Heal Your Body with Natural Foods: Three Must-Visits - WestCoastFood

By Sonu Purhar

More and more people are embracing a natural approach to living, particularly when it comes to food – but what are the actual benefits of eating organic, non-processed and sustainably produced fare? And, more to the point – does it taste as good as the junk we’re used to? Here are the not-so-dirty details, along with our three top picks for nourishing natural foods in and around Coquitlam, BC Canada.

According to the owners of NuLife Living Food Café (108-2957 Glen Drive), organic and natural foods are the only option – and raw is the best way to consume them. After all, overcooking veggies can deplete them of the nutrients they offer, and also reduce naturally occurring enzymes that help with digestion. Raw foods also trigger natural appetite-stimulating hormones, signaling to your mind that your tummy is full.

 

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Now, it doesn’t sound very fun to eat raw – but NuLife’s raw-only menu might change your mind. Their vibrantly hued juices are cold-pressed daily, and therefore packed with living enzymes (helping your body actually absorb all those good-for-you nutrients). Meals are hearty and flavourful: try the organic zesty cilantro sushi featuring coconut meat blended with almonds and topped by fresh cilantro, tomatoes, avocado and garlic; and the coconut taco wrap stuffed with greens, corn and spring onions, and topped by taco “meat” drizzled with raw cashew dressing.

Of course, everyone’s favourite course is dessert, and NuLife’s sweet treats don’t just taste like the “real thing” – they are the real thing. No refined sugars are used; instead, all sweeteners come from nature, such as raw honey, dates, agave and coconut nectar. Scrumptiously moist cakes are made with raw nuts and coconut oil, herbs and spices. And the coffee is also organic – try the Nutty Turmeric Latte with steamed nut milk, espresso, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon and fresh-pressed ginger for a morning boost that will also flood your body with antioxidants.

Over at The Green Moustache (various locations), the plant-based lovefest continues. Founder Nicolette Richer, who recently released Eat Real to Heal: Using Food as Medicine to Reverse Chronic Diseases from Diabetes, Arthritis to Cancer and More, promotes eating as many fruits and veggies as possible – and as wide a range as possible. You see, different produce offer different levels and types of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals – and the best way to ensure you strike a healthy balance is by eating as many differently coloured fruits and veggies as possible.

 

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In her book, Richer points out that processed foods have a bad rep for a reason: in large amounts, they can distress the body by raising blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure. And, down the line, all of these nasties may lead to heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Plus, processed foods aren’t doing our planet any favours: pesticides, antibiotics, high water use, pollution… No, thank you.

Luckily for those of us who like to eat, The Green Moustache’s organic meals are just as filling as non-vegan options. Our favourite is the Healing Kitchari Bowl made with mung dal and veggies cooked with Kitchari spices (Kitchari is a staple in Ayurvedic cooking that heals the digestive tract). Pair your dish with a nutrition-packed smoothie like the Zappa (blueberries, banana, mixed greens, ginger, turmeric and black pepper).

Now that you’ve tasted the delicious goodness of natural foods, you probably want to replicate these cafés’ menus at home. We recommend visiting Pomme Natural Market (2755 Lougheed Highway), whose groceries are fully organic, produced in Canada, and made sustainably and ethically. The market also features a deli that caters to all kinds of sensitivities and preferences, including vegan and raw.

 

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Once you’ve tried natural, organic foods, leave us a comment below and let us know what you think. Cheers to good health!

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