Does dairy cause acne – how do I cure acne?

Yes it is confirmed – dairy does cause acne. The billions of cows that we kill for dairy, unintentionally returning the gesture.

As our dairy consumption has increased over the last 100 years so has the number of people with acne. We now have over 17 million acne sufferers in the U.S alone, costing health care in the States over $1 billion a year. Eighty to ninety percent of teenagers suffer acne to varying degrees. But this is not just prevalent in teens, millions of adults are suffering too

The pimply millions rely on infomercial products hawked by celebrities or over-the-counter lotions, cleansers, and topical remedies. Recent research suggests that it’s not what we slather on our skin that matters most but what we put in our mouth.

Many have suggested a diet-acne link, but until recently it has not been proven in large clinical studies. Instead dermatologists prescribe long-term antibiotics and Accutane, both of which may cause long-term harmful effects. In 2009, a systematic review of 21 observational studies and six clinical trials found clear links. Two large controlled trials found that cow’s milk increased both the number of people who got acne and its severity.

The dietary pimple producing culprit – diary, cause spikes in certain pimple producing hormones. Dairy boosts male sex hormones (various forms of testosterone or androgens), increases insulin levels. One does not need pills to cure acne, the cure is at the end of ones fork.

Nutritional deficiencies as well as consuming dairy worsens acne. Correcting common deficiencies including low levels of healthy omega-3 anti-inflammatory fats, low levels of antioxidants such as vitamin E, zinc, and vitamin A, and including an important anti-inflammatory omega-6 fat called evening primrose oil are helpful in preventing and treating unwanted acne. One can correct and incorporate all of these nutritional elements of ones meal plan through a well balanced healthy vegan diet.

Stay away from dairy and avoid acne:

One scientist referred to milk as a “complex aqueous, suspended fat, liposomal, suspended protein emulsion”. What we do know is that milk is designed to grow ‘things’ – namely, babies – and in the case of cow’s milk, calves. It is naturally full of what we call anabolic hormones.

These are mostly androgens (like testosterone) and growth hormones including insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). There is no such thing as hormone-free milk.

Here’s a short list of the 60-some hormones in an average glass of milk – even the organic, raw, and bovine growth hormone free milk:

  • 20α-dihydropregnenolone
  • progesterone (from pregnenolone)
  • 5α-pregnanedione
  • 5α-pregnan-3β-ol-20-one, 20α- and 20β-dihydroprogesterone (from progesterone)
  • 5α-androstene-3β17β-diol
  • 5α-androstanedione
  • 5α-androstan-3β-ol-17-one
  • androstenedione
  • testosterone
  • dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate acyl ester
  • insulin like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF-1 and IGF-2)
  • insulin

This is what our governments suggest we drink —at least 3 glasses a day according to the mypyramid.gov website. Those guidelines have been strongly criticized by many including leading nutrition scientists from Harvard such as Walter Willett and David Ludwig.

The famous Nurse’s Health Study examining health habits of 47,000 nurses found that those who ate dairy as teenagers had much higher rates of severe acne than those who had little or no milk as teenagers. If you think it is the fat in milk, think again.

It was actually the skim milk that had the strongest risk for acne. In other studies of over 10,000 boys and girls from 9 to 15 years old, there was a direct link between the amount of dairy consumed and the severity of acne.

It is not just the anabolic or sex hormones in milk that causes problems but milk’s ability to stimulate insulin production. Drinking a glass of milk and eating dairy spikes insulin levels by 300 percent. Not only does that cause pimples, but it also contribute to prediabetes. This is true despite studies funded by the dairy council showing that milk helps with weight loss.

Recent studies also show that sugar and refined carbs (a high-glycemic diet) cause acne. More importantly, taking sufferes off dairy and sugar and putting them on a healthy vegan diet resulted in significant improvements in acne compared to a control group eating a regular, high-sugar nonvegan diet. In addition to less pimples, the participants lost weight, became more sensitive to the effects of insulin (resulting in less pimple-producing insulin circulating around the blood). We know that women who have too much sugar and insulin resistance get acne, hair growth on their face, hair loss on the head, and infertility. This is caused by high levels of circulating male hormones and is called polycystic ovarian syndrome but is a nutritional, not gynecologic disease.

But the dietary influences don’t stop there. It is not just dairy and sugar, but the bad fats that we eat that also contribute to acne.

