A healthy head of cabbage!

You would be surprised at how healthy a head of cabbage is! Benefits of cabbage include frequent use as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease. Incorporate cabbage into your vegan meal plan for optimum health!

The inexpensive used cabbage can practically work miracles. The leafy vegetable of Brassica family,  most commonly consists of soft, light green or whitish inner leaves covered with harder and dark green outer leaves, but the purple variety is my absolute favourite. Widely used throughout the world, and can be prepared in a number of ways, but mostly, it is included as either a cooked or raw part of many salads.

Cabbage is beneficial in curing various health ailments:

Deficiency of Vitamin C: 

Scurvy is a disease commonly characterized by spongy and bleeding gums, cracked lip corners, weakened immune system, frequent infections and cold, premature aging, and depression.

Remedy: Cabbage is an abundant source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C, as one of the best antioxidants, reducing free radicals in the body that are one of the fundamental causes of premature aging. It also helps in repairing the wear and tear on the body through the course of ones life, and is helpful in treating ulcers, certain cancers, depression, boosts immune, and defends against cough and cold. It also speeds up the healing process for wounds and damaged tissues, regulates the proper functioning of the nervous system, and reduce the effects and presence of Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative neural diseases.

Deficiency of Roughage: 

This is a very serious deficiency but one that is commonly overlooked in the maintenance of personal health. A lack of roughage in food can result in constipation, which is the root cause of many other ailments and health hazards such as stomach ulcers, headaches, gastrointestinal cancers, indigestion and a subsequent loss of appetite. The dangers of roughage deficiency even extends to skin diseases, eczema, premature aging and hundreds of mild to serious conditions.

Remedies: Cabbage is very rich in fiber, the main health benefit of roughage. This helps the body retain water and it maintains the bulkiness of the food as it moves through the bowels. A great remedy together with going vegan, for constipation relief and other digestion-related problems.

Deficiency of Sulphur:

Sulphur is a very useful nutrient because it fights infections. A deficiency of sulphur can result in microbial infections and a greatly reduced rate in the healing of wounds.

Remedy: Again, cabbage is rich is sulphur. So, it helps fight infections in wounds and reduces the frequency and severity of ulcers.

Other Health Benefits of Cabbage:

Cancer Prevention:  One of their most important celebrated benefits to health is their powerful antioxidant quality, in that cabbage and other similar vegetables scavenge free radicals from around the body, which are detrimental to overall health and are major contributors to cancer and heart disease. Lupeol, sinigrin, and sulforaphane, are known to stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of tumors, which lead to cancer. A study has shown (performed primarily on Chinese women), a significant reduction in breast cancer when cruciferous vegetables like cabbage were regularly added to their meals.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties:  Known to accumulate a build-up of cadmium-binding complexes in its leaves, and one of the main components of that is glutamine. Glutamine is a strong anti-inflammatory agent, reducing the effects of many types of inflammation, irritation, allergies, joint pain, fever, and various skin disorders.

Eye Health:  A rich source of beta carotene, many people, particularly as we get older, turn to cabbage for its ability to prevent macular degeneration and generally promote good eye health and the delay and prevention of cataract formation. Beta-carotene has also been positively linked to reduced chances of prostrate cancer, which is an extra added bonus on top of the other anti-carcinogenic effects of cabbage!

Weight Loss:  Those who want to lose weight in a healthy way can do so by going vegan – adding a regular dose of cabbage is highly recommended, since cabbage is packed with so many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, it is quite filling, and has high levels of fiber, which add bulk to the bowels, extremely low in calories, with only 33 calories per cup of cooked cabbage.

Brain Health: Let’s not forget that cabbage is a very powerful brain food! The presence of Vitamin K and anthocyanins within cabbage give a strong boost to mental function and concentration. These are primarily found in red cabbage, and vitamin K has been well-researched, although it is often called the “forgotten vitamin”. Vitamin K is essential in the production of sphingolipids, the myelin sheath around nerves. This wrapping is what protects nerves from damage and decay. Consuming vitamin K improves defence against neural degeneration, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.

Furthermore, the anthocyanins in cabbage are a current area of research, but early indications point to it being a more powerful source of antioxidants than vitamin-C, and red cabbage has even more types of anthocyanins than common cabbage. It also appears that the nutrient uptake is not limited by anything, and that one can eat as much cabbage as they want, and continue to accumulate antioxidants, which help fight off diseases, reduce chances of cancer, improves the nervous system, and increases brain function.

