Five Reasons To Love Beets

Five Reasons To Love Beets

Beets are an ancient food whose roots in our diet can be traced deep into human history. In this post, we talk about how beets can complement a healthy lifestyle with five reasons to love beets.

Originally wild beets were mostly harvested for their basic nutrition and earthy flavor. Later, beets in Europe became an important source of sugar for the growing Roman Empire, where the iconic red beets, that most of us are familiar with today, were cultivated for the first time. Now, beets can be found in kitchens and gardens throughout the world and are more popular than ever.

More Stamina

Recent research shows that athletes who include beets and beet-juice into their diets can see a measurable boost (more than 16%) in stamina. The effect, which takes effect just a few hours after consuming beets, is likely related to nitrates being converted into nitric oxide.

Essential Nutrition

Whether you prefer the bright yellow-orange or deep magenta variety eating beets is a great way to get a wide variety of nutritional benefits. Beets are rich in potassium (for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese, which is important for healthy kidneys, bones, and liver.

Organic Beet Powder With Beet Juice Crystals

Healthy Greens

Believe it or not, beets are actually in the same plant family as spinach. For those who’ve grown beets and spinach in a garden together you’ve perhaps noticed the uncanny similarities. Beet greens offer similar nutritional benefits as spinach—so eat your beet greens!


Many noni drinkers, especially those concerned with inflammation, are always on the lookout for new additions to a healthy anti-inflammatory diet. Beets contain a variety of anti-inflammatory constituents such as betanine, which helps protect cells against damage and stress.

Detox Support

Betalins, the compounds responsible for beets vibrant pigments, have also been shown to remove certain toxins from the body. The process works when betalins bond to certain compounds, neutralizing their toxic effects, and allow the digestive system to remove them from the body.

Hawaiian Ola Sparkling Noni Beet Punch

At Hawaiian Ola, we love beets. Our Sparkling Noni Beet Punch is made with the best quality organic ingredients. For the right balance of taste and health benefits we make our drinks with beet powder (ground whole beets) as well as beet juice crystals (evaporated beet juice). The result is a flavor that people love packed with the nutritional benefits of organic beets.

A tip for people purchasing quality beets: most of the worlds beets today are GM (genetically modified) and grown conventionally. This means that they have likely been exposed to potentially harmful pesticides and herbicides. To be sure you’re getting the healthiest beets, source organically and from growers you trust.

To stay up to date on Hawaiian Ola news and blogs, follow us (IG/TW/FB) or by signing up for our monthly newsletter.

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Happy To Be Hawaiian Grown

Organic Noni Fruit On Hawaiian Noni Tree

Miloli’i Hawaii – Noni’s ability to thrive where most plants struggle is at the root of our passion for making noni drinks. In this post we learn that being well adapted to the local environment isn’t just good for the noni trees, it’s great for Hawaii’s community and environment, too.


Local Advantage.

A great benefit to being well suited to Hawaiian growing conditions is having natural built-in defenses and immunity to a variety of common island bugs and pathogens. In other words, over long periods of time noni has evolved defenses to many insects, soil bacteria, and viruses that would otherwise like to snack on noni trees.

Plant Food

When plant crops are brought to Hawaii that are not naturally adapted or suited to the region, the same hungry bugs and bacteria, that know to leave noni alone, will feast on the new arrivals. Farmers growing these crops will often protect their plants with pesticides and herbicides to keep encroaching species away from vulnerable crops.

Noni Fruit With A Bee On It


The trouble is that the environment quickly adapts to the farmers arsenal—forcing the grower to use larger amounts of even stronger farming chemicals to deal with pests. As the arms race between farmer and nature escalates, the people and environment in that area suffer the, sometimes-toxic, chemical effects of the run off and overspray produced by the farm.


Growing Wild

Unlike many crops introduced to Hawaii, noni is exceptionally well adapted to living in some of the regions most challenging growing conditions. Noni trees can often be found flourishing in dry open fields of newly formed lava rock where nutrition is poor and only a few plants, such as the ‘Ōhi’a Lehua, survive under the hot Kona sun.

Coastal Living

Noni’s adaptability allows it to flourish in a wide variety of Hawaiian microclimates. For instance, noni grows well near the ocean on rocky coastlines exposed to saltwater. As a coastal plant, noni has been found to grow better with a little salt in its diet, which is why some growers like to supplement their trees with a bucket of seawater periodically.

Thriving in Hawaii Noni Tree on Coast

Changing Land

Plants that are not familiar to a region will often need special amendments made to their growing environment for them to survive. In many cases, clearing native vegetation, turning soil, adding non-organic fertilizers, and diverting large amounts of water to the crop is required.

The Cost

The downside to changing the land for crops, such as corn, for example, is that other parts of the ecosystem are displaced or harmed in the process. We can see this in places where non-organic fertilizers, such as unfixed nitrogen, are fed to crops. Eventually the unused fertilizer ends up in local water systems where it can disrupt local ecology and eventual lead to ocean dead zones.


At Hawaiian Ola making drinks from plants that thrive in Hawaii, in its natural state, is an important part of our mission: to support Hawaii’s environment and economy by empowering local farmers producing organic responsibly grown crops.

Hawaiian Ola Noni Immunity And Noni Energy

Growing well-adapted plants requires less change to the environment and can be done easily using low-impact organic methods, which is better for our community and the environment. By working with Hawaiian-grown crops like noni our aim is to give drinkers options that support a smarter way of farming though every drink they purchase.

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10 Facts About Hawaiian Pineapple

Hawaiian Ola Sparkling Pineapple Punch Noni juice

In this post we talk about our sweet and spinney friend, the Hawaiian Pineapple. At Hawaiian Ola, pineapple is a loved ingredient for it’s unique tropical taste and also its health benefits. Here are ten sweet facts about weird and wonderful pineapples.

An Uncommon Fruit

Pineapples are members of a larger family of plants know as Bromeliaceae or bromeliads. Of the 3,000 or more species we know of (mainly found in the tropics in the Americas) pineapple is the only species that produces sweet edible fruit!

Grow Slow, Bromie

Indeed, pineapples grow very slowly, which has something to do with how expensive they can be. In ideal tropical growing conditions, it can take two years for a pineapple to mature to full size. Pineapples are usually picked when they are just a few pounds, but allowed to grow undisturbed they can reach up to 20 pounds!

Low Calorie Sweet

Pineapple has a great sweet-to-calorie ratio, which means for the all the sweet and flavor sensation we experience eating and drinking pineapple, the relative calories are low compared to conventional sweeteners such as cane sugar. For instance, 4 ounces of pineapple only adds up to about 50 calories.

Anti-inflammatory Benefits

Pineapples have been found to contain an enzyme known as bromelian, which has been shown to reduce inflammation. Although more research in needed to understand the effects, bromelian is being considered as a powerful plant-based treatment in conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Hawaiian Ola Organic Pineapple

A Sweet Treat

When pineapple was first discovered by Europeans the flavor was an instant favorite. Unfortunately pineapple didn’t travel well on long ocean voyages and was highly perishable. The solution was to preserve pineapple in sugar as a candied fruit, which is still enjoyed throughout the world today.

