dietary supplements rather than just having fish.


Mike : [00:19:28] Okay and anything else?


Kurtis : [00:19:30] Nothing major that I could think of. Triglycerides, cognition, and joint health are the ones that food just simply cannot replicate.


Mike : [00:19:39] Makes sense. So we’re talking about broccoli. So I think that’s pretty much it, I don’t know if there’s anything else to say with broccoli and its special properties. Is there anything else you wanted to add on that before moving on to the next? I’d be curious to hear next, a functional food that is a food that is maybe heavily promoted as a functional food that you are not excited about and you don’t agree with the mainstream hype on.


Kurtis : [00:20:09] Oh, we can just go straight into that one because I totally have a topic on hand.


Mike : [00:20:12] Let’s do it because I guess broccoli is really what you said, right? If you eat it …


Kurtis : [00:20:16] Yeah, like broccoli is healthy, but broccoli is never going to cure a disease state, it’s never going to prevent disease state.


Mike : [00:20:23] What if you don’t like broccoli? Do you have another option like another cruciferous vegetable that you could substitute?


Kurtis : [00:20:29] All cruciferous vegetables can be substituted with one another. Broccoli is the most common because it tends to be the highest. I forget if watercress is even cruciferous, but like watercress, spinach, bok choy can also be substituted. Kale has become popular in the past few years, although I’m not particularly a fan of it. And then beyond that, just cabbage is always a good option because of how cheap and versatile it is.


Mike : [00:20:58] And what about cauliflower, brussel sprouts?


Kurtis : [00:21:02] Well, brussels definitely, they’re on the higher end. But I think cauliflower and cabbage are both, on a per gram basis lower in the beneficial stuff than broccoli is. But even then, like, if you’re getting it in your mouth, who cares?


Mike : [00:21:16] Yeah, I mean, it’s better than Lucky Charms.


Kurtis : [00:21:20] Yeah, it’s also better than just eating the same thing every day, day after day after day, just like more and more and more broccoli eventually you’re going to lose your mind, and just not eat it.


Mike : [00:21:31] Do you personally have a lot of variety in your diet or do you just tend to eat the same stuff until you get sick of something and then you just change it.


Kurtis : [00:21:37] I’d say about 70 percent of my diet is consistent, but a lot of the stuff I have in my diet, it’s very minor changes, like, let’s say I want to have some sort of fry like entity and I say that because I usually have yams. But sometimes I’ll switch it out for rutabaga fries because first and foremost, they taste different and rutabagas have a lot less calories than yams, so sometimes I do that when I’m cutting.

And then like other times I just like switch out the rice. For the most part, my diet is the same, but there are going to be substitutes here and there just so I have some leeway.


Mike : [00:22:18] I’m similar, I just kind of stick to stuff and maybe I’ll make little substitutions here and there, less so when I’m cutting and then I’m just very robotic.


Kurtis : [00:22:27] Yeah, you just have to shove stuff in your face and get on with your day, because the more you think about it, the more you want more.


Mike : [00:22:33] And if you are eating stuff like root vegetables, it’s hard to overeat.


Mike : [00:22:37] Yeah, onto the topic of functional foods that should never have that title: chlorella.


Kurtis : [00:22:44] And that’s trendy these days as well. Kind of goes hand-in-hand spirulina. Although I know you’re your big fan of spirulina, but not so much of its cousin.


Kurtis : [00:22:54] Yeah, because when it comes to functional food, like you have your food, obviously, then you have to ask, “what is its function?” And this always traces back to either a class of molecules or one particular molecule, and you just say, “this is what the molecule’s function is.” For spirulina, it’s a very simple, spirulina is a source of c-phycocyanin. C-phycocyanin, if I could pronounce it right, helps suppress the immune system not in an unnecessarily negative way.

But prevents the immune system from damaging your own tissues, resulting in significantly less oxidative stress and has a few other benefits they can trace back to the actual molecule at hand, but Spirally is a source for this functional benefit. If you were to talk about chlorella, however, then people just start just running around in circles saying, “oh, it has so much magnesium.

Oh it’s a source of vitamin c, vitamin A,” it’s like the moment that somebody who is asked about a functional food has to refer to vitamins and minerals, it’s not a functional food. It’s just a food.


Mike : [00:24:01] Yeah, that’s a good distinction to make.


Kurtis : [00:24:04] Yeah. Like, you could just take magnesium.


