Vanessa Gruninger Picks her Favourite Nutrition Food for 2014

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Minvita-RiceWhat will be the biggest trends for 2014? This month, we ask our resident experts to share their predictions on what the future looks like when it comes to wellbeing, skincare and beauty. You heard it here first!

This week, we ask resident nutritionist Vanessa Gruninger Dip ND, Dip NT, CMT, MBANT what her favourite trend for 2014 is. Vanessa has trained in holistic massage, beauty therapy and Nutrition. Combining this range of techniques, she has been practicing her unique treatments for the past seven years with special interest in body work and skin health.

VANESSA GRUNINGER’S NUTRITION TREND OF 2014: “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could simply eat our troubles away? The good news is, we can! For 2014 I predict we will all be germinating our grains before we eat them, which in the instance of rice increases the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA): this may help calm anxiety and nervousness, bringing you a calmer state of mind for 2014. Let’s take a look at how it works.

White rice is essentially brown rice with the bran and germ removed; unfortunately it is the bran and the germ that contain many of the vital nutrients. Brown rice is richer in basic nutritional components than white rice and also contains more bioactive components such as the GABA. The problem with brown rice is that the nutrients and bioactive compounds are not easily available to the body until we germinate the rice. Germination of grains has been used for centuries to increase the amount of nutrient compounds available for absorption. Germinated brown rice is soaked in water to induce a slight germination: this in turn, enables the nutritional and bioactive components of the rice to become more bioavailable to us at digestion. Complex nutritional substances within the rice are broken down into more simple forms during germination. This process increases the bioavailability of protein with a significant increase in available amino acids. One, GABA, is a non-protein amino acid found widely distributed in nature. It has many physiological functions but it’s particularly associated with brain health and mood. GABA inhibits nerve transmission, helping to calm anxiety and nervousness bringing a calmer state of mind.

GABA can help us feel more relaxed by supporting our nervous system, enhancing our sleep, improving our blood pressure and alleviating our daily stressors. It is present in brown rice and studies have shown that by germinating brown rice there is a remarkable increase not only in the concentration of GABA but also its bio-availability. The health benefits of germinated brown rice do not stop there; studies have also highlighted the potential for germinated brown rice to aid with the bio-availability of essential minerals such as iron and zinc. The germination process also frees up antioxidant phenolic acids to help us detoxify unwanted toxins in the body. Germinated brown rice has also demonstrated anti-hyperlipidemia and anti-hypertension effects as well as reducing the risk of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Studies have results showing that brown rice extracts with enhanced levels of GABA have an inhibitory action on leukemia cell proliferation and have a stimulatory action on the cancer cell apoptosis. View the research. 

Germinated brown rice is not just great for our wellbeing, it also tastes delicious as texture and flavour is improved during the germination process. Look out for the UK brand Minvita who have cleverly germinated their version of organic sprouted GABA rice in green tea. Double the super foods!