Food of the Month: Raspberries

Care of Andrea Howe at  Whether it be in a delicious tart or a refreshing lemonade, raspberries are the perfect summer ingredient. They can be paired in a variety of dishes from salads, to dressings, as well as many desserts. Not only are they so versatile to cook with, but they also provide an abundance of nutrients. Raspberries get their radiant red colour from the antioxidant anthocyanin. This antioxidant has the ability to protect against a range of diseases due to its ability to fight free-radicals. Raspberries also contain one of the highest amounts of fibre, making up 20% of the berry’s total weight. Fibre is great for digestive health, as well as making you feel full for longer. They are also chalk full of vitamin C which aids in tissue growth and development. Given the rich antioxidant and phytonutrient content in raspberries, they are a great component in the diet for aiding in cancer prevention, reducing inflammation, and overall health. Read More

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Food of the Month: Romaine Lettuce

Care of Amy Symington, of Romaine lettuce is a crunchy, nutrient packed leafy green that is often underrated. It is most commonly found in the sometimes not so healthy Caesar salad, but don’t be mistaken, it is a healthy addition to your daily diet. Packed with vitamin K and A, folate (also known as folic acid) and fibre, this leafy green is a great choice for any salad, grain bowl, sandwich, taco or burrito. The fibre, folic acid and beta-carotene present in this crispy treat make it a heart friendly choice. High fibre diets reduce the risk of atherosclerosis by removing bile salts from the body, forcing our systems to create more, in turn helping with the breakdown of cholesterol that tends to harden in our arteries. Folic acid helps to break down homocysteine, which can cause inflammation and damage to our blood vessels, and in turn increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Moreover, the beta-carotene present helps to prevent the oxidation or hardening of bad cholesterol in our arteries, further promoting heart health. After returning from the grocery store remember to wash your romaine and wrap the leaves in a towel before storing… Read More

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Food of the Month: Artichokes

Care of Andrea Howe at Don’t let this peculiar looking vegetable scare you away, it actually has amazing nutritional benefits! Artichokes are one of the oldest ingredients known to humans. They are generally seen as a side dish or added to a salad. However, they can be incorporated into many different dishes such as pasta, stuffed artichokes, or the most familiar dish – spinach and artichoke dip. Thought oats were high in fibre? One artichoke heart contains 10.3g of dietary fibre, almost double the amount that one cup of oats have. This high amount of fibre makes them a great component to a healthy digestive system. They’re also very high in minerals such as folic acid and potassium. Folic acid helps produce red blood cells and repair DNA which is essential for pregnant women. Potassium helps to balance out fluids in the body and in particular can help prevent hypertension and high blood pressure. Getting creative with artichokes can be difficult, so try out my amazing Roasted Garlic Artichoke Burger!… Read More

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Food of the Month: Strawberries

Care of Amy Symington of Strawberries are a spring seasonal favourite for most people, and for good reason. They are sweet and tart, and jam-packed (pun intended) with essential vitamins and minerals. From breakfast parfaits and salad toppers, to compotes, jellies and jams, to decadent desserts, there is no doubt that strawberries are a versatile fruit. Strawberries are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, and fibre. One serving of strawberries is about half your Recommended Dietary Allowance of vitamin C, which is a fantastic immune booster, a powerful antioxidant, and a support to increase the production of collagen, improving skin’s elasticity and resilience. Strawberries also contain the phytochemical ellagic acid, which aids in the suppression of cancer cell growth. Ellagic acid also aids in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol, helping to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. So take advantage of spring’s bounty, grab a pint of these tasty little morsels, and try our sinfully delicious Strawberry and Hazelnut Streusel Cake. Read More

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Food of the Month: Asparagus

Care of Andrea Howe This spring super-food starts the season off packed full of vitamins and minerals. Asparagus growing season begins at the end of February and continues all through the spring until May. Unlike most vegetables, asparagus continues to grow and thrive even after it is picked. This trait is beneficial as the powerful enzymes are just as beneficial for your health as they were when they were in the ground. Asparagus spears are known for their tender but crunchy texture. Hidden inside their long shoots is an array of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins K, C, E, and B vitamins. The vegetable also contains high amounts of folate, copper, and fibre. Vitamin K is beneficial for blood-clotting, as well as maintaining bone health. The fibre in asparagus is great for digestive health and reducing risks of cancer and disease. Asparagus can be used in many dishes such as asparagus soup, wrapped asparagus, casseroles, or even just on its own as a tasty side dish!… Read More

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The Veggie Edge for Athletes

