• Experience the Univera Difference: Aloe Select Quality Comparison

    Can the Univera Difference be measured? Fortunately for us, yes it can! Watch our President, Dr. Ralph Bietz, demonstrate the difference between Univera’s Aloe Select and the top competing Aloe products:

     

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     “Their Aloe juice –which they advertise as 100% Aloe juice– has a bioefficacy level of ZERO” – Dr. Ralph Bietz

    #ExperiencetheUniveraDifference

  • Experience the Univera Difference: Bioactives

    How do we establish the Univera Difference? It all begins with what’s in the bottle. Watch and listen as Kristina Spadafora, Senior Director of Product Integrity and Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, joins President Ralph Bietz to explain Univera’s choice in bioactive ingredients:

     

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     “Why wouldn’t we want to change and give the customers what’s best?” – Kristina Spadafora

    #ExperiencetheUniveraDifference

  • A Rainbow of Nutrition

    A Rainbow of Nutrition

    There really is a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow! This month celebrating leprechauns and nutrition is the perfect time to reinforce a message we’ve all probably heard. A variety of vegetables is an easy way to ensure you get the vitamins and minerals you need – and it makes your diet more interesting!

    Why ROY G BIV?

    Eating a rainbow of foods is another way to approach healthy choices. Each color of produce provides different nutrients that contribute to good health.

    Focusing on a colorful plate is also a way to make your meal fun and interesting and help encourage more vegetables and fruit in your diet. And we all need more of those! According to a 2015 Centers for Disease Control study, only about 1 in 10 people get the recommended serving of 5-9 fruits and vegetables.

    In addition to the nutritional benefits, eating more vegetables and fruit as part of an overall healthy diet contributes to a reduced risk of chronic diseases. And if that isn’t enough, ChooseMyPlate.gov points out that “Eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.”

    The point is – there is no downside to increasing our intake of fruits and vegetables!

    So, let’s explore that rainbow.

    A Rainbow of Nutrition

    RED

    Lycopene or anthocyanins, the natural plant pigments in red fruits and vegetables, act as powerful antioxidants that protect cells from damage and are linked with heart health. Lycopene in some fruits and vegetables may also reduce the risk of several types of cancer.

    These Reds are Hot!

    • Pomegranate – buy the seeds (or arils) in your produce section and add to a salad
    • Red Cabbage – this versatile veggie is great as part of a dish. For instance, try this Rice Bowl with Cabbage and Baked Tofu – it’s got the added red goodness of peppers.
    • Pink Grapefruit – bet you didn’t know grapefruit could be a dessert! This Grapefruit with Pistachios sounds amazing, and if you’re concerned about sugar, there are now stevia brown sugars and other natural substitutions.

    A Rainbow of Nutrition

    ORANGE & YELLOW

    The pigments that give orange and yellow their power are called carotenoids. These handy pigments have been shown to be helpful in reducing risk of cancer, heart disease, and improving immune system function. They may also be good for your heart.

    One carotenoid, Beta-carotene, is converted to Vitamin A which is helpful for healthy mucus membranes and eyes. You’ll find it in vegetables like sweet potatoes and carrots. And don’t forget the Vitamin C and folate benefits of citrus.

    Add a Little Sunshine!

    • Sweet Corn – corn is not just for eating on-the-cob. Have fun with it like in this Nachos with Fresh Corn Salsa!
    • Apricots – this fuzzy fruit is more versatile than you might think. Rachel Rae even used it in one of her 30 Minute Meals – Apricot Chicken.
    • Pineapple – as spring and summer approach and the BBQ comes out, consider Grilled Pineapple.

    GREEN

    There is so much to say for the greens! In this case, it’s the pigment chlorophyll that gives it its color. Within your greens, it’s also good to get a variety as they have a wide variety of benefits.

    A Rainbow of Nutrition

    According to a publication by the North Dakota State University Extension Service, “some members of the green group, including spinach and other dark leafy greens, green peppers, peas, cucumber and celery, contain lutein. Lutein works with another chemical, zeaxanthin, found in corn, red peppers, oranges, grapes and egg yolks to help keep eyes healthy.”

    The same publication also shares the cancer-protection benefits of “indoles” in broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. Plus, it explains how leafy greens are excellent sources of folate.

    Go for Green!

