Sunbiotics almonds are lighter and crispier than any almonds you’ve ever had, and way more nutritious, in ways you probably never even imagined. Raw, organic almonds are soaked, sprouted, and then dusted with raw cacao, coconut sugar, and a potent probiotic blend. Low temperature drying is used to increase crunchiness and preserve nutrients. You can’t taste the probiotics, but they benefit every system in the body. You can, however, taste the wonderful chocolatey goodness as their unique and sublime texture beckons you to crunch another and another and another….
Almonds are always pretty awesome. Raw, roasted, toasted, soaked, sprouted, dehydrated, sautéed, ground up, blanched, sliced, diced, salted, candied, chocolate-covered, it’s hard to ruin almonds. But it’s also hard to get them utterly utterly sublime. This is where Sunbiotics comes in. Sunbiotics is another wonderful brand from the good folks who bring us Rawmio and Dastony, and are quietly but emphatically creating the future of food.
Let me explain about Sunbiotics almonds: they’re lighter and crispier than any almonds you’ve ever had, and way more nutritious, in ways you probably never even imagined. The light and crispy texture is attained by a magical low-temperature patent-pending freeze-drying process that preserves all the nutritional integrity of the almonds, but makes them so delectably satisfyingly crisp that it’s hard to imagine that they’re still alive. And yet they are — the almonds are soaked and sprouted first, to unlock all their nutritional potential (see below for more on soaking and sprouting), and after they’re specially freeze-dried, they could actually be revived again if soaked (but you probably wouldn’t want to do that, because you’ll want to just eat them up immediately.)
So there’s the texture thing, to start with. If you’ve ever soaked and sprouted and dehydrated almonds yourself, you may’ve noticed that the skin ends up kind of tough and unpleasant and barky. Not so here — the skin is papery and near-invisible; it just crunches away with the rest of the nut. Sunbiotics has achieved a true breakthrough in almond texture here, it was a long time coming.
Aside from the totally unique and sublime texture, Sunbiotics, true to their name, gives their almonds a gentle bath in probiotics: acidophilus, bifidus, the good flora you find in yogurt and other fermented foods (8 billion per packet!) You can’t taste probiotics, but their benefits are profound, and most people don’t get nearly enough probiotics in their diet. So almonds + soaking/sprouting = awesome, and almonds + soaking/sprouting + probiotics = extra-awesome for every system in the body.
And then comes the flavor! Sunbiotics layers on a perfect veil of flavor to heighten the experience while letting the almond-y goodness and amazing texture shine through. Their chocolate almonds are killer — a light dusting of raw cacao and coconut sugar lends a subtly sweet and chocolatey dimension to an already amazing buttery-sweet almond taste.
Research proving the importance of gut bacteria for the immune system and mental and emotional health has gone viral lately. It started as a ripple slightly over a decade ago, and now it's becoming a tsunami of evidence.
Here is a very informative slideshow talk on the benefits of probiotics. Take the 10 minutes and watch this, and start the regimen of including probiotics – and prebiotics – into your daily diet! And for lighter fare, here is the Dr. Oz video on Oprah, lauding the benefit of probiotics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoMko2RzwMk
There is no argument, the body is an amazing and intelligent operating machine. Though modern science and technology has been able to analyze, break down and understand much of what goes on within our tissues and cells, there is still a lot left to mystery. For instance there are elements of how our bodies heal and regenerate that are still very much unexplained by modern science and medical understanding. How can one person completely heal themselves of an “incurable” disease while another with a seemingly equal opportunity to heal may succumb to the illness?
Part of why we don’t fully understand exactly how our own bodies work is because what we consider a function of our bodies may actually be a function of the billions upon billions of bacteria that are living within us and on the surface of our skin. Did you know there are roughly 500 different species and 100 trillion total microorganisms that inhabit a normal healthy colon? And that is just one area of our digestive systems. If we look at a cross section of our skin under a microscope for instance we would quite clearly see that humans are absolutely crawling with life forms. A bit freaky? Yes, perhaps. But not all bacteria and “critters” are created equal and this is an extremely important aspect of life within this body. It is fascinating to learn that humans actually contain 10 times more bacteria cells than actual human ones! Many of these microorganisms are what can be referred to as microflora, and are actually helping us a great deal.
