Frequently Asked Questions
Certain strains of bacteria, known as probiotics, are naturally found in our bodies and play an important role in the way our bodies function by aiding our immune system, digestive system and many say overall health. Perhaps the best way to supplement our bodies supply of these tiny allies is by eating foods containing probiotics!
What are probiotics?
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called “good” or “helpful” bacteria because they help keep you healthy.
What does probiotic mean?
The word probiotic comes from the greek words “PRO” (in support of) and “BIOTIC” (Life). The very definition of probiotic is “in support of life”!
How do you measure the amount of probiotics in food?
CFUs – or colony-forming units- is a microbiological term that describes the density of viable bacteria in a product. In other words, the CFU tells you how rich in probiotics a food actually is — and how much will be available to your body. Leaf Cuisine Probiotic Cashew Spreads contain 2.5 billion CFUs per container!
The health benefits of probiotics not only reduce antibiotic- associated diarrhea, they’re helpful for diarrhea and constipation associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and for ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s and other inflammatory bowel diseases.
There’s emerging evidence that regular probiotics can help prevent bad bacteria from invading the urinary tract by maintaining a population of healthy bacteria on the tract’s adherence sites.
By eating probiotic-rich foods and maintaining good intestinal flora, one can also help to maintain a healthy immune system. Beneficial bacteria in your intestines crowd out harmful bacteria and have a direct effect on your immune response.
Research suggests that probiotics may help fight the battle of the bulge. Supporting your gut bacteria appears to reduce inflammation and other markers of obesity.
Supplemental probiotics have been shown to delay the onset of glucose intolerance in animals, and, in a 2010 human study, L. acidophilus supplements had a positive effect on insulin sensitivity.
A new study suggests that probiotics may actually aid in improving mood. They might be a good way to fight anxiety or depression.
Your brain, skin and immune system are all physiologically intertwined and mediated by gut bacteria. Other studies have found links between intestinal bacteria and psoriasis.
Research suggests the health benefits of probiotic supplements may help control bad breath and promote better oral health overall.
Cashews – The Health Nut!
Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, and 82% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids. 66% of this unsaturated fatty acid content are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, similar to those found in olive oil. Monounsaturated fat, when added to a low-fat diet, can help to reduce high triglyceride levels, especially for persons with diabetes. They also contain arginine, which protects the inner lining of artery walls.
A growing body of research has found that in lieu of taking a prescription drug, some people can turn to foods that are high in tryptophan, like cashews. “Several handfuls of cashews provide 1,000-2,000 milligrams of tryptophan, which will work as well as prescription antidepressants,” says Dr. Andrew Saul, a therapeutic nutritionist and editor-in-chief of Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. The body turns tryptophan into serotonin, a major contributor to feelings of sexual desire, good mood, and healthy sleep.
Cashews contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as antioxidants when consumed regularly. These compounds protect the eyes from light damage (which can turn into blindness in the elderly), and can even help decrease the instance of cataracts.
The copper and iron in cashews work together to help the body form and utilize red blood cells. This in turn keeps blood vessels, nerves, the immune system, and bones healthy and functioning properly.
People who eat nuts at least twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who almost never eat nuts. Replacing animal fats and proteins with the mono-and polyunsaturated fats found in cashews is an excellent way to manage your weight and reduce the build-up of fat and cholesterol in the heart.
Vitamins & Minerals
Cashews are an excellent source of phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and zinc. Magnesium helps diminish the frequency of migraines, improve cognitive ability, and lowers blood pressure, which can prevent heart attacks. Copper contains antioxidants that render free radicals harmless. This protects against heart disease and cancer. Magnesium works with copper to provide bone strength, and with melanin and elastin to provide joint flexibility, giving the nerves just the right amount of tension.
Magnesium is vital for healthy bones. Insufficient magnesium can contribute to high blood pressure, muscle spasms (including spasms of the heart muscle or the spasms of the airways symptomatic of asthma), and migraine headaches, as well as muscle cramps, tension, soreness and fatigue.
Surprisingly, cashews contain zero cholesterol. All but a small amount of the fat in cashews is the good kind – oleic acid – found also in olive oil.
Seeds with Benefits – Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have incredible health benefits that have the country abuzz. They are high in Omega 3s, protein and fiber but low in calories! When soaked, they create a mucilaginous goop that is a natural thickener and binder. We always soak our Chia Seeds before adding them to our recipes.
Raw Vs. Cooked
We start with the assumption that nature knows best. And that it’s almost always best to eat foods in their natural state with minimal processing. High heat processing of food almost always diminishes its nutritional potential. We keep it simple and uncooked.
For us the advantages of vegan are clear. Studies repeatedly show that a plant based diet leads to a longer and healthier life – for the eater as well as the eaten.
Many people experience improvements in their health when they omit dairy products from their diet. And when we substitute super foods like Chia Seeds and Cashews instead of the dairy to make our products it’s a no-brainer.
Non-GMO Project Verified
GMO means genetically modified organism. Does anyone really want to consume them on purpose? We work with the non-GMO project to make sure all of our ingredients are non-GMO.
In a perfect world organic would be the only choice. But choosing organic is more important for some foods than others- and most of us have to budget. We strike the balance by choosing the most important ingredients to be organic while keeping our products as affordable as possible. For instance, we choose organic coconut oil because oils are very important to keep organic. Cashews however, because of their huge protective husks, are not as critical. So we insure the integrity and purity of our products while keeping them inclusive for more people.
Our Probiotic Cashew Spreads and NOT Cream Cheeses Spreads are made with cashews.