image credit: Evert Jan 

A Booming (and Growing) Industry 

Do you have a special place in your heart for chocolate? If so, you are in very good company. Chocolate is a multi-billion dollar global industry, and as the health benefits of dark chocolate (think antioxidants and heart-healthy flavonols) get more mainstream attention, consumer demand is growing at an unprecedented rate. By year 2017, the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service expects that global sales will reach $143 billion. While most people consume chocolate without thinking twice about the industry that they are supporting, that innocent looking bar of chocolate may in fact have a (very) dirty little secret….

Starting from the Beginning: Theobroma Cacao

A joint refers to where two or more bones are connected together. Joints can be movable or rigid. They are important in ensuring bending of knees and elbows, movement of hips and also bending your back. Joint health ensures that bones do not rub against each other.  

Between the joints is a cartilage and synovial fluid that prevents friction between the bones. Healthy joints therefore help in providing efficiency of the cartilage in allowing bones to glide over each other. Poor joint health results in wear and tear of the cartilage and can later cause arthritis. It is therefore necessary to ensure joint health to protect against such complications. Below are some of the foods and nutrients that are essential in maintaining joint health.


Studies have showed that broccoli together with other vegetables help maintain health of the joints.  Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that blocks enzymes that destroy joints thus inhibiting joint inflammation. Vitamin K is another component found in broccoli. An increased intake of broccoli leads to high amounts of vitamin K in the body thus slowing down wear and tear of the joints. Joint soother contains compounds of sulforaphane thus its use helps block joint inflammation and damage of the cartilage.


Omega-3 fats are mostly found in walnuts, flax seeds, salmon and sardines. These fats reduce inflammation by reducing the rate of production of enzymes that cause cartilage erosion. Reduction of cartilage erosion leads to little or no friction between joints of the bones hence less pain is experienced. Omega-3 fats, together with joint soother formula, play a major part in reducing rheumatoid arthritis related symptoms; this is mainly showed by patients experiencing less fatigue, reduced joint tenderness and swelling and also maximum reduction of body pain. Use of omega -3s from nuts and fish oils reduces depression caused by arthritis by boosting antidepressants effects. Omega-3 fatty acids also help in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases which can be a result of rheumatoid arthritis.


For many years ginger has been used in the maintenance of joint health. According to Journal of medicine Food ginger plays a very important role of acting as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant by mainly acting as a blood thinner. According to Altman, “research shows that ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level.” This is because it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It is advisable to consult a nutritionist before taking ginger as a medication to avoid excessive intake and also to avoid the reverse of the effects of the other drugs you might be taking. Correct intake of ginger combines with the three components of joint soother to help nourish and support joint cartilage.


Vitamins which are essential in maintaining joint health include vitamin A, C and E. They are usually grouped under antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in fighting against free radicals that damage joints and also cause joint pain. Vitamin C can be obtained from fruits such as papaya and vegetables such as broccoli while vitamin E is mainly found in avocados and cereals. Avocado is one of the ingredients that have been used in the manufacture of Cosamin ASU 180 caps, an advanced formula for managing health joints.  Vitamin E extracts in Cosamin ASU 180 caps combine with chondroitin sulfate in joint soother to promote joint health.


There are other foods in addition to the ones mentioned above that help maintain joint health. These foods include sour cherries, parsley, pineapple, turmeric and green tea. Putting together an anti-inflammatory diet is the best solution towards maintaining joint health. In addition to enjoying an anti-inflammatory diet, it is advisable that one avoids foods such as meat, foods containing gluten and also caffeinated beverages.


Author Bio:

Ella James is an aspiring author who is pursuing Health Services Administration degree from St. Petersburg College. She is an active contributor to Consumer Health Digest . Her interests include reading and writing about Health Conditions, Fitness, Diet and Weight loss. Get connected with her on Facebook and Twitter.

As one of the busiest months of the year draws nearer (December), Thanksgiving marks an incredible opportunity for a valued shift in perspective. Irregardless of what type of diet you follow, the traditions you enjoy (or don't), or whether you spend the day with a large group of people or just a few close friends or loved ones, an attitude of gratitude can bring you into a state of more love, joy, connection and receptivity to the blessings in your life. 


1. Like Attracts Like/The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction states that the universe is in a constant state of receptivity and reflection, giving back to us that which is in a resonant vibration to our current thoughts, words, and actions. Negativity brings more negativity, and positivity brings more positivity. If you're sending the Universe messages that you are full of gratitude, you'll get back more to be grateful for.


Raw, stone ground nut butters make an excellent way to fuel and nourish your body, as they are rich with healthy fats and proteins for a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. They're also straight up delicious and satisfying in a way that is hard to trump, especially for something so simple, natural, and minimally processed.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying nut butters in the time tested and ever-classic PB&J (or our personal favorite: the AB&J - A for Almond), if this has been the limits of your nut butter exploration, there is literally an entire world of deliciousness and versatility for you to explore!

Get your Dastony butters ready for dipping, dunking, mixing and drizzling.

(Pssst - there's a coupon code at the end...)

1. Instant Nut Milks with Zero Additives

As awareness rises on the often times detrimental health impacts that certain processed food additives like carrageenan can have on our bodies, more people are reading ingredient lists and are looking for alternatives to their favorite dairy less milk alternatives. Nut butter to the rescue! Simply blend 1-2 TBS of your favorite Dastony nut butter (think almond butter, coconut, cashew, or hazelnut) with 8oz of pure water or coconut water and you've just made instant nut milk in a flash with ZERO emulsifiers, sugars, salts, flavors, or processed funk of any kind.

2. Turn Breakfast Into Art 

The month of November is Vegan Awareness Month, and we couldn't let this moment pass without shedding some light on a few of the profound benefits of plant based eating. While a surge of high profile celebrity personalities vocalizing their vegan ways has certainly helped get the message out to the masses, the focus seems to primarily revolve around weight loss, detox, and outward appearances. While reaching an ideal, healthy body weight (whether its gaining or losing weight) is definitely feasible (and possibly more effortless and more sustainable) with the help of a vegan diet, there are other tremendous benefits that happen to be a little less obvious to the naked eye, and may even question what many of us grow up believing about diet, nutrition, and the pressing issues we face in the world today.


1. Plants Are Great For The Bones 

The fact of the matter is that dairy products do contain calcium, however, dairy is acidic in pH when it's digested by the human body. To buffer this acidity, the body draws alkaline minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, directly from where they are most plentiful - our bones. Because of this, the calcium found within animal products is not the ideal why to get your dose. Broccoli, bok choy, chinese cabbage, collards, kale, sea vegetables, chickpeas, black strap molasses, sesame seeds , and chia seeds all offer high levels of calcium in an alkalinizing form; they build calcium stores in the body without simultaneously taking it away.* 


2. Plants Build Strong Muscles 

While there is no doubt in anyone's mind that meat is a source of concentrated protein, the body's ability to absorb said protein is dependent on a lot of factors, most notably its ability to actually break it down fully into simpler amino acids, assimilate it, and utilize it to build and regenerate human tissue. Due to its complex protein structure, animal protein takes a lot of energy to digest. Plant proteins are easier for our bodies to break down, and contrary to popular knowledge, many sources even contain all 9 essential amino acids (the ones that our bodies can't synthesize on their own). Here are a few great examples of complete protein sources: chia seeds, hemp seeds , chlorella, spirulina, golden berries, goji berries, fermented soy products, buckwheat and quinoa. Consuming complete proteins with each meal isn't necessary, rather eating a variety of different protein sources, in adequate levels to meet your own unique protein requirements, is the key to ensuring your body gets the amino acids it needs.

While there are many different issues that can ail the human body, there is ONE in particular that can be found at the root of all disease: chronic inflammation. While it might seem illogical and oversimplified to state such a thing, medical research has proven that where there is disease, chronic, low level inflammation can be found snuggled right up next to it. In fact, the negative symptoms that people experience with disease are simply an affect of an inflammatory response. From Celiacs, to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, auto-immune diseases like lupus, and even cancer, an inflammatory mechanism is at the root of the uncomfortable, painful or downright devastating symptoms that people experience.

While chronic disease is the most extreme of systemic inflammation's symptoms, most of us are dealing with inflammation's affects, albeit on a perhaps smaller level. Toxic load in our environment, certain medications, hormone imbalance, poor diet, chronic exposure to allergens, and even good old stress can all lead to an inflammatory response which may cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal disturbances, skin flare ups or rashes, headaches, and low immunity or vitality. There's no possible way to pardon yourself from ALL inflammation, nor would you want to as it's actually a part of your bodies vital healing mechanism , however we could all stand to benefit from lessening chronic inflammation in our bodies and our lives.

Presenting: Curcuma Longa, aka Turmeric

When it comes to inflammation-busting super stars, one in particular stands far above the rest in terms of well researched and documented efficacy, and that is turmeric. You may know turmeric as a brightly colored yellowish powder, and have quite possibly even enjoyed it in the form of an Indian curry dish. Fresh turmeric is a little less common, and actually looks a lot like ginger in both size and shape (it's a close botanical relative), however one characteristic in particular makes it stand out: it's tell-tale bright orange hue. One thing is for certain, turmeric is a rhizome with some serious benefits!

How does it work?

Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric that is responsible for its highly anti-inflammatory affect. Curcumin also acts a powerful antioxidant. The healing benefits of turmeric are nothing new, in fact it is one of the key remedies prescribed in ancient Ayurvedic medicine to treat inflammation, extend life, and protect the body against disease. Curcumin is HIGHLY anti-inflammatory, and in the right concentrations, even parallels the effectiveness of many anti-inflammatory drugs. Basically, curcumin works to block NF-kB , a molecule that travels into the nuclei of our cells, and triggers genes related to inflammation. This means that the curcumin within turmeric root works to fight inflammation at a molecular level; fascinating stuff!

How to get the most bang for your superfood buck

While taking a more concentrated supplement is recommended for those with a chronic health issues, eating a high quality organic turmeric powder, or better yet, the fresh root direct from the market, can still benefit your health in powerful ways. It's very important to note that curcumin is fat soluble, so combining your turmeric with some form of healthy fat, such as coconut oil or butter, is critical.

3 delicious RAW turmeric recipes!

Golden Coconut Turmeric Mylk

Sweet and creamy, comforting, warming, healing, and a great alternative to a cup of hot chocolate when your sweet tooth strikes. 

8oz homemade unsweetened almond milk
8oz coconut water  - we recommend fresh or Harmless Harvest brand
1.5 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 pinch Himalayan salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs gently melted Dastony whole coconut butter
1/2 to 1 tsp raw honey - optional- the coconut water gives it a nice mellow sweetness 
Gently melt your Dastony coconut butter until liquid. Blend all ingredients together and heat over low heat on the stove top until it reaches your desired temperature. To keep this 100% raw, simply heat until its warm to the touch but not hot.
Garnish with an extra dash of turmeric or a sprinkle of nutmeg, cinnamon, or pumpkin pie spice. 
Cold Busting Turmeric Elixir - aka Liquid Gold

This immune-boosting concoction will kick any cold or flu bug right out the door as soon as it hits.



October 28th is National Wild Foods Day, hence it's the perfect time to explore the WILDLY (pun intended) under-rated benefits of eating wild foods.

What is a wild food?

While most of our food supply is brought to the table via modern farming methods - wild foods grow freely without intervention by man. They don't require fertilization, irrigation, pruning, pampering and assistance to propagate; on the contrary, they thrive completely without any fuss whatsoever. These are plants who have stood the test of time, adapting to shifts in their environment, and growing more robust as a result. The term "wild food" can encompass many different types of plants from leaves and shoots to berries, nuts, fungi and even types of sap. Many common "weeds" that society tells us we need to pull out of the soil and dispose of (or worse yet, spray with herbicides) are actually completely edible, and not only that, they are are often packed full of nutrition and medicinal properties.

Our Top 5 Wild Edibles

1. Bitter Greens - Don't toss out those weeds - make a salad instead! Many of the greens growing with robust vigor in your garden or back yard can be added right to your salad bowl, and with amazing benefits to your health (more on the nutritional benefits below)! Think dandelion, purslane, lamb's quarter's, mallow, watercress, horsetail, nettles, and red clover.

2. Sea Vegetables - Sea vegetables are a delicious and easy way to add a very well-rounded array of trace minerals into your diet. Depending on where you live, you may not be able to harvest these yourself,  so opt for sustainably harvested sea vegetables which are thoroughly tested for contaminants.

3. Wild Nuts - Tree nuts offer delicious flavor, a hearty texture, and valuable oils and nutrients. See if the following types are available in your region, check when they come into season, and try out some foraging: chestnuts, filberts (hazelnuts), black or white walnuts, beech nuts, and hickory nuts. If you find a tree but it happens to be on someone else's land, ask them permission to harvest - they'll likely be more than happy to let you! Fun Fact: brazil nuts, while not local for most of us (unless you live in South America!) are most often harvested from the wild, not from plantations. 

4. Wild Berries- While also dependent on where you live and the season, wild berries can be the most abundant, most delicious, and definitely juiciest of the available wild foods. Think blackberries, huckleberries, salmon berries, elderberries, black cherries, wild strawberries, wild blueberries, snowberries, dewberries, and more!


