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UK science-backed food company SmarterNaturally commit to further growing operations in Scotland

17/06/2023
SmarterNaturally's Super Soup uses super strength broccoli in a bid to lower blood sugar and the risk of type 2 diabetes  

UK SCIENCE backed food company SmarterNaturally has committed to further growing operations in Scotland.

The award winning company grows a special variety of broccoli designed to help the nation age well by eating its research-based ‘super soup’.

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The Smarter Food company, who trade under the brand name SmarterNaturally, is a science and research led business, providing a key differentiator to many others in the market offering health foods.

The company used to grow most of its crop in Lincolnshire but is now concentrating on growers in Cupar, Fife.

The east of Scotland farmers are renowned as major brassica growers and have a stable supply of labour.

As the popularity of the broccoli super soup grows they need a source which can cope with increased demand and supply the raw product which is freeze dried and used as a whole vegetable in the SmarterNaturally soup. 

The East of Scotland farmers meet all their requirements and will focus production there in the coming years.

A SmarterNaturally spokesperson said: “We are pleased with how the Scottish farms produce our special type of brassica and they have the experience and knowledge to meet all our company’s requirements. We are very confident they will handle any increase in demand in the coming months and years.”

The soup is made from a special variety of super strength broccoli that could help people who are looking to lower their blood sugar – a key risk factor for type-2 diabetes – one of the greatest challenges facing the modern NHS – and as well as a range of other age-related chronic diseases.  

While tackling diabetes is their first target, the company has far bigger ambitions for this new Super Soup including supporting men who are at risk of developing prostate cancer and enabling people to age gracefully by helping them stay in good health for longer.

Smarter Food CEO Laura Knight said: “Getting this soup to market to help tackle high blood sugar is just the first step. There is a large and growing body of high-quality published research that glucoraphanin may also help to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as having a positive impact on various types of cancer, including prostate and breast cancer. With the potential to benefit so many individuals, prevent disease and alleviate pressure from our over-stretched healthcare system, we’re excited about the possibilities this could unlock.”

The benefits of broccoli have been gaining traction as a super-food, but not all broccoli varieties are the same. 

This new, unique variety of broccoli is called GRextra and makes the soup special with its very high levels of a health-boosting molecule called glucoraphanin. Once in our gut, this molecule’s active form (called sulforaphane) turns on anti-oxidant genes in our cells, which can help maintain a healthier metabolism – particularly as we age.

Smarter Foods is a spin-out from one of the UK’s leading food and health research organisations, Quadram Institute, with science funded by UK taxpayers. Company data has shown that when its unique broccoli (which is naturally rich in the health-boosting compound glucoraphanin) is incorporated into a soup, eating just one bowl a week can help lower elevated blood glucose and maintain it over time.  

Once ingested and activated in our body, glucoraphanin turns on a natural genetic antioxidant pathway (called NRF2) in our cells, which reverses this shift and helps to repair our ageing metabolism. Therefore, scientists believe that eating a large quantity of glucoraphanin on a regular basis can help keep your metabolism working more efficiently for longer, thereby reducing your risk and delaying the onset of a range of chronic conditions traditionally associated with ageing.  

A healthier, younger metabolism is linked to all kinds of health benefits, including, lower blood pressure, protection against heart disease and reduced risk of some forms of cancer. But for now, SmarterNaturally are focussing on supporting people with high blood sugar levels.

The soup was developed by scientists at the Quadrum Institute, a centre for food and health research that combines the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals’ endoscopy centre and the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School.

Lead scientist for SmarterNaturally, Professor Richard Mithen, said: “SmarterNaturally Soup aims to help keep our metabolism young. Research suggests that eating one bowl a week could deliver enough glucoraphanin and other healthy nutrients to help people maintain a healthy metabolism, which is associated with a reduced risk of developing age-related health conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.”

“What Sulforaphane does is turn on a set of genes that are regulated by the protein NRF2, involved in blood sugar control,” said Steve Morrison, a medical biochemist who is head of clinical research for SmarterNaturally.

“Stored sugar is drawn out of the body and we are prevented from laying down more sugar, so that blood glucose levels are lowered when the glucoraphanin-rich broccoli is consumed regularly.”

The special broccoli was discovered growing wild in Sicily by professor Richard Mithen. After more than 2 decades of research, it’s now finally available to people looking to stay healthier as they get older.

One bowl of SmarterNaturally Soup contains the same amount of active glucoraphanin as eating 5+ heads of raw broccoli, and at a similar cost (£5).

Cooking broccoli often inactivates the enzyme needed to see health benefits from glucoraphanin, hence the stipulation of it being raw. It can be very difficult to get any meaningful glucoraphanin intake through eating broccoli that’s been well cooked.

Active glucoraphanin supplements do exist, but eating one bowl of SmarterNaturally Soup is equivalent to taking 14 supplement tablets in one go– or taking two pills every single day, rather than eating just one bowl of soup a week, and at a similar cost (£5 a week). SmarterNaturally soup also contains many other vitamins, minerals and health nutrients from eating broccoli which are absent in supplements.

SmarterNaturally launched the delicious ‘Super-Soup’ last year and many already see it as a game-changer for the many patients at risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Most pre-diabetics are simply told to change their diet and take more exercise, but figures show that compliance is low and that 20% go on to develop full blown diabetes within five years. 

SmarterNaturally soup is tasty, affordable and simple to serve, making it a completely new way to support those people working to bring their blood sugar down to healthier levels and hoping to avoid going on to develop type-2 diabetes.

The soup is available online from SmarterNaturally.com at a cost of £5 per week (plus delivery).  

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