Vegan Nutrition and health concerns

Vegan Nutrition. Health myths and concerns of a vegan or strict vegetarian, zero cholesterol diet

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Vegan Nutrition and Health.

Eating a VEGAN diet is one of the healthiest things a person can do for them self and the planet!

Did you know...

If a person is sensible, they can pretty much just give up all meat and dairy products and not worry about what they are eating, and be a lot better off!

Eat a wide variety of plant based foods, fruits vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans... limit salt, sugar, alcohol, refined grains, maintain a healthy weight, excersize... and you are healthier! Why wouldn't you?

It seems that the people who actually question the nutritional aspects of a vegetarian or vegan diet have absolutely no idea how much of anything a person should be getting, and are generally the ones whose diet is lacking in something.

The biggest concerns (or excuses) that still arise, when one mentions being vegetarian or vegan, is "How do you get enough protein?" While most of these people asking actually have no idea on how much protein is really necessary. They are still in the mind set of meat is protein you need protein you need meat Where in reality protein is simply amino acids, and your body cannot tell the difference between amino acids whether it comes from a cow or a potato or a laboratory. A better question they should ask themselves is How do you get enough vegetables? Enough vitamins? Enough fiber? A lot more people get too much protein, that is wasted than who suffer from protein deficiencies. Besides, too much protein has been even found to lead to things like prostate cancer among other diseases, and once your body has it's daily supply that it needs, it is just used as calories and converted to fat, which can be done easier and usually less expensive with carbohydrates and/or fats themselves.

"In every respect, vegans appear to enjoy equal or better health in comparison to both vegetarians and non-vegetarians."

T. Colin Campbell, PhD Professor of Nutrition, Cornell University (letter dated 3/29/98)


There is also an old fashioned idea that you need to combine foods at the same time to make it a complete protein.. That is false. As long as you are eating a variety of foods everyday you don't have to worry about that at all. You can eat beans for, say, dinner and then rice the next day for dinner, and your body will combine the amino acids making it complete. Although, beans and rice are great together so often are eaten at the same time anyway. As are nuts and grains..... like a peanut butter (nuts) sandwich (bread/grain) = complete protein. Soy/tofu is a complete protein in itself, as is a number of other vegan foods!

If someone eats a wide variety of food, including fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts... they should not have to worry about getting enough protein or needing to combine proteins ever...

For even more information, and the latest studies on Nutrition, visit the NEWS page.


Taken from Mayo Clinic: The health benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle are numerous:

A vegetarian diet is consistent with many nutritional recommendations. For instance, the American Cancer Society's 1996 guidelines on diet, nutrition and cancer prevention include these suggestions: Get most of your food from plant sources and limit high-fat foods - especially those from animals.

Vegetarians may enjoy health benefits. In numerous studies it has been shown that following a plant-based diet is associated with lower cholesterol levels, less heart disease, lower risk of many cancers, lower blood pressure, decreased weight and even stronger bones.

It's easy to get enough protein. At one time dietitians thought vegetarians had to eat certain food combinations at one meal, such as rice and beans, to get enough protein. Today that view no longer holds. Studies have shown that as long as you eat a variety of vegetable proteins throughout the day, you can get all the protein your body needs.

Its protein is complete, like the best animal sources -- but it has almost no saturated fat. Soybeans have numerous minerals, including iron and, if the processing method is right, calcium.

Soy foods are also rich in isoflavones - unique plant compounds that fit particular human hormone receptors like keys in a lock, and may open the door to special health benefits. The combination of soy protein and isoflavones reliably lowers high blood cholesterol. Isoflavones also improve overall cardiovascular health, provide some protection against cancers of the prostate and uterus, help build bone and may ease menopausal hot flashes.

A fine bean, to be sure. But it's no panacea - no one food is. What really improves health is a balanced dietary pattern that relies mostly on whole foods, including fruits, vegetables and grains. Enjoy a tempeh burger instead of a beef patty, and you double your benefit - first by eating soy, and second by taking some red meat off your plate. Protecting Your Heart

The FDA has approved this health claim for soy on food packaging: "25 grams of soy protein a day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Left unsaid is research that's shown the combination of soy protein and isoflavones to be more effective at lowering blood cholesterol than soy protein alone. Isoflavones have other cardiovascular benefits: They act as antioxidants, inhibit blood clotting and improve the elasticity of blood vessels, which benefits blood flow and lowers blood pressure.


