In the worship of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, the ancient Greeks beheld the mysteries of life itself in the simplicity of the single grain of wheat. They understood the incredible potential of the tiny seed. In it lies the power to sustain, nourish and satisfy. In the germination and sprouting process is contained the vital energies which transform the seed into a tall strong plant which can ultimately reproduce itself many times over.
And so today we are rediscovering, in our own homes, these very mysteries. Sprouted seeds and legumes are being eaten and enjoyed in unprecedented quantities in the 21st century. Sprouting provides fresh salad ingredients any time of year and is a fun thing to do with even very young children.
Nutritionally, sprouted seeds contain vitamins, minerals, enzymes, oxygen and proteins in an absorbable forms, which the most sophisticated supplement pill could not rival. Starches become simple natural sugars, splitting long-chain amino acids and converting saturated fats into free fatty acids, providing more nutrients gram for gram than any other known natural food.
Sprouting easily satisfies the demands of 21st century sustainability – it’s cheap, it’s fast, it doesn’t take up much space and, hey, it’s even FUN – on top of being so completely good for you! Here are some tips to get you started.
Overnight: soak almonds, hazels, cashews, sunflower seeds, etc. Then drain & rinse. Store in the fridge in a sealed container for just a day or two. This is enough to improve digestibility and flavour; add them to salads or to cooked rice.
Sprout for 3-5 days: following a simple soaking and rinsing system, alfalfa seeds, lentils, beans, wheat germ, will produce succulent shoots, providing a little salad patch in the tiniest corner of your own kitchen.
After soaking seeds or grains to grow shoots, make sure to keep the water. It now contains enzymes, vitamins and minerals that can benefit your houseplants.
If you’re interested in starting your own kitchen garden we’ve got what you need to get started. BioSnacky produces a small
jar with a screw-on mesh lid and integral stand, so that you can easily drain off water. There is also a 3-tiered set of trays, which allows you to sprout several varieties of seed without any extra effort. BioSnacky also offers a nice selection of organic seeds for growing at home, and we’ve got other grains and seeds in the bulk section that are viable for sprouting too!
Come in and ask a customer service consultant for tips!
Article provided by A.Vogel
Located on United Boulevard in Coquitlam BC, Natural Fators Farm is the newest extension of a local natural comapny that has been around since 1950! Today, Natural Factors is one of the largest manufacturers of nutritional products in North America. Right from day one, they’ve been fully committed to making products right. They are not a public company with shareholders to impress. Instead, they care about impressing their customers. Here’s what they’ve got to say about the new movement in natural supplementation:
Local, whole, and good for you: get to know your supplements
We’ve been getting to know our food a bit better in recent years. Not in in an up-close-and-personal kind of way – we don’t need our chicken to have a name and hobbies (though a chicken who could juggle might make for an interesting marketing campaign). No, we want to know that our food was grown in a way that’s good for us, for farmers, and for the environment. We want to know our kale was tended by people who care about the earth, and not just the bottom line. We want to know that the nutrients in our strawberries fulfill the promise of their ruby red colour. And what about the nutrients we take in the form of vitamin, mineral, and herbal supplements?
Well, yes, we want to get to know those, too.
After all, whole foods aren’t just a trend at the dinner table. Today’s nutritional supplements are capturing the benefits of whole foods – such as Natural Factors’ Whole Earth & Sea line, with offerings from multivitamins to bone-health formulas, and more. Like that heirloom tomato from your local farmers’ market, whole food-based supplements bring you the best of what nature has to offer, plus all the benefits of locally grown, locally produced goods.
Whole foods vs. isolated nutrients
The best way to get nutrients is from whole foods. Plants provide a broad spectrum of nutrients, from vitamins and minerals to enzymes and phytonutrients, and the whole truly is greater than the sum of its parts. Research suggests that nutrients from whole, raw foods are team players; in other words, a valuable synergy allows key vitamins and minerals to work more effectively together, and makes them more bioavailable, so your body can absorb them easily.
Arguably, this means we would fill our plates with an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies three times a day, every day. And if you’ve figured out how to come up with fresh, home-cooked meals while juggling work, kids, exercise, and if you’re lucky, a social life, call us. No, really – you’ve stumbled upon the secret of life, and we want in. For the rest of us, whole food supplements like Whole Earth & Sea can take the pressure off a little.
It’s all about soil
Organic farmers often joke that they grow healthy soil – veggies are just a happy side effect. Like all good jokes, there’s truth in it. After decades of mismanaged soil thanks to the advent of chemical agriculture, certified organic farmers are experiencing a renaissance. Healthy organic soil contains all the vital nutrients that plants need to thrive, and foods grown organically have been shown to contain higher levels of key antioxidants and other vitamins and minerals.
Growing organic herbs, fruits, and veggies for whole food supplements makes perfect sense, according to Jan Slama, Research Scientist for Natural Factors in Kelowna, BC: “The purpose is to control the quality of our products from the ground up.” Jan is speaking of Factors Farms, a certified organic farm in BC’s fertile Okanagan Valley where many of the ingredients for Whole Earth & Sea are sourced.
At Factors Farms, Spring is in the air, and seeds are being sown for another season of locally grown herbs and supplements. 25 years of organic, non-GMO farming experience have taught the farmers here just what it means to grow high-quality ingredients. Soon, the fields will be bursting with colourful echinacea, vibrant greens, and sweet, antioxidant-rich berries. Fertilized only with compost and nitrogen-rich sea plants and meticulously cared for by hand, the plants are harvested at their peak and, just down the road, they’re raw processed to preserve those delicate antioxidants.
