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What You Need To Know About the Mediterranean Diet

The  term “Mediterranean Diet” came about in 2013 when medical researchers were studying diets from around the world and tracked the health statuses of women from when they were in their 50s to 60s till they were in the 70s. They found that the people from this small village in Italy had the lowest cases of age-related diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases, and thus started looking into their diets to find out whether it is the cause of their better health status.

mediterranean diet

First, let’s talk about what Mediterranean food is not about. When one mentions Italian or Greek food, one would often think about pasta, pizza, lamb and loaves of bread accompanied by bottles of wine. However, Mediterranean food is more than that and when referring to the Mediterranean diet specifically, it’s about eating a diet that is rich in fruit, vegetables, beans, shellfish, chicken, fish, tomatoes, nuts, olive oil and…even, red wine. For example, the paella or pilaf has a lot of the above ingredients inside. Nonetheless, the key to everything is moderation.

This “Mediterranean diet” has been around for thousands of years but contrary to what most would believe, it’s not just a diet but a way of life. People who live with the diet don’t just eat; they also lead active lives, get a lot of exercise and are very social. It’s a lifestyle that is meant to keep you healthy in all fronts – physical, emotional and mental.

Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

We’ve talked a lot about the Mediterranean diet and what it is, but you might be wondering what the benefits of it actually are, people wouldn’t talk about it if it didn’t live up to the hype after all. The main benefit that everyone mentions when they talk about this particular diet is how it can help prevent heart disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity and even depression.

It’s Low in Processed Foods and Sugar

Ingredients found in Mediterranean food tend to be natural with little processing and no artificial flavouring, favouring on fresh produce. The only ‘processed’ foods would be items such as cheese, sausages and preserved olives or capers. It doesn’t shy away from carbs nor is it exceptionally high in protein (e.g. Atkins or Paleo diets).

The Mediterranean diet is also low in sugar, with the only sugar present being in fruits and wines. It also involves drinking a lot of fresh water or natural juices, which also lowers the consumption of sugar that could lead towards diabetes.

Helps You Lose Weight

This is one of the main reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so popular. Not only is it sustainable, the ingredients are all healthy and offer a variety of nutrients (protein and omega 3s etc) that allow you to lead a healthy life without making you go hungry, so you won’t have to skimp on food. Not just that, there’s also a large variety of foods and dishes, so you won’t have to worry about sticking to only one type of food, you can try out different recipes that suit your palate or needs.

prostate cancer

Improves Heart Health and Prevents Cancer

The benefit of a lot of these dishes, and their reliance on olive oil in particular, is that they offer a great amount of Omega 3 fatty acids that can help heart disease, as some famous stars would tell you. Coupled with a diet high on fish and the chances of cardiac arrest can be lowered by 30%, with sudden cardiac death going down by 45% or more.

Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, is also great at lowering hypertension because it makes nitric oxide more bioavailable, which makes it better able to keep arteries dilated and clear. It also helps fight against oxidation and improves endothelial functions, which is further enhanced by the antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine.

The antioxidants found in red wine and the various fruit and vegetables also help to prevent cancer by protecting DNA cells and slows down the degenerating rate as well as lowering cell mutation and delaying tumor growth.

healthy fats

Prevents Diabetes

Its ability to lower inflammation also makes Mediterranean diets able to lower the risks of diseases such as metabolic syndrome and type-2 Diabetes. The reason for this might be in the fact that foods found in this group control excess insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and makes us gain and retain weight.

People living with a Mediterranean diet eat a balanced breakfast shortly after waking up and eat all three meals a day, with their biggest one usually being lunch.

Can Prevent Cognitive Disease and Help You Live Longer

The effects of anti-inflammatory vegetables and fruits also help fight age-related cognitive decline. Thus, the Mediterranean diet can work as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s, which are often thought to be related to the lack of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is necessary for body movements, body regulations and thought processing.

This diet also encourages people to spend more time with nature as well as getting a good sleep and spending time with loved ones. Constantly spending time with those you care about helps release dopamine too, and can help with fighting stress and depression.

Plant-based foods and healthy fats also act as a good combination for longevity. Olive oil for its part offers a lot of monounsaturated fat, which is associated with lower levels of all the diseases we’ve mentioned before and also acts as the main offering of this diet.

 

These are some of the main benefits tied to Mediterranean diets that have helped push it into popularity as of recent years. It stands out even more in an age where people are looking to live healthier and change the direction of their lives.