Mike : [00:24:07] Because if you walked that back even further and it’s like, “well, it has calories.” Yeah. Yeah so do many other foods.


Kurtis : [00:24:13] “Why should I have Corella?” “Oh it’s a great source of vitamin A.” “Why shouldn’t I just take capsule vitamin A?” “Because this is chlorella!”


Mike : [00:24:20] Yeah, or get vitamin A from something else, some other food that I like more.


Kurtis : [00:24:25] Yeah. The foods need to have something relatively unique to make you go out of your way to consume the food and Corella just does not have that. It’s a decent source of a lot of different things and that’s fine, and so if you wanted to just eat in your diet, go right ahead. But to sell it as a supplement or to call it a functional food is just, in my mind, disingenuous.


Mike : [00:24:50] And I guess a lot of the hype surrounding it – actually, I’m not sure how popular it is now, it might have had its 15 minutes and it might be on the decline now, but a lot of that hype was mostly just marketing.


Kurtis : [00:25:03] Yeah, it was basically say how is a great source of whatever and whenever they were called out on what it was a great source of, they changed whatever the great source was. Like they say it’s a great source of vegan zinc and then when people say, “no, it’s not,” they switch over to like an iron content, which probably doesn’t even exist to a high degree.

Then when they’re called out on that, they just move on to the next target until they’re eventually out of targets and hopefully they bought enough time to sell their entire stock because now they’re after the next product.


Mike : [00:25:33] Such is the supplement industry. I mean, yes, that’s how it works, or there’ll be some preliminary research, right, maybe it’s animal research or in vitro or something that says, “hey, this looks kind of interesting,” and then they just take that and run with it.


Kurtis : [00:25:50] Yeah. And like we saw a similar thing with two recent foods that I wrote about in articles. One of the articles is more recent: jackfruit. And the one before that was Moringa Oleifera. Now, both these foods, they’re cool foods, I have to admit. Because you can grow them in pretty much areas that are stricken by drought. You can have soil that is essentially depleted of its nutrients, there’s barely any rain, and yet these foods still grow or to mass a lot of calories. So when it comes to topics of reducing starvation rates in the world, they’re both…


Mike : [00:26:26] They’re gonna be here after the Armageddon.


Kurtis : [00:26:30] Yeah, pretty much. Just jackfruit and moringa everywhere.


Mike : [00:26:33] And cockroaches.


Kurtis : [00:26:35] The cockroaches can’t reach the food. They could reach everything my bad.


Mike : [00:26:39] That’s an interesting world. Imagine when the aliens come and it’s just cockroaches and moringa. “Jackfruit, what the fuck is this?”


Kurtis : [00:26:46] But with those foods, they’re wonderful to research, they’re wonderful to grow in third world countries and if I had to assess the foods themselves, I wouldn’t because they’re pretty great. The problem is that, there became a surplus of them at certain areas and what do you do with anything that has a surplus but could also go bad in a week or so after it’s been harvested? You dehydrate it, you put it in pills and you find any excuse to sell it to people.

And when it comes to moringa in particular, it’s also a cruciferous vegetable. It’s not as good as broccoli, but it does have the same compounds we were talking about earlier, including sulforaphane. And because of that it was sold as dietary supplements for a long time and we actually included it in Genesis just because of how bloody cheap it was for us to add just an extra source cruciferous.

There is nothing special about it, it was just cheap. But a lot of other companies decided to sell it out of horrendously high markup because it is some fancy-sounding tropical fruit and they just made off like bandits.


Mike : [00:27:59] Yeah, I heard the seeds are particularly incredible.


Kurtis : [00:28:04] Yeah, like it’s weird from the position we’re in because we can actually see the cost of these ingredients behind the scenes, but when someone tries to sell you like one gram of moringa a day and like a month supply is 50 bucks, and then we’re just looking over the price for Genesis, it’s like it cost us to cents to add this thing, how are they charging that much money? It’s weird.


Mike : [00:28:27] You got to pay for Lambos somehow, dude.


Kurtis : [00:28:29] I know, right? And jackfruit is in a similar position, where it’s probably gonna be just heavily marketed and manipulated in the next few months. Where are people going to say, “here are all the benefits of jackfruit,” and they’re probably just going to use the actual article I wrote to find out this one particular interesting molecule that hasn’t actually been proven in anything but technically is in jackfruit, and they’re probably going to use that to sell it as an immuno booster just to earn some money. Buy low, sell high, after all.


