Step aside, tofu, tempeh, and seitan. There’s a new meatless-meal staple that’s making our mouths water.

Jackfruit is a high grade anti-oxidant owing to dense concentration of vitamin C. It strengthens immune function and protects from could, cold, flu, infections and critical conditions like Cancer and tumours.

Jackfruit is a powerhouse of energy. It can lend a quick boost of energy without disturbing the sugar levels in the body significantly.

Potassium controls sodium, maintains the  electrolyte balance along with regulating muscle function. All these roles make potassium a very healthy food for arresting high blood pressure and maintaining health of your heart.

The high fiber content in Jackfruit aids healthy digestion and an effective excretion which keeps the gastrointestinal tract clean and healthy.

Jackfruit contains dietary fiber that reduces the effects of toxin in the colon and protect from colon cancer. Additionally its constipation preventing properties prevent piles.

Jackfruit is a rich source Vitamin A and its equivalents that protect eyes from infections, improve eye sight and prevent vision related medical problems .

The anti-oxidant properties and high water content of Jackfruit keeps skin healthy, moisturized and reduces the wrinkles and dryness retaining the youthful texture of the skin.

The Jackfruit root has been found to be an effective remedy for asthma symptoms.

Jackfruit maintains good bone health with high calcium content and increases its density by reducing the calcium loss owing to healthy potassium content.

Jackfruit alleviates anemia by adding iron and increasing the iron absorption with Vitamin C  in the body. Other minerals in it improve the quality of blood.

Jackfruit comes from the mulberry family. It has thorny projections outside and soft flesh inside which is  intensely sweet and delicious in taste. It is typically found in South East Asia and finds its origins in India. Thailand and Vietnam are the largest producers and exporters of this fruit. Jackfruit is found in many varieties across countries and continents and is classified based on the softness of its flesh.

Jackfruit’s flesh is very high in fiber content. The taste and texture makes it a great fruit for jams, chutneys, candies, cakes and other sweet preparations.  Unripe raw jackfruit is used in savoury dishes and is cooked in gravies and spicy curries. The texture of unripe jackfruit is like mutton and so is its taste when cooked in spices which makes it popular amongst vegans and non-vegans alike. The seeds of Jackfruit are also eaten in boiled form as a snack in some countries.

It is a healthy fruit with almost no fats but high energy. The taste and preparations make it a delectable fruit which is easy to include in the meal plan. Unfortunately many countries get only canned jackfruit stored in sugar syrup or brine which is not as healthy as out-of-tree fruit. But this fact should not keep you from eating and enjoying this gorgeous fruit even if it is out of the can.

Scientific name: Artocarpus heterophyllus

Nutritional Value of Jackfruit:

It contains high amount of nutrient like vitamin, minerals, electrolytes, phytonutrients, carbohydrate, fiber, fat and protein.  Jackfruit is a good source of calorie but contains no cholesterol or saturated fats.

Jackfruit is rich in vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B5 content in Jackfruit fulfills about 25% of our daily requirement. Apart from Vitamin B5 Jackfruit is also a rich source of  Vitamin C, Magnesium and Potassium. The fat content of Jackfruit is very low at just about 0.64 grams. Though water is not a nutrient but it is pertinent to mention that Jackfruit is made up 80% water.

Health Benefits of Jackfruit:

Jackfruit contains high amount of carbohydrate and calorie that provides energy instantly. It is rich in antioxidants which protect from cancer, ageing and degenerative disease. Due to rich antioxidants it is good for eye sight and protects from conditions like cataract and macular degeneration. It is a good source of potassium which maintains fluid and electrolyte level in balance. Also it improves bone and skin health.

1. Optimizes Immune function:

Anti-oxidants are required by the body for scavenging free radicals. These are produced when oxygen reacts with certain molecules and kick starts a chain reaction which damages cell membranes and even DNA.

These free radicals have been associated with natural processes like ageing, skin wrinkling,  increased vulnerability to infections and diseases and more serious conditions like cancer and tumours. Vitamin C is a natural anti-oxidant but since it is water soluble and is not found in our bodies, you need to consume it through dietary sources.

Jackfruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C with a high content of 13.8 mg per 100 grams. Studies have shown that vitamin C  is a better anti-oxidant than compounds like Methanol and Ethanol. This makes vitamin C very effective against the free radicals in the body. The purification of our body by ridding it of free radicals  increases immune system function. It increases immunity to protect against common diseases like cough, cold and flu. It has also been found to form a strong resistance against infections.

2. High Energy Source:

If you are looking at quick energy boost than very few fruits come close to Jackfruit. Jackfruit contains high amount of carbohydrate and calorie but hardly any companion fat. It contains a healthy amount of simple sugar like fructose and sucrose that are easily digested by our bodies. The sugar in Jackfruit is  not only easy to digest but also comes from a category called “Slowly Available glucose” or SAG. This releases the glucose in our body in a restrained manner and therefore reduces the glycemic index of Jackfruit.

In simple words, diabetic people suffering from high sugar levels and sugar spikes can enjoy this deliciously sweet fruit without worrying about the glucose levels. However, if Jackfruit is regular part of your diet than make sure you add some physical activity to your routine to aid the digestion.

