Why you should be incorporating beans into your diet

Among other food items, for some reason, beans are among some of the least popular and underrated ingredients to add to a dish. While they may be considered a staple in many households and cultural dishes, many choose to avoid this mighty food and its potential health benefits. However, we’re here to lay down why you should be implementing these nutritional powerhouses into your dishes.

Remember to always consult your doctor or nutritionist before starting a new eating plan. 

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Pass the beans

Beans may be known for causing the occasional gas from time, but these bad boys come packed with various nutritional benefits that are worth adding to your plant-based and regular diet. Consisting of a high amount of fibre and vitamin b, beans and legumes are some of the essential dietary food groups that have been proven to contribute to one’s longevity. Some of its health benefits include:

  • Reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Relieves and protects you against diabetes
  • Can lower the risk of cholesterol 
  • Can fight against cancer
  • Can manage weight loss
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Beans are high in antioxidants

When we think of healthy living, the brain automatically thinks of leafy greens. However, one of the many health benefits of beans is that each one contains a considerable amount of vitamins. Research has also shown that beans are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Beans that are rich in antioxidants can help delay and even reduce cell damage. 

These Beans are RICH in antioxidants:

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An inexpensive source of protein

In addition to beans being rich in potassium, fibre and iron, these inexpensive, healthy foods are rich in proteins. If you’re wondering how to get a source of iron without eating meat, switching out a meaty burger with a black bean burger will be a good source of protein and iron.

Beans and legumes high in protein include:

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How to reap the benefits

If you’re thinking about adding beans into your diet, you’re already one step closer to making the smart and tasty choice in achieving the nutrients you need. Remember to:

  • Start slowly– Slowly incorporate beans into your diet, especially if you’re not used to eating them. Beans can be a fibre-rich replacement for rice, potatoes and even pasta.
  • Eat beans foods that are easy to digest- Beans are already infamous for causing gas, so try to avoid eating them with other gas inducing foods (kale, broccoli, cauliflower etc.).
  • Be creative- Beans don’t just have to be sprinkled or added into a stew; try finding other recipes in which they could be the star of the dish. Whether it’s in a yummy plant-based dessert or a hummus dip, with a pool full of online resources, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
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Bean there, but have you tried it? Switch up your diet with wholesome and tasty plant-based proteins when you shop at BodiCafe’s selected stores nationwide or via our online shop.


Starting a plant-based diet 101: For Beginners!

So, you’re interested in starting a plant-based diet but don’t know where to start? We’ve created a nifty, easy guide to help you!

Remember, you should always consult with your doctor or nutritionist before starting a new eating plan. 

What can I eat?

Going plant-based means that your diet will consist primarily of veggies and fruit while perhaps enjoying the occasional meat, dairy, eggs and fish. Here’s a quick run-through of the major food groups you’ll enjoy: 

  • Fruits: This can include any fruit from apples to citrus and berries
  • Veggies: You’ll be able to eat plenty of veggies, including your greens like lettuce, kale & avocados
  • Whole grains: Rich in fibre and nutrients, your whole grains can include grains, cereals, nuts and brown rice 
  • Legumes: Packed with proteins, fibres and minerals, legumes consist of any beans, lentils and chickpeas

Foods you should be avoiding

Before jumping into a new diet, you have to do a little research to prepare yourself to make the change. Depending on how strict you’d like your diet to be, we’ve listed a few foods that you should avoid while on your plant-based diet. 

It’s a no-no

  • Any dairy products is a no-go (including milk and cheese)
  • Meat and poultry
  • Any processed animal products
  • Refined grains (foods like your white pasta and white bread would fall under this)
  • Sweets (like cookies, brownies, and cake)
  • Fizzy drinks and sweetened fruit juice

Keep your meals simple 

Keep your meals as simple as possible. Try not to focus on time-consuming and complicated dishes. Focus on eating foods that are predominantly whole and minimally processed that are simple yet rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids. 

When prepping your meals, it’s essential to follow a meal plan that suits your schedule and cooking flexibility.