Local does it better
Those fields of green could be grown almost anywhere on the planet, but for Jan and the team at Natural Factors, growing at home is important. Sure, you can find Natural Factors and Whole Earth & Sea across North America, but they act more like your friendly neighbour than anything else.
And that’s important to Jan, who says “Canadians want local, organic herbals that they can trust.” For many of us, that means food and supplements grown right here in our own backyard, with all the benefits that come with buying locally grown, locally produced goods: a boost for the local economy, local jobs, sustainability, and healthier communities.
If you’ve made room on your plate for local whole foods, be sure to make room in your medicine cabinet too.
After all, life’s a healthy feast – enjoy it whole!
Vege-Pro® is a vegan, plant-based protein powder blend comprised of organic sprouted brown rice, organic hemp and 8 different medicinal mushrooms.
- Contains 21 grams of plant-based protein per-serving.
- Contains 6 digestive enzymes blended for better digestion, and 4 probiotic strains to stimulate growth of good bacteria in the intestine.
- Source of fibre from inulin and calcium for the maintenance of good health.
- Great for Celiacs and those who are lactose intolerant.
As an organic powder made from mushrooms, brown rice and hemp, Vege-Pro® provides 21 grams of complete protein per serving; more than 1/3 of your daily requirement*. Vege-Pro® delivers the probiotics, fibre and calcium that active men, women and developing children need to fuel a healthy, active lifestyle.
As a plant-based protein, Vege-Pro® is much easier to digest than whey, casein and other animal-based proteins. It’s no secret that plant-based diets in general are sustainable and environmentally friendly compared to animal-based diets.1
It is estimated by experts that 90% of North Americans are extremely deficient in minerals and trace minerals. This is due in a large part to mineral depletion in the soil from aggressive farming and soil erosion. It goes without saying, without adequate minerals in the soil, there will not be enough minerals in our food.
This is a huge problem considering the importance minerals play in our bodies.
Our bodies are complex systems of electrical charges and impulses that require minerals and trace minerals for optimal health.
The body uses minerals for building strong bones & teeth, for blood, skin & hair, nerve function, for muscle contraction and relaxation. Even minerals are needed for metabolic processes such as turning food into energy.
Since we can no longer look to our food to provide us with enough minerals for general health; we need to supplement and we can look to sea water as a natural source.
ConcenTrace® Trace Mineral Drops is a 100% natural mineral concentrate with 72 naturally occurring ionic trace minerals from the Great Salt Lake, with 99% sodium removed through solar evaporation.
What’s important to note is that ConcenTrace® isn’t actually something that’s made, it has been given to us by Mother Nature and found in the inland seawaters of the Great Salt Lakes.
Taking ConcenTrace® every day ensures you’re getting a full spectrum of ionic trace minerals, which are bioavailable ionic trace minerals just like those found in foods. Since its 100% natural; our bodies intrinsically know what to do with it.
ConcenTrace® can be used for bone & joint health, to balance pH in the body, to nourish hair & nails from within, to normalize bowel function, for circulatory health and to enhance the absorption of vitamins and has many other uses.
ConcenTrace® has a GRAS rating, is NON GMO and can safely be given to pets, children & even plants.
By Amber Allen
WRITTEN BY Leah Payne
Here’s something that should be top of mind this summer: stocking up on natural sunscreen. Here are a few foolproof tips to ensure you’re getting the best product for you and your family.
Opt for cream
Keep it simple: the best sunscreen formulations, as recommended by the Environmental Working Group, are the plain liquid cream forms that we grew up using. Other forms, such as sprays, powders, or towelettes don’t guarantee that we get proper coverage. Plus, spray formulations pose inhalation safety risks.
Oh, and you can forget about the sunscreen/bug repellent duos: these products are better on their own, since they usually have separate usage times in the day and different usage directions.
Don’t be fooled by high SPFs
Trick question: does SPF 60 filter out twice the amount of UVB radiation SPF 30 does? Nope, even though many people think so. In fact, SPF 30 filters out 97 percent of rays, while SPF 50 only filters out an additional 1 percent. That’s why experts worry that people are led astray by high SPFs. Plus, high SPFs are often filled with higher doses of chemicals than lower SPFs.
Generally, higher SPFs are no better than mid-range SPFs. Choose an SPF 30, and reapply often.
Be wary of moisturizers with SPF
Just as people tend to fall back on believing that higher SPFs will protect them, we also have tendency to believe that the small amount of sunscreen in facial moisturizer or makeup is enough. Generally, it’s not. And remember: sunscreen should be applied more than once a day.
Avoid vitamin A and oxybenzone
These are two sneaky ingredients that seem to find their way into many mainstream products. Oxybenzone is suspected to play a role in allergic reactions and hormonal disruptions, while vitamin A (or retinyl palmitate) is thought by the EWG to play a role in the development of skin tumours, and it increases skin sensitivity to sunlight.
Choose mineral sunscreens
What’s the best active ingredient? Mineral sunscreens made from zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are generally believed to be safe.
Check out your natural health retailer
While you’ll still likely need to do some product label reading, the best place to start your sunscreen shopping is at your natural health retailer. They’ll have the biggest range of natural products and knowledgeable staff to help you choose. Like any skin care product, you may want to try a couple brands to find one that you really love. Thankfully, there’s lots of selection on the market!
Gleaned From Alive Magazine Online