So consider getting an Oil Change:

Non vegan diets is full of inflammatory fats – saturated fats, trans fats, too many omega-6, inflammatory, processed vegetable oils like soy and corn oils. These increase IGF-1 and stimulate pimple follicles. Inflammation has been linked to acne, and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats help improve acne and help with many skin disorders.

Balance the hormones that cause skin problems:

The link is clear – hormonal imbalances caused by ones diet triggers acne. What we put into our mouth influences sex hormones like testosterone, IGF-1, and insulin, which promote acne. The biggest factors affecting hormones is the glycemic load in diets (which is determined by how quickly the food that one eats increases blood sugar and insulin levels), and the dairy products one eats. The great news is that going vegan balances those hormones. Exercise also helps improve insulin function.

How to prevent and treat acne:

1.Stay away from dairy. Milk is nature’s perfect food – but only if you are a calf.

2.Eat natural sugars such as those from fruits.

3.Up fruit and vegetable intake. People who eat more fruit and veg (containing more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds) have less acne. Make sure to get  5–9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.

4.Get more healthy anti-inflammatory fats. Make sure to get omega-3 fats and anti-inflammatory omega-6 fats (evening primrose oil).

5.Include foods that correct acne problems. Certain foods have been linked to improvements in many of the underlying causes of acne and can help correct it. These include turmeric, ginger, green tea, nuts, dark purple and red foods such as berries, green foods like dark green leafy vegetables, and omega 3.

6.Antioxidant levels have been shown to be low in acne sufferers. So up antioxidants, also up zinc citrate, as well as vitamin A.

7.Probiotics also help reduce inflammation in the gut that may be linked to acne. Taking naturally fremented probiotics can improve acne – kombucha etc.

8.Avoid foods you are sensitive to. Delayed food allergies are among the most common causes of acne—foods like gluten, dairy, yeast, and eggs are common culprits and can be a problem if you have a leaky gut. More people are sensitive to these culprits but just don’t know it as yet. More than 75% of the world population is actually allergic to dairy and it shows up in more ways than one.

Following these simple tips will help you eliminate acne and have that glowing skin you have always dreamed of. And it’s much cheaper (and safer) than expensive medications and dermatologist visits. Go vegan – watch pimples disappear.

Have you struggled with an acne or skin problem? What seems to be a problem for you?

Why do you think we are encouraged to consume so much dairy when the risks to our health (and our skin) are so high?

What other steps have you taken to fight acne? What has worked? What hasn’t? Please leave your thoughts by adding a comment below –

To your good health – vegan love.

Nuts.

It wasn’t very long ago that nuts were feared. – They were considered a dieting disaster, with far too high a fat and calorie content to be anything but bad for you! Recently though, extensive studies have shown that the opposite is actually the case. – Nuts are incredible for the human body. Recently there have been many health discoveries showing that nuts are a wonderful protein source that are great for everyone, and should be added to our diets.

Yes – nuts contain a lot of fat, and they are relatively loaded with calories considering that they are a plant food. Our understanding of fat has changed, however, and we now know that most of the fat in nuts is polyunsaturated or monounsaturated. These fats aren’t nearly as bad for you as others, aren’t as prone to causing weight gain, and most important of all, actually have the ability to lower your LDL cholesterol
levels. In fact, nuts have actually been shown to be extremely good for your heart – modern studies have concluded that a proper daily amount of nuts can lower your chance for developing heart disease by as much as 35%. – Astounding news for a food that was once feared for it’s possible weight gain and destructive cardiovascular effects.

Nuts are an incredible source of protein. – Protein is very important for our bodies, but unfortunately in a lot of places that it’s commonly found (Such as red meats), getting our recommended protein amounts can have negative side effects on our hearts. This makes nuts wonderful, because you can get a lot of protein from them without worrying about hurting your precious heart. They are especially great for vegans.

Nuts are terrific sources of energy. Protein is an important ingredient for energy, and when combined with the other minerals in nuts make them perfect for providing longer, more constant energy levels. In addition to proteins, nuts also happen to rich in the powerful antioxidants selenium and vitamin E. Anti-oxidants have recently been identified as having powerful anti-aging effects on the body due to their ability to block the damage caused by free-radicals, substances that contribute to early aging.

On studies involving nuts in daily diet, results showed that nearly all forms of nuts had similar effects, though the most beneficial nuts today are generally considered to be peanuts, almonds, and cashews. These studies also suggest that a good daily dosage of nuts be between 1 to 2 ounces to see receive the best benefit. While they are very healthy, nuts can be a rather addicting snack, and combined with their elevated levels of calories can cause weight gain if you don’t exercise a little discipline with your snacking. Fortunately, nuts also satisfy hunger very well.

