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Nutritional Science Summary

//Nutritional Science Summary

Nutritional Science Summary

Calcium Summary Note:

Ensuring you Drink at least 1 cup of orange juice daily (5 oranges 300mg), 1 cup of nettle tea daily (100g leaves 481mg), 1 cup of juiced kale ( 100g = 150mg calcium) and some sesame seeds (2 table spoons 176mg can ensure adequate intake of calcium on a raw vegan diet. Although giving the complex and individual nature of calcium absorption, your body may only absorb between 40 and 60% of this amount, if the RDA of calcium is 1000 mg daily. Then is it vital to top up with foods like Fortified vegan milks, Tofu set with calcium, a vegan supplement of Calcium or plenty of dark green leaves juiced daily as a top up in addition to the foods mentioned above.

Other important factors are

Take calcium and vitamin D together. Soak and sprouts nuts and seeds to release phytase which inhibit phytates that bind to calcium and inhibit absorption. Include low oxalate greens such as broccoli and kale (steamed or juiced). Take calcium in smaller amounts throughout the day rather than in one large amount for better absorption. Juicing, Fermenting, Blending, Soaking and sprouting can all help in reducing the phytates, lectins and oxalates in plant foods, which will increase absorption of calcium and other minerals.

Iodine Summary Note:

To achieve the daily suggested amount of iodine ( 150mcg) you can take 1/2 tsp of iodized sea salt or 1/16 Tsp of kelp powder, or 1 1/2 sheets of nori.

The Garden of Life Vitamin code for Men and woman also contains 75mcg of iodine. Once or twice per week just adding some sea vegetables to your soup will give you plenty of iodine. **Another Danger for Iodine deficiency for Raw vegans who consume alot of soy products, crucifourous vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli and flax seeds. These foods contain naturally high levels of thiocyanates which have no negetive effect on our health providing their is adequate levels of iodine. If iodine is low , a diet rich in these foods will impact your thyroid function. **

Potassium Summary Note:

Adults need 3,500mg of potassium a day. You should be able to get all the potassium you need from your daily diet. Given the absorption of this mineral is around 90% unlike most vitamins at 50%, it is suggested to consume about 4000mg per day to meet the RDA. For example 1 Cooked sweet potato has 475 mg, 1 cup of spinach has 840 mg, 1 banana has 420 mg, 1 cup of beet greens has 1300 mg, and 1 cup of sunflower seeds or sunflower cheese is 2000 mg. Good sources of potassium, Potassium is found in most types of food. Good sources of potassium include fruit – such as bananas, some vegetables – such as broccoli, parsnips and brussel sprouts, pulses, nuts and seeds. Many fruits and vegetables are high in potassium and low in sodium and, as discussed, help prevent hypertension. Most of the potassium is lost when processing or canning foods, while less is lost from frozen fruits or vegetables. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, parsley, and lettuce, as well as broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, and potatoes, especially the skins, all have significant levels of potassium. Fruits that contain this mineral include oranges and other citrus fruits, bananas, apples, avocados, raisins, and apricots, particularly dried. Whole grains, wheat germ, seeds, and nuts are high-potassium foods.

Zinc Summary Note:

Zinc is a trace element that is a building block for enzymes, proteins, and cells. It is also responsible for freeing Vitamin A from its holding tank, the liver, through its enzymatic activity . Zinc also plays a role in boosting the immune system, mediating senses such as taste and smell, and wound healing . Zinc toxicity is rare, but zinc deficiency (most commonly occurring in the developing world) may lead to delays in growth and development, rough skin, cognitive impairment, a weakened immune system (leading in increased susceptibility of infectious diseases, particularly in kids), and more .

What You Need: Men = 11 mg; Women = 8 mg per day - higher limit is 40mg per day

Sources: Nuts, seeds and grains. 138g pumkin seeds = 10.3mg, 134g poppy seeds = 13.7mg, 150g sesame seeds = 15.4mg,  200g lentils = 6.9mg,

Iron Summary Note:

Iron helps hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells, and myoglobin (hemoglobin’s counterpart in muscles) bring oxygen to all the cells that need it. Iron is also important in the production of amino acids, collagen, neurotransmitters, and hormones . Since this mineral is more easily absorbed from red meat and poultry, vegetarians and vegans may want to consider iron supplements, or at least consume more iron-rich fruits and leafy green vegetables . But don’t go too crazy for iron: Acute overdose of iron can be lethal, and general excess can cause GI irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation .

What You Need: Men = 8 mg; Women = 18 mg up to a maximum of 45 mg per day.

Sources: Raisons, pears ,artichoke, kelp, 100g of spirallina = 30mg, 1oz of wheatgrass juice = .66mg, 1oz spinach juice = .77 mg, 200g of figs = 4mg, 164g of oatmeal = 6.4mg, 170g of quinoa = 15.7 mg. Take some Vitamin C with iron to help with absorption, also soaking nuts and grains will help release phytates so to maximise absorption of Iron.

Magnesium Summary Note:

Everyone needs varying levels of magnesium, with a minimum of 400 milligrams per day.  Depending on how active you are or how much stress you suffer, you could need more since magnesium is quickly depleted in the body during mental or physical stress (such as exercise). Luckily, plant-based foods are packed with magnesium, making it easy to get enough. However if you’re not eating a balanced diet and finding yourself fatigued, irritable and suffering irregularity or insomnia, you may want to consider a supplement. If you need to supplement, be aware that some forms of magnesium may make you sleepy, which include magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide, though these both aid in regularity. Some people take magnesium at night before they go to sleep to further aid sleep health and also increase regularity in the morning, along with energy and focus. A 400 milligram supplement is enough for most people who are eating enough whole, plant-based foods.