    • Kale – this one’s no-fuss to add to your diet. Chop some up and add it to your brothy soup for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Or add it to your smoothie; you’ll see the flecks but think of them as Leprechaun Luck, and it won’t change the taste.
    • Kiwi – don’t shy away from this brown fuzzy fruit, the vibrant green insides will soon win you over. Our favorite way to eat kiwi is as a frozen treat in these Kiwi Paradise Coolers!
    • Asparagus – asparagus is great on its own (go ahead, skip the sauce), but it’s even better as part of a dish like this easy clean-up Foil Baked Fish with Lemon & Asparagus.

    A Rainbow of Nutrition

    BLUE, INDIGO, and VIOLET

    These cool-colored fruits have something in common with their red-hot friends – anthocyanins. Those antioxidants can’t be beat for protecting cells from damage, which contributes to reduced risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Plus, they can help with memory function and healthy aging.

    The Coolest Kids Around

    • Eggplant – this one is good with Parmesan, but it’s also a creative option for other dishes. Cut the carbs from your next lasagna by using eggplant and zucchini in place of noodles.
    • Purple Grapes – so many varieties to choose from for easy snacking! Visit your local farmer’s market and look for some non-standard options, even their names sound exciting – Flame Seedless, Black Beauty, Ribier!
    • Prunes – Don’t be afraid of prunes – the title of this article says it all: The Misunderstood Prune. Don’t be afraid to give these sweet and savory options a try.

    A Rainbow of Nutrition

    WHITE

    Poor white, somehow it was left out of ROY G BIV, but it really contains all the colors of the spectrum. So, don’t discount the importance of white fruits and vegetables.

    The anthoxanthins in white produce may contain health-promoting chemicals that may help lower blood pressure and reduce risk of some cancers and heart disease. And some members of the white group are good sources of potassium.

    Enjoy the Lightness

    • Garlic – it’s not just for recipes! Roasted garlic is a delightful way to top toast or crackers at your next buffet! It’s a great addition with some goat cheese or brie, and herbs make it even better. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to roast a head of garlic, even without a special pan.
    • Jicama – be adventurous and try this root vegetable! A fresh take on jicama is this Jicama and Watermelon Salad.
    • Banana – go ahead and top your morning cereal. Or, try a different breakfast with these Two-Ingredient Banana Pancakes! They are deceptively easy and taste amazing!

    What’s your pot of gold?

    No matter what health benefits you’re looking for, eating that rainbow will lead to your pot of gold. And if you’re not sure where to start, check out these ideas!

    A Rainbow of Nutrition

    Sources:

    North Dakota State University Extension

    ChooseMyPlate.gov

    Fruits & Veggies More Matters (a partnership of the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.)

  • Univera and Univera Serve First at the St. Pat’s Dash

    As many of you know, Univera sponsored and participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Dash in Seattle this year, a super-fun (and GREEN!) charity 5K race supporting the Detlef Schrempf Foundation.

    Univera executives, employees, and associates hosted a branded tent at the event site, from which they shared water bottles (with free GoVera samples!), as well as information about the #LiveYoung and #LivePurpose lifestyles. We were truly in the center of the action, and attracted quite the crowd! Check out some pictures in the linked gallery below, and if you think it looks like a good time, come out and join us next year!

     

  • The ABCs of Vitamins and Minerals – A, B, C, & D

    With so many vitamins and minerals to keep track of, how do you know what you need? These essential nutrients perform hundreds of roles in the body and often interplay for maximum effectiveness.

    This is the first post in a series that will feature key vitamins and nutrients we all need. It addresses what each nutrient does and good sources for each.

    This post focuses on Vitamins A, B, C, and D. Keep an eye out for additional posts featuring key vitamins and for minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

     Benefits of Vitamin A

    Vitamin A

    Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in the liver. It’s found in eggs, orange and yellow vegetables and fruits, green vegetables, beef, liver, shrimp, cheddar and Swiss cheese, and fortified breakfast cereals and milks.

    Vitamin A is involved in immune function, reproduction, and cellular communication. It is essential for vision, especially in low light; it is also known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. It also keeps tissues and skin healthy. The beta-carotene in Vitamin A is an antioxidant and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals which are believed to play a role in the aging process and contribute to certain chronic diseases.

