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Navitas Organics Blog

Hemp: The Eco-Friendly Superfood

Posted by Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN on Apr 19, 2019 8:25:55 AM

With the recent signing of the 2018 Farm Bill comes the legalization of industrialized Hemp production, which many farmers, environmental scientists and sustainability advocates are celebrating as an eco-friendly win for the health of our planet. This means that you will most likely see a lot more Hemp this year and beyond – in the form of clothing, food products and even plastic alternatives that make Hemp one of the most popular plants of the year.

But, what is the hype really all about when it comes to Hemp, and more importantly, is it warranted? Let’s dive in by starting with the basics.

What is Hemp?

Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant fiber that has been used for thousands of years and can be grown in a wide variety of climates and soils. In fact, Hemp is grown on almost every continent and has historically been used for paper, textiles and as an excellent source of plant protein. 

Due to the resilient versatility of Hemp, it requires no pesticides or herbicides, as it is naturally pest resistant and can even improve the health of the soil in which it’s planted. This is a huge win for our food system as so much of our soil today continues to be degraded and eroded from years of conventional crops and farming practices. Since Hemp can be planted in many areas where other food crops are not capable of growing, it supports the soil’s health and suppresses weeds, which makes it an excellent rotation crop for organic farmers. 

A Plant-Based Superfood Hero

While there are many environmental benefits to Hemp, it’s also an incredibly nutrient-dense superfood that is full of antioxidants, protein and essential minerals. Hemp contains all nine essential amino acids, which makes it a complete plant-based protein and an excellent source for vegans and vegetarians. It’s also an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids (something we often don’t get enough of here in the states), which are essential for healthy cell maintenance and development. For these reasons and more, Hemp is the nutrition powerhouse that you’ll want to add into your diet if you aren’t already. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to easily incorporate it into your everyday – through the full range of Navitas Organics products, including Hemp SeedsHemp Powder and a number of balanced superfood snacks.

An Eco-Friendly Plastic Replacement

Plastic is a HUGE problem facing our world today and the need for biodegradable, non-petroleum based plastic products has never been more pressing. Our environment simply cannot sustain the demand and rate at which we are using plastic, which means that we need an eco-friendly alternative. Luckily for us, Hemp serves as part of the solution. 

Because Hemp is such a fibrous plant and is roughly made up of 80 percent cellulose fiber, it makes for a perfect alternative to petroleum-based plastic products (which also require cellulose). While Hemp-based plastic products have been around for decades, the technology surrounding these biodegradable plastic alternatives has greatly improved and is picking up momentum in industries looking to move away from petroleum-based plastics altogether.

A Sustainable Clothing Solution

While you may feel like you’re just starting to hear more about Hemp-based clothing, this amazing plant has actually been used around the world for thousands of years to produce textiles – from bed linens and clothing to rope and canvas. Today, Hemp-based clothing is a great option for those looking to avoid synthetic fabrics and the harmful chemicals that are widely used throughout the conventional cotton industry. You may even find that Hemp is being used in combination with other natural fibers to create a durable piece of clothing that also has the soft texture commonly associated with cotton or bamboo. 

So, whether you’re adding Hemp Seeds to your daily smoothie, wearing Hemp clothing or reducing your plastic use with some biodegradable Hemp products, you will definitely see a whole lot of Hemp this year. But, it's no secret that here at Navitas, we're no strangers to Hemp. It's been one of our staple superfoods in the form of seeds and powder for more than 10 years! And we're especially excited about the next evolution of Hemp in both the health and wellness world as well as here at Navitas: Superfood Shots with 20mg hemp CBD. 

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Topics: wellness, nutrition, blog, health, superfoods, sustainability, plant based, healthy living, Navitas Organics, CBD, hemp CBD

Here's the #RealDeal on Inflammation

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Apr 11, 2019 7:45:10 AM

Blotchy skin. Back pain. Brain fog. Seasonal allergies. As different as they may all seem, these undesirable symptoms are often due to the same root cause: inflammation.

Inflammation itself isn’t evil. In fact, inflammation is not only an unavoidable part of life – in many ways, it’s very useful and your body actually depends on it. When you get sick or injured, your body uses inflammation as a healing response – a kind of protective measure you may experience as localized redness, swelling, heat (or fever), stiffness and pain – by sending more nourishment and immune-boosting activity to the area in need of healing. This kind of inflammation is temporary and a critical part of your body’s ability to regain a healthy homeostasis. But increasingly, many of us are experiencing a different form of inflammation: chronic inflammation.