To ensure you are getting the 400g of magnesium it is best to consume about 800mg to account for absorption. So 1 Banana has 33mg, 1 cup of almonds has 105 mg, Beetroot has 31mg, slow cooked oatmeal has 57mg and 1 cup of sunflower seeds or sunflower cheese is 500mg

Boron

Boron is a trace element, which means the body only needs very small amounts of it. Boron is thought to help the body make use of glucose, fats, oestrogen and other minerals, such as calcium, copper and magnesium, in the food we eat. Boron is found widely in the environment, in the oceans, rocks, soils and plants. Food sources of boron include green vegetables, fruit and nuts

 

Chromium

Chromium is a trace element thought to influence how the hormone insulin behaves in the body. This means chromium may affect the amount of energy we get from food. Good sources of chromium, Chromium is found widely in the environment, in air, water and soil, and in plants. Good food sources of chromium include lentils, broccoli, apples, bananas, grains and spices.

 

Cobalt

Cobalt is a trace element that forms part of the structure of vitamin B12 – one of the B vitamins. Good sources of cobalt, Cobalt is found widely in the environment. Good food sources of cobalt include nuts, green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli and spinach and cereals – such as oats

 

Copper

Copper is a trace element that has several important functions. For example, it helps to produce red and white blood cells, and triggers the release of iron to form haemoglobin – the substance that carries oxygen around the body and is thought to be important for infant growth, brain development, the immune system and strong bones. Good sources of copper, include nuts, Spirulina and sesame seeds

Manganese

Manganese is a trace element that helps make and activate some of the enzymes in the body. Good sources of manganese, Manganese is found in a variety of foods, including tea – which is probably the biggest source of manganese for many people, nuts, cereals and green vegetables – such as peas and runner beans.

Molybdenum

Molybdenum is a trace element that helps make and activate some of the enzymes involved in repairing and making genetic material. Good sources of molybdenum, Molybdenum is found in a wide variety of foods. Foods that grow above ground tend to be higher in molybdenum than foods that grow below the ground, such as potatoes or carrots. Good sources of molybdenum include nuts, cereals – such as oats, peas, leafy vegetables – including broccoli and spinachand cauliflower.

 

Nickel

Nickel is a trace element that influences the amount of iron our bodies absorb from foods and may be important in helping to make red blood cells. Good sources of nickel, Nickel is found widely in the environment. Good food sources include nuts, lentils and oats.

 

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral that helps to build strong bones and teeth, and helps to release energy from food. Good sources of phosphorus, Phosphorus is present in many foods. Good sources include brown rice, pumpkin seeds, soybeans, brazil nuts and oats

 

How much phosphorus do I need?

Adults need about 550mg of phosphorus a day, so to take absorption into account you would need about 1100 mg of phosphorus daily. 30g of brazil nuts gives 218mg, 100g of oatmeal gives 500mg and 30g of sunflowers or sunflower cheese gives 198 mg.

Silicon

Silicon is a mineral that helps keep bones and connective tissues healthy. Silicon is known as the “beauty mineral”, silicon promotes youthful, elastic skin and connective tissue throughout the body.  It also therefore reduces wrinkles, improves the strength and thickness of the skin and gives hair and nails a healthy appearance too. Silicon is an essential mineral that is found throughout the body.  Silicon is known for its ability to combine with Calcium, Potassium, and Phosphorus to build strong bones, nails, and teeth.  It is also needed for maintaining a normal rate of hair growth. Silicon-rich foods are nettles, radishes, romaine lettuce, spinach, cucumbers with the peel, bell peppers with the peel, tomatoes with their skin, oats, and baby greens.

 

Good sources of silicon, Silicon is found in high levels in grains such as oats, barley and rice. It's also found in fruit and vegetables and herbs such as nettles and horsetail.

 

How much silicon do I need?

 There is no Defined RDA of Silicon, however for someone with Osteoporosis it is suggested to take 40mg per day. Cooking and peeling vegetables can diminish and destroy silicon content level.

For example

3 bananas is 13mg, 100g oat porridge raw 595mg, 100g Dulse is 36.8mg. Other Foods high in Silicon is Nettle tea, Horsetail Tea and kelp seaweed.

Sodium chloride (salt)

Sodium chloride is commonly known as salt. Sodium and chloride are minerals that are needed by the body in small amounts to help keep the level of fluids in the body balanced. Chloride helps the body to digest food because it's an essential component of the fluids in the stomach and intestines. Sodium is a very important, but often misunderstood, nutrient. The misunderstanding is largely due to the ill health that can arise from its over-consumption. In the West, a large number of foods are processed with sodium, both for preservation and flavor enhancement. And since Western diets tend to contain a LOT of processed foods, sodium overload is a real concern. On the other hand, whole, unprocessed foods tend to contain relatively low amounts of sodium. So, it's important that those who consume a raw vegan diet, in particular, know which foods are the best sources of this key nutrient. Despite sodium's terrible reputation, it is one of the most important nutrients in the human body and crucial to our survival. Sodium is one of the essential electrolytes; it's required for conducting electrical impulses within cellular fluid and the bloodstream. The human body literally cannot function without sodium. Yes, too much sodium can definitely harm one's health by causing hypertension, aka high blood pressure. When one's blood pressure is elevated, the heart has to work harder to move blood throughout the body and there is an increased strain on the arteries and various organs. This is why hypertension often leads to heart attack and stroke. According to WHO (World Health Organization), ischemic cardiomyopathy is the number one cause of death worldwide, and one of its risk factors is high blood pressure; the same goes for the second leading cause of death – stroke. These two ailments have been the top two killers for a very long time now, and it's almost certain that this has led to sodium being vilified in the West, even while the food industry continues to load their processed products with the mineral.

 

 

How much salt do I need? 

You should have no more than 4g / 6g of salt (1500mg – 2300mg of sodium/ 1 Teaspoon) a day. When adding pinches of salt to recipes, 1 pinch is about 147mg of salt so there are about 20 pinches in one teaspoon of salt. Use Himalayan Pink salt.

For example 1 Tablespoon of olives is 61.7 mg of sodium, Most Fruit will have about 1mg of sodium.