    Other benefits of Vitamin A include:

    • Plays an important role in bone growth.
    • Helps form and maintain healthy teeth, soft tissue, mucus membranes, and skin.
    • Supports cell growth and differentiation. It plays a critical role in the normal formation and maintenance of the lungs, heart, kidneys, and other organs.
    • May also be needed for reproduction and breast-feeding.

    Benefits of B Vitamins

    B Vitamins

    This is a family of water-soluble vitamins with various “specializations.” The role that ties them all together is they help the body produce energy by converting food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose). They also help the body use fats and protein.

    Since each B vitamin has its own role, here is a breakdoStrwn of a few key ones:

    • B2 (Riboflavin) – Important for red cell production and body growth.
    • B3 (Niacin) – Helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function.
    • B6 (Pyridoxine) – Helps the body make antibodies, needed to fight many diseases. Also helps to maintain normal nerve function. In addition it is needed to make hemoglobin. Finally, it keeps blood sugar (glucose) in normal ranges.
    • B12 (Cobalamin) – Required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis.

    Each B vitamin is more common in certain foods, but some key foods you will find them in are:

    • Dairy products
    • Eggs
    • Legumes
    • Nuts
    • Lean Meats

    Benefits of Vitamin C

    Vitamin C

    It’s important to include plenty of Vitamin C rich foods in your daily diet because the body is not able to make vitamin C on its own. Some common sources are citrus fruits and juices, green vegetables, strawberries, tomatoes, and sweet and white potatoes.

    Many of us know it strengthens the immune system. It also acts as an antioxidant. In addition, it helps make the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, both of which have been shown to play a role in mood stabilizing.

    Vitamin C also is used to form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. The absorption of iron is also aided by Vitamin C.

     Benefits of Vitamin D

    Vitamin D

    This fat-soluble vitamin is naturally present in very few foods. It is added to some foods, available in fatty fish, and available as a dietary supplement. It is called the “sunshine” vitamin because the body is designed to get Vitamin D when bare skin is exposed to sunlight. This takes 10 to 15 minutes of sunshine three times a week, but can be difficult in northern areas.

    Vitamin D helps with strengthening bones and helping form teeth and bones because it helps the body absorb calcium. It also supports the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system. There is ongoing research that it may also play a role in protecting against multiple diseases.

     

    For your vitamin and mineral needs, consider Univera’s MegaVitamins.

    Watch for our next post to include Vitamins E and K and Folic Acid.

  • Experience the Univera Difference: Production

    What is the “Univera Difference”? It’s a lot of things! But here’s just one more example of what makes Univera the BEST choice on the market. Watch and listen as Kristina Spadafora, Senior Director of Product Integrity and Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, joins President Ralph Bietz to explain Univera’s productions standards and methods:

     

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     “I don’t want to pay for moisture — I want to pay for the real thing” – President Ralph Bietz

    #ExperiencetheUniveraDifference

  • Experience the Univera Difference: Vendors

    What is the “Univera Difference”? It’s a lot of things! But here’s just one example of what makes Univera the BEST choice on the market. Watch and listen as Kristina Spadafora, Senior Director of Product Integrity and Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, joins President Ralph Bietz to explain our methods and criteria for selecting and developing relationships with our vendors:

     

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     “The vendors that we choose are all audited by the National Science Foundation” – Kristina Spadafora

    #ExperiencetheUniveraDifference

  • Pesto Pizza

    Get Your Green On

    March is the perfect time to celebrate things green. Spring blooms, St. Pat, and National Nutrition Month usher in the warmth and activity to come. To help you embrace the green, we’ve compiled these recipes full of super-nutrition and flavor.

     

    MetaGreens® Shamrock Smoothie
    Print Recipe
    Start your day or recover from a workout with the filling protein of Univera Ultra Protein™ and the super-concentrated vegetable blend of MetaGreens®.
    MetaGreens® Shamrock Smoothie
    Print Recipe
    Start your day or recover from a workout with the filling protein of Univera Ultra Protein™ and the super-concentrated vegetable blend of MetaGreens®.
    Instructions
    1. Combine ingredients in blender and blend until smooth!

