News and Reviews

Spirulina – Our Supergreen of The Week

August 06 2014 at 10:55

How familiar are you with spirulina? It is a blue-green algae and considered to be a supergreen. As well it might! Spirulina has an absolute abundance of health benefits. It’s mineral and nutrient profile is very impressive, containing notable quantities of protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6.
It is also known to have anti-carcinogenic properties on account of the high antioxidant presence.
Like many other supergreens spirulina is also a wonderful source of chlorophyll. There is an estimated 10 times more chlorophyll in spirulina than in green vegetables per volume. Why do we need chlorophyll? Well, it acts as a blood cleanser, assisting in the formation of haemoglobin as well as red blood cells. Chlorophyll also helps digestion, removes toxins and helps the body to absorb minerals such as calcium.
Protein and amino acids! Great news for all you fitness enthusiasts! 65% of spirulina is compiled of protein and amino acids.
Did you know that spirulina contains more calcium than milk? As well as that it contains more beta-carotene per volume than carrots. The beta-carotene (a form of vitamin A) content combined with the anti-oxidant profile of spirulina means that it works wonders in terms of maintaining healthy and gorgeous skin.
Cataract and macular degeneration prevention are another benefit of the beta-carotene content. Xanthophyll is also present in spirulina which has a similarly beneficial effect as beta-carotene on eye health.
Like other supergreens spirulina can also play a part in lowering bad LDL cholesterol.
Spirulina seems to have antimicrobial properties which means it plays a part in warding off bacterial and viral infections. Furthermore it is known to have antifungal properties, making it a powerful tool for candida sufferers.
Spirulina has also been speculated to play a part in easing certain allergy symptoms such as watering eye, runny nose, sneezing, hives and congestion since it can play a part in supressing the release of histamines.
Well they are but a few of the super powers spirulina possesses. We stock spirulina in both powdered and tablet form. Mix the powder in with your favourite juices or smoothies or sprinkle some over your food. How do you take your spirulina?

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Seasonality Update: June & July

June 19 2014 at 17:46

Quick seasonality update June & July: Summer is upon us and with it comes a bounty of luscious fresh veg. and even some fruit too. So whether you’re partial to salads, stir-fries or whatever this summer your veg. baskets are guaranteed to be brimming with wholesome organic goodness!

Coming into season: June sees celery, courgettes, swedes, peas, mangetout, kohl-rabi and carrots arriving in-store. Then July welcomes sweetcorn, parsnips and onions. Fortunately these veggies are likely to reach their nutritional best and stay in season for the duration of the summer.

Nutritional best: Tomatoes, aubergines, mushrooms, broccoli, broad beans, cabbage, scallions, radishes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuce (particularly the round and red oakleaf varieties), spinach, rhubarb, shallots, cauliflower, beetroot, new season potatoes and turnips all reach their nutritional peak during these summer months.

Fruits: June sees raspberries bursting back into season while July greets blueberries back in. Strawberries remain at their nutritional best for both months.

Veg. of the month: Courgettes are bursting back into our kitchens with full nutritional force this June. Crunchy and juicy, they come in both yellow and green varieties. Similar to cucumbers their wealth of nutritional benefits are often overlooked. Courgettes (or zucchinis as our friends across the pond call them) are teaming with vitamin C. This means they serve to protect the body from free radicals. The vitamin C content also helps boost the immune system. These fleshy greens are also rich in potassium which helps regulate blood pressure. It has been noted that the vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acid content of courgettes may play a role in aiding the body’s absorption of fat-soluble antioxidants. Most of the fibre in a courgette is found in its rich green skin. This fibre is known for benefiting the normalisation of blood sugar and lowering of insulin levels. Furthermore, fibre is also linked to the lowering of bad cholesterol. Courgettes also contain notable amounts of those sought after B vitamins 1,2 and 6 as well as mineral magnesium and manganese.

Do you have a favourite courgette recipe? Please share them below. We love adding them to our green juices and smoothies as well as simply grilling or roasting them sliced with some light seasoning. For a quick and simple fix why not chop some up and enjoy with your favourite hummus (see our recipe which we posted in March)?

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Woo hoo…shop number two!

May 29 2014 at 22:16

Wooo Hoo…shop number two! We are delighted to announce the location of our new flagship store in the heart of Rathgar Village, Orwell Road, Co Dublin. We have a blank canvas with our massive new store and we are so excited. We will be hiring ten additional foodies so please spread the word. We were born at the start of the recession in 2008, we fought hard to continue or mission of good local organic food and now we get to play as the good times, in Ireland, are well and truly back again. Thank you all for unprecedented support over the years

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Super News – Super Food

May 09 2014 at 20:12

Super food of the week! Quinoa. We bet you’ve heard of it. Have you? Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. It’s not difficult at all to see why given the marvellous qualities of this seed. Yes, quinoa IS a seed. This equals fantastic news for any celiacs, folks with gluten intolerances or those simply wanting to cut down on gluten in their diet. Quinoa with its mild nutty flavour and grain-like texture means that it makes a tremendous rice or pasta substitute.
Originally hailing from South America, quinoa was deemed the ‘golden grain’ by the Incas due to the great energy it provides as a complex carbohydrate.
So now let us rattle off a few of the major benefits which have earned it its ‘super food’ label:

• Protein – quinoa has bundles more protein than rice, millet or other grains

• Magnesium, Manganese & Copper – These minerals are also significantly more present in quinoa than other grains.
Magnesium helps relax blood vessels (less migraines for migraine sufferers), supports healthy metabolism and is also linked to blood sugar control, hence lessening the risk of type 2 diabetes. Manganese has antioxidant properties while copper is beneficial to bones and tissue and assists the body’s absorption of iron.