Stave Off Scurvy

While it’s not a major problem in modern times, scurvy—caused by not getting enough Vitamin C, used to be a serious problem in days of early sea travel. Pineapple was then, and is still today, a great remedy to vitamin C deficiency. A single 4oz serving contains about half of your daily need.

Organic Pineapple

These days many of us have easy access to all kinds of pineapple in canned, juiced, and whole fruit form. However, only a small portion of pineapples are grown organically. The benefits to eating organic pineapple is that they’re grown without the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides.

New to Hawaii

In the last 100 years, pineapples have become a symbol of Hawaiian agriculture, however, the plants are not endemic to the islands. Records show that pineapple arrived in Hawaii as recently as 1813. Hawaiian pineapples are thought to have originated in Paraguay or Brazil.

Name That Fruit

When pineapple was first brought to Hawaii, it was first called “anana”—a Caribbean word for “excellent fruit.” Hawaiians called it “halakahiki,” which means “foreign fruit.” The name pineapple harkens to the first European encounters with it, which to them resembled pinecones from conifers.

Hawaiian Ola Sparkling Noni Juice Pineapple Punch Organic

We Love Pineapples

Since the release of our new Sparkling Noni line, Pineapple Punch has quickly become a community favorite. The combination of Big Island Noni, Hawaiian honey, and organic pineapple juice is a perfect trio. Next time you’re looking for a sweet pick-me-up go for the blue can!

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Meet Big Island Bees

January on the Kona side of the Big Island is hot. Bird sounds fill the air and herald the beginning of the coffee bloom; a time when the aromatic white flowers of coffee trees begin to rush the landscape, a phenomenon known locally as Kona snow. My visit to this side of the island is prompted by the release of Hawaiian Ola’s new line of Sparkling Noni drinks, and a unique sweetener that sets them apart from most others—Hawaiian honey.

Big Island Bees

On this visit my aim is to get to know our honey producer, Big Island Bees, and to gather a deeper understanding of how honey is made. I’ll spend two days meeting with co-owner Wendy and taking a tour of the facility and museum. In this first of a three-part series I talk about the history of the company. In later posts I explore the differences between organic and conventional honey and share the experience of taking one of Big Island Bee’s guided daily tours.

Wendy greets me from a desk inside a cool warehouse where people are busy packing honey into small glass jars and hustling heavy fifty-gallon drums into place for shipment. Big Island Bees is the largest apiary in Hawaii and the largest organic honey producer in the United States. Wendy’s husband, Garnett, purchased the operation in 1988 from his stepfather and ten years ago Wendy created the Big Island Bees retail brand.

“As a fourth generation beekeeper, Garnett came to Hawaii from Idaho specifically to raise bees.”

As a brand, Big Island Bees sells various sized containers of different varieties of honey and all but one are certified organic. Wendy tells me that making the operation organic was an important priority for Garnett early on. As a fourth generation beekeeper (and talented sculpture artist), Garnett came to Hawaii from Idaho specifically to raise bees. Today the operation is thriving and unlike many apiaries, does not offer pollination services—as Wendy puts it, “We just do honey.”

Hawaii’s Honey Capital

Hawaii is a great place to raise bees because of the island’s complimentary climate and isolation from unfriendly pathogens. Pests, such as the Varroa (destructor) Mite, a parasite that feeds on bees by sucking their blood, has devastated world bee populations for decades. Five years ago, Hawaii was likely the last location to be impacted—and although the islands held out the longest, the effects were serious—Hawaii beekeepers lost as much as fifty percent of their bees and are still recovering today.

“Big Island Bees keeps a water reservoir for thirsty bees to rehydrate—a kind of community oasis.”

Wendy shows me around their warehouses and we talk about production and slowly make our way to a building humming with bee activity. The door is covered with bees and I get the sense that if I couldn’t hear them I could feel the hum of their presence in the air. “These bees aren’t ours, they’re scavenger bees.” Wendy tells me. They smell honey inside and come looking for a free snack. The local region has attracted many bee cultivators, making it a sort of beekeeping mecca. Down the street, the largest queen bee producer in the country ships vital queens to apiaries all over the world.

Hawaiian Bees Drinking Pond

Big Island Bees keeps a water reservoir for thirsty bees to rehydrate—a community oasis for their own bees, as well as scavengers, including wandering visitors from other nearby hives. The above ground pond is topped with green pads suspended above the surface by buoyant air sacks of water hyacinth. The pads give bees a safe place to land and drink without danger of drowning. Most of the bees at the pond today are visitors. Wendy’s bees are away this time of year collecting nectar and making honey in remote locations.

A Beekeeper’s Life

Back at the shop I ask about a device on the counter. “It’s a centrifuge,” she tells me, used to separate honey from wax with hand-cranked force. From beekeeping to processing and packaging, nearly everything is done in-house, here at Big Island Bees. The shop also has examples of Garnett’s other passion—sculpture. The works are made of bees wax and remind me of futuristic organic-inspired architecture. The wax substrate is a testament to how deeply bees are integrated into Garnett’s life.

As the day begins to cool I’m given advice for tomorrow’s tour and my task of capturing photos of open hives. Wendy asks me, “Have you ever been around bees?” She says it takes getting used to and that the key is to stay relaxed and calm. She assures me that the choice to sting is a mortal one for a bee and is rarely used as a last resort. Just in case, however, she tells me to wear covered shoes, long sleeves, and pants—a warm proposition under the afternoon Kona sun—but I’ll heed her advice.

Big Island Bees beekeeper Hat And Veil

Before calling it a day, we spend time talking about organic versus conventional honey. Bee keeping is a complex and labor-intensive art and while working organically makes for great honey, it also comes with additional challenges. After my first day at Big Island Bees, I’m feeling good about where our honey comes from and gratitude for the people that make it possible. In the next post I’ll share about organic beekeeping and the lengths Big Island Bees goes to ensure care for their bees and quality in their honey.

To learn more about Big Island Bees and to contact them about tour information, visit their website and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Aloha Hawaiian Sea Salt

Hawaiian Ola Aloha Molokai Sea Salt

From flavoring food to keeping our bodies healthy and balanced, salt is an important ingredient for everyone. In this post we learn about why we use Hawaiian Sea Salt in our Sparkling Noni drinks. We also learn about different kinds of salt, how sea salt is unique from table salt, and the history of sea salt in Hawaii.

Molokai Sea Salt

At Hawaiian Ola, quality Hawaiian ingredients mean everything to us. The salt we use in our Sparkling Noni juice drinks is harvested from the small island of Molokai, the most sparsely populated island in the inhabited Hawaiian chain. We source our salt from the great people at the Hawaii Kai Company (Kai means ocean in Hawaiian). Sea salt harvested and prepared by Hawaii Kai is certified organic by the USDA, as a natural ocean-occurring mineral.

