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Chai Latte with Chamomile & honey

A nighttime ritual.

With cold season upon us, we created this nighttime ritual, when we are winding down after a long day and heading to our couch. This herbal tea latte is a simple mix of chamomile tea, steamed milk (we sweetened it with honey) and finished off with the beloved cinnamon. This nighttime tea is the coziest way to treat yourself on a cold night.

The humble chamomile is known around the world for its varied beneficial characteristics: it has important antiseptic properties, relieves stomach ailments, soothes cold symptoms, and calms both the body and mind for restful sleep. Its name is derived from the Greek word meaning “earth apple” because of the characteristic apple aroma that it exudes when it blooms in the spring – thanks to this unique scent, we can often tell that chamomile is around before we even see it.

Ingredients

  • organic chamomile tea-bags
  • 1 tablespoon organic Thyme honey
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon, for serving
  • 1/2 cups cold coconut milk, or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions

Boil water in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Cover it and steep for 10’. At the same time, heat the milk in another small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until warm and frothy, about 5’.

Discard the tea bags from the saucepan of tea, add the honey, and stir until dissolved.

Divide your chamomile tea between 2 cups and the divide also the frothed milk between the 2 cups (try reserving a bit of the foam with a spoon if you can)

Stir gently to combine the ingredients.

Last but no lease, top with the reserved foam, sprinkle with ground cinnamon, and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

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Tea with Dittany: step by step preparation

We all need to detox ourselves and help our system recover, especially in these stressful VUCA times. But how can we achieve this without using medicines? In this recipe you will learn how to boost your system in the healthiest and most organic way.

In Crete, where we collect our Dittany, it is also known as Erondas (from Eros = love). This herb was used for healing and has many therapeutic benefits: overall, the health benefits are enormous!

For daily digestive problems, try drinking a cup of Dittany tea everyday to help your system recover: its nickname is stomach herb for a reason! Moreover, you can use it to relieve tension headaches and as a relaxant.

We explain you here how to prepare your own perfect tea step by step in a very simple way!

Prep time: 5 min.

Ingredients:

How to prepare

Step 1

Boil water. If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 100° and wait for 1 min before adding the water.

Step 2

Warm up a teapot and your cup, to make sure that there will not be any temperature contrast.

Step 3

Add the tea into the teapot and add hot water.

Step 4

Cover it and steep your tea for 4 minutes.

Step 5

Include the slice of apple.

Step 6

Retire the pyramid and pour hot tea into tea cups.

Be Symbeeotic : Add 2 spoons of Greek Organic Thyme Honey that offers antioxidant benefits.

Love Yourself, love your Planet!

The Real Effects of Caffeine and Theine on the Body

Contained in coffee and tea (and in many other energy drinks to which they are added), we analyze these stimulating substances whose effects are widely known, referring to the two most consumed beverages on the planet.

Although they are assigned different names, depending on whether they are present in one beverage or the other, they refer to the same molecule: an alkaloid from the xanthine group whose main characteristics are its bitter taste and its stimulating effect; that is why we commonly use the term “caffeine”.

Some people have become so used to consuming caffeine that they say they can’t start the day without their cup of coffee or tea, although these claims come mostly from coffee drinkers, and that is no coincidence. A standard cup of coffee typically contains around 96 mg of caffeine, while a cup of black tea contains around 47 mg. In addition, the consumption of tea tends to have a more ceremonious, almost ritualistic character, as occurs in some cultures, while the consumption of coffee usually occurs in a more expeditious and mechanical way, in its “takeaway” modality, or almost in one sip, as is the case with “espresso”.

Let us attempt a simplified description of caffeine’s journey through the body: after being consumed, it enters our bloodstream and is completely absorbed by our body about 45 minutes after ingestion. Subsequently, the liver is responsible for metabolizing it and converting it, through enzymatic action, into theophylline, paraxanthine and theobromine, three metabolites that in turn are metabolized into uric acid, finally being excreted in urine. Caffeine stimulates our central nervous system almost instantly and awakens us from lethargy or sleep; however, after about an hour and as the caffeine is expelled through the urinary system, a “low” is experienced that makes us need another dose to experience the stimulating effect again. This vicious cycle can lead coffee drinkers to drink between four and eight cups a day.

The unwanted effects of caffeine depend on each person, and some are more sensitive to it, experiencing headaches, diarrhea, rapid heartbeat or nervousness and anxiety, among other symptoms. Furthermore, it can aggravate conditions such as acne (caffeine increases the production of cortisol, which in turn stimulates sebum production), act as a dehydrating agent, with this effect also being evident on skin; it makes us more prone to stress and brings about changes in sleep patterns. It is for this latter reason that it is advisable to suspend caffeine consumption around 5:00 p.m. In addition, caffeine becomes more addictive over time, which makes us depend on this substance to feel active and in increasing amounts when the body gets used to its effect. And it is also worth mentioning that the consumption of coffee is usually accompanied by the consumption of sugar, whose bad effects on health we have already commented on in other posts, and milk, whose casein content, mixed with the tannins in coffee, make it indigestible.

Due to these adverse effects on health and its addictive properties (even if initially the dependence is slight, because it will increase), it is advisable to take measures and reduce caffeine consumption to one or two cups a day and replace the rest with herbs and plants. Caffeine-free beverages that provide us with a revitalizing effect, invigorating the body and our vital organs, such as mountain tea, famous since ancient times for its extraordinary effects, ginger, mint, or nettle, which act as tonics for the liver, the nervous system, the brain, and the circulatory system.

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Iced Mountain Tea & Lavender with Relax Elixir

Settle down with a book and a cup of relaxing Mountain Tea & lavender with Symbeeosis Relax Elixir.

Due to the unique properties of Lavender, Chamomile & Passionflower, this iced tea will calm you and lead you to better sleep. The light floral flavor and smell of this tea are so lovely. We recommend adding our 1 sachets of Organic Herbal Elixir Relax, with Chamomile & Passionflower that helps promote stress relief & healthy sleep thanks to its active adaptogenic plant extracts.

Ingredients

  • 1 tea bag of Symbeeosis Mountain Tea and Lavender
  • 2-3 lemon slices
  • 1 Symbeeosis Organic Herbal Elixir Relax
  • 4-6 ice cubes

Instructions

  • Boil water. If using an electric kettle with a temperature setting, set it to 100° and wait for 1 min before adding the water.
  • Cover it and steep your tea for 5 minutes.
  • Retire the pyramid and pour the Herbal Elixir
  • Relax and stir until it dissolves.
  • Add the lemon slices and then add the ice cubes.

Enjoy

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The Truth About the Anti-Inflammatory Diet (II): A Plant-Based Diet

In our previous article, we discussed the problem caused by underlying chronic inflammation in the body and we pointed out specific foods and substances that should be eliminated from our diet.

Recent studies and nutrition experts confirm that the most effective nutrition regimen for reducing inflammation is the plant-based diet (or “Whole Food Plant-Based Diet”).

Although adopting this pattern of eating requires a lot of commitment, awareness, and some discipline to build the habit, it is worth reviewing this type of eating and trying to adhere to it as much as possible.

– This diet is based on “real” foods, whole foods that come from Nature, plants and trees, high-vibration living foods with energy that comes from the sun, air, water, and not from industrial plants.

– You choose to eat food in the most natural way possible, that is, you prefer raw food, steamed food and in the least elaborate way possible (no foods of animal origin in this diet model).

– When preparing menus, it is better to divide the plate into three parts: half of the plate should contain fresh vegetables and fruits, preferably organic, ensuring that there is a large number of colors and pigments in our food, the indicator of a source of antioxidants (green spinach, kale, arugula, cucumber, celery; tomato or red pepper; red beet, radish, red cabbage or red onion; yellow pepper, etc.). A quarter or 25% should contain plant-based proteins such as quinoa, lentils, beans, chickpeas, or hummus, that is, a legume. Finally, the remaining 25% of the plate should contain whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, millet, or buckwheat.

– The use of salt should be limited.

– Herbs and spices, very rich in antioxidants, are welcome additions for flavor and nutrients.

– Fats are incorporated into the diet through the consumption of nuts, flax and chia seeds, avocados, and cold-pressed olive oil.

Don’t forget to Read

The Truth About the Anti-Inflammatory Diet (Part I)

here.

As can be seen, it is a vegetarian-type diet, rich in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants, with the addition of the greatest possible variety of foods, which favor the microbiota and intestinal health. An effective way to prevent and reduce inflammation.

Fully committing to this type of diet can be quite a challenge, but we can make small changes that can translate into significant achievements in a flexitarian way. A good way to start is to try to follow this type of diet 50% or 80% of the time. For example, we can try to follow this for breakfast and lunch or dinner, allowing more freedom for one of the meals, or we can try to eat like this from Monday to Friday and then be more relaxed on weekends. Even so, the benefits and improvement in well-being and health that will be observed will be enormous, and evident in the body.