Mike : [00:29:00] Therefore, making you guilty by association.


Kurtis : [00:29:04] And incredibly bitter.


Mike : [00:29:06] You should be punished. You should just be punished preemptively because that’s what’s gonna happen.


Kurtis : [00:29:10] Yeah, totally, just throw me right under the jackfruit bus. [Laughing]


Mike : [00:37:17] So you mentioned kale, that you’re not a fan of kale.


Kurtis : [00:37:22] It’s just from a taste perspective.


Mike : [00:37:24] Oh, okay. I thought there were some other reasons. That’s one of those … I don’t know if it’s generally considered a functional food, but it definitely gets lumped into a super special food that you should be eating above everything else.


Kurtis : [00:37:37] Yeah, I consider it similar to broccoli, to be honest. Like, I’m not going to say you have to go out there and eat kale, if you want to, that’s great. But it’s just like, I can eat salads with lettuce or spinach, but when people serve me a kale salad it’s just way too bitter. Then people say, “wow, you can just like, batter up kale and fry it,” and I’m like, “deep frying and kale? I’d rather deep-fry bloody cod at this point.”


Mike : [00:38:03] [Laughing] I’ve had kale chips that were good. It’s just like dehydrated kale with some nutritional yeast and some salt. It was actually pretty good.


Kurtis : [00:38:11] Yeah, I’ve tried to do that, but I’m not known for being a good cook. After all, my most famous recipe that people still remember me by is just a failure that somehow … did I tell you about that? Meat slop? 


Mike : [00:38:24] [Laughing] You might as well go through it again.


Kurtis : [00:38:28] Okay, so anyone who is new here, I am well known for something called meat slop. And it’s called meat slop because it’s meat mixed with cabbage and tomato paste and it just looks like a slop. You look at it and you think, “but there aren’t any pigs around here, why do I pig feed on my kitchen counter?” But, you know, I was a starving university student at the time and if you have five pounds of cabbage and one pound of meat, mix them together, you get six pounds of something that sort of, kind of tastes like meat.

Works out in the end. But I was trying to make borscht like I failed that hard. That’s like trying to make a hotdog and coming up with the salad, I don’t know how I could have screwed up the recipe so much. And so I posted it online with the intention of, “haha, look how much I suck at cooking,” and apparently everyone thinks that I’m actually good at cooking now because I made something so delicious. And now whenever I hear the talk about meat slop, I’m reminded of my failures in the kitchen.


Mike : [00:39:33] No, man that’s like the beginning of a breakthrough innovative product story. Now, you need to trademark it and bring it to the masses. Meat slop. [Laughing] It’s like sloppy Joes, it’s the next thing. You know what I mean? 


Kurtis : [00:39:48] It’s just the caption, “meat slop. Eat it, you dirty pigs.” [Laughing]


Mike : [00:39:56] How could that go wrong? All right. So what is another tier one, let’s say functional food? So we have fish … 


Kurtis : [00:40:04] Garlic.


Mike : [00:40:06] Your favorite. Of course, garlic.


Kurtis : [00:40:09] Yeah, definitely.


Mike : [00:40:11] Just to recap, we have fish, we have broccoli, and other cruciferous, also leafy greens. Right? Spinach is probably up there, that was the previous group. And now garlic, why garlic?


Kurtis : [00:40:23] First and foremost …


Mike : [00:40:25] It makes you smell like shit.


Kurtis : [00:40:27] Oh yeah, totally. Curry does that too and it hasn’t stopped me from eating it.


Mike : [00:40:31] Oh yeah, I’m over it. I eat more than I even need to just because I like garlic. I probably eat a few cloves a day and I don’t notice it, but I’m sure I don’t smell too great, at least sometimes.


Kurtis : [00:40:45] The definition of functional food is food with a function and the function is going to be reducing blood pressure, the first question is, can I just eat enough of this food to knock myself out? With garlic you can. I’m actually going to have to give a disclaimer on this. Some people use garlic before they head to the gym as a sort of nitric oxide booster.

First and foremost, yes, that does work. Secondly, it’s not recommended because you exhale a lot at the gym and there are going to be other people there who will not take kindly to the garlic shenanigans you’re doing. And if you do any overhead work, you may very well pass out from low blood pressure. Garlic can quickly and potently reduce blood pressure, so that is enough to call it a functional food.


Mike : [00:41:35] What’s in garlic? What’s the special – what’s the secret sauce?