Overall, nuts are a powerful food that is packed with surprising and astounding benefits. Their ability to reduce the risk of heart disease while protecting against aging and providing solid energy levels makes them a highly desired health food, as long as a person keeps their intake levels low. They are still loaded with calories, and can contribute to weight gain if high levels are consumed on a regular basis. If you keep your intake down, however, you’ll notice remarkable improvements in your health, and you can rest easier at night knowing that you are helping your heart and bettering your chances at escaping cardiovascular disease.

Stress Reduction :

The nutrients in several types of nuts helps protect your body against the damaging physical effects of being stressed out. One study looked at nuts rich in alpha-linolenic acid, like walnuts, and found that they had a heart-protective benefit during times of acute stress – which are known to cause cardiovascular strain. Almonds, thanks to high vitamin E, vitamin B and magnesium content can bolster your immune system when you’re stressed.

Heart Health :

Nuts, like almonds, hazel nuts, peanuts, Brazil nuts, walnuts and cashews all play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease. That’s because nuts help reduce LDL cholesterol, and incorporate a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which has a heart-protective effect. Nuts are also rich in arginine, an amino acid that converts to nitric oxide in the body and helps blood vessels to relax.

Lung Cancer :

A diet rich in pistachios may provide some protection from lung cancer, according to preliminary research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference. The researchers theorize that the nut’s richness in gamma-tocopherol, a type of vitamin E, may be the key to cancer protection, although further research is required.

Weight Maintenance :

The 2013 review of nut health benefits found a modest improvement in overall weight –  several studies have found that nuts can play a role in weight maintenance. That’s because nuts are satisfying – a “high satiety” food  that is metabolized slowly by the body, thanks to high fiber counts. In other words? Snackers are more satisfied after eating nuts than after eating foods of comparable caloric value, but less nutrient density.

Cholesterol :

A walnut a day may keep bad cholesterol away, according to a 2010 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that found a 7.4 percent reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol and an 8.3 percent reduction in the ratio of LDL to HDL. What’s more, triglyceride concentrations declined by more than 10 percent.

Prostate Cancer :

Brazil nuts, which are high in the mineral selenium, may provide some protection against advanced prostate cancer, according to preliminary research presented at the American Association of Cancer Research. The research was conducted on a Dutch cohort study and found that men with high levels of selenium, tested from toe nails, were 60 percent less likely develop advanced prostate cancer within 17 years.

Brain Health :

Thanks to the healthy dose of vitamin E that nuts can deliver, they are considered a brain food – helping to prevent cognitive decline that happens with age. Peanuts (even though they are legumes, we commonly group them with nuts), in particular, may be a good choice because they are high in the B-vitamin folate, which improves neural health, reducing risk of cognitive decline. Beyond protecting against age-associated problems, a British Journal of Nutrition study found that walnuts improve working memory (not just reference memories), problem-solving and motor function.

Men’s Reproductive Health :

For men looking to start a family, walnuts may have an effect on sperm quality – Eating about two handfuls of nuts, one UCLA study found, could improve the quality of sperm, in terms of its “vitality, motility, and morphology. What’s more, pistachios may play a role in reducing erectile dysfunction, according to a study in the International Journal of Impotence Research.

So if you do not have an allergy to nuts – please do indulge – they are all good for you. Chop them up – sprinkle over salads and other meals, bake breads, whip up delicious nut butters, creams, milk, cheeses yoghurt’s, dips, sauces and dressings or simply munch as is!

Almonds, pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts.

Please do tell us in the comments – what your favourite way to eat nuts is!

~ Active Vegan ~

Why we love legumes!

Considering the health benefits of legumes, they ought to be known as “healthy people’s meat” instead of “poor people’s meat”, as they’re often called.

Also known as beans or pulses, they belong to an extremely large category of vegetables, containing more than 13,000 species and are second only to grains in supplying calories and protein to the world’s population.

Compared to grains, though, legumes supply about the same number of calories but usually two to four times as much proteins.

Despite their small size, beans pack a surprisingly rich and varied array of substances that are vital for good health.

Although it’s important to get all the amino acids, both essential and non-essential, it’s not necessary to get them from meat. In fact, because of its high unhealthy fat and cholesterol content – as well as the use of antibiotics and other chemicals in the raising of poultry and cattle etc, it is best to avoid animal derived food sources completely.