It's nearly Halloween and you know what that means - the American populace is drowning in candy, and not just any candy: overly processed, refined sugar-laden, and nutritionally devoid candy with a list of ingredients that are downright...scary (and not in the fun Halloween kind of way)! If you're not actually eating it you're likely still a walking target for marketing- especially at the grocery store as bags of colorful candy literally jump off the shelf at you haunted house-style.

While there is nothing wrong with indulging your sweet tooth in a conscious, balanced way, the issue is in the unhealthy non-food additives and highly processed ingredients that have no benefit (and can actually be quite harmful) to the body. What should you be watching out for? Refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, chemical-based "natural and artificial flavors, GMO-tainted dairy and/or soy/corn products, cacao or cane sugar sourced through unethical labor practices (non organic and non fair trade), and another ingredient you may not even be aware of: confectioners glaze - the main topic of our blog today.

What is confectioner's glaze?

Confectioner's glaze, also known as pharmaceutical glaze, resinous glaze, pure food glaze and natural glaze, is used in the food industry to create that shiny, tell-tale candy-coated sheen. But get this - it also shows up in other, less likely places. Shockingly, it's used in the hardware industry, as an ingredient known as "shellac" - a chemical secreted by a type of Asian scale insect (yes, you read that right), used to seal and varnish floors and also coat over the counter drugs and pharmaceuticals. It was even used to make vinyl records back in the day. Not so "candy-coated" after-all, and definitely not something you want anywhere near your mouth.

Conscious candy to the rescue!

Rawmio's mission has always been to create completely decadent and bliss-inducing chocolate treats that ANY chocolate connoisseur will love, not just those that prefer healthy options. Rawmio chocolate is made using artisan, old-world methods of chocolatiering, such as low temperature stone grinding, which preserves the vital nutrition found within raw cacao. In case you weren't aware, cacao is LOADED with antioxidants and minerals! Rawmio's ingredients are always organic and fair trade, with their cacao coming directly from small farm cooperatives in Peru, and coconut sugar coming from sustainable farms in Bali, where workers are paid fairly. And it's not just the planet, farmers, and workers who benefit, your body does too through Rawmio's commitment to pure, whole food ingredients and simple formulations that are packed with nutrition.

Chocolate tumbled bliss

You can now enjoy chocolate coated yumminess without the harmful ingredients like confectioners glaze! Rawmio's timeless technique of chocolate tumbling allows each crunchy sprouted nut, chewy cherry, crispy nib and scrumptious macaroon to be perfectly coated in a candy shell-like coating of raw chocolate - no glazes required.

Pictured: Rawmio's Chocolate Covered Sprouted Hazelnuts and Macaroons

Nothing proves a summer well spent like a glowing tan that lingers well into the first few weeks of fall. However, for many of us, summer's golden glow might be fading fast, leaving behind another kind of gift; thirsty and flaky skin that is crying out for some TLC. While we can't help make your tan last all year, we can definitely help you get your glow back.

Start with your insides

The intense heat and UV rays of summer can zap every ounce of moisture out of your skin. While your first instinct may be to start piling on the moisturizer (while praying for a little miracle), your best bet is to focus on internal hydration. Our skin cells draw moisture and nutrients from internally, so be sure to drink up, and watch as your skin cells naturally plump up with hydration. Not a fan of plain water? Try adding organic fruit slices such as citrus or berry, or herbs such as basil, mint, lemon balm or rosemary to add flavor.

Unfortunately, UV rays can do more than just dehydrate the skin, they can also cause free radical damage and premature aging through the breakdown of our natural collagen and elastin fibers (the elasticity of our skin). Antioxidants to the rescue!

Load up on superfoods known to be have plentiful antioxidants! Antioxidants help our bodies to repair free radical damage. Here are 10 of our favorites:

Stop, drop, and exfoliate

Before your skin can actually absorb any topical moisture, you'll need to slough off that outer layer of dead skin. While summer is not an ideal time to do intensive exfoliation treatments (exfoliation can make the skin more susceptible to sun damage), fall time is ideal. We recommend keeping it gentle; exfoliating 1-2 times per week is plenty. Utilizing an organic fruit enzyme or mild alpha hydroxy acid-based peel is ideal. Stay away from scrubs as they often contain abrasive particles that may damage or irritate the skin. Once the dead skin is dissolved it's time to soak up the MOISTURE!

Topical moisture

To plump up skin cells quickly, water-binding serums or gels are great. Look for ingredients such as aloe vera, sodium PCA, or hyalouronic acid - all of which lock up moisture and bind it to the skin so that it doesn't immediately evaporate away. Seal in the moisture with a more emollient oil-based cream, such as Rawtella Skin Cream (pictured above), which also contains probiotics to help balance and restore a depleted complexion.

Utliizing a facial mask 1-2 times per week can also give the skin an amazing boost, and is the perfect step to do right after exfoliation (hello at-home spa day!). Use Manuka honey with aloe vera gel mixed in (fresh aloe if possible, but if not find the purest brand possible), or try our Rawtella Facial Mask recipe below, which will leave your skin butter soft and dewy.

Topical nourishment

While we're all aware of the damaging effects of too much unprotected sun exposure, its hard not to soak up all of that glorious sunshine while we can. To help protect and restore our skin, It's best to hit the antioxidants from the inside AND outside.

Here are 5 powerful topical antioxidant ingredients to look for in your skin care products.


If you spend any of your time on food related blogs or social media you've likely noticed a trend: MATCHA MADNESS. Matcha green tea seems to be everywhere and in everything from baked goods and breakfast cereals to raw chocolates and smoothie bowls. And then there's the matcha latte. A quick #matchalatte search on Instagram will reveal thousands of artsy, frothy, and perfectly manicured matcha latte images. Those in the know…are drinking their matcha (and capturing it with a smart phone!)

What is it?

Matcha powder comes from green tea leaves (Camellia sinensis) that have been covered from the light prior to picking (to increase chlorophyll levels) then stone ground into an extremely refined and delicate powder. Instead of steeping green tea leaves in hot water then disposing of the leaves, matcha utilizes the whole leaf, retaining 100% of the valuable nutrition within it. In fact, one serving of matcha powder is equivalent nutrient-wise to roughly 10 cups of traditionally steeped green tea. In laymen's terms - you get more bang for your buck. Speaking of nutrients…

Antioxidants galore!

Matcha is awash with potent plant compounds called polyphenols which benefit our bodies in amazing ways: they fight free radical damage, protect our cells, decrease inflammation, have been shown to protect against heart disease , lower blood pressure, and slow the aging process. Matcha holds a score of 1573 on the ORAC (antioxidant) scale, with fellow antioxidant rockstar blueberries coming in at a mere 93 (sorry, blueberries, we still love you…)

But wait, there's more!

The health benefits of matcha do not end with its rich array of antioxidants. Matcha offers the same benefits of green tea, but in a much more concentrated and potent form. Green tea has been proven to:

*Boost metabolism and burn more calories
*Cleanse the body of toxins (detoxify)
*Offer a good supply of Vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc, and magnesium
*Lower cholesterol levels
*Fight chronic inflammation
*Energize the body
*Enhance concentration

What about taste?

Matcha has an earthy, almost grass-like flavor that is very "green", slightly sweet, and a little bit bitter. While enjoying it on its own might be best reserved for the hard core fanatics, incorporating it into recipes will likely result in a life long love affair.

I'm ready to use it! But how?!

Matcha can be used in a myriad of ways: baked into cookies, muffins or granola, infused into raw cheesecake fillings, overnight oats, chia puddings or even ice cream, blended right into smoothie bowls, and of course - made into creamy, picture perfect lattes. Not all matcha is created equally, so be sure to choose the grade that is best suited for your intended use. We recommend always choosing organic, but look for food-grade if you intend to use it in recipes such as baked goods, and save the more expensive, delicate traditional Japanese tea-grade for your tea rituals and lattes.

Ready to make your own nutrient-rich matcha latte? We have an incredible recipe hack for you! You can make a creamy, dairy-free base for your latte by blending Dastony stone ground almond and coconut butters with water to create an instant nut milk.  So easy it's redic. Keep scrolling for the recipe…

Dastony Coconut and Sprouted Almond Instant Matcha Latte


12oz pure water

1 tsp Dastony almond or sprouted almond butter

1 tbs Dastony coconut butter

1 tsp tea-grade matcha powder

1 tbs sweetener - raw honey works well

1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)


Heat 12 oz of water on stovetop. Place matcha in mug and pour in enough hot water to dissolve matcha. Blend the rest of your hot water with remaining ingredients to make a frothy nut milk, and pour over your matcha. Done!


Written by Anna Speaks - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager for RawGuru and Windy City Organics

<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>