3. Maintains Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular health:

Potassium is one of the most important components that regulate blood pressure. Our body needs about 4700 milligrams of Potassium in a day. Optimum balance of potassium is key to controlling the right amount of sodium in our body. Potassium deficiency can make your sodium levels spiral out of control leading to substantial damage to heart and the arteries. Apart from this functionality, potassium is responsible for coordinating and maintaining muscle function which includes heart muscles as well.

Jackfruit contains good amount of potassium which is about 10% of our daily requirement. The ideal levels of  potassium is required to maintain fluid level i.e. to balance electrolyte also. All these different functions of potassium helps in maintaining ideal blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.

4. Improves Digestion:

When you open up a Jackfruit and take a look at its flesh, it clearly shows a lot of soft fiber. This fiber is not just for show but actually does convert itself into important and significant amount of roughage. Jackfruit has 1.5 grams of roughage per 100 grams of serving which is considered excellent. Dietary fiber  makes for a laxative which adds bulk to your stools and soften them up. Both of these factors make it easy for your body to push them through the Anal passage. Thus it improves digestion and prevents constipation.

Jackfruit contains both soluble and insoluble fiber with soluble content of 25% of the total fiber. Soluble fiber is the one which is digested in our body and provides energy whereas insoluble just passes through the Gastrointestinal tract. The insoluble fiber actually adds bulk to stools and make for an expeditious exit. It keeps the tracts clean and reduce a build up in the intestines.

5. Colon Cancer and Piles:

Colon cancer is caused when there is damage to colon at cellular level and these altered cells continue to divide rapidly even when there is no requirement of new cells. Eventually they destroy the normal cells and also tend to travel to other parts of the body through blood stream. Colon cancer appears in its early stages as polyps in the colon lining and take a full blown cancerous form as it progresses.

Fruits like Jackfruit that are high on anti-oxidants help to clean toxins from the colon, keeping it in a good and healthy shape. Though it does not treat the cancer itself  but can definitely help in reducing the risk of developing this condition.

It also helps in alleviating and preventing piles. Piles are Haemorrhoids in the anal area and are basically made of  swollen blood vessels. It is a very painful condition and critical cases experience bleeding and excruciating pain while passing stools. One of the main causes of Piles is Chronic Constipation. Jackfruit prevents constipation due to its high fiber content and can help alleviating the symptoms.

6. Vitamin A for Vision:

Jackfruit contains Vitamin A and its equivalent in form of Beta Carotene and Lutein Zeaxanthin. Beta Carotene gets synthesized and converts itself into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is an important nutrient  for eye health. It is an anti-oxidant that improves the vision and protects the eye from free radicals. It is also known to protect eyes from bacterial and viral infections by strengthening the mucous membranes that create a film on the cornea .

Lutein Zeaxanthin in Jackfruit is also known for its anti-oxidant properties that serve your eye sight effectively and impressively. It protects the eyes from intense and harmful  light waves like ultraviolet rays. This component is also considered monumental in improving your eye sight in dim lit and low light arenas. It is highly effective in preventing degeneration of the retina and reduce the risk of cataract and macular degeneration.

7. Skin Health and Ageing:

Ageing is caused due to natural factors like increase in age. But due to pollution, UV radiations and unhealthy lifestyle ageing is knocking at an early age and  is progressing faster than natural. The main causes of ageing are free radicals produced in our body due to high oxidative stress caused due to pollution.  Antioxidant rich diet including fruits like Jackfruit have proven to destroy these free radicals to slow the ageing process.

Eating Jackfruit also keeps skin moisturized and well hydrated due to high level of water content in it. Water reduces dryness and lend a supple appearance to your facial skin. This further reduces the light wrinkles and fine lines on skin making it look younger and glowing.

8. Asthma:

With an increase in pollution and weakened immunity, number of asthma cases being reported are increasing every year. Jackfruit has been proved beneficial to asthma patients. Asthma shows symptoms like extreme difficulty in breathing, wheezing and accompanying panic attacks. Like all COPD diseases, asthma needs to be managed and can be reversed.

Jackfruit and its extracts are now being explored to treat asthma and controlling its symptoms. Boiling the root of Jackfruit and consuming it is known to alleviate the symptoms of asthma.

9. Bone Health:

Jackfruit contains high amount of calcium which strengthens and promotes healthy bone health. Other bone related illnesses like Arthritis, Osteoporosis can also be managed and prevented with regular seasonal consumption of Jackfruit. High potassium in Jackfruit further decreases the loss of calcium through kidney thereby increasing calcium density in bone and strengthening it.

10. Anemia:

Anemia is a condition which is defined by reduction of red blood cells (RBC) or Haemoglobin in blood below the acceptable  minimum levels. This leads slow transportation of oxygen in the body leading to bouts of lethargy, constant tiredness, pale complexion and in some cases blacking out.

Jackfruit contains iron which can combat the deficiency of RBCs in the blood. The vitamin C content further enables an effective absorption of iron in the body. It is said that all iron that you get from dietary sources can pass right through your body without being absorbed if there is no Vitamin C in the body. Other minerals like copper and magnesium in Jackfruit improve the quality of blood.

