Tel: +27(0) 21 981 7769 info@niche-brands.co.za

The health benefits of sesame seed

bruin_sesame

Sesame seeds (scientific name: Sesamum indicum) have many health benefits and are widely used in traditional cooking and medicines.

The high nutritional content of sesame seeds includes oleic acid, amino acids, sesamol, B-complex vitamins, calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and copper. Oleic acid helps lower “bad cholesterol” and increases “good cholesterol” in the blood. Niacin is another example of a B-complex vitamin found abundantly in sesame. It also helps reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it may enhance GABA activity inside the brain, which can helps reduce anxiety and neurosis.

Sesame seeds can be sprinkled over breads, cakes, salads, stir fries, etc. The seeds are used in many traditional Indian sweet dishes. Sesame seeds are also used to make Tahini paste and sesame oil.

Just a handful of sesame seeds a day provides enough recommended levels of minerals, vitamins, phenolic anti-oxidants and protein.

The health benefits of pumpkin seeds

Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

Pumpkin seeds contain a wide variety of nutrients ranging from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc and a diversity of antioxidants. They are particularly well-known as a valuable source of zinc, particularly in their unshelled form.

Pumpkin seeds should ideally should be eaten raw for maximum health benefits. Alternatively, raw pumpkin seeds can be roasted on a low heat in your oven (under 75ᵒC) and sprinkled with natural salt. As a culinary ingredient, pumpkin seeds are used in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes, to garnish salads and in baked goods.

Purchase quality pumpkin seeds at affordable prices from us! Order online here: http://agricolniche.co.za/product/pumpkin-decorticated/

The health benefits of almonds

Health seed is something we should all be having more of. Packed with nutritional benefits, they are nature’s pharmacy and promote and support our health in a variety of ways. We hope you enjoy our new range of articles on the nutritional and health benefits of various types of health seed available from us…

almond heart

Today’s health seed to love is the almond! These tasty nuts are a rich source of healthy fats, vitamin E, dietary fibre, protein and magnesium.

Almonds may help to lower blood pressure, blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels. They can also assist in controlling appetite and make you feel less hungry, thus promoting weight loss.

Almonds add great flavour and texture to a great variety of dishes. Sprinkle them over breakfasts and desserts or try them in an exotic Moroccan tagine. Almond flour can even be used as a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour in cooking and baking, while almond milk is a great dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk. Good for your health and delicious for your taste buds.

Contact us for great prices! Available in 1kg, 500g and 100g packs.

Parrot Fitness

bird_toy Pet birds need exercise

All our pets need to get out and stretch their legs in the outdoors; your dog needs  a run in the park and horses need to be exercised – not many of us have the privilege to live on a big enough property where all can roam free! Ask anyone who sits behind a desk all day – it feels really good to go for a walk during lunchtime. Pet birds definitely need exercise to help keep them fit and healthy. Domestic birds tend to get less exercise than they do in their natural habitat. Your parrot’s wings are probably clipped and therefore you need to help your pet get the exercise it needs.

So here are some useful tips and and ways to get your parrot to exercise and stay healthy:

Get a bigger birdcage

From the start you can make sure that your bird’s cage is large enough for him. Your parrot should be able to stretch out and flap his wings for exercise, without them touching the sides of the cage. There should also be plenty of room to supply several perches and different heights to suggest climbing.

Get them outside

If your parrot is already kept outdoors, just make sure he has enough room to fly around properly. Parrots kept indoors however, will need to be let out of their cage daily to exercise under supervision. Let them out of their cages every day and involve them in tasks around the house. Let them sit on the outside of their cage. Parrots are curious, highly active birds that enjoy climbing. Attaching some horizontal climbing bars to the outside of their cage makes a good exercise area. When you go out gardening, let them spend a bit of free time on the grass, but always make sure they are safe and secure. Make sure they can’t fly away, or go too high up in a tree where you can’t reach them. Beware of trees with toxic wood. These outings must always be supervised and with safety first in mind.

Playtime is fun time

This is the easiest way to inspire exercise. Games such as hide-and-seek require your parrot to search for you, moving from one place to another; or a game of fetch is a good alternative since your parrot must return the object to you.

Provide toys for your bird

Toys such as knotted ropes and climbing rings are a great ways for your parrot to climb. Just be sure the rings are big enough for your parrot’s whole body to pass through. Injury and entrapment could occur if they are not large enough.