"I abhor vivisection. It should at least be curbed. Better, it should be abolished. I know of no achievement through vivisection, no scientific discovery, that could not have been obtained without such barbarism and cruelty. The whole thing is evil. "

Charles Mayo (founder of the Mayo Clinic)

Vegetarianism is safe, even for kids who have special growth needs.

Non meat sources of protein include soy products. Many foods marketed as natural, such as veggie burgers and hot dogs, are made from soy products or tofu. Tempeh, a fermented soy food, is a source of protein that some people prefer to tofu. Peas, peanuts, beans, breads and cereals all contain protein. As noted earlier, vegans can get adequate protein by careful meal planning. If you or your child decides to become a vegan, ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian.

Your body needs vitamin B-12 to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. Vitamin B-12 is found almost exclusively in animal products. To ensure your vegetarian gets enough B-12, use breakfast cereals and soy products fortified with B-12. If you or your child becomes a vegan, your doctor might recommend a B-12 supplement.

Everyone needs iron, another nutrient crucial to making red blood cells. Children and teenagers need iron to grow. Girls need iron to replace red blood cells lost during menstruation. Many foods besides meat contain iron: beans, peas, whole-grain breads, spinach, raisins, apricots, peaches, nuts, seeds and iron-fortified cereals. To help your body absorb iron, eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as strawberries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, cabbage and broccoli. Don't take iron supplements unless your doctor advises you to. Excess iron from supplements can be harmful.

Calcium is important for children to grow and to maintain strong bones and teeth. include dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and collard and turnip greens in your meals. Also try tofu that's prepared with calcium or drink fortified soy milk. All of these options contain calcium.

Maintaining a vegetarian diet can reduce the amount of fat, cholesterol and calories you consume. For most of us, that's great. But keep in mind that children - especially those age 2 and younger - need fat, and calories to grow. Don't place young children on a low-fat diet. A vegetarian diet can still include many sources of fat, such as margarine, nuts, seeds, salad oils, vegetable shortening and cooking oils.


A Weapon Against Cancer

Soy's isoflavones are believed to play a role in inhibiting cancer. In the lab, isoflavones introduced to a cell culture medium where tumor cells were attempting to grow have blocked the cancer cells' progress. If a tiny tumor does form, one isoflavone in particular - genistein - helps prevent it from developing a blood supply and subsequently getting bigger.

The most direct cancer protection you receive from soy foods, however, relates to the way isoflavones interfere with hormone-related cancers, particularly of the prostate and uterus. For example, isoflavones inhibit testosterone from turning into a form that promotes prostate cell growth, and thus, cancer.

The breast cancer story is more complex. Although there's some evidence that soy foods rich in isoflavones may help protect against endometrial, breast and other hormone-related cancers, there is conflicting data. While many experts believe that soy foods are health-protective for all women, several raise concerns about isoflavone supplements.


A Special Benefit During Menopause

By fitting into estrogen receptors, soy's isoflavones may play a special role in helping women undergoing menopause do so comfortably and healthfully. Some, but not all, studies find that eating soy may reduce hot flashes. Soy foods rich in isoflavones also help prevent the bone loss that often accelerates after menopause, which can progress to osteoporosis. Like estrogen itself, soy builds bone. By lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart, soy foods help reduce the risk of heart disease, which can become greater as natural heart-protective estrogen levels fall.

(Vegan Society)


In 1994 the US recommendations for children aged 1-10 was increased from 800mg to 1,200mg daily and for young adults aged 11-24 years it was increased from 1,200 to 1,500mg. During pregnancy and breast feeding women in the USA are now advised to have 1,400mg calcium daily and American men and women over the age of 50 years are advised to increased their calcium intake towards 1,500mg because the intestinal absorption of calcium declines with age.

Good plant sources of calcium include tofu (if prepared using calcium sulphate contains more than four times the calcium of whole cow's milk), green leafy vegetables, seeds and nuts. The calcium in green vegetables which are not high in oxalate e.g. kale, is absorbed as well or better than the calcium from cow's milk. Some soya milks e.g. Provamel, Plamil, Granovita are fortified with calcium. Drinking hard water can provide 200mg of calcium daily but soft water contains almost none. Other calcium rich foods include black molasses, edible seaweeds, watercress, parsley and dried figs.

