Nutrition

Foods That Support a Healthy Microbiome

Organic vegetables. Farmers hands with freshly harvested vegetables. Horse radish

When considering your health, one important factor that is being studied more and more is the gut. Researchers have found that the bacteria which lives in the intestines, plays an important role in our overall health and wellness. What is most interesting is that the health or sickliness of the gut depends on what a person eats. So by making a few dietary changes, you can transform the state of your gut bacteria. Let’s take a closer look at what a microbiome is exactly, why it matters, and which foods support its health. more→

A Vegan Protein Sources Chart

A vegan's guide to protein

It seems like when anyone goes vegan, the first question they’re asked is “How do you get your protein?” The idea that it’s hard to get enough protein on a plant-based diet seems hard to shake, even though it’s not difficult at all. The following vegan protein sources chart demonstrates what a wide array of healthful options are available for those considering a plant-based diet.

Let’s put it simply: Yes, you need an adequate amount of protein. But evidence proves that a whole foods diet featuring a variety of healthy foods provides plenty of protein. Whole grains, beans, minimally processed soy foods, and nuts and seeds all offer high-quality protein. more→

7 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet

water detox — why it's important to drink water

The decision to go vegan is not necessarily one that should be solely about achieving specific weight loss goals. However, many people do enjoy some weight loss while living a vegan lifestyle. While there’s no silver bullet vegan weight loss diet, there are things you might be doing that are preventing you from losing weight, including these listed below.

1. Consuming Hidden Calories in Drinks
Smoothies are a dietary staple for many followers of a vegan diet. They can be a good source of nutrition when you’re a vegan. Unfortunately, they can also be filled with hidden calories and may do little to help you feel full or satiated. Other drinks, such as alcohol, some fruit drinks, sodas and even some sports drinks can be high in calories. When you’re drinking these in excess, they can be a stumbling block for your weight loss goals. When you’re thirsty, your first instinct should be to reach for water until it becomes your beverage of choice. more→

Let’s Go Nuts for Good Health

Glazed and spiced mixed nuts

Here’s a look at the benefits of eating nuts regularly, and the best nuts to eat. If you’re going for a more balanced diet, trying to lower your cholesterol, and even want to lose weight, be sure to include nuts in your daily fare. Just a single handful can have a powerful, positive impact on your diet. Nuts are high in fiber, protein, and – most important – good fats. The fiber and protein will leave you feeling full and can help curb cravings.

People who eat nuts daily tend to feel satiated and, as a result, eat fewer calories throughout the day. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats will help regulate cholesterol, reduce your risk of cancer, and deter type 2 diabetes. They even help keep skin hydrated and plump – meaning you will look younger. more→

Supercharge with Superfoods for Weight Loss & Health

Superfoods for weight loss

The word “superfood” is popping up everywhere these days. It’s no surprise — superfoods are gaining popularity as incredibly beneficial foods that are more nutritious than conventional food. Conscious eaters have discovered superfoods for weight loss, too. Did you know that these foods can actually help you naturally slim down and manage your weight?

Before going into the superfoods that will help with weight loss, it’s important to understand why they can help. more→

7 Benefits of Plant-Based Diets for Seniors

Wicker basket with assorted raw organic vegetables in the garden.

Are you thinking of exploring a more plant-based diet? Here are 7 benefits of plant-based diets for seniors — the new, doctor-prescribed and research-approved trend that boosts health and helps you enjoy a longer life and more vibrant lifestyle.

What Is a Plant-Based Diet?
A plant-based diet is not simply a diet of vegetables. It is impossible to get all your necessary daily nutrients from just vegetables, and it is essential that seniors eat a well-rounded diet.

Instead, plant-based meals consist of avoiding anything that either once had a face, or came from something with a face. Avoid animals and their by-products, including meat, eggs, or dairy, and substitute them with fruits, vegetables, tubers or starchy foods, and whole grains. The diet also requires the abstinence of sugar and oil. more→

Ayurvedic Herbs to Add to Your Diet

Top view image of turmeric latte over white wooden table with copyspace

As far as holistic health trends go, Ayurveda has been popping up everywhere in recent years. There are even Ayurvedic health drinks and recipes being offered in some of the trendiest restaurants. It’s no surprise that this ancient Indian system of medicine is becoming more popular.

Ayurveda takes a truly holistic approach toward the entire human body and mind. It seeks to balance a person, rather than treating illnesses after they manifest. Though it can do that, too. With how popular and versatile ayurveda is, it’s tempting to just throw a bunch of Indian herbs into your cooking and hope it helps. But there’s a rich philosophy behind Ayurveda that will help you make the most of Ayurvedic herbs. more→

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.

10 Tips to Help Kids Make Healthy Food Choices

Sizzling tofu fajitas

Most parents know the challenges of getting kids to eat healthy foods. Children are bombarded with advertising and media messages for foods that are filed with sugar, fat, and iffy ingredients. Even if a child makes their own choice to go vegetarian and vegan, that’s no guarantee that they won’t be finicky. Here are 10 tips to help kids make healthy food choices; these can also apply to picky eaters of the teen and adult variety, too! more→

Health Benefits of Tempeh Bacon

Tempeh Bacon

Bacon being one of the great wonders of the world that it is, you may be wondering if tempeh bacon is for you. When most vegans reach for a protein substitute, the instinctive choice is tofu. But tempeh is getting more commonplace, and tempeh bacon recipes abound.