Sulphur

Sulphur is a mineral involved in many different processes. For example, it helps to make tissues, such as cartilage. Sulfur is a component of all plant and animal cells, making up approximately 0.25 percent of your total body weight. Because of its ubiquity and a lack of scientific research, there is no recommended daily intake for sulfur. However, the National Academies Food and Nutrition Board suggests that 0.2 to 1.5 grams per day should be enough to meet your body's needs. As most people eat between 3 to 6 grams per day, insufficient dietary sulfur is not a common issue.

Protein Foods: One of sulfur's most important roles is as part of protein molecules. As such, most of the sulfur in your body and your diet is in protein molecules. Protein foods that contain the sulfur amino acids methionine, cystine and cysteine are particularly good dietary sources. Eggs are among the highest dietary sources of sulfur, with meat, poultry and fish also providing large amounts. For vegans and vegetarians, soy products and other legumes are good sources of the sulfur-containing amino acids. Nuts, seeds and grains are also good vegetarian sources of methionine.

 

MSM is Another major source of sulfur in your diet is methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM. This sulfur-containing compound naturally occurs in high concentrations in many plants and herbal remedies, such as horsetail. Plant foods that are typically high in MSM include Brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, asparagus, legumes, kale and wheat germ. However, as the sulfur content of soil influences sulfur concentrations in plants, these foods can vary greatly in their MSM content. Foods that come from animal sources are more reliable in their MSM contents, including eggs, meat, poultry, fish and milk.

 

B Vitamins contain sulphur, Two B vitamins contain large amounts of sulfur. These are thiamin, or vitamin B-1, and biotin, which is also known as vitamin H or vitamin B-7. Thiamin is present in small amounts in a large variety of foods. Some particularly good sources of vitamin B-1 include pork, organ meats, enriched grains, whole grains, legumes, bran and blackstrap molasses. Biotin is present in large amounts in a variety of protein foods, including egg yolks, sardines, nuts and legumes. Other good sources include whole grains, cauliflower, bananas and mushrooms.

 

Benefits and Other Sources

Dietary sulfur helps to improve the health of your joints, skin, hair, nails and connective tissues. It can also slow nerve impulses, potentially helping to reduce pain. According to the National Academies Food and Nutrition Board, sulfur-containing foods typically contribute 3 to 4.5 grams of sulfur to your diet each day -- well above a sufficient daily intake. Your body adds to this by producing approximately 1 gram of sulfur per day. The remaining sulfur in your diet comes from beverages, with most people obtaining between 0.26 and 1.3 grams from the small amounts of sulfur in drinking water. As such, you can obtain large amounts of dietary sulfur even without eating foods that are high in MSM, B vitamins or sulfur-containing amino acids.

How much sulphur do I need?

 There is no specific RDA for sulfur other than the amino acids of which they are part are needed to meet protein requirements. Our needs are usually easily met through diet. About 850 mg. are thought to be needed for basic turnover of sulfur in the body. For example 6 dried dates is 50mg, 5 brazil nuts is 290mg, 1 raw onion is 200g, 25g of dried apricots is 160mg,

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, turnips, bok choy and kohlrabi, are rich sources of sulfur-containing substances known as glucosinolates, which impart a pungent aroma and slightly bitter taste. During food preparation, chewing and digestion, glucosinolates break down into compounds known as indoles and isothiocyanates, which are being studied for possible anti-cancer effects, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Onions are also a great source of sulphur containing 200mg per onion raw.

*Some Info about Red and White Onions (powerful medicine) *

Antioxidant Properties, Overall, red onions contain a higher amount of antioxidant compounds. They are higher in total flavonoids than white onions and yellow onions are considered to be in the middle. Red onions contain 415 to 1917 mg of flavonols compared to yellow ones, which only contain 270 to 1187 mg.

One of the most beneficial compounds in red onions is quercetin, which is a polyphenol compound. Quercetin is a powerful compound which is beneficial for scavenging free radicals in the body. Red onions are also richer in anthocyanins which give them the red/purple color. Red onions were found to contain at least 25 different anthocyanins.

Cancer Fighting, Due to the high amount of antioxidant properties contained in red onions compared to white, red onions provide stronger protection against cancer.

The quercetin and allicin in red onions have been shown to reduce inflammation and be beneficial for both the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Studies have shown that the consumption of onions reduces the risk of stomach, colorectal, oral, laryngeal, esophageal and  ovarian cancer. According to one study, the risk of stomach cancer was reduced by 50% when half an onion was eaten daily.

 

Blood Thinning, Both types of onions have blood thinning properties as they contain a high amount of flavonoids and sulfur compounds. However, red onions are an even more effective natural blood thinner as they are richer in flavonoids, which helps thin the blood.

How To Get The Most Benefit

The level of antioxidant flavonoids has been found to be much higher in the outer most layers of the onion. So make sure not to over peel, those outer layers have the most nutrients. According to a recent study peeling the first two layers of the onion removes 75 % of the antioxidant anthocyanins. Make sure to get enough servings of onions into your diet, it is recommended that individuals eat at least 3 onions every week to get optimal benefits for preventing cancer. For most benefit, make sure to include a variety of onions in your diet, but especially make sure to have at least one red onion a week!

Onion is also a great source of prebiotics 

Prebiotics are a dietary fibre that trigger the growth of bacteria having favourable effects on the intestinal flora. A prebiotic effect occurs when there is an increase in the activity of healthy bacteria in the human intestine. The prebiotics stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the gut and increase resistance to invading pathogens. This effect is induced by consuming functional foods that contain prebiotics. These foods induces metabolic activity, leading to health improvements. Healthy bacteria in the intestine can combat unwanted bacteria, providing a number of health benefits. The most common type of prebiotic is from the soluble dietary fibre inulin.