However, like many things in life, a Mediterranean diet will only help you if you eat the correct amount of calories for your body type and weight, and stick to it. If you’re able to find a balance and follow the diet as best you can we’re sure to get results.


Photo Credits: Draxe.com, Wallpaper Gallery, Natural Society, UPI, US News Health

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Iron Supplements: Do You Need Them?

 

A poll result published on 26 Nov 2015 indicates that nearly 50% of females in Singapore may not be aware that they have iron deficiency. Doctors said that symptoms such as physical and mental fatigue, hair loss, brittle nails, may point to iron deficiency – but most people may put them down to stress and/or lack of sleep.

Iron deficiency is more often found in women who have heavy menstruations or are pregnant. While iron supplements may be readily available, doctors recommend a balanced diet as the best way to maintain healthy iron levels.

iron supplements

How about the reverse – iron overload?

In the article published by PhysiciansCommittee, iron is called a double-edged sword.

The body requires iron for healthy blood cells but beyond a certain level, iron becomes a dangerous substance as it acts as a catalyst for the formation of free radicals. Once the excess iron is absorbed by the digestive tract, the body stores it. Because of this, research studies have shown that higher amounts of iron in the blood mean higher risk of cancer.

In spite of advertising from health supplement manufacturers, iron overload exists and the tendency is higher for men and for women after menopause.

anaemia

Major contributors to iron excess are taking vitamin and mineral supplements that contain iron. Some people may be taking certain multi-vitamins without knowing that there is iron in it. Other factors include eating excessive red meat and to some extent, processed foods that have iron added.

It was mentioned earlier that women with heavy menstruations may have iron deficiency. The reverse may be true for women after menopause or women who don’t menstruate regularly. Which explains why men have a higher tendency of iron overload – because they don’t menstruate!

Hence, it is prudent to have your doctor check your iron level before taking any supplements containing iron.

What are the symptoms of iron overload?

  • stomach pain
  • heart palpitations or chest pains
  • unexplained weakness
  • joint pain
  • unexplained fatigue

joint pain

The test used to check one’s iron level is known as ferritin. Ferritin is a protein that stores iron, releasing it when the body needs it. Ferritin is stored in the body’s cells until it’s time to make more red blood cells. Thus, if a person has an iron overload, it may take months before the normal level can be reached.

It’s an inexpensive test, likely costing less than a bottle of iron supplements, and it can help ensure that you do not over or under-consume iron.

For more information on integrated health management, visit www.vitalay.earth

Contributed by LayYong, Wellness Entrepreneur.


References:

The Straits Times “Women not aware of iron deficiency”, Nov 26 2015

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Iron: The Double Edged Sword, www.pcrm.org

Photo credits: Pixabay and JustSaying.Asia

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Baby Teeth – A Dentist’s Advice

As a dentist, I’ve seen many children with dental decay, pain and swellings in the mouth. Having worked in hospitals, I have seen numerous little ones have general anaesthetic to have their teeth taken out. These are emotional and costly measures for a disease that is completely preventable.

As a parent there is so much going on. Taking care of your baby, your family and yourself. When it comes to a healthy smile, there are a few things to look out for:

1. Baby teeth

baby teeth

The baby teeth (primary/deciducous teeth) start to come through (erupt) at around 6 months. The lower two front teeth are the first ones you may see in the mouth. You may notice a ‘teething’ phase which is perfectly normal.

2. Teething

It is completely normal for teeth to start growing between 3 and 12 months old. Drooling, irritability and not wanting to feed are all part of the process. It can be painful and uncomfortable and babies often need patience, love and affection.

3. Adult Teeth

Between 6-7 years of age the adult (secondary) teeth will begin to erupt starting with the first molar. This will be an ongoing process from age 6 to 14 years (exclusive of wisdom teeth). Don’t be surprised if the teeth are not all in line initially. Often, they straighten out as the jaw grows. If this is not the case, you may wish to see a dentist about braces.

4. Bleeding gums means gum disease

Dental plaque is made up of sugar and bacteria. When it sits around the gums and is not removed, the gums start to bleed. If this continues, the gums will begin to drop back over time. What do you do? Ensure the teeth are brushed twice daily and limit sugary foods.

