Ora Organic Blog - Organic, Plant-based & High Quality Supplements
Organic, plant-based & sustainable nutrients from real food. We take our cues from Mother nature - she knows what’s up Ora was created by and for healthy foodies to replace synthetic supplements with nutrients from real organic food.
In our busy lives, things that are quick and satisfying are always welcome.
So next time skip the fast food, for fast real food. These blueberry cacao energy bites only require 40 minutes of your time, simple ingredients, and have a whole lot of sweet flavor.
We used a combination of blueberry and cacao, not only for their delicious flavor profile but for a dose of antioxidative power and plenty of other super nutrients.
DID YOU KNOW: Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants among all fruits and veggies. The main compounds with antioxidant properties are known as flavonoids. Specifically, the group of flavonoids known as anthocyanins is responsible for most of these benefits.
Whip up a batch of these energy bites in your next meal prep session. They pre-workout powder and cacao provides a small kick of natural caffeine and the blueberries give it a hint of sweetness.
Pop one (or six) in your mouth when you're on-the-go, about to crush a workout, or just need a 2:00 pm pick-me-up.
What's delicious, refreshingly chilly, and has four servings of greens?
This adaptogenic smoothie bowl!
This healthy bowl for one is full of adaptogens, greens, and our favorite frozen fruits, for a dash of sweetness.
Like our favorite green smoothie recipe, this bowl delivers 175% of vitamin K and 75% of vitamin A of your daily recommended intake.
DID YOU KNOW: Our superfood green powder contains ashwagandha and Triphala, two popular adaptogens. Adaptogens are known for boosting the body's natural response to external stressors, both mentally and physically, and returning your systems to homeostasis.1
There are few things we like more than cookies and matcha lattes. So we decided to combine the two!
The outcome? These pillowy, melt-in-your-mouth, vegan matcha cookies.
They have a slightly sweet coconut-vanilla flavor, with a faint hint of matcha.
No sugar rushes here because there is no sugar added! You just might feel a tiny boost of energy from the small amount of matcha we added–mainly for the antioxidant properties and gorgeous green color.1
The addition of protein powder makes these cookies even more satiating, and even the protein powder is keto-friendly too.
Each cookie has only 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, and no sugar. Making them the perfect keto-friendly treat.
First, make a flax "egg" by mixing the 2 tablespoons of flaxseed with 6 tablespoons of water and letting sit in the fridge for 15 minutes until a thick consistency is formed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the coconut oil in a bowl and combine it with the vanilla extract and flax egg. Whisk together with an electric mixer, whisk, or fork.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredient mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together until the dough forms a dry paste consistency. The dough should be on the dry side, but not too dry that it doesn't stick together.
Roll dough into 1.5 inch balls.
Bake for 8-11 minutes or until the edge touching the pan turns golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before pressing cookies flat. (Ora Tip: The lid to the protein powder works perfectly for this!)
Move cookies to a cooling rack to harden completely.
Store in a reusable airtight container or enjoy straight from the rack!
Astaxanthin, pronounced "asta-zan-thin," comes from a group of naturally occurring chemicals called carotenoids.
It's a natural pigment found in a number of foods such as algae, salmon and lobster. This vibrant pigment is what makes certain types of seafood a red or orange hue.
Compared to its fellow carotenoids, such as beta-carotene or lycopene, astaxanthin had gone relatively under the radar until recently. As more and more studies published results proving its superpower abilities to reduce wrinkles, protect your heart and improve workout endurance (amongst other benefits), this antioxidant is now considered the king of carotenoids.
Where Does Astaxanthin Come From?
Astaxanthin is commonly found in chlorphyta, otherwise known as algae. While it may have a suspicious name, astaxanthin is actually considered one of the most powerful antioxidants out there. Wild Pacific sockeye salmon holds the highest concentration of astaxanthin, but it can also be found in krill, algae, red trout, shrimp, crab, and lobster.
In comparison to other carotenoids, astaxanthin is considered to be up to 40 to 100 times more powerful.1 Foods containing astaxanthin even contain more antioxidants than other well-known superfoods like blueberries.