Inulin is common in many plants containing fructan. Furthermore, many of these plants are frequently eaten as vegetables - asparagus, garlic, leek, onion and artichokes are an excellent source of inulin. Dr. David Perlmutter in his fantastic Brain Maker book suggest we should consume 12 grams of prebiotic daily. To get 12g of prebiotic you would need for example 140g of raw onion , a small onion is 70g, medium is 110g and large is 150g. One Raw Onion per day is a great way to ensure prebiotic intake.

Vitamin A – Carotenoids

Vitamin A is a group of similar molecules that includes retinol, retinal, and retinoic acid. It is an essential nutrient that we need to get from our diets.  It is needed for growth, healthy skin and hair, mucus membranes, digestive juices, our immune system, and also for good eye health and vision.  Its name, retinol or retinal, comes from its abundance in the retina of the eye.  Vitamin A works with vitamin D to normalise immune tolerance and vitamin A deficiency predisposes individuals to gut mucosal damage.1 Vitamin A levels are also important in thyroid health as it is needed for the uptake of Iodine2 and is required for the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) to bind to intracellular receptors.

The most important fact about vitamin A is the difference between retinoid and carotenoids. The vitamin A from animal sources is retinoid, also called retinol, while plant sources of vitamin A is carotenoids, specifically three forms which are α-carotene, b-carotene and β-cryptoxanthin which can be from food or supplements and converted to Retinol. There are three other carotenoids, Lycopene, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin all of which cannot be converted into retinol but also have their own specific role in human health. Whilst fat assists in the absorbtion of carotenoids and conversion to Vitamin A, Fibre can inhibit this process. Whilst cooking some foods can give a higher carotenoid and higher antioxidant level with great absorption and therefore greater conversion to Vitamin A, the heating process will diminish other vitamin properties within the food source such as Vitamin C which unlike the Fat soluable Vitamin A, Vitamin C is water soluable.

a-Carotenoids – converts at a ratio of 1/24 (24mcg of a-carotenoids = 1mcg of retinol)

b-Carotenoids – converts at a ratio of 1/12 (12mcg of b-carotenoids = 1mcg of retinol)

b-Cryptoxanthin – Converts at a ratio of 1/24 (24mcg of b-cryptoxanthin = 1mcg Retinol)

Lycopene – Does not convert to Vitamin A ( Trans-Lycopene / Cis-Lycopene)

Lutein – Does not convert to Vitamin A

Zeaxanthin – Does not convert to Vitamin A

How to Get Enough Vitamin A 

Total Potential Vitamin A from 1 cup of orange juice (5 oranges), 1 cup of carrot juice and 1 cup of spinach juiced is 2798mcg Retinol (Vitamin A) which is 2.8mg (9326 Iu of Vitamin A) – The RDA of Vitamin A is 3000 IU.

Enhance Absorption by

Combining carotene rich foods with Fat (Hemp oil , Avocado, Coconut butter)

Do not Mix carotene rich foods with fibre as this will inhibit absorption (so juiced oranges and carrots are better sources than smoothies for Vitamin A)

For Lycopene you can eat water melon or slow cooked tomatoes and sundried tomatoes for greater absorption

Fermented Vegetables will greatly increase bioavailablility of carotenoids in foods ( ferment spinach, carrot, red and yellow peppers, squash and tomatoes For a high bioavailable mix of carotenoids )

Thiamin (Vitamin B1 )

  • Assists the release of energy from carbohydrates and protein
  • The Metabolism of amino acids
  • The functioning of the nervous system

Daily Intake Recommendations: Men: 1.2 mg
, Women: 1.1 mg Pregnancy: 1.4 mg Breast-feeding: 1.4 mg

Sources: Fortified Vegan Milks, peas, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, beans, lentils, cantaloupes, avocado, and carrot juice. Vitamin B1 is sensitive to heat and diminishes with cooking. For example 100g fresh carrot juice, provides 0.01 milligrams of vitamin B1, One tablespoon of dried spirulina provides 0.17 mg of vitamin B1, or thiamine , One bowl of porridge is 0.30mg of B1 and 100g of sunflower seeds is 1.48 mg of B1.

To ensure sufficient intake of B1. Ensure daily intake of oats, spirulina, and sunflower seeds ( other seeds such as flax)

Read More about B1 Here

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

This water-soluble B vitamin helps convert food to fuel, encourages iron absorption in the intestines, and also enhances the health of hair, skin, muscles, eyes, and the brain . And some research suggests that riboflavin may be effective at combating migraines, too . Riboflavin deficiency is uncommon, but is associated with a sore throat, cracks and sores around the lips, an inflamed “magenta tongue” , and scaly skin . While enormous intake of riboflavin may turn your pee bright yellow (a phenomenon called flavinuria), this side effect is harmless.

What You Need: Men = 1.3mg; Women = 1.1mg per day

Sources: Almonds (0.23 mg per ounce) / roughly 5 oz of almonds (150g)

Niacin ( a.k.a. Vitamin B3 or Nicotinic Acid)

On the lookout for beautiful skin, hair, and red blood cells? Niacin is here to help! Like other water-soluble B vitamins, niacin is essential for converting food into energy. It’s also central for the health of skin, hair, eyes, liver, and the nervous system, and is believed to lower risks of high cholesterol and heart disease . Extreme deficiencies in niacin may lead to pellagra, which is associated with the “the four D’s”: dermatitis (skin irritation), diarrhea, dementia, and death . But don’t overdo it either: Pellagra is exceptionally rare. High doses of niacin can be toxic, and may cause rosy tingling — the so-called “niacin flush” — if doses exceed 50 mg per day .

What You Need: Men = 16 mg; Women = 14 mg per day

Sources: Almond butter 100g = 8mg, chia seed 80g = 13mg, sunflower cheese 250g sunflower seeds = 25.3mg, sundriend tomato 55g = 5.8mg,

Pantothenic Acid (a.k.a. Vitamin B5)

This vitamin is important in food metabolism and helps synthesize neurotransmitters, steroid hormones, red blood cells, and more. Toxicity is virtually nonexistent, and while B5 deficiency is fairly rare (it tends to accompany severe malnutrition) neurologic symptoms such as burning feet.