If you haven’t jumped on the tempeh bandwagon yet, tempeh is just another soy product. Fermented soybeans, to be exact. It’s made by partially cooking soybeans and then aging them in a warm incubator. This is where things get sort of gross: a type of fungus grows and binds the beans together, hence that type of bean mat consistency. more→

Hemp Seeds Nutrition, Health Benefits, & Recipes

Hemp Seeds

Hemp seeds are a fantastic addition to any healthy diet, packed with easily digestible protein and a multitude of nutrients. Rare among plant-based foods, they provide complete protein with all 10 essential amino acids — something valuable to vegans and vegetarians. Learn more in Hemp Seeds Boost Vegan Nutrition. Read on for more hemp seeds nutrition benefits and 10 tasty recipes.

More good news —hemp seed is very rarely an allergen, unlike many other nuts and seeds. And unlike flaxseeds, you need not grind them to reap their benefits. Compared with chia seeds, another popular superfood, hemp seeds don’t cause stomach upset. Another unexpected perk: Hemp is an eco-friendly crop that’s naturally pest- and weed-resistant, which means that it can be grown without pesticides and herbicide.

hemp seeds nutrition

Hemp seeds nutrition and  health benefits

Making hemp seeds part of your daily fare can give your overall health and well-being a boost. Some of the benefits attributed to hemp seeds include:

Cardiovascular health: These tiny seeds are a great source of the fatty acids arginine and gamma-linolenic acid, whose intake is associated with lower risk of heart disease.

Skin booster: The healthy fats in hemp seeds may assist in skin conditions like eczema and general dry and itchiness.

Great source of digestible protein: Not only do they provide complete protein with all the essential amino acids, their protein is more digestible and usable than that in many nuts, grains, and other seeds. This can be helpful to athletes and other active people.

PMS and menopause: Hemp seeds are rich in GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), which has been shown to improve hormone imbalances and ease the symptoms of PMS and menopause.

For studies and sources on the benefits of hemp seeds, see 6 Evidence-Based Benefits of Hemp Seeds.


Hemp seeds nutrition benefits

  • High in fiber.
  • Rich in minerals including magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium.
  • Abundant in omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a specific omega-6 fatty acid (GLA) not found in any other food.
  • Compared with chia and flaxseeds, hemp has the edge in terms of soluble fiber. It’s higher than the other two seeds in protein. This chart shows how hemp seeds compare with chia and flax in terms of nutrients Here’s a handy chart comparing the major nutrients in chia, hemp, and flax seeds, reprinted from Quick and Dirty Tips:

Hemp, chia, and flaxseed comparison chart

How to use hemp seeds nutrition in food
Hemp seed has a very mild, nutty flavor.  Like the other seeds, they’re good in hot or cold cereals, smoothies, and soups, or just sprinkled on salads, casseroles, noodle dishes, or cooked grains. Just incorporate a tablespoon or two into your daily fare this way to reap the benefits. You can also try these tasty recipes that highlight hemp seeds:

Hemp seeds nutrition

Hemp-Chocolate Chunk Blondies are the perfect power-packed pick-me-up with nuts, hemp seeds, dates, and chunks of dark chocolate. No need to reach for an unhealthy snack!

hemp seeds nutrition

Cherry-Hemp Muesli is a simple European–inspired breakfast cereal that is easy to make and convenient to keep on hand for a quick breakfast. It’s especially great to take with you when traveling.

hemp seeds nutrition

Pack up these nutritious Chocolate and Cherry Hemp Bars for a hike, or enjoy them as a simple treat. They’re an amped-up, antioxidant- and protein-rich version of a rice crispy treat.

hemp seeds nutrition

Hemp milk is delicious! Here’s how to make homemade hemp milk, which is more economical and tastier than what you can buy.

hemp seeds nutrition

Walnuts and hemp seeds offer a tasty source of Omega 3s in this quick and easy raw Hemp Walnut Pie Crust. Fill it with your favorite fruit filling for a no-bake pie everyone will love.

Black Bean Hemp Burger

Perfectly aligned spices celebrate three plant-based protein sources: black beans, hemp seeds, and quinoa. These vegan Black Bean-Hemp Protein Patties.

Homemade hemp granola

Hemp-anola (hemp granola) uses less oil than many granola recipe, for a lighter breakfast. Plus, hemp seeds add extra protein to this already nutritious cereal.

Romaine lettuce green smoothie recipe

In this mild green Power Smoothie, dark leafy greens, hemp, chia, and fruit add up to a killer morning drink.

Sesame Berry Squares

The good news about Sesame-Berry Squares is they’re quite nutritious on top of being delicious—so thumbs way up if you feel like having seconds. In addition to sesame seeds, this treat contains plenty of hemp seeds, too.

Linguine or Fettuccine with asparagus and mushrooms recipe

Store-bought vegan Parmesan topping is OK, but homemade Vegan Cashew or Almond Parmesan-Style Cheez is better! This nutritious nut-based dairy-free topping can be made in minutes, and you can incorporate plenty of hemp seed into it. Delicious on pastas and other savory dishes.

How do you get your hemp seeds nutrition? Shout out your favorite recipes in the comments!

7 Common Superfoods for Women of Any Age

Fresh spinach in a bowl

Women today are more conscious of their health and food intake. They watch what they eat more carefully now than ever. But you need not buy expensive and unproven superfoods and supplements, when there are so many common foods that can benefit your health. You may have some or most of these in the pantry or fridge already! Here are 7 of these common superfoods for the benefit women of any age, whether their goal is weight loss or simply to feel healthier and look better.

Spinach: This leafy vegetable is packed with essential nutrients that women of any age need. It has loads of vitamin K, magnesium and calcium. The combination of these three slows down the deterioration of bones ones you get older. It also contains folate which is a type of vitamin B. Here are some healthy and delicious spinach recipes. more→

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