Kurtis : [00:41:39] So I don’t know exactly what the entire category is, but they’re basically sulfur-bearing compounds, small amino acids that have sulfur on them, survive digestion, and then just give sulfur off within the human body. But when the sulfur is in the human body rather than being, say, incorporated into a sulfur-bearing amino acid-like l-cysteine, the sulfur just floats around and it usually forms hydrogen disulfide, which is the molecule known for producing egg farts, or at least the smell thereof.

Hydrogen disulfide is actually similar to nitric oxide and the fact that it relaxes blood vessels. Furthermore, it actually bolsters antioxidant defenses. Like there’s three different molecules known as the Gasso transmitters. Small transmitters, kind of like neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are called that because their transmitters within neurons. Gasso transmitters are transmitters that are gasses. It’s nitric oxide, hydrogen disulfide, and carbon monoxide. And the three of them can pass through any cell barrier they want because they’re small gases and they just don’t care about barriers, they just slip on through.


Mike : [00:42:53] Our cells need better border defenses.


Kurtis : [00:42:56] I knew you were gonna say that.


Mike : [00:42:59] [Laughing] I thought about it, “whatever, I’ll say it.” 


Kurtis : [00:43:02] If you heard me stuttering a little bit it’s because as soon as I said, “pass through the membranes because they don’t care,” it’s like, “oh, God, he’s gonna say it isn’t he.” [Laughing]


Mike : [00:43:14] Have strong borders, you know.


Kurtis : [00:43:15] Yeah, they reduce blood pressure. They bolster antioxidant defenses. They actually help the immune system. It’s very much just like a secondary nitric oxide that works in concert with it. Furthermore, if you boost one of them up too much, the other one will follow soon because they have to have some sort of balance with each other.


Mike : [00:43:35] Okay, so that is why garlic is one of your top functional foods. What other benefits are there and how much do you need to eat to get those benefits?


Kurtis : [00:43:46] The dose you need to eat is about two cloves a day. Just specify, the clove are the segments, not the entire bulb.


Mike : [00:43:53] Two bulbs a day would be impressive.


Kurtis : [00:43:55] It might kill you. I will have to admit.


Mike : [00:43:59] You would smell like an abomination. That would be amazing.


Kurtis : [00:44:05] But yeah, one to two cloves a day and like you could get all fancy and just actually do the whole unwrap the clove, cut it open and let it oxidize in the air before lightly sauteeing it, or you could just plop them in your mouth and just chew them.


Mike : [00:44:17] Don’t forget the Himalayan rock salt.


Kurtis : [00:44:21] Oh yes, it has to be kosher.


Mike : [00:44:23] I saw Aubrey Marcus, it’s gotta be Himalayan salt and it’s got to be lightly oxidized garlic.


Kurtis : [00:44:30] That’s just … it’s like he has that recommendation, “it has to be the Himalayan salt with lightly oxidized garlic,” and honestly, yeah, just pop the freaking clove in your face and chew it if you’re man enough.


Mike : [00:44:45] [Laughing] So it’s one to two cloves a day. Does cooking change that at all? Cooking the garlic?


Kurtis : [00:44:51] Cooking the garlic … all cooking processes will change the amount of bioactives in there. At the end of the day, you’re having two cloves a day. I wouldn’t care too much about the process unless you boil it without breaking the skin first, because that could straight up inactivate everything.


Mike : [00:45:10] Interesting. But you if you’re chopping it up and you’re putting it into your stir fry, for example?


Kurtis : [00:45:16] Oh, yeah it’s totally fine.


Mike : [00:45:18] Cool and what are their benefits?


Kurtis : [00:45:20] It is one of the few things that has pretty good evidence for, not just the common cold, but any sort of throat infection to reduce the frequency in which you get it, increase the rate of which you’re cured from it, and reduce intensity. There are few studies that have probably the most practical measurement when it comes to sickness: how many days do you need to take off work?

Because garlic is unique in the sense that even if it doesn’t cure you, you just feel good enough to go to work. Because sometimes you’re just too sick to go to work, other times you can suck it up, garlic seems to help you suck it up a bit more. Beyond that it’s just a general antioxidant. I don’t think the antibacterial properties are enough to really care about, especially oral ingestion.

You may hear a lot of people talking about that because of garlic’s first medicinal usage was as a battlefield antibiotic. Don’t rub garlic in your wounds, that is not a good idea. Just hearing it from me.


