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Navitas Organics Blog

Meg Adelman, RN, BSN, MPH, Navitas Organics Wellness Director

Recent Posts

Spring is in the Air: A Perfect Time to Regenerate, Restore and Renew

A regenerative wave is taking over. As defined by the Oxford English dictionary, the word regenerative means to grow or re-grow. It also means bringing new and more vigorous life into an area, institution or industry, or to place a new or higher spiritual meaning to something. More recently, the word regenerative is being used to describe a call to action for a more holistic approach to farming that raises the bar on organic standards and aligns with biomimetics – the imitation of models, systems and elements of nature for the purpose of solving complex human problems. Now that we understand the health consequences of our industrialized agricultural system, sustainable practices won’t go far enough to meet the challenges we face. It’s time we start looking at regenerating our natural resources, and in doing so, address the broader health concerns that humans are dealing with beyond food production. It’s true that different seasons of the year instigate motivation towards healthier behaviors, but spring is an especially unique time. As we embrace the seasonal changes abundant all around us, it’s also a great opportunity to reflect on our own wellness routines and identify areas of our lives that aren’t serving us or that are interfering with our ability to live each day to the fullest. Regenerative self-care grants us the opportunity to grow or regrow and add new meaning to our lives.

Pillars of Regenerative Agriculture
The pillars of regenerative agriculture refer to optimizing soil health, animal welfare and ensuring social fairness for workers from field to processing facility. This methodology offers an alternative to the extractive agricultural model that has persisted throughout the 21st century, promoting a reciprocal exchange of resources used in the growth and production of food. The ecological benefit of this approach is shared among all the organisms along the food chain, resulting in better growing conditions and food that has a greater capacity to nourish people, animals and the environments where the food is grown.

While organic certification provides a dependable level of consumer safety and protection, we need to evolve our practices further to identify best practices for all organisms on earth – even the micro-organisms at work in the soil on our behalf. While the absence of petrochemicals, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers protect us from disease in a myriad of ways, organic standards do not currently go far enough to ensure optimal soil health. Recent studies have demonstrated that the biggest impact we can make towards reducing the human devastation that results from climate disasters is through agricultural practices that return carbon to the soil rather than release it, reducing the warming effects of excess CO2 in the atmosphere.

Regenerative Self-Care
We can also consider the idea of regenerative from a self-care perspective. It’s empowering to know that positive, healthy changes are always within our reach if we simply stay focused on growth and becoming the best version of ourselves. At the core of this principle is the choices we make around nutrition and the food we purchase, taking into consideration the full health implications and environmental impact of how things are grown. Just as regular cardiovascular exercise is critical to our cells’ ability to communicate, absorb nutrients and filter out toxins, diversity in our microbiome is critical to preventing disease. We can restore that diversity through eating foods grown regeneratively that enhance soil health. Ultimately, we can continuously strive for growth by paying close attention to all aspects of life that aren’t enhancing our well-being, and make space for balance and fulfillment, while adding new meaning to life in the process.

The beauty in regenerative is that it implies constant opportunity for growth, improvement and renewal. When we live synergistically with the natural environment, taking cues from mother nature, eating the way food was intended to be eaten, we reap enormous health benefits. Springtime is another welcome opportunity to regenerate, re-store and renew. There is no doubt we can all identify one thing we’d like to change or add to our health routine. It could be that the exercise routine you’ve maintained for years has ceased to produce results because your body has naturally plateaued. Maybe it’s time to do something drastic about your diet like reducing animal protein intake or take a baby step with the Vegan Before Six (VB6) plan. Perhaps you’ve noticed that pain and inflammation is increasing with age, limiting your ability to do the things you really love to do for exercise. Rather than give up or succumb to using copious amounts of ibuprofen to get through your workout, perhaps Navitas Organics’ new Restore Superfood Shot can help! Its combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients including 20mg of hemp CBD, turmeric, Vitamin C, electrolytes and magnesium may help you get back to your fitness routine sooner than you think. While any of these behaviors alone might be the change needed, you can get closer to your wellness goals by staying focused on continuous adaptation and growth. Why wait when you can regenerate?

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Topics: wellness, nutrition, blog, health, superfoods, healthy living, healthy choices, Navitas Organics

Beyond the Hype: Why Cannabidiol (CBD) Should Be the Next Tool in Your Wellness Toolbox

In our steadfast commitment to supporting a healthy lifestyle, Navitas is excited to announce the addition of CBD-infused Superfood Wellness Shots. Navitas has been providing Hemp products for over a decade because of its exceptional nutrition profile. We are excited to extend our Hemp offerings to include all parts of the Hemp plant, including CBD. The new Wellness Shots are the next generation of nutritional support to help you feel great and live each day to the fullest.