5. Dental decay needs attention

Dental decay is also known as dental cavities or dental caries. You may notice this as brown or black areas on the teeth. They may give no symptoms but can cause sensitivity and pain. If there is no pain, it does not mean the cavity does not need treating. A dental cavity can get bigger and reach the nerve in the tooth. This results in severe pain, swelling and the tooth needing extra attention or taking out. A large infection can lead to damage to the adult teeth.

Your child’s teeth are important. While they may get a second set, if the first set are not cared for, they may result in infections, pain and even being taken out. This can hinder the growth and development of the adult teeth with regard to shape, colour and position in the mouth.

Current best practice suggests brushing twice a day for two minutes on every surface of each tooth. Children who can not tie their own shoe laces tend not to have the manual dexterity to brush there own teeth. It’s advisable that an adult helps them. We always recommend limiting refined sugars and not eating after the bed time brush.

Top Tips for a happy healthy smile:

  1. Cut the sugary drinks
  2. Avoid processed food
  3. Brush twice a day
  4. Inspect the teeth for decay and gum disease
  5. See a Dentist every 6 months

Until next time, keep smiling!

 

Contributed by Dr Surinder Arora, Integrative Dentist and Health Coach.


Photo credits: Pixabay

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Thinking About a Soup Cleanse?

The Chinese have always been promoting the nutritiousness of soups, as seen from the variety and how each type of soup is able to help soothe the lungs and other internal organs. However, with the recent trend in detox plans and juice cleanse, there is a new trend called – soup cleanse.

All of us here at The Wellness Insider are healthily sceptical about soup cleanses considering how little evidence there is about them, so we decided to ask the experts. Integrative Dentist and Health Coach, Dr Surinder Arora, said that the point of soup cleanses was to get “people to eat whole real foods if the soups are prepared themselves” and that “this is another way to get these good foods into the body.” However, she did mention that soup cleanses are “not needed if people have eliminated artificial and processed junk foods from their diet.”

So, in other words, it is not a total ‘don’t try it!’ diet regime and it might be a good way for you to try and cut back from sugar and other additives. Nonetheless, it’s not meant to be a long term diet but like most of us, it’s great to have a bowl of soup once in a while.

If you’re interested in doing a soup cleanse, then you may want to try out the following recipes by our friends at Gergich & Co. in this simple infographic.
Click to Enlarge Image

Soup up Your Lifestyle with a Soup Cleanse

 

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5 Quinoa Recipes You Will Absolutely Love

If you’re vegan or someone who is interested in eating healthy, you probably have a good idea of what quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) is. For those that don’t know, quinoa is a wheat-free grain, a superfood that is usually treated as the healthy alternative to rice or couscous. It falls under the same category as beets, beans and even spinach, and has cemented its place as a staple within the vegan community.

The main reason for its popularity is due to the benefits that quinoa offers. Quinoa provides twice the amount of protein as rice and other grains while it’s also high in calcium, vitamins B and E as well as dietary fibres. It even contains all nine amino acids and offers some good old Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent heart disease. As it is gluten-free, it is also very popular amongst those who are gluten-intolerant or sensitive.

Quinoa originated in South American countries such as Peru, Chile and Bolivia, where it used to be eaten by the Inca tribes hundreds of years ago. Over the years, it has made its way around the world but has become exceedingly famous in the USA and the UK where in 2013, the UK declared it the “International Quinoa Year”.

The rising popularity of quinoa has also generated an increase in recipes that use this wheat-free grain in some very creative ways. Quinoa has a slight nutty taste, making is very hearty and easy to eat, which is why there are so many recipes to incorporate them into but here are our top 5 favourites!

Quinoa Vegetable Salad

What better way to start this list that with something light and fresh. The best way to bring out quinoa’s nutritients is a healthy dish where it’s balanced with vegetables. This recipe works as a great entrée or even a light lunch for those days where you don’t want to stuff your face. Great to have on a hot day and vegan-friendly.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup diced (yellow or purple) onion

2 1/2 cups water

3 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups quinoa

3/4 cup diced fresh tomato

3/4 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup diced cucumber

1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

Cook the garlic and onion in a saucepan with canola oil on medium heat until the onion softens and becomes translucent. After that, pour the water, 2 teaspoons of salt and  ¼ of a teaspoon of black pepper and bring it to a boil.

Once the mixture is ready, stir the quinoa in and leave it simmering, keep in mind to turn the heat down to medium-low so that it doesn’t burn and put a cover in so that it simmers faster. You can wait about 20 minutes for it to simmer, after which you should take it out put it in the fridge in a large bowl.