Examples of amounts of vegan foods providing 100mg calcium

  • Almonds (42g)
  • Brazils Nuts (59g)
  • Soya flour (44g)
  • Oatmeal (192g)
  • Wholemeal bread (185g)
  • Black molasses (20g)
  • Dried figs (40g)
  • Parsley (50g)
  • Kale (67g)

The US Recommended Dietary Allowances are similar at 10mg a day for adult men and post-menopausal women; 15mg for adolescents and pre-menopausal women, and an additional 15mg a day for pregnant women.

The calcium intake of vegans tends to be slightly below the recommended optimal amounts but the body does adapt to lower intakes and there have been no reports of calcium deficiency in vegans. The fact that vegans have a slightly lower protein intake and exclude meat from their diet encourages their bodies to retain calcium so their dietary need may be lower than the typical omnivore. Studies of the bones of vegans suggest that the likelihood of osteoporosis is no greater than for omnivores.

In fact 90% of the world's adult population (in Britain the figure is probably 25%) is deficient in the enzyme needed to digest milk properly. Also, allergy to cow's milk may affect 75 in 1000 babies, causing frequent diarrhea, repeated vomiting, persistent colic, eczema, bronchitis and asthma.

"The human body has no more need for cows' milk than it does for dogs' milk, horses' milk, or giraffes' milk. "

Michael Klaper, MD


Protein

A high protein diet, especially derived from animal foods, causes calcium loss in the body. The higher sulphur-to-calcium ratio of meat increases calcium excretion, and a diet rich in meat can cause bone demineralisation. A report published in 1988 (1) comparing the amounts of calcium excreted in the urine of 15 subjects showed that the animal-protein diet caused greater loss of bone calcium in the urine (150mg/day) than the all-vegetable protein diet (103mg/day). These findings suggest that diets providing vegetable rather than animal protein may actually protect against bone loss and hence osteoporosis. In one study adults on a low-protein diet were in calcium balance regardless of whether calcium intake was 500mg, 800mg or 1400mg a day. (2) Interestingly The American Dietetic Association, in its 1993 policy statement on vegetable diets, pointed out that the calcium intakes recommended in the USA were increased specifically to offset calcium losses caused by the typically high protein consumption in that country.

Proteins are large molecules made from smaller units called amino acids. There are twenty amino acids commonly found in both plant and animal proteins. There are generally considered to be eight amino acids that the body cannot make itself which need to be obtained from the food we eat. These are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Infants additionally need food sources of histidine and possibly taurine. Proteins are necessary for maintaining tissues and for sustaining growth. They are also used to make hormones and other physiologically active substances.

infants/Children

  • 0-12 months (12.5-14.9g/day)
  • 1-3 years (14.50g/day)
  • 4-10 years (19.7-28.3g/day)
  • 11-14 yrs (boys) (42.1g/day)
  • 11-14 yrs (girls) (41.2g/day)
  • 15-18 yrs (boys) (55.2g/day)
  • 15-18 (girls) (45g/day)

Men

  • 19-50 yrs (55.5g/day)
  • 50+ yrs (53.3g/day)

Women

  • 19-50 yrs (45g/day)
  • 50 + yrs (46.5g/day)
  • During pregnancy (extra 6g/day)
  • Breast feeding 0-6mths (extra 11g day)
  • Breast feeding 6+ mths (extra 8g/day)

The US Recommended Dietary Allowances introduced in 1989 are similar to the UK values.

Vegan Sources of Protein

The foods which commonly supply the most protein in a vegan diet are pulses (peas, beans, lentils, soya products), grains (wheat, oats, rice, barley, buckwheat, millet, pasta, bread), nuts (brazils, hazels, almonds, cashews) and seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame). The chart lists plant foods providing 10g of protein which should give an indication of the amounts of foods that should be eaten on a daily basis. Examples of amounts of foods providing 10g of protein

  • " Peanuts (39g)
  • Almonds (47g)
  • Brazil Nuts (50g)
  • Hazel Nuts (71g)
  • Soya flour (24g)
  • Whole lentils dried boiled (114g)
  • Chickpeas dried boiled (119g)
  • Kidney beans dried boiled (119g)
  • Wholemeal bread (95g)
  • Wholemeal spaghetti boiled (213g)
  • Brown rice boiled (385g)
  • Pumpkin seeds (41g)
  • Sunflower seeds (51g)
  • Sesame seeds (55g)

Ready made foods that contain these ingredients are the easiest way to get protein: Tofu, made from soybeans is the standby. Seitan, a wheat meat is fabulous! Tempeh, made from soybeans... Nut butters... Ready made meat alternatives.... Soy milk....