What Are the Benefits of Astaxanthin?
The benefits of astaxanthin are no joke. Because astaxanthin is an antioxidant, it works in the body by helping to protect cells against free radical damage. It stands out from other antioxidants because it won't become a pro-oxidant, meaning it won't cause harmful oxidation over time. The major health benefits of astaxanthin include:
Improved appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
Improved vision and eye health
Reduced pain and muscle soreness
Increased fertility rates in males
Reduced menopausal symptoms
It May Make Your Skin Flawless
While vitamin C and E are considered key skin-enhancing ingredients in the beauty industry, astaxanthin knocks both out of the park with its potent anti-aging benefits. One study found the daily ingestion of astaxanthin had a significant benefit in protecting skin against sun damage in the form of wrinkles and sagging.2
In addition to its ability to improve skin elasticity, astaxanthin has also been found to increase skin moisture levels in people who regularly digested the antioxidant.3 Astaxanthin's ability to reverse the effects of UV-induced damage and restore moisture levels means your skin will feel like its glowy, youthful self.
One of the most important benefits of astaxanthin is its ability to actually protect the skin against UV damage. Once this antioxidant has had time to accumulate in the skin, it acts as a protective barrier against sun exposure. Research even showed astaxanthin slowed the time it took for UV light to cause sunburn, basically acting as an internal sunscreen.4 While it's always recommended you apply SPF when dealing with sun exposure, astaxanthin will help boost your protection against UV damage.
It May Improves Your Ability to Workout
Other than its superior ability to improve your skin, astaxanthin can also benefit your exercise routine. Research has found that astaxanthin's ability to reduce oxidative damage can prevent or reduce muscle soreness acquired from working out.5
If you've ever done a great squat session and found it difficult to walk the next day, then astaxanthin might just be your new best friend. If taken daily, the antioxidant will speed up your muscles recovery time, allowing you to bounce back faster after tough strength-training workouts.
It Helps Protect Your Heart
Another key benefit of astaxanthin is its ability to protect against free radical damage, which is a leading cause of disease. For those unfamiliar, free radicals can cause damage when they start to outnumber the health-boosting antioxidants in your body. Your body will then become overwhelmed, unable to regulate the free radicals, and will eventually endure oxidative stress. This is when free radicals alter lipids, proteins, and DNA, which is ultimately the cause of many serious diseases and health risks.
Research shows that astaxanthin's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can reverse or prevent the effects of oxidative stress.6 Because increased oxidative stress and chronic inflammation are two key features of a cardiovascular disease, astaxanthin works to counteract both and, ultimately, prevent disease.7
It Can Boost Your Brain Health
Astaxanthin is also a power player when it comes to brain health. One study found that astaxanthin helped protect the brain from neurological disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.8 As inflammation in the brain is one of the leading causes of neurological diseases, astaxanthin's anti-inflammatory properties are crucial to your brain's health.
In addition to preventing neurodegenerative diseases, astaxanthin can also improve brain function by reducing PLOOH compounds in red blood cells, which are related to age-related memory loss and dementia.9
How to Get Astaxanthin into Your Diet
Adding astaxanthin into your diet can be as simple as increasing your wild sockeye salmon intake or adding organic supplements to your diet.
Taking astaxanthin supplements can help you improve your skin from the inside out, with its ability to reduce fine lines and protect your skin against pigmentation from UV exposure. You'll also improve your muscle recovery after workouts, protect your body from diseases and improve your long-term brain health.
Not only does our organic Be-You-Tiful supplement contain the highest quality vegan ingredients, but it also includes powerful beauty ingredients like biotin, probiotics and B vitamins. Taken twice a day, this supplement will also help your skin and nails grow faster and stronger.
Overall, adding astaxanthin to your diet is a safe and healthy way to boost your antioxidant intake and improve your health.
Carrot cake is one of our guilty pleasures. It’s sugar and spice, and everything nice.
We like to take our favorite flavors and make it into an everyday thing. And what better way to do so than in a smoothie. A healthy, vegan carrot cake smoothie, that is.
What makes this smoothie even more special, is that it is 100% FRUIT-FREE. Yet still tastes like a dessert.