After it’s cooled down, you can stir the tomato, carrots, bell pepper, cucumber, corn, and red onion into the quinoa. Season it with the cilantro, mint as well as the remaining salt and black pepper. Lastly, add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar before mixing them gently.

Serve cold.

Banana Quinoa Rice Pudding

Salads are great, but there’s nothing quite as sweet dessert. This recipe brings together the calcium and dietary fibres offered by quinoa and the potassium that comes with banana to create a delicious combo. Not just that, it’s also a dish that both adults and children can enjoy.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes | Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

3/4 cup quinoa

1 1/2 cups water

2 ripe bananas

1 cup whole milk

1 cup coconut milk

4 tablespoons honey, divided

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

Start off by rinsing the quinoa off in a paper towel lined colander and transfer it to the saucepan once it rinses clear. Add one and a half cups of water into the quina and leave it soaking for 30 minutes. After that, boil the quinoa and then leave it covered at low heat so that the quinoa can absorb the water; this should only take about 15 minutes.

While the quinoa boils, blend the whole milk, coconut milk, 3 tablespoons honey, butter, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt together in a blender until they become smooth. Then, stir the mixture into the quinoa and boil it once more, this time at medium heat. However, don’t just leave it alone, stay there and stir it around so that it cooks and thickens properly.

After that, all that’s left is putting the pudding in a serving dish and setting it in the fridge for an hour while it gets cold. Top it off with banana to serve. You can add the honey and cinnamon if you like but now it’ll be good to eat!

Cacao and Peanut Quinoa Porridge

This tasty quinoa porridge comes courtesy of ElikaFit; it’s a perfect breakfast recipe that’ll give you a protein kick to get you through the day. Not just that but the sweetness and combination of the chocolate and nuts will ease your sweet tooth while helping you kickstart your day.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes | Total Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup of cooked quinoa

2 cups of coconut milk

1tbspn of cashews

1tbspn of blueberries

1tsp sunflower seeds

1tsp of cacao nibs

2tbsp of toasted quinoa

Instructions:

Before you can get down to making the dish, you should make sure to cook some quinoa appropriately and then toast it in coconut oil for about 15 minutes until it becomes crispy to get the toasted quinoa.

When you’re done, place the cooked quinoa in a pot and simmer it with two cups of coconut milk. Now all you’ll have to do is take it out of the pot and add in the cashews, blueberries, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs and the toasted quinoa on top.

 

Quinoa Black Bean Burger

Salads, desserts and sweet breakfasts are good, but sometimes you just want something a bit…meatier to dive your teeth into. Don’t worry, we didn’t put meat on this list, but these veggie burgers have sufficient protein and minerals when compared to your regular beefy ones.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: 20 Minutes | Total Time: 35 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 (15 ounces) can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup quinoa

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper

2 tablespoons minced onion

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

1 egg

3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

For this, we’re going to boil the quinoa in a saucepan once more and let it simmer just like we did with the pudding recipe. While we’re waiting for that, you can mash your beans up until they form a paste-like mixture.

Now mix the paste with the quinoa, bread crumbs, bell pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, hot pepper sauce, and egg and get in there with your hands, we want to be able to make five patties out of this. After that, it’s just a matter of cooking the patties like any regular burger, preferably with olive oil.

You can put in whatever ingredients you want with your patties, or even have them on their own!

Curried Quinoa

We finish our list off with a spicy entry. This lightly curried quinoa has a great aroma and taste which you can have as a side or main staple.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 35 Minutes | Total Time: 40 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon curry powder, or to taste

1 tablespoon ancho chile powder

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

This one isn’t too complicated, start by heating oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes, making sure they’re stirred correctly. After that add the quinoa in until it’s toasted, which should take about five minutes.

Then, pour the broth into the pan and boil it, once you add the curry in you’ll have to make sure to reduce the heat though. Add the chile powder along with the curry and let it simmer for about 25 minutes. Now all you’ll have to do is the season it and your dish will be complete!

 

We hope you’ve been able to learn a lot from these recipes, make sure to tell us if you try any of these or any of your recipes out! There’s still many more things you can do with quinoa.


Photo Credits: Food.com, ElikaFit, Pinch of Yum, Kelly Sew Cooks, The Foodie Physician, The Full Helping

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Could this be the cause of your bloating?

‘Gluten-free options available’.  ‘No gluten’.  We often hear or see these terms advertised but what is gluten? What does it do to our bodies and what do these statements actually mean?  These statements often get us thinking without us realising.  Should I go gluten free?

Gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, rye and barley, have been a component of the human diet in Western countries for thousands of years.  Due to the progressive adoption of Western lifestyles, consumption in Eastern countries is increasing.  Gluten-related disorders have a global prevalence that is estimated around 5%.

Gluten is a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, barley and their varying forms. It gives baked goods a doughy and elastic property and is also used as a thickening agent and flavour enhancer. It consists of gliadin and glutenin.  Gliadin is what causes the adverse effects when consumed.

We are no longer eating the same type of wheat that our ancestors ate.  In order for the crops to be resistant to environmental factors such as bugs and the weather, the grains have been hybridised, resulting in varying forms of gluten.  Many of these forms can lead to sensitivity when they are consumed.

How does gliadin affect my body?

When your food gets to your intestines, an enzyme (tTG – tissue transaglutaminase) breaks gluten down into gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin is then broken down into peptides in the digestive system and then into amino acids.

Dr Fasano, paediatric gastroenterologist and researcher from Harvard explains that gliadin binds to the intestinal lining which activates a complex mechanism resulting in barriers (that are usually closed) being opened in the intestinal lining.  When these barriers are opened, bacteria as well as gliadin moves into the blood stream and into the body.  Gliadin resembles human proteins such as the ‘synaptin protein’ and therefore, can activate an autoimmune response.  The body cannot tell the difference between gliadin and the human proteins as they look similar and so their effects are the same.  This can result in common symptoms of autoimmune diseases including fatigue, fever and feeling generally unwell.

The amino acids also bind to the human brain and act as opiates. The opiate effect depends on the individual.  It can lead to mental fog, outbursts in ADHD, paranoia, trigger mania in bipolar and even trigger depression.

What is celiac disease?

When gluten is consumed, an autoimmune response occurs in the body which results in damage to the villi of the small intestine. These villi are finger like projections that create a larger surface area for nutrients to be absorbed. When the villi are damaged, the body is unable to absorb the necessary nutrients that the body needs. There are more than 200 symptoms of celiac disease including abdominal bloating and pain, constipation, diarrhoea, vomiting and fatigue.

How do I know if I am gluten intolerant?

Take gluten out of your diet for a month and see if you feel better. If you do, chances are that gluten is not working well on your body. Lab testing is also an option to determine if gluten suits you.

Are gluten-free products healthy?

Data in the 2013 Gluten-Free/Diabetes Friendly Handbook, a Supplement to Grocery Headquarters Magazine suggests that $4.5 billion US dollars were spent on gluten free items in 2012. There is also an increasing trend amongst restaurants with increasing gluten-free options on menus.

healthy fats

Gluten-free does not necessarily mean healthy. If gluten has been removed form a product, it may be loaded up with other additives as well as sugar to aid texture and flavour. This processing commonly results in an unhealthy gluten-free item that many of us think is healthy. Always check your food labels. A gluten-free diet can be very healthy providing it is based on real whole foods.

Here are a few gluten free food choices:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Beans, nuts and seeds
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish
  • Dairy
  • Gluten-free whole grains
  • Gluten-free whole grain flours
  • Certified gluten-free oats
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Teff
  • Sorghum
  • Nut flours

If you’re having digestive issues or are experiencing fatigue, it may mean that your body does not take too well to gluten.  Eliminate all sources of gluten (e.g. bread, pasta and noodles) for 7 to 10 days to see if this makes a difference. If you do find that you are slightly gluten-sensitive, opt for whole and real foods rather than ‘gluten-free’ ready made options as you would still want to keep a balanced diet. Remember to read your labels!

To find out more about gluten-sensitivity and celiac disease, do read about it here.

Contributed by Dr Surinder Arora, Integrative Dentist and Health Coach.


References

Elli L et al,  Diagnosis of gluten related disorders: Celiac disease, wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jun 21; 21(23): 7110–7119

William Davis MD www.wheatbellyblog.com

Weiser H, Chemistry of gluten proteins Food Microbiology Volume 24, Issue 2, April 2007, P. 115–119

Celiac Disease Foundation What is Celiac Disease www.celiac.org  Accessed 07 May 2017

Photo credits: Pixabay and GIPHY

 

 

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Superfood Your Dessert with a DIY Acai Bowl

Superfoods is a recent term used on a whole group of foods that are high in nutritions but low in calories, perfect for getting your vitamins and proteins in without the popping of multiple pills. Not sure about you, but I much prefer to eat my vitamins and minerals.

The super berry Acai

The acai (pronounced as ah-sigh-ee) berry, is one such superfood and it comes from the Amazon forest. Prized as an important staple in the Amazonian diet for generations, did you know that the deep purple berry contains high natural antioxidants (the anthocyanin responsible for giving it the characteristic purple colour), essential amino acids, omega fatty acids, calcium, iron and even fibre. This means that the humble acai berry is capable of boosting one’s immunity and keep your body in balance.

acai bowl

Since we can’t get the fresh berries in Asia, the next best thing would be the freeze-dried powder as freeze drying still retains most of its nutritions. You can add the powder as a flavouring into your yoghurts, ice cream, smoothies or juices and the latest dessert trend is the delicious Acai Bowl. Making one is really not that tough and here’s the recipe which is vegan and vegetarian friendly:

Ingredients:

1 medium sized frozen banana
1-2 heaped tablespoons Nature’s Superfoods Acai Berry Powder
1 tablespoon nut butter (cashew, almond etc)
1/3 cup iced water

For garnish:
Fresh cut fruit of your choice, sweet cacao nibs, pumpkin seeds or chia seeds

Method:

Blend the frozen banana with the berry powder, nut butter and iced water until you get a smooth consistency. Top it off with your choice of fresh cut fruit and seeds as well as the cacao nibs to give it a chocolatey flavour!

 

For our bowl, we added kombucha instead of iced water to give it some probiotics and topped it off with pine nuts, chlorophyll powder, chia seeds, passionfruit and cacao nibs. You can also add in protein powder (use the flavourless or vanilla flavoured ones) or maca powder to make it a complete meal. Enjoy!


Recipe from Nature’s Superfoods.

Photography by Melissa Fann.

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Top 10 Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants in Singapore

If you’re vegetarian or vegan, it can get a bit tough to find places outside with delicious and healthy options. We’re also talking about a balanced meal without copious amounts of starch but also protein and fibre. Thanks to our friends at EatPrayFlying.com, they tried and tasted several vegetarian restaurants in Singapore which we further refined to give you a top 10 list.

All of these places offer vegan options, most offer organic foods and all of them do not compromise on taste. Thus, even non-vegetarians will still enjoy a meal there without missing their usual meaty fare.

1. Herbivore

With the names of dishes such as Katsudon, sashimi and other meat-based foods, we wouldn’t blame you for thinking that Herbivore doesn’t live up to their name. However, even though the taste and texture are just like those meaty dishes, Herbivore’s Japanese food is 100% vegetarian and excellent to boot. They do add MSG and colouring into their food, so that may be something that you may want to keep in mind.

Herbivore
190 Middle Road
#01-13/14 Fortune Centre
Tel. no.: +65 6333 1612
Opening Hours:

Mon-Fr11:30 – 15:00
17:00 – 22:00
Sat & Sun11:30 – 22:00

2. Foy Yin Vegetarian Food

The first item on our list is an old school vegetarian food stall found within a hawker centre. It has great vegetarian dishes that taste just like their meat variants such as their “fish” soup and “duck” rice. Make sure to get there early though as the queues can get pretty long.

Foy Yin Vegetarian Food
Blk 628 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4
#01-70 Block 628 Market & Food Centre

3. Original Sin

This restaurant is one of Singapore’s most established vegetarian places, with a great variety of western styled foods and salads that offer something for everyone, and the food is sure to rock your taste buds. You shouldn’t miss the chance to try out their Turkish Flat Bread, Falafel Salad and their highly recommended risotto. They are one of the pricier choices but it’s a great treat with family and friends.

Original Sin
Blk 43 Jalan Merah Saga
#01-62 Holland Village Chip Bee Gardens
Singapore 278115
Tel. no.: +65 6475 5605
Email: [email protected]

4. Café Salivation

Café Salivation was one of the first Western vegetarian cafes to open in Little India back in 2008. Salivation offers a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches and their unique pasta that are to die for. They don’t use any MSG, so that’s a double win right there.

Café Salivation
176 Race Course Road
Singapore 218607
Tel. no.: +65 6298 1412
Website: www.cafesalivation.com

5. Living Café and Deli

Vegans and vegetarians have a sweet tooth too! And Living Café and Deli is just the right place to have your cake and eat it. The recipes here aren’t entirely vegan (some of their mains have white meat) but it does have a large selection of vegan options and a variety of raw desserts that any sweets lover will approve.

Living Café and Deli
779 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 269758
Tel no.: +65 6468 4482
Website: www.balancedlivingasia.com/living-cafe-and-deli
Opening Hours:

Mon11:00 – 19:00
Tue – Fri11:00 – 22:00
Sat09:00 – 22:00
Sun09:00 – 19:00

6. Kampung Senang

Kampung Senang isn’t just a restaurant; it’s also an eco-conscious charity that aims to help cancer patients recover. They’ve used this as a basis for installing an organic kitchen to their Holistic Lifestyle Centre and in turn, aim to promote a healthy lifestyle to members of the charity as well as schools and corporations. Aside from offering great sushi rolls and a selection of organic food, they also hold seminars, workshops and educational talks.

Kampung Senang
Blk 106 Aljunied Crescent
#01-205
Singapore 380106
Tel. no.: +65 6749 8509

7. Create Healthy Lifestyle Café

You wouldn’t believe how crowded this little café gets and if you’re lucky enough to brave through the crowd or queue, then you’ll definitely appreciate it’s organic meals that are at affordable prices. There are several other vegetarian eateries within Fortune Centre but we like how Create just lets the ingredients speak for themselves and the dishes are quite well balanced.

Create Healthy Lifestyle Café
190 Middle Road
#02-17 Fortune Centre
Singapore 188979
Tel. no.: +65 6336 4355

8. Afterglow

Afterglow is one of the few organic restaurants that serves entirely raw food. The restaurant offers a ton of vegan and raw dishes ranging from soups, vegetable-based chips and even lasagna (don’t ask us how they do it). All of their recipes have been worked on so as to bring out the best of each dish. However, the prices for the food can be a little steep if you’re just looking for a place to eat and the portion sizes are a bit on the small side, mostly because of how much work it takes to make entirely raw dishes. Nonetheless, it is an experience eating here.

Afterglow
24 Keong Saik Road
Singapore 089131
Tel. no.:+65 6224 8921

9. Sunny Choice

Sunny Choice mainly sells organic products, not just foods but also everyday home-care. Which is why it comes as no surprise their their cafe serves up organic vegetarian versions of local delights (bak kut teh, anyone?). They serve fresh organic juices and after your meal, you can stock up on your groceries too.

Bukit Merah
Blk 125 Bukit Merah Lane 1
#01-158
Singapore 150125
Tel. no.: +65 6272 3138
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, 10:00 – 15:00 (closed on Sundays and Public Holidays)

Bukit Timah
434 Upper Bukit Timah Road
The Rail Mall
Singapore 678060
Tel. no.: +65 6892 2383
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

Bukit Batok
Blk 630 Bukit Batok Central
#01-154
Singapore 650630
Tel. no.: +65 6899 0918
Opening Hours: Daily, 10:30 – 21:00 (last order at 20:30)

10. Real Food

Real Food has become the leading restaurant when it comes to organic vegetarian food in Singapore. It originally started out as a small restaurant in Central, Clark Quay but has since grown and expanded over the years. They’ve become famous due to their support of ethical farming and food preparation, but their food is no joke. With fresh, organic and completely raw ingredients, they can make such amazing dishes as their Fried Vermicelli and Dumpling Soup along with a selection of pasta and sandwiches. It’s an experience you just won’t want to miss although we do advise you to skip their water (S$0.50 for a tiny glass).

The Central
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
#B1-52/53 The Central
Singapore 059817
Tel. no.: +65 6224 4492

Square 2
10 Sinaran Drive
#B1-105/106/129 Square 2
Singapore 307506
Tel. no.: +65 6397 2289

Killiney
110 Killiney Road
Tai Wah Building
Singapore 239549
Tel. no: +65 6737 9516

Website: www.realfoodgrocer.com

We hope that this list was as helpful to you in choosing some non-meat alternative places to eat. There are still many more vegetarian and vegan restaurants around Singapore so make sure to do some exploring of your own as well. With that said, it’s time to go out and eat!

If you’re a café or restaurant and would like us to contact us to do a review, do email us at [email protected].


Photo Credits: TripAdvisor, Eat Pray Flying, Chope, Kampung Senang, Sunny Choice

Original post by EatPrayFlying

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