Dangers of Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation isn’t just that headache you get while fighting off a cold or the swelling on your knee after bumping into a table. Rather, it’s the headaches you seem to get many days out of the month or the way your knee causes you to wince as you jump rope or walk down a flight of stairs. Chronic inflammation is a kind of continued fight response – one where your body attacks its own tissues. As briefly mentioned, this condition is often the root cause of a host of health problems, including autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease. In some cases, low-level whole-body inflammation may occur, which may be less perceivable on a day-to-day basis initially, but over time, may tax your body into a state of very serious age-related disease, including neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, as well as cardiovascular disorders and cancer. Needless to say, neither chronic inflammation nor whole-body inflammation is considered a healthy level of inflammation. So, how do you know if you’re at risk?

Common Causes
Unfortunately, more and more individuals are experiencing this detrimental potency of inflammation. There are many factors that contribute to these elevated levels, including environmental toxins, stress, lifestyle factors such as smoking and excess alcohol, as well as genetics. The good news is, these inflammation issues don’t happen overnight, and are largely preventable and even potentially reversible. In fact, adjusting your dietary choices alone can make an immense difference on your inflammation levels overall and improve how you feel.

Protective Practices
Eating foods that are lower on the inflammatory scale can be helpful as a day-to-day protective practice. These kinds of foods include vegetables like greens, roots and tubers as well as lower-sugar fruits like berries. Healthy fats are also extremely important (especially omega 3s and monounsaturated fats), so foods like nuts, seeds, avocados and olives are great choices. Leaning on unprocessed, plant-based proteins is often recommended as well.

What’s more, some foods are not only lower on the inflammatory scale, they’re actually anti-inflammatory or capable of reducing excess inflammation in your body. Many antioxidants contain this property, so seek out antioxidant-rich superfoods like Goldenberries, Turmeric, blueberries, Cacao and Chia. Anti-inflammation properties are also a big part of what makes CBD (cannabinoids) so powerful. CBD has been shown to be an effective element of pain treatment and appears to reduce unnecessary inflammatory actions in immune cells. By combining these CBD compounds with other anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as Goji or Matcha, Navitas Superfood Shots can be an especially powerful tool in helping you lower inflammation as part of a balanced diet.

Remember, an anti-inflammatory diet doesn’t have to just be warding of disease, it can also be a delicious, energizing and enjoyable one as well! Still not convinced a plant-based diet is beneficial? Click here for a deeper dive into the ways it helps your mind, body (and the planet!)

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Topics: wellness, nutrition, blog, health, superfoods, plant based, healthy living, Navitas Organics, clean eating, CBD, inflammation, hemp CBD

3 Ways to Start Your Day Without Sugar

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Mar 19, 2019 7:57:11 AM

From packaged cereals to doughnuts to toast covered in jam, traditional breakfast foods are notoriously packed with sugar. Some people think a sugar rush in the morning is just what they need to feel energized and ready for the day. But, eating loads of sugar for breakfast can actually slow you down and set you up for bad habits all day long.

Many people crave sugar in the morning because they have low blood sugar levels when they first wake up (this is especially true among adults with diabetes). Morning sugar cravings are also the result of not getting quality sleep the night before or simply because you’ve established a routine over time of eating sugary breakfast foods. However, eating these sweet foods day after day, and particularly right after waking up, can lead to some pretty dire health consequences. Numerous research studies have linked excess sugar in the diet to health concerns such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased risk of heart attack, lackluster skin and weight gain...just to name a few! Sugary foods also have some addictive properties, which means you are more likely to crave even more sweet snacks throughout the day if you start your day off with sugar.

But, fear not! There are plenty of low-sugar alternatives you can add to your morning menu, and with a little planning, ensure your breakfast meals are as healthy as they are delicious. Here are three easy ways to start your day without sugar:

1. Veggie Scrambles
There are so many amazing savory breakfast options that cut sugar out of your morning routine entirely. Veggie scrambles are high among them: tasty, filling, quick and easy to make, these one-pan dishes nix the sugar and can help you tackle your daily requirement of vegetables to start your day on the very best note.

Scrambles often have a protein-rich base of eggs, but you can also use crumbled tofu for a fully plant-based version. Just stir-fry a mixture of onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach or any other veggies you love, add eggs or tofu, and finish off with any seasonings you're craving until cooked through. Top it all off with added superfoods to give your veggie scramble extra flavor and health benefits using versatile varieties such as Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds and even low-sugar Goji Berries.Vanilla

2. Toast with the Most
Long gone are the days when toast is boring, dull and tasteless. Today’s toast creations feature lots of healthy and delicious toppings that fuel your body with nutrients and protein instead of sugar.

