Tag >> probiotics
Photo credit: Lee McCoy via Flickr Commons

The concept of using something delicious and sweet to help make medicinal substances more enticing is nothing new (after-all, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down). However, using something bad for you to ingest something healthy seems a little oxymoronic, and it turns out, is also quite unnecessary. The solution? Use raw chocolate. 
When it comes to probiotics, it turns out that using chocolate as a delivery medium not only makes them delicious and a joy to consume, but actually improves their viability and efficacy once ingested - the best kind of win-win.

How it Works: The Prebiotic Effect

By now most of us are aware that cacao, the base ingredient in all dark chocolate, is awash with polyphenol antioxidants known as flavonols. These flavonols work hard to fight free radical damage, prevent premature aging, and reduce inflammation. But what many of us don't realize is they also act as potent prebiotics, meaning if you're a probiotic bacteria, flavonols are what's on the menu. Two flavonol compounds found within cacao - known as catechin and epicatechin - aren't readily digested and absorbed by our bodies, yet once they enter the GI tract, they're gobbled up by some of our body's most beneficial probiotic bacteria, including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium. 

Choose Raw, Go Dark

Remember, when it comes to the prebiotic benefits of chocolate, it's all about the flavonol content. By choosing raw chocolate that has been minimally processed, and with at least 65% cacao solids, you'll ensure that you're getting the most prebiotic bang for your buck.
Our Sunbiotics stone ground raw chocolate is made in a unique nib-to-bar, low temperature method so that all of those vital antioxidants and unique prebiotic compounds are preserved. We then infuse our chocolate with 10 billion CFU's of shelf stable probiotics per serving, and even more prebiotic goodness in the form of organic yacon root. Enhancing your digestion is now a valid excuse to indulge in some dark chocolate - just make sure it's probiotic-enhanced!


Shop our SALE SECTION for 25% off our Sunbiotics Chocolate Hearts for both adults and children , as well as 15% off all 3 flavors of our Sunbiotics Probiotic Enhanced Chocolate Bars + More!

Written by Mark Malinsky - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager at RawGuru.com



Spring is right around the corner which means it's time to focus on freshening up! Spring cleaning isn't just about cleansing and de-cluttering your home, it's also something that you can do for your body to feel more energized, boost your immunity, and feel more vibrant. Internal cleansing doesn't necessarily mean nixing all food and going on a juice fast (however, those can be wonderful too!). Here are 10 simple things that you can start incorporating into your daily routine right now for a little extra self care and detoxification support

1. Drink More Water (with lemon!)

This is sort of a no brainer, but something so many of us struggle to do. Simply drinking more pure water can help improve digestion, aid in weight loss, increase energy, and provide relief for chronic headaches. Adequate hydration is also 100% necessary for flushing out toxins from the body. Make a habit of starting the day with 1 quart of water with 1/2 a lemon juiced in - this will help kick start the metabolism, digestion, and will support the liver. Shoot for 2-3 liters of water per day, depending on body size and activity level.

2. Cut Back on Sweets

While there is nothing wrong with indulging in healthy treats, sometimes we could all use a little conscious sugar reduction. Relying on sugar to satisfy cravings or energize the body can be hard on the pancreas, and can lead to blood sugar issues such as hypo or hyper glycemia, diabetes, unwanted weight gain, candida overgrowth, and fatigue. Try swapping out your usual sweet fix with another treat lower in sugar - such as a creamy Dastony nut butter . Cashew and coconut butter both have a subtle sweetness yet contain no added sugars, and the new Watermelon Seed Butter is to die for!

3. Go Blended

Swap out solid meals with blended foods and/or juices for 1 day per week or 3 days per month. This could mean smoothies (try to keep high glycemic fruits to a minimum and utilize things like avocado to help thicken), blended raw soups , and plenty of green juices (again limiting high glycemic fruits and leaning heavy on greens and non-sweet fruits like cucumber). This will give the entire digestive system a break, and promote cleansing with high water content and fiber-rich plant foods. Add into your blends and juices green superfoods like chlorella/spirulina and cleansing herbs such as cilantro for added detox support.

The positive impact that probiotics can have on our health is not news to anyone these days, yet prebiotics  - which play an equally important role in the health of our gut - don't get as much press.

What are they?

In short, prebiotics are sugars which act as a food source for our probiotic bacteria. Ingesting probiotics is critical, but if they can't survive or proliferate once in the digestive system, they can't have nearly the same potency or beneficial impact on our health long term.

Where are they found?

Do you have a sweet tooth? Your probiotic bacteria are in the same boat. Probiotics need particular forms of sugar to thrive. Anyone who has made a batch of kefir or kombucha at home has experienced the importance of adding a form of sugar for the bacteria to consume. In order to make a cultured food, the probiotics need something to feed on - a form of sugar such as honey or cane sugar is always added to a kombucha starter, or in the example of yogurt, the probiotics consume the lactose within the milk.

The best type of plant based prebiotic: inulin

Inulin describes a group of polysaccharide sugars found within many plant foods - such as apples, bananas, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, and other fruits, as well as root vegetables - most notably jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, burdock root, dandelion root and yacon root. These root vegetables contain a special subgroup of inulin known as fructooligosaccharides (or FOS for short) which have been shown to have a very positive impact on probiotic levels in the GI tract. While are probiotics love them, FOS sugars are not digested and absorbed by the human body, meaning they don't have the same blood sugar elevating effects of normal sucrose, therefore making them a safe sweetener option for diabetics. 

Probiotics and prebiotics are vital in terms of strengthening the immune system, enhancing the digestive process, and increasing the absorption of certain critical nutrients such as calcium and help synthesize B vitamins and Vitamin K. Our relationship with the trillions of microbes in our body is complex and there is still much to learn, but one thing is for certain: ingesting probiotics and prebiotics daily can have profound positive impacts on our health.

Visit our shop to learn about Sunbiotics probiotic supplements. These organic supplements come in formulas for both adults and children, and contain organic yacon root prebiotics with no additives.

Written by Jennifer Ljung - Guest Blogger at RawGuru and Windy City Organics


As our external environments shift into a new season, so do our interior landscapes. Our bodies go through changes with the seasons; shifts in energy levels, sleeping patterns, and appetites are all very typical. Even if we aren't fully aware of it, our energy, or "chi", is influenced by our environment, and as the energy around us shifts, so does our internal energy. Chinese medicine tells us that the change of seasons is the perfect time to focus on building up, fine tuning, and upgrading immunity for the harsher winter season ahead. It's a great time to focus on supporting the body's natural ability to cleanse and heal - this will ensure that, if you do happen to feel under the weather, you bounce back quick! 

1. Get Friendly with your Friendly Flora

If you were to look at every cell that makes up our physicality through a microscope (and that's a LOT of cells!), we are actually more bacteria than human; bacteria cells outnumber human cells in a 10:1 ratio. We have over 100 trillion bacteria in our intestinal tract, weighing in at 2-6 pounds. The micro biome in our GI tract plays an incredible role in strengthening our entire immune system. Around 80% of the body's immune system is located within the digestive system; probiotics literally help keep us from getting sick. If probiotics aren't a huge focal point of your daily wellness routine, you are neglecting your body's largest defense mechanism. Load up on those probiotics!

Check out our certified organic Sunbiotics Probiotics HERE

2. Alkalinize and Detoxify  

The tidal wave of superfood awareness is about more than just getting extra nutrition with each bite, it's also about taking advantage of nature's potent healers. When the body becomes bogged down with acidity and toxicity, our lymphatic system and detoxification organs can't function at their peak. This makes it harder for us to fight pathogens and bounce back quickly after an attack. The pH of our blood also plays a huge role in whether or not illness can take hold. Pathogenic bacteria, viruses, inflammation and chronic disease will thrive in an acidic body; focusing on alkaline foods is very important. Try adding more of these detoxifying and alkaline-forming foods into your daily diet: spirulina and chlorella, fresh cilantro (great for heavy metal detox), leafy greens of all kinds, sprouts, lemon juice in warm water, fresh green juice (be sure to keep the sugar in check!), fresh ginger and turmeric root, and activated charcoal.

