Vegan/Vegetarian

Xymogen’s XymoZyme – Vegan Digestive Enzymes for Proper Nutrient Absorption

Xymogen’s XymoZyme
Comes in 120 Capsules and 60 Capsules Non-prescription and broad-spectrum digestive enzyme formula Designed to support the digestion of fat, proteins, carbohydrates, starches, fiber, and lactose The formula contains proteases, lipase, papain, bromelain, lactase, papain, alpha-galactosidase and more  Works within a large pH range compared to porcine or bovine-derived pancreatin, which only works within a narrow pH range Supports the breakdown of polysaccharides in beans, seeds, and vegetables for those that have issue with higher FODMAP foods Supports the breakdown of lactose, the sugar found in milk and milk products Supports the pancreas  Xymogen’s ‘Zinc Glycinate’ is a fully reacted amino acid chelate formula designed for optimal enhanced absorption. As an extremely important and essential mineral, zinc is vital to many physiological processes in the body. Zinc supports immune function, neurological function, normal cellular function, growth, nutrient metabolism, and reproductive organ health.  Dosage and Directions for Use Serving Size: 2 capsules. The recommended dosage is one to two daily capsules, typically taken 30 – 45 minutes prior to your meal.  We recommend taking one capsule with breakfast, and another with dinner in the evening. If you require a higher dosage, we recommend consulting with a healthcare practitioner or naturopath, and steadily increasing the dosage.  The formulation contains protease, papain, bromelain, amylase, glucoamylase, cellulase, beta-glucanase, alpha-galactosidase, invertase, peptidase, pectinase, lactase, phytase, acid-stable protease, lipase, xylanase, and hemicellulase.   The product does not contain any wheat, gluten, soy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts, GMO-derived ingredients, or animal products. The Role of Digestive Enzymes on Nutrient Absorption and Healthy Digestion To ensure you actually obtain the nutrients from food, you need to ensure healthy digestion. Once food has left the stomach and entered the small intestine, digestive enzymes can begin turning it into the fuel needed for metabolic processes and sustenance. These enzymes are primarily produced in the pancreas and small intestine – which is why the function of the pancreas is vital to overall wellness. Those with digestive issues, low/poor mineral levels (iron), a compromised immune system, or chronic health issues may benefit from implementing a daily digestive enzyme to ensure more effective digestion.  Xymogen’s XymoZyme product incorporates all the key digestive enzymes to provide a formula that can help to facilitate healthy digestion. The formulation contains principal digestive enzymes (amylase and phytase, protease) along with enzymes designed to break down proteins and fibers (bromelain and papain) that people tend to have difficulty with (high FODMAP foods or high protein foods). Phytase, in particular, helps to facilitate the breakdown of phytates from grains and legumes – this helps to increase the absorption of important nutrients like iron, calcium, and phosphorus.  The complete digestion of nutrients ensures that incompletely digested molecules and proteins do not enter the bloodstream and trigger an immune response.

Is Being Dairy-Free Healthy?

