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Top 3 Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Wicker basket with assorted raw organic vegetables in the garden.

In a world where everything seems to contain at least butter and eggs, being vegan can be tricky. People may even ask how you’re able to do it and then assert that they could never be vegan. But there are many vegan diet benefits. Whether someone in your life is thinking of going vegan, you’re considering a full vegan diet yourself or you just need a reminder of why you follow this lifestyle, below are several vegan diet benefits.

It does the body good

caldwell esselstyn vegan plantbased whole foods quote

One of the prime reasons people go vegan is for the untold health benefits. Vegans have a negative stereotype of being anemic and deprived of protein, but being vegan has been linked to a number of health benefits. Below are some of the top vegan diet benefits.

If you’re vegan, that means you’re cutting out all animal products, including high-cholesterol meats and eggs. You’re replacing those with healthier foods, like whole grains, fruits, veggies, peas, nuts, seeds and beans, to make up the nutrients and protein you’d be getting from meat otherwise.

One study looked at the Nutrient intake and Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) across a low-fat vegan diet and an American Diabetes Association recommended diet, and found that the vegans raised their score. They increased fiber, vitamins C and K, total vitamin A activity, potassium, magnesium, folate and beta carotene.

However, they also reduced their intake of B-12, calcium and vitamin D, right along with fat, cholesterol and sodium. There’s no denying that eating vegan is a balancing act that will require careful supervision of B-12, calcium, iron, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid intake, to name a few nutrients, but overall it leads to a healthier lifestyle. Vegans have less risk of heart disease and cancer, according to one study. Vegan diets also lead to greater fat loss when trying to lose weight.

It’s an easy way to go green

One of the most impactful ways to help the environment is to cut animal products out of your diet. Meat takes a huge amount of land, water and plant foods to produce, so it’s the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint. It’s been in the news for awhile that cutting beef alone can reduce your carbon footprint more than driving a car.

In addition to carbon issues, there’s the fact that swathes of land are cleared out to let cattle graze, meaning a greater risk of land erosion and the loss of natural habitats for wildlife.

It’s cruelty-free

Another great reason to go vegan is because of animal rights. Many people swear off of meat after they see the deplorable conditions that animals raised for meat are kept in. You might be one of them. From hens kept in cramped battery cages to sick animals being neglected, all of these are realities of the modern day factory farms.

And while getting free range and organic meat is an option, the ASPCA estimates that more than 99% of farm animals in the U.S. are raised in factory farms. Plus, there’s the ethical issue of killing just to get nutrients that can be sourced from supplements and/or plant-based products.

So next time someone is telling you being vegan is dumb, or you’re doubting the lifestyle yourself, just remember these vegan diet benefits: health benefits, the reduced environmental impact and that being vegan means a more cruelty-free existence.

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How to Use Less Energy When You Cook

steaming mixed vegetables in the wok, asian style cooking vegetarian and healthy, selected focus, narrow depth of field

Trying to use less energy when you cook is an admirable goal. Energy efficient cooking reduces emissions and it can help save money in the household budget. California’s Consumer Energy Center estimates that cooking casserole costs $0.03 in the microwave, versus an electric oven at $0.16. Rather than trying to cook everything in the microwave (good luck frying anything), there are also plenty of other ways to save energy while you cook. more→

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Which Vegan Foods Release the Least Amount of CO2?

Buddha bowl of mixed vegetable with avocado, carrots, spinach, romsnesco cauliflower and radishes

One of the biggest advantages of eating vegan meals is being able to reduce your carbon emissions to help the environment. By now, eating less or no meat to reduce our carbon footprint is pretty cemented in the green living lexicon. The vegan carbon footprint is far smaller than other diets.

The Guardian even estimates that giving up beef can lower your carbon footprint more than using a car. Red meat uses 28 times more land and 11 times more water than pork or chicken. Red meat also produces five times more climate change emissions. Taken a step further, red meat requires 160 times more land and produces eleven times more greenhouse gasses than vegan staples like potatoes, wheat and rice. more→

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Essential nutrients for vegans and where to find them

Vegan salad with falafel, hummus, vegetables. View top on gray concrete background. Vegan Food Concept.

It’s a longstanding belief that plant-based eaters must take vitamin supplements to gain all of the nutrients for vegans and their dietary needs. Fortunately, with modern access to a wide range of whole foods, that misconception about nutrients for vegans is far from true. From the outstanding omega-3 content of chia seeds to the iron in spinach, a thoughtful vegan lifestyle is synonymous with nutritious health. Check out our roundup of nature’s most abundant whole foods and how they can nourish your body with vital vitamins and minerals. Here are the top essential nutrients for vegans and where you can find them—without the supplements! more→

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Cruelty-Free Holiday Gift Ideas

Bare Bones Body Care

If you like the idea of gifts that keeps on giving to the cause of compassion toward animals, you might enjoy choosing your holiday gifts (and beyond) that will benefit to Animal Place. This non-profit operates two sanctuaries in California that have rescued and sheltered hundreds of animals.

Bare Bones Body Care
Unisex, non-toxic, and animal-friendly Bare Bones Body Care offers a stylish line of skincare, a vegan deodorant that really lasts, and even tattoo balm. Founder Monica Schrock uses ingredients made from scratch, and from organic and local suppliers, and all products proudly feature Animal Place’s logo to help raise awareness. Prices start around $3 up to $35 for gift sets. more→

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Ahiflower May Be the Best Omega-3 Source for Vegans

white-flower-on-ahiflower-shrub

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Ahiflower. When I scheduled a call with the folks from Ahiflower about advertising with us, I’ll admit to expecting something a little less exciting. Ahiflower is a new source of your daily omega-3 fatty acids, which we know most of us can use. Having only been vegetarian a short time, I have (regrettably) taken fish oil and krill oil supplements in the past, as well as flax seed oil. And, here was Ahiflower, a new omega-3 supplement. And folks, It’s difficult to make omega-3 fatty acids sexy these days.

Yet, I think Ahiflower did make omega-3 fatty acids sexy again. Or, at least they’re setting a new and very high standard for these essential fatty acids. Here are the full benefits of Ahiflower compared to the alternatives. It gets somewhat technical (lots of good health info!), so I’ve gone ahead and broken it down to the most important points, without all the numbers.

So, what is Ahiflower…

ahiflower-seeds-on-plant

Aside from being a lush bush with beautiful white flowers, Ahiflower is a newly harnessed non-GMO source of omega-3 fatty acids. Well, it’s also a source for your daily omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. More specifically, those are the omega-3 ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and SDA (stearidonic acid), omega-6 GLA (gamma linolenic acid) and LA (linoleic acid); and omega-9 OA (oleic acid).

Ahiflower is also 100% vegan, plant-sourced, 100% sustainable and 100% traceable to the British fields in which it was grown. Did I mention it’s gluten free and Kosher?

Why does that sound so impressive?

That’s because it is so impressive. Especially for an entirely plant-sourced omega-3 supplement. There is no other plant-based supplement that has the same combination of omega-3 ALA, omega-3 SDA, omega-6 LA and omega-6 GLA fatty acids that Ahiflower provides. It also has the highest-available SDA content, which converts easily into EPA (the type of omega-3 fatty acid typically only found in marine oils) more efficiently than any other plant-sourced supplement. It’s far more efficient than flax in this regard, which relies almost entirely on omega-3 ALA. Oh, that also means you don’t need to take as many gelatin-free capsules every daily. Definitely a plus.

It gets better still

close-up-of-ahiflower-seeds

Harvested Ahiflower seeds

Ahiflower is 100% sustainable, unlike any marine oils. Not only is Ahiflower eco-friendly, it’s also incredibly efficient with our precious Mother Earth. It’s impossible to separate our eating and the world’s resources. We just can’t escape the topic of environmentally friendly farming. There are two very important resources needed for farming that are getting scarcer and scarcer: space and water. Future crops are going to have to produce more per acre than ever before, and with less water.

That’s another reason to love Ahiflower. Flax has been the go-to vegetarian and vegan omega-3 supplement in years gone by, but that really needs to change. It simply takes too much space and too much water to meet human demand with flax.

Good news, because Ahiflower is up to 400% more effectively metabolized than flax in humans (yes, 2 human clinical studies have already been completed), Ahiflower requires less land and less water than flax to deliver the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids we all need.

Grown only in select fields within the United Kingdom, Ahiflower is the most environmentally friendly omega-3 supplement. Not only is it more efficiently produced than flax, it is also a fantastic habitat and source of nourishment for our threatened pollinators. Seriously, bees dig these little flowers like nobody’s business.

