July 24, 2020

For the past at least 10 years every time I turn around I am reading something about the benefits of licorice. I have mentioned to our clients at Energy Fitness personal training, nutrition coaching and massage therapy studio that they may wish to consider trying some licorice tea as an introductory for stress relief. It can also aid in reducing belly fat from too much cortisol production from the stress. There are more than 300 different compounds in licorice, some of which have antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

Did you know Licorice is a legume that grows about 5 feet tall? That means it’s in the bean category. When people think of licorice, they usually imagine the black, chewy candy you can buy in the store. You may be thinking it’s just so strong a taste I can’t bear to eat everyday. It definitely has a very unique taste which stops your taste buds in its tracks. What if you could bypass the tongue and go for a supplement? After reading the benefits you may wanna give it a try. There is a licorice variety that is native to the U.S called Glycyrrhiza lepidota, though it’s much less intense in flavor. Glycyrrhiza uralensis is also known as Chinese licorice. It has a sweet flavor and multiple medicinal uses.

Licorice has a history of use in food and medicine for over a millennium. This tasty root comes packed with potent polyphenol micronutrients that have potent medicinal effects for curing anything from nausea to heartburn, and leaky gut. It’s called mulethi in some parts of Asia. The licorice plant is native to the lands of Asia and Southern Europe, and some call it a weed in some of those areas.  Its most popular uses are candy, sweeteners, and flavoring in tobacco products. This widely-used herb has established health benefits, and folk medicine uses it to treat all types of inflammatory diseases.

Glycyrrhizin is the active polyphenol compound found in licorice, and it’s also responsible for the side-effects of consuming too much licorice, such as high blood pressure. As a result, many food producers and supplement companies now produce licorice extract for use in therapeutic and food applications – but with the glycyrrhizin removed. Consuming too much licorice can cause potassium loss which can raise blood pressure.

Benefits of Licorice

  1. Improve digestive health which may be affected by Gerd (acid reflux), reduce toxic bacteria in the gut

2) Beneficial in a weight loss diet by ramping up the metabolism. Many people that struggle with weight and controlling appetite would benefit from Licorice because consumption affects the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone – thereby reducing appetite. Now don’t go on a mad rush to order or buy licorice because alone it won’t have any significant fat-burning effect. Remember it’s all about finding tweaks in habits and what works for you and combining it with regular exercise and a healthy diet to provide a synergistic effect that helps you burn more body fat. Exercise, eat healthy 80% of the time and then stick of licorice for dessert or try one of the suggested protocols below.

3) Enhance Liver health. Drinking in moderation. Keep in mind everyone has a different idea of what moderation is – 1 glass a few times per week as a trainer is more than necessary if you are trying to have optimal health and always trying to lose weight. Drinking in moderation the liver produces enzymes to help repair the damage but those that drink more the liver can’t repair fast enough and hence fat is stored. Try a few licorice chews on the way to the bar as a preventive test drive to better liver health.

4) Improve Cognitive Health & relieve fatigue (think brain and quick thinking): licorice, namely carbenoxolone, has been shown in reducing stress and slowing brain aging that may lead to the development of dementia. Licorice also contains liquiritigenin, has an anti-inflammatory effect and can have a positive effect on brain cells, showing promise as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Other reports out there suggest that is could help prevent other brain and cognitive disorders like Parkinson’s and boost memory and aid in treatment of depression. Here’s another component present in licorice, amorphousness which has anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to reduce blood sugar, inhibit the development of insulin resistance, and prevent Type-2 diabetes. Research shows that licorice helps slow the progression of neurological symptoms and provides relief from chronic fatigue.

5) Improve sleep: Who doesn’t want to sleep better? One specific type of licorice root, called Glycyrrhiza glabra, is known to induce sleep and enhance sleep duration. Two other common compounds in licorice root, namely Gabriel and liquiritigenin, also help induce sleep, reducing the time it takes you to fall asleep at night. These compounds increase the length of non-REM sleep without disturbing deep sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation transpires when a person gets less sleep than they need to feel awake and alert, due to the brain not being able to clear toxins from neural pathways during sleep.