We asked Meghan Adelman, RN, BSN, MPH, about her take on CBD and here’s what she shared:

What you need to know about the latest buzz coming from the Hemp plant: CBD.

The Whole is Greater Than the Sum of its Parts: Hemp
CBD is a Cannabinoid, or nutrient, that comes from the Hemp plant. Both marijuana and Hemp are a part of the larger family of the Cannabis plant and both have active compounds called Cannabinoids. It has been reported that there are at least 85 different Cannabinoids in the Cannabis plant working together to produce distinct therapeutic effects, whether excitatory or inhibitory, depending on the location in the body. The two most commonly known and routinely studied are THC and CBD. The main attraction to the marijuana plant is THC, the Cannabinoid associated with sedation and psychoactive properties. As a basis of comparison, marijuana flowers range from 3 to 15 percent THC content where agricultural Hemp must have less than 0.3 percent, and in many cases is non-detectable. CBD is distinct from THC and does not induce psychoactive effects.

What it Supports: The Endocannabinoid System
The Endocannabinoid System (ECS) was discovered in the mid 1990s. ECS receptors were found in abundance throughout the human body on virtually every organ system. Cannabinoids, including CBD, bind with the receptors and support the ECS. Since that discovery, we’ve learned that the ECS is responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body by communicating with the nervous and immune systems to regulate important vital functions like sleep, pain, digestion, inflammation, brain function and more. While there is more to learn about the exact mechanism of action of the ECS, it has been reported that the quantity of these receptors has a strong correlation to healthy or disease states.

Your Wellness Plan: Plant-Based Tools
Understanding the distinct components of the plant and how they affect the human body is primary to overcoming misconceptions. Generalized anxiety and chronic pain are widespread, afflicting 18 to 20 percent of the population respectively and costing millions of dollars in lost wages and healthcare costs on an annual basis. Moreover, inflammatory-mediated chronic disease is undoubtedly the biggest threat to public health with more than 60 percent of the population dealing with one or more chronic diagnoses. Perhaps the most compelling argument in favor of the use of CBD is that it shows promise in regulating generalized anxiety, chronic pain, muscle spasms and inflammatory disorders, all conditions for which we currently don’t have good therapeutic options. Whether CBD will prove to offer widespread neuroprotection for complex diseases like multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease remains to be seen, but there is enough evidence to suggest routine use can be a great complement to living a healthy, plant-based lifestyle. The World Health Organization reports that there is no evidence to suggest that there is any public health concern over the use of pure CBD. Provided that you buy the products from a trusted source, you can be assured that quality and dose will be sufficient to obtain a positive result. Moreover, CBD is a safe, plant-based alternative that has the potential to enhance well-being like eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly also will.

It’s time we think differently about the importance of healthy lifestyle behaviors and plant-based remedies that can effectively improve these conditions without the risk of undesirable side effects.

Navitas Wellness Shots
Our full spectrum Hemp oil is pressed directly from the Hemp plant, offering the full range of naturally occurring Cannabinoids designed to synergistically work together in the way that nature intended. With the addition of our classic functional ingredients like Acai, Matcha, Turmeric, and Goji combined with herbal giants like chamomile, rosemary, ginger and magnesium – these Wellness Shots offer an array of health benefits to handle many of life’s challenges.

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Topics: blog, superfoods, cannabinoid, CBD, Endocannabinoid System

If 2018 Was the Year of the Vegan, 2019 Will Be Known as the Year of Sustainable Nutrition

These days, it seems as though nutrition recommendations are as polarizing as the political climate permeating the country. There is cause for celebration that we have finally reached peak awareness about the human and environmental health benefits of turning to a more plant-based and organic diet. With over 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions being generated from agriculture worldwide, small changes towards eating plant-based will significantly reduce environmental impact, while simultaneously curbing the escalation of chronic metabolic disorders. But regardless of its recent popularity, the vegan diet will likely never become the reigning dietary choice due to significant cultural and economic contributions of animal proteins throughout our nation’s history. While the notion that we should eat more plant-based proteins invokes panic for many, perhaps there is an important common ground we are more likely to achieve in the short term.

