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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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Eating the Plant-Based Rainbow

rainbow of fresh vegetables

Excerpted from The Vegiterranean Diet: The New and Improved Mediterranean Eating Plan — with Deliciously Satisfying Vegan Recipes for Optimal Healthby Julianna Hever © 2014 Da Capo Lifelong Book, reprinted by permission.

A rainbow a day keeps the doctor away and our bodies humming. Vegetables, fruits, and other plant foods provide a broad spectrum of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and abundant vitamins, minerals, and fibers. We get the most nutritional bang for our caloric buck with colorful plant foods—especially vegetables and fruits. Nutrients are considered essential when we cannot produce them in our bodies on our own and require consuming them from our diet.  more→

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5 Surprising Health Benefits of Zucchini

Health benefits of zucchini

Zucchini, a vegetable originating from the Americas, has a variety of benefits. Though botanically it is a fruit, it is considered a vegetable world-over. Both raw and cooked zucchini are great for the overall health of an individual. Before we go into details about five major health benefits of zucchini, here’s a little trivia about this summer squash: more→

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Natural Alternatives to Sports Drinks

Vegetable juices, tomato, carrot, cucumber and beet

Excerpted from Becoming Vegan: Comprehensive Edition by Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD © 2014 The Book Publishing Co. Reprinted by permission. Although the value of sports drinks is hotly debated within scientific and athletic communities, most experts agree that for the average active consumer, hydrating with water is preferable. For inactive consumers, sports drinks can serve as one more source of empty calories. However, such drinks can play a useful role in refueling and rehydrating endurance athletes or people who participate in intense activities that last for more than an hour. more→

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