Unless you’ve spent time scouring Indian rain forests or haunting the aisles of Asian markets, you may not have heard of jackfruit. This large, tropical superfruit is causing excitement in vegan and nonvegan circles, mostly because of its consistency and flavour once it’s been cooked. If coaxed with the right flavours, especially barbecue and Asian sauces, jackfruit mimics the taste and consistency of pulled pork or carne asada – if that’s your “thing”. Jackfruit is also all natural. You can find jackfruit in just about any Asian market, but the key is to buy canned, green unripe jackfruit in water, not in brine, and without preservatives. Ripe jackfruit has a different taste altogether, much like chewing gum, and is far too sweet for cooking. To prepare, cook it a bit, then douse in your favourite sauce before cooking a little longer. Since jackfruit takes on the flavour of whatever it’s cooked with, you can use just about any sauce, but those with a hint of sugar are best for a crispy, golden brown finish.

Amazing facts about Jackfruit:

Jackfruit is the largest tree borne fruit in the world which can weight from a mere 3 kilograms to 36 Kilograms! A full mature jackfruit can have a length of 92 cm and width that extends to 51 cm.

The wood of Jackfruit is used in making musical instruments, furniture and even in house construction. the distinct colour of Monks’ robes in South East Asia comes from the dye of this wood.

Jackfruit is also known to grow from the underground roots in some rare cases! In such situations the fruit actually cracks the ground over it and emerges outside.

Jackfruit is a wonderful fruit with wonderful health benefits. Its juicy sweet taste becomes even better when you know about the health benefits that you are going to derive from it.

Thank you for reading! Stay healthy, keep fit, and love being vegan!

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High powered chia breakfast.

Spoil yourself to a high powered chia breakfast packed with healthy protein and omega’s – throw in some berries for antioxidant’s and a little thinly sliced banana for potassium – add warm almond milk and a drizzle of coconut nectar, and you have yourself a kings breakfast!

Chia – so easy to make, underrated, this breakfast ought to be on every breakfast menu in the world. Everyone would benefit from consuming this at least once per week. Versatile – any fruit will compliment chia together with non dairy milk.

Use chia as a power breakfast, pop it into your smoothies, make delicious desserts and, use chia in place egg.

Serves 3:

Ingredients:

50 grams chia (soak in boiled water)
3 x 250ml almond milk
2 bananas (sliced)
6 large strawberries (quartered)
9 raspberries (whole)
coconut nectar

To make:

Add your chia to a bowl together with boiled water. Chia grows to about 3-4 times it’s size, so add two x 250ml water first, then add more as you require and allow to soak for a couple of minutes. You will end up with a ‘gooey’ texture.

Whilst that is happening – prepare your fruit, and heat up your almond milk on a low temperature.

Add your chia mix to your milk and stir until smooth and desired temperature. Serve to your breakfast bowls and garnish with your choice of fruit. A final drizzle of coconut nectar to finish off and enjoy!

P.S. – Please note that the consistency of your breakfast is a personal choice, should you wish for your bowl of chia to be thicker in consistency, then add less milk or more chia to the mix. This for me is just perfect!

Vegan Chef On The Run

Kidney cleansing

The importance of maintaining a healthy, clean kidney cannot be overemphasized. Healthy kidneys are essential to a variety of body functions. Your kidneys help detoxify your blood by removing toxic compounds and passing them out through the urine. If blood cleansing becomes impeded, toxins can remain and circulate throughout the body to cause harm.

We do not support diets, and ‘fads’. Going vegan shall keep your body as healthy as it can possibly be, and with good variety of plant based sources, including the below listed ingredients, shall naturally supports your kidneys, and will help keep them functioning at their best.

The Function of the Kidneys:

Healthy kidneys help manage body fluid stability by regulating the balance of sodium and water. The kidneys also manage the balance between alkalinity and acidity, and they regulate the hormones and enzymes responsible for controlling blood pressure. In addition, as mentioned previously, your kidneys help filter out toxins that build up in response to diet and the environment. The imbalance of body water caused by toxic kidneys has been linked to negative emotional states, such as stress, paranoia, uncontrolled muscle shaking, general feelings of insecurity and fear, and even panics attacks. Kidney cleansing helps promote the optimal function of the kidneys. When in optimal health, your kidneys can purify your blood up to 60 times per day.

Teas That Cleanse the Kidneys:

There are many teas that you can brew yourself that will help cleanse your kidneys.

Dandelion root removes excess water from the body by stimulating urine production. Dandelion root tea can be made by boiling 1 to 2 tsp of organic roasted dandelion root in 8 ounces of pure water.

Ginger root and turmeric tea can be made by boiling a few dashes of turmeric powder with peeled ginger root. If consumed after lunch and dinner, the tea not only flushes toxins from the kidneys but also helps with digestion.

Cleansing with Fruits and Vegetables:

You can also find many organic fruits that will help your body with kidney cleansing.  Juice cleanses are all the rage, and with good reason. A juice cleanse combines the nutritional power of fruits and vegetables into one, easy-to-drink beverage. The juice of vegetables and fruits is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients necessary for facilitating the removal of toxins. This helps take the strain off the liver, colon, and kidneys. Vegetables like celery, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, carrots, kale, and spinach are great for juicing. For fruits, try apples, peeled oranges, pears, pineapple, and peaches.