Beans, peas and lentils all belong to the legume family. You may also hear them called pulses, which is just another word for edible seeds. While their nutrient profiles vary a little from one legume to the next, most of them provide minerals, such as iron, magnesium and zinc. They all share two common characteristics: they’re excellent sources of protein and fiber.

Rich Source of Protein

Legumes provide more healthy protein per serving than other types of food. Beans, peas and lentils have about 15 grams of protein in a 1-cup serving. Women should get 46 grams of protein daily, while men need 56 grams every day, according to recommendations established by the Institute of Medicine. Based on these guidelines, a 1-cup serving of legumes supplies 33 percent of women’s and 27 percent of men’s daily protein.

Fiber for Heart and Digestive Health

Legumes are at the top of the list for sources of fiber. The insoluble fiber they contain prevents constipation. They also have soluble fiber, which helps keep blood sugar balanced and lowers the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream. Fiber’s ability to prevent cardiovascular disease is so important that the Institute of Medicine determined the recommended intake – 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams daily for men – based on the amount needed to protect against coronary heart disease. The fiber in legumes varies slightly, but most varieties provide about 16 grams in a 1-cup serving.

There are several different health benefits associated with the regular consumption of legumes. Some of them:

  • Reduction of cholesterol levels in the blood
  • Regulating the levels of blood glucose for diabetics
  • Preventing cancer and reducing its risks
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Improving the function of the colon
  • Curing constipation, piles and other digestive related problems

The benefits of eating sprouted legumes apply not just to adults, but also children. Many people avoid eating this food type, mainly because they are not aware of the various legumes health benefits. Moreover, if cooked incorrectly, some legumes can be quite bland and tasteless. Fortunately most legumes are quite versatile, which is why they can be added to any dish, ranging from salads to soups. Many innovative parents also increase the nutritional value of dishes such as pizzas and pastas, by adding legumes to them.

Benefits of Legumes For Women

Studies show that women who eat legumes, like soy bean, regularly, are less likely to develop breast cancer in comparison to others. Moreover, most legume varieties are high in iron. They boost the iron stores in women who are menstruating & may be at a risk for iron deficiency.

There are several health benefits that have been associated with legume.

Legumes Nutrition Facts

Most health experts advise people to include a fair amount of legumes in their diet, mainly because this food type is high in several important nutrients.

  • Most legumes, like lentils and beans are high in selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and folate.
  • Certain varieties of beans, like soy bean, are packed with an anti-inflammatory compound known as saponins. This compound lowers the cholesterol levels, boosts the immune system and protects the body against cancer. However, cooking beans excessively destroys the saponins present in them.
  • For those who are vegan, legumes are one of the best forms of protein (not the only though, protein comes in many plant forms! ). Unlike meat, most legumes are low in cholesterol and fat, which is why they are much healthier in comparison.
  • The flavonoid content in some beans like garbanzo, work as healthy oestrogen and help relieve the symptoms of menopause in women
  • There is a significant amount of fiber present in legumes, because of which they improve digestion. Other nutrients that are found in legumes include vitamins, iron, starch and lime.

The number of calories may vary from one type of legume to the other. Given below is the caloric count for some of the common types of legumes:

  • Garbanzo beans (4 ounces) – 75 ounces
  • Kidney beans (4 ounces) – 94 calories
  • Boiled black eyed peas (4 ounces) – 120 calories
  • Baked beans, sugar-free (4 ounces) – 125 calories
  • Cranberry beans (4 ounces) 170 calories
  • Adzuki beans, sweetened (4 ounces) – 270

There is a lot of additional legumes nutritional information easily available through various resources, like online websites. Please do search further!

Protein:

Though most of us are aware of the fact that legumes are good for health, many of us do not know the exact nutritional value of this food type. Most types of legumes contain 20% to 25% protein. The protein content in legume is therefore, almost twice as much as what is found in rice and wheat. Another advantage of consuming legumes on a regular basis is that the digestibility of the protein is also quite high.

Carbs:

Carbohydrates can be divided into two types, depending upon their chemical structure. Simple carbs, usually present in sugar, enter the bloodstream at a very fast pace and provide your body with instant energy. However, the energy boost provided by simple carbs is usually followed by a crash. Complex carbs take longer to enter the bloodstream, but they provide the body with a steady source of energy. Therefore, complex carbs are much better for your health, as they prevent weight gain or cardiovascular problems. Legumes are an excellent source of complex carbs, which is why they should be consumed on a daily basis.

