Stephen Terrass MRNT is founder of the award-winning supplement brand, Terranova. He is one of Europe’s leading authorities in natural medicine, with a particular focus on nutritional and botanical science. Here we share a few helpful answers for some common health related questions about natural supplements. With his 32-year career in the natural healthcare field, including more than a decade as a director at Solgar UK, Stephen has presented innumerable lectures around the world on these topics and is the author of eight books.
Q: I just joined a gym, but I find it such hard work getting through my workouts. I’m afraid I’ll quit, so is there anything I can do to make it less grueling?
A: “Although the more you go the easier it gets, many people stop going to the gym before they ever get to that stage. Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon in the form of a strange parasitic fungus from the Himalayas called Cordyceps. This highly prized, almost mythical Eastern tonic was the subject of fascinating scientific research showing great promise in improving tolerance to exercise. Among many other benefits, supplementation with cordyceps led to a 30% increase in cellular energy, a 40% increase in cellular oxygen absorption and improved lung capacity – all of which are especially relevant making one’s time on a treadmill or step machine or in aerobics class less exhausting.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that some of the cordyceps research specifically noted significant improvements in exercise performance in healthy, young adults and improved respiratory and muscular tolerance to exercise in older adults between 50-75 years of age. So what might this mean for the average person who goes to the gym? It might mean not only less grueling workouts, but also may allow one to train for longer or with greater intensity – both of which may help reach fitness and fat-burning goals faster.”
Q: I buy a lot of superfood supplements (acai berries, turmeric, wheatgrass juice, nettle, etc.), but they are extracted, dried and processed in so many different ways. How do I know which method is best?
A: “While extraction concentrates certain beneficial compounds in superfoods, it also damages or removes enzymes and other compounds that may be critically important to the overall beneficial properties of that superfood. Since everything found in a superfood possesses activity, it’s the sheer diversity of health-giving phytochemicals in plant-based superfoods that make them so super in the first place (not any particular one). The best way to get the most out of a superfood is to eat or drink as much of this ‘super-diversity’ as you can, so I would suggest looking for superfoods that are processed in a manner that retains as much of the diversity as possible.
Research clearly shows that fresh freeze drying superfoods accomplishes this better than any other processing technology. In fact, fresh freeze dried superfoods (and medicinal herbs) retain virtually 100% of the original chemistry that the plant contained when it was fresh – even the plant’s highly sensitive enzymes, which are of crucial value to how your body ultimately utilises what’s in the superfood. In essence, fresh freeze dried is as close as you can get to the fresh-picked plant, but with the additional advantage that it concentrates everything in the plant in the same balance and proportions that nature put into the plant.”
Find out more about Terranova Nutrition here.