The Sea Salt harvested from the coast of Molokai is considered to be some of the best in the world.

The salt that comes from Molokai is considered to be some of the best in the world. One reason for this is linked to the purity of Molokai’s pristine coastal waters, where the salt is harvested. Molokai is part of the remote Hawaiian archipelago, which sits at an extreme distance from any nearby landmasses; making it one of the most isolated places in the world. Molokai is also unique in its lack of commercial activity—the island is virtually free of any major polluting industries or harmful run off from conventional agriculture.

At Hawaii Kai, the process for gathering sea salt is a modern take on an ancient system where coastal water is captured and let to evaporate in the warm Hawaiian sun (the west side of Molokai can get especially dry and hot!). Once all the water has been removed, the salt (Pa’akai is the Hawaiian word for salt) is collected and prepared for its final journey to drinkers and chefs throughout the world.

Traditional Hawaiian Red Clay Sea Salt Patch

Hawaiian History

Native Hawaiians have a long history of holding salt in special regard. Salt blended with ‘Alae (native Hawaiian clay) is considered sacred; the combined salt and clay (called Alaea salt) is still used today in religious, sacred, healing, and cleansing practices.

When trading salt with european sailors became more common, Hawaiians adopted a technique for larger scale production. This involved carving out large shallow salt pans where sea water would be let in to evaporate—leaving behind valuable salt crystal deposits. Salt pans were often carved from red (iron-oxide rich) volcanic clay. The salt mixed with the clay during the harvesting process and took on some of the clay’s flavor and color characteristics. The mixture eventually became the iconic Hawaiian Sea Salt that is popular today.

Salt was once the world’s most common form of currency and is where the words sale and salary come from.

In the 19th century Hawaii was the most prominent supplier of salt for the entire pacific northwest. In fact, salt was among the first exported items to leave Hawaii. Today, authentic Hawaiian sea salt has become increasingly popular and equally rare. This has stimulated the price and created a market for countless “me-too” or “look-alike” sellers from China and the US. These sellers market conventional salt as “Hawaiian Sea Salt.” So be on the look out and read labels carefully to make sure you’re getting the real thing.

Salt is salt, right?

We know about where the iconic reddish Hawaiian sea salt comes from, but what about all the other kinds of salt we see. Typically, the thing that makes these salts different are additives or other ingredients blended with the salt. Black lava salt, for example, is typically made by adding activated charcoal (usually taken from a volcanic source). Pink Himalayan salt takes its soft peach color from slight iron impurities. Even the white table salt you find in most conventional foods is commonly infused with iodine for a variety of health reasons, mostly related to thyroid regulation.

Black Lava And Red Alahe Hawaiian Sea Salt

Different kinds of salts can offer a variety of different health and flavor distinctions that make them great for many uses. The white Hawaiian sea salt that we use in our drinks, for instance, has not been amended with any new ingredients or additives, however it has also not been entirely filtered to remove all impurities. As a result, only about eighty percent of the salt we use is Sodium Chloride (pure salt or NaCl). The other twenty percent is a variety of common ocean-occurring electrolytes and trace minerals.

For Taste & Health

We added Hawaiian Sea salt to our line of sparkling noni drinks for two important reasons. Taste and health. For taste, salt is great at bringing out the flavor of some of our favorite ingredients, such as pineapple and ginger. Our taste buds are equipped with five sensory areas made for distinguishing flavors, and along with sweet, salt is one of them. Salt has also been shown to reduce bitterness and improve the overall taste of most fruits, including noni!

For health, however, we decided to add sea salt because it is an important electrolyte that needs to be replenished daily. Salt is thought to be the most important electrolyte and is quickly lost during intense workouts and active living. Healthcare professionals say that the average adult needs about 1 tablespoon (1500 milligrams) of salt in their diet per day. Other examples of electrolytes include potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

Aside from playing an important role in maintaining healthy nervous and muscle systems, salt also helps balance the bodies PH and regulates hydration.

But what are electrolytes exactly? Without getting into the geeky details, electrolytes are (positively or negatively) charged ions. Sodium (positive) and chloride (negative) make sodium chloride or table salt. When compounds that contain both positively and negatively charged ions are dissolved in liquid that liquid is considered to be electrified. So what do electricity and electrified liquids have to do with the body?

Well everything, really. Our nervous system and muscles are considered electrical systems and are mainly driven by electrical impulses. These impulses are carried throughout the body’s neurons and muscle tissue through, you guessed it, electrified liquids! Without electrolytes, these important systems can not communicate and function as they should, which can lead to a variety of health related problems.

Hawaiian Ola Polina Carlson Sea Salt And Electrolytes

Winning At Sea Salt

So let’s recap. Hawaiian Ola Sparkling Noni is one of the only drinks of it’s kind infused with organic Hawaiian sea salt. Our sea salt is harvested from the island, Molokai, one of the purest sources in the world. Sea Salt has been an important part of Hawaiian life for centuries and is now used in gourmet cooking everywhere. Not all salt is the same; different varieties contain unique blends of additional ingredients for special flavors and functions. Lastly, we know that aside from making food taste great, salt is an important electrolyte and that our bodies need salt to be replenished daily in order to perform a variety of critical functions.

Phew! Learning is fun; we hope you enjoyed our post. Next time you’re looking for a healthy pick me up at the store, try Hawaiian Ola’s sparkling noni drinks infused with Molokai sea salt. To learn more about Hawaiian sea salt or to order some to try for yourself, check out Hawaii Kai online.

Photo Credit: Hawaiian Salt Pan Via Kauai Stories (

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Talking Story With Jimmy (Ulu Boi) Napeahi

We met with Jimmy (Ulu Boi) Napeahi at the famous Hurley house, on the North Shore of Oahu. It was past midday and waves were crashing on the sandy beach outside. Ulu greeted us out front, refreshed from a nap, and gave us a quick tour of the house. We spent the afternoon talking story and playing in the foamy surf.

Hawaiian Ola: Aloha Ulu, thank you so much for taking some time out this afternoon to meet with us and talk story.

Ulu Boi: Thank you, it’s really great to meet more of the Hawaiian Ola team. I’m glad we were able to meet here on the North Shore. The surf is crazy today.

Hawaiian Ola: I was thinking to start off it would be great if you could you give us a little bit of background on you and what you do—a little history?

Ulu Boi: Well, I started surfing when I was four years old on the east side of the Big Island. I never really thought much of it. I was never the best surfer. I just love to surf and love the ocean and that just kind of grew.

After a while, I came to a point where I realized, wow, I’m pretty good at this. I started taking surfing more seriously. Surfed the amateur ranks. I Really took it one step at a time.

My whole heart and soul was into it. It’s what I love to do. I did the junior thing. Eventually I got the blessings to come to the North Shore of Oahu and travel all over the world and surf. It’s been amazing.

Now that I’m 18 years old, I’m a young professional surfer and my career has just started. Now, y’know, it’s the wintertime—its pipeline, and this is where it all starts.