Bone Health:  All cruciferous vegetables, are great sources of minerals –  calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These three essential minerals are integral in the protection of bones from degradation and the onset of osteoporosis and general bone weakening.

Blood Pressure: The presence of potassium in cabbage makes it a wonderful way to protect oneself from elevated blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.  Potassium is a vasodilator –  it opens up the blood vessels and eases the flow of blood.

Skin Care and Premature Ageing:  Antioxidants play a major role in skin health and the general toning and improvement of the body in response to the ageing process. Free radicals are an underlying cause of wrinkles, skin discolouration, spots, and many other conditions. Antioxidants you gain by eating cabbage can cause a turn-around in your aging processes, leaving you feeling and looking healthy and young.

Muscle Aches: When certain bacteria ferment the sugars in cabbage, such as during the cooking of sauerkraut, lactic acid is released. It isn’t the easiest compound to find in a diet, but it has been shown to reduce muscle soreness and aches, so in some small way, cabbage helps general pain relief and muscle soreness, depending on how it is prepared.

Detoxification by cabbage:

A great detoxifier –  it purifies the blood and removes toxins, primarily free radicals and uric acid which are primary causes of rheumatism, gout, arthritis, renal calculi, skin diseases, and eczema. This detoxifying effect of cabbage is due to the high content of vitamin C and sulphur.

Whether you cook it, eat it raw, pickle it, or make a probiotic with it – consider adding more cabbage to your already healthy vegan meal plan for optimum health! I absolutely love raw shredded cabbage tossed with black salt, hemp seed oil, oregano, and apple cider vinegar – folded into a sesame seed wrap. Let’s hear how you love cabbage and how you prepare it!

Stay healthy, eat healthy – be vegan for life!

 

 

Food – about vegan food.

Going vegan is derived only from plant based foods. Vegans do not use or consume any animals or animal products including flesh (land or sea animals), milk, eggs, or honey.

Eating vegan doesn’t require breaking the bank or moving to a big city. The most nutritious and inexpensive vegan foods which can be found in any supermarket, are fresh produce, grains, legumes and nuts/seeds. These should make up the bulk of the diet for optimum health. Vegan processed foods in the form of soy hot dogs, vegan &”cheeses,” desserts, etc are best eaten only on occasion. The following information will help you ease into going vegan with so much more confidence.

Isn’t vegan food boring?

A popular myth is that vegans subsist only on soybeans and salad. In reality, vegans eat everything non-vegans eat, but without the animal products and likely with more variety from special foods.

Common vegan dishes include stir fry, pasta, rice and beans, chana masala, cucumber-avocado sushi, pad thai, quinoa, pizza, pancakes, French toast, waffles, veggie burgers, chili, soups, tacos, burritos, casseroles, stew, sandwiches, cookies, non-dairy ice-cream and other delicious frozen vegan confectionaries, cakes, pies, etc.

Nutrition & Health

Nutritional deficiencies are a concern for everyone. While vegans statistically enjoy longer life spans than the average human being, we are not exempt from this reality. First and foremost, you should ensure you are receiving enough Vitamin B-12, Omega-3, and Vitamin D. See below for more detailed information on vegan nutrition.

Protein: Because animal-based foods are high in protein, it’s a common misconception that vegans don’t get enough of it. In fact, the real problem is nonvegans getting too much protein. Vegans can get all the protein they need from lentils, tempeh, tofu, beans, nuts, seeds, and even vegetables.

We highly recommend the book, Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. M.S., R.D for more detailed information pertaining to ones age and individual needs. They provide sample menu plans and nutrition recommendations for children, teenagers, pregnancy, and athletes as well as a wealth of information on proper nutrition. Also, be sure to check out The Boston Vegan Association’s Nutritional Pamphlet

Calcium: (Approximately 1000 milligrams per day, 1200 milligrams for women over 51 and men over 70.) Leafy green vegetables-kale, collards, broccoli, okra, figs, oranges, almonds, pistachio nuts, hazelnuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans, chickpeas, navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, tempeh, tofu*, fortified non-dairy yogurt, fortified non-dairy milks, fortified soy products, fortified breakfast cereals, and fortified orange juice. Note: Spinach, beet greens, and chard are healthy foods but not good sources of calcium.