Mike : [00:46:19] You know, you haven’t been in battle.


Kurtis : [00:46:22] Oh, if it’s my last resort, I might rub garlic in the wounds, but truth be told, I would probably just eat and go on happy.


Mike : [00:46:30] You might get it – oh no you’re in Canada, well, I don’t know, you know, the civil war, the upcoming civil war might spread, so you might get a chance to do that.


Kurtis : [00:46:38] Maybe bring 1812 up to a 2-0 ranking. [Laughing] And you also have to tell your viewers that – I’m sure I’ve told you this before, but my own personal definition of 1812ing somebody, this is a history lesson for those who don’t know, Canada is actually undefeated in wars against the US. Because the War of 1812, us Canadians beat you Yankees. We wouldn’t today, we straight up would just get destroyed.

But we’re still technically winning. 1-0 record and we’re not going to challenge you again. Nope, we’re beyond the days of war. We’re not barbarians after all. And that’s what it means to 1812 Somebody. You beat them technically, you know they’d wipe the floor with you, so you just casually avoid any times that they want to even the score, just so you can continue bragging for as long as you can.


Mike : [00:47:34] We’ll take our revenge. It’s coming. You have a failed drama teacher leading your nation. Your end is inevitable.


Kurtis : [00:47:42] There’s something in the mid-east that you need to pay your attention to. Don’t look up north, nothing’s happening up north.


Mike : [00:47:48] It’ll be the American version of Levens round, you know. Where are we going to go? We’re gonna go north. We’re not going to go south, we have a big wall there. Can’t go south, we’re going north.


Kurtis : [00:47:56] The wall prevents you from manifesting more destiny.


Mike : [00:48:01] [Laughing] The destiny is north. It’s always north. They go up, not down.


Kurtis : [00:48:04] Got to connect that Alaska. Anyways [laughing] …


Mike : [00:48:08] Alright, garlic. I think that covers garlic. What else do you got? Because you also have some spices as well, right?


Kurtis : [00:48:15] Oh yeah, so I was actually thinking about this a bit because a lot of people do state that spices and things like spirulina are functional foods, but the more I think about it, I wouldn’t call cinnamon a food, to be honest. And if spirulina wasn’t healthy, I wouldn’t be eating spirally either. Like technically stuff like cinnamon, turmeric, spirulina, they’re all good things to have, but how many of us would actually be eating them in a high dose?


Mike : [00:48:46] Yeah, you’re gonna supplement. I mean, turmeric if you really like curry, I guess.


Kurtis : [00:48:52] Another one could be blueberries. They’re a bit expensive. I also should mention that not many of your listeners may know this, but when it comes to blueberries, if you do want to buy it, frozen is better than fresh.


Kurtis : [00:49:06] Why?


Mike : [00:49:07] Because the antioxidants within blueberries over time – the reason antioxidants are in fruits are to prevent the fruits from oxidizing, once the fruit goes brown and just rots and all that, all its antioxidants are used up. It can no longer prevent oxidation, thus it oxidizes. So the more it is exposed to air, the more it’s antioxidants just decrease over time.

Now the process of freezing could potentially destroy antioxidants as well. But the ones that we want, when it comes to the health benefits of blueberries, the anthocyanins seem to be resilient against the cold. So first we freeze them, there is no major destruction of the anthocyanins in blueberries, and then because they’re not really exposed to oxygen and they’re frozen, all their metabolic processes are slowed, they have a significantly lesser rate of decay when they’re on the shelves of stores. They most likely have a higher antioxidant content, and if you just leave them in your fridge for a week or so, you’re going to retain a lot more of them than fresh ones. Furthermore, they’re cheaper.


Mike : [00:50:15] Which is a significant point because fresh blueberries are …


Kurtis : [00:50:18] Probably one of the most expensive fruits at this point of time.


Mike : [00:50:22] Yeah, they’re pretty absurdly expensive as far as fruit goes. And why blueberries? What do I get for eating blueberries regularly?


Kurtis : [00:50:31] All berries that are on the blue to black spectrum color, but the darker-skinned anthocyanins do have cognitive boosting properties and are generally antioxidants that can reach the brain. So I wouldn’t say if you’re a young youth, otherwise healthy and you’re a student, I’m not going to go out and say that blueberries will make you smarter.