Toast is also an excellent place to get your daily dose of healthy fats with sliced or mashed avocado, coconut oil, olive oil or nut butters. Add some sliced tomatoes, shaved radishes or marinated mushrooms if you'd like, too. And of course, toast is also a wonderful opportunity to start your day with superfoods: try textural and aesthetically pleasing toppings like seeds, nuts, sprouts and spices.

3. Low-Sugar Smoothies
Low-sugar smoothies in the morning are perfect on days you’re rushed or just want something satisfyingly sweet to take on-the-go. In fact, you can make your morning smoothies savory or sweet using Navitas Organics Protein & Greens Essential Blend. This comprehensive plant-based protein powder has a whopping 20 grams of protein per serving and also packs in antioxidant- and mineral-rich superfoods with no sugar (the same applies to the Vanilla and Cacao varieties in case you’re wondering). The Daily Superfood Boosts are also free of added sugars and work great with a smoothie base of sweet potatoes, avocado or even low-sugar fruits like strawberries and blueberries.

With all these amazingly delicious flavors and effortless health benefits, you’re not likely to miss sugar a bit with your new-and-improved breakfast routine! Need more ideas for healthy, low-sugar or sugar-free #SuperStarts? Head to our Recipe Library for all the goods.

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

Eat These 3 Superfoods for Glowing Skin—No, Really!

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Feb 13, 2019 8:23:38 AM

As the years speed by and the inevitable effects of aging ensue, you’re likely to begin looking for ways to hold onto wrinkle-free skin, untouched by time. While eating a clean diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising regularly, getting ample sleep and drinking plenty of water are the obvious foundations for getting there, there’s one more critical action that can help you continue on your path to aging gracefully – both inside and out: eating superfoods that specifically nourish your skin!

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Topics: hacks, beauty, blog, health, superfoods, tips

How We Use Business as a Force for Good and What it Means for You

As B Corp Month and the start of February kick off, we at Navitas thought this would be a great opportunity to discuss our commitment to a movement we wholeheartedly believe in and are proud to be a part of. In the words of Ghandi, we must all seek to “Be the Change that we wish to see in the world” – for if not, what hope is there for future generations? This is the inspiration to our commitment to B Corp.

Conventional business wisdom is often narrow in its focus on profit-driven outcomes, frequently leaving commitments to sustainability and longevity behind. But we believe that considering a long-term, sustainability-based vision of a company can create resiliency and loyalty, while also securing profits for the lifetime of the brand. Being a B Corp certified company is part of how we do this. Our hope is to change that short-sighted mentality by showing firsthand that strong values and a commitment to our stakeholders; customers, employees, partners, environment and society can be profitable and reformative.

So, what does B Corp mean? It means we’re held to standards by an unbiased, third-party entity (B Corp) that holds us accountable for our impacts on social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance our profit with our purpose. At Navitas Organics, that means our commitment to Fairtrade, our commitment to organic and non-GMO products, our partnerships with environmental organizations such as A Growing Culture, our commitments to healthy living and non-profits like Ceres Project and Conscious Kitchen, and last but not least, our amazing Wellness Program for our employees.

We’re in the midst of a cultural change that’s using business as a way to transform the economic engine. Consumers are the ones that play the most important role, as they hold the power to tip the scale and demand business and government accountability. Labels certifications like B Corp and so many others help consumers make the right decisions. “The B Corp community works toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. By harnessing the power of business, B Corps use profits and growth as means to a greater end: positive impact for their employees, communities and the environment.” As leaders in the superfood category, we want to make sure we’re using our business as a beacon for positive change and showing that corporate social responsibility can be achieved while making profits.

We were thrilled when we became B Corp certified two and a half years ago, but it was no easy walk in the park to get there. There were many challenges and lessons learned along the way to getting our assessment completed and approved, but looking back now, we can truly appreciate the level of detail and scrutiny involved in this process, because it helps create a level of transparency and authenticity that consumers and all shareholders can trust.
There’s so much energy out there surrounding this new model of business thinking and we’re inspired by the growing numbers of companies joining the movement. The future is bright and we’re so proud that we can take a hand in shaping a brighter tomorrow.

Not sure if your favorite brand is B Corp Certified? Click here to search the directory.

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Topics: agriculture, blog, health, superfoods, sustainability, healthy living, healthy choices, Navitas Organics, research, B Corp, economy, business

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