Organic grapes can be eaten raw to provide nutrients and antioxidants that support detoxification. Grapes help flush uric acid and other waste products from the kidneys.

Organic cranberries provide us with quinine, a compound that is sent to the liver. Hippuric acid, which is converted from quinine, helps remove urea and uric acid from the kidneys and urinary tract. It also helps discourage bacteria from attaching to urinary tract walls. Cranberry juice is a great kidney supporter.  Cranberry juice has been touted for years as supporter for the urinary tract. Research shows that cranberries can help fight against urinary tract infections, possibly by decreasing the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder and urethra. Cranberries may also be helpful for cleansing the kidneys of excess calcium oxalate, one of the main contributors to kidney stones. When purchasing cranberry juice, always choose varieties that are certified organic and free of added sugars, preservatives, or artificial flavours; or, get a juicer and make your own.

Organic apples are one of the best natural foods you can eat, and they also support natural cleansing.

Beet juice is another great addition to help you cleanse your entire body.  Beets and beet juice contain betaine, a very beneficial phytochemical. It has antioxidant qualities and increases the acidity of urine. This can help clear calcium phosphate and struvite buildup from the kidneys. The removal of calcium in the kidneys not only promotes kidney function, but decreases the likelihood of kidney stones.

Naturally acidic, lemon juice has been shown to increase citrate levels in the urine, a factor that discourages kidney stones from forming. For a quick lemon kidney cleanse, squeeze 4-5 lemons into a quart of cold water and drink up. Or, for a warming beverage, squeeze one quarter to one half a lemon into 8 ounces of hot water daily.

There are also several organic cleansing vegetables that are readily available in almost every grocery store.

Garlic is a natural diuretic that helps stimulate urine production and flush out the kidneys.

Cucumbers also work as a natural diuretic and can help dissolve kidney and bladder stones.

Sprouts help flush out the kidneys because they contain so much water.

Onions have been reputed to help people pass kidney stones. The onions are boiled, then liquefied in a blender along with the water they were cooked in. Raw onion is also great in juices in small amounts.

Kidney beans, soybeans, and peas contain a vital amino acid called arginine that helps cleanse the kidneys of ammonia.

A General Rule of Thumb:

Eating pure, whole, and raw foods will provide the necessary support for your kidneys as well as every other detoxifying organ in your body. Most raw leafy greens, low-sugar fruits (think berries), and nuts and seeds can support your health in numerous ways, not just for cleansing. Also, it is imperative that you drink enough pure, filtered water every day in order to provide an easier route for toxins to evacuate your kidneys. You can use distilled water for this purpose; simply add 1 tbsp. of raw apple cider vinegar to an 8-ounce glass to give it an extra boost.

The kidneys are our organs that filter out toxins and waste from the bloodstream. Because toxins can affect your entire body, there is no question that supporting your kidneys is crucial for keeping your overall health in check. Without a balanced diet, purified drinking water, and body cleansing, toxins can build up and affect the function of the kidneys, liver, and neighbouring organs, and may even lead to kidney stones and other problems. Cleansing the kidneys is a simple process and most cleanses don’t require an exhaustive supply of tools or ingredients to work. In fact, just drinking plenty of purified water is the first step toward an effective flush. Water, however, only provides hydration. So do give your kidney that extra added boost by eliminating all animal ‘products’ from your plates, and filling up your shopping carts with a variety of organic plant based foods.

Have you cleansed your kidneys? What process did you use? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

~ Active Vegan ~

Raw chocolate mousse!

Try this really quick and easy to make uplifting raw and decadent avo chocolate mousse!

All you need are the ingredients and a blender and a couple of minutes.

Cocoa contains the substance phenethylamine, which is a neurotransmitter found in the brain that acts as a mood elevator and natural antidepressant, so this natural healthy ‘high’ in antioxidants dessert shall certainly encourage just that! Avo is heart healthy, prevents wrinkles, helps control weight, and also helps you maintain a healthy gut which also encourages the prevention of cancers of the digestive tract. What’s not to like here, go for it!

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

2 medium sized ripe buttery avo
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk
3 T coco powder
2 T syrup
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt

To prep:

Slice your avo in half.

Take out the pip and squeeze the flesh into your blender.

Bung everything else into your blender. Pulse until smooth.

Spoon into a fancy glass if you want.

Garnish with fresh sprigs of mint, or strawberry, cherry or vegan cream. Eat straight away.

Enjoy!

Big Luv from me Vegan Chef On The Run

Healthy dog food.

Many people are surprised to learn that not only can dogs enjoy vibrant health on a vegan diet, but just like people, their physical condition actually improves as a result of eliminating animal products and bi-products from their meal plans.

By genus, dogs may be classified as carnivorous, but metabolically, they are actually omnivorous. This means that their nutritional requirements can be adequately met with a plant-based diet – as they can source or synthesize all the nutrients they require from plant foods with supplementation. This is wonderful news for many of us who are already vegan and feel completely out of our comfort zone  feeding our companion friends unhealthy torture and cruelty. It therefore makes perfect logical sense to transition them for health reasons mostly but also in order to decrease our carbon foot print on the planet.