Dairy-free
If you are new to being dairy-free, it can take a period of getting used to. Luckily, dairy-free milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt options are popping up at supermarkets and health food stores faster than ever. Many dairy-free products are frequently touted as the healthier alternative, but does omitting dairy truly make it healthy? Perhaps you are thinking to yourself, why go dairy-free in the first place? Many nutritionists and naturopaths recommend removing dairy from the diet to reduce inflammation, health the gut and heal acne. While going dairy-free is generally more accepted today, is it healthy? Can You Obtain All Your Required Nutrients Without Consuming Dairy? One of the most common concerns around going dairy-free is the topic of calcium. After all, we grew up being recommended to eat 1-2 servings of dairy a day (per Canada’s food guide) in order to have adequate protein and calcium levels. But the truth is, with proper planning, it is certainly possible get enough protein from other foods. The same applies to calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral needed for proper muscle contraction, strong bones, healthy heartbeats and signaling between brain cells. It is not a nutrient we can easily forget about! Many people associate calcium with cow’s milk – so can relying on plant-based milks prevent you from getting the nutrients you need? The short answer is yes! Other Than from Dairy, Where Can I Get My Calcium? Although many boxed plant-based milks do not contain high levels of calcium, there are some plant-based foods that provide a good and comparable source of calcium. These include 3 main categories: leafy greens, nuts and seeds, as well as beans. If you are vegan, consider prioritizing your meals around these foods. Vegetables like spinach, bok choy, kale and broccoli are high in calcium. If you are plant-based, make sure to also keep lots of almonds, sesame seeds, navy beans and red kidney beans in your pantry. These foods are particularly high in calcium. With these foods in your regular rotation, getting enough calcium as a vegan supplement can be a breeze. Here are some quick vegan-friendly calcium staples to get you started: NOW Raw Almonds 454g Organic Traditions Black Sesame Seeds 454g Eden Navy Beans 822g Inari Dried Kidney Beans 500g If you are concerned about your calcium levels as a vegan, there are many plant-based calcium supplements that you may want to consider: Garden of Life Plant Calcium 90 tablets Platinum Naturals Coral Calcium 90 capsules Living Without Dairy With the numerous dairy-free products and supplements, it is possible to be healthy and nourished. Vegans need to strategically plan their meals and snacks so they are getting all their nutrients, but it can be done. If you are at risk of osteoporosis or osteopenia, you may want to speak with your healthcare practitioner to determine the best recommendation for you. Author Grace Tien is a dietetics and holistic nutrition grad. She creates sustainable, delicious meal plans to help clients with their health goals. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Happy Mother's Day from Healthy Planet!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! This is the perfect opportunity to treat all the Mama's in your life and even yourself to a few sweet gifts to celebrate this beautiful day. Healthy Planet is currently running an INCREDIBLE Mother's Day Sale, full of pampering and practical products for all Mothers! I have narrowed down my top 4 favourite products that not only do I use, but would make the  perfect Health & Wellness gifts for the Mama's in your life this Mother’s Day!   Organika Collagen – Because healthy skin is always on trend. Collagen has many beautiful benefits that does our body so good - promotes skin health, boost muscle mass, improve ingestive health, burns fat, alleviate joint pains, promotes heart health, and improves cognitive health. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, however our ability to produce it decreases less and less as we age. This is why it is so important to either incorporate foods that contain collagen in our diet or supplement it with a product like, Organika Collagen. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Skin Essence Facial in a Jar – Spoil the Mama's in your life with this multipurpose product. You can either use this as an exfoliator to scrub away dead skin or leave it on as a mask so that the product can absorb all the oils and impurities out of your skin. Either way, this product will leave your skin super soft, supple, nourished and will brighten your overall complexion!   Everyone Hand Soap Coconut Lavender – This is the best naturally smelling hand soap on the market. I really love that it is kind to our earth, cruelty free, gluten free, does not contain synthetic fragrance, and really does a wonderful job at cleansing and moisturizing the skin.   Andalou Naturals Body Lotion Lavender Thyme – You will not catch me without some sort of hand lotion in my diaper bag. With all the diaper changing and constantly washing my hands to avoid catching my toddler’s germs, it strips away my natural oils leaving my skin super dry and cracked. I love this hand lotion not only does it DELICIOUS but it also does a fab job at moisturizing and keeping the skin moisturized for a long period of time. If Lavender Thyme isn’t your jam, they also have a large selection of other scents as well!   Written by Healthy Planet Ambassador @lifestylebycp.  Follow Cherrie as she lives her best life spreading her vision of the Health and Wellness lifestyle with the help of Healthy Planet!