If we prefer not to completely eliminate animal protein from our diet, we should be very selective in the type of meat, fish, eggs or dairy we consume, opting for the leanest option possible, with a GMO-free diet. In addition, animal protein should always be a small part of each meal. Some ingredients with anti-inflammatory power are:

– Turmeric

– Saffron

– Ginger

– Omega 3

– Olive oil

– Citrus

– Walnuts

– Green leafy vegetables

– Broccoli

– Garlic and onion

– Berries

 

Mrs. Koutsianas and the importance of a mission

“From Apivita to Symbeeosis, I believe in our values instinctively”

In this interview, Nikki Koutsianas, president and co-founder of Symbeeosis – and former president of Apivita – explains how values have guided her through a successful career in defense of hippocratic dictums.

“Our name”, explains Nikki Koutsianas, sitting quietly in the garden at the Symbeeosis headquarters in Attica – about an hour outside Athens -, “combines the Greek word symbiosis, which means ‘the harmonious coexistence between different organisms’, and the bee, the most important pollinator in Nature. We want to indicate with our brand name our philosophy of the harmonious coexistence of people and the planet, and the interdependence of diet and health.”

It is not the first time that Mrs. Koutsianas was faced with choosing a company name and a consistent strategy that could guide and summarize a strong family vision. “We launched this company two years ago, after a successful journey of many years with Apivita, the pioneering natural and sustainable cosmetics company that we founded 40 years ago.”

The first proper name she is likely to bring up in any conversation is probably Hippocrates. “Faithfully, the Hippocratic philosophy was important to us at Apivita. Now, with the new company, Symbeeosis, we also want to focus on a quote by the holistic doctor, Hippocrates: your medicine should be your food, because better health is achieved through a better diet. We totally understand and strongly believe in this important connection between health and nutrition, and also between human health and environmental health.”

Therefore, the idea was born for ​​a range of functional foods and beverages that would be equally beneficial for humans and for the planet. For the president and founder of this company, “people suffer in part because of the food they eat and the way these foods are grown and produced. A healthy diet can save us or at least help us and our planet, as food is our medicine, and only a healthy planet can offer us healthier food.” In her opinion, each of us individually can bring a positive change every day: “From simple changes in our diet to simple changes in waste management, with less use of plastic, each of us can do small but important actions.”

A VALUE-DRIVEN MISSION

Q: After more than 40 years as the founder and president of a natural cosmetics company and now a bio-functional products company, have any of your values slightly changed in their definition? 

A: Our values have not changed, because our times demand the same values ​​we shared when I started APIVITA. I definitely believe in business ethics, I have always believed in creation, innovation and especially ecology. I believed in these values instinctively. After 40 years of experience, I say that no one can do business without ethics. You cannot love yourself if you do not love the planet, you cannot do good for yourself if it is not good for the planet. Ethical business is a necessity for the environment. I also believe in innovation, and I believe that innovation includes well-being, in the way that the ancient Greeks thought of it.

Q: Why do you think nutrition is directly connected to good health?

A: It is simple: we are what we eat. For example, if we don’t eat organic foods, if we eat too much sugar, or we expose our body to harmful substances, we will have bad consequences for our health. We must have a holistic approach to our health and understand the value of prevention above cure. Good prevention certainly includes a very good and healthy diet. And here come the functional foods that are now proven not only to provide the body with the necessary nutrients to survive, but also to contribute to our health, by supporting the immune system, energy intake and fighting stress.

Q: What do you think about the Mediterranean Diet?

We believe that we should work together as a country to highlight the value of our products worldwide, with an organized effort to promote the Mediterranean Diet, which is recognized as the best and most sustainable diet in the world every year. Our goal is to highlight the value of proper diet and Greek organic food worldwide, to support and develop the Greek primary sector, to propagate the principles of harmonious coexistence with the planet, and to lead to a sustainable green future. We chose Greek mountain tea and honey, as they are primarily Greek products with unique properties.

Q: Would you affirm that the Hippocratic dictum is still essential for us as a society?

A: It is impressive how relevant Hippocrates is today, who has always been an inspiration to me, as a pharmacist 40 years ago, that is, “Prevention is better than cure”, “Let food be your medicine”, “Nature is the most dominant ruler of all.”

CREATIVITY AND INNOVATION

In various ways, creativity is a pillar for Symbeeosis. In Mrs. Koutsianas’ opinion, “creativity keeps people alive and active, and has always been identified with our company’s life”. With the word creativity she means “to do new things creatively, and the beautiful aesthetics and the art, as this is the highest aspect of creativity. Creativity is to be in direct contact with the creators and to be inspired by them and by Ancient Greece”. Creativity can be found in different ways in Symbeeosis: in the packaging but also in the communication, in the way they produce any piece of information. Moreover, you can understand this fact after a visit to their offices, a house surrounded by a magnificent Botanical Garden.

Q: “Regenerative” is an adjective that we use more nowadays, what does it mean for you and why is it important for its impact?

A: Regenerative means to leave something better than you found it, and for us it is a cornerstone of our philosophy. We do regenerative business, as we believe in fair competition and ethical business in order to create a better business world. We do regenerative agriculture, so that the environment and the soil become better. We apply regenerative beekeeping, aiming at the regeneration of ecosystems by enhancing biodiversity and reducing energy inputs, leaving the minimum environmental footprint.

Q: What is your favorite tea, how do you prepare it and when do you drink it?

A: Definitely my favorite is the Greek Organic Mountain Tea Trinity, which includes 3 varieties of mountain tea: Sideritis scardica, Sideritis perfoliata, Sideritis raeseri, as it is a nice base. It is a very nice tea that is very good for memory and the immune system that people need today and it is also a good antioxidant. I also like it because I can combine it with other ingredients. For example, one day I am in the mood to add vanilla, or to add lemon or cinnamon or orange, so it is a very nice base to create. It is unique in itself but I can create combinations according to my mood, I always like to change and to create. I also like very much what the Cretans drink, the Greek Mountain Tea with Dittany, two unique herbs. It is what we call endemic of Greece, Greece has so many unique plants!

Q: What is the meaning of “Functional Honey“?

A: We innovate by enhancing organic honey varieties with active dry extract of ginger, propolis and turmeric, in order to maximize the nutritional value of the final product and to gain additional benefits (she refers here to the concept of superfood). Honey is a superfood itself: it has been used for therapeutic purposes since antiquity, as it can act as an excellent antioxidant and has antimicrobial properties. Therefore, why not enjoy a spoonful of honey every day, instead of another diet supplement, with all its benefits? By boosting honey with active dry extract you can enjoy a “nutritional supplement” with health benefits. With modern green methods, we obtain dry extracts that have a high concentration in nutrients and active ingredients, maximizing the nutritional value and benefits of the product. Therefore, functional honeys, enhanced with active dry extracts: propolis for strengthening the immune system, turmeric for anti-inflammatory action and ginger for good functioning of the gastrointestinal tract – a daily wellness boost with great flavor.

Q: Many people ask about the benefits of drinking mountain tea, what was your first encounter with it?  

A: When we founded APIVITA and made cosmetics 40 years ago, we noticed that cosmetics were mainly composed of water, which is also the most essential ingredient in skin. Then we studied about green tea and our first cosmetics were made with Japanese green tea. But we were definitely always thinking of using Greek products, so we started to study Greek mountain tea. To our great surprise, we noticed that it has the same antioxidants that are important for the skin, but also that it has unique properties, as I said about memory and the immune system, something that other teas do not contain. Then came the idea that this tea should be used in people’s daily lives, so it is very important for us to put tea into people’s diets and to use it every day. Like with all herbs and teas, only with the correct and daily use we can have results.

Q: Do you think Supplements are now the future of nutrition?

A: One of the reasons we started Symbeeosis is that people do not eat properly: if we do not practice proper agriculture, we cannot get the right products and nutrients we need. Therefore, we developed the nutritional supplements, and we will also innovate in this field with something completely natural. What is required, of course, is people to get what they need from food, which will be ensured by regenerative agriculture and sustainable farming, beekeeping, and production practices. But functional foods come as an intermediate stage, which means that I upgrade the food that I have, by adding some completely natural ingredients. Therefore, I do not believe that supplements are the future of nutrition, but that they come to do exactly what their name implies, to supplement our diet, because even if we eat right, many times many substances are not absorbed, so we need the food supplements, and they will certainly be an important part of our diet in the future.

DIVERSITY AND THE FUTURE

Q: As a female entrepreneur and supporter of female and diversity leadership, how is this aspect included in this new project?  