If you have never considered this option or thought that it was not possible then we shall with confidence help you in the right direction.  We have spoken to many vegans who have already done so and their canines are in perfect health! There is no reason why you can’t make the switch for them. It is very easy to cut meat, eggs and dairy from his diet for health and ethical reasons. With the vegan diet enjoying a positive widespread exposure, it should come as little surprise that  ‘pet’ owners might want to project those ideals onto their canine companions.

The health hazards of commercial meat-based:

The health hazards of commercial meat-based pet foods are extensive, and difficult to avoid. They  include slaughterhouse waste products; 4-D meat (from dead, dying, diseased and disabled animals); old or spoiled supermarket meat; large numbers of rendered dogs and cats from animal shelters; old restaurant grease, complete with high concentrations of dangerous free radicals and trans fatty acids; damaged or spoiled fish, complete with dangerous levels of mercury, PCBs and other toxins; pathogenic bacteria, protozoa, viruses, fungi and prions, and their associated endotoxins and mycotoxins; hormone and antibiotic residues; and dangerous preservatives. The combined results are rendered so delicious to cats and dogs by the addition of ‘digest’ – a soup of partially dissolved chicken entrails – that more than 95% of companion animals subsist primarily on commercial meat-based diets.

Unsurprisingly, diseases described in the scientific literature following long-term maintenance of cats and dogs on commercial meat-based diets include kidney, liver, heart, neurologic, eye, muscoloskeletal and skin diseases, bleeding disorders, birth defects, immunocompromisation and infectious diseases. Degenerative diseases such as cancer, kidney, liver and heart failure are far more common than they should be, and  many are likely to be exacerbated or directly caused by the numerous hazardous ingredients of commercial meat-based cat and dog diets.

Vegetarian diets: a healthy alternative:

On the other hand, studies and numerous case reports have shown that nutritionally sound vegan companion animal diets appear to be associated with the following health benefits: increased overall health and vitality, decreased incidences of cancer, infections, hypothyroidism, ectoparasites (fleas, ticks, lice and mites), improved coat condition, allergy control and less irritations, less dandruff or excess shedding, weight control, arthritis regression, diabetes regression and cataract resolution, improvement in breath and no stinky poos, longer life, and a general positive boost to their immune systems.

Creating a balanced diet that makes up for the loss of animal protein with substitutions of beans, soy and, to a lesser extent, vegetables and grains is key!

Many dogs with food allergies, benefit switching to a vegan diet.  They also avoid taking in animal by-products from commercially produced dog food, including slaughterhouse waste products and rejects that wouldn’t be fit for human consumption. We’ve seen so much cancer and other degenerative diseases in dogs in recent years so it’s easy to suspect that pet food is a contributor.

For those who have embraced a vegan diet for their dogs,  say they have living and breathing proof that it works.  Their dogs are normal, healthy, energetic and rambunctious!

The important thing is that you put together a well balanced  diet following a few easy guidelines that have been tried and tested over the past 30 years or so.  Today it is absolutely possible to find a good quality commercial vegan dog food from a reputable vegan supplier that doesn’t have animal products in it. Please check that they have gone through proper feed control trials. If you have the time and prefer to cook meals from scratch to save on costs, it is easy to do so, once again on advice from tried and tested recipes that offer all the nutrients and a good balance of essentials needed (this is much easier than you think).  We shall show you how.

You can now find all the vegan alternatives and you are able to produce nutritionally-balanced food for both cats and dogs.

Putting Together a Basic Meal:

At least a third to a half of your dog’s meal should consist of a quality protein source. The remaining portion can be made up of a variety of whole grains, raw and cooked vegetables, as well as certain supplemental items.  (please refer some of our suggested listing below).

The Vegan Dog Nutrition Association recommends that the base of the meal be comprised of soybeans, lentils, rice, oats and sweet potatoes. Pinto beans are the most non-allergenic food for vegan dogs, and (along with sweet potatoes and carrots),  they provide a good basis for their diet. Pinto beans and sweet potatoes can also be used exclusively for up to 6 to 8 weeks to determine whether your dog is suffering from food allergies.

Note: All legumes should be well-cooked (until very soft) and preferably mashed or puréed in a food processor.

Adding a sprinkling of sea vegetable flakes such as kelp or dulse helps to ensure a dietary source of minerals.

Dogs can enjoy fruit in small amounts  if they will eat it. Our dogs enjoy a variety of fruits, ranging from bananas, apples and orange, to watermelon! Just make sure that you don’t feed your dog fruit too close to a high-protein meal. The enzymes are different and can cause digestive discomfort.

Protein & Carbohydrates:

A dog’s protein requirement need is higher than ours. To ensure that your dog gets enough, make sure that approximately a third to a half of their meal consists of a high-quality protein source (such as well-cooked legumes – pintos, chick peas, soy beans, lentils, sprouted lentils, garbanzo beans, and split peas, tofu,  and tempeh (are all good).

Unless your dog requires a grain-free diet for health reasons, well-cooked whole grains are good sources of both protein and carbohydrates, as well as other nutrients such as B vitamins. We’ve found that whole grains in moderation work really well for our dogs, including brown rice, quinoa, millet, polenta (corn grits) or blended fresh corn kernels, oats, barley, and buckwheat.