How to Choose a Plant-Based Protein Powder

Plant-based protein powder isn’t new, but it does seem to be gaining in popularity. These days, there’s a wide variety of products to choose from, so it can be hard to determine which is best suited to your lifestyle and dietary needs. For those considering adding a plant-based protein powder to their diet, but don’t know where to start, this is the guide for you! A Primer on Protein Dietary protein consists of 20 amino acids, nine of which are essential or conditionally essential amino acids. So this means we need to get them or their precursors through food or supplements. At one time, we thought we had to eat all eight essential amino acids at the same time which led to considerable stress about combining plant foods to get “complete protein”. But, we now know that it is sufficient to eat a good mix of plant-based foods that provide essential amino acids throughout any 24-hour period [1]. The human body is very efficient at using and recycling essential amino acids to create its own complete protein. This means that most moderately active adults need around 0.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day [2]. More active people, such as athletes, may need a higher intake of  1.4-2/kg of body weight, given the higher rate of protein turnover [3]. Protein Powder Forms In general, protein powders (for example, whey powder), tend to come in the form of isolate, hydrolysate, and concentrate. This describes how they are purified and manufactured. Isolate Protein isolate is almost entirely isolated amino acids, with little fat, fibre, or other substances. These are digested more slowly and are typically less allergenic than other protein sources. They also help keep you feeling full for longer while supporting muscle protein synthesis [4]. Hydrolyslate Protein hydrolysates (proteins soaked in water) are digested more rapidly. This is because the bonds between the amino acids have been cut and undergone enzymatic activity. Protein hydrolysates tend to increase the rate of dietary amino acid incorporation into skeletal muscle protein [5]. As a result, this kind of protein may be useful for supporting muscle repair after an intense workout. Concentrate Protein concentrates are high in protein but are less concentrated than isolates and hydrolysates. They’ve also undergone less processing than other types of protein, so they’re an attractive option for those wanting a more natural protein powder [6]. Plant-Based Protein Sources Legumes, nuts, and seeds are excellent protein sources. Grains, fruits, and vegetables also contain protein, although in smaller amounts. Accordingly, plant-based protein supplements tend to come from legumes, seeds, and some grain products, or mixtures thereof. These plant-based protein sources have some key advantages over animal-derived proteins. For example, they often contain fibre, are lower in fat, and are free from cholesterol. So plant proteins can help you feel full while keeping your daily calorie intake low, and still meet your protein needs. Let’s take a closer look at four popular sources of plant-based protein powders and what they’re good for: Soy Soy protein is a complete protein and is touted as having many health benefits, like helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels [7]. It does tend to be quite dense, but it mixes well with liquids. This, combined with its bland taste, make soy protein powder a good option for smoothies. Soy is a common allergen, however, and soy protein is often extracted using hexane so it isn’t suitable for everybody. Hemp Hemp seeds are an excellent source of amino acids as well as some essential fatty acids (EFAs) and fibre. Protein powders from hemp may be concentrates or isolates, however, so check labels for EFA and fibre content if those are factors. Hemp protein is quite granular and light. It also has a slight grassy flavour which helps make it a good choice for a green shake or smoothie. Additionally, hemp is a near-complete protein and is typically high in fibre, which makes it a popular choice. Brown Rice Brown rice protein and sprouted brown rice protein contain a good amount of amino acids, although they aren’t complete proteins. Because of this, brown rice protein is often mixed with pea or hemp protein to round out the essential amino acids. Sprouted brown rice protein is, in essence, a raw rice protein hydrolysate and is less granular than hemp, but less dense than soy. These qualities make it a good choice for mixing with foods, simple shakes, or smoothies. Additionally, brown rice protein has a low-allergen profile and is easy to digest which makes it a smart option for those with sensitive stomachs or allergies to soy or dairy. Pea Protein Mixing pea protein with other sources of plant protein ensures a good amino acid profile. Because of this, it’s common to find it in a blended formula with other plant-der ...

Eating Like a Caveman: Controlling Insulin

Summer is the perfect time to give your diet a reboot and start thinking about the kinds of fresh foods and meats that our forefathers from wayyyyyy back ate, which is more of a Paleo Diet, which is becoming quite popular again, for obvious reasons. There’s lots of evidence to suggest that a back-to-basics approach to diet is the way to go for each and every system in our bodies. Today’s diet has too much sugar and it’s making us store our fat. It’s time to reclaim it. Use summer as the stepstone toward better health, with expert Brad King’s advice! Insulin has an especially dramatic influence on enzymes called lipases. Lipases are like little Pac Men who run around your body, releasing body fat from its cushy containers so it can be shuttled into muscle cells to get burned off (yeah!). When insulin levels are high, it hits the “off” switch on lipases, putting them into a holding pattern until further notice. In fact, the most prominent lipase involved in fat burning is called Hormone Sensitive Lipase, or HSL for short.[1] HSL is the premiere key holder that unlocks those fat storage containers which make you leaner. Unfortunately, the more insulin that’s present, the less HSL is available to release fat for energy and the end result is you become fatter (not so yeah!). As insulin is blocking fat burning it’s also creating an internal environment that is ripe for fat storage. It accomplishes this act through the aid of another lipase enzyme—this one’s called Lipoprotein lipase, or LPL for short, and it is so effective at bloating fat cells that some obesity researchers even call it ‘the Gatekeeper of Fat Storage’. It’s next to impossible for the body to store fat without a certain amount of insulin floating around. As you can see, insulin is something we need, but we don’t want too much of it. Otherwise, we end up with a body that acts as a 24/7 fat-storing factory (as too many people already experience)! Controlling Insulin Almost any food—including the mere thought of food—can cause insulin release, but carbohydrates are the primary driver to a flood of insulin. High-carb foods—especially the highly processed and refined variety—cause glucose levels in your blood to shoot way up.[2] However, the body doesn’t work very well when glucose gets too high, so it sends out a stream of insulin to control the rising tide of glucose. Gobs of insulin will definitely drive glucose down, but it will also turn the vast majority of that glucose into newly formed fat. On the other hand, when insulin levels are under control, the body swiftly transitions into fat burning mode. Normal insulin levels cause lipases to spring into action. Also, a hormone often viewed as insulin’s opposite, glucagon, starts to rise. Glucagon travels around the body, ordering fat cells to relax and let go of the fat they’re clinging to. It’s accurate to view eating and lifestyle as a hormonal event. In a primitive dietary world made up of fresh—and local—produce (including roots, shoots, seeds and nuts) and wild game meat, our hormones were never a problem – in other words there weren’t many, if any, obese cavemen or ladies . If a caveman was lucky enough to stumble upon a beehive filled with honey or a bush sprouting plump berries, insulin was there to process the carbohydrates properly. But for the most part, the diet that our pancreas was designed for, only called insulin into action on a part-time basis. Our modern-day fast food/processed/high glycemic diets forces our pancreas to work double or triple shifts! Our body was simply not designed to metabolize all these carbs. The real kicker is that, because of our ravenous appetite for insulin-stimulating processed foods, the weight we’ve been accumulating over the last few decades is pure, unadulterated fat, which isn’t just unsightly but brings with it a whole host of health issues to boot![3] Magré, J., et al. (1998) Human hormone-sensitive lipase: genetic mapping, identification of a new dinucleotide repeat, and association with obesity and NIDDM. Diabetes. 47:284-286 Ludwig, D. S. (2000) Dietary glycemic index and obesity. J. Nutr. 130:280S-283S. Due A, Larsen TM, Mu H, Hermansen K, Stender S, Astrup A: Comparison of 3 ad libitum diets for weight-loss maintenance, risk of cardiovascular disease, and diabetes: a 6-mo randomized, controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2008, 88(5):1232-1241  http://www.pno.ca/?p=1336&option=com_wordpress&Itemid=201