We used vegan vanilla chai protein and some organic turmeric powder to give it that warm chai flavor of carrot cake we know and love. Plus, we threw in a whole carrot to make it as carrot “cake-y” as possible.
DID YOU KNOW: Carrots are full of beta carotene. Beta carotene is the orange/red pigment that gives carrots their vibrant color. Your body converts beta carotene into vitamin A, otherwise known as retinol, an ingredient we’re familiar with on expensive skin care.
So, the combination of carrot and turmeric not only tastes like dessert but may give your skin that natural glow from within. A win-win in our eyes.
We like our pesto how we like our supplements: organic, minimal ingredients, and allergen-free.
Unfortunately, we found that many store-bought pestos are either not vegan-friendly or contain some questionable ingredients, such as “basil flavoring.” Last time we checked organic basil leaves have plenty of flavor and add a fresh, delicious taste to any recipe–like this one!
All you need is a handful of your favorite greens, a few pantry staples, and a blender or food processor.
We opted for equal parts spinach and kale, then took it next level with a scoop of our organic greens superfood powder. Olive oil and coconut milk add in a dose of healthy fats to boost your brain power, plus make this dip addictingly creamy!
ORA TIP: Add in extra olive oil or water to make the dip thinner and use as a sauce for pasta or drizzling over roasted veggies.
4 cups of your favorite organic greens (spinach, kale, arugula)
Supplements for acne might be the answer to your skincare woes.
Whether it’s a monthly breakout or more severe cystic acne, certain antioxidants and phytonutrients in foods can have incredible health-boosting effects on one’s skin.,
Before we offer up our favorite foods and supplements for acne, it’s important that you know we think all skin is beautiful. Acne, scars, cold sores, eczema, moles, freckles and hair, we love it all and think we should celebrate it all!
With that being said, sometimes skin conditions can be your body’s way of communicating a nutritional deficiency.
Not only that, but acne can be painful, cause infection, and interrupt life. That’s no fun! And that’s what inspired us to share our go-to skin glowing hacks.
Supplements for Acne
One study tested the vitamin levels in 2 control groups. The control group with acne showed significantly lower levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and zinc. This means supplements for acne including Vitamin A, E, and zinc are a good idea!
Researching further, we found evidence that showed all 3 of these nutrients can help with overall skin health.,,
Vitamin A is an essential micronutrient that helps keep our skin healthy. Our body can’t actually produce vitamin A on its own. So, it’s important for us to get it through our diet and perhaps even think about supplementation. Lucky for you our Organic Green Superfood Powder and our Turmeric Golden Milk Powder contain whole, organic foods that are rich in vitamin A.
Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble nutrients, not just one single vitamin. There are 8 naturally occurring varieties of vitamin E. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body by protecting cells from harmful free radicals, so it’s no surprise studies show it can help deter acne as well.
Which foods are high in Vitamin E? Vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and various vegetable oils.
And finally, how does zinc help skin?
Your skin needs zinc in order to function normally. This means your skin might not be able to properly fight off bacteria if your body is deficient in Vitamin E. Uh-oh!
Which foods are high in zinc? Beans, pumpkin seeds, cashews and chickpeas all contain zinc. Time to whip up a zinc boosting hummus! ;)
Best Foods for Acne
Supplements for acne are important, but one shouldn’t underestimate the importance of eating nutrient-dense foods.
High quality, organic supplements can help bridge some nutritional gaps, but having a diverse, nutrient-dense diet whilst supplementing is a sure-fire recipe for success.
Nutrients are complex and work together.
Take Iron and vitamin C, and calcium and vitamin D; these duos have unique, synergistic relationships, meaning without one, the other cannot be absorbed into the body.
It’s true synergy!
If you don’t have enough vitamin C in your body, you could have issues absorbing iron. The same goes for calcium and vitamin D.,
So, what foods help clear up acne? As we mentioned above, studies and research suggest eating foods rich in vitamin A, E and zinc are important for acne prevention and possibly treatment. But what about overall skin health?
Here are our top foods for skin health:
Colorful fruits and veggies
Vitamin C is known to help with overall skin health too.
