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Navitas Organics Blog

3 Superfoods to Beat the Winter Blues

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Jan 4, 2019 8:07:59 AM

The “winter blues” aren’t just a hypothetical idea or something you hear about in country songs. Wintertime depression can be a very real and devastating condition, and many people find themselves affected when the days are shorter, drearier and colder. In fact, it's estimated that at least 10 million Americans experience some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and an additional 10 to 20 percent of people have mild symptoms of SAD. These symptoms may include feelings of hopelessness, changes in appetite, a dip in energy levels, avoiding social situations and weight gain.

Luckily, there are many ways to alleviate seasonal depressive symptoms and a nutrient-rich diet is certainly high among these remedies. Here are three foods you can incorporate into your everyday meals to help treat the winter blues, benefiting both your mind and body in the process.

1. Acai
One particularly tasty way to fight the symptoms of SAD is to incorporate more Acai into your winter diet. Acai is one of the healthiest berries on the planet, best known for its high content of antioxidants, which also support and protect the brain. These special antioxidants have been shown in numerous studies to improve mental function, boost energy, reduce irritation and even encourage a healthy libido. All these benefits contribute to better mental health in the winter and throughout the year, for that matter! Some winter Acai Powder recipe favorites include Acai Berry Truffles for a sweet after-dinner treat and Acai Energy Bowls to get a super start to the morning.

2. Maca
Hormones also play a key role in mental health and really affect how you feel emotionally during the winter season, which is why the adaptogen Maca is such a great ingredient to eat in the winter time. Maca helps balance your endocrine system, thereby encouraging your body to achieve a natural state of hormonal equilibrium and overall health. Maca Powder is rich in micronutrients that aren’t found in most other foods, including trace minerals and protective flavonoid compounds. Some scientific evidence even suggests that Maca is an effective anti-anxiety supplement, and even boosts your brain’s capacity to learn and remember new things. Regular consumption of Maca is also helpful in maintaining a healthy libido in both men and women! Try packing some of these tasty Protein Bars in your travel bag this winter or create a Cacao Maca Energy Elixir to warm up on a cold winter’s day.

3. Chia
Chia serves as a mood-improving hero because of its high amounts of omega-3s and important minerals, such as iron and magnesium. These nutrients are essential for brain health and a better brain translates to lowered risk of depression and happier days ahead. Meanwhile, both Chia Seeds and Chia Powder are high in fiber, which helps to support a healthy gut – yet another essential component of maintaining a positive mood. Best of all, Chia is such a versatile superfood that it’s impressively easy to incorporate more Chia into your daily life: simply toss it into soups, oats or smoothies for a recipe-free boost. For a special winter indulgence, try making a loaf of Zucchini Protein Bread, which contains a quarter cup of Navitas Organics Chia Powder to treat yourself and your loved ones to better mental health this winter!

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Topics: wellness, chia, chiaseeds, hacks, mood, nutrition, blog, health, Maca, science, superfoods, tips, plant based, healthy living, healthy choices, Navitas Organics, SuperSwaps, clean eating, acai, depression, research, medicine

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

10 #SuperSwaps to Make Your Fridge a Healthier Place

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Dec 26, 2018 7:24:34 AM

Orchestrating a complete overhaul of your diet can be overwhelming, time-consuming and downright impractical. That’s why Navitas Organics is such a big believer in #SuperSwaps.

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

5 Steps to a Healthier (and Stress-Free!) Holiday Season

Posted by Megan Faletra on Dec 19, 2018 8:43:37 AM

The holidays are one of the most exciting times of the year, but they also come with travel, indulgent foods and unwanted stress that can leave us all feeling depleted at times. But, with a little planning, you can fully enjoy the holidays from beginning to end. Protect your health and keep your stress levels low this year by following these five simple steps to a healthier (and stress-free!) holiday season.

1. Plan Healthy Meals and Snacks
While there’s an abundance of delicious holiday food around at all times throughout the holidays, you shouldn’t forgo your usual healthy meals and snacks. One of the worst things you can do during the holidays is skip meals, as that will leave you feeling ravenous and incapable of making mindful choices. Instead, make a promise to continue feeding yourself well throughout the holidays by planning regular meals and snacks that keep you full and satisfied. This will help you make healthier choices that aren’t fueled by uncontrollable hunger when you’re exposed to holiday indulgences.

2. Practice Mindful Eating at Parties
Holiday parties are hard to navigate, especially if you’re trying to continue healthy eating practices throughout the holidays. Rather than putting limitations on what you can and can’t have at holiday parties, try practicing mindful eating habits like these:

• Have a satisfying snack at home before going to a holiday party so you make better choices once you’re out.
• Tune into your cravings and choose what you truly desire at the party, versus what’s sitting in front of you.
• Eat slowly and save the alcohol for when your stomach is full, so you can enjoy a holiday cocktail without it impacting your eating choices.

3. Support a Healthy Gut
Nothing puts a damper on the holidays like getting sick, so it’s especially important to support your digestive system during this time. Since 80 percent of your immune system lives in your gut, keep it feeling it’s best by adding Vanilla & Greens Essential Superfood Blend to your daily wellness routine. Loaded with plant-based protein, digestive support, essential minerals and antioxidants in one easy-to-use mix, it’s a great way to boost your nutrition and support your gut at the same time.

4. Prioritize Sleep
While the holidays are busy, this is not the time of year to skimp on sleep. Getting enough sleep will help keep your immune system healthy and make it easier to stay motivated to continue your mindful movement and healthy eating habits throughout the season.

5. Add Adaptogens
Lastly, adaptogens are a great addition to your daily wellness routine throughout the holiday season (and beyond!), as they help the body adapt and respond to external stressors that help it maintain a state of balance. A simple way to incorporate adaptogens into your day is by adding a teaspoon of Maca Powder to your morning smoothie or mixing it into your oatmeal.

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Topics: nutrition, health, Maca, superfoods, tips, plant based, healthy choices, plant protein, Navitas Organics, Superfood Blends, holidays, clean eating, party, holiday recipes

What's the Difference Between Cocoa and Cacao?

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Dec 13, 2018 7:22:15 AM

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ve likely noticed that chocolate ingredients vary between containing cocoa and Cacao and that both products are also sold individually on the shelf. Though their names are similar and they are derived from the same source, there are actually significant differences between the two—in processing, flavor and nutritional value!

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Topics: hemp, nutrition, nuts, health, superfoods, tips, plant based, healthy choices, plant protein, Navitas Organics, SuperSwaps, Hemp Seeds, clean eating, cashews, Navitas Organics Cashew Nuts, party

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