Licorice has also been proven to help with eczema, heartburn, and cough. It may also be effective for cankers, dental plaque, bleeding, high cholesterol, high potassium, IBS, and hot flashes. If you have high blood pressure or are pregnant, you may want to talk to your doctor before using licorice medicinally.

WARNING: Even though I am touting the benefits of licorice remember that more isn’t always better. You should never consume excessive amounts of licorice in food or supplement form.

Here are some suggestions from a brand we love that is a science and medical foods based company:











If you just enjoy the taste of licorice then go bold but remember that as with anything dosage and consistency is key.  Try traditional medicinals licorice root tea or the Yogi teas and of course straight licorice chews if you dare, just watch for sugar content from the companies that are trying to make it more appealing by amping up sugar content.

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Tonya Tittle, M.S., ACSM
Owner/Dir. of Training, Energy Fitness (established 2002)
ACSM, TPI Level 1 Certified, Rock Tape, Rock Pods (cupping therapy), Rock Tape Blades & Blades Advanced
FMT Basic, Metagenics FLT

Massage services resumed June 1, 2020 and we have new guidelines that will be followed such as staff will be wearing face coverings as well as clients for massage. You will have to sign a Covid19 release form, wash your hands upon arrival, etc. All clients onsite must sign Covid form, successfully answer health Covid questions and socially distance.

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June 2, 2019

3 Ways To Make Health Habits Work For You

Guest blog post by: Jennifer McGregor,,





We are constantly bombarded with health advice, so it can be hard to figure out which habits we truly need to implement into our lives. One useful method is to keep things simple. Instead of a huge list of specific habits you need to start doing, take a broader look at your attitude toward your diet and exercise habits to see what small adjustments you can make. Below are a few examples that can go a long way toward boosting your health.

Outdoor Activities

Staying active is crucial for a healthy mind and body. Regular exercise comes with countless health benefits, from reducing the risk of chronic disease to feeling happier, having more energy, and helping with relaxation. One easy way to boost these effects is to take your exercise outdoors. It has been scientifically proven that spending time in nature is good for both our physical and mental health. Working out in a gym is great, but doing physical activity in a natural, open space should also be part of your routine.

There are plenty of ways to do this, and it’s not all jogging in the park. Think outside the box. You could, for example, purchase and refurbish an old boat. By sourcing and installing individual parts like boat seats and boat tops, you can use the process of customizing a boat as an active outdoor hobby in itself before you ever even set sail.

You can also take advantage of the wonderful nature this country has to offer. Are there any incredible swimming holes close to you? Do you have a nearby forest or national park you can explore? If you live in a city, are there any parks or green spaces that you haven’t checked out yet?

Ditching Fad Diets

Although it’s not exactly news that fad diets don’t work, they still seem to hold as much appeal as they ever did. According to the American Council on Science and Health, an estimated 50% of diets are fad diets. It’s easy to see why. Fad diets promise fast and effective results, and the most popular ones have huge followings touting their benefits to anyone who will listen. It’s difficult to know what to believe, and it’s normal to want to believe that there is a simple solution.

The truth is that certain diets do work for certain people. Keto may help someone lose a lot of weight and keep it off, but it won’t work for everyone. This research by Medicare Advantage is useful in showing just how much the effectiveness of a given diet can vary from person to person.

If you feel you need a defined diet, the first person you should speak to is your doctor. They will be able to guide you toward a diet that is right for you. Alternatively, try to change your eating habits through smaller incremental changes, which are more sustainable and achievable.

Develop Your Mind-Body Connection

Your mental and physical health are not just interlinked, they are interdependent. Mental health can directly impact physical well-being, while the way we eat, move, sleep, and spend our time hugely shapes our mental state. Mind-body therapies are activities that help you develop an awareness of this connection, which in turn helps you make better decisions for your overall health. The easiest ones to try include yoga and meditation, especially with the wealth of free online resources available.

What the three suggestions above have in common is that they are about switching up your perspective rather than focusing on a narrow set of rules. Exercise can be made more fun and exciting by using the outdoors, diets don’t have to be instruments of torture if you make them work for you, and the journey to better health should be seen as a holistic process. Thinking like this allows you to take a step back and see how your health journey can be designed to suit the specific needs of your mind and body.

Thanks Jennifer McGregor for asking us to post this helpful information to our blog.

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