But at the same time, if you’re a 70-year old whose cognition is starting to fade, you may very well have noticeable improvements in cognition with, say, a cup of frozen blueberries made into a smoothie every morning. And for just any food products to have noticeable improvements in cognition is quite remarkable.


Mike : [00:51:15] And in the younger, healthier population, would there be any neuroprotective benefits of having blueberries regularly?


Kurtis : [00:51:24] There technically would be, yes. But at the same time, I don’t think they’ve manifested in any sort of behaviors.


Mike : [00:51:30] Sure, I mean, it would be proactive in nature.


Kurtis : [00:51:33] According to rat studies, they may actually make you smarter, but they’re rat studies, so it’s going to be a bit hard to replicate.


Mike : [00:51:40] Well, I mean, we are just big rats, right?


Kurtis : [00:51:44] Yeah.


Mike : [00:51:44] Let’s start selling blueberries.


Kurtis : [00:51:45] Yeah, like on one hand when it comes to blueberries, there isn’t a major species difference when it comes to how it affects rats versus humans, but when it comes to just increasing overall cognition in young humans, for some reason, a lot of human studies just outright fail on that. We’re smart enough as young humans, it is very hard to have an exogenous factor boost us that much.


Mike : [00:52:09] Yeah, no I was joking. [Laughing] That highlights something we mentioned earlier is that it’s very common in the supplement space for anyone listening who’s not too familiar with it, to take rat research and to have benefits in the animal model and just extrapolate those to humans, because we share a lot of DNA with rats. You know the unscrupulous marketers will cite rat research and say, “well, we could expect the same thing in humans because we share all this DNA.”


Kurtis : [00:52:42] And then you casually mention that we shared 97 percent DNA with bananas and they get all pissy about that, they’re like, “are you sassing me?” “Yes.”


Mike : [00:52:50] So we could start conducting studies on bananas and extrapolate those.


Kurtis : [00:52:54] Oh, yeah, totally, just as valid. [Laughing] Okay, technically, a little bit less valid. Just inject a banana with testosterone, “it’s not lifting any weights, what do we do now?”


Mike : [00:53:07] “Well, just like drop a barbell on it and see what happens.”


Kurtis : [00:53:10] “It’s not motivated, give it more money.”


Mike : [00:53:16] [Laughing] You got to build a “dream board” for the banana. What would a banana’s dream board look like? What would it be pasting on its dream board, its vision board?


Kurtis : [00:53:24] It’s doing everything to become a chocolate-dipped banana. That’s the end goal.


Mike : [00:53:31] It’s like a Scrooge McDuck pool of Godiva chocolate and they’re just swimming through it.


Kurtis : [00:53:37] The liquid gold dream.


Mike : [00:53:40] I like it. So blueberries then. Any other specific reasons, any other specific benefits that you could expect from eating – a cup a day, is that kind of like the amount?


Kurtis : [00:53:53] Well, when I say a cup a day, I’m specifically meaning like just if you have a bag of frozen blueberries and you pour them out. If you have fresh blueberries, it’s probably going to be a little bit less than a cup of days because they’re more compacted in a way.

And if you have, like, just straight-up dehydrated blueberries, it’s probably going to be half a cup, like one twenty-five milligrams sort of thing, milliliters whatever, turning berries into liquids without actually turning them into liquids is weird measurements. Whatever, just grab a handful.


Mike : [00:54:24] Yeah, tomayto, tomahto. [Laughing]


Kurtis : [00:54:26] Just grab a handful and shove it in your face.


Mike : [00:54:27] All right, a handful good. Handful of blueberries a day. Any other health benefits, any other reasons why you wanted to talk about them in particular?


Kurtis : [00:54:36] The only reason I want to talk about them is because improvements of cognition among functional foods is quite rare. And the fact that they do extend beyond blueberries to like blackberries, cloudberries, wolfberries, anything, and the blue/black spectrum. Blueberries are simply the most well-researched ones, but any dark berry will do.


Mike : [00:54:55] Great, what you got for us next?


Kurtis : [00:54:58] Perhaps cranberries. For a completely different reason, the other end of the body as well.


Mike : [00:55:02] I don’t even see them, they’ve got to be at the grocery store, I must just not be seeing them.


Kurtis : [00:55:07] I’ve only seen them frozen, to be honest. Well, I’ve seen them fresh sometimes. They’re not too popular. But, the whole fact that cranberries just help with urinary tract infections to a degree that rivals pharmaceuticals, that’s impressive. Just have to admit.