Seitan (wheat-meat) is a high-protein vegan ‘meat’ made from gluten flour. Dogs absolutely love it, and (just like with humans) seitan can be a great help when ‘veganizing’ a formerly carnivorous dog. But since wheat gluten should not be consumed to excess, seitan ought to remain just an occasional treat for dogs as they are not very healthy to eat on a regular basis.

Enzymes & Beta-carotene:

Sweet potatoes, carrots and other orange-colored root vegetables are important sources of beta-carotene, and should be included on a regular basis (cut finely and/or mashed). Regular potatoes (in small pieces or mashed) are also fine to include on occasion, but they do not include this important nutrient. Dogs convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A, which is a necessary nutrient that is hard for them to get elsewhere in a plant-based diet.

Other vegetables (also cut finely and/or mashed) are good to include whenever possible, for the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber. The best choices are pumpkin, squash, yams, carrots, and also other small bits of broccoli, brussels sprouts, cooked cabbage, etc. Raw, grated carrot and/or beetroot is good, as well as sprouts, and/or raw, dark leafy greens, finely chopped and mixed in well with their meals.

Some authorities recommend adding digestive enzymes to a dog’s diet, though this is not something we’ve had reason to be concerned about. The company Harbingers of a New Age sells a product called Prozyme; a supplement for dogs that contains all of the enzymes they require.

There are also some excellent supplements available for dogs, cats and other companion animals that are made from dark green leafy vegetables and other highly nutritious plant foods. One such product (which also happens to contain all the essential digestive enzymes as well as a comprehensive probiotic mixture) is called Green Mush, produced by Health Force Nutritionals. Green Mush is a whole food, green plant based powder, that includes large amounts of CoQ10, which is a powerful antioxidant involved in energy production and longevity. The owners of Health Force state that the product can be helpful for dogs, cats, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, ferrets, squirrels, other mammals and human animals too! Health Force Nutritionals is an excellent resource for both human and nonhuman nutritional needs.

Taurine, L-Carnitine & B12:

Vegetarian dog specialists and most companies that sell vegan dog food advise adding taurine and L-carnitine to the diets of vegan dogs. These are two amino acids that are naturally found in animal flesh, but do not naturally occur in plants. Dogs cannot synthesize these nutrients themselves. Deficiencies can be potentially serious, so a supplement is an important preventative measure. Both of these nutrients can be bought at your local health food store, and they are also included in many commercial vegan dog products.

Another supplement that we have included in our dogs’ diets is nutritional yeast; either Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula or Lotus Brands – both of which are rich in B vitamins, and are fortified with Vitamin B12. Whether or not you include nutritional yeast in your dog’s food, you should make sure that they receive an adequate source of B12.

Note:  Harbingers of a New Age provides a supplement called ‘VegeDog’, which provides two of these: Vitamin B12 and taurine. One month’s supply of this fantastic product costs just $12.00. That’s only 40 cents per day to make sure that your dog is getting these important nutrients, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals.

Oils & Essential Fatty Acids:

Dogs need a certain amount of oil in their diets, and if they’re lacking it, their coat will be a clear sign. A lusterless coat can transform after a few days of including a nutritious oil in the diet, such as flax. A dog’s oil requirements can also be met with 1-2 tablespoons of tahini (sesame seed butter), flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, or ground flax seeds, coconut oil is great too.  A teaspoon or two of organic sunflower, olive, or coconut oil poured over their food will get them to eat anything! Flax and hemp have the added benefit of being Omega-rich.

There are many studies that confirm the powerful healing benefits of giving dogs flax seed oil or another fatty acid blend. To ensure your dogs are receiving the necessary essential fatty acids (omegas 3, 6, & 9), add 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon of vegan essential fatty acid oil.  Flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, or 1 teaspoon of ground or soaked flax seeds. (This is beneficial for vegan humans as well). ‘Total EFA’ oil also serves other purposes such as helping joint function and coat health. These oils are especially important for senior dogs.

Vega EFA Oil Blend is made from a combination of antioxidant and phytonutrient rich seed oils including green tea seed oil and blueberry seed oil. Deva and V-Pure are now producing vegan DHA, long chain fatty-acids from seaweed in a capsule for humans, which you can share with your companion animals.

Cranimals organic supplements contain vegan EFAs like DHA and ALA, as well as beta-carotene and a host of other valuable phytonutrients (urinary tract, dental and heart healthy antioxidants from berry extracts and vitamins and minerals from organic spirulina). The powdered and liquid Cranimals supplements for dogs and cats, as well as their Zendog biscuits, supply EFAs from algae, flax and cranberries.

Conclusion:

Being a responsible guardian for any animal means making an effort to ensure that his or her diet is nutritionally complete, just as you would for yourself. The best thing you can do for your animal friends is to continue to keep yourself informed, as  new research being released all the time.

Go  organic where you can.

Quality protein source:

Beans/legumes

Garbanzo beans (cooked, ground/blended).