Protein - Too Much of a Good Thing?

Studies show that vegan diets provide the ideal amounts of protein recommended by the World Health Organization and by the UK's Department of Health. On the other hand, many omnivores eat more protein than guidelines recommend and this may have disadvantages for their health. Excessive protein consumption may be associated with health risks. Kidney function can be compromised by too much protein in older people and in patients with kidney disease; also, a high protein intake may adversely affect calcium balance and contribute to mineral loss from bone. The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys 1990 survey of British adults (3) showed that average protein intakes are 84g/day for men and 64g/day for women which are higher than recommended,

Different types of dietary protein may have differing effects on cholesterol and fats in the bloodstream. Greater hormonal responses resulted in a meal derived from casein (milk) than from soya beans. This suggests that milk protein leads to higher levels of cholesterol and fats in the blood. These, in turn, are risk factors for coronary heart disease.

A survey of 620 women in Singapore revealed that, among pre-menopausal women, those who regularly ate soya protein and soya products in general had about half the normal risk of developing breast cancer. In contrast, the consumption of red meat and animal protein was linked with an increased risk of breast cancer in pre-menopausal women.

Diets rich in meat protein lead to more uric acid in the urine, and a general increase in urine acidity. because of the acidity, the uric acid does not easily dissolve and can form into kidney stones.

Is there Enough Protein for Growing Children?

Children's over-riding nutritional need is for energy rather than protein per se. As long as children's energy needs are being met they will thrive on a diet in which protein is available from a mixture of plant foods. Infants and children reared on a varied vegan diet obtain adequate protein and energy, and are healthy and grow normally. Although they tend to be of lighter build than omnivore children they are within the normal ranges for height and weight. Regular consumption of suitably-prepared high-energy foods, such as grains, pulses and nuts, with smaller amounts of bulky, less energy-dense fruits and vegetables, will ensure a satisfactory intake of protein and energy. There have been only two recent reports of protein and/or Calorie malnutrition in infants reared by vegan parents on a vegan diet, and these were due to over-dilution or inadequate variety of weaning foods. Other published cases of protein and energy deficiency in infants given alternative diets involved restrictive macrobiotic or fruitarian regimes, or dietary limitations imposed by non-vegan parents for perceived health reasons.


Further Details

For more details on protein and the vegan diet in general see Vegan Nutrition by Gill Langley. This book is the most comprehensive survey of scientific research on vegan diets. It is ideal for vegans, would-be vegans and health care professionals. It includes highlighted key points, easy-to-follow tables and chapter summaries.


Vegan Sources of Iron

  • Fortified breakfast cereal 1 cup
  • Soybean nuts 1/2 cup
  • Pumpkin seeds 1 ounce
  • Spinach, cooked 1/2 cup
  • Red kidney beans 1/2 cup
  • Chickpeas (garbanzos) 1/2 cup
  • Tofu 1/2 cup
  • Green peas 1/2 cup
  • Raisins 1/4 cup
  • Pistachios (14g)
  • Cashews (roasted) (32g)
  • Whole lentils (57g)
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Sesame seeds or tahini (19g)
  • Black molasses (22g)
  • Apricots (dried) (59g)
  • Spinach (boiled) (125g)

The use of ironware, when cooking foods, also contributes to dietary intake.

Iron Absorption

Up to 22% of the iron in meat is absorbed, while only 1-8% is absorbed from eggs and plant foods. If the body stores fall, the rate of iron absorption rises. About 40% of the iron in animal foods is in a form called haem iron, while the remainder, and all the iron in plant foods, is in the less well absorbed non-haem form. Iron absorption can also be reduced by tannins (e.g. in tea) and phytates (found in nuts, grain and seeds). At this point one tends to wonder whether the rumours of vegans suffering from anaemia have substance, however, this isn't the whole story and the reader will be heartened to learn that research has shown that iron deficiency in vegans is no more common than in the rest of the population.