In fact, without these little microscopic friends life within this great machine we call a body could not exist. Yes, it is a strange system we’ve had set up for us but one that has proven itself to work rather well throughout the test of time.
Throughout time many medical researchers proclaimed that these massive colonies of bacteria, such as lactobacillus bulgaricus, lactobacillus casei, streptococcus, and bifidobacterium which are 4 of the primary ones found in our intestines, did very little of anything for us. They didn’t necessarily harm us in any way but they also didn’t do anything helpful or health promoting. Another common belief was that we should try and limit the amount of bacteria we come in contact with for fear of getting sick, and that is was perfectly safe to use antibiotic substances on the regular to cure infections. Times have changed and while the main stream medical world has a long way to come in regards to truly understanding our relationship with the creatures living within and on our bodies, we have come a long way. People are realizing that while antibiotics most definitely have their place and can potentially save lives, they should be used with caution, respect, and thoughtfulness. There are way more guests attending this party than the pathogens that are ruining everyone's fun. Antibiotics wipe everything out including our friendly flora. While it is possible to rebuild our healthy bacteria levels it can often become a process that takes a great deal of time and care. We are first indoctrinated with bacteria as babies during labor from our mother’s body, and then consume a wide variety of flora, predominantly bifidobacterium, through breast milk. From that point on we come in contact with many forms of bacteria through the air we breathe, foods with eat, from our water and from objects we touch. We are also exposed to substances, chemicals and influences that shift our microbiological balance. Processed sugars and foods, pesticides, flouride and chlorine in our water, environmental pollutants, toxic body care products, pharmaceutical medications, and even an imbalance in chemicals that our own bodies produce such as adrenalin and cortisol can cause an imbalance within our microflora.
Here's a diagram of how probiotics work, for the wonky out there, and on the right, for the more whimsical.
All this being said, what is it that these trillions of healthy bacteria are really doing for us aside from keeping the pathogens in check? Where does one even begin? They play a major role in everything from nutrient manufacturing and absorption to actually regulating our intestine’s lymphatic tissue for a healthy and robust immune system. In fact, 83% of our immunity resides in the wall of our digestive system. Bacteria in our digestive systems also vastly aid our absorption of calories and nutrients to the point where without them we would become severely malnourished. These probiotics actually break down our nutrients and then carry them through our intestinal barrier where they can then be absorbed into our bloodstream. Not only that but the probiotics themselves are actually producing vitamins that we then absorb such as vitamin K, biotin, folic acid and the very critical vitamin B 12. It is a little known fact that vitamin B 12 is actually a nutrient manufactured by bacteria living within our own bodies. One particular strain of bacterium, lactobacillus, deserve a special shout out, as they play a huge role in our human experience.
They live within our bodies and also on the surface of our skin. One huge role which they play is to maintain an acid environment on areas which need a lower pH in order to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, such as on our surface tissues. This is the case with the surface of our skin which requires a pH of 3.5-4.5 in order to maintain it’s first line of defense by means of an “acid mantle”.
Lactobacillus taken internally through cultured foods or through supplements can also aid in digestive issues and help re-establish balance if there has been food poisoning or symptoms of a yeast infection.
It is quite clear that the goal is definitely not to create a sterile or “squeaky clean” environment when it comes to our bodies. Rather it is about having an abundant volume of healthy microflora which is needed to achieve and maintain optimal levels of health. Luckily for us these days there are so many delicious options for introducing probiotics into our system. A great suggestion would be to start experimenting with making your own cultured foods at home, this way you can be sure of the ingredients ad process. For instance, it is super easy to make your own live, vegan yogurt by simply taking coconut meat or soaked nuts and seeds and blending into a thick cream consistency with a little purified water. Then add some probiotic powder, and let sit in a glass jar to culture. This is just one example. Another option would be to make your own cultured vegetables, or even kefir. If creating your own recipes isn’t feasible there are many products these days sold in health foods all over who are making incredible, raw, organic fermented and cultured foods. The key is getting variety and using these foods, or taking a high quality supplement, on a regular basis.