When purchasing tofu, look for the calcium-set tofu with “calcium sulphate” in the ingredients.

Iron: Chickpeas (hummus), lentils, navy beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, soybeans, quinoa, tofu, raisins, goji berries, fortified veggie burgers and other soy products, pumpkin seeds, cashews, figs, sunflower seeds, sesame tahini, prunes, whole wheat, parsley, and pine nuts.

Tips

Vitamin-C rich foods help with iron absorption. Try eating these foods in the same meal. Use cast-iron cookware. If your iron status is low, avoid consuming foods high in zinc at the same meal.

B12: (2000 micrograms once a week or 10-100 micrograms a day.) Produced by bacteria and found in soil, water, etc, it is necessary for vegans to supplement their diet since most vegetables are cleaned very well. Vegans supplement their diets with B12 by eating nutritional yeast or fortified foods. Most non-dairy milks and cereals are fortified with B12. Consume at least three servings of vitamin B12-fortified food per day (each supplying at least 20% of the Daily Value on the label), Or, vegan B12 tablets, or slow release B12 patches are also available today. Very often nonvegans suffer from B12 deficiency – deficiencies can affect anyone who follows a poor diet following only processes fast foods etc.  (One 2000 mcg tablet (ideally chewed or dissolved under your tongue) once a week; or at least 10-100 mcg once a day.)Buy Nutritional Yeast Buy Vitamin B12 Tablets

Omega-3: Two tablespoons of ground flax seeds every day or two teaspoons daily of flax seed oil. And/or, an omega 3 DHA supplement in the form of algae.

 

Vitamin D: Light skin-about 10-15 minutes of sunshine. Dark skin: about 30 minutes of sunshine daily depending on the time of year, etc. Buy vegan Vitamin D3 Note: Vitamin D3 found in many fortified orange juices comes from the wool of sheep and is not vegan.

The information here is intended as a helpful overview but cannot cover all vegan nutrition topics. To make sure that your diet is meeting all the nutrients that your body and mind need, please consult a nutrition professional with expertise in vegan diets should you feel the need, preferably consult a vegan physician – one who has extensive knowledge on healthy vegan foods. Also it is preferable to obtain nutrients from a healthy well balanced vegan diet to those of pills where possible. When going vegan it is very likely that your health will improve whilst doing it correctly.

Special Foods

Spend some time with a vegan and you may be surprised to learn a vegan’s diet is not just the standard diet minus animal products. There are several kinds of foods which have gained recognition as vegan staples.

Tempeh

Tempeh (“tem-pea” or “tem-pay”) is like tofu, but fermented and pressed to be thick and savoury. An easy way to prepare tempeh is to fry or grill with blended seasonings meant for grilling. Check your ingredients, of course, but surprisingly many are vegan.

 

Tofu

Tofu is a solid food made from pressed soybean curd. It’s one of the most unusual vegan staples in that it can be used to make a breakfast dish like  scrambled tofu, a dinner dish like pan fried tofu, or even a chocolate mousse dessert. Tofu gets a bad wrap in popular culture as a tasteless food, but tofu isn’t meant to be a flavour agent. It works best at soaking up flavours and giving them a texture and consistency.

Seitan

Seitan is a chewy and naturally brown substance made from wheat gluten, an isolated protein found in wheat. Seitan is usually cut into strips and baked or fried to provide some protein and chewiness to a dish.

Like tempeh, seitan is very easy to prepare and needs little to no seasoning.

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is very different from the yeast used in bread. Nutritional yeast, which comes powdered or in flakes, is most often used to provide a cheesy consistency. Unlike cheese, nutritional yeast also lasts far longer and has no cholesterol. Sprinkle in soup, on popcorn, or add water to make cheesy sauces.

Red Star Nutritional Yeast

Ingredients

The number of nonvegan ingredients found in food and products is too numerous to mention here, but we’ve included some of the most common below.