The absorption of iron from plant foods is improved by the presence in a meal of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), other organic acids such as malic acid (e.g. in pumpkins, plums and apples) and citric acid (in citrus fruits). Laboratory research in which experimental meals were given to 299 volunteers has shown that the inclusion of foods (such as fresh salad, orange juice or cauliflower) providing 70-105mg of vitamin C in each meal increased the absorption of iron. A particularly pronounced effect was seen when 4.5oz cauliflower containing 60mg of vitamin C was added to vegetarian meals, causing more than three-fold increase in iron absorption (1).

Earlier studies have shown that, when iron intake from plant foods is relatively high (14-26mg/day), even large amounts of phytate do not adversely affect iron balance (2).

There has been some concern that fibre in food can also inhibit the absorption of iron. However a study has shown that the iron balance was more favourable when fibre intake was 59g a day, than on a low-fibre regime of only 9g.

Iron, Vegans and the General Population

Iron deficiency is believed to be fairly common in the general population and a 1985 survey of young British omnivore women showed that, on average, they were consuming only just over half the current recommended intake. The Dietary and Nutritional Survey of British Adults revealed that one third of all women had low iron stores. Symptons of iron deficiency anaemia include tiredness and breathlessness especially on physical exertion, giddiness, palpitations, headache and poor concentration.

Studies of British vegans have reported an average intake of approximately double the recommended Reference Nutrient Intakes. At this level of iron consumption, any possible inhibitory effects of fibre and phytate on absorption are unlikely to be important. As vegan diets contain about three to four times the British and US recommendations for vitamin C, absorption of iron is enhanced.

Conclusions

Vegans have a high dietary iron intake and although iron from plant sources is less well absorbed than that from meat, high levels of vitamin C in the diet enhances iron absorption. Studies show that the iron status of vegans is usually normal, and iron deficiency is no more common than in the general population More Evidence Vegetarian Diet May Cut Cancer Risk


By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Eating a meat-free, vegetarian diet may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, new research suggests.

After following more than 10,000 people for 17 years, investigators found that vegetarians were 15 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than meat-eaters.

This study adds to the increasing scientific evidencethat a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and fiber and low in meat--especially red and processed meat--can prevent colorectal cancer, study author Dr. Miguel Sanjoaquin of the University of Oxford, UK, told Reuters Health.

However, Sanjoaquin cautioned that only a small number of study participants -95--developed colorectal cancer, making it impossible to determine if fewer vegetarians developed cancer simply due to chance.

However, Sanjoaquin noted that a previous study featuring more cases of colorectal cancer confirmed these findings, and he added that it makes sense that eating vegetarian could cut cancer risk. The fat in red meat increases the excretion of substances called bile acids, he explained, which in turn produce other substances that encourage tumor growth.

Furthermore, meat contains natural compounds and substances formed during processing and high-temperature cooking that can disrupt the normal balance of cell growth in the colon, potentially triggering the cancer, Sanjoaquin noted.

Alternatively, substances in fruits and vegetables-- staples of the vegetarian diet--may inhibit these adverse effects, he added.

During the current study, Sanjoaquin and his colleagues asked 10,998 adults about their eating habits and other health parameters, then noted who developed colorectal cancer.

People were classified as non-vegetarians if they ate meat or fish. Vegetarians included vegans, who avoid all dairy and meat products.

Along with a decreased risk of cancer from eating vegetarian, the investigators found that frequent fruit eaters - consuming more than 5 servings of fruit per week--were over 40 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer.

Smoking, drinking alcohol and eating more than 15 slices of white bread per week appeared to increase the risk of colorectal cancer, according to the British Journal of Cancer report.

Sanjoaquin said the fact that white bread appeared to reduce cancer risk was unexpected, and suggested that people who ate large amounts of white bread might have simply had a less healthy diet overall.

Alternatively, he added researchers have noted that eating large quantities of refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread, may raise colorectal cancer risk, suggesting that white bread itself may also play a role.

More research will be needed to clarify this, Sanjoaquin said.

SOURCE: British Journal of Cancer, January 12, 2004.