     

    Pesto Pizza
    Print Recipe
    Enjoy a high-protein, superfood filled pizza with a crust of PQ Diet™ Flatbread, a MetaGreens® Pesto Sauce, and a ton of nutritious toppings.
    Pesto Pizza
    Print Recipe
    Enjoy a high-protein, superfood filled pizza with a crust of PQ Diet™ Flatbread, a MetaGreens® Pesto Sauce, and a ton of nutritious toppings.
    Instructions
    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. Prepare Pesto Sauce. Place the walnuts, pine nuts, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, MetaGreens®, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan or nutritional yeast and puree for a minute.
    3. Prepare your Flatbread according to the directions on the box.
    4. Spread the pesto sauce on the flatbread and top with cheese. Add toppings as desired.
    5. Place topped flatbread on a cookie sheet and put in the oven until cheese is melted.
    Recipe Notes

    Suggested toppings: halved cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, spinach, olives,ground turkey, shredded chicken, sausage, and/or tofu

     

    Green Chili Dip
    Print Recipe
    Perfect for your St. Patty’s Day celebration!
    Green Chili Dip
    Print Recipe
    Perfect for your St. Patty’s Day celebration!
    Ingredients
    Servings:
    Instructions
    1. Mix ingredients by hand or in a food processor.
    2. Season to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, PQ Diet Flatbread, or fresh vegetables.

     

    Sweet and Savory Kale Salad
    Print Recipe
    A perfect side dish for your next get-together. With the digestive and immune benefits of Aloe Select®. For a tropical flavor, try Aloe Select® Mango.
    Sweet and Savory Kale Salad
    Print Recipe
    A perfect side dish for your next get-together. With the digestive and immune benefits of Aloe Select®. For a tropical flavor, try Aloe Select® Mango.
    Instructions
    1. Place kale in a large bowl and drizzle with lemon juice, Aloe Select®, and olive oil.
    2. With clean hands, massage dressing into kale until bright and tender.
    3. Add the apple, fennel, shallots, dried apricot pieces, and walnuts and toss to incorporate.
    4. Season with salt and pepper and toss just before serving. Serve soon after assembling.
  • Give Stress Its “March”ing Orders!

    Anti-Stress is Available Now!Anti-Stress is now available and EXCLUSIVE to Existing Univera Associates & Customers for the Month of March!

    While stress is a normal part of life, too much stress causes symptoms that wreak havoc on our bodies and affects our thoughts, our feelings, and our behavior. The good news is stress is manageable with diet, exercise, relaxation techniques, and NOW with Anti-Stress. To learn more about the benefits of Anti-Stress, click here.

    Now’s the time to try it for yourself so you’ll have your experience in hand when our official launch happens in a few weeks. Watch for news about how to share this new product with everyone you know who’s a little stressed (we imagine it may be a long list!)

    BUY Now at Univera.com. Our Customer Care Team is also available at 877-627-4787 in the US and 800-363-1890 in Canada.

  • Spring Forward

    Spring Ahead Without Losing Sleep

    It’s almost that time of year again, when most of North America “Springs Ahead” to welcome longer days and warmer seasons. And while this may be an exciting time as we bid the long, dark winter a fond farewell, many of us will undoubtedly be affected by this annual disruption to our sleep cycle.

    There are, however, steps you can take to prepare for the impending clock change. Don’t let that one hour loss of sleep throw you off track!

    Spring Ahead Without Losing Sleep

    Steps to Prepare for Daylight Saving Time

    1. Plan to go to bed about 15 minutes earlier at night and wake up about 10 minutes earlier in the morning beginning four days leading up to the switch. This will help you train your nervous system to slowly adjust to the time change.
    2. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark and quiet. Hanging dark curtains on your bedroom windows is a good method. This is also a good time to benefit from unplugging and make your bedroom an electronics-free zone.
    3. Get a full night of sleep during the switch. This will help to keep you in a normal sleep pattern.
    4. Expose yourself to sunlight early as it can help reset your body’s internal clock. Enjoy your morning coffee in front of a window or take a walk to absorb natural sunlight.
    5. It may be tempting, but avoid napping! Napping can disrupt your efforts to get to sleep on time.
    Spring Ahead Without Losing Sleep
    Centranthus Flower, an ingredient in S-4 Sleep Enabler

    Need extra help getting quality sleep during this adjustment?

    Univera has just what you need to make the transition easier! S-4 Sleep Enabler** is an all-natural, non-addictive combination of herbs and nutrients to help you enjoy the deep sleep you need to feel rested and rejuvenated.*

    **S-4 Sleep Enabler is only available in the U.S.