By Marco Pagliarulo, Weird Veg Science columnist for Lifelines Vegan athletes assert that a plant-based diet gives them a leg up. Let’s explore the science behind this claim. Endurance exercise induces muscle damage and inflammation throughout the body [1].  Since this can impede tissue repair and the body’s recovery [2], minimizing inflammation is advantageous to the athlete. But what does this have to do with diet? Several human studies have investigated the relationships between dietary patterns and inflammation. Here’s what the body of  knowledge indicates: Meat-based diets and Western dietary patterns (characterized by high intakes of meat, sweets, and refined grains) are associated with chronic inflammation [3, 4]. Conversely, fruit- and vegetable -based diets are associated with decreased levels of  inflammation [3, 4]. High intakes of carotenoids and vitamin C (found mostly in plant-based foods) seem  to decrease inflammation [3]. The consumption of whole grains is also associated with decreased levels of  inflammation [3, 5]. One of the review papers even goes on to suggest that a diet high in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains may even protect the body against inflammation [3]. Aside from inducing inflammation, exercise may also induce oxidative stress [6] – an imbalance in the… Read More

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Food of the Month: Heal with Hazelnuts

Care of Amy Symington of Also known as the filbert nut or cobnut, hazelnuts have a rich, bitter, and unique nutty flavour that make any basic dish or dessert seem decadent. Hazelnuts contain beneficial flavanoids which have been shown to support brain health,  improve our circulation, and help keep symptoms associated with allergies at bay. Hazelnuts are also high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. They are specifically high in oleic acid which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol.  This will help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. But wait, there’s more! They are also rich in Vitamin E, folate, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Use them in salads, pestos, nut cheeses, spreads, granola, and of course your favourite cheesecakes, coffee cakes, cupcakes, trifles or any sweet treat of your choosing!… Read More

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Food of the Month: Crushing on Cranberries

Care of Ashley Sauve Cranberries are a seasonal favorite during the holidays, an icon of festivity. They’re also a staple dried fruit used in trail mixes, granolas, and even salads. While we generally see cranberries as  complement, condiment or side, this tiny berry actually packs a solid nutritional punch and brings to the table a host of health benefits. Like all berries, cranberries are a potent source of anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. This means that they can support immune function, protect against cardiovascular disease, and play a role in cancer prevention.   Cranberries in particular have a long-standing reputation for protecting against Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). This effect is seen both in humans, and even in our companion animals (especially cats), and is thanks to a compound in cranberry called proanthocyanidin. This compound in cranberries prevents bacteria from adhering to the walls of the urinary tracts, where they settle and multiply contributing to UTI symptoms. There is also research being done on these anti-adhesion effects potentially preventing stomach ulcers, which are also caused by bacteria settling on stomach lining. Cranberries are naturally very tart, and most enjoyable when sweetened slightly. However, many dried and canned cranberries are completely filled… Read More

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Food of the Month: The Perfect Pear

Care of Amy Symington of With its season beginning in August and lasting until end of October, pears really are the ultimate fall fruit. They come in the rainbow of autumn colours from green to red to yellow to brown and have a  subtle, sweet flavour that is very versatile when it comes to its culinary options. They go great atop salads, in soups, on pizza and sandwiches and in all the baked goods from cobblers to crisps to streusels to cakes to homemade pop tarts. Moreover, they are a fantastically healthy addition to one’s diet. They are a good source of copper and vitamin C and K and are very high in fibre, packing about 6g per pear. Due to their high fibre content, a large amount of which is found in its skin, they have been shown to aid  in the prevention of Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer like colorectal, stomach and oesophagus. In addition to containing high levels of fibre, pears contain anti-inflammatory properties which help with the prevention of chronic inflammatory diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, they contain high levels of… Read More

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Powerful Pistachios

Care of Ashley Suave of The Vegan Chef Pistachios are a crowd favourite, especially around the holidays and they are deserving of the love! In fact, pistachios have been described as an honorary legume thanks to their unique nutritional value among nuts. Thanks to their high fiber,  protein, and vitamin E content, pistachios make a great addition to any healthy diet. By now, most people know that protein is no real issue in plant-based diets. Plants contain all essential amino acids. However, sometimes vegans can fall a little short in the amino acid lysine. Because of this, legumes are an important part of plant-powered diets due to their high lysine content. Pistachios also contain higher amounts of lysine than other nuts, so much higher in fact that a ¼ cup serving of pistachios can be substituted for a serving of legumes. Pistachios also contain a good amount of fiber, about 10% of their weight, making them a great snack choice. Fiber encourages satiety, and combined with the healthy monounsaturated fats in pistachios, keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Thanks to their shells preventing quick overeating, they’re the perfect snack for anyone looking to manage their weight. Vitamin E… Read More

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