Pinto beans are the most non-allergenic food for vegan dogs

Lentils (cooked, mashed and or processed)

Sprouted lentils

Chick peas

Split peas (cooked, mashed and or processed)

Chia seeds

Soy

Soybean

Sprouts

Tempeh

Tofu

TVP (textured vegetable protein)

Variety of whole grains:

Brown rice

Oats

Quinoa

Millet

Polenta

Barley

Buckwheat

Vegetables raw and cooked:

Orange-colored root vegetables are important sources of beta-carotene

Carrots

Pumpkin

Squash

Yams

Sweet potatoes

Broccoli

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage cooked

Sprouts

Dark leafy greens (raw and cooked = calcium and iron supplementation)

Supplemental items:

Taurine

Niacin

L Carnitine

Glutamene

Ground flax

Amino acids

Essential fatty acids

Nutritional yeast (great source of  B12)

Sea vegetable flakes such as kelp or dulse helps to ensure a dietary source of minerals

Seaweed

Oils:

Flax seed oil

Hemp seed oil

Coconut oil

Olive oil

Sunflower oil

Fruits:

Cranberries

Bananas

Apples

Orange

Watermelon

Herbs:  In small amounts and always check with your vegan vet

Ginger

Goldenseal

Milk Thistle

Valerian

Calendula

Basil

Hawthorn

Please share your successes with us in switching your canines to a healthy cruelty free diet and do help us update our page here for others to share. We would love to hear from you! Are your dogs vegan yet? Have you stopped supporting the cruel factory farming industries, pet, zoo and other entertainment trades, as well as domestic breeding programmes? Do let us know!

Rolling out our newsletter for February 2015!

It’s been such an exciting start to the year! We have so many aspirations and doable goals for 2015, and shall tackle them all monthly! There is just so much to do this year! We have a stunning, dedicated team who sincerely wish to get the wonderful word out there regarding all aspects of being vegan and living life in a true and non violent way!

January saw us finally setting up our brand new website as well as our new twitter account, which will see us rolling out news and wonderful articles daily. Please do join us on both forms of media , share, and lets get the word out there! We feel so blessed and so grateful to social media which today, both allows and encourages us to share our knowledge and compassion with everyone out there who has access to it! It was only a couple of decades ago that this was not a possibility leaving very little room for growth!

So very many people have not been reached yet, are denied free access to all of the health benefits, well being, and are therefore denied the opportunity of living life cruelty free in a cost effective manner.  One of the biggest problem and ‘grey’ areas still, is the lack of compassionate education at school levels. We firmly agree  that most are not taught about veganism at family level, leaving a huge void and a deep gap that slows down much faster  potential room for growth. One of the  biggest obstacles still lies with government to get on board this ‘concept’, who have the power to introduce valid reasoning to their communities and to curriculum’s within the schooling educational systems.

We have had the great pleasure to have communicated with so many people across the board who have diverse opinions, sharing insight as to where ‘felt’ current existing problems lie, and how change could effectively be made to run a little faster.  We agree that people cannot be forced to make the switch, they have to be able to understand why making the switch is imperative.  People want to make that connection, they want change but many still don’t quite fully know how to go about it.   People do want to embrace the concept fully however, can only do this when they have access to information.

Every individual connects on a variety of different levels, some connect to the cruelty of sentience and want to save as many animals as they possibly can from torture.  More than 60 billion animals are slaughtered each year not including sea creatures. Each and every vegan can spare over 200 lives per year!

Others connect to the health aspects , whilst some have been through great pain, suffering, and illness and have managed to reverse their symptoms. A vegan diet helps prevent and treats heart disease, reduces the risks of cancer and can actually reverse some cancers within three months, as cancer as well as other illnesses cannot survive in body with a healthy ph balance.  Going vegan can cure diabetes as well as high blood pressure etc.

Many go vegan because they know that it shall help environmental change. ‘Meat’ is not green. Livestock accounts for more than 9% of global carbon dioxide emissions, 40% of global methane emissions, and 65% of global nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Some are passionate about people. The worlds cattle alone consume a quantity of food that is equal to the calorie alone needed for 8.7 billion people which is more than the entire human population on earth! The more people that go vegan, the more hungry  we can feed!

Others are passionate about land. Did you know that the same amount of land can produce enough food that can feed 20 vegans or just one meat eater. 30% of land mass is dedicated to raising animals for food which is about the size of Asia.

Then there is water! Nearly 60% of all water goes to raising animals for food. It takes 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat, 815 gallons to produce 1 pound of chicken, 1630 gallons to produce one pound of pork, and a staggering  5000 gallons to produce just one pound of beef.

Some people make the switch for energy! Balanced vegan diets are naturally free of cholesterol laden and artery clogging animal products.  Whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are so high in complex carbohydrates, that they supply the body with plenty of energising fuel!

Then some find the beauty aspect appealing. With no animal fat, weight goes down naturally and skin gets cleansed.  Going vegan  has a direct health effect and appearance on skin, hair and nails.

Others simply do it to avoid toxic chemicals. Nearly 95% of the pesticide residue in the meat eaters typical diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products.  Fish contains carcinogens and heavy metals . Meat and dairy are fortified with steroids and hormones.

Finally some find the discovery of taking their eating experience to a whole new level. Experience new foods, discover new tastes, experiment and enjoy!

All of the above are valid reasons to go vegan however, we firmly believe that it ought to be primarily about abolishing animal cruelty. Having said this though, we do respect the connection that individuals make in order to accomplish the ultimate goal of living ones life as a vegan. So with such a diverse culture of people throughout the world, we are highly excited and motivated. and fully embrace all reasoning in uniting everyone whom we believe to be heading in the same direction.  The links are strong!