Vitamins:

Beans are usually rich in water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Some of the vitamins that can be found in various legumes include Vitamin B1, Vitamin B6 and & K. Beans like pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans and lima beans can provide your body with more than 20% of the daily vitamin value per serving.

Fiber:

Legumes are high in dietary fiber, which cleanses the colon, as it passes through your digestive system. The regular intake of fiber can reduce any blockage in the digestive tract, thereby decreasing problems like bloating, constipation and nausea. The fiber content in legumes also lowers risks of colon cancer and unhealthy cholesterol levels in the body.

Diabetics:

People who are diabetic are advised to reduce their intake of sugar and other foods that contain simple carbs. However, even if you are diabetic, your body requires some amount of carbs, preferably complex carbs, in order to get energy. Therefore, doctors usually recommend an increase in the consumption of legumes for diabetics. This is because the fat content in legumes is relatively low, as compared to many other foods. Moreover, though legumes are quite high in carbs, they contain complex carbs.

Recent studies show that a higher legume intake leads to around 40% reduction in the risks of developing type-2 diabetes. However, patients who are at a risk, or are suffering from diabetes, should consult a vegan nutritionist for daily recommended portions, before adding carbs to their diet. Consuming an excessive amount of any food, including legumes, could be quite harmful.

Digestion:

In spite of the fact that most legumes are highly nutritious, many people avoid them, mainly because they are a bit difficult to digest and can lead to the formation of excess intestinal gas. Fortunately, there are ways in which legumes can be made more digestible. Before cooking raw beans, you need to soak them in water, preferably for a couple of hours. Some varieties of beans, like chickpeas and kidney beans, should be soaked overnight before they are cooked. This helps removing some of the gas-causing substances, after which they become easier to digest.

Several people regularly consume legumes for digestion, so that they build up their body’s ability to process them. In case you are planning to do so, make sure that you start off with small quantities.

Allergy:

A food allergy takes place when the immune system in your body mistakes a certain food as being harmful and tries to fight it off. Then begins a process in which antibodies are produced, along with certain chemicals. It is the chemicals in the body that usually trigger off the symptoms of allergy. Several people are allergic to different types of legumes like nuts and soybean. In such cases, most health experts advise people to strictly avoid legumes for allergy control purposes. However, there are several foods that contain peanuts, peanut oil and soy products. Therefore, those who suffer from allergic reactions towards legumes should read all labels carefully, before consuming any foods.

Breast Cancer:

Several women check with doctors if they should consume legumes for breast cancer prevention. While legumes are highly healthy and nutritious, they do not specifically fight off breast cancer. However, they can improve a woman’s overall health and wellbeing, thereby reducing the risks of breast cancer.

For those women who are undergoing chemotherapy as a part of cancer treatment, constipation and other digestive problems are quite common. The fiber present in beans is also helpful in relieving some of the harmful side effects of chemotherapy. However, women are usually advised to avoid eating large quantities of legumes.

Cholesterol:

You can reduce the levels of cholesterol in your body, by consuming legumes on a regular basis. However, some varieties of legumes are better for cholesterol-reduction, as compared to the others. Given below are some of the most helpful legumes for cholesterol control:

  • Black beans
  • Black eyed peas
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Navy beans
  • Peas
  • Pinto beans
  • Soy bean
  • String bean

Legumes are a fantastic source of protein. Please do incorporate this wonderful healthy food source into your meal plan. Do have a variety in your vegan pantry, and always have some soaked, sprouted, ready, and prepared, on hand for your recipes!

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~ Active Vegan ~

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!

Embrace the little avo!

Avocado is one of the world’s most perfect foods. It is easily digested and contains over 25 essential nutrients including iron, copper, magnesium, and essential fatty acids that help the body to function optimally. Avocados increase the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients, so they are a wonderful addition to green leafy salads to ensure proper absorption of all the vitamins and minerals. They are also an excellent source of glutathione which helps to boost the immune system, strengthen the heart, rebuild the nervous system, and slow the aging process. The monounsaturated fats in avocados reverse insulin resistance which helps to steady blood sugar levels. Due to its nutritional profile, it is one of the closest foods to mother’s breast milk, being a complete and easily assimilable food with protein ratios that are equal to breast milk. Avocados are high in folate which is essential for women in childbearing years and is also known to aid in preventing strokes and reducing the risk of heart disease. Try adding a few avocados to your diet each week and enjoy the benefits of this delicious and health promoting food.

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