What You Need: 5 mg (AI) per day

Sources:  Mushrooms (0.52 mg per half cup), sweet potato (0.88 mg per medium potato), avocados (1.99 mg per whole avocado).

Vitamin B6 (a.k.a. pyridoxal, pyridoxine, pyridoxamine)

This essential, water-soluble vitamin flies high above the others. Vitamin B6 helps out with the production of serotonin, a hormone that plays a hand in sleep, appetite, and mood . It also assists with manufacturing red blood cells and steroid hormones, influences cognitive and immune function, and is linked to reducing the risk of heart disease . Diets lacking B6 are rare, but evidence of seizures and other neurologic systems are observed in extreme deficiency. Adverse effects from high doses are primarily seen in people taking supplements, and include pain and numbness in the limbs .

What You Need: 1.3 mg per day

Sources: Bananas (0.43 mg per medium banana),  hazelnuts (0.18 mg per ounce), and cooked spinach (0.44 mg per cup).

Biotin (a.k.a. Vitamin B7 or Vitamin H)

Like the rest of the water-soluble B-complex vitamins, biotin plays a huge role in cell growth and food metabolism . Metabolism is the process by which our bodies covert the food we eat into energy that can then be used to power everything we do, from thinking, to running. Deficiency of this vitamin is extremely rare.

What You Need: 30 mcg per day

Sources: Avocados (2-6 mcg per avocado), 142g almonds = 97mcg, walnuts 125g = 23mcg, Nutritional Yeast tablespoon = 8mcg. cauliflower and raspberries are also good sources.

Folate (B9)

Folate and vitamin B12 were discovered as a result of a frantic search for a cure for megaloblastic anemia—a type of anemia that was particularly prevalent in the late 1870s and early 1880s. If the name folate sounds reminiscent of foliage, that’s because the vitamin was found in dark-green leafies. The term “folic” is from the Latin folium meaning leaf. While it was initially found in greens, it actually occurs in a variety of foods.The terms folic acid and folate are not interchangeable. Folic acid, the form in supplements and fortified foods, refers to the vitamin’s oxidized form. Folate, however, refers to the compounds reduced form that’s naturally present in foods and biological tissues.

Folate is made up of three parts, each of which has to be present for it to exert vitamin activity. In case you’re interested:

  1. Pteridine or pterin (2-amino-4-hydroxypteridine)
  2. Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
  3. Glutamic acid—metabolically active folate actually has multiple glutamic acid residues attached. These would be referred to as pteroylpolyglutamates.

Humans can actually synthesize all of the above components, but we lack the conjugase enzyme needed to couple pterin to PABA to make pteroic acid. As with most vitamins, folate can take many forms in food. While there are a handful of variants commonly found in food, over 150 have been reported. The main pteroylpolyglutamates found in foods are 5-methyl tetrahydrofolate (THF) and 10-formyl THF—the forms that fulfill most metabolic roles. Pteroylpolyglutamate is also the form of folic acid provided in fortified foods and supplements.

Plant-Based Sources of Folate

  1. Greens. As for plant sources, folate is found most notably in dark green leafies like spinach, turnips, and collard greens. Spinach provides about 52.8 mcg or 15% DV per 1 cup.8
  2. Legumes. For example, pinto beans and black beans, lentils, lima beans, and kidney beans. Pinto beans (1/2 cup) provide 72 mcg or 18% DV.9
  3. Brussels sprouts. 1 cup provides 53.7 mcg or 13% DV.10
  4. Asparagus. 1 cup provides 69.7 mcg or 17% DV.11
  5. Broccoli. 1 cup, chopped, provides 57.3 mcg or 14% DV.12
  6. Okra. ½ cup provides 36.8 mcg or 9% DV.13
  7. Peanuts. 1 oz. provides 40.6 mcg or 10% DV.14
  8. Fruits. For example, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, and banana. 1 cup of strawberries provides 36.5 mcg or 9% DV.15
  9. Enriched bread. 1 large slice of commercially-prepared bread contains 33.3 mcg or 8% DV.

Supplements

I mentioned above that folic acid is the form used in supplements and fortified foods. Often, synthetic nutrients are less effective than those found in whole foods (vitamin E, etc.). Well, folic acid is an exception, as it’s almost 100% bioavailable, especially if you consume it on an empty stomach.5

If consumed with natural sources of folate, the bioavailability of folic acid drops to about 85% which is still really good considering that folate bioavailability from a mixed diet is closer to 50%, on average, though it can vary from 10% to 98%.

Vitamin B12:

Another water-soluble B vitamin, vitamin B12 offers a helping hand in the metabolism of fatty acids and amino acids, cell creation, and the protection of nerve cells , and also may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s . Keep B12 close when it gets to those later, grey-haired years: deficiencies are common in the elderly and may cause memory loss, dementia, and anemia . Toxicities are not observed, and vegetarians and vegans do need to supplement with B12. B12 also protects the nervous system and without it permanent damage can result (e.g., blindness, deafness, dementia). Fatigue and tingling in the hands or feet are often the early signs.

Vitamin B12, like folate (aka folic acid), is needed to help red blood cells divide. In some cases, vegans may get so much folate that even with B12 deficiency, their blood cells continue to divide properly. But in other cases, a vitamin B12-deficient vegans’ blood cells will fail to divide properly and they’ll become fatigued due to macrocytic anemia, also known as aka megaloblastic anemia anemia.

What You Need: 2.4 mcg per day - 10mcg per day ( to ensure optimum absorption). B12 Methylamonic Acid test can test for proper B12 absorption which can be impaired if there is a lack of the protein called intrinsic factor which converts b12 to its useable form in the stomach. Intrinic factor protein can be impacted by autoimmune disease. Another test can be a Homocysteine test as homocysteine is a byproduct of protein metabolism that the body clears with the help of vitamin B12. Elevated homocysteine is a sign of B12 deficiency and high levels of homocysteine are linked with increased risks of dementia, heart disease, and stroke.