Whilst all of these topics will be covered daily to continue to encourage, engage and unite, we shall also focus primarily on something quite different for February, which we shall update you on in our  March newsletter, should efforts pan out to be a success!

In the mean time we strongly recommend that you to talk about veganism, and all of it’s wonderful values and benefits to as many as you possibly can! May February bring you much joy and health, and may you be positive in everything that you do.  We encourage you to touch the lives of as many as you can! Be an ~ Active Vegan ~ every second of your day!

https://www.facebook.com/ActiveVegan

~ Active Vegan ~

What is your reason to go vegan! Please do let us know, we would love to hear from you!

Blueberries for health!

Ever tasted a Blue Berry? Liked its tangy taste? Yes? Then you will absolutely love them even more once you finish reading this stuff. Before we proceed, allow us to give you a short introduction of Blue Berries, for those who have never tasted or seen one, and also for those who know them well.

Blue Berry is a fruit belonging to Vaccinium family with two well known types. First one is the wild or the low-bush Blue Berry bearing the scientific name ‘vaccinium angustifolium’ and the second one, the ‘vaccinium corymbosum’, is commonly known as the cultivated or the high-bush Blue Berry. There is one more type but that is not so well known. Its scientific name is ‘vaccinium pallidum’.


Ailments, causes and healing effect of Blue Berries:


Aging:

Leaving aside the genetic factor, for which there is no apparent solution, if we consider the effect of free radicals on aging, then Blue Berries bring you the brightest ray of hope, for they are laden with anti oxidants and rank number 1 in the world of anti oxidants. This is mainly due to presence of Anthocyanin, a pigment responsible for the blue color of the blue berries. The abundance of vitamin-C is also a big factor for this as well.


Urinary Tract Infection:

The building of colonies of certain bacteria like b-coli along the lining of the inner walls of urinary tract is responsible for this infection, resulting in inflammation, burning sensation during in passage of urine and other complications. Here, Blue Berries can be surprisingly beneficial. It has a compound formed of big polymer like heavy molecules which inhibits the growth of such bacteria. It also has some anti biotic properties which adds to this effect. These heavy and big molecules almost wash-off these bacteria along the tract, thereby preventing the infection. So far, this compound is found only in Cranberries and Blue Berries.


Eye Care & Macular Degeneration:

Blue Berry is one of the best alternatives for spectacles, contact-lenses, eye-drops, medicines and eye surgeries. They can prevent or delay all age related ocular problems like macular degeneration, cataract, myopia and hypermetropia, dryness and infections, particularly those pertaining to retina, due to their anti-oxidant properties. Macular degeneration is a serious problem where the retina of the eye degenerate gradually, ultimately leading to complete or partial blindness. No! I am certainly not telling you to put them in your eyes. Instead, you can just do well eating them. Blue Berries contain a special group of anti oxidants called Carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin etc.), Flavonoids (like rutin, resveritrol, quercetin etc.), in addition to others such as vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, selenium, zinc and phosphorus, which are very beneficial and essential for the ocular health.


Brain Function, Memory & Alzheimer’s disease:

Again, the anti oxidative properties of Blue Berries. The anthocyanin, the selenium, the vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, the zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese etc., among others, can prevent and heal neurotic disorders by preventing degeneration and death of neurons, brain-cells and also by restoring health of the central nervous system. It is hard to believe that these berries can also cure serious problems like Alzheimer’s disease to a great extent. They even heal damaged brain cells and neuron tissues and keep your memory sharp for a long-long time.


Constipation & Digestion:

While roughage (fiber) in Blue Berries keep away constipation (Of course, a single piece alone will not do. You need to eat a big handful of them), the vitamins, sodium, copper, fructose and acids improve digestion.


Cancer:

Blue Berries can prove to be bliss for the cancer patients, for they contain certain compounds like Pterostilbene (excellent remedy for colon and liver cancer) and Ellagic Acid which, in harmony with Anthocyanin and other anti oxidants like vitamin-C and copper, can do miracles to prevent and cure cancer.


Heart Disease:

The high fiber content, those brilliant anti oxidants and the ability to dissolve the ‘bad cholesterol’ make the Blue Berry an ideal dietary supplement to cure many heart diseases. It also strengthens the cardiac muscles.


Immunity:

Blue Berries, being very rich in anti oxidants like Anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, iron (promotes immunity by raising haemoglobin and oxygen concentration in blood) etc. boost up your immune system and prevent infections. Once your immunity is strong, you won’t catch colds, fever, pox and all such nasty viral and bacterial communicable diseases.


Other benefits & facts:

They keep you fresh, active, fit, sharp, close to nature and in a good mood, as they are  very good anti depressants. You also need not spend a lot on medicines, neither are there any side effects. Here, there is an interesting thing to know. The deeper the color of the Blue Berries, the more they are rich in anti oxidants and other medicinal values.
So, eat them until your tongue turns blue and live a healthy long and strong life ! 

We would love to know about the positive effects that blueberries have on your life. Do share your recipes with us!

https://www.facebook.com/ActiveVegan

~ Active Vegan ~