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Organic or Biodynamic?

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Are you confused by what all the produce on offer? What is Organic, what is Biodynamic and what is NOT? This simple chart summarises the key elements which will help you navigate through the labels and statements of Fruit and Vegetables, Eggs, Meat and Poultry, Dairy and Packed Foods. Click here for the full version: Organic vs Biodynamic Chart

A super seed: Chia

Nuts and seeds in general are excellent sources of antioxidants such as vitamin E. Colder climate nuts and seeds are also rich sources of omega 3 fats – of these, walnut, flax and chia are the best. Ancient cultures throughout Central America enjoyed chia seeds as a key part of their diet and medicine. They are nutritionally superior to other seeds – higher in omega 3, antioxidants, calcium and magnesium, much lower in sodium and, like flax, a very good source of protein and soluble fibre. They are also gluten free. Enjoy this ancient food by adding the seeds to soups, cereals, stews or smoothies.

Magical Maqui Berry

We all went ga-ga for Goji berries, then eager for Acais and now, we should be mad for Maqui berries – which trump them all, experts say. The tiny South American fruit was only discovered by the wider world recently and is touted as having the highest antioxidant content of any berry known so far. As most berries can be considered super foods, that means this little purple wonder from Patagonia really does pack a punch. They are exceedingly rich in anthocyanins – purple pigments with very high antioxidant activity that possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, so they help to reduce the risk of a variety of degenerative diseases. Organic Foods & Café sells powdered Maqui berries which can be added to juices, smoothies or even made into jam

Does your lunch box pack a punch?

Seeds, grains, berries and bulbs – some foods are full of so much good stuff they are just super for your health

It feels like a new superfood is proclaimed every five minutes, with health gurus lauding the latest nutritional champion they claim is a game-changer for our health. It’s easy to dismiss the concept as a marketer’s dream. But science has proven in numerous ways that we really are what we eat, so doesn’t it make sense that some foods will contain a higher proportion of those vitamins and minerals that boost our health? If you’re happy enough to take a tablet of chemicals to improve your wellbeing – wouldn’t you rather pack your plate full of medicinal mouthfuls? In reality, many foods can be considered ‘super’ – any food that is considered especially nutritious or beneficial to health and wellbeing. And of course, any superfood is only really super when included as part of a balanced and varied diet. What is clear is that we are analyzing what we put in our bodies more than ever before. Go back 100 years and we just didn’t have the choices. Science and the late-20th century age of plenty changed that and led us down a path of over-reliance on saturated fats and sugars and a daily overdose of preservatives and other dodgy chemicals. ‘Choice’ was costing us our health. Now, we know so much more about how the food we eat affects us. Our bodies are being hijacked by a cocktail of chemicals and we rely on prescription medicine to deal with all sorts of illnesses – crazy considering that many of the things our body needs are freely available in nature. Instead, our body often has to fight against the damaging food we put into it. So why not turn that on its head and make the food you eat work harder for you? Take leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale, watercress and broccoli for example. They contain high doses of chlorophyll, a wide range of vitamins and minerals and help our brain, immune system and kidneys – as long they are organic so your body does not need to fight off pesticides and chemicals added to them of course. Coconut oil is a super alternative to hydrogenated vegetable oils. It contains lauric acid, which helps in preventing high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Garlic, meanwhile, a common ingredient in many cuisines, helps prevent blood clots and is also a natural antiseptic, anti-viral and anti-fungal. A clove, or capsule a day, can really help if you’re fighting an infection. The list of super foods goes on – so do a bit of research and make sure the products you put in your basket is going to work hard for your health. Here are some of our favourite foods to power up your diet.

Going for grains? Try Amaranth

Amaranth is the common name for more than 60 different species of amaranthus, which are very tall plants with broad green leaves and impressively bright purple, red, or gold flowers. Like buckwheat and quinoa, amaranth is an especially high-quality grain from these plants that includes two essential amino acids, lysine and methionine – generally low in grains. Amaranth is packed with iron and calcium, and its fibre content is triple that of wheat. It is completely gluten-free and so suitable for those with celiac disease. It is an especially digestible grain, making it a traditional food for people recovering from illness or transitioning from a fast or detox cleanse.

Super sweet Lucuma

Lucuma Powder is made from Peruvian lucuma fruit (also known as the Gold of the Incas). It is dried and milled into a fine powder and is an excellent low-glycemic sweetener. It contains many nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein.