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Navitas Naturals Cacao

By Dr. Christopher Mohr, Ph.D RD

Never has there been a food that means so much to so many. Chocolate is revered by people across the world for good reason. It's botanical name, Theobroma cacao, literally translates to "Food of the Gods." There's no better time to highlight this superfood than February when Valentine's Day, American Heart Month and hot chocolate season all collide. To celebrate, Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder and Nibs are on sale for 25% off this week.

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Though chocolate has been a part of Valentine's Day for as long as we know it, its drool worthy, rich flavor also boasts some impressive health benefits to stake its mark in American Heart Month. While this is great news for chocolate lovers, it's important to distinguish the differences among the different types of chocolate. Four pumps of chocolate syrup in your latte or marshmallow filled candy bars don't quite come with the same benefits as 100% raw cacao, which is loaded with flavanols, a super healthy phytonutrient. These flavanols can support cardiovascular health, circulation, and much more.

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Let's look at some of the science behind this powerful health food and see how you can apply it to your own daily routine. A study out of the University of Barcelona found daily consumption of 40 grams of cocoa powder with skim milk for 4 weeks boosted HDL (the heart healthy cholesterol) and reduced LDL (the dangerous cholesterol).

Another recent review, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the results of 42 studies to determine overall effects on cardiovascular disease. This review supported the study above, with improvements in cholesterol, but also found reductions in blood pressure, improved circulation and improved insulin resistance. And these results may not be limited to just adults. An Australian study found 7 grams of dark chocolate (equal to about 1 Tbsp of Navitas Raw Cacao Powder) daily improved children's blood pressure as well.

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Isn't it nice to know science supports the benefits of having a little homemade hot chocolate on a cool February evening? Here's my favorite recipe:

Antioxidant Powerhouse Hot Chocolate (by Dr. Christopher Mohr, Ph.D RD)
2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Raw Cacao Powder
1 to 2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Coconut Sugar
1 Cup unsweetened, Vanilla Almond Milk (or low-fat Dairy Milk)
dash Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla extract
dash Cayenne Pepper (optional)

Mix all ingredients with milk in a medium saucepan. Heat it over low to medium heat, without causing it to boil. Stir continuously with a whisk to dissolve the sugar and distribute the cacao. Serve when hot.

Want another way to enjoy the heart healthy benefits of cacao? Try sprinkling Navitas Cacao Nibs in a high protein Greek yogurt. This adds a boost of flavor and gives a nice little crunch.

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Smoothies are a simple way to achieve optimal nutrition, and to help you keep it simple our new KISS Smoothment provides video recipes that contain no more than five ingredients. Sign up now and each Wednesday from now until February 27, 2013 we'll email you a new KISS Smoothment video recipe with smoothie advice on a variety of nutrition topics. By signing up for the Smoothment, you'll also receive product discounts and a chance to win prizes.

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In this week's KISS Smoothment recipe video, chef Julie Morris blends an Acai Athlete Smoothie, and discusses the energy benefits provided by efficient digestion. The smoothie blending process takes pressure off the stomach by lessening what it has to break down. Foods in this smoothie recipe such as acai and chia are classic long-term energy foods – each offering long-term healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants, without imposing heavily on the digestive tract. Throw in some easily-digestible protein from hemp seeds, and some simple carbs from bananas and coconut water, and you've just created some nutritious rocket fuel. Start those engines!

Navitas Naturals Acai Athlete Smoothie Navitas Naturals

Acai Athlete
2 frozen Bananas
2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Acai Powder
2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Chia Seeds
3 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Hemp Seeds
2 Cups Coconut Water

Nutrition Info: *
Recipe makes 2 servings. Total Calories Per Serving: 306; Protein: 12.95g; Carbs: 48.15g; Fat: 6.65g; and Fiber: 9g.

* Note: these calculations are approximations obtained from NutritionCalc Plus.

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As a reward for your commitment to better health via the Smoothment, we're providing a discount of 25% off the superfoods featured in this week's Kiss Smoothment video: Acai Powder; Chia Seeds; Hemp Seeds; and Coconut Water Powder. Sign up now and we'll send your coupon code.

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Weekly Prize - Answer the weekly question and you'll be automatically entered for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to spend at Grand Prize - Upload your favorite smoothie-related photo or recipe onto our Facebook contest page for a chance to win a $250 gift certificate to spend on our website.

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Last month we featured an article about our new website, and even though web design is fun and e-commerce is essential, there's nothing quite like meeting customers in person. That's why our team has an ambitious new events plan to get our superfoods in front of more people around the continent to see, taste and smell them - and to engage in a live Q&A.

This month, our superfood venues included everything from store superfood classes, yoga events to the Miami Marathon. Margaux Rathbun's nutrition class at the Whole Foods Market in Portland, Oregon is an example of a classroom setting for Navitas events. We are active in your community – visit our events section of the website for current happenings.

Navitas Naturals Julie Morris at Miami Marathon Navitas Naturals

Our events calendar for the year includes more endurance sports, and we kicked off 2013 with a bang at the Miami Marathon. Chef Julie Morris (2:00) and Bryna Gootkind (1:48) of our marketing team dished out samples and superfood information at the booth, and then they stretched their legs a bit by running the half marathon.

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We're gaining more shelf space in specialty and gourmet stores these days, and it was fun to meet some of those retailers at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. The samples of our new Navitas Power Snacks were a hit and there was also a lot of interest in our new Coconut Water Powder.

Here is our upcoming events schedule, and also stay tuned for more local events at your community natural foods retail store. The next big show that we're exhibiting at is Natural Products Expo West, March 8-10 in Anaheim, California - come visit us at Booth #2904.

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The NBC Today Show highlighted raw cacao as a top health habit to follow in 2013. During the segment, nutrition expert Joy Bauer (MS, RD) recommended Navitas Naturals Cacao Nibs. Our Nibs were also featured in Delicious Living Magazine's new cover story about chocolate.

Navitas Naturals Triathlete Magazine Cover Navitas Naturals

If you're into endurance sports, you might have noticed that Navitas Naturals acai, goji and goldenberry powders were spotlighted as the Best Buy for superfruit powders in the "Fruit For All Seasons" article in this month's Triathlete Magazine. Also gaining press is our new Coconut Water Powder which is the Editor's Choice product pick in the new February 2013 edition of Delicious Living Magazine. It was also the recipient of some kind words in the DailyCandy fitness guide.

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We believe nutrient-rich whole foods are at their best when produced by organic agriculture and minimal processing methods. That's why all our products are certified organic, and use methods such as freeze-drying to ensure maximum nutrition. Since our origins in 2003, we've been committed to socially responsible business, and our direct purchasing partnerships create and expand fair trade opportunities for farming communities around the world. We offer a vast selection of organic superfoods and information on how to enjoy them in a diet that can help energize an active and healthy lifestyle.

Offers not valid with any other offers, and do not apply to previous orders.

Navitas Naturals
15 Pamaron Way Suite A
Novato, CA, 94949

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Health claims herein have not been reviewed by the FDA.
Navitas Naturals products are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.

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