Highlight your main meal: To avoid spending unnecessary time on all meals, choose the meal that will provide you with all the nutrients you need in one sitting. This can either be breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you go big on breakfast, you don’t necessarily have to go all-out on the meals for the rest of your day. 

Try a selection of BodiCafe’s products which are all plant-based friendly and can be found in selected stores nationwide, or via our online shop.  


Tuck into a mouthful of flavours with your own snack platter

If you spend any time on social media, then you’ve probably seen the popular ‘charcuterie’ board. Pronounced as “shaa-koo-tuh-ree”, the social media trend has become popular amongst Gen Z’s and Millenials, with many turning it into a creative expression. Thanks to Tik Tok, Instagram and Pinterest, users are more inspired to get creative and jump on the bandwagon to create their version of their tasty, aesthetically pleasing snack platter. 


Photo by Lindsay Moe on Unsplash

If you’re an avid user of Tik Tok or Instagram, then you’ve probably seen this snack platter craze land on your ‘for you’ or ‘explore’ page. From beach picnics to birthday spreads, the spread has showcased that it’s perfect for any occasion without breaking the bank.

Made from a blend of crackers, cheeses and fruits, the snack platter is a great budget-friendly option and is the epitome of effortless entertaining at home. 

When it comes to assembling your spread, the ingredients are of utmost importance and making them look aesthetically pleasing to the eye is essential.

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Here’s how you can satisfy your cravings with treats you’ll love.

How to make a snack platter

A tasty snack platter is the ultimate appetiser to satisfy anyone’s hunger. Requiring minimal effort, there are no set rules when it comes to making one. Most spreads consist of delicious cheese varieties, nuts, fresh fruit and crackers. While these are a few of the main items to include, you can mix and match whatever you like according to taste and diet preferences.

However, whether you’re in the mood to include some ready-to-eat nibbles like cashew nuts, brazil nuts or even crunchies, its flexibility gives you the freedom to change it up and make it your own. One important thing to note is that whichever ingredients you choose, try to ensure that the flavours complement each other. For example, if you’re adding fruit, whether it be preserved or fresh, pairing it with salty crackers and cream cheese is an excellent addition for an extra fresh elements

Photo by on Pinterest

Once you’ve decided what you would like to include on the spread, you’ll need a few novel ways to display your snacks. Now, how you choose to show off your refreshments are all up to you. Looking at Pinterest boards for inspiration can be a great help if you’re in the mood for a more cohesive platter.

Serve and enjoy

When serving your snack platter, remember that most of these elements are best served at room temperature. This means that assembling them a day before the time is not the best option. You can put together your fruits and snacks before the time and refrigerate, but your crackers and bread will have to wait at least an hour before serving time, which is why fresher is always better.


Photo by on Pinterest


Add the perfect touch to your snack platter when you shop BodiCafe’s extensive selection of plant-based treats.



Restoring the Spice of Life

South African food culture demands flavour. Therefore, we think it is safe to assume almost every household in our vibrant country has a pantry shelf or cabinet dedicated to spices. The intense aroma and flavour of spices like cumin, turmeric, and cayenne pepper add an awesome sensory experience to every dish they complement. An ancient form of Indian traditional medicine known as Ayurveda has emphasised both the flavourful and healing components spices naturally contain. Spices are therapeutic to the healing process of the body. BodiCafé would like to re-introduce you to common pantry staples and the healing effects they offer.

This spice is used all over the world for both its medicinal and culinary properties. Turmeric is closely related to the ginger root family, harvested as a root and dried to create its powder. Its rich pigment permeates curries, rice and potatoes with vibrant colour. The flavonoid responsible for turmeric’s pungent flavour is curcumin. Curcumin is able to assist to detoxify the liver, reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels, improve immunity against allergies whilst supplementing the digestive process. Curcumin functions primarily as an antioxidant in the body inhibiting the damage of unwanted free radicals. Turmeric is the pot of gold of spices. Its nuanced flavour elevates dishes and adds amazing nutritional benefits to any meal.