• Iron – A great mineral for blood and brain health!

• Zinc – More minerals! Quinoa also contains s good dose of zinc which is great for cardiovascular health and boosting mood.

• Fibre – Goodbye constipation! Hello happy bowel movements!

• Omegas – While quinoa is very low in fat, any remaining fat is compiled mostly of essential fatty acids, including omega-3. Such fats help you to feel more full for a longer time.

• Riboflavin – Or B2. This vitamin also plays a part in keeping migraines at bay while also benefiting muscle and brain cells. It also supports energy metabolism.

• Low GI – Quinoa score low on the glycaemic index and is a complex carbohydrate – so good news for anyone trying to shed a couple of pounds!

• Amino Acids – All 9 of them! Get them all here, in your bowl of quinoa. Amino acids are essential for bone and muscle repair.
So there are a few benefits. But try some yummy quinoa dishes out for yourself and feel the tremendous perks for yourself. Very versatile, quinoa works fantastically in sweet and savoury dishes alike.

Super food Super news: We currently have the delicious and easy to prepare Alice & Oscar’s quinola on special offer. Buy 2 packs for €5.50 in store or on our online shop.
Are you already a quinoa fiend? Please share your favourite recipes with us?

Also, we are often asked what the differences are between black, red and white quinoa. There is not much difference in terms of nutrition or taste. It’s just nice to have some varied and colourful food!

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‘Mother’ Nature’s Gift

April 25 2014 at 16:22

Apple Cider Vinegar! How do you take it? Most of you have probably heard about this extraordinary super substance. If not – have no fear! We have a little summary right here.

The Mother
Chances are the first tip you will receive about taking apple cider vinegar (or ACV) is that it has to contain the ‘mother’. The ‘mother’ is the thicker brown cloudy substance which you can see resting at the base of an ACV bottle. ACV is produced by crushing fresh apples and letting them ferment naturally in barrels. The ‘mother’ is present when the ACV is raw, unfiltered, untreated and abundant in all its natural goodness.

Apple Cider What?
Although ACV is a fermented product those suffering candida and related problems need not turn away – in fact you should be excited! ACV is one of the most powerful antifungal and antibacterial substances in nature. ACV and wholesome variations have been revered in medicine since ancient times Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine prescribed ACV for numerous ailments. Christopher Columbas stored barells of the stuff when he set sail in 1492 as it was known to combat scurvy.
One may wonder why everyone on the planet is not still downing the stuff daily. Down the years vinegar manufacturers have simply found quicker and easier methods of producing vast quantities of a visually cleaner product which tastes of vinegar and looks appealing on a shop shelf.

Brilliant News
The best thing about ACV is that everyone can benefit infinitely from just a mere tablespoon of the stuff on a daily basis. It would be faster to list off what conditions ACV does not benefit since it is very few. So here are just some of the conditions which are considered to be prevented, remedied and/or soothed by ACV :
• Premature aging (and its symptoms)
• Digestive problems
• Acid reflux
• Sore throats (nice mixed with a sup of honey)
• Kidney & bladder ailments (including UTIs)
• High blood pressure
• Arthritis & joint pain
• Candida
• Certain lymph problems
• Mucus buildups and stuffy noses
• Excess weight
• Dandruff (combine a couple spoons of ACV with water and leave on hair for 15 minutes)
• Hiccups (maybe not a major problem but a teaspoon of ACV will sort those out in a jiffy!)
When ACV is taken as part of a healthy lifestyle a few of the benefits include overall improved health and vitality, perfect bowl movements (don’t blush – it’s a good thing!), clear skin, a more alkalised body, good blood consistency, regular menstruation (for the ladies) and a nice snappy metabolism.

This is a very brief account on the wonders of ACV. Still, we have to wonder what it is that makes this vinegar so darn magical. The rejuvenating properties of ACV can be put down to:
1. Potassium – Apples contain a generous helping of this. Deficiency is surprisingly widespread and it’s symptoms include lethargy, irritability, lackluster hair, increased aging and general fatigue. Potassium can be considered the elixer of youth. Potassium flushes out the arteries, clogged with toxins and cholesterol.
2. Pectin – A soluble fiber which promotes happy heart health
3. Malic Acid – The reason for its antifungal powers
4. Amino Acids – Give us some protein!
5. An abundance of vitamins & minerals
Down the hatch
The simplest method of taking your ACV is to simply swig a tablespoon of the stuff . Of course there are countless ways of incorporating ACV in your diet y adding it to juices or smoothies, using it as a condiment (scrumptious on oven-baked sweet potato fries by the way!), a salad dressing or just dashing a bit on whatever you fancy. We mentioned earlier that ACV is great for digestion. Take a fraction of a teaspoon before a meal to digest with ease. Have you caught a cold? Mix some in with a warm honey and lemon tonic to fight it off.
So there you have it! It may be wonderful but don’t go downing a whole bottle at once!

We stock the Biona, Braggs and Dynamic Health brands. Give them a whirl and pick your favourite. They are available both in-store and in our online shop.
Hurray we should also mention we’ve knocked 20% off our 946ml Braggs apple cider vinegar.

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