Common Nonvegan Ingredients

  • Casein
    Casein is a protein from milk. Surprisingly, can often found in soy cheeses –  so beware!
  • Carmine/Carminic Acid
    Also known as Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120, carmine is made from crushed cochineal insects with bright red shells. Often used as a red food coloring.
  • Beeswax
    Beeswax, as the name implies comes from honeybees. Why isn’t honey/beeswax vegan?
  • Gelatin
    Gelatin is a substance produced from the collagen found in animal bones and hoofs. This is often used for marshmallows, Jello®, and as a preservative.
  • Vitamin D3
    Often found in fortified orange juice, vitamin D3 comes from Lanolin, a sheep product. D2, however, is vegan.
  • Whey
    Whey is a milk protein often used as a protein boost in some commercial foods.

Replacements

Here are some quick tips for using vegan ingredients to replace the animal products in your favourite recipes

Eggs

  • Apple Sauce
    Applesauce will give off a gas while being cooked, making your baked goods fluffy. It’s also doesn’t require adding as much liquid as powdered replacers. 1/4 cup applesauce = 1 egg
  • Ground Flax Seed
    When ground to a powder and liquified with water, ground flax seed creates a gooey texture great for binding. It’s also full of protein and omega-3s. 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg.
  • Banana
    Like applesauce, bananas are naturally sweet. They also have strong binding properties when used baked goods. 1/2 banana = 1 egg
  • Baking soda/powder
    When you really need your dish fluffy without extra flavor, simple baking soda or baking powder does wonders. 1 tsp baking powder + 1 1/2 tbs water + 1 1/2 tbs oil or 1 tbs vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda = 1 egg.
More wonderful egg substitutes can be found here (egg replacements)

Milk

  • Soy/Oat/Hemp/Almond/etc. milk
    By now, you’ve probably heard of the increasingly popular nut- and bean-derived milk products making their way into grocery stores. While soymilk is probably the most prevalent, some prefer rice milk for its naturally light and sweet flavour and almond milk for a boost of Vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, dietary fiber, and B vitamins.

More about milk replacements here (milk replacements)

  • Vegetable Oil
    The only difference between a fat and an oil is that a fat is a solid at room temperature. Often when milk is used in foods like mashed potatoes, it’s the fat that makes it creamy. Substituting this for vegetable or olive oil is equally as satisfying and much healthier.

Check out some ideas for a healthy vegan pantry here (vegan pantry to help get you started)

Food Blogs

Cookbooks

The New American Vegan by Vincent J. Guihan

Weaving together personal stories with 120 appetizing recipes, this friendly cookbook delivers authentically American and vegan cuisine that has to be tasted to be believed. Midwestern-inspired recipes range from very basic to the modestly complicated, but always with an eye on creating something beautiful and delicious in its simplicity.

Clear text provides step-by-step instructions and helps new cooks find their feet in a vegan kitchen, with a whole chapter devoted to terms, tools, and techniques. With an eye towards improvisation, the cookbook provides a detailed basic recipe that is good as-is, while providing additional notes that explain how to take each recipe further—to increase flavor, to add drama to the presentation, or just to add extra flourish.”

Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm

“When Lauren Ulm went vegan, she faced the typical onslaught of questions from acquaintances and more than the occasional wince from unsuspecting dinner guests. Vowing to prove that vegan food can be decadent and delicious—and not a bland stand-in for ‘normal’ food—she created a blog, veganyumyum.com. What began as a hobby became an obsession….

Here in her debut cookbook, Lauren shows that vegan food is anything but dull, with her creative and quirky twists on everything from crowd-pleasing appetizers to indulgent desserts, from easy weekend breakfasts to speedy weeknight dinners, plus holiday- and company-worthy fare you can serve with pride.”

The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

“A celebration of plant-based cuisine, The Vegan Table offers recipes and menus for every occasion and season, including romantic meals, traditional tea parties, formal dinners, casual gatherings, children’s parties, and holiday feasts.

Packed with invaluable tips, expert advice, fascinating lore, delicious recipes, and gorgeous full-color photographs, The Vegan Table is the ultimate guide, whether you are hosting an intimate gathering of close friends or a large party with an open guest list.

Organized by themed menus, the eclectic mix of recipes features cuisines from around the world, including Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Asian, Indian, and African. Follow the menus provided, or create your own using the array of appetizers, soups, stews, salads, main dishes, and desserts.”

Let them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton

“Vegan food has come a long way in the past decade. The once ubiquitous dry, packaged veggie burger is no longer the poster child for an animal-free diet.