Mike : [00:55:25] Very impressive. But what if you don’t have a UTI?


Kurtis : [00:55:29] Oh, then just you don’t really need these cranberries. Yeah, I don’t really think there’s anything special about cranberries, at least compared to other berries. Like sure, “cranberries are packed with antioxidants,” yada yada, but all berries are. Their only super niche thing is their benefits to urinary health, in particular helping with UTI’s. So if you have a UTI or you’re about to get to a situation in which you think you can get to a UTI …


Mike : [00:55:57] You should stop and reconsider your life.


Kurtis : [00:56:01] You could just go on a tangent about all the possible situations of which you may expect to encounter a UTI infection in the next five minutes.


Mike : [00:56:10] If you’re active on Tinder. 


Kurtis : [00:56:12] That is perhaps the most polite way to ever address this topic. [Laughing]


Mike : [00:56:18] Euphemism is my strength. Right? I mean, come on, I’m the most politically correct person I know. [Laughing] You can’t laugh at that, come on, man, don’t blow my cover.


Kurtis : [00:56:28] [Laughing] Okay, next topic.


Mike : [00:56:32] Okay, so that’s cranberries, moving on, there’s nothing to see here. And what about rosemary? Is there anything neat about Rosemary? I just like it and I’ve heard some things, but I want to hear your wisdoms.


Kurtis : [00:56:46] Yeah, so I’m not actually fully researched on the rosemary. But at the same time, of the research I’ve done into it, there is one particular molecule known as rosmarinic acid and I still don’t know exactly how rosmarinic acid works, but it’s in a wide variety of herbs. It’s in lemon balm in particular, not even related to rosemary, and it does seem that it could be on track to be the next

[00:57:15] resveratrol, the next curcumin, just one molecule that everybody hypes up like over the top, but does have some ernest benefits.


Mike : [00:57:25] Such as?


Kurtis : [00:57:27] The ones that I’ve seen, I can’t say the following with 100 percent certainty, but it seems to be a somewhat of an immune booster, but mostly an antioxidant that has – no one of those general antioxidants that floats around and just eats oxidants, but more so one of the ones that associate with vital proteins that actually gets in a cell and helps with cellular function. So one of the better antioxidants. Kind of like olive leaf extract in that sense. If you want to put rosemary on your stake, go right ahead. But pending more research, the best source of rosmarinic acid may not even be rosemary.


Mike : [00:58:06] And what is it?


Kurtis : [00:58:08] I don’t know.


Mike : [00:58:09] Or what is a better source?


Kurtis : [00:58:12] [Typing] I am just Googling that now. And by Googling, I mean go into my personal research … Pearla oil! [Laughing] I just looked on Examine, I wrote this stuff, okay, I could look it up! But yeah, so definitely it’s in lemon balm, but when it comes to spices it’s in sage, savory mince, thyme, basil, and also the medicine holy basil, which is surprisingly is surprisingly not at all related to basil. Somehow they both have rosmarinic acid in them. And yeah, it seems perilla oil has the highest content.


Mike : [00:58:49] I don’t even know what that is. 


Kurtis : [00:58:51] You know how every now then you see like dietary supplements, like omega 3, six, nine, there’s a full spectrum of fatty acids or whatever, perilla oil is like the oil that you use when you can’t use gamma-linolenic oil, GLA. It’s like the third cousin twice removed that’s kind of ugly and everyone forgets about, of the dietary oil family.


Mike : [00:59:17] That’s neat. There’s a motto right there. It’s a slogan.


Kurtis : [00:59:22] [Laughing] Twice removed oil?


Mike : [00:59:25] … ugly that no one really likes, there you go. Buy it if that resonates with you. I wanted to ask about rosemary just because I was curious. What’s next on your list?


Kurtis : [00:59:34] So there’s a lot more that I could potentially talk about, like tons of different spices, different teas in particular because each tea is its own water extraction of a different plant, but pretty much the only other things that I could mentioned briefly would be, first of all, coffee. The coffee beans themselves, like lots of antioxidants, have some basic research saying that they could delay Alzheimer’s even beyond the caffeine content. Just, without getting too much into it, if you’re going to have caffeine and I’d opt for coffee rather than an energy drink or something.