Active and Inactive Analogues

Vitamin B12 is a coenzyme: it is needed for enzymes to do their job of changing one molecule into another. As vitamins go, B12 is large. One part of its structure is known as the corrin nucleus, which holds an atom of cobalt. The corrin resembles the heme of hemoglobin which holds an atom of iron. Any molecule that contains a corrin nucleus is considered a corrinoid. The corrin plus other atoms make up the cobalamin part of B12. There are many different cobalamins and they are named after their attachments. For example, methylcobalamin is cobalamin with a methyl group (one carbon and three hydrogens) attached. Only two cobalamins are active as coenzymes in the human body: adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin. The body has the ability to convert at least some other cobalamins into one of these active forms.

Cyanocobalamin (a cyanide molecule attached to a cobalamin) is the form most often found in supplements and fortified foods because it is the most stable form of B12. The cyanide in cyanocobalamin is in amounts small enough not to be harmful to anyone except possibly those with cyanide metabolism defects.

Most people readily convert cyanocobalamin into one of the B12 coenzymes. Hydroxocobalamin is also common in foods and the body; it can be converted into a B12 coenzyme. There is a complex process and best to get tested regularly and ensure correct supplementation.

There are basically three B12 analogue transport proteins:

  • Intrinsic Factor – Facilitates uptake of B12 analogues into the intestinal cells in the ileum. Has a low affinity for many inactive analogues.
  • Transcobalamin – Facilitates uptake of B12 analogues into all cells in the body. Has a low affinity for many inactive analogues.
  • Haptocorrin – Facilitates uptake of B12 analogues into the liver cells. Has a high affinity for many inactive analogues.

Haptocorrin delivers B12 analogues to the liver where the inactive analogues are excreted in the urine and feces. Active B12 is released back into the blood, where it is taken to cells by transcobalamin.

Sources: Suppliment, Nutritional yeast

Read More about B12 Science here

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in food and used as a dietary supplement. The disease scurvy is prevented and treated with vitamin C-containing foods or dietary supplements.Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is abundant in vegetables and fruits. A water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant, it helps the body form and maintain connective tissue, including bones, blood vessels, and skin.Vitamin C helps to repair and regenerate tissues, protect against heart disease, aid in the absorption of iron, prevent scurvy, and decrease total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides. Research indicates that vitamin C may help protect against a variety of cancers by combating free radicals, and helping neutralize the effects of nitrites (preservatives found in some packaged foods that may raise the risk of certain forms of cancer). Supplemental vitamin C may also lessen the duration and symptoms of a common cold, help delay or prevent cataracts, and support healthy immune function.

Deficiency symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, joint and muscle aches, bleeding gums, and leg rashes. Prolonged deficiency can cause scurvy, a rare but potentially severe illness.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended vitamin C daily allowance (RDA) is:

Men, 90 mg per day
Women, 75 mg per day

Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is easy to get through foods, as many fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C. Good sources include: apples, asparagus, berries, broccoli, cabbage, melon (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon), cauliflower, citrus fruits (lemons, limes, oranges), kiwi, fortified foods (breads, grains, cereal), dark leafy greens (kale, spinach), peppers (especially red bell peppers, which have among the highest per-serving vitamin C content), potatoes, and tomatoes.

100g of the following foods showing the amount of vitamin C 

Dried Coriander - 566.7mg (630% DV)
Hot Green Chili Peppers - 242.5mg (269% DV)
Guavas - 228.3mg (254% DV)
Dried Jujube - 217.6mg (242% DV)
Sweet Yellow Peppers - 183.5mg (204% DV)
Dried Litchis - 183mg (203% DV)
European Black Currants - 181mg (201% DV)
Cooked Red Bell Peppers - 171mg (190% DV)
Thyme (Fresh) - 160.1mg (178% DV)
Red Chili Peppers - 143.7mg (160% DV)
Parsley - 133mg (148% DV)

Vitamin D

This essential fat-soluble vitamin — which is vital for normal calcium metabolism, immunity, nervous system function, and bone density. Chronic deficiency puts you at risk for osteoporosis later in life. Make sure your diet shines with vitamin D (especially in the winter) to keep your bones healthy and reduce risks of cancer . Vitamin D has become the new superstar of the vitamin world. It was not so long ago that vitamin D was associated only with bone health and the prevention of rickets and osteoporosis. Over the past decade, the evidence that vitamin D plays a far greater role in health, has escalated. Research suggests that vitamin D may protect against numerous forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and gum disease. Vitamin D is unique relative to all other vitamins. It is a hormone which has receptors in cells throughout the body. We are just beginning to understand the critical roles this special nutrient plays in health and disease. It impacts body cells, bones, muscles, and other hormones, and it affects the nervous system and immune system. Vitamin D can be made by exposure to warm sunshine or other sources of UV light (UV lamps). Unfortunately, for many people, exposure to sunlight has dwindled to such an extent that our vitamin D production has been seriously compromised.

What You Need: 15 mcg per day - (600 Iu)

Sources: Supplementation needed for Raw vegans or also fortified raw nut milks. A great Supplement from herb is Vitamin D3 from Garden of Life

Lichen is the only vegan source of Vitamin D3. A lichen is not a single organism. Rather, it is a symbiosis between different organisms - a fungus and an alga or cyanobacterium. Cyanobacteria are sometimes still referred to as 'blue-green algae', though they are quite distinct from the algae. The non-fungal partner contains chlorophyll and is called the photobiont.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is more than an antioxidant. Growing evidence supports specific roles for the different forms of vitamin E. For example, recent research demonstrates gamma tocopherol to be capable of blocking the activity of an enzyme involved in producing cellular mediators of inflammation (prostaglandins), which can lead to disease. Other tocopherols, including the more popular alpha, are largely ineffective in this context. Alpha tocotrienol has now been shown in cell culture experiments to protect cells of the nervous system from the degenerative action created by the overproduction of the neurotransmitter, glutamate. This chemical, better known as monosodium glutamate, is used as a food enhancer and is infamous for its reputation as the agent responsible for the Chinese restaurant syndrome (bad headaches, etc.) in those who consume too much of it. Normally, an excess of this neurotransmitter activates a neurotoxic enzyme (12-LOX). Tocotrienol, in very small amounts, stops this toxic enzyme in its tracks, thus potentially protecting the nervous tissue.