Pick Your Favorite Moniker: Flexitarian, Reducetarian or Go All In
It’s not surprising that cattle and dairy ranchers get fearful and back into a corner when the idea of reducing meat consumption comes up in conversation. The scientific evidence favoring reduced reliance on animal proteins has grown substantially and finally, a strong argument can be made that plant-based diets provide a viable solution to a variety of health problems. But, with this knowledge, a very important distinction must be made – not all vegetables offer the same contribution to health, and not all vegans and vegetarians fare better than people who eat proper proportions and modest amounts of animal protein. Conventional vegetables and grains used in processed foods doused in pesticides are equally detrimental to health as consuming animal proteins raised by unnatural and unethical practices.

Not to Sustain but to Regenerate
Therein lies the critical importance of a compromise towards Sustainable Nutrition, an inclusive approach that will be far more effective in improving population and ecological health worldwide. Sustainable Nutrition refers just as much to production as it does to consumption and provides a guideline to eating behavior that holds the value of regenerative agriculture and disease reduction paramount over personal, individual dietary preferences. Organic and sustainably cultivated crops and animals raised as nature intended them to be raised is the best option to improving human and environmental health. With the knowledge that reduced reliance on animal proteins can significantly lower GHG emissions, so can rotational grazing and carbon sequestration practices for the cattle industry. The truth is, we desperately need both in order to disrupt the progression of the environmental decay we are witnessing! Grasslands are critical to a healthy ecosystem, prevent soil erosion and provide large areas where carbon can be pulled from the atmosphere and returned to the soil. Thus, we have to allow ruminators to care for the land as they have been evolutionarily designed to do.

Five Simple Rules
So, while my personal dietary philosophy honors a plant-based diet, there is enormous potential in coming together for the common goal of revolutionizing our food system to ensure optimal health equity for the future. These simple five rules will get us there:

1. Organic, all day, every day
2. Buy Local – Support farmers markets and local ranchers
3. Eat free-range, grass-fed, sustainably and ethically raised animals
4. Support ranchers doing the work of regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration
5. Eat mostly plants! Meatless is not just for Mondays anymore, it’s critical for survival!

The best part is there are plenty of recipes to round out a plant-based diet that address nearly every type of craving. Click here to visit our Recipe Library for ideas of how to get started.

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Topics: wellness, hacks, nutrition, blog, health, superfoods, tips, plant based, healthy living, healthy choices, Navitas Organics, SuperSwaps, clean eating

Reflections on the Ride of 15 Years in Superfoods: Part 2

In Part 1 of my blog, I shared a glimpse into how we got started as a superfoods company and all the incredible people that contributed to our exponential growth. In this final installment, you'll learn about the inevitable challenges that tested our thriving business and how they only drove us to reach for new heights as we look toward the future.   

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Topics: history, nutrition, blog, health, superfoods, Live Life Positive, Navitas Organics, Superfood Blends, company

Reflections on the Ride of 15 Years in Superfoods: Part 1

When I think back to the summer of 2003, I remember the exciting, yet apprehensive feeling that settled in to permanently live with us when the idea of Navitas first came to life. Our friends Paul and Lisa had been importing Maca for sale in Australia and knowing we were in transition with work, thought it might be a good fit for us, too. Zach and Paul had a long history of traveling together in their twenties, sharing a profound curiosity about different cultures and traditional foods abroad. It was through these early experiences that Paul was introduced to the miracle plant Maca from Peru. As is typical of an entrepreneur, Zach saw infinite possibilities for a business beyond Maca and comfort with the risk, while I stared at my pregnant belly of six months with a mix of hope, trepidation and a fair amount of skepticism. After all, we had only been married for a little over two years, not yet ready to be parents, much less for the enormous responsibility of the “other baby” we were about to raise. But, we both came of age embedded within the Grateful Dead community and therefore the idea of starting a health food company fit squarely within our personal ideologies. Convinced that traditional superfoods would help Westerners be healthier, we forged ahead with nothing more than the vision of what could be and a nominal personal investment. We had no idea then that Navitas would evolve to become a wellness lifestyle brand supporting health seekers like us and helping to advance organic agriculture in the process.

As Navitas celebrates 15 years in business, I am amazed at how far we’ve come. So much has changed since the beginning, both within the industry and personally throughout these years. Several pivotal moments and instrumental people have helped to create a confluence of success for the company. As we celebrate this milestone, it seems fitting to honor each of those crossroads and the amazing people that share our story because without them, we wouldn’t be here today.