It has evolved into a creative, sophisticated cuisine touted by the likes of Food & Wine magazine. Long at the fore of vegan blogging and cooking, Dreena Burton has been known for making healthy taste delicious. Let Them Eat Vegan! distills more than fifteen years of recipe development that emphasize unrefined, less-processed ingredients–no white flour or white sugar, but instead whole-grain flours, natural sweeteners, raw foods, and plenty of beans ’n greens.

There’s no relying on meat analogues here, either–just hearty, healthy food that looks and tastes great. As the mother of three young girls, Burton always keeps their nutrition–and taste buds–in mind. From the simplest comfort foods like Warm ‘Vegveeta’ Cheese Sauce to the more sophisticated Anise-and Coriander-Infused Orange Lentil Soup, these recipes will delight and inspire even the pickiest eaters and provide lifelong vegans with the innovative, wholesome recipes they’ve always wanted.”

The 30 Minute Vegan by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray

“Busy vegans, rejoice! award-winning husband and wife chefs/authors Reinfeld and Murray present 150 delicious, easy-to prepare recipes for everyday vegan cooking—all dishes that can be prepared in a half-hour.

Sections include The Lighter Side of Life: Smoothies & Satiating Beverages; Snacks, Pick Me Ups & Kids’ Favorites; Lunches: Wraps, Rolls, Bowls, and More; Extraordinary Salads; Sumptuous Soups; Small Plates: Appetizers, Side Dishes, Light Dinners; Wholesome Suppers; Guilt-Free Comfort Food: Healthy Translations of Old Stand-bys; and Divine Desserts.

The 30-Minute Vegan also provides at-a-glance cooking charts, kids’ favorite dishes, and exciting menu suggestions for every occasion—making this an essential cookbook for busy vegans who want to enjoy delicious, healthful, whole-foods vegan fare every day.”

Desserts

The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

“A seasoned cooking instructor and self-described “joyful vegan,” author Colleen Patrick-Goudreau puts to rest the myth that vegan baking is an inferior alternative to non-vegan baking, putting it in its rightful place as a legitimate contender in the baking arena.

More than just a collection of recipes, this informative cookbook is a valuable resource for any baker — novice or seasoned. Learn just how easy it is to enjoy your favorite homespun goodies without compromising your health or values.”

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

The hosts of the vegan cooking show The Post Punk Kitchen are back with a vengeance — and this time, dessert.

A companion volume to Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World is a sweet and sassy guide to baking everyone’s favorite treat without using any animal products. This unique cookbook contains over 50 recipes for cupcakes and frostings — some innovative, some classics — with beautiful full color photographs. Isa and Terry offer delicious, cheap, dairy-free, egg-free and vegan-friendly recipes like Classic Vanilla Cupcakes (with chocolate frosting), Crimson Velveteen Cupcakes (red velvet with creamy white frosting), Linzer Torte Cupcakes (hazelnut with raspberry and chocolate ganache), Chai Latte Cupcakes (with powdered sugar) and Banana Split Cupcakes (banana-chocolate chip-pineapple with fluffy frosting). Included also are gluten-free recipes, decorating tips, baking guidelines, vegan shopping advice, and Isa’s true cupcake anecdotes from the trenches.

When Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, no dessert lover can resist.

Restaurants Near You

Even if you don’t live in a big city with fully vegan restaurants, there is a surprisingly large number of vegan options for eating out almost anywhere in the world. Check out two of the most popular resources below to find options near you. Please be advised, while these can be excellent resources for finding vegan options, the unfortunately also label options which are devoid of flesh, but still very nonvegan.

Vegan Food is Everywhere

With a fresh design and tons of listings all over the world, VFIE is our number one recommendation for finding vegan and vegan-friendly establishments.

HappyCow

HappyCow is one of the oldest resources for finding vegan restaurants near you.

VegGuide

VegGuide is similar to HappyCow, but with a more streamlined, minimalist interface making it fast and easy to search.

Vegan Stores

Here are a few places to get vegan products delivered to you

 

    • Vegan Essentials
      VE, as the name implies, is all vegan with a wide selection of foods for humans and nonhumans as well as clothing and other specialty items.
    • Amazon.com
      While not an exclusively vegan storefront, Amazon actually has a large directory of vegan foods available in bulk in their grocery department.
    • Pangea
      Pangea, also known as TheVeganStore.com is an all vegan storefront much like Vegan Essentials.