And just in case you weren’t convinced

ahiflower-crop-in-bloom

Ahiflower crop in bloom

You know how I just said Ahiflower is only grown on very select pieces of land in the United Kingdom? That makes Ahiflower 100% traceable. That’s right, you can find out exactly where your Ahiflower oil came from. Unlike flax, which is grown throughout Russia, China, and Kazakhstan, as well as several other countries and is not 100% traceable. Not like Ahiflower. You could totally meet the farmer who grew your Ahiflower. Okay, that I can’t promise, but it’s like that.

Grown only in UK fields, the Ahiflower seed is turned into oil at a single processing plant in Canada. Unlike many supplements processed in China and other countries, Ahiflower is only turned into oil in one solitary plant, ensuring more control over the supply chain than flax.

To wrap it up

Normally I don’t do these sorts of things. I’ve been helping Nava and VegKitchen behind the scenes for over a year, but this is one of the few times I’ve written something for the site. And yes, it is sponsored by Ahiflower. Most of the information is from them, but opinions are all me.

As I’ve made the important decision to go vegetarian (and hopefully one day vegan!), it’s become even more important to me to think about how my eating and my diet affect the world around me. The decision for me was based on two things: not eating animals and helping to preserve the planet. I’ll admit to being a really bad environmentalist most of the time, but all of us making small changes can have an immeasurable impact.

Luckily for us, when it comes to our daily omega-3 supplement, doing what’s good and beneficial for our bodies is also better for the earth. If you haven’t considered Ahiflower yet, I highly recommend giving it a try. As they say, it’s “Better than flax. Not from fish.”

If you’d like to try Ahiflower oil in vegan softgels or as a liquid oil (great for smoothies!), you can find a list of places that sell Ahiflower on their website. You can also enter for your chance to win a 3 month supply of Ahiflower here on VegKitchen!

This article originally appeared on OhMyVeggies.com as Why Ahiflower May Replace Flax Seed Oil for Vegetarians and Vegans.

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Easy ways to reuse cooking oil so it doesn’t end up in the drain

portrait of people cooking healthy vegetarian chinese food capcay

While the salads and raw dishes are common in a vegan diet, it is almost impossible to avoid cooking grease altogether. From leftover frying oil to coconut oil, we don’t always think twice before rinsing our pots and pains over the drain. It’s a common habit for us to rinse our pans, and along with them, rinse the cooking grease straight into the drain, but is this really that bad? While we may have never asked ourselves this question, rinsing cooking grease in your sink, whether it’s from frying, sautéing or roasting vegetables, is in fact a problem with terrible and expensive consequences.

In the same way fat and cholesterol block our veins and arteries, fat in drains leads to blocked pipes, sewer blockages in municipal lines, and costly sewage backups in your home and the environment. Rinsing cooking grease with hot water doesn’t help either. Cooking grease will quickly cool and congeal in the pipes. So, what is a healthy, vegan cook do?

Below are some easy and affordable methods for getting rid of cooking grease in a safe, responsible, and creative way (some are even tasty!). But before you check out these cooking grease solutions, first learn how to limit how much fat you use to begin with. Using less fat while cooking means fewer calories in your dish and a lower grocery bill—because your cooking fats will last longer. Here are some easy ways to use less fat while cooking.

  • In lieu of deep frying, roast or broil food in the oven, shallow-fry in a pan on the stovetop, or fire up the grill.
  • When sautéing, decrease the amount of fat your recipe calls for (use a teaspoon instead of a tablespoon).
  • Replace oil with small amounts of water. Add a little at a time to keep food moving and browning in the pan without steaming.
  • Always measure fats instead of free pouring them.
  • Steam veggies instead of sautéing them.

Here are some easy and cheap alternatives to getting rid of cooking grease in a safe, responsible, and creative way.


Source: Fix.com Blog

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Real Pickles Turmeric Kraut — a review

Real pickles

I’ve long been a fan of Real Pickles products, so when I found out they’ve introduced a turmeric- infused sauerkraut, I was eager to try it. Real Pickles, located in Greenfield, MA produces an array of naturally fermented products. Though pickles and relishes are familiar foods, most pickling these days is accomplished with vinegar. This method doesn’t give you the valuable, natural probiotics that naturally fermented foods do — a hallmark of Real Pickles products. more→

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