Mike : [01:00:08] You know, I have a self-serving question. Does it make any sense to you that at this point, as I’ve gotten older, I seem to have gotten more caffeine sensitive, particularly with my sleep, which makes sense for no reasons, but does it make sense to you that I really have the feeling now that my body likes coffee more than something with caffeine anhydrous, that I feel more of a fallout of sorts from caffeine anhydrous than the caffeine in coffee, does that make any sense to you?


Kurtis : [01:00:39] Biologically speaking, not really, but at the same time it could just be a habit-forming thing. Because even if the thing is a complete placebo, if you have it every single day for a long period of time, your body is going to get used to that habit in a sort of way.


Mike : [01:00:55] Sure, but I’ve had the habit, though, either way, what I’m thinking of is pre workout, which has just caffeine and hydrous, versus coffee, and physically, I swear, there’s a bit of a difference more in the after and it’s not something that I went looking for, I don’t know, I didn’t have any good technical explanation for it, I’ve only just experienced it and I don’t know why.


Kurtis : [01:01:19] I don’t really know, like, I’ve heard a lot of people mentioned stuff along those lines, but I’ve never really found an answer that really satisfied me. The association one is the only one that I can think of and even then it’s an iffy kind of position like maybe it’s this? I have no confident answer for why coffee treats you differently than caffeine anhydrous. But it does do that to a lot of people.


Mike : [01:01:45] Interesting, just wanted to ask. All right, so that’s coffee, just drink it. So you were saying that you have some other things that you could bring up.


Kurtis : [01:01:53] I just have to mention to the viewers right now that we’ve talked about what I’m about to bring up a while ago, and we’re still both unable to find a tasteful segway into the worst functional food that you should never eat. So I’m just going to go straight ahead: citrullus colocynthis, also known as bitter cucumber. This is not bitter melon mind you, because bitter melon is a source for synephrine, but bitter cucumber is a food of which when you eat it, you will actually have colonic inflammation and shit blood.


Mike : [01:02:34] Bam!


Kurtis : [01:02:34] There’s an examined page literally with scientific evidence of, “we fed these people the bitter gourd and they started shitting blood. We probably shouldn’t do this anymore.”


Mike : [01:02:45] So what’s going to happen now is someone listening is going to feed that to somebody they don’t like, is what’s going to happen. Or just as a prank, even if they like them, if they have that kind of relationship. Here’s some bitter cucumber salad today.


Kurtis : [01:02:59] There’s an article I wrote a while ago, about five supplements that you never want to take and one of them was about like a really potent estrogen. I mentioned, just like a lot of people may think like, “oh, potent estrogen means prank my bro,” but no, this is a bit too powerful for that, and then apparently people are just like, “wow, that makes me want to do it even more.” So great, now they’re going to mix that with this and yeah.


Mike : [01:03:24] It’s even better now.


Kurtis : [01:03:26] I hold no responsibility for what happens in the near future with this information.


Mike : [01:03:31] Works for me. [Laughing] All right …


Kurtis : [01:03:34] Bitter cucumber, never consume it.


Mike : [01:03:36] Yeah I mean, you can give it to somebody else, but just don’t do it yourself. Unless you’re into that kind of thing.


Kurtis : [01:03:42]  Yeah, but there’s like joking shitting blood and then there is, “oh wait, this is beyond a joke,” shitting blood.


Mike : [01:03:49] So it’s pretty intense. It’s not just a little bit, it’s like, “oh wow, I’m dying,”


Kurtis : [01:03:54] It’s 100 percent dose-dependent and it’s a cucumber, right? One hundred milligrams of the thing starts the bleeding.


Mike : [01:04:02] Oh, wow [laughing].


Kurtis : [01:04:04] Yeah. So don’t take a big bite.


Mike : [01:04:09] That’s impressive actually.


Kurtis : [01:04:12] Just keep it in the back of the noggin because every and then people will be like, “oh wow, this made me feel a little bit sleepy, surely this is the worst side effect a supplement could ever have.” Then you could just bring up these studies.


Mike : [01:04:26] All right well, this has been a very enlightening, and tangential, and amusing conversation, as always. Thank you. Thank you.


Kurtis : [01:04:34] Glad to be here.


Mike : [01:04:35] And I look forward to our next conversation. I feel like there’s probably another word for what these are but it’s good, we have some information, we have some random tangents there. It’s more fun than the monologues that I normally do, so I appreciate it.


Kurtis : [01:04:53] Enjoy this as well, nice break from work.


Mike : [01:04:57] All right, man, see you next time.


Kurtis : [01:04:59] Talk to you later.

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!