A few suggestions for food based probiotics: Cultured foods such kefir, yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, apple cider or coconut vinegar, and miso. And of course, Sunbiotics freeze-dried probiotic enhanced nuts.
Bifidobacterium bifidum, just one of the 4 strains of beneficial flora added to Sunbiotics’ potent probiotic blends, has some profound benefits to the body. It is crucial in the synthesis of B Vitamins and Vitamin K within the intestines, and also offers a great support to the immune system. B. Bifidum helps protect the intestines against pathogenic invasion, digestive irregularities and abnormal cell growth, and even has an anti-histamine effect, making it helpful in the treatment of allergies.
A microscopic image of bifidobacterium bifidum. Not to be mistaken for white cheddar Cheetos.
Almonds are naturally delicious and extremely nourishing. Healthy fats, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese, tryptophan and vitamin E are just a handful of the key nutrients that make almonds so nutritious. Almonds are so nutritious — their list of benefits reads like a patent medicine bottle. They’re full of health-giving fats, like oleic acid and linoleic acid, powerful antioxidants that can protect against many forms of cancer (oleic acid can protect women against breast cancer specifically), and can also significantly lower the amount of LDL in your blood, and reduce your risk for heart disease. Almonds can effectively improve your complexion, slow down your aging process, help improve your blood profile by reducing your LDL, build a strong immune system, prevent the onset of high blood pressure and protect you from other diseases like ADHD, asthma and osteoporosis. They can also help speed up your metabolism, and work well in weight control. A wonderful natural sweetness and impressive variety of nutrients makes almonds one of nature’s most perfect foods.
Cacao is packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals — they are one of the best dietary sources of magnesium as well as a good source of calcium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium. A rich source of theobromine and tryptophan, they elevate your mood while boosting your health. They also contain neurotransmitter anandamide (the "bliss" chemical), neurotransmitter phenethylamine (also known as PEA, the "love molecule"), neurotransmitter serotonin (a brain chemical that acts to shield against stress, increasing ones sense of wellbeing) neurotransmitter dopamine (increases ones sense of pleasure and elevates the mood), phytochemical coumarin (suppresses appetite, and also has anti-tumor properties and helps with blood circulation) enzyme asparaginase (a special enzyme with anti-cancer properties) ergosterol (a necessary chemical for Vitamin D assimilation) and sitosterol (helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels).
And finally, coconut palm sugar is a low-glycemic sweetener that is rich in minerals and provides consistent energy via delayed glucose absorption and the nutritional boost of minerals. Coconut palm sugar comes directly from the blossoms of Indonesian coconut trees. It is made by evaporating coconut nectar from tropical palm flowers. The process of making coconut sap sugar is similar to how maple sugar crystals are made. Farmers gently hand-harvest the buds and collect the sweet nectar using traditional methods. It’s one of the healthiest and most sustainable sweeteners available. Tropical coconut palms require little water to thrive and can actually restore damaged soils and regenerate ecosystems which help support wildlife.
Soaking and sprouting are ancient techniques, developed by our wise ancestors to make certain foods, like nuts, seeds and grains, more nutritious and easier to digest. These foods evolved chemical defense mechanisms to protect themselves until the proper growing conditions came about — enough moisture to help them burgeon into sprouts. Most nuts, seeds, and grains simply aren’t easily digested unless they’re soaked for a while, to awaken the mechanisms that say, “Hey, time to sprout!” and unleash an amazing series of biochemical transformations. The soaking and sprouting process brings natural resting enzymes to life, increasing bioavailable nutrients. Increased nutrients and live enzymes aid digestion and strengthen the body’s natural healing process, increasing vital energy and wellness. The soaking and sprouting process also minimizes or eliminates nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances such as enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens. We recommend soaking and sprouting any nuts, seeds and grains that you plan to eat (unless someone else has already done it for you). The soak/sprout/dehydration process takes a bit of planning ahead (and a dehydrator), but it’s well worth it for the health benefits it confers. It also makes nuts and seeds taste amazing — extra-buttery and satisfyingly crispy-crunchy.