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"When we kill the animals to eat them, they end up killing us because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings. "

William C. Roberts, M.D., editor of The American Journal of Cardiology

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Macro nutrients

Complex carbohydrates:

Found almost exclusively in plant foods. Whole grains, beans, legumes, and vegetables

Protein:

Beans, legumes, seeds, grains (especially quinoa and amaranth), leafy green vegetables, lentils, tofu, nuts, tempeh, miso, and peas

Fat:

Avocados, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds

Micro nutrients

  • Vitamin A: Green leafy vegetables, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, wheat grass juice
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): Whole grains, nori, wakame, legumes (especially peanuts)
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Green vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nutritional yeast, hiziki
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): Whole grains (especially brown, black and red rice), posole, masa, nori, wakame, peanuts, nutritional yeast
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid): whole grains, beans, legumes, mushrooms, nuts, nutritional yeast
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Whole grains, leafy green vegetables, dulse, nori, nutritional yeast, carrots, peas, sunflower seeds, walnuts
  • Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin): Nutritional Yeast, fortified cereals, fortified soy products such as soy milk, tempeh, and miso.
  • Biotin: Soybeans, nutritional yeast, whole grains
  • Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid): Citrus fruits, bell peppers, chilies, amaranth, berries, cabbage, parsley, sprouts, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts
  • Chlorine: Soybeans, whole grains, legumes
  • Co-Enzyme Q10: Peanuts, spinach
  • Vitamin D: Sunflower sprouts, fortified soymilk, fortified vegan cereal, sunshine.
  • Vitamin E: Nuts, seeds, wheat, oats, quinoa, brown, red and black rice, broccoli, cauliflower, dandelion greens, sprouts, asparagus, cucumbers, spinach, wheat germ oil
  • Folic acid: Microalgae, sprouts, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nutritional yeast, dates, beans, legumes, mushrooms, oranges, beets, fenugreek and root vegetables
  • Inositol: Whole grains, nutritional yeast, beans and legumes, especially soybeans)
  • Vitamin K: Alfalfa sprouts, asparagus, hemp seed, blackstrap molasses, dark leafy green vegetables, green tea, kelp, soybeans, oats, rye, wheat
  • Vitamin P (bioflavonoids): Peppers, buckwheat, black currants
  • Vitamin U: Green cabbage

Minerals

  • Boron: Seaweed, alfalfa, unrefined sea salt, nuts, carrots, leafy green vegetables, apples, pears
  • Calcium: leafy green vegetables, broccoli almonds, nutritional yeast, sesame seeds, figs, dandelion greens, wakame, hiziki, kelp, kombu, amaranth, quinoa, oats, beans, legumes, microalgae, fortified soymilk.
  • Chromium: Seaweed (especially kelp and alaria), whole grains, mushrooms, beets, nutritional yeast, beans, legumes
  • Copper: Seaweed, whole grains, raisins, apricots, garlic, mushrooms, beets, nuts, leafy green vegetables
  • Flourine: Seaweed, rye, brown rice, parsley, avocados, cabbage
  • Germanium: Seaweed, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, aloe vera, ginseng, onions
  • Iodine: Seaweed and unrefined sea salt
  • Iron: Seaweed, molasses, whole grains, nuts, beets, sesame, seeds, beans, legumes, prunes, raisins, dates, dried apricots, almonds (taken with a vitamin c source will boost the iron absorption) cashews, tomato juice, rice, tofu, lentils, and garbanzo beans (chick peas)
  • Magnesium: Seaweed, whole grains, microalgae, amaranth, beans, legumes, leafy green vegetables
  • Manganese: Seaweed, whole grains, nuts and seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, avocados
  • Phosphorous: Seaweed, whole grains, beans, legumes, dried fruit, garlic, nuts, seeds
  • Potassium: Kelp, dulse, carrot juice, whole grains, beans, legumes, bananas
  • Selenium: Seaweed, whole grains, beans, legumes, garlic, mushrooms
  • Silicon: Seaweed, whole grains, bib lettuce, parsnips, dandelion greens, strawberries, celery, cucumbers, apricots, carrots
  • Sodium: Seaweed, celery, unrefined sea salt
  • Sulfur: Seaweed, cabbages, beans, legumes, onions, garlic, nettles, soybeans
  • Vanadium: Seaweed, whole grains, vegetable oils, dill, radishes, green beans
  • Zinc: Seaweed, legumes, beans, seeds, mushrooms, nettles, soybeans,whole grains (especially the germ and bran of the grain), nuts, tofu, leafy vegetables (lettuce, spinach, and cabbage), and root vegetables (onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, and radishes)

The only item found lacking in some vegans diet was vitamin B12. Therefore, it is encouraged that vegans take a look at their diet, and make sure they get enough B12 either through fortified foods or nutritional yeast, and if they don't that they take a supplement containing B12

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