Cumin is often used in Middle-Eastern and Indian cuisine. This spice is unique in that the whole seed and the powdered form can be used in cooking. It is absorbed by the body as a cooling spice, flushing out toxins and working to gently stimulate digestion and facilitate optimum absorption of nutrients. Cumin is wonderfully aromatic and its savour permeates well when sauteéd or dry roasted into dishes. Cumin adds a flavour to any meal that is unmatched. Use in roasted veg or potato dishes, biryanis, steamed rice, soups and stews.

In India, it is common practice to eat a few fennel seeds once a meal is finished. Fennel complements the digestive process well. The seeds can be sauteéd in cold-pressed oil and added to a variety of dishes. Do not sauteé the seeds for too long as they tend to burn quickly. Allow the spice to release its aroma into the oil and remove from heat. It has a mild sweet taste that enhances flavour without overpowering a dish.

Cayenne pepper contains a chemical compound called capsaicin. Capsaicin is what causes the burning sensation we feel in cayenne. It is also the reason behind its healing nutrient properties. Cayenne pepper is an inflammation fighter, assists to increase circulation, metabolic rate and works to balance an unstable appetite. Cayenne can be used in combination with lemon and ginger to boost immunity and reduce symptoms caused by colds and flu. With this spice, a little goes a long way. Use to garnish meals rather than cook with it. Its flavour profile is much better enjoyed as a subtle addition to a dish.

Ginger (a relative to turmeric), has been used universally for many years as a remedy for nausea and indigestion. Raw ginger root can be added to fresh-pressed juices or used in powdered form in curries, for a gentler alternative to cayenne or chilli flakes. Ginger contains a huge anti-oxidant profile. This plays a role in blood cleansing and glucose control by activating the cell receptor’s functionality to absorb insulin. Ginger may assist in treating the symptoms of a variety of lifestyle diseases. Ginger has the subtle burn of chilli, the freshness of mint and the flavour of garlic. It is a delicious spice eaten raw or used in powdered form when cooking.

You can never have too much garlic! Kidding. But seriously, this spice has outdone itself on every level. Garlic is related to the onion (allium) family and has very similar properties to that of shallots and leeks. Its potent aroma and mouthwatering taste are not the only indicators of its allium relation. Garlic contains various nutrients, the most abundant being vitamin C, B6 and manganese. These nutrients are essential to immune functionality, combatting the effects of colds and flu. It also contains chemical compounds that are activated when it is peeled and chopped. When eaten raw or sauteed as the chopped clove, garlic enters the bloodstream and stimulates circulation. Increased circulation transports the nutrients garlic offers quickly and effectively. A garlic clove a day may just keep the doctor away. Garlic powder adds a wonderful flavour to any dish and will definitely have you coming back for more.

Research has shown cinnamon to be especially useful in managing blood sugar, cholesterol and insulin absorption. Cinnamon is made by grinding the husk/stick of cinnamon into a fine powder. Unlike many spices, cinnamon’s flavour is only enhanced by the drying process. It is both sweet and spicy with a gritty texture. This unique flavour profile makes a great addition to breakfast bakes (such as millet or oatmeal), pancakes, curries, baked goods, desserts and homemade teas.

Spice for Thought:
Spices aid the bodily organs in recovering from (and may even eliminate) the harmful effects of free radical damage. Inflammation and indigestion are major signals from your body that something is amiss. Spices naturally work to counteract the cause of inflammation and indigestion in the human body. Every meal in which these spices are included is a step toward restoring life and health from within.

Shop BodiCafé’s wide range of Seasonings and Spices here!


Allergy Wellness Tips

Yay, winter is over! Spring brings with it warmer weather, budding flowers and unfortunately, seasonal allergies. Allergies are a nuisance but, if we cannot beat them then what are the best ways to remedy them?

Fortify Against Allergies:

1. Liquids

A well hydrated body helps to keep your organs functional and assists in removing toxin build-up in the body. Drinking water is especially effective in reducing inflammation caused by harmful pathogens entering the body.

Start your day off by rehydrating with a cool glass of water or a mug of warm, lemon-infused water. It is advisable to take in liquids at least an hour before meals as drinking with meals can interfere with digestion. Liquids assist with flushing out toxins so be sure to keep hydrated throughout the day.