5 TIPS TO START A MEATLESS DIET

All right foodies, it’s time to talk about the elephant in the room: we need to eat less meat. It’s no secret that adopting a vegetarian diet can have numerous benefits to your health (including lower cholesterol, decreased risk for heart disease and cancer AND better moods), but did you know that eating a plant-based diet is much better for our planet as well? In addition to causing mass deforestation, pollution and contamination of water sources, livestock farming also accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions (that’s more than transportation!). Growing fruits and vegetables is also a more efficient use of resources than livestock – it takes the same amount of land resources to feed 16-20 vegetarians as it does a single meat eater! What’s one of the easiest ways to cut down your carbon footprint? Go Veg!      We know that adopting changes to your diet can be a little intimidating, so we’ve put together these five helpful tips for you to keep in mind as you begin your plant-based journey.   STICK TO ORGANIC AND NON-GMO FOODS. While it’s well known that organic and non-GMO foods are better for our bodies, they have numerous environmental benefits as well. Organic farming enriches our soil, increases biodiversity, keeps toxic fertilizers and pesticides out of water sources and can even slow global warming by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.(8) BUY LOCAL PRODUCE! In addition to supporting your local farmers and economy, buying local also cuts down drastically on transportation costs! Find a farmer’s market (or small community grocery store) near you and purchase seasonal, organic produce. Buying straight from the source ensures that your fruits and veggies are fresh and haven’t been frozen. If you have the space, grow your own food! Can’t find a product grown locally in your area? Purchase fair trade and organic alternatives (like Alter Eco’s fair trade quinoa!)! While fair trade certified companies are typically known for their advocacy for fair wages and ethical working conditions, many are deeply committed to protecting the environment as well(7). Do some research and support companies that meet rigorous environmental standards. HAVE FUN COOKING! It’s great when you find a great meatless dish at your favorite restaurant, but the only way to fully know what’s going into your meal is to make it yourself. If you’re new to cooking and don’t know where to start sign up for a vegetarian cooking class with a friend or family member! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different foods and flavors and you might just find your new favorite go-to dish (check out our plant-based recipes below)! PLAN YOUR WEEKLY MEALS AHEAD OF TIME. This is an important part of adopting any new diet! Avoid last-minute decisions by creating a weekly meal schedule to make sure you’re diversifying your diet and getting all the protein that you need (the recommended dosage is 40-60 grams of protein per day, depending on your body size). ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENTS AND NUTRITION FACTS! Some products like to sneak in hidden animal products that could compromise your diet. Other products compensate with an unhealthy dose of sugar. When in doubt, speak to a professional! Reference: http://www.alterecofoods.com/5-tips-for-meatless-diet/