3. Amp Up The Fluids

The human body is made of mostly fluid , averaging 50-75% water, with our blood being closer to 92% water. Remember, we feel sick when there is a build up of toxins within the body, whether that be environmental or as a byproduct of a bacterial or viral infection, and in order to flush things out our bodies need water and plenty of it. The solution to pollution is dilution, so load up on pure water (spring water if you can, but purified is also fine), fresh coconut water, and low-sugar green juices to keep your immunity strong, your tissues hydrated, and your body feeling top notch.

4. Pump That Lymph

As temperatures start to cool off, it's easy to fall off of the exercise wagon, retreating back to the warmth and coziness of our indoor environments. While it's okay to adjust your exercise habits to better suite the weather outside, the important things is that you keep moving. If you enjoy working out outdoors, be sure to equip yourself with the proper gear to stay warm, dry and comfortable while you exercise. Maybe your running routine is losing its luster but you're feeling an urge to try out an indoor spin class, yoga, barre or pilates. Go for it! Your lymphatic system works alongside your vascular system to move waste products out of your cells and tissues, but unlike your blood, there is no heart-like pump. Facilitate lymphatic cleansing and get things moving along through cardio (the gentle bouncing motion of rebounding is especially good), deep breathing, and things like dry skin brushing.

5. Indulge Mindfully  

If every time fall rolls around you find yourself craving ALL of the comfort foods all at once, you are not the only one. It's perfectly fine to indulge even if it's just for the sake of of enjoyment, but do so mindfully. Look to healthier alternatives as well! If you're pining for a rich and chocolatey piece of fudge to sink those teeth into, try a Rawmio raw truffle fudge cake made with raw cacao, coconut, cashews, and low-glycemic coconut sap sugar. Craving a warm, creamy latte to sip on as you stroll through the park? Whip up a matcha green tea latte made with raw honey, vanilla bean and stone ground Dastony coconut butter. Your soul will say "ahhhh" while your body says "thank you."

Written by Anna Speaks - Resident Blogger at RawGuru.com

Yoga is far more than a physical practice. It is in fact one of the most effective ways of turning the consciousness within and experiencing more joy, flow, and ease within our lives. As daily life draws our consciousness outward into a whirlwind of activity, yoga helps us find even-mindedness by drawing the consciousness back inwards. The result is a sense of peace, wellbeing, and a deeper connection with our inner selves. 

Through yoga we discover all sorts of interesting things about our own bodies that might have otherwise gone under the radar. A forward bend might illuminate areas of tightness and discomfort. Balancing in tree pose on the left foot might prove to be far more difficult than on the right side. A seated spinal twist may quickly reveal a misalignment going on within the spine, or that certain muscles are gripping and holding onto tension with a vengeance. Our bodies are constantly responding to our thoughts and emotions and as we practice yoga we begin to understand just how closely body, mind and spirit integrate with one another. 

So, how does this all correlate to diet? The foods we eat (or choose to avoid) play a huge role in how our bodies feel. Yoga amplifies the awareness of how food (and everything else) affects the body. The two absolutely go hand in hand. There are certain things that we can do nutritionally to help our bodies feel amazing and really give our yoga practice a huge boost. Here are 6 of them...

Greens, sprouts, and other chlorophyll-rich lovelies 

When it comes to yoga and diet the importance of all things green and gorgeous cannot be emphasized enough. Per calorie greens are some of the most nutritionally dense foods on earth and help both strengthen our bones and increase muscle flexibility with high levels of key nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and Vitamin K. Greens are healing, detoxifying, alkalinizing, nourishing, strengthening and beautifying, and should be included in the diet every single day, whether you're a practicing yogi or not. 

Best ways to get your greens:

Green Juices

Fruity Green Smoothies

Savory Green Soups 

Fresh Salads

Lightly Steamed with melted coconut oil or a yummy dressing

Superfood Powders: spirulina , chlorella , E3 Live , Sprout Living Freeze Dried sprout mixes, Pure Synergy , Vitamineral Green