Timing is Everything

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Topics: history, nutrition, blog, health, superfoods, Live Life Positive, Navitas Organics, Superfood Blends, company

Getting More from Giving More: The “Happiness Effect” and Living Life Positive

It seems that despite a conscious awareness about the need for work-life balance, life just gets busier all the time. Finding enjoyment with work is challenging when resources are scarce and the “to do” list seems endless. While the ultimate goal in life is to do what you love and love what you do, it’s often not that realistic even under the best of circumstances. Fortunately, many employers are searching for ways to make work life more fulfilling due to mounting evidence that employee engagement is a critical component of an organization’s success. This is particularly relevant to building loyalty and fostering creativity within the team. After all, when employees are getting their social and emotional needs met, it brings them closer to the ideal goal of finding joy in the work they do. Now more than ever before, companies are making time to support important causes they care about through volunteerism and community service, which boosts employee satisfaction at the same time. Through corporate social responsibility programs, doing good for others can be an important contributor to the well-being of employees and the organization as a whole.

Today, 79% of Employees Prefer to Work for Companies That are Socially Responsible
A lot has been written about the mental and physical health benefits that come with volunteering, making corporate responsibility programs very attractive to future employees. This is especially true if the causes that are supported reinforce the values and beliefs held by the company. Mental health benefits range from reduced levels of depression and social connectedness to fostering a sense of purpose. But, physical health benefits are also available to those who volunteer their time in service of others. One study in particular reported that volunteering is associated with decreased risk for high blood pressure, a major contributor to cardiovascular disease and the leading cause of early mortality in both men and women. This may have to do with physical labor associated with the volunteer activity or the effect of stress reduction that results from altruistic behavior, but other studies have shown similar results. Some have even demonstrated a relationship to reduced obesity, increased cognitive function and increased levels of dopamine, “the pleasure-seeking” neurotransmitter, in the brain. Most surprising of all is that research with highly engaged working populations shows that volunteering can help employees create better work-life balance, despite being busy in addition to positively influencing health.

The “Happiness Effect” May be the Reason
The “happiness effect” describes that “feel-good” experience from dopamine being released in the brain and this may be the most compelling reason to incorporate volunteerism as a corporate objective. Doing good deeds in the community for no other reason than to help others has the effect of spreading positive energy to everyone around – not just those helping or being helped. This can be thought of the same way as practicing self-care – eating health-promoting, nutrient-dense foods or the feeling after a rigorous workout. The energy that comes from doing good for yourself and for those around you can be infectious, inspiring others to do the same. Community service and volunteerism work in a similar capacity, helping to generate renewed energy and enthusiasm around shared goals within an organization.

Spreading Positivity is Good for Your Health
Navitas Organics is doing our part by sharing the meaning behind our "Live Life Positive" campaign and our commitment to corporate social responsibility is a large part of that story. Just like “the happiness effect,” we believe that making a positive impact in the world creates a ripple effect in all aspects of life. Through innovation of organic superfoods and snacks that have minimal environmental burden, giving back to people in need and supporting the causes we believe in, we aim to help make individuals and communities healthier and more resilient. Through a strong commitment to volunteerism, we hope our employees will benefit from the “happiness effect” and hopefully find additional meaning in the work they do. After all, no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. 

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Topics: wellness, education, happiness, science, Live Life Positive, positive vibes, mental health, community service, social responsibility

Not Convinced that a Plant-Based Diet is Right for Your Health? Consider Doing it for the Health of the Planet

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock as of late, you’ve probably read the headlines about how the plant-based diet (PBD) has the potential to save the world. It is a lofty claim and one that will require an enormous shift from traditional and cultural dietary norms. Researchers have had plenty of time to test this theory and as such, the cumulative data may indicate that the theory may in fact be true. Unfortunately, huge resistance persists regarding reducing or eliminating animal protein, while most can agree that consumption levels in America have become egregious. The rise in popularity of the Ketogenic diet is promising for its role in longevity and disease management but doubles down on the need for increased animal protein. (For the vegetarian or vegan, being Keto is extremely limiting making it extra challenging to stick to).

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We Are What We Eat: Avoiding the Spare Tire Syndrome is the Secret to Longevity for Men

Imagine a tumbleweed blowing across the desert, gaining both speed and size in rapid succession. Ever wonder what causes this? Well, it’s the thorny Russian Thistle, an invasive species brought here on contaminated flax seeds by Russian immigrants in the 1800s. Since then, the weed has overpopulated the West, posing both an agricultural nuisance as well as a dangerous fire hazard, especially in our current drought conditions. Metaphorically speaking, human health behaves like a tumbleweed – once one disease process begins, it triggers another, each running interference against the body’s goal for homeostasis. As the tumbleweed blows, the entanglement gets larger, threatening wildlife, barricading people inside homes and trapping them on country roads. Much like the top health issues common among men, the tumbleweed is the accidental consequence of neglect and overabundance. 