Hawaiian Ola: That’s really exciting. You’re so young, Ulu! (laughs)

Hawaiian Ola With Jimmy Napeahi Ulu Boi Rooftop

Hawaiian Ola: Can you talk a little about your upbringing and some important lessons that you’ve learned?

Ulu Boi: My upbringing, well, what I remember is that it was full of love. I got to grow up around my great grandmother—my Tutu and my Mom and my Family. We were just so tight. We were so tied in together in our relationship, which was really good.

“I grew up taking care of my Tutu…She told me to always follow my dreams and never give up.”

I grew up taking care of my Tutu and my grandmothers. A lot of the goodness that’s instilled in me definitely came from the ones that passed it down to me: my Mom and my Tutu, especially. I learned so much from them.

As far as me and my siblings go; we were really blessed to know my great grandmother. She was everything to us. I really think that’s why I am the way that I am today. She told me to always follow my dreams and never give up. She supported me so much. Her and my family believed in me one hundred percent.

I grew up just like a normal local kid, running on the rocks. I didn’t have much at all. I never had fancy things. We had the ocean, you know? We turned to the ocean as a safe haven. It was a place for me to go to stay out of trouble. It’s what my family knew. We worked in the ocean. We played in the ocean. We lived by the ocean. That’s what we had.

Hawaiian Ola: So, living by the ocean and learning from your family sounds like a really beautiful way to grow up. Can you tell us some ways that you’re applying some of those lessons in your life right now. Maybe, sharing something about your stance on volunteer and community work?

Ulu Boi: My mom started an organization called Basic Image on the Big Island of Hawaii and our main key point was the restoration and beautification of beach parks. We would go to places that were overgrown or destroyed—places that were vandalized and places that were no longer public friendly.

“I’d go to the beach. I would clean up…and then I’d go surfing. At the end of the day I’d eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I’d be just fine.”

As a little kid that’s all I knew. I went to the beach and I cleaned. Before surfing I had to clean the park. Whether it was raking, pulling weeds, or weed eating, that’s what I did. I didn’t know that I was working. I didn’t know that it was part of a non-profit organization. I just thought that was my life and that was fun for me. I’d go to the beach. I would clean up—me and my friends and my siblings, and then I’d go surfing. At the end of the day I’d eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I’d be just fine. (Ulu laughs)

Doing things like that from a young age—it definitely affected the kind of person that I am today. If I’m going to give, I give all of me. I’m the kind of person that will give you the shirt off my back if you need it. I definitely don’t take care of myself as much as I like to see other people taken care of.

As far as non-profit work that I’m doing now, I’ve been getting my hands in all kinds of places. Waves For Water has been great to work with. I’ve also been working for the Mauli Ola Foundation for quite a while. I’m trying to help people and give back in any way that I can because—I come from the big island of Hawaii, from Kalapana, where it’s rough living you know. Being on the north shore of Oahu, is very different. I have a beautiful house to stay in, a beautiful hot shower. It’s a dream and it’s kind of hard for me because everyday I think about my family back home and how my living environment there isn’t so easy. I’m here, though, because I know that if I do well I can support my family.

By doing well in surfing, I can make them happy. That’s a big part of why I do it. For me, surfing has been such a great thing—it’s been such a blessing.

Hawaiian Ola: It’s so great that you can work within the surfing community to give back to different organizations that you support. Is the organization that your mom started still active?

Ulu Boi: It’s still happening. A new leader took over from the big island. Right now he’s the one being active and making sure everything the organization is responsible for happens. We’ve kind of stepped back from it. When it first started, though, it was just my family.

Hawaiian Ola With Jimmy Napeahi Ulu Boi Seafoam

Hawaiian Ola: What are your views on living healthy; not just eating and nutrition but holistically—an overall philosophy for how we live.

Ulu Boi: My whole thing is respect everyone and everything. That’s what I try to go by; it’s the spirit of Aloha. I mean, I think everything comes around. People ask, what is aloha? Aloha is not something that you can describe. It’s not easy to convey verbally—it’s the things that you do, and how you do them. I say that being a good person, having positive energy, and making a positive impact on your friends and your family—that’s important.

Hawaiian Ola: I watched a clip of you online where you were walking through a garden near your house. You were naming plants and it was pretty obvious that you and your family had a good relationship with plants and farming. I’ve seen that you grow your own food and that’s beautiful.

A hundred years ago, ninety percent of all the food eaten in Hawaii was grown in Hawaii. Today eighty percent of the food that’s eaten in Hawaii is shipped in. We know that growing local growing food is important and it’s great to see people doing it. Do you want to talk at all about your family and your relationship with gardening and growing food?

Ulu Boi: Yea, my family and I live in a little shack in the middle of the woods, kind of far away from any civilization, stores, or anything. We were blessed enough to have land in my families name. We have always been in love with nature. For my parents—that was their thing. My mom was always into farming; my dad was always into farming. It was just passed on, you know.

“Being raised in the country, you’re just brought up with farming and growing your own fruits and vegetables.”

I guess when you grown up around something so much you can’t help but know it. Just like being on an island, you’re taught to swim and play in the ocean. Being raised in the country, you’re just brought up with farming and growing your own fruits and vegetables. On the big island, farming is so accessible. We have the land to do it and we do it, partly, because everything is so lush and green—everything grows. I mean, where I’m from, you can throw anything in the ground and it’ll grow. It’s amazing. I love it.

Hawaiian Ola: Can you talk about any interesting experiences you remember growing up with Noni Fruit on the big island?

Ulu Boi: I know that Noni is good for things like cuts and it’s super healthy. I remember when was a little kid; my mom literally scrubbed me head to toe with noni. I was probably like four years old or something. I hated it. I don’t know what that was all about. (Ulu laughs)

*Among many other things, Noni is often used in traditional Hawaiian and Polynesian medicine as a topical analgesic and antiseptic.

Hawaiian Ola: Ok, this might sound silly and I’m sure you’ve been asked this before, but it’s still a curious thing for me. As a person with a very novice understanding of surfing, I feel like it’s a pretty small portion of surfers that get to experience a moment in a barrel—surfing through a tunnel of water, and being spit out at high speeds. Can you describe what that’s like—how it makes you feel?

Ulu Boi: For me surfing, is so spiritual. Its the thing I love to do most. People say that getting barreled is like the best thing that you could possibly do in surfing. i mean, for me, just being in the water calms my nerves; that’s where I belong.

I see the ocean as my home. I just have such a spiritual connection there. Surfing is a way of life. People who surf know what I’m talking about. It’s really hard to describe. Basically, If there wasn’t a barrel I probably wouldn’t surf. Honest truth. (Ulu Smiles)

Hawaiian Ola With Jimmy Napeahi Ulu Boi Sand

Hawaiian Ola: what makes you laugh, Ulu?

Ulu Boi: What makes me laugh? (haha) That’s so hard. I mean—I have a lot if funny friends that make me laugh. But I think the time that I’m laughing the most is when the waves are really good. I have an uncontrollable joy within me.

I’m super bad. When it comes to being at the beach or around the surf I’m definitely the loudest person in the water. I sing I laugh. I pick on people; I just have a good time.

Hawaiian Ola: That’s awesome, Ulu.

“Be a good person and carry on with the spirit of aloha and you’d be amazed with what it brings.”

Hawaiian Ola: Y’know something about being a professional athlete and someone who’s interviewed and speaks to the public is—well—you’ve talked about people you looked up to in surfing and how you listened very closely to what they were saying and how they said it. Being successful at what you do means that you’re that next guy, you know—That the people will be listening to. Young people in the surfing community, especially. Do you have any kind of message or an idea that you want to make sure comes across throughout your career to people.

The only thing that I’d like to say to everyone, especially the up and coming people, is respect everyone and everything and have an understanding of the concept of pure Aloha and what it brings. Be a good person and carry on with the spirit of aloha and you’d be amazed with what it brings.

Follow Ulu on Instagram

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Health Benefits Of Hawaiian Ginger

Hawaiian Ola Sparkling Organic Noni Juice Ginger Turmeric Can and Roots

With its many health benefits and unique flavor, it’s no wonder ginger is revered throughout the world as a useful herb in traditional medicine and a loved ingredient in myriad styles of cooking.

At Hawaiian Ola we believe that good food is the best medicine, which is why we crafted our new line of sparkling noni juice flavors with ingredients, such as ginger, that not only taste great but also impart real health benefits to our drinkers.

Ginger’s History & Origins
The health benefits of ginger have been documented scientifically and in traditional folk medicine for around 2000 years. The first references to ginger as a healing herb seem to emerge from where the original plant is endemic in Southern China. Leading up to present day, ginger has been traded, adapted, and spread to most all equatorial regions (where ginger likes to grow) and is now widely used for both food and remedy everywhere.

Essential Benefits Of Ginger
• Settling An Uneasy Stomach
• Diminishing Nausea Including Motion Sickness
• Relief From Throat And Nasal Congestion
• Sooth Soreness And Overall Joint Pain

Health Benefits From Organic Responsibly Grown Hawaiian Ginger Raw And Powdered
Understanding Ginger’s Benefits
One of the things that makes ginger so interesting both to western medicine and traditional folk healers is the wide variety of benefits that are reported to come from ginger. Ginger has been shown to be effective in everything from relieving an upset tummy to slowing down cancer cells in vitro and the truth is, we still know very little about how all of ginger’s benefits work.

The reason for this has to with ginger’s complex chemical makeup. Ginger contains an unusually wide variety of biologically active ingredients, which has made it difficult for researchers to isolate and understand each of them independently and how they might be working together.

What We Know About Ginger
We know that at least some of ginger’s most common health benefits can be linked to a group of three oils (zingerone, shogaols and gingerols), which together account for about 3% of ginger’s raw weight.

Flavor Chemistry
Shogaols and especially gingerols make up most of what people taste and experience as ginger’s distinct, spicy flavor. Zingerone, which is formed when shogaols and gingerols are heated or dried, has a uniquely sweet taste and aroma.

Benefits From Organic Responsibly Grown Hawaiian Ginger
For Nausea And Stomach Relief
Gingerols are thought to play an important role in Ginger’s effects on nausea and overall digestive health. Reasons for this have been linked to gingerols’ ability to increase motility (or stimulate) critical areas of the digestive tract as well as gingerols’ natural antibacterial qualities. We also know that ginger triggers an increase in saliva production, which can help with swallowing and overall healthy food processing.

Joint And Pain Relief
For thousands of years healers and herbalists reported the benefits of using ginger for soreness and pain relief. It wasn’t until recently, however, that researchers working with animals uncovered a possible explanation for these benefits. The findings show that gingerols are not only anti-inflammatory, they also have analgesic and sedative properties, too.

Taste, Health, & Responsible Farming
Using Organic Hawaiian Ginger in our new sparkling noni juice flavor was a great opportunity for us to share the unique taste and health benefits of Hawaiian ginger with our drinkers. But taste and health are only half the story. What makes Hawaiian ginger really exciting for us is the impact it has for Hawaiian farmers and our mission.

Hawaiian Ola Sparkling Noni Juice Organic Ginger Turmeric On Wooden Board
Voting With Your Purchase
Our ginger is responsibly grown on a small organic farm in Kauai. This means that it is raised without any pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, or GMO’s. By using responsibly grown ginger in our beverages, our aim is to give drinkers an easy way to support farmers who grow good Hawaiian ingredients every time they purchase one of our cans.

Enjoy Your Ginger
Whether you’re buying ginger powder for tea, raw roots to cook with, or you’re looking for a cool ginger drink to settle your tummy on a hot day, look for organic Hawaiian ginger. Your purchase will not only help support responsible Hawaiian farmers, it also supports the environment that we all share. Learn more about our mission at: The Hawaiian Ola Idea. Now, go enjoy some rhizomes!

A Note About Ginger Safety
Taking Ginger is not recommended for people using certain heart medications or blood thinners. Some women are also advised not to take ginger during pregnancy. Certain individuals may also be allergic; an allergic reaction will typically present as red around the face and swelling of the throat. For these reasons, we recommend talking to your doctor or trusted health adviser before taking ginger.



2. Rhode, J.; Fogoros, S.; Zick, S.; Wahl, H.; Griffith, K. A.; Huang, J.; Liu, J. R. (2007). “Ginger inhibits cell growth and modulates angiogenic factors in ovarian cancer cells”. BMC Complementary & Alternative Medicine 7: 44. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-7-44. PMC 2241638. PMID 18096028.

3. Kim, J. S.; et al., Sa Im; Park, Hye Won; Yang, Jae Heon; Shin, Tae-Yong; Kim, Youn-Chul; Baek, Nam-In; Kim, Sung-Hoon et al. (2008). “Cytotoxic components from the dried rhizomes of Zingiber officinale Roscoe”. Archives of Pharmacal Research 31 (4): 415–418. doi:10.1007/s12272-001-1172-y. PMID 18449496.

4. Choudhury, D.; et al., Amlan; Bhattacharya, Abhijit; Chakrabarti, Gopal (2010). “Aqueous extract of ginger shows antiproliferative activity through disruption of microtubule network of cancer cells”. Food Chem Toxicol. 48 (10): 2872–2880. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2010.07.020.


6. McGee, Harold (2004). On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (2nd ed.). New York: Scribner. pp. 425–426. ISBN 0-684-80001-2.

7. Wood, George B. (1867). “Class IX. Sialagogues”. A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica: Volume 2. J. B. Lippincott & Co. Retrieved 2 March 2013.


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Interview With Distance Runner Polina Carlson


Ultra Runner & Hawaiian Ola Enthusiast

My goal is to inspire people to keep dreaming,” says Polina Carlson, Hawaii based elite runner.  “If I know that my actions inspire others to dream more, do more, and become more then I’ll be satisfied.” This sentiment is what fundamentally drives Polina to push through her rigorous daily training schedule and continue to take first place in Half Marathons and Marathons worldwide.

Along with her motivation to lead by example in chasing her own dreams, she attributes much of her success to a combination of her health conscious awareness  and nutrient dense diet and her hard work. Hawaiian Ola Noni Energy and Immunity shots have become a staple to support Polina’s early morning workouts as well as to aid her recovery.  

Most recently, the runner and Hawaiian Ola enthusiast dominated in the Tokyo Half-Marathon followed by another victory at the Colvis, CA Half Marathon several weeks later.  She is currently working toward her next race, a full marathon in Sacramento, CA in the beginning of December, where she hopes to continue her first place streak We got a chance to catch up with Polina in Kailua, HI to get some insight on her training and what keeps her mind, body and spirit balanced and strong!

Hawaiian Ola: First of all, we just want to congratulate you on your career thus far in your professional running career! When did you start running. What attracted you to running as opposed to other sports?

Polina Carlson: Oh, Thank you so much! Well, I actually competed for the University of West Alabama in tennis, and it was there that my tennis coach noticed that I outran everyone in running drills, including the members of the men’s tennis team. He encouraged me to work out with the cross-country team to simply “stay in shape” for tennis. Eventually I decided to give up tennis in order to focus solely on my running dreams. I am incredibly blessed to live my dream and train as a professional distance runner. This sport continues to introduce me to new places, new faces and new experiences. Also, to give my all in something that I love is very rewarding. I love this sport because it is not just about winning or losing, it is about the journey. My journey so far has been amazing and I am thankful for how God has provided so many opportunities and supportive family and friends.

HO: Wow! So you have come quite a long way from your tennis running drills! Talk a little bit about running in Hawaii? Why did you choose Hawaii and what makes it a unique place to run/live/train?

PC: I’ve been living in Oahu for over two years.  While here I finished my Master’s degree, competed in cross-country for Hawaii Pacific University, and got married. Living in Hawaii is great! The warm climate allows me to run anytime I want to. It’s perfect for athletes and people who enjoy outdoor activities so I feel like I’ve chosen a right place. There are so many beautiful routes and different terrains, which makes it more exciting. I love the Kailua gravel trail, Tantalus and Manoa routes for my training.

HO: Yes. I bet it makes it a bit easier to train when you have all this beauty around you! From your perspective, how is healthy food intake and running related?

PC: As a professional athlete I choose the food, which is healthy and high in nutrients, because I know that this is my health and it starts with food. I try to eat real food: meat, eggs and lots of fruits and vegetables to get vitamins from natural sources. My lifestyle supports healthy eating and being active; that’s what I promote as a professional athlete. I’m passionate about using organic and healthy ingredients, which helps my body to replenish and recover quicker. After my runs I get incredibly hungry and I always try to look for nutritious food. My breakfast usually consists of Special K with linseeds (a good source of omega-3), strawberries, bananas, a hard-boiled egg, and a sandwich containing salmon and avocado. I’ve learned that eating healthy is a big part of being a professional athlete and I also try to choose food that I really enjoy!

HO: What are your thoughts on the organic food movement?

PC: I was raised on organic foods and try to eat organic whenever possible.  It’s better because it has more nutrients, more vitamins, and no processed chemicals or stuff that is harmful to our bodies. I try to eat locally, as fresh as possible, simple, and low ingredient.

HO: And as an athlete, it is so important for you to get the highest nutrient content out of your intake. At Hawaiian Ola, we focus a lot on putting our values back into our food. What values do you like to see in the food companies (and other companies) you support?

PC: I love supporting local farmers and businesses, and promote healthy living within the local community. I teach other women how to put an end to unhealthy cravings and relationships with food, so it can change their lives for the better. Some of the values that I’d like to see in the food companies are producing food sustainably using organic methods that are good for the environment and making food from scratch.

HO: That is great that you have been able to convey your knowledge on nutrition to a larger population! So, what is your history with Noni? Were you a Noni fan before trying Hawaiian Ola?

PC: Actually, Hawaiian Ola was my introduction to Noni, and I was a huge fan of Ola shots before I became a sponsored athlete by you guys. One of my good friends, who is a competitive triathlete, introduced me to the product as a natural caffeine source. I did some research on the benefits of noni fruit and decided to try it myself and fell in love with the product. I have an active lifestyle with more than two training sessions a day. Hawaiian Ola energy shot is a constant choice for me before my hard morning runs. I also love drinking Ola shots mixed with water during my gym workouts. It helps me sustain my energy and Noni fruit helps my muscles to recover quicker. I love using the product, because Ola shots are a small, handy source of vitamins, which is easy to carry around.  

HO: Definitely! Have you noticed any significant changes in your performance since using Hawaiian Ola products as opposed to other products you’ve used in the past?  

PC: I’ve never tried using other energy drinks in a past because I know that they tend to give a sudden burst of energy followed by a crash. Most of the popular energy drinks are basically just sugary water with some artificial chemicals. Noni energy drink is a healthy option for athletes, because instead combinations of multiple energy-inducing ingredients they use green tea and yerba mate, which are natural energy sources with many other benefits. The Noni fruit helps to speed-up recovery and reduce post-workout soreness!

HO: Well, it’s great to hear that both the Energy and Immunity shots have aided in your training and recovery.  I know you work and train extremely hard to reach your personal goals as an elite runner.  What is your daily regimen, and how many hours/miles do you shoot for daily/weekly?

PC: I usually get up around 5-ish and, after some bread and honey and a drink, head out to start training. I run about 100 miles per week; sometimes I run a little less during the week, but usually only when I taper for a race.On my return home in the morning, I will have run about 10 to 15 miles. After aiding my recovery with compression boots, I have a big mid-morning breakfast. Training is such an integral part of my life that it rarely seems like a chore, and my husband usually runs with me and pushes me during the hard workouts. When my breakfast has gone down, I do a core workout and various exercises to develop strength. After the morning strength/core session, I have a meal. The final run of the day is an easy local one of an hour. The total workout comes to about three to four hours a day. I never eat dinner after 8pm and I’m usually in bed by 9 or half past. I have a rest every eighth day and I take two weeks off at the end of the summer and winter seasons. At first it feels fantastic to be able to relax and sleep in, but within a week I’m itching to get out and run again.

HO: That is a lot of work! I think you are on to something with the well rounded training approach. Any tips for novice runners?

PC: Just enjoy what you do! And don’t give up if you have a failure. Set reasonable goals and work towards them.

HO: Nice. What do you enjoy when you are not running?

PC: Photography is another passion of mine. I love taking photos of the stunning nature and the ocean. I’m also learning Japanese; I’m a huge fan of Japanese culture!

HO: Definitely important to keep those other creative outlets flowing. What inspires you most? What revitalizes you and renews you?

PC: I’m inspired when I hear other runner’s stories of struggle and success. I’m inspired to keep running when I hear the stories about people overcoming serious medical issues, or those with a desire to run but are not physically capable of running.  I feel very fortunate to live in Hawaii and to continuously see, touch, and breathe the many beauties this island has to offer. It makes me feel happy, in harmony with nature, and invigorates my body and soul.

HO: What do you live for/What makes you the happiest?

PC: I believe God made me for a purpose: to shine His light and to bring people closer to Him. And, I am incredibly lucky that I get to do that through running. It makes me extremely happy to be able to train, be coached, and encouraged by my husband, who is also a competitive runner. I’m happy that my husband and I share the same deep passion for running. Besides that simple things make me happy. I love the ocean and find solace in the mountains; I also love traveling and exploring new places.

HO: What impact do you want to leave on the world?

PC: My goal is to inspire people to keep dreaming. If I know that my actions inspire others to dream more, do more, and become more then I’ll be satisfied.

HO: Polina, thank you so much for taking this time to talk with us. It’s been really great to get some insight into your daily life and flourishing running career. One last question. If you had the opportunity to give a piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?

PC: Be grateful in life no matter what. Live in the moment. The more appreciative you are in life, the more present you become.  

Visit Polina on the web and follow her on twitter!

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Too Cute. A Shout-Out To The Hawaiian Monk Seal

Meet Hawaii’s Official State Mammal

Naturally, Hawaiian Monk Seals are great friends with Sea Turtles

Naturally, Hawaiian Monk Seals are great friends with Sea Turtles

The lovable, laid back, Hawaiian Monk Seal has been a part of Hawaiian folklore and story telling for generations. Today, tourists and locals are lucky to catch a glimpse at what has become an increasingly elusive part of the Hawaiian biosphere.

Researchers say the Monk Seal came to the Hawaiian islands some 14 million years ago and adapted well to archipelago life in the tropics as an apex predator. In recent years however, the Monk Seal has been shown to be particularly sensitive to environmental shifts brought on by the introduction of humans and their pets. Now less than 1100 total Monk Seals remain from what was once a thriving species.

In this post we’ll learn more about the Hawaiian Monk Seal, including some of the things that are making life tough for them. We’ll also share four easy things you can do to help keep these most cutest of mammals alive and well for many years to come. Let’s start by getting to know the Monk Seal.

Likes Seafood, Sunsets, & Sandy Beaches

The Monk Seal loves to haul out on sandy beaches

The Monk Seal loves to haul out on sandy beaches

The adorable Hawaiian Monk Seal eats fish, octopus, squid, and lobster. A day in the life of a Monk Seal will typically involve resting, molting, mating, and rearing young in or around shallow lagoons, open oceans, and sandy beaches.

Monk Seal bodies have not evolved any unique adaptations for dealing with the hot tropical climates they live in, rather, they spend their days avoiding the sun in wet sand and shade, and leave most of their physical activity to the cooler times of day.

About hauling. Anyone doing research into Monk Seal lifestyles is bound to stumble on countless references to one of the Monk Seal’s favorite pastimes, hauling or hauling out. No, they won’t help you move your couch. The practice of hauling out refers to getting out of the water to loaf (and do other things) on dry land. Monk Seals are expert haulers, which can often leave them open to being approached and disturbed by human visitors.

So seafood, sunsets, and sandy beaches. Sounds like the Monk Seal has a pretty great life, right? Well, almost.

According to estimates from the Monk Seal Foundation over 90% of the remaining population could be gone in less than 50 years. They say that recent changes in Monk Seal habitats have triggered a decline in the population and unless steps are taken to intervene we could lose our friends to extinction.

Running In Rough Water

The Hawaiian name for Monk Seal is ‘llio-holo-i-ka-uaua’, which affectionately means, “dog that runs in rough water.” Today, the Hawaiian Monk Seal is one of the two remaining Monk Seal species; the other is the Mediterranean Monk Seal and both are critically endangered. Until recently there were three species but sadly the Caribbean Monk Seal was officially declared extinct in 2008.

Monk seals are the only endangered marine mammals in the northwest Hawaiian Islands. According to biologist, Frank Parish, “adult monks today seem healthy, yet 8 out of 10 pups are dying before the age of two”.

The reasons for decline in Monk Seal populations are complex, but, we know that humans have a lot to do with it.

Reasons For Decline

Reports estimate that the remaining Monk Seal population is going away at the rate of 4.5% every year. Right now, the biggest threats to Monk Seals are accidental entanglement, disease promoted by environmental toxins or water pollution, and issues related to climate change.

Suzanne Canja, a Monk Seal biologist studying the reasons behind the species decline, says one big problem for the seals is accidental entanglement. In recent years she has documented over 150 accounts of seals getting tangled in fishing line and nets. Accidental entanglements are an unfortunate side effect of industrial fishing taking place in the habitats where Monks Seals live.

Another problem the Monk Seal faces is increasing water pollution. Currently industrial chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides, are being studied as likely threats to endangered seal populations. Whether it’s household chemicals or excess farming chemicals used in conventional agriculture, increasingly, we see new toxins entering the oceans where Monks Seals live which can negatively impact their health and wellbeing.

A third longer term issue for Monks Seals has to do with global warming. Sandy beaches are an important part of the Monk Seal habitat. The threat of sea level rising due to global climate change would reduce or even eliminate the available Hawaiian beaches on which the seals depend. As oceans warm, these beaches become less and less available to new Monk Seals, which makes it hard for them to survive.

Four Ways You Can Help

Monks seals need clean water and quiet naps to thrive

Monks seals need clean water and quiet naps to thrive

Stop Global Warming
This can be done by driving less or driving more fuel efficient vehicles. Vehicles account for about 13% of all human-created green house gas emissions—however, 51% are created from animal meat production. One way to seriously cut back on your greenhouse emissions footprint is by eating less animal products or by going vegan! For more on this check out the film documentary Cowspiracy and see how meat production and global warming are connected.

Buy Organic
When you buy organic, you support a kind of farming that avoids using herbicides and pesticides, which can run off farmland into ground water, streams, and eventually ocean habitats. Organic food is also grown without using synthetic fertilizers, such as nitrogen. Excess synthetic nitrogen used in conventional farming also runs off into Monk Seal habitats, which can cause algae blooms and can eventually cause ocean dead zones.

Keeping Distance
In recent years Monk Seals have become a spectator attraction for Hawaiian tourists and locals, alike. Tragically, the seals have not evolved any natural fear of humans, which makes approaching them very easy. If you see a Monk Seal, the Hawaiian Monk Seal Foundation urges you to stay at least 150 feet away. Monk Seals are disturbed easily. Hauling out on the beach provides them with a much needed sanctuary from yet another danger, sharks! And, if you bring a pet such as a dog, to the beach make sure it’s properly restrained and does not assault the resting Monk Seals.

Support These Orgs
These organizations have great information on Monk Seals and work hard to educate people about Monk Seals and their preservation. They can always use more support! Visit them online and learn more:

Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program
Save Our Hawaiian Monk Seal
Monk Seal Foundation

Stay Positive!

If you love Monk Seals follow the tips you’ve learned and have hope; it’s not too late to preserve Hawaiian Monk Seal populations! In 2008, Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii James Aiona declared the Hawaiian Monk Seal as Hawaii’s official state mammal.