What You Need: 15 mg per day

Sources:  olive oil (1.9 mg per tablespoon), canola oil (2.4 mg per tablespoon), almonds (7.4 mg per ounce), avocados (2.7 mg per avocado), and hazelnuts (4.3 mg per ounce).

What’s Too Much: 1,000 mg

Vitamin Conversion charts 

Vitamin A: 1 IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 mcg retinol, or of 0.6 mcg beta-carotene
Vitamin C: 1 IU is 50 mcg L-ascorbic acid
Vitamin D: 1 IU is the biological equivalent of 0.025 mcg cholecalciferol or ergocalciferol
Vitamin E: 1 IU is the biological equivalent of about 0.67 mg d-alpha-tocopherol, or 0.9 mg of dl-alpha-tocopherol.

Vitamin K

Phylloquinone or Menaquinone, formerly K1 and K2 is fine for maintaining human vitamin K status. The recommended intake is about 100 mcg. Not to be confused with its mineral chum potassium (which is also noted as a “K” on the periodic table), this essential fat-soluble vitamin is a must for normal wound healing and bone development . K is for “koagulation,” the German word for coagulation, or clotting. While blood clots sound menacing, consider the importance of scabs, which are simply patches of clotted blood to protect cuts and scrapes . Ladies taking birth control pills should be careful with overconsumption of vitamin K, as a combination of the birth control pill and excess Vitamin K could put you at risk for unwanted clots . Deficiencies in vitamin K include easy bruisability, bleeding, nosebleeds, and heavy menstrual periods.

What You Need: Men = 120 mcg; Women = 90 mcg (AI) per day

Sources : Attain the RDA with cooked broccoli (220 mcg per cup), kale (547 mcg per cup), parsley (246 mcg per ¼ cup), and Swiss chard (299 mcg per cup). High sources of K2 are found in Tempeh & Natto. Add fats to vitamin K sources to increase bio absorption similar to vitamin A.

Choline

Choline is a nutrient commonly grouped with B-vitamins. Choline has a variety of functions: It is part of cell membranes, helps nerves function properly, plays a role in liver function, is linked to our memory and mood, and may work with folic acid during pregnancy for the development of a baby’s brain and nervous system.Choline is an essential nutrient that is naturally present in some foods and available as a dietary supplement. Choline is a source of methyl groups needed for many steps in metabolism. The body needs choline to synthesize phosphatidylcholine and sphingomyelin, two major phospholipids vital for cell membranes. Therefore, all plant and animal cells need choline to preserve their structural integrity. In addition, choline is needed to produce acetylcholine, an important neurotransmitter for memory, mood, muscle control, and other brain and nervous system functions [1-3]. Choline also plays important roles in modulating gene expression, cell membrane signaling, lipid transport and metabolism, and early brain development.

Humans can produce choline endogenously in the liver, mostly as phosphatidylcholine, but the amount that the body naturally synthesizes is not sufficient to meet human needs. As a result, humans must obtain some choline from the diet. Premenopausal women might need less choline from the diet than children or other adults because estrogen induces the gene that catalyzes the biosynthesis of choline [4]. When a diet is deficient in folate, a B-vitamin that is also a methyl donor, the need for dietary choline rises because choline becomes the primary methyl donor.

Choline status is not routinely measured in healthy people. In healthy adults, the concentration of choline in plasma ranges from 7 to 20 mcmol/L. According to one study, the range is 7–9.3 mcmol/L in fasting adults . Plasma choline levels do not decline below 50% of normal, even in individuals who have not eaten for more than a week. This may be due to the hydrolysis of membrane phospholipids, a source of choline, to maintain plasma choline concentrations above this minimal level, or to endogenous synthesis.

Food Sources of Choline

The body naturally makes choline in the liver, but it is not enough to meet our recommended intake. Eating a well-balanced vegetarian diet with a wide variety of whole foods should will help you get most of the nutrients your body needs. Although eggs and meat tend to be the highest sources of choline, it is found in a wide range of plant foods in smaller amounts. It is important for vegans to carefully consider prioritizing foods that are good sources of Choline.

*Ensuring daily intake of some of the following : beans, soy products such as tofu, soy milk, miso, natto and tempeh, broccoli, peas, quinoa, nuts and oranges. And of course ensuring adequate intake of folate , B12 and amino acid methionine ( found in oats, sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts) so the body can also produce choline.*

CoQ10

Coenzyme Q10 is an essential chemical that the body produces naturally. A deficiency of this chemical can have adverse effects, and coenzyme Q10 supplements may offer health benefits. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that the body produces naturally and stores in components of the cell called mitochondria. It has associations with energy, protecting cells, and providing heart benefits. CoQ10 plays a few critical roles in the body. For example, the body's cells need this compound to produce the energy that allows them to function. As an antioxidant, CoQ10 also protects the cells in the body by neutralizing free radicals, which reduces oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress can cause tissue damage, inflammation, and cellular apoptosis, or cell death. There are links between oxidative stress and a range of disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Naturally occurring levels of CoQ10 decrease with age. Scientists have identified associations between CoQ10 deficiency and heart disease and cancer. There is currently not enough evidence to support using CoQ10 to either prevent or treat cancer or Parkinson's disease. However, it might help treat certain heart conditions and prevent migraines. Researchers have also looked at the effects of CoQ10 on a variety of other conditions, but the results are inconclusive. These conditions include ALS, Down syndrome, Huntington's disease, and male infertility.