A: I have always supported diversity and made sure to have women in Apivita in senior positions, because companies never had so many women in key positions. This is a change that happened 20 years ago, when the percentage of women in Apivita reached 50%. Now this new project continues the same course, with women in important positions, not to the detriment of men, because I definitely believe in the cooperation of men and women. The percentage of women in Symbeeosis is over 60%, but first of all I concentrate on skills, because I think collaboration is very important. One of my big goals is to get more women involved now in the agricultural and beekeeping sector as it develops. The State and all of us have to provide the necessary conditions, because women have always been capable. As a woman, I can have an impact on diversity again.

Q: A goal or a dream for Symbeeosis…

A: A planet where people live in harmony with the environment. I believe that the future is to have the right food that we grow in a harmonious and regenerative way, so that we and the environment are well. Getting proper nutrition through your diet does not have to be complicated. Take a holistic view of the issue: to relax because one goes and listens to nature, because one walks, because one gets energy from its honey and vegetables, from herbs…

Actions for Life: How to improve your health and well-being (and that of the planet)

Two for one: Simple changes can impact our life and our contribution to the planet.

1. Walking on an empty stomach: Going for a walk in a nearby park when you get up (before breakfast) will revitalize you for the rest of the day. Breathing in deeply the clean and less polluted air of the morning and being in visual and physical contact with Nature will oxygenate your entire body, filling you with vitality and optimism to face the new day. In addition, by doing it on an empty stomach, you will speed up your metabolism and allow your body to use its own fat deposits as a source of energy (since walking is a less arduous exercise, it will not be necessary to eat any food and you will not feel weak). If you don’t have a park nearby, take a deep breath and do some exercises first thing in the morning to catch the first rays of sunshine.

2. Cold showers: Cold showers are excellent for the body as they favor the generation of white blood cells, thus strengthening the immune system. In addition, cold water is an excellent tonic, because it activates circulation. In the hot months it’s nice, but if the idea of taking a cold shower in winter is too extreme for you, try ending your shower this way, it will soon be a must for you!

3. Intermittent fasting: In our blog we have written about fasting (always under the directions of a doctor). It is an idea to give the body a break and let it rest from the digestive function and dedicate itself to other repairing and regenerating functions. An easy way to incorporate it into your life is to ensure that at least twelve hours elapse between dinner and breakfast. If your health allows it, you can also dedicate a day to drinking only infusions (from Symbeeosis) and water with a little honey and lemon or just fruit (pineapple is recommended in winter and watermelon in summer for its excellent purifying properties). Try to choose organic options, to allow the body to cleanse itself properly.

4. Forest bathing: “Shinrin yoku” or “forest bathing” is a practice invented by the Japanese, which they have benefited from for decades. Forest bathing turns out to be a wonderful and healing practice for human beings and has demonstrated multiple physical, psychological and spiritual benefits. It is not just about walking through the countryside, it is about immersing yourself in the forest, with all its humidity, exuberance and richness, engaging all five senses, touching the earth, hugging the trees, breathing in the exquisite aromas of the vegetation, listening to the sound of the wind and birds. The health benefits of forest bathing have been scientifically proven; anxiety levels decrease as the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems increases; blood pressure and the chances of a heart attack are reduced; the immune system is strengthened against infections and diseases; it stimulates and improves our eyesight; it cleanses and oxygenates the cells; it increases vitality and even lengthens life, to mention just a few. The physiological benefits of forest bathing have been shown to last for up to a month afterwards.

5. Practice gardening: If you are lucky enough to have a garden, a terrace or a balcony, make use of it. A magnificent Greek custom is to fill terraces and balconies with plants – just visit us and you will see it! Find out about which plants are most suitable according to the environmental conditions at your place of residence or depending on whether you are going to keep them outdoors or indoors and fill your space with plants, flowers and fruit trees. This will allow you to be in contact with the earth, observe and respect the cycles of nature and feel great satisfaction in seeing how the plants respond generously to our care, watering them, fertilizing them, and exposing them to the sunlight that each one requires. You can also grow your own aromatic plants and enrich your recipes with them! Your home will be filled with beauty and color and your well-being will increase.

6. Disconnect mobile devices: We know that the use of the internet and technological devices are necessary to carry out our work activities; however, taking a break from them in your free time is necessary. When you go to sleep, turn off your home Wi-Fi network if it is accessible and unplug your devices. This will improve the quality of your sleep, and when you wake up, make sure turning on your phone isn’t the first thing you do in the morning. Take a walk, take a shower, or have a leisurely breakfast beforehand. You deserve to fully enjoy the moment!

7. Eliminate sugar from your diet: The consumption of refined sugar harms your health. If you are used to its consumption, try to eliminate it little by little from your diet. Do not add it to your infusions, tea or coffee and replace it with a teaspoon of honey. Note the ingredients of the foods you buy and do not take them home if they contain sugar, even more so if you have growing children. You’ll be doing their health, development, and future eating habits a big favor. You will find countless delicious recipes that use honey or nuts as a substitute for sugar. Try them!

8. Massages with oils and essential oils: Few things are more pleasant than a massage, in addition to being an act of generosity for those who give it and of gratitude for those who receive it. If you live as a couple or as a family, give each other massages! This will strengthen the bond between you and increase your sense of well-being. Use vegetable oils with beneficial properties for the skin and add a few drops of essential oils, both organic (essential oils, especially, have the ability to penetrate the deepest layers of the skin). Offer to give a foot or hand, head or back massage. It is not only pleasant but also reduces stress and increases the production of endorphins, the happiness hormone. If you live alone, take care of yourself and practice pedal reflexology or cranial massages. You will feel great!

9. Be more aware of your diet and its effects: Analyze what you eat throughout the day – and how. Self-respect also entails not introducing into your body any food that is put in front of you, and not eating in any form. Choose the food you eat with care and respect for yourself and the planet. Give yourself time and space to savor food in a relaxed and conscious way. What ingredients does it contain, where does it come from, how is it produced and what are the implications of all this? Is its production exploitative of the land and the ecosystem, due to the use of pesticides and pollutants (which also harm you)? Is it by a responsible company, truly committed to the health and well-being of humans and the earth? We all contribute with our daily actions to make the world a better or worse place. Reflect on this and be more aware of your choices.

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#ToBeeHappening, Season 2. A walk around Symbeeosis Garden

You are invited to a walk.

Pavlos Voulgaris, Symbeeosis Agriculture Project Manager will guide you on a visit to our headquarters garden in Athens, Greece during the second chapter of this particular #ToBeHappening Podcast Season 2.

Nature generously provides everything we need. Our organic cultivations are selected on criteria: altitude, soil suitability, local microclimate, and absence of industrial activity nearby. We encourage the implementation of regenerative agricultural practices, such as recycling and composting, that increase biodiversity, enrich the soil by returning its nutrients, and safeguard the ecosystem.

We will visit together our regenerative cultivated garden getting to know more about the “symbeeosis” of plants and bees, knowing more about the path from farm to cup, follow us on an amazing journey!

Physical and emotional hunger, what is the difference?

Our relationship with food is definitely emotional: feeling the need to eat is different from being hungry. Since childhood, nourishment acquires meanings that go beyond nutrition and the vital need to be fed. We can learn to decode and control our impulses, in our quest for a happier and healthier life.

If we could recall it, it would be beautiful to visualize ourselves inside our mother’s womb, where we received all her attention: that is where our primary need for nourishment was first satisfied, at the same time that we received the warmth, love and tenderness of our mother.

As experts on the subject have shown, an affective bond with food is established since early childhood, in infancy during breastfeeding. From that moment, we learn that eating also produces great emotional satisfaction. As we grow older, this affective bond with food increases: our parents and caregivers often use food (sometimes inappropriately) as a form of entertainment, as a punishment or a reward (for example, good behaviour earns us chocolate).

Moreover, we learn to connect emotions such as boredom, dissatisfaction, depression, sadness or anxiety directly with food. Consider also that many social events often revolve around food, reinforcing this bond.

Thus, food acquires various meanings in our lives that go beyond its nutritional aspects and vital necessity. Because of these associations, sometimes when we experience strong emotions that we do not know how to handle, we turn to food; after years or a lifetime of this behaviour, a neural connection is created, a learned path that we unconsciously repeat. That is why it is necessary to teach the brain to find other solutions when we need to attend to and heal our emotions, instead of silencing them with the act of eating.

This neurological urgency to silence our emotions or our sense of dissatisfaction leads us to eat compulsively, without enjoying food and generating strong feelings of guilt. The healthy way is to eliminate any feelings of guilt that we have associated with food.

Once the urge to eat sets in, it’s good to pause, take a deep breath, and ask yourself if you are actually experiencing real physiological hunger, or a compulsive, emotional desire. Our body, in its immense wisdom, offers us very clear signals when it needs food. The stomach feels empty, and we often feel weak, tired and in need of recharging our batteries. However, when the hunger is emotional, the sensation usually comes from the throat or chest, and we feel anxiety.

The next time we experience this sensation, let us notice the urge to eat something sweet or salty, but rarely healthy. It is not necessary to fight this feeling, since depriving the body of what it asks of you ends up being counterproductive: the more you try to restrict it, the more compulsive the act becomes. If we think about eating ice cream, chocolate, French fries or pizza but at the same time we feel we must reject this food because it is fattening, a resistance is created that is ineffective and we end up eating those and other unhealthy options.

It is necessary to listen to the body and observe what it is asking of us: sweet or salty; soft or crunchy; hot or cold. Of course, there are always healthy alternatives: we do not have to choose foods loaded with sugar, refined flours, and preservatives. We can toast healthy wholemeal bread with seeds and spread a spoonful of honey and cinnamon on it, or prepare a hot chocolate made from pure cocoa and sweetened with hone

In this blog you will find many healthy recipes  with products from the Symbeeosis range, such as organic mountain tea drinks with vanilla and toasted bread or yogurt with honey, or, in moments of elevated anxiety and stress, a cup of delicious and delicate chamomile or mountain tea with lavender.

Tips to avoid compulsive or emotional eating:

  • Plan If you plan the primary moments of your relationship with food, it becomes far easier. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are also key, to avoid hunger pangs and cravings.
  • Avoid packaged foods, easily accessible and with little nutritional value.
  • Stop and think what you would do if you did not have food readily accessible. Maybe you would go for a walk, call a friend, write a text or journal, or take a relaxing bath.
  • If you do eat, look for healthy alternatives to your cravings.
  • Reconnect with your body and emotions.

Top Seven superfoods

In this report, we analyze a selection of the seven best superfoods, one by one, summarizing their main qualities and tips for optimal consumption. Will you join this super-journey?

This is most likely not the first time you’ve come across this term lately: although there is no scientific definition of what we mean by “superfood”, we can define it in a symbeeotic way, as food that your body loves: even taken in small quantities, superfoods offer extraordinary levels of nutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

These foods of high nutritional value have become popular in recent years due to a growing interest in quality food. They may often appear as something exotic, more a “fashion” or marketing ploy. On the contrary, these are foods that have been consumed for hundreds or thousands of years by ancient civilizations and have been and are still being used today by many of them. Let us have a look together, to see specifically why they deserve to be on this list

1. ONE OF THE TOP SUPERFOODS: TURMERIC

This spice is probably the most powerful anti-inflammatory provided by Nature – that is why it is called natural ibuprofen. Curcumin, the photochemical responsible for its intense orange colour, is an active ingredient with this property: it is an excellent balm for arthritis, joint and muscle pain. In addition, it is considered a powerful anti-cancer agent since it favours the elimination of toxic cells and promotes the formation of anti-cancer substances such as glutathione. Furthermore, it strengthens the immune system thanks to its antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal effect. It also has notably high antioxidant power, which helps to combat various external agents such as environmental pollution, tobacco smoke, solar radiation, stress, and poor diet.

Greek Organic Honey and Turmeric use

Easy to add to smoothies and vegetable or fruit juices. You can also prepare a vinaigrette for salads. Enjoy it with Greek yogurt, oatmeal or breakfast pudding. Of course, use it to sweeten any Symbeeosis mountain tea.

2. THE AMAZING GINGER

This root is an excellent anti-inflammatory. It also helps prevent allergies, infections, colds and flu, by activating and strengthening our body’s defences. It is recommended for digestion as it reduces abdominal swelling, prevents gas build-up and stimulates the function of the pancreas, causing it to produce digestive enzymes. It is excellent for people with colds as it stimulates blood flow and activates and speeds up the metabolism. It helps eliminate toxins due to its high purifying power. In addition, it is an ally for people sensitive to dizziness or nausea during travel.

Greek Organic Mountain Tea and Ginger

In the mornings, on an empty stomach, prepare a mountain tea with ginger and add the juice of half a lemon along with a teaspoon of honey. Wait 20 minutes before drinking (drink this tea also after meals, especially if they are excessively hearty).

3. A MODEST BUT EXTRAORDINARY SEED

Flax is a humble seed, whose high content in alpha-Linolenic fatty acid (omega-3 family) makes it very interesting; remember, this essential fatty acid cannot be synthesized by our body, and we need to obtain it through our diet. Flax is mainly rich in proteins, minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, and vitamins C and B. Normal consumption of this seed regulates blood lipids and helps fight bad cholesterol; it also contains linoleic acid (omega 6). Flax is high in soluble fibre (pectin and mucilage), favouring intestinal transit; it also helps control blood sugar. Flax seeds also contain phytonutrients that balance our hormones.

How should it be consumed? Ideally, it should be purchased whole and ground at home, since its oils are very sensitive to heat and if they are bought already ground, they are usually stale (remember to store them in the fridge). A trick against hair loss? Put a tablespoon of ground seeds in a glass of water and leave it overnight. The next morning, take the seeds together with the water, which will be loaded with mucilage; this water can also be applied directly to the scalp and left to act before washing the hair. Systematic use will lead to observable hair loss decrease.

4. THE EFFECTS OF ANCIENT ALGAE

Spirulina and Chrorella are exceptional because of their high chlorophyll content, which cleanses, oxygenates and energizes our cells but, above all, they are known for being powerful natural chelators, helping the body to eliminate heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium and chrome. Rich in protein, minerals, iron, and vitamin B12, they are a very good option for a vegetarian or vegan diet, as they provide a lot of energy to help combat weakness, fatigue, or apathy. Spirulina is helpful in weight control diets due to its satiating power if consumed half an hour before meals; it has an antioxidant effect and strengthens the immune system. (It is very important to consume algae derived from certified, controlled cultivation, to avoid heavy metals).

5. RED POWER

Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and currants, strawberries… these fruits are very rich in vitamins C, B and E and minerals such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and iron. Their extraordinary antioxidant properties are well-known, due to a high flavonoid content (tannins and anthocyanins, responsible for the red-bluish pigment) that helps  combat the adverse effects of free radicals. In addition, their normal consumption (for example, with yogurt and honey) helps to cleanse the body of liquids and toxins due to their diuretic and purifying effect.

6. A BUNCH OF HEALTH

Broccoli has multiple beneficial properties, but here we highlight the high sulforaphane content, a powerful anti-cancer molecule. This molecule activates the so-called Nrft2 pathway, a protein that controls the way certain genes are expressed:  this pathway is stimulated by sulforaphane, helping to deactivate carcinogens and favouring their release or excretion, as well as deactivating genes involved in inflammation. To maintain this molecule, it is recommended to consume broccoli with sprouts(added to salads), raw or steamed for up to three minutes.

7. HONEY, A REAL ELIXIR

Honey is not usually included in lists of “superfoods” because we are very used to it, but we should remember that it is a food that has been benefiting human health for thousands of years, with multiple demonstrated properties. Beyond its nutritional properties, honey is a magical food. The process of creating honey is fascinating: the pollination, the community of bees with their own language, their dance and finally the honey… it is a real elixir, a true gift from the gods! Rich in antioxidants and amino acids, vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B5, minerals such as calcium, silicon, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, iodine, zinc, gold, and silver.

As many recent studies confirm, honey is rich in folic, citric, lactic, phosphoric, and acetic acid. An excellent natural source of strength, it provides fast energy boosts to the heart muscles. It favours the production of serotonin, relaxing our system and helping us to fall asleep, reducing metabolic stress. Somewhat counterintuitively, it regulates blood sugar levels and does not create sugar insulin spikes due to its ideal balance of fructose and glucose. It helps relieve constipation through a mild laxative effect and also has a brain function impact. By consuming honey, our body is fortified against allergens. It is a sort of mild “vaccine”; it also has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Symbeeosis Greek Organic Functional Honeys

You can visit our product range to see different versions of functional honeys suitable for your needs

Iced Lemon Verbena with honey & lemon

Our instant wellness Organic Lemon Verbena is a natural go-to on a sunny day, especially served over ice.

A simple addition of lemon & honey brings it to life, making it an irresistibly refreshing drink to accompany you throughout the day. The addition of functional honey and propolis will also give you a boost for your immune system.

Did you know about propolis? Propolis, a true natural treasure, is used by bees as an antiseptic for their hives. For people, it is a nutritional treasure – a real superfood that naturally strengthens the immune system.

Ingredients

2 tea bags of Organic Lemon Verbena
½ cup (120ml) freshly boiled, filtered water
1 tbsp functional honey & propolis
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 Lemon slice & some mint for garnish
Plenty of ice

Instructions

Step1
In a cup with our hot water put 2 tea bags of and cover the cup to prevent heat & aroma loss. Stir in the honey while your tea is still warm.

Step2
Add the tea & lemon juice to a shaker with plenty of ice.

Step3
Shake vigorously, then strain into a glass with fresh ice.

Step4
Garnish with a lemon slice & a sprig of mint.

Enjoy!

Ginger Iced Tea with Mango

When temperatures rise and the humidity just won’t quit, nothing beats a homemade iced tea.

Just try our ice-cold tea slushie. This drink is about to change the way you think about summer refreshments.

Ingredients

· 3 tea bags of Greek Organic Mountain Tea and Ginger
· ½ passionfruit
· 1 + ½ cups frozen mango
· 1 cup of ice
· 3 lemon drops

Instructions

Step 1
Steep 3 tea bags of Mountain Tea & Ginger in ½ cup (120ml) of hot water for 5 min.

Step 2
In a blender, add the tea, passionfruit, frozen mango, and the ice. Blend until you achieve a slush-like texture.

Step 3
Finally, pour into a glass and add the lemon drops

Enjoy

The Truth About the Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Inflammation is typically associated with the effect of trauma, but inflammation is the underlying issue in multiple diseases and pathological processes.

Ιt is estimated that more than 50% of fatal diseases in the world have inflammation as an underlying cause, such as cardiovascular disease, digestive problems (colitis, ulcers, leaky gut), arthritis, osteoporosis, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and obesity. Inflammation can even be a factor behind mood and mental health disorders, such as irritability or depression.

We have all experienced and associate inflammation with the effect that occurs from trauma or when suffering from an allergy or sore throat: the affected area of ​​the body swells, reddens, hurts and mobility or functionality is difficult. This type of so-called acute inflammation is the body’s defence response to injuries, infections and/or diseases and allows it to facilitate blood supply to the affected body part that has suffered an attack and repair it. It is an immediate response with limited duration, since it disappears within hours or days

However, in this article we are going to refer to another kind of body inflammation that we can describe as chronic, since it endures over time; sometimes it is unrecognized, with a large number of people suffering from it without being aware of it. This inflammation can affect our tissues, causing cell damage and progressively undermining our health, reducing our quality of life, and causing diseases such as those mentioned above.

This so-called chronic inflammation can be triggered in the body by different routes: infections that are not treated; environmental factors such as pollution that affect the quality of the water we drink and the air we breathe; diet and lifestyle.

Although a persistent infection constitutes a problem to be solved from a clinical standpoint, and contamination is presented as a problem of our times from which we can hardly escape if we live in a city, diet and lifestyle are choices for which we are entirely responsible.

Indeed, eliminating from our diet things that cause inflammation and make us sick is in our hands and will have a positive impact on our physical, mental and emotional health.

First of all, we must know which are the main inflammatory substances or foods and eliminate them as much as possible from our pantry, our diet and our lives.

Foods with a high glycaemic index: the increase in blood sugar, the production of cytokines is responsible for producing inflammation. These pro-inflammatory cytokines are also found in very high levels in visceral fat (intra-abdominal fat that men accumulate to a greater extent) and is highly dangerous and can trigger cardiovascular problems. For this reason, we must eliminate sugar, sweeteners (although they do not provide calories, they have been shown to produce an insulin response), refined flour, processed confectionaries, processed juices and soft drinks, etc.

Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats, margarines, vegetable oils such as sunflower, soy (very rich in omega 6, which although necessary for the body, should be consumed in the correct balance with Omega 3). These fats are present in almost all processed foods, so we must read carefully the list of ingredients of the foods we buy.

Sausages and processed meats: sausages, smoked and cured meats are associated with the risk of heart disease, colon and stomach cancer. This type of food is made up of leftovers and often contains preservatives and toxic substances that are added to provide flavour, colour and for conservation purposes.

Alcohol: Alcohol is a neurotoxic and neuroinflammatory substance that damages the liver and kidneys; increases the permeability of the intestine allowing toxins to pass into the bloodstream; destroys the gut microbiome by affecting the immune system and ultimately triggering inflammatory conditions (arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, hepatitis, acute pancreatitis, etc.). The theory that having a glass of wine a day was beneficial for health has recently been disproved by the WHO and also by various scientific studies that show that far from producing a benefit, it causes great harm. In fact, it is estimated that there are about 800,000 deaths a year due to heart disease caused by alcohol consumption, and it also increases the risk of suffering from different types of cancer.

Dairy products: Whether or not dairy products cause inflammation is a highly debated topic in the medical community and nothing conclusive can be said. However, there are other sources of calcium from plants such as almonds, sesame seeds, broccoli, spinach, kale, etc. In fact, the absorption of calcium from the consumption of dairy products is also a matter of debate. In any case, eliminating dairy from one’s diet is a personal choice, but it should always be consumed in moderation and making sure that it is organic and obtained from animals raised responsibly and with dignity.

Medicine: Aspirin, ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medicines are among the most consumed pharmaceuticals worldwide. These drugs function by blocking the biochemical complex that causes inflammation (prostaglandins), stopping its process and thus producing pain relief. Although it is sometimes necessary to resort to them, regular consumption may lead to side effects such as damage to the liver, kidneys, and intestinal mucosa. Therefore, it is preferable to use them only when they are needed. Turmeric is a natural alternative without side effects, which contains curcumin and has been revealed to be of the most powerful natural anti-inflammatories, hailed as natural ibuprofen.

The Pros and Cons of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting has become one of the most common ways to feel healthier: is it effective? Here we analyse and discuss different impacts and possible ways of fasting.

In 2016, Yoshinori Ohsumi won a Nobel Prize for the discovery and investigation of the process called “autophagy”: from that moment on, there has been an intense interest in the benefits of fasting for the body.

This amazing “cellular autophagy” is a regenerative mechanism by which the body’s cells, under certain circumstances, are able to recycle their own content, allowing them to get rid of invading toxins, pathogens, viruses and bacteria. One of the existing ways to bring about the activation of this mechanism is fasting. Put very simply: since the organism is forced to adapt to a lack of food, the cells start consuming their own waste substances and converting them into energy (autophagosomes, double-membrane vesicles, encapsulate these components or waste products and release them into lysosomes, cellular organelles that contain digestive enzymes, where they are destroyed).

Recent scientific studies demonstrate the multiple benefits of intermittent periods of caloric restriction or fasting. Indeed, beyond the cellular recycling that occurs with the autophagy process and that allows the body to regenerate and heal itself, numerous other benefits have been observed, among which the following stand out.

Although fasting should be undertaken under medical supervision, here we research, analyse and discuss different impacts and possible ways of fasting. This article is not recommended:

– For persons under 18 years of age.

– For persons suffering from eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, etc.).

– For persons dealing with cortisol problems, diabetes or hypoglycaemia.

– For persons who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

WEIGHT LOSS

Fasting leads to an increase in the hormone adiponectin, whose function is to promote fat oxidation, reduce triglycerides and improve insulin sensitivity. Ghrelin levels are regulated. Ghrelin is a hormone generated in the stomach, responsible for producing the feeling of hunger; in addition to that function, it is also involved in the secretion of growth hormone.

About six hours after starting a fast, there is a spike in ghrelin that produces a feeling of hunger and the desire to eat. Once this peak is overcome with continued fasting, the ghrelin released into the bloodstream stimulates growth hormone secretion. This leads to increased basal metabolism (i.e., the amount of energy used by the body at rest) by up to 12%. Also, during the period of dietary restriction, the body draws energy from its lipid stores.

INCREASED GROWTH HORMONE

Growth hormone secreted by the pituitary gland is basically responsible for controlling metabolism and producing blood cells for the immune system, increasing the body’s defences. It also preserves and increases muscle mass and decreases fat mass, stimulates the production of collagen and increases bone mineral density. Furthermore, it improves athletic performance and muscle strength; slows down the aging process and cognitive decline.

DECREASE IN INSULIN LEVELS AND INCREASE OF OTHER SUBSTANCES

A decrease in blood sugar and insulin – in the first few hours of fasting – enhances the body’s ability to become sensitive to insulin and improve resistance to it (very beneficial for people with type II diabetes or prediabetics). Additionally, fasting:

– Increases our body’s ability to secrete adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine and T4 and T3 hormones that are involved in brain function, memory, and our emotional and mood state.

– Improves cardiovascular health thanks to the reduction of cholesterol and triglycerides (up to 25% and 30%, respectively), that occurs during fasting.

– Improves the intestinal microbiota, which leads to an increase in bile acids that act as regulators of blood pressure.

– Reduces inflammation. Remember that multiple diseases occur as a result of systemic inflammation of the body produced mostly by an inadequate diet.

All this evidence means that the benefits of intermittent fasting, an ancient method of self-healing, are becoming more and more accepted by the medical and scientific community, helping to overcome the traditional Western medical prescription of five meals a day.

MENTAL HEALTH

In addition to these metabolic and systemic improvements, the practice of intermittent fasting produces clear mental and emotional benefits for those who practice it:

– There is an improvement in concentration, in the ability to maintain attention and focus, and in the quality of sleep.

– It reduces anxiety associated with eating.

– It increases the ability to listen to one’s body and to be more conscious in choosing the foods with which to break the fast. This connection with one’s body leads to the desire to love it, nurture it, and care for it by giving it the nutrients it needs and avoiding processed and unhealthy foods.

– It produces a sense of self-control and personal mastery when choosing when to eat and when not, helping to manage compulsive attitudes towards food and other elements.

– It fosters a sensation of lightness and agility.

– It allows for optimized use of time, by not having to be aware of preparing and eating many meals and selecting better quality.

WAYS TO FAST

– 12-hour fast: Everyone, even those who do not choose to practice intermittent fasting, would note an improvement in their health and well-being if a 12-hour break was observed between the last meal of the day and the first of the next day. This is the minimum period that the body needs to cleanse itself, regenerate itself and carry out the metabolic functions necessary for optimal health.

– 16-hour fast: It is the most recommended and ideal fast for women due to their hormonal profile. In this type of fast, you do not eat any food for 16 hours and choose to eat during the remaining 8 hours of the day. The classic example is finishing dinner at 8:00 p.m. and not eating any food until 12:00 noon the next day. It is easy to adapt to a daily routine and to carry out. Weight loss is constant with this type of fast.

– 18-hour fast: This type of fast is the one that brings the most benefits to men due to its metabolic requirements. As an example, dinner would end at 7:00 p.m. and the first meal would be eaten at 1:00 p.m. the next day.

– 20-hour fast. Food is consumed for a period of 4 hours each day. Typically, you choose to have a single daily meal in which you include all the macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) that the body requires.

– 5-2 Diet: This plan consists of eating food normally (always opting for a healthy and balanced diet) for 5 days a week, and for the remaining two days restricting intake to approximately 500 calories, which can be consumed in a single meal or spread throughout the day (only fruits, vegetables and soups or broths, for example).

– Diet on alternate days: One day you opt for a normal diet and the next day you restrict your intake to 500 calories a day, and so on.

– Stop eating anything one day a week. Eat normally throughout the week and choose a day when you will only drink water, teas, and infusions.

– Fasts from 7 to 14 days: This type of fasting requires medical supervision.

FOODS ALLOWED DURING FASTING

– Water (it is allowed to add a few drops or a splash of lemon or mint leaves, ginger root slices or turmeric)

Tea

– Infusions and herbal teas (sometimes also coffee)

– The use of sweeteners is not allowed since it has been shown that they produce a response in the production of insulin, thus counteracting the benefits of fasting.

– The consumption of MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil does not break the fast since for its digestion the body does not require enzymes and bile acids. Taking a tablespoon of this oil can help you to cope with the hours of fasting, especially for those who are just beginning to practice it, providing energy and cancelling the possible feeling of hunger. However, the ideal is to not consume anything, to take full advantage of fasting and the cell regeneration mechanisms it produces.

HOW TO STOP FASTING?

It is of utmost importance that, in the period of food consumption following the fast, a balanced diet is chosen that includes the correct amounts of macronutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is very unwise to break the fast with binge eating or processed foods devoid of nutrients, as they will do the body more harm than good.

A great way to stop the fast is with one of the Symbeeosis elixirs diluted in a glass of water, followed by a fruit and vegetable smoothie that can be alternated throughout the week. You can also choose a fistful of dried fruit. After half an hour or an hour, you can have the first meal of the day including fats, proteins, and slow-absorbing carbohydrates, preferably quinoa, oatmeal, brown rice, etc.

Vitality Smoothie with Strawberries & Cherries

This strawberry cherry smoothie is delicious and good for your diet!

Try this recipe with Symbeeosis Organic Herbal Elixir Vitality which is ideal for all periods as it is a natural source of vitamin C and contributes to better stress resistance, stress management and increases physical and mental energy.

A must try strawberry cherry smoothie recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 orange, peeled and separated into wedges
  • 1 banana, peeled and quartered
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen sweet red cherries, pitted
  • Drizzle of honey Organic
  • 1 sachet Organic Herbal Elixir Vitality

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Add ingredients in the order they are listed above.
  • As a rule of thumb, you want to add the liquid first and the frozen last. Everything else goes in between.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • If you like your smoothies a little sweeter, you can drizzle in honey or agave nectar, then pulse in a blender until well incorporated.

Enjoy!

Iced Tea Mint

Rejuvenating and refreshing, you just may find yourself craving this beverage on a hot summer’s night.

Ingredients

4 cups water

20 fresh mint leaves

8 Greek Organic Mountain Tea and mint tea bags

5 cups diced melon

3 cups ice cubes

Additional ice cubes for serving

Instructions

In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil; remove from heat.

Add mint leaves and tea bags; steep, covered, 5’ minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard mint and tea bags.

Place 2+1/2 cups of melon, 2 cups tea and 1+1/2 cups ice in a blender; cover and process until blended.

Serve over additional ice. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Enjoy

Ginger Iced Tea

A cold toning and detoxification iced tea with ginger.

Accompany the drink with a fresh orange slice and a cinnamon stick.

A decaffeinated alternative with a spicy taste and special benefits in digestion and rejuvenation of the body.

What will I need

Instructions

In half a cup of hot water add the Greek Organic Mountain Tea and Ginger teabag and the cinnamon stick.

If you want honey, this is the time to add it, before the water cools down. Leave the teabag and cinnamon in hot water for 10 minutes, preferably with the cup covered.

Then remove the pyramid and fill with cold water. Serve in a glass with ice cubes and fresh lemon slices.

Enjoy

Is Greek Organic Mountain Tea a Super Food?

Discover why mountain tea has been used since ancient times as a natural beverage but also as a medicine for memory and energy.

About Mountain Tea

If you are reading these lines, perhaps you have already tried –or are about to the mild and slightly sweet flavor and floral aroma of this tea, that can be paired with cinnamon stick, orange, or lemon, and can be prepared hot or cold…

Keep in mind that in Greece there are almost a hundred species and subspecies of mountain teas, 5 of which are better-known. Mountain teas are limited to the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean, but you can find more than 100 varieties in the world!

Greek mountain tea grows wild on rocks at high altitudes, thanks to a special microclimate and the extreme climatic conditions that contribute to the development of defense mechanisms and exceptional durability. In Greece, where the Mediterranean climate is intense, this plant goes through two very harsh periods: during winter when there is frost, and during summer when there are high temperatures and drought. That is the reason why mountain tea is full of active ingredientsproduced to face these difficulties: as a drink, it offers valuable benefits, while also having a special taste.

Greek mountain tea plants usually belong to the genus Sideritis and are aromatic, woody-semi-woody, or herbaceous perennial, with yellow flowers. They grow at high altitudes: Sideritis is widespread mainly in temperate Europe and Asia, reaching as far as China.

Some examples: Sideritis scardica commonly known as Olympus teaSideritis raeseri subsp. raeseri (commonly known as Parnassus tea), Sideritis perfoliata subsp. perfoliata that grows in South Pindos, Sideritis syriaca subsp. Syriaca or malotira, the endemic tea of Crete, and the species Sideritis clandestina which is endemic to the Peloponnese region.

Mountain Tea Benefits

Antioxidant

Tonic for the body

Tonic for the immune system

Memory boost

A short story about Mountain Tea

The first person to describe the species of the genus Sideritis was Linnaeus, although Mountain tea has been known since antiquity. Dioscorides (40-90 AD) mentions three types of Sideritis in his work “De Materia Medica”.

For organic mountain tea lovers, various views have been expressed regarding the origin of the scientific name of the genus Sideritis (“iron wort” in Greek). One view states that it comes from the Greek word “iron” – the plant was probably named after it because of its ability to heal wounds and injuries caused by iron weapons during wars in antiquity, while another view states that it was named after it because it has a high iron (Fe) content.

Main Health Benefits

Many do not know the benefits of Greek Mountain Tea, although studies have been made by the European Medicine Association, aka EMA.

Mountain Tea Flowers

Mountain tea flowers drink is a traditional tonic and antioxidant wonderful beverage, which has been enjoyed since antiquity, while it strengthens the memory and the immune system, and relieves the symptoms of colds. It is naturally caffeine-free, with a floral aroma and a mild, sweet, and earthy flavor.

This unique drink from mountain tea flowers, a real bouquet selected and cut by hand, is like a bouquet directly from Mount Olympus into your cup. With no unnecessary processing to maintain intact its natural nutritional and aromatic characteristics.

The mountain tea selected for this blend is Sideritis scardica which grows on Mount Olympus. Olympus, the mythical residence of the Ancient Greek gods, is also a rare ecosystem. It is a paradise of diverse and unique flora: home to over 1500 plant species, it includes areas where almost all plant life is locally endemic. The region is a protected national park and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, ranked among the most prized in the world in terms of flora. Mountain tea is grown with the latest organic methods, combining respect for the natural environment with ideal cultivation practices. Cultivating plants in areas where they grow wild does not disturb the local ecosystem and yields a mountain tea with distinct nutritional and flavor properties.

A product that has minimal impact on the environment, since after its use it can be fully assimilated by it without special procedures – from nature to your cup and back to nature, with almost zero environmental footprint. It is ideal for energy-boosting and well-being throughout the day and the rejuvenation of the senses.

Preparation methods

Hot beverage: Heat 250 ml water to 95°C and steep for 3-5 minutes. Ideally, cover the cup to preserve the tea’s aromas and active ingredients. If you wish, add Symbeeosis honey or stevia. Tip: To make your beverage stronger, use less water. To make it lighter, use more.

Cold beverage: Prepare like a hot beverage but with half the water, then add cold water or ice.

Food and Mood: your diet can cause Depression (or Well-being)

As the wise hippocrates indicated,

there is a strong relationship between our diet and mood or,

in other words, between our intestines and brain.

More and more recent scientific studies show that a high percentage of neurotransmitters are produced in the digestive tract (even a 90 percent), not in the brain. Moreover, the neurotransmitters responsible for our physical and mental well-being are formed from the amino acids contained in a diet based on healthy foods.

On the contrary, a diet based on processed foods, inflammatory foods, and chemical-laden foods produces neurotoxins that have a direct damaging impact on our mental and emotional health. What foods should we avoid or incorporate into our diet?

FOOD FOR BETTER EMOTIONS

Among the essential foods for our mental well-being, a special mention should be made of those that contain tryptophan, since the body produces serotonin from this essential amino acid.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter whose function is involved in controlling emotions, mood, regulating the feeling of satiety, etc. What foods are the key for our daily menus? Complex carbohydrates like oats, brown rice or quinoa; legumes such as chickpea; potatos; dried fruits such as almonds, walnuts or hazelnuts; eggs, in this case mainly in the yolk; turkey and chicken are good examples.

OMEGA 3: AN ALLY

Another essential substance for our mental health is Omega 3: remember that the brain is made up of approximately 50% fatty acids of which 33% belong to the family of Omega 3. Its deficiency can cause irritability, mood swings, mental and emotional imbalance… For example, there is a clear relationship between Omega 3 deficiency and postpartum depression, since during pregnancy the baby “steals” the mother’s docosahexaenoic acid to form neural connections. For this reason, supplementation with Omega 3 can be tremendously beneficial (you should consult with your doctor). Omega 3 is naturally found in foods such as fish, especially salmon, sardines or mackerel, and also in plant foods such as chia or flax.

VITAMIN B, PREBIOTICS AND PROBIOTICS

B-complex vitamins are also essential, especially vitamin B12 and B6. Vitamin B12 deficiency can have serious consequences such as depression, insomnia and mental slowness: this vitamin is found directly in foods of animal origin such as eggs, fish or meat, so its supplementation in vegan diets is adequate. On the other hand, vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is a cofactor of serotonin, which must be present to carry out the conversion of amino acids into serotonin so, in addition to amino acid biosynthesis, and it also participates in important metabolic processes.

Brain health is literally “made” in the gut: you can’t worry about intestines health without mentioning the role that prebiotics and probiotics play in keeping us in tip-top shape. Prebiotics favor the development of symbiotic bacteria inside our intestine: we can find them mainly in green leafy vegetables, red fruits, bananas, onions or garlic. Probiotics are mainly found in fermented foods as these contain live microorganisms or “friendly” bacteria that support gut health. They are found in yogurts, kefir, miso, etc. It is very beneficial to take a good probiotic supplement on those occasions when an antibiotic is being ingested, since these decrease the intestinal flora to a greater or lesser extent.

VITAMIN D

What could be say about this vitamin D, whose function in the body is so important that it has been functionally compared to a hormone? However, the deficiency of this vitamin in the world population is alarming since it causes important problems such as depression, nervousness, pessimism or loss of bone density, among many others.

Our recommendation is to carry out an analysis that allows determining the existing deficit and the adequate dose in its supplementation, if necessary. This vitamin is obtained mainly from the sun (Mediterranean sun is always an option if you can visit us) and from foods such as fatty fish, cod liver oil, egg yolks and dairy products, among others.

 

PHYTOTHERAPY

Herbal medicine also offers us help options to combat mild or moderate depressive states. Indeed, the plant grown in the wild, known as St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) that contains bioactive principles, among which hypericin and hyperforin stand out with anxiolytic and antidepressant properties since antiquity. However, the consumption of this herb is not without possible interactions with some medications and adverse side effects (always consult your doctor).

HONEY AND MOUNTAIN TEA WITH DITTANY

Fortunately, honey is a precursor to serotonin: hence the custom or tradition of our mothers and grandmothers to give us to drink a glass of hot milk with honey before going to sleep, since both components are precursors of serotonin, and melatonin is produced from serotonin, which is responsible for our rest and that we rest well.

Greek Organic Mountain Tea and Dittany is a true invigorating option. Dittany, also endemic to Crete, has been used medicinally for centuries, to promote improved digestive function and alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort. Both of these medicinal herbs are an integral part of the Cretan diet, which is scientifically recognized for its high nutritional value and contribution to well-being and longevity.

If you want to know more about Symbeeosis functional products you can visit this link to know more.

Superbowl with Honey and Fruits: a breakfast perfection

A smoothie bowl that boosts you all day long. Enjoy this ease-to-prepare breakfast extra to your tea and start the day tuned.

Delicious and superhealthy: this Superbowl includes all the healthy and natural ingredients that will help your body. Have you ever thought about this question: what are the benefits of a better breakfast?

Firstly, greater concentration during the day and overweight control are two of them, but it is demonstrated that a right breakfast will minimize cardiovascular problems, improve your intellectual performance and reduce your anxiety, preventing hypoglycemia and hypotension.

A breakfast is also a good way of adding more vitamins and minerals to your routine. A balanced breakfast always includes fruit pieces or fruit juice, therefore, the contribution of vitamins and minerals will also create a better humor. A correct diet influences the state of mind!

Prep time: 5′

Ingredients:  

  • Five Cherries
  • Five to seven blueberries
  • Quinoa
  • Granola
  • Greek organic functional honey and ginger (3 spoons)
  • Some nuts

How to prepare

Let’s to this in 3 easy steps!

First, you need a large bowl to add the quinoa and granola. Take a large spoon to mix them.

Then, add the honey and the fruits in pieces. You can add some juice of your preference.

Finish with nuts (or cinnamon) and voila! Your healthier meal is ready.  

Enjoy

5-minutes Nettle Smoothie

Heart-shaped leaves of Nettle are used from ancient Greek tradition to help flush toxins and excess fluids from the body, also to reduce the swelling of arthritic joints, and clear your mind.

Nettle has aromatic notes of fresh herbs and for many, it has something that reminds us of the flavor of matcha teas but is slightly softer. Combined with fruit, it has also added vitamins and minerals (C, A, and D if you use the fruits we propose, although you can change any of them depending on the seasonal): a health cocktail in one shot to your daily routine.

If you want to boost yourself in a few minutes, we suggest preparing this smoothie with a great taste that nourishes you at the most basic levels.

Prep time: 5′

Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/4 pineapple cut into pieces
  • 2 teabags of Nettle in 150 ml water
  • 1/2 cucumber optional, peeled into cubes
  • 1/2 avocado optional for a creamy smoothie
  • optional Symbeeosis functional honey

How to prepare

Step 1

Add the coconut milk to the blender. Coconut milk contains medium-chain fatty acids and supports cardiovascular health

Step2

Add the Greek Organic Nettle decoction at room temperature. How to prepare: Heat 250 ml of water to 95º or let It boil and wait for 4 min. cover the cup to preserve the aromas and active ingredients

Step 3

Finish by adding the fruit pieces and mixing all the ingredients. Make sure it mixes well enough to reach a smooth.

Step 4

You can serve your smoothie in your favorite clear glass mug

Enjoy

#ToBeeHappening, Season 2. Sustainable Creativity

At Symbeeosis, we value creativity and innovation, new ideas and new ways of thinking to achieve well-being and sustainability.

For the opening chapter of this particular #ToBeHappening Podcast Season 2, we establish an open-source conversation with Steve Vranakis (ECD Google Creative Lab) and  Yiannis Charalampopoulos, Co-founder of Beetroot design company, authors of the design of our sustanible packaging).

These two gurus are sharing a mountain tea with a spanish journalist, Rubén O’Dogherty, that moderates a new season of  conversations with personalities about topics connected to our values, we put forward the role of creativity in sustainable approaches and solutions.

These two gurus are sharing a mountain tea with a spanish journalist, Rubén O’Dogherty, that moderates a new season of  conversations with personalities about topics connected to our values, we put forward the role of creativity in sustainable approaches and solutions.

Diet routines for a beautiful (and healthier) skin

Gone are the days when we pinned out hopes for a perfect skin on a cream, no matter what ingredients it could contain, and without any diet

Nowadays we know that a beautiful and healthy skin is built from within with a good diet, first, and a good routine and cosmetic discipline, second. Our skin should be treated like a body organ and, as such, it needs to be nourished, hydrated and protected inside and out.

According to a holistic vision of the human body, that is, a vision that considers the organism as a whole -as a system in which each one of the parts is completely interrelated- our skin would be the most external and visible part of our nervous system reflecting our emotions as well as any nervous alteration, especially stress. It also reflects any hormonal disturbance or imbalance (as thyroid problems, polycystic ovary or imbalance of our sex hormones), as well as inappropiate exposure to chemical substances, environmental pollution, heavy metals, allergens, free radicals and, of course, a poor diet.

A good diet is one of the basic pillars for a healthy, beautiful and luminous skin: a correct supply of nutrients, minerals and vitamins; correct hydration and a topical care routine will leave the skin looking smooth and radiant.

It is important to point out that, no matter how much we begin now to give the body a correct supply of nutrients, if due to past bad habits the system becomes saturated, especially our liver, the main organ of metabolism and waste, we will not be taking full advantage of our good actions… For this reason, it is important to consume foods and plants that help us cleanse our liver and other organs, such as mountain tea, especially the variety with ginger; green tea and plants such as dandelion or artichoke; foods such as onion, garlic and leek, rich in sulfur; add radishes and endives to our salads; or algae such as spirulina and crorella, which help us eliminate heavy metals; turmeric to deflates our cells…

Nowadays we know that a beautiful and healthy skin is built from within with a good diet, first, and a good routine and cosmetic discipline, second.

C, A AND E VITAMINS

Vitamin C is essential to have a luminous and smooth skin since collagen is formed using it, which is the most abundant protein in our body. Vitamin E also, as it prevents the formation of wrinkles and skin aging due to its antioxidant and protective action. Vitamin A and carotenoids, present in carrots, pumpkin, etc. protect us from free radicals due to their antioxidant effect. It is not recommended to eat this vitamin through supplements since it is fat-soluble: it is not excreted in the urine (as it occurs with water-soluble vitamins) and it can accumulate in the body (this accumulation can be seen in a yellowish or orange tone, especially on the palms).

OMEGAS AND SKIN

A correct supply of Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9 is also essential. Omega 3 is found in fish (salmon, sardines, mackerel), Krill oil (it is a very pure way of obtaining Omega 3) and chia seeds. Omega 6 is found in nuts and flax seeds, and in evening primrose and borage oil (these two are very good for the female reproductive system and help regulate any hormonal imbalance, especially polycystic ovary. This condition causes acne to appear on the face, especially in the chin and jaw area).

Omega 7 is found in sea buckthorn oils and is very good for mucous membranes (dry nose, eyes, etc.). Omega 9 is found in olive and avocado oil: these Omegas are specific for keeping our skin elastic, lubricated and wrinkle-free as well as being of great help in conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

MINERALS AND MORE

Organic Silicon: this mineral acts in the formation of our skin and it is part of collagen, hyaluronic acid and elastin structure of our skin. It is found in horsetail infussion and also in liquid formulas or capsules (fasting liquid is better absorbed).

Colorful foods, with their intense pigments, are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants that protect us from free radicals. Blueberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, red onions, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, red cabbage,… that is a natural and delicious way to get it!

Food supplements that contain antioxidants: if due to our lifestyle (lack of time, inability to access organic food, etc.) it is difficult for us to provide these antioxidants through the diet, food supplements can be used. The ideal is to rotate and alternate them and to choose the most organic and natural ones.

Zinc. This mineral is very important for the proper reproduction of cells and healing processes, as well as for regulating conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis, excessively oily skin, etc.

MM. Metasulfonylmethane is an organic sulfur compound and is one of the most important minerals in the body. It helps to the actual restore tissues and interferes with the formation of collagen and keratin. (It is present in vegetables, fruits and meats but it is very volatile and degrades with cooking).

WATER

Dehydrated skin will never look pretty and hydration comes from within. The best way to know how much water we need is to pay attention to the most sophisticated system that exists, our body. The body has a very delicate balance between potassium and sodium. Nowadays, driven by advertising campaigns, we believe that you have to drink a lot of water, the more the better. And it is not like that.

As we discussed before, this mineral balance is that the body is very sensitive and an excess of liquids unbalances it. We will know when to drink water because we will be thirsty. This is the best sign and the one we will have to learn to listen to. Just as a lack of water causes a drop in blood pressure, headaches, etc., an excess of water can cause difficulty concentrating, an imbalance in our emotions and demineralization of the body.

DIET (AND BEAUTY) TIPS

– Once a week, we suggest to prepare a hot water bath and add some leaves or twigs of pure mountain tea (not in bags). The heat will cause the skin’s pores to dilate and the antioxidants and minerals in the leaf will penetrate the skin. We can also rub the leaves on the skin of the body and face to perform a natural and delicate exfoliation. In addition, the perfume of the leaves is delicious and will relax our entire nervous system what, of course, will be reflected in more beautiful skin!

– Prepare for your day one liter of water with any of the mountain teas rich in antioxidants and minerals, add a few slices of lemon or lime (vitamin C), a tablespoon of honey with turmeric and mint or basil leaves (the latter is a natural adaptogen against stress).

– Tip: take a daily shake that includes flaxseed and chia (Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids), a tablespoon of Symbeeosis honey with turmeric (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune system stimulating action), a handful of spinach (provides vitamins and chlorophyll, which cleans our cells), a glass of almond milk (provides calcium, vegetable protein and vitamin E), a handful of red fruits (rich in flavonoids and vitamin C).

Brush the skin dry with a natural bristle brush 4 or 5 times a week (preferably every day). Before showering, massage dry skin with circular and upward movements and moderate pressure, from the ankles to the neck, insisting on the areas where the lymph nodes are located (armpits and back of the knees). This will help us get rid of dead cells and improve the functioning of the lymphatic system as well as conditions such as poor circulation and cellulite.

– Add a few sprigs of mountain tea to 250ml of mineral water. Cover it and store it in the refrigerator overnight. The morning after, strain the leaves and put the liquid in a spray bottle. This water will be loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and will be great to spray on your face throughout the day. (If we use makeup, it will be a fantastic option to refresh our makeup. We spray it on the skin, let it act for a minute, press the face with a tissue to absorb the excess and touch up our makeup for a fantastic result).

– Use essential oils for your home. Aromatherapy has a direct effect on our nervous system and, as we have said, this is reflected in the skin. Take care that these oils are 100% natural and organic since otherwise we will be inhaling chemical substances

Stop using cosmetics prepared with chemicals and preservatives. These substances accumulate in the inner layers of our skin and act as endocrine disruptors, being very harmful to the skin and health. Bet on creams whose formulation is organic and use coconut or sesame oil to moisturize the body.

In the press

Discover the Buzzz…behind Symbeeosis!

‘Prescribed’ @DailyMail

Our unique Functional Organic Honey and Turmeric was ‘prescribed’ in the Daily Mail by Dr Max Pemberton I am a big fan of turmeric.

Click here to read more

Featured @YouMagazine

Our Relaxing Greek Mountain Tea with Lavender was featured in Susannah Taylor’s weekly health.

Click here to read more

Featured @Kathimerini

Symbeeosis invests in Organic Food. The New venture by the Koutsiana family.

Click here to read more

Featured @FortuneGreece

Symbeeosis: When business coexists harmoniously with the planet.

Click here to read more

Stay tuned for more…

#ToBeeHappening, The Art of Walking

The Art of Walking

We walk together for an ideal. We walk together to source food that we share. We walk together for social display. We walk together to try to change the world. We walk together to find better lives for ourselves and each other. We walk together to enjoy each other’s company

#ToBeeHappening, People and Plants

People and Plants

The other day, I was talking with one of the Symbeeosis experts in our organic crops and he was explaining to me how the names of many plants often hide mythological anecdotes because human beings have always used plants as their most powerful analogy

#ToBeeHappening, Innovation and Creativity

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As a creative person, what do you think are the best techniques to unlock creativity and be innovative? Listen to our podcast

#ToBeeHappening, Poetry of Bees

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Bees will make the homes at the side of the Rocky way and will not abandon the house they have made, but stand up to men who come to destroy them and fight for the sake of their children.

#ToBeeHappening, The Tea Ceremony

The Tea Ceremony

Listen to our Podcast! Learn why tea is essential to your well-being and how to add this wellness ritual into your everyday life

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