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Navitas Organics Blog

5 Superfood Trends You Need to Know in 2019

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Jan 8, 2019 8:14:58 AM

If you're currently using superfoods, you're already in the know of some of the best wellness tricks of the trade. Here's what to look for in the upcoming year and how to make the most out of your healthy efforts.

Simplification with Specialty Blends
Long gone is the dubious time where learning about which superfoods to use – and in what perfect combination – meant locking yourself up in the library with mountain-sized stacks of research books. These days, there's a vast amount of scientific exploration on how various individual nutrients (and the superfoods that contain them) can work together in harmony to produce a greater whole effect…and this summation has been realized in a variety of easy-to-use products. For example, every serving of Navitas Organics Protein & Greens Essential Superfood Blend offers 20 grams of plant-based protein, the healthy benefits of green vegetables, antioxidant-rich superfoods and even probiotics to help you digest everything. It's no wonder they're on the rise: specialty blends make eating healthier simpler than ever with a one-and-done approach to nutrition that's immensely attractive for those with busy lifestyles.

Prioritizing a Happy Gut
As it turns out, your stomach does far more than serve as just a biological fuel tank, alerting you of “empty” or “full” status. Your gut, and specifically the microbiome (which is like the inner environment of your gut), is of increasing interest to many health professionals as a key element of whole-body health, affecting everything from your immunity prowess to your energy to your mood. Furthermore, a healthy microbiome is key to properly absorb and utilize all other foods and nutrients you consume, and without a healthy gut balance, your healthy efforts literally go to waste. That's why you'll often see prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, as well as fiber – all core components of a happy gut – included in so many Navitas products, such as the Daily Superfood Detox Boost or the Vanilla & Greens Essential Superfood Blend.

Choosing the “Quality Matters” Credo
Marketing can be pretty savvy at times, and while superfoods have become more popular, it's sometimes the uses of these ingredients that have not always been so credible. Often scribbled onto packages of products with high amounts of sugar, additives or other highly processed ingredients, some superfood products certainly don't offer the kind of health benefits most of us would hope for. But consumers are wising up, and there's a significant uptick in truly conscious products that are clean from start to finish and packed with functional foods every step of the way. Of course, Navitas has been a “quality matters” company since day one, which is why you'll find that every ingredient is always 100 percent organic, minimally processed and rigorously reviewed for quality – and without added sugars, fillers or artificial additives, of course!

Food for Thought
Newly emerging is a class of superfoods and healthy ingredients that can actually help improve the performance of your mind. As mindfulness, meditation, productivity, mood and mental health continue to be a more widely discussed point of overall health, new foods are rising to the surface that can help the process of enhancing these cognitive points of interest, too. While many superfoods are considered in the “best-of-class” of brain foods already (such as Acai and Chia), Navitas Organics' Daily Superfood Focus Boost is rapidly becoming a fan favorite for helping build a better mind and enjoying a more optimum state.

Going Beyond Smoothies
If you love superfoods, chances are you're a fan of smoothies, too. And why not? Smoothies are undeniably once of the easiest and healthiest ways to incorporate so many of our most choice power ingredients. But with superfood's rise of popularity, we're also seeing an increase in culinary creativity, and it's safe to say superfoods are no longer just reserved for the blender. The New Year promises an influx in this trend, taking superfoods to new, delicious heights. Look out for irresistible superfood items you can make and buy like bars, lattes, soups, salads, dressings, dips and desserts. We have a feeling superfood cuisine is just getting started!

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

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

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

6 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Happiness

Posted by Julie Morris, Navitas Organics Executive Chef on Aug 23, 2018 8:27:34 AM

At first look, happiness may seem like a subjective quality: who's to say that your amazing new pair of shoes doesn't actually make the world seem a little bit brighter? But, while we may all have our individual joyful quirks, some things have been biologically proven to enhance mood.

1. Meditate
The meditation-happiness relationship has been long documented, but more recently, it's become science-backed as well. One such study offered 60 employees a seven-week meditation course consisting of 15-20 minutes of mediation a day. In comparison to the non-meditating employees, results showed the meditators experienced an increase in positive emotions that included a clearer purpose in life, a feeling of social support and even a decrease in physical pain from illness symptoms. For such a simple practice that can be done anywhere – free of charge – it's no wonder mediation is quickly rising in popularity in modern society.

2. Exercise Regularly 
Have you ever experienced a “running high” or felt particularly elated after completing a difficult session of as many reps as possible (AMRAP) – even while exhausted? You're not alone! The human body was meant to move, and we're actually designed with psychological support to increase biological motivation for activity. Exercise releases all the most prominent mood-related neurotransmitters: serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine (and epinephrine). This healthy good-mood ride was likely a way to encourage physical activity from an evolutionary standpoint, but today it can be used the other way around, too: getting a little sweat on to promote a better headspace.

3. Eat Some Chocolate
If you've ever made the claim that eating chocolate makes you happy, it turns out you're scientifically right! Many studies have been published that show chocolate's effect on mood, which is due to its unique phytochemical composition, including components like theobromine and flavanols. Chocolate even contains a special compound called anandamide, often called “the bliss molecule.” The result is that chocolate (and in particular, Cacao), stimulates endorphins and provides precursor nutrition for mood-boosting neurotransmitters. 

4. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep and depression go hand-in-hand, but the opposite is also true. Of course, you feel better from a great night of zzz's, but your brain actually functions on an entirely new happy level, too. And it's not just duration, it's regularity as well. One 2017 study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that “week-long irregular sleep schedules are significantly associated with lower self-reported morning and evening happiness, healthiness, and calmness during the week even after controlling for weekly average sleep duration,” said lead author Akane Sano, PhD. So, set a bedtime – and stick to it – to naturally broaden your smile.

5. Give to Others
The saying “it's better to give than to receive” is true on many levels, but can include a direct correlation to personal, lasting happiness. Studies have shown that “giving” stimulates the same parts of the brain activated by food and sex, indicating that generosity is a hard-wired component of our brain. Helping others is a short-cut way to not only be of service, but to help yourself in the process as well.

6. Enjoy Your Furry (or Non-Furry) Friends 
Why does just looking at a picture of a puppy bring a smile to your face – even on a difficult day? Animals can help improve mental health so dramatically, there's even a medical term for this kind of animal assistance: pet therapy. In one study, as reported by TIME, “a stressed-out group of adults were told to pet a rabbit, a turtle or their toy forms. The toys had no effect. But stroking a living creature, whether hard-shelled or furry, relieved anxiety. It worked for people regardless of whether they initially said they liked animals.” Similar studies even found that having pet crickets helped reduce depression! When it comes to balanced mental health, nature wins again.

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Topics: wellness, education, workout, happiness, science, Live Life Positive, positive vibes, mental health

5 Tips for Spotting Questionable Nutrition Advice

Posted by Arthur Mullin on Sep 19, 2017 2:18:35 AM

Healthy eating: it’s simple, right? Since feeding ourselves is such a fundamental part of life, one would hope that doing it well would be straightforward. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it's anything but. An ingredient that’s celebrated one day is demonized the next; nutritional advice changes over time, even from the same “expert” sources; and nutritional articles regularly report conflicting information. How are we supposed to know what to believe?

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Topics: livelifepositive, nutrition, blog, health, healthy, science

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