More Resources:

Monk seal cultural significance in Hawaii
General facts about the Hawaiian Monk Seal
Learn basic facts about the Monk Seal
Learn about the meat industry and global warming

Photo Credits:

1. Hawaiian monk seal research program
2. We Live Mana

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The Debate Over Pasteurizing Noni Juice

Understanding The Pros & Cons Of Pasteurizing Noni Juice

Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia is grown for many applications, including health & wellbeing

Noni fruit or Morinda Citrifolia is grown for many applications, including health & wellbeing

At Hawaiian Ola, we feel honored to share the many healing benefits of Hawaiian noni with the world and will always do our best to ensure that it is prepared thoughtfully and with good intention. Noni is our flagship fruit, the first and main ingredient in both of our products, and is, in many ways, the fruit that originally inspired us to launch Hawaiian Ola. Throughout our journey to fulfill our mission (to expand the demand for organically grown, GMO-free Hawaiian crops) and share noni with the world, we have had to make many difficult decisions along the way, such as whether or not to pasteurize our noni juice.

Why We Pasteurize

Putting Health And Safety First

When making products to share with our ohana, two of our highest considerations will always be health and safety, which is why we take every possible measure to ensure nothing harmful ever ends up in our products. We only source organic because we know pesticides in conventional foods are unsafe. We source GMO-free because we don’t believe untested GMOs belong in our food. And we heed the FDA’s strong recommendation to pasteurize our noni, because it is the best way to ensure Hawaiian Ola is made free of any harmful bacteria or pathogens(1,2).

Sharing Noni With More People

Aside from removing any unwanted bacteria from our noni, two additional benefits to pasteurization are an extended shelf life and the ability ship and store our Noni at room temperature without risk of spoiling. This is important to many consumers for whom the added costs of shipping refrigerated, raw noni are often too much to afford buying it on a regular basis. For these drinkers, pasteurization has made Hawaiian Ola noni easy to enjoy everyday without worry of spoilage or expensive shipping prices.

The Effects Of Pasteurization

Organic Noni Trees On The Big Island Farm

Noni trees thrive in Hawaii’s warm fields of mineral rich lava rock

Noni’s Beneficial Constituents

One of the things that makes noni (Morinda Citrifolia) such an amazing fruit is that it contains an unusually wide variety of beneficial compounds, some of which are known to offer anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and cleansing effects. While some of these compounds may be disturbed by pasteurization, fortunately, most of noni’s beneficial constituents are not. In order to understand why, it helps to think of all of noni’s constituents in two categories: stable, which are less likely to degrade in the presence of air, light, and heat, and unstable or volatile constituents, which are more likely to degrade from the same exposure.

Stable & Volatile Compounds

In the stable category, noni contains an abundance of antioxidants such as aucubin, as well as nutritive constituents like iron, fat, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Also stable are compounds such as damnacanthal, a novel anthraquinone that is likely responsible for noni’s cleansing or purgative effects, as well as NoniPPT, which has been shown to play a role in noni’s immunomodulatory effects. In the unstable category, compounds such as Eugenol, Scopoletin, and asperuloside are known antiinflammatories that can be categorized as volatile and are more likely to be impacted by the pasteurization process to some degree(3).

Measuring Positive Effects

While the extent to which both stable and unstable constituents in noni are impacted by pasteurization have never been specifically studied, we know that most of noni’s nutritional constituents are stable and that several studies have shown noni, in its pasteurized form, to be potent and effective in several areas related to human wellbeing. Two examples include a 2006 study that showed a protective effect on hepatic injury (protecting the liver from harmful carcinogens) and also a study where pasteurized noni showed positive results for current smokers by protecting those individuals from oxidative damage induced by cigarette smoke(4,5).

Understanding Heat & Health

The positive results we see in the clinical trials using pasteurized noni could have much to do with noni’s high concentration of stable beneficials, however, the results may also have something to do with a health boosting change that takes place in certain fruits and vegetables when they are heated. Cooking breaks down cell walls and in turn increases the abundance and bio-availability of certain compounds, most notably antioxidants.

Cooked tomatoes, for example, release more lycopene, an antioxidant linked to improved mood, heart protection, and even cancer prevention. Similarly, the antioxidants known to protect your eyes against disease, such as lutein found in corn and spinach, also respond to heat during cooking. A 2003 study that compared the carotenoid content — mainly lutein and zeaxanthin — of corn found that when processed with heat, contained more lutein than the raw form. Legumes appear to respond to heat, too. Boiling peanuts has been shown to boost antioxidant concentration by up to 400% that of raw(6).

Health, Happiness, & Noni Juice

Whether you prefer noni pasteurized or raw, always source your juice from a grower you trust.

Whether you prefer noni pasteurized or raw, always source your juice from a grower you trust.

For many consumers the question of ideal noni preparation is one of ongoing consideration. In the end, our choice to pasteurize was about health, safety, and making Hawaiian Ola noni affordable and accessible to our ohana everywhere. Along the way we learned that noni is packed with an abundance of stable beneficials, which are not likely to be affected by pasteurization. We also learned that pasteurized noni has been shown to positively support liver and lung health in clinical trials and that the heat from pasteurization may even draw out certain nutritional compounds such as antioxidants by breaking down rigid cell walls.

In the end, the consumer choice of what kind of noni to drink is a personal one. Whether you choose to drink noni raw or pasteurized, our advice is to be safe (source your noni from a provider you trust), support growers who cultivate noni organically (pesticides are bad for everyone), and above all enjoy your juice! The way we see it, noni is a pretty special gift from nature and no matter how you prefer it to be prepared, health and happiness are two things you should always get from your noni.

Mahalo for reading. Post your questions and comments below and if you would like to try a free sample of Hawaiian Ola noni, click here to order.

Additional Resources

1. (FDA Regulation)
Pasteurization In the United States, the FDA strongly recommends that all fruit juices be pasteurized. Currently 98% of all juices in the U.S. are pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria that may have grown during the harvesting and bottling process.
2. (FDA Regulation)
Noni: The Complete Guide for Consumers and Growers By Scot C. Nelson, Craig R. Elevitch
Non-pasteurized, bottled noni juice that is sold in the U.S. must be labeled “for external use only” or “for pet use only.”
3. (Constituents Of Noni)
A thorough list of stable and volatile constituents in Noni, including a reference to many of their known effects on the body.
4. (Noni Effects For Smokers)
“The Effects of Morinda Citrifolia (Noni) Fruit Juice on Serum Cholesterol and Triglyceride in Current Smokers.” Circulation 113, 301-381 (2006).
5. (Noni Protects The Liver)
Article: Noni juice protects the liver.
Claude J Jensen, Johannes Westendorf, Mian-Ying Wang, David P Wadsworth European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Impact Factor: 1.92). 06/2006 – Source: PubMed
6. (Nutritional Value Of Cooked Foods)
Turn Up the Slow Cooking Heat for Health – Hot Antioxidants

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