Friday, June 03, 2011

Vegan Gum, DHA Oil, and Coconut Cacao Nibs!

I've had the chance to sample these new vegan products, and am here to share good words about them.  Let's get started:

Pur Gum.  Here's what's really great about this gum:  not only is it vegan, but it contains no nasty artificial sweeteners like aspartame.  I gave up gum entirely years ago when I stopped drinking diet drinks.  I had been chewing away on gums like Trident (in fact, I met my hubby over a package of 'light-blue Trident'), without even realizing that they were laced with aspartame.  Almost all (if not all) of the big brand sugar-free chewing gums have artificial sweeteners.  Check the labels and see for yourself.  Pur Gum uses the natural sweetener xylitol, and has no GMO's and is also gluten-free.  Flavors include spearmint, peppermint, and this entirely funky (in a good way) and original Pomegranate Mint.  See, you can still flirt and meet boys with gum.  Just choose a vegan gum without aspartame when getting cozy.  Pur Gum fit the bill.

NutraVege.  This is a high-potency vegan omega-3 and DHA oil supplement.  I've posted about the importance of DHA before.  Flax oil is not a safe bet for DHA, as we don't know how well our bodies convert omega-3's into EPA and DHA.  This NutraVege oil is unique, in that unlike flax seed oil, it contains the omega-3 Stearidonic acid (SDA), which has been shown to have a conversion rate of up to 30% (compared to 3.28% for flax).   This is all very technical to explain, so here's a clever fact sheet that does a much better job.  NutraVege is also made here in Canada, so it is readily available in stores (unlike V-Pure, which I like and have been taking for years, but requires shipping from the UK).  Our girls have been taking the NutraVege, and like it!  It has a citrus flavor, making it a little easier to swallow.  Not because it has an unpleasant flavor - it doesn't.  It's just a little off-putting to swallow any oil, as most of you know trying to take a dose of flax oil or any other supplemental oil.  Heck, I wouldn't want to swallow a spoonful of olive oil on its own.  We've tried several oils, and I can say that NutraVege has a clean citrus flavor, with no 'fishy' or 'sealike' aftertaste.  And, it's just 2 tsp for adults, 1 tsp for kids  2-13. With its stellar nutritional profile, it is definitely worth checking out for your DHA needs!

Mum's Coconut Cacao Nibs.  I have a new food love.  This is it.  Brand spankin' fresh on the market, be on the lookout for these.  I'll start by saying that I've never been one to munch on cacao nibs.  Too bitter, and despite my love for chocolate and knowing that cocao nibs are rich in antioxidants and more, couldn't do it.  Fine for smoothies and other recipes but straight-up noshing?  Not for me.  Then Mum's has this brilliant notion to combine cacao nibs with some coconut sugar.  Not too much, but enough to balance the bitterness and form some itty-bitty coconut-cacao clusters of crunchy granola snacking bliss.  I am informed (and reassured) that these morsels contain minerals, B vitamins, antioxidants, and that the coconut sugar is a low-glycemic sugar, that also contains vitamins B and C and is actually high in potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.  Not that you can swap your beans and greens for Mum's Coconut Cacao Nibs for all your essential nutrients.  But, if you catch me nibbling on these first thing in the morning, I have my defense!  Case closed!  I worked my way through one sample bag of these prettaay quickly, and am now in hot pursuit at Choices for more.  (I'll try not to run over your toes with my stroller when I spot them in the distance).  And, I also hear that Mum's has goji berries that are - wait for it - soft!  When I get my hands on these, I'll let you know.  I can only imagine how good they will be with a handful of the nibs.  (Mum's has other cacao products, as well as a line of gluten-free oat products, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and more!)

Excuse me now while I go hunt for nibs.


Stefania said...

The light blue Trident brings back some good memories. :-)

Further proof that aspartame is rotten stuff please read a blog entry from one of my nutrition clients. It's an interesting read for anyone who cares about their well being: (I'm in no way trying to solicit clients on your blog just trying to get the word out that aspartame is bad).


supercarrot said...

mmmm. look for taza nibs. i never liked straight up nibs until i tried theirs. (same with me, i thought scharffen-berger's were dry and bitter.) taza's aren't dry at all! they must have a larger amount of cocoa butter still in them than other brands. and no sign of bitterness anywhere.

and they don't have anything added to them either. just straight up.

Dreena said...

Stefania, I am *happy* to have you share nutritional links - by all means, I don't view it in any negative light. Going to go have a read through myself. When I think of ALL the diet drinks I essentially lived on through highschool and uni. Yuck. Thanks for the link, b/c for some reason people don't want to give up the nasty aspartame - which should be banned, imo. Anyhow, thanks.

Dreena said...

Stefania, that was an interesting read. How easy it is to forget some of the other things in our diet and even environment beyond food. To think that she might have thought all was lost with the food elimination, only to discover that her chewing gum was creating all this discomfort. Wise of you to pick up on that. I don't think I've ever had a practitioner ask if I chew gum! Should be on one of those checklists when you first see a naturopath or otherwise, along with dietary notes, and if you smoke, etc, "aspartame gum/soda"!

Born to be Vegan said...

Excited to check out the NutraVege. I was wondering what sort of B12 supplement you use , esp. for your kids. The kids like the one I'm using now but I'd love to know what other people are using.

mugwort said...

The PUR vegan gum sounds not only delicious, but healthy and guiltfree since no animals were harmed. I bet PUR gets PETA's endorsement.

LittleSpoon said...



Also, I NEED to find some of those nibs. I am drooling just looking at the package!

Thanks, Dreena!

Stefania said...

Dreena, Amazing how are habits could be harming us!


Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing the link to the NutraVeg site. My naturopath was supplying me wit it but it is cheaper right from the source...thank you!