Keep them on a healthy diet

Lastly, remember that lots of exercise won’t do much good if your bird is eating unhealthily. So it’s important to make an effort with a healthy diet for our pets. Food with the correct levels of nutrients will keep your pet from being overweight. We all need a balanced diet with the correct amounts of vitamins and minerals to be healthy. Balanced bird foods, such as the products from our Animalzone range, contain added vitamins, minerals and amino acids to assist in keeping your pets in top shape.

Bird Care Basics: Nutrition

azOne of the most important aspects to keeping your pet bird in good health, is feeding them a balanced diet according to their nutritional requirements and keeping them away from substances which are harmful to them.

Foods to Avoid

Here’s a quick and easy shortlist of 6 substances you shouldn’t feed your bird:

1. Avocado (Never ever- it’s poisonous for birds!)
2. Caffeine (e.g. coffee and coke)
3. Chocolate
4. Alcohol (Yes, some bird owners actually try this…)
5. Too much salt (No more than lightly salted Lays chips.)
6. Too much fat (Don’t overdo it with the peanuts.)

 

Bird Care Basics: Playtime!

playtimePlaying with toys or with their ‘human parents’ is very healthy and important for birds. Especially intelligent birds like parrots really benefit from playing with interesting toys. It allows them to be mentally stimulated and focus their energy on playing and learning skills, rather than being destructive. 

Always check that the toys are safe for your bird (e.g. do not contain poisonous lead paint). Contraptions such as knotted ropes and climbing rings are a great ways for your parrot to climb – just make sure the rings are big enough for your parrot’s whole body to fit through so he doesn’t get stuck or injure himself. Also get at least two sets of toys (of different colour and texture) which you can rotate weekly. Your feathered friend will love the variety and keep himself entertained! 

Playtime is also great for exercise. Games such as hide-and-seek require your parrot to search for you, moving from one place to another. A game of fetch is also a good alternative since your parrot must return the object to you. (Yes, dogs aren’t the only ones that can play fetch!). You can even use bathtime as a playtime activity and spray your parrot with something like a herbal bird spray. He’ll get clean and have fun at the same time. Just ensure that your bird isn’t exposed to too much temperature fluctuation while you get him wet. 

At the end of the day, playing with your bird will not only give him a great work-out and exercise his mind, but also give him some fantastic quality time to bond with his owner! 

 

The Perfect Perch

parrot perchYour bird will probably spend most of its life on a perch – even in its sleep! So getting the right perch is essential for your parrot’s health. Imagine spending your whole life in a pair of uncomfortable shoes… that is how the wrong kind of perch will feel for your feathered friend. The parrot’s feet should go around the perch comfortably without the claws touching. Also avoid perches which give off colourants etc. and rather go for something like natural wood or clay. The right kind of perch will also naturally give your bird a ‘pedi’ and allow your bird’s nails to stay trimmed.

These handmade clay perches are available from us.

24

Bird Care Basics: Cages

bird-in-a-cageMost bird owners we meet are madly in love with their pet bird and would do anything to keep their favourite parrot happy! However, not all parrot owners are always informed about how to best take care of their pet. So in the name of education, we’ve decided to start a series of articles on Bird Care Basics, helping you to be the best bird parent you can be…

Bird cages

Choosing the right cage for your bird is a good place to start. Often bird owners do not realise that their cage is too small for the bird they are keeping. Make sure you get a cage that is spacious enough for your pet: Budgie cages should be at least 45x45cm, while African Greys and Macaws need much more space, e.g. 90x60cm. There should also be plenty of room for perches. Make sure the bird cage is in good condition, not rusted or broken. Do not use cages covered in metal paint as the birds can nibble on the paint and get metal poisoning. If your bird has unfortunately been exposed to metal you can give use a product like Animalzone’s Detox Granules to help rid the body of heavy metals and toxins.

Also, keep the bird cage in a high place. Cages on low levels can be stressful for the birds as their natural tendency is to live in trees. They can become quite stressed if they are on a lower level than us! Cages should be washed and sprayed with disinfectant weekly (Animalzone’s Citro-Natural Disinfectant) to prevent fungus from growing. Birds are very susceptible to certain bacteria and fungi so it’s essential to keep their environment squeaky clean and hygienic. Make sure your bird has clean water and that his food bowl is clean. Also, keep the cage in a place where the temperature is fairly constant, so beware of heaters and air cons. Infra red lamps and wall panels work better to keep the birds warm in the evening.