End the day off with a warm drink of herbal tea, such as peppermint, Rooibos or our personal favourite, Stametta Tea. Herbal teas offer immune boosting qualities that assist with remedying allergy symptoms.

2. Spices and Herbal Supplements

Allergy symptoms such as congestion, stuffiness and post-nasal drip can be alleviated with the very herbs and spices found in your pantry! The chemical properties found in turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper, garlic, and cinnamon assist with reducing inflammation caused by histamine entering the body.

Sprinkle over salads, add to cooked meals or brew in boiling water to enjoy as an immune boosting tea.

Moringa powder is another superfood/ herbal supplement that contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals (including Vitamin C). It is an absolute essential in your pantry! Add to green smoothies or sprinkle over fruit and cereals.

3. Nuts and Seeds

Omega-3 rich nuts and seeds are excellent brain food, and they help to remedy inflammation. Seasonal allergies are generally caused by an inflammatory reaction of the mucus membranes to environmental stimulants. For a plant-based source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, stir in flax seeds, chia seeds or walnuts to your porridge, salads, and smoothies.

4. Fruits

Nature has provided us with exactly what we need to consume to best support our bodies as the season changes. Vitamin C rich fruits such as berries and grapefruits are high in antioxidants which help to reduce the growth of toxins and pathogens in the body.

5. Leafy Greens

Broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and lettuce leaves assist in mitigating the natural immune response of histamine release in response to external irritants such as pollen. In general, we should be consuming as much leafy greens as possible for optimal gut health. Remember, holistic health starts in the gut.

As convenient as allergy medication may be, our bodies are organic organisms and function optimally when fed the like. A balanced plant-based lifestyle can transform our health at a cellular level. Our fundamental building blocks undergo significant stress in our fast-paced, convenient living lifestyles.

Although spring is making space for summer to take centre stage, poor health choices may carry allergies over well into summer. This spring let us make a conscious effort to support our bodies as we transition into seasons. You can make small changes now to help you to look and, most importantly, FEEL your best this summer season! Live consciously to improve your longevity.


Immunity – What Is It Really?

Prevention is better than cure. We know, you’ve heard the statement one time too many. But, considering the present COVID-19 pandemic, this statement is ever pertinent.

The human body is an intricate composition of parts that contribute to the whole. Plainly put: a system. As with any system, each part is dependent on the other to ensure optimum functionality.

The neglect and deterioration of a vehicle, for example, all comes down to one key principle: maintenance. It is generally easier to rectify and maintain small defects than it would be to purchase an entirely new vehicle. Right? So why would we treat our bodies any different?

The primary system that drives holistic health in the human body is the immune system; a system that requires daily maintenance.

Lately there has been a lot of talk about immunity. An array of information has flooded the internet since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Hundreds of generic tips and ‘How-To’ articles have been published and shared. It can be overwhelming to sift through the information to find credible , do-able advice.

The simplest way to look at the subject of immunity is to look at the basics.

What is the Immune System?

The immune system guards us against the invasion and spread of harmful pathogens into our bodies. It is responsible for regulating the body’s response to foreign substances such as food or internal organisms such as the body’s own cellular tissues. It builds up a memory bank of every single substance that the body interacts with.

We are exposed to pathogens as we develop and interact with our environment. For example: catching a cold or getting the flu. The symptoms of these illnesses that we experience is the immune system’s way of fighting off pathogens and creating a record of how to kill off future invasions. The memory bank grows and so our immunity is strengthened. A compromised or weakened immune function can result in susceptibility to certain diseases or allergic reactions.

A weakened immune system is a system without support. Caring for the immune system requires a fundamental understanding of its parts.

Parts of the Whole

The immune system consists of several organs that form the wall of defence we need to be healthy. This defence is comprised of inner and outer organs and vessels such as:

The skin

Mucous membranes in our nasal and oral cavities and internal organs

Friendly bacteria that reside in and on our bodies
The epicentre of our immune system resides in the gut.

Our digestive system begins in our mouths in the form of enzymes in the saliva right through to our intestines. The bowels comprise of a micro-biome which produces more than half of the antibodies (white blood cells) our bodies use to recognize, evaluate, and eliminate harmful intruders. A healthy micro-biome is needed to ensure that the body is not deficient of its guard of cells. Once the intruders have been eliminated these cells store information (memory bank) on how to respond to similar invaders in the future. The micro-biome also contains the essential bacteria of the gut known as gut flora. This kind of ‘bacteria’ is necessary for the process of organ nutrient absorption, hormone production and, of course, immunity.

Gut health is thus the focal point of immunity.

It feeds all parts of our system to produce the correct genetic information needed for a healthy mind and body.


Veganuary Top Tips

Veganuary has come to an end. We hope you really enjoyed the benefits of trying out veganism this past month, but veganism may still seem a little daunting to you. Who says it has to end there? Plant-based holds so many possibilities for the rest of the year and we think you should explore them!

Embarking on a mission to create a more plant-based lifestyle can be intimidating at first. It requires a level of commitment that takes a little more time and effort when done right. I want to assist you in trying out some methods on how to maintain a plant-based lifestyle beyond Veganuary.



It is easy to find and stay in a single direction when you are in unchartered territory. However, this takes away from the journey’s experience, wouldn’t you say? It is easy to veer in the direction of easy vegan or plant-based meals such as quick meat substitutes or vegan junk food. As awesome as it is that we have these options to add a little something extra to our diets, basing the majority of our dietary consumption on them can lead to an unhealthy plant-based lifestyle (yes, it is possible). One may start feeling sluggish, demotivated, and unenthused by the prospects of going plant-based.

Nature offers an abundance of nutrients. We just have to make the effort to give our bodies the nutrition it needs. But how do we know we are getting the right amount of nutrients in one meal? A little piece of advice: eating the rainbow (with an especially generous serving of greens).

Exercise helps our bodies circulate these nutrients to our organs. They are then converted into essential chemical compounds. Ensure you create an exercise routine each week that works for your body. Drink plenty of water to keep your blood circulating and energising your system.

Balance is essential in extracting the full (and indisputable) benefits of going plant-based. A lifestyle is multi-faceted. It requires several factors to occur holistically.



Make a shopping trip every week to get your essential fresh produce. Make time on the weekend (record or download that TV show for later!) to prep a few meals for the week ahead. Start small and build on those veggie dishes you already enjoy before trying to reinvent the wheel and becoming overwhelmed. A simple fruit salad, nuts, seeds, roast veg, lentils, and leafy greens are great, versatile ingredients to start off with. They are durable, tasty, and satisfying. Veg soup of any kind is a great prep meal and can be frozen for dinners in the coming week.

Planning is a building block of success. It does not guarantee that everything will run smoothly but it surely facilitates the process. Life is a rollercoaster. Factor in a few plant-based healthy alternative snacks into your grocery list for those days when life takes an unpredictable turn. Include family and friends in your meal prep to mitigate the pressure and to hold yourself accountable.

It will take time for your body to adapt to this new lifestyle. Cravings will come and go. Allow yourself a plant-based treat now and then. Your body can signal exactly what it needs at the right time.

Listen to your body with an informed intuition and allow it to nourish itself in the best way. Emotions do factor into a lot of our craving impulses but try not to let them sway your decisions entirely. Think ahead for your future self. Plant-based is not about restriction but a holistic lifestyle that aims to improve not only your health but the wellbeing of the earth and every creature that inhabits it.

Soon you will be excited for meal prep each week!



It is easy to get bowled over by the wave of healthy lifestyle advice the media spews out at an almost inexhaustible rate. When you find yourself second-guessing everything you are doing, every ingredient you are choosing, and coming to the edge of giving up, step away from the clutter and centre yourself. Remember why you have chosen to transition to plant-based. Remember the things that you enjoy about it rather than the diet dogma you have been bombarded with. Remember how you feel when you are eating for your health rather than by rules. Remember the beneficial lifestyle changes you have noticed since you began.

Remember how far you have come and most importantly: Remember what works for you! Who knows your body better than you do?

Speak encouragements to yourself as often as you can. You have no idea how strong you are. Give yourself a chance to find out.



Treat yourself to a variety of plant-based foods from different cooks in your own home and from restaurants that offer these options. In this way, you can discover new recipes, insights, and a community of support you never knew existed!

It is so easy to feel alone in this transition. Maybe you are the only one in your family or your friend group. That does not mean you are the only person in the world on this journey. Thankfully, the variety of plant-based options have grown and so has the community.

Reach out on social media, share your food with your family and friends and you may be surprised by how many people you inspire and encourage.


Exercise your inner cooking flair and have fun with new ingredients and new ways to prepare ‘boring’ ingredients. Who knew avocado could be a delicious chocolatey mousse? Cauliflower is fast becoming one of the most versatile vegetables (from pizza to rice the possibilities are endless!). There are numerous plant-based bloggers with a treasure chest full of exciting recipes for you and your family to try out. BodiCafé invites you to visit our HLC Blog for exciting new recipes too.

Enjoy the journey, your body will thank you!


Autumn Wellness Tips

As the golden days of autumn gleam on the horison, we are
no strangers to the annual sniffle and sneeze that comes with
changing seasons. A new season does not only mean colder
weather, but a completely new cycle for the natural world,
human beings included.


All About Essential Oils

As the golden days of autumn gleam on the horison, we are
no strangers to the annual sniffle and sneeze that comes with
changing seasons. A new season does not only mean colder
weather, but a completely new cycle for the natural world,
human beings included.


Combating Cabin Fever with Fitness

Restlessness, tensions rising, irritability ….

Sound familiar? Lock-down restrictions have most of us cooped up at home with a serious bout of cabin fever. With the disruption of our daily routines , it can be difficult to restructure our schedules and adjust to the new ‘normal’.

One of the best ways to overcome cabin fever is by exercising.

Here are a few tips on how to keep your mind and body refreshed by engaging in fitness activities during the lock-down.

Exercise Outdoors

Our workout routines may be restricted but hope is not lost. The South African Government has allowed for 3 hours of exercise a day ( between 06:00 am – 09:00 am). Make the most of the fresh outdoors and go for daily jogs or walks.

The physical and mental effects of outdoor activity have numerous therapeutic benefits on the body:

  • Physical and emotional stress relief

  • Deeper breathing to help improve brain function (an increase in serotonin levels also helps to improve the memory)

  • Exposure to sunlight: vitamin D assists in boosting the immune system, strengthening the bones and lowering blood pressure

If possible, ensure that your exercise activities take place outdoors. Even though you may be working from home, your mind is still constantly stimulated by conference calls, work projects etc. The body remains inactive and this can lead to a build-up of physical and mental tension.

You may begin to experience feelings of anxiety, restlessness and irritability .

For at least an hour a day, unplug from your devices and screens and focus your mind on the organic, grounding sights and sounds of the outdoors. Natural surroundings assist the mind in releasing tension and stress.

Exercise for the Family

Younger children are naturally active and require physical activity for their physical and mental development .

Parents may have relied on extra-mural sport activities to help keep their kids active. So now what?

Step one is to make exercising a fun, family activity. Some kids may prefer to stay glued to their television or device screens, so they may need a little convincing that physical activity can be fun. Introduce relay races, obstacle courses and any other activity that will have the kids excited to participate.

Assist younger children to avoid overexertion/ injury but above all, ensure you are having fun as a family. Family members who are unable to participate in the actual routine may serve as ‘cheerleaders’ or umpires during family races . There is a part each member can play when it comes to family exercise.

Motivating any good habit into action is a team effort . The excess time that you now have as a family allows for more quality time to be spent together. Instead of getting on one another’s nerves during lock-down, get moving!

Exercise indoors

Most city dwellers do not have the luxury of space to exercise outdoors in their yards. Thanks to the digital world, we have at-home workout routines available at the click of a button. There are numerous YouTube fitness gurus who can help turn your living room into a personal pilates class!

It’s not easy to maintain a positive outlook given the current world crisis. You may be feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Mental stress can manifest itself in the form of physical ailments. We encourage you to do your bit by staying active, maintaining healthy habits and most importantly, staying positive!


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