Before we dive into our newest superfood, I want to introduce a Functional Medicine pillar:
In practice, bioindividuality looks like treating the patient as a unique person who contains an entire universe of wants, needs, hopes, and possibilities. Because this blog cannot be tailored to hundreds of individuals with different health conditions, I want to clarify some things before we continue this journey together.
What I call ‘superfood,’ you may call venom. For example, if you cannot tolerate nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, goji berries) or have eliminated them to manage an autoimmune condition, you most likely won’t eat Goldenberries since they are in the nightshade family.
Food blogs oversimplify by making lists like “TOP TEN FOODS THAT WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY” without thinking about bioindividuality. A Functional Nutrition practitioner recognizes that some foods may have high nutritious value and also, they may not be right for everyone to consume.
This is a Goldenberry. Known as Amour En Cage in France and Inca Berries in Hawaii, this bright yellow berry is rich in many key vitamins and minerals that are amazing mental health allies.
Vitamin A, aids in skin repair
B Vitamins, critical for liver detoxification and overall health. Goldenberries contain vitamins B1, B2, B6 & B12.
Dietary fiber, supports regular bowel movements
Potassium, regulates heartbeat and allows proper function of nerves and muscles
Manganese, supports bone health, reduces blood sugar levels, and aids in the formation of blood clots for wound healing
Why do we need the Vitamin B-Complex?
Here is a list of the B vitamins that Goldenberries contain. There are other B vitamins not mentioned here including Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B5), and Folic Acid or Folate (B9). (List Adapted from the Functional Nutrition Alliance)
B1, THIAMINE: Balanced levels of B1 allow for feelings of composure, calm, clarity, and energy. People addicted to carbs are often thiamine deficient.
B2, RIBOFLAVIN: Improves energy production in certain nerve cells. Also linked to proper thyroid function.
B6, PYRIDOXINE: Has one of the most dramatic mood-elevating effects of all the B vitamins. It can help to correct brain metabolism dysfunctions that cause depression and heighten serotonin production.
B12, COBALAMIN: Detoxes the pathways of heavy metals and histamines. Cobalamin has important effects on mood and allows for a free flow of neurotransmitters. It also helps the body to secrete melatonin which is a key sleep hormone.
Grief and Goldenberries
Goldenberries have this beautiful cocoon-like shell protecting them. When you open them up, you find a treasure.
I want to end on a very personal. A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine, Mitsu, ended his life after struggling for years with various mental health illnesses. I have been in a place of grieving in this shell. I've been closed off, protecting my heart and emotions.
My grief journey has been filled with ‘what ifs.’ What if I had reached out more? What if I had talked to him about Functional Nutrition? What if I had told him what he meant to me? These thoughts make me creep more and more into my armor of shame, sadness, and anger. So here I am... writing about food to heal. Funny how grief works, huh?
I don’t want to live a life of ‘what ifs’. I don't want to stay in this protective encasement. I want to share with you things that may really impact your life positively. I want you to know that you are more than a mental health condition or diagnosis. These blogs are here to help not only you but also me in this self-discovery journey. Thank you for accompanying me as I shift and grow, discover new passions, tap into old ones, and express my art with the world.
Before you go, here is a gentle reminder: You are a beautiful, complex, mysterious, fantastical, grand, fragile, powerful human being. I care about you and want you to be well. Wherever you are in your life journey, I am here to remind you that you're never alone. You are worthy of life. You are deeply loved. Share your fruits with the world. You can open up and come out of that shell. We need you.
Remember, with purpose, perseverance, and pain as our teacher, we can heal. -Sofía