Omega 3

There are three main omega-3s – EPA, DHA and ALA. EPA and DHA are the primary omega-3s you need to support heart health and can be found in seaweed supplements or our bodies convert ALA to EPA & DHA. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) is a true “essential” omega-3 because our bodies can’t make it on its own. We need to get ALA from our diet by consuming ALA-rich foods like flax and chia seeds. ALA is a precursor to EPA and DHA, but the conversion rate in our bodies is extremely low – often less than 1 percent of ALA is converted to EPA and DHA. The long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA are known for supporting heart, brain and eye health at all stages of life. In fact, our heart, brain and eyes contain the highest omega-3 content compared to other parts of the human body. The human body does not produce significant amounts of EPA or DHA on its own, so you must get these important nutrients from the foods you eat and the supplements you consume. If you’re looking to get the heart health benefits of omega-3s, go straight to the source of EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA are naturally found in marine sources such as marine algae.

Plant Sources of Omega-3s

Flax, a relatively new term to most health-conscious individuals, has a much longer history than one would expect. Archaeologists date the consumption of flax back to 9,000 BC. In 650 BC, Hippocrates wrote of flax's value in the treatment of abdominal pains. And in the 8th century, the medieval King Charlemagne was so convinced of flax's importance to good health that he passed laws requiring his subjects to consume it regularly. This blue-flowered crop has proven to be quite versatile. Flax is used to make linen and fine quality papers, as lamp oil and as an ingredient in a variety of food products and supplements. The use of flax in the diet is showing more and more promise in many health conditions like cancer, arthritis, diabetes and menopause. Even more promising is the role of flax in helping the fight against heart disease.

There are three main types of digestive enzymes:

Proteases: Break down protein into small peptides and amino acids.
Lipases: Break down fat into three fatty acids plus a glycerol molecule.
Amylases: Break down carbs like starch into simple sugars.

Other Enzymes :

Protein-Digesting Enzymes
Bromelain
Papain
Peptidase
Protease (high pH) [Dairy Digesting]
Protease (low pH) [Dairy Digesting]
Protease (mid pH) [Dairy Digesting]
Protease (neutral pH) [Dairy Digesting]

Carbohydrate-Digesting Enzymes
alpha-Galactosidase
Amylase
beta-Glucanase
Cellulase
Glucoamylase
Hemicellulase
Invertase
Lactase [Dairy Digesting]
Maltase
Pectinase
Phytase
Xylanase

The enzyme theory premise, that there is a limited amount of digestive enzymes in the body and that we cannot make digestive enzymes to reboot supplies, lacks scientific evidence. Researchers have found that instead, the body conserves digestive enzymes by reabsorbing, recycling, and reusing them. In addition, the contribution of raw food enzymes to the total digestive process is quite small. For example, amylase activity in a glass of carrot juice is 20-30 U/L whereas amylase in saliva is 200,000 U/L. If we had to rely on food enzymes alone, without digestive enzymes, “we would starve to death in short order.”From a scientific perspective, the enzyme theory appears rather weak. However, this does not mean that an individual cannot be greatly benefited from eating more raw food. Raw plant foods provide an amazing array of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants. In fact, there are a couple of enzymes that stand out when dealing with cancer.

Myrosinase is an enzyme found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and even radishes. Myrosinase converts specific phytochemicals into active forms which are absorbed into the blood stream and are known to inhibit cancer growth and kill cancer cells in the body.

Allinase in allium vegetables like onion and garlic converts the phytochemical alliin to an active form possessing antimicrobial, antithrombotic, lipid lowering, antiarthritic, and anticancer activities. This conversion occurs when the plant has been juiced, blended, mashed, chopped, or chewed. Cooking these foods destroys much or all of these two enzymes. The anticancer potential of consuming these raw foods is exciting.

Amino Acids & Essential Amino Acids :

Amino acids are organic compounds composed of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, along with a variable side chain group. Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Though all 20 of these are important for your health, only nine amino acids are classified as essential. These are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine. Unlike nonessential amino acids, essential amino acids can’t be made by your body and must be obtained through your diet. It is thought that The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins like meat, eggs and poultry however we are many vegan sources which are complete proteins and in a much more natural easily absorbable state. When you eat protein, it’s broken down into amino acids, which are then used to help your body with various processes such as building muscle and regulating immune function .

The nine essential amino acids perform a number of important and varied jobs in your body:

  1. Phenylalanine: Phenylalanine is a precursor for the neurotransmitters tyrosine, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. It plays an integral role in the structure and function of proteins and enzymes and the production of other amino acids. ( Pumpkin seeds, Tempeh, hemp seeds, buckwheat,  almonds )
  2. Valine: Valine is one of three branched-chain amino acids, meaning it has a chain branching off to one side of its molecular structure. Valine helps stimulate muscle growth and regeneration and is involved in energy production. ( oats, tempeh, nuts, seeds, buckwheat)
  3. Threonine: Threonine is a principal part of structural proteins such as collagen and elastin, which are important components of the skin and connective tissue. It also plays a role in fat metabolism and immune function. ( Tempeh, buckwheat, spirulina, chlorella, pea protein)
  4. Tryptophan: Though often associated with causing drowsiness, tryptophan has many other functions. It’s needed to maintain proper nitrogen balance and is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your appetite, sleep and mood. (Sesame seeds, seaweed, buckwheat, tempeh, mushrooms, leafy veg, walnuts)
  5. Methionine: Methionine plays an important role in metabolism and detoxification. It’s also necessary for tissue growth and the absorption of zinc and selenium, minerals that are vital to your health. ( tempeh, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, oats)
  6. Leucine: Like valine, leucine is a branched-chain amino acid that is critical for protein synthesis and muