Anyone who knows me knows I am a whole food advocate. I feel we were meant to get nutrients from whole foods, not man made, highly processed supplements. Supplements have their place, when accounting for nutrient deficiencies. However, the average, healthy person, who eats a mainly whole food diet, doesn’t necessarily need artificially produced supplements.
Yesterday, I published a Brain Talks article on my main blog called:
In that article, I highlight the importance of melatonin in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. That article explains that melatonin is a master hormone that is not only necessary for sleep, but also:
- a potent anti-inflammatory agent
- inhibits the secretion of amyloid plaque, seen in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients
- decreases insulin secretion
- regulates the levels of all other hormones
- a powerful and effective antioxidant and anti-toxin agent
- reduces free-radicals
- regulates the immune response
- reduces toxins
- protects the liver
Melatonin is produced naturally in the body, through proper sleep and a nutritious diet. However, research shows we can boost melatonin levels through supplementation or by consuming foods high in melatonin.
As part of my master’s thesis, I researched phytomelatonin, or melatonin found in plants. I discovered several researchers who calculated the melatonin content in plants. Below you’ll see a chart listing the top 13 melatonin containing plant foods.
Experts indicate typical artificial supplement doses of melatonin range from .20 milligrams (mg) to 5 mg daily. As you can see, the amounts in the chart are measured in picograms/gram of food weight. 1 picogram (pg) is a very small unit of measure and equals 0.000000001 milligram (mg).
Dried goji berries, the food which contains the most melatonin, contains 103,000 pg/gram. So, 100 grams of goji berries would then contain 10,300,000 pg of melatonin or .0103 mg. This is obviously a long way from a normal dose. However, the idea isn’t meant to replace supplements, as much as it is to reduce the amount of artificial melatonin needed, if someone is deficient. If an individual is healthy, simply adding in melatonin rich foods will eliminate the need for artificial supplements all together.
Other benefits of goji berries
Besides, goji berries are a super food and a wonderful addition to any diet. Benefits of goji berries include:
- Boost brain power and prevent neurodegenerative disease
- Detoxify the liver
- Boost fertility
- Ease mood and improve quality of sleep
- Improve eye health
- Balance blood sugar levels
- Boost the immune system
- Beautify skin
- Prevent heart disease
- Boost energy
Now, onto some healthy but delicious recipes to include in our diet, that will boost your melatonin levels and so much more!
Until next time, namaste my friends
- Arnao, M.B., and Hernandez-Ruiz, J., (2018). Phytomelatonin versus synthetic melatonin in cancer treatments. Biomedical Research and Clinical Practice DOI: 10.15761/BRCP.1000170