Veganism is not just a diet, but a moral obligation if we wish to strike at the roots of speciesism in all its forms. Veganism is a moral imperative if we wish to bring an end to an injustice to all animals. Veganism is the very least that we owe to the thinking, feeling creatures with whom we share the Earth.

— Khaetlyn L. Grindell

A great site to visit: www.howdoigovegan.com

How does Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium benefit our bodies ?

All three contain chemicals that help promote muscle relaxation and assist in nerve transmission. They help maintain a healthy blood pressure. People suffering from hypertension are highly recommended to include foods rich in potassium in their diet – Potassium (K) is also vital for other body functions that include proper functioning of the nervous system, kidneys, heart, and the musculoskeletal system. Potassium deficiency, or hypokalemia, can cause fatigue, problems in muscle coordination, weakness, etc. Foods high in potassium are beneficial for diabetic patients, as they help in proper functioning of the pancreas. Very high levels of potassium, or hyperkalemia, can cause health problems like kidney failure, so everything in moderation. Fresh fruits and vegetables make some of the best foods that are high in potassium.

A comprehensive list of such foods is given below:

•Apricots
•Avocado
•Bananas
•Beet
•Broccoli
•Brussels Sprouts
•Cantaloupe
•Carrots
•Cauliflower
•Chickpeas
•Dates
•Figs
•Kiwi Fruit
•Beans
•Honeydew Melons
•Nectarines
•Oranges
•Pears (fresh)
•Peanuts
•Baked Potatoes
•Prunes
•Raisins
•Spinach
•Tomatoes
•Canned Sauce
•Winter Squash

Though Calcium (Ca) is necessary for maintaining healthy bones and teeth, it also helps to regulate blood pressure. It also helps in healing of wounds, and in producing key enzymes that aid in digestion and metabolism. Adequate intake of calcium is a must for people of all age groups. The amount of calcium required by the body, increases with increasing age. As we grow older, our bodies need more calcium for maintaining strong bones. There are no specific symptoms associated with calcium deficiency. Just like with any other mineral, the intake of calcium should not exceed beyond our body’s requirement of the mineral.

Here’s a list of common foods that are rich sources of calcium:

•Almonds
•Beans
•Brazil nuts
•Broccoli
•Celery
•Collard greens
•Flaxseeds
•Instant oats
•Kale
•Kelp
•Oranges
•Papaya
•Sesame seeds
•Spinach
•Swiss chard
•Tahini

Magnesium (Mg) is an essential mineral that plays an important role in metabolism. Many people are unaware of the significance of magnesium and hence, suffer from health problems related to magnesium deficiency. Almost 300 bio-chemical reactions take place in the body with the help of magnesium. Magnesium is necessary for production of energy in the body. It also helps to regulate blood pressure in a natural way. Magnesium plays a key role in protein synthesis, and synthesis of enzymes. Symptoms of low magnesium, include heart palpitation, fatigue, fibromyalgia, kidney stones, osteoporosis, tics and twitches, diabetes, etc. To get the required amounts of magnesium, one should consume raw food rather than processed food.

Given here is a list of common foods that are rich in magnesium:

•Black beans
•Broccoli
•Peanuts
•Soy milk
•Spinach
•Tofu
•Whole grains
•Whole wheat bread

Eat well, do good and stay vegan.

Asaase Pa Natural Food and Products

Stunning to have found Asaase Pa Natural Food and Products in Ghana, Accra. saase Pa is the oldest local vegan restaurant and health food shop in Ghana. It has been instrumental in creating awareness about veganism. Please do give them a huge like – let’s get the message of non-violence going throughout the whole of Africa.

This is a small, vegan restaurant in the city centre of Accra. The menu is varied, staff are very friendly, and the atmosphere in general is very nice. The food is good, tasty, and dishes are well balanced and presented. It is a kind of a vegan Oasis!

There is also a small library on vegetarianism, with nice chairs and tables to sit and read. They also have a mini-health food store, basic but very convenient!

Their continental dishes like their stir-fry veggies and other things “not African” are good, but do make sure that you order a portion of fufu to your table. It’s one of the only places you can get real, traditional Ghanaian food (fufu with groundnut or palm nut soup) and you don’t have to worry about meat being in it. And it’s pretty tasty – you should eat the fufu with your hands, it’ll tastes even better!

