Make Way For The Perfect Keto Snack

The ketogenic diet has become quite popular recently. Studies have found that this very low-carb, high-fat diet is effective for weight loss, diabetes and epilepsy. There’s also early evidence to show that it may be beneficial for certain cancers, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases, too. ¹

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A ketogenic diet typically limits carbs to 20–50 grams per day. While this may seem challenging, many nutritious foods can easily fit into this way of eating. You certainly have a selection of keto snacks, but are they really that good?

Enter baru seeds. They are non-starchy vegetables, with a very low net carb count, but high in many nutrients and healthy fats, which makes them a perfect fit for a ketogenic diet.

Healthy Fats

Baru seeds are high in healthy fats, and some studies suggest that baru may help protect against heart disease. It also has an optimal omega-3 to omega-6 ratio rarely found in other vegetables, a balance of healthy fats that many keto adopters strive to maintain. A study found evidence that baru seeds may help improve cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Fibre

Fibre can help you feel full and absorb fewer calories overall. That happens because your body doesn’t digest and absorb fibre like other carbs. And baru seeds have a lot of them!

Let’s look at their digestible (or net) carb count, which is total carbs minus fibre. 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of baru contain 7 grams of carbs. However, 5 of these are fibre, so its net carb count is only 2 grams. Having that in mind, baru seeds make great substitutes for higher-carb oily seeds, like cashews.

Protein

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They’re also a great source of high-quality protein, which has been shown to help preserve muscle mass during a very low-carb diet.

Vitamin E

On top of that, baru seeds contain massive amounts of Vitamin E antioxidants. They protect against free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cell damage.

So in a nutshell: one ounce (28 grams) of baru seeds provides 3 gram of fibre, 7 grams of protein, 8 grams of healthy fats and 35% of the RDI for Vitamin E.

They are also high in several important minerals, including potassium and magnesium, which many people may not get enough of. What’s more, a higher potassium and magnesium intake may help make the transition to a ketogenic diet easier.

Many ketogenic enthusiasts avoid lectins. These are specific plant-based proteins common in many well-known Legumes. Lectins could play a major role in gut inflammation and an individual’s inability to lose weight, according to Dr. Steven R. Gundry in his book The Plant Paradox. Baru seeds, however, have no detectable lectins, even though they are high in plant-based protein. ²

In addition to the absence of lectins, a recent study found that adding 20g baru to a normocaloric diet has a weight control and weight loss effect. This is mostly due to a synergy of its fibre, healthy fats and protein content on satiety.

For all this, baru seeds are quite possibly the best possible natural snack for keto enthusiasts if compared to other oily seeds and Legumes. Taking into account its high fat content, high protein, high fibre, low net carbs and lack of lectins, baru seeds are certainly the ideal keto snack!

REFERENCES

2. TOGASHI, M.; SGARBIERI, V. C. Caracterização química parcial do fruto do baru (Dipteryx alata, Vog.). Ciência e Tecnologia de Alimentos, Campinas, v.14, n.1, p.85-95,1994.

11th Protein Summit 2018

Hey everyone! Baru Baron is one of the shortlisted companies in the Bridge2Food Protein Awards 2018 happening at the 11th Protein Summit 2018 in Lille, France!

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Baru Baron’s baru seeds are one of three finalists in the category “Most Novel Protein Ingredients” and the winner will be announced on October 25th. This is great recognition for baru seeds and the Cerrado savanna!

You can check out more info at the Bridge2Food_2018_Protein_Summit_Protein_Awards_Finalists_Press_Release.

The Blue Macaw Syndrome

Last week we saw an official report by BirdLife International stating the extinction of the blue macaw in its original habitat. Although the bird is still alive in captivity, this was an announced tragedy.

When I was a kid in Brazil, the blue macaw was already endangered, and everyone knew about it. It was in Brazilian comic books, TV shows, news, over and over. That was 25+ years ago.

Back then the Amazon rainforest was the main worry, but overall nobody cared. Political scandals always had the upper hand when it came to the news in Brazil, and there was no shortage of those. spixsmacaw.jpg

Amidst the noise, in the shadows, corporate interest took advantage of the chaos. Anyone who worried about the environment was simply labelled “ecochato”, or “eco-lame” and put aside. More “vocal” individuals were silenced, sometimes by being publicly discredited, more often by plain and simple assassination.

Things got so out of hand that the Amazon rainforest became a global hot topic,  and international pressure demanded its protection. Outside of its territory, however, much deforestation happened since then, widespread, uncontrolled. It merely trickled down to the neighbouring Cerrado and Pantanal.

The extinction of the macaw (and three other bird species according to the report) in Brazil says a lot about the importance of the environment for Brazilian politics and the state of public misinformation there. Currently, 40% of the Brazilian Congress has ties with the agribusiness industry responsible for deforestation. Much of the Brazilian economy revolves around the agribusiness, so why would anyone lift a finger for the environment?

There are efforts on their way to re-introduce the macaw in specific spots of its original habitat. It’s a great thing on its own, but it doesn’t solve any of the habitat loss, nor does it include the other extinct species. It’s merely trying to keep a poster child for biodiversity in place, and who knows for how long considering the current state of affairs regarding climate change.

The way I see it, it’s sweeping a global problem under the rug. We have to blow the whistle on deforestation and bring attention to the macaw extinction as a symptom of a much larger disease called greed.

Shand Santos is the founder of Baru Baron

Ayahuasca and Baru

Hey everyone! We all know the baru tree is a very old species. But did you know shamanic ayahuasca ceremonies have been using the tree for thousands of years?

That’s right. Many indigenous groups in Bolivia consider the baru tree a “teacher” or “master” plant . They use its many parts as medicine, and add the baru bark in their brewing of ayahuasca for guidance. Baru thus plays an important role in their shamanic mythology.

Ayahuasca-ceremonies-Bolivia

An Ese’Ejja shaman and his daughter.

Even though baru is a savanna tree, it exists in Cerrado patches bordering the Amazon rainforest. This means the tree can be found in many places within walking distance to its Amazonian Dipteryx relatives, which are also considered “teacher” plants.

There the baru tree is known by names such as almendrillo, and as shihuahuaco and mawi by the Ese’Ejja people, for example. The Ese’Ejja are one of the tribes that take ayahuasca whenever an important decision has to be made by the group, and even the children drink it.

For those unfamiliar with it, ayahuasca or yagé is a brew made with a combination of a specific Amazonian vine and a leafy plant called chacruna. Shamanic ceremonies use the brew as a gateway to the spiritual world, and can have other plants added to the mix depending on the required guidance.

Ayahuasca has recently surfaced in the Western world as a potential treatment for chemical addiction and PTSD. Currently, several academic institutions research its therapeutic uses around the world.

Resources

Traditional knowledge hiding in plain sight – twenty-first century ethnobotany of the Chácobo in Beni, Bolivia

Cultura (cosmovision) y salud entre los Ese’Ejja

Ethnobotany of the Ese Eja: Plants, Change and Health in an Amazonian Society

Etnobotánica Cuantitativa de la Comunidad Nativa Infierno, Madre de Dios – Perú

Inventario de Recursos Curativos en Centros de Expendio Formales e Informales: Puerto Maldonado