Fun fact: The antioxidants in Vitamin C are stronger when your body has sufficient access to vitamin E. All about that synergy!
Pssst… looking for more vitamin C to keep your skin glowing, and body supported in times of stress? Our Organic Vitamin C Powder was made for this.
Superfoods for Acne
Superfoods (foods we might not normally eat on the daily) can offer potent amounts of healing compounds that help with skin health.
Take turmeric for example; studies show that curcumin, the active compound in turmeric can actually improve skin conditions including acne.
Turmeric contains many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds., These compounds can help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which causes acne., In other words, the rich amounts of health-promoting compounds in turmeric can help keep your skin healthy and might even clear up acne.
So, can acne be caused by inflammation? Yes, acne is considered an inflammatory skin disease.
There is growing evidence to suggest that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are powerful enough to help fight inflammation in the body, which could mean helping your acne clear up.,
Did you know some experts suggest organic foods have more health-promoting compounds than conventionally grown foods?,
That’s why organic matters to us. It means even more health-promoting compounds for you.
Do avocados help acne?
Another superfood with skin health benefits is everyone’s favorite toast companion; the avocado! Avocados are creamy, delicious and have some pretty amazing skin-boosting benefits. Avocados contain B vitamins which are known to help with skin health.
For example, the B vitamin biotin is known to support the body by fighting skin infections, and other B vitamins also help promote overall skin health., This is why we crafted our Be-you-tiful beauty vitamins for skin, they contain foods with skin-boosting B vitamins so you can feed your skin the nutrients it needs to glow.
Probiotics and Acne
Research that showcases a relationship between probiotics and skin health is growing!
We love fermented foods and the probiotics they offer, but some days we just don’t feel like eating bowls of sauerkraut. Also, we might need more probiotics than whole foods alone can offer.
That’s why we love our Trust Your Gut probiotic capsules. There’s no nasty fillers, weird colors, sweeteners or preservatives like other probiotics, and Trust Your Gut contains 16 BILLION probiotics!! We don’t even want to think about how many bowls of sauerkraut that equates to.
Can taking probiotics help with acne?
Studies show probiotics can help keep your skin healthy by balancing your skin’s immune system.
Eating fermented foods like tempeh, sauerkraut, kimchi, and drinking kombucha can all help with your overall gut health, as they have been fermented with good bacteria that your gut needs!
Introducing an organic, natural probiotic supplement might be what your body’s craving too. After all, sometimes we don’t get everything we need from food alone. Hence the word supplement.
Stress and Acne
The foods you eat and the nutritional supplements you incorporate into your lifestyle are important, your lifestyle can have a significant impact on your skin’s health too.
Research shows us that stress and acne are related and that stress can actually cause your acne to get worse., This takes us back full circle as your body is likely under a lot of stress if you have nutritional deficiencies.
And guess what?
Stress can actually cause nutritional deficiencies. This happens because stress can affect your sleep. Also, your body’s adrenal responses to stress use up valuable vitamins and minerals.,,, All this means fewer vitamins for your skin and more for your body’s stress responses.
Yoga, meditation, moving your body and taking deep breaths when you’re feeling stressed or anxious can help support your body in times of stress. So, breath easy, eat the foods that make you feel good, and most importantly, love your skin and all it does for you.
What are your favorite skin-boosting foods to eat? Do you have a skin health hack you want to share with us? Drop us a line on Instagram or Facebook!
And, don’t forget to share this article with a friend that could use some extra skin love.
This may be a basic smoothie, but the nutrients in one cup of this Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie are anything but basic.
Strawberries and kiwis both contain high levels of vitamin C and are fiber-rich, like most fruits. Plus, we included probiotic powder for a kick of digestive health on top of that fruit fiber.
DID YOU KNOW: You can eat the skin of kiwis! In fact, eating the skin can increase its fiber content by 50%, up folate by 32% and increase vitamin E concentration by 34%, compared to eating the flesh alone.
So don't toss that kiwi skin next time! We're a fan of healthy recipes and minimal waste. This smoothie checks off both boxes.