Obesity Creates a Chain Reaction
The good news is that the majority of health risks for men are preventable, especially in absence of the initial catalyst (or Russian thistle) – abdominal or central obesity. Unlike women who tend to gain weight all over the body, weight gain in men is often localized to the abdomen. Studies on central obesity demonstrate that this condition can be particularly problematic because it represents a relative measure of visceral fat surrounding internal organs, causing blockages, impeding proper circulation, and preventing the distribution of oxygenated blood to the tissues and major organs. Thus, the more weight there is, the greater the potential for problems, which is why avoiding weight gain should be a top priority for all men. Central obesity is also known to elicit lipotoxicity, the result of fat cells depositing triglycerides and free fatty acids into the portal vein, which travel directly into the liver. The liver’s primary function is to break down nutrients from our food and remove toxins for excretion, but it also preferentially stores fat in the absence of metabolic need. As excess fat accumulates, widespread organ dysfunction will develop over time. It is at this point, the tumbleweed begins its tumultuous journey.

The American Heart Association (AHA) reports that twice as many men as women, or 1 in 3 men are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Heart disease is also the most common cause of premature death among men, half of which may never exhibit any symptoms before the occurrence of a major coronary event. CVD encompasses everything from high blood pressure to valve dysfunction, to weakening of the heart muscle or pump itself as a result of sustained, reduced oxygenation to heart tissue. Smoking compounds this issue for men, and despite significant public health interventions in the last twenty years, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 40% of men as compared with 9% of women are still smoking globally. Next to unintentional or accidental injuries resulting from men’s tendency towards riskier or more adventurous behavior, the most common health problems in men are all related to the problem of central obesity, including:
• Stroke
• Cancer
• Alcoholism
• Suicide and Depression
• Type II Diabetes
• Sexual Dysfunction
• Male Menopause (Low Testosterone)
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)

Small Changes, Big Gains
As expected, calorie restriction and a healthy diet is the gold standard to avoiding weight gain and the inevitable disease progression that comes along with it. Although organ damage can take years to develop, men who avoid the consequences of insidious weight gain over time will avoid many, if not all of these disorders, as well as enjoy improved mental health and stress management as they age. To illustrate this point further, a recent study demonstrates that swapping bad habits for good ones will not only increase life expectancy, but improve the quality of years lived, which is ultimately what matters most. Furthermore, habits like limiting animal proteins, eliminating processed and fast foods, and increasing plant-based diet choices are all impactful ways to reduce disease risk.

Quality is Better Than Quantity
For perpetually busy men looking for a quick and easy way to kickstart healthy eating habits, consider nutrient-dense smoothies in your daily routine. Start with a plant-based protein base like Vanilla & Greens Essential Blend added to water, milk or milk alternative. Add Daily Superfood Focus Boost, which is ideally suited to support men’s health with the inclusion of ingredients like Maca and Ashwaganda – hormonal adaptogens that are known to modulate stress, improve glucose and testosterone regulation, lower triglycerides and inflammation in the body. This mindfully curated nutrient boost also has caffeine in the form of Matcha and Yerba Mate, offering enhanced brain function, attention and energy throughout the day. Lastly, men should consider adding Hemp Seeds to any and all meals including smoothies, salads or yogurt. Hemp Seeds offer a complete plant-based protein substitute and a rich source of minerals including potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron and zinc – all integral players in cardiovascular health.

Overall, prevention is paramount to avoid the initial Russian Thistle from starting a chain reaction that becomes far more complicated to eradicate as it grows. This is also why it is so baffling that so few of our healthcare dollars are directed towards prevention efforts and the prescriptive power of healthy lifestyle behaviors. Among them, diet is a critical component because as the saying goes, what we eat today will either feed disease or fight it. This is particularly true as it relates to the biggest threat to men’s health overall – cardiovascular disease. A sensible, whole foods diet provides the right combination of nutrients and antioxidants needed to combat oxidative stress, control inflammation and most importantly, ensure proper weight management throughout the lifespan. By eliminating or avoiding the “spare tire,” men are assured to get the most out of life and feel their best throughout the aging process.

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