Give Assase Pa 5 stars because the owner of the place is also the founder of the Vegetarian Association of Ghana who tries very hard on all levels to promote a vegetarian/vegan diet in his country. So big props there!

Contact them on: 0277816017

Full address is : Accra high street, 2nd., 233 Accra, Ghana.

Very excited for Ghana – much encouragement here. Please do keep sharing your favorite vegan eateries with us – we shall pay them forward.

~ Active Vegan ~

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 ~

Vedge Restaurant.

March takes the lead and focuses on wonderful vegan restaurants around the globe! Today we are passing on the good word about Vedge Restaurant situated in Philadelphia, America.

If you’re ever in Philly, pop on over to ‘The Vedge’

They opened in Fall 2011, Vedge is a vegetable restaurant by Philadelphia Chefs Richard Landau & Kate Jacoby. Landau & Jacoby have taken their acclaimed Horizons vegan restaurant concept to the next level in Philadelphia’s historic Tiger Building on Locust Street. Vedge offers a classically elegant dining experience with a progressive, bold approach to cooking.

The menus at Vedge are globally inspired, using locally sourced ingredients that closely follow the beautiful Northeastern seasons. Absolutely no animal products are used in the Vedge Kitchen. Behind the bar, their cocktails are fun and innovative, using house made syrups and bitters. Their wines and beers are selected to represent the best of the natural and craft movements.

Vedge prides itself on being a “foodie’s” restaurant – for omnivores, vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores alike.

Wine & Spirits Magazine | Restaurant Poll 2015: Kate Jacoby of Philadelphia’s Vedge Restaurant on DIY Dessert Pairings:

Kate Jacoby never trained formally for any of her roles at Vedge restaurant in Philadelphia, where she serves as pastry chef, front-of-house manager and beverage director. She credits her unorthodox view of pastry—flavor first, not dogmatically following recipes or traditional techniques—as the reason she’s been able to dive into the wine list for the vegan restaurant she and her husband own. Now with a diploma level certification from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Jacoby focuses on “natural” wines for the page long list she offers.On drinking bubbles other than Champagne

Last year I would have told you I wanted more folks to try orange wines. But this year, I’m really into sparkling. And I don’t mean Champagne, but sparkling wine from all over. Champagne houses that strive for house style can totally be boring, even if the wine is good, but there are just so many sparkling wines that have such personality. There is so much diversity: you can drink reds with sparkle, or a beautiful funky rosé, or a bigger, waxier white. Bubbles can be sipped on their own, pair really well with food, especially the vegetable dishes we serve.

Philadelphia has a strong cocktail culture and lots of people want to share small plates, and sparkling wine totally fits into this style of eating. One producer I’m really excited about right now is Alberto Tedeschi from Emilia-Romagna. His pet-nat pignoletto is delicious! He makes a tiny amount of wine and has something like eight hectares, and does everything himself. The end result is gorgeous and well done with a beautiful body and fizzy bubbles.

On dessert pairing

I actually designed a dessert to serve with the sake we are currently pouring, the Ooki Daikichi Shuzo Shizengou Cuvee 18: floral acidity with dry, toasted coconut notes and burnt sugar.  It is a coconut milk-based yuzu custard which is modelled after crème brûlée, but not as thick, almost more like the texture of the inside of lemon meringue pie. The custard is bruléed with organic cane sugar, building a caramelization on its surface, then we add a coconut miso-glazed pocky: a breadstick/thin cookie hybrid that has been dipped in chocolate and rolled in toasted coconut. The flavours play so well together, and even though sake is hard sell and I don’t generally like to up sell our guests, the two are just made for each other.

Further details: 

1221 Locust St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Mon – Sat: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Vegetable Restaurant

Style: American (New), Vegan

General manager: Daniel Miller, Joe Pachella, Becky Romano

All acceptable methods of payment: Visa, American Express, Mastercard and Discover

Culinary team: Chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby

They do take reservations, walk-Ins are welcome, great food for groups, take out and waiter service

Specialising in dinner, coffee and drinks

Contact: (215) 320-7500

Email : info@vedgerestaurant.com

Their website: http://vedgerestaurant.com/

Do give them the thumbs up, and share this delightful restaurant out there! Do you have a favourite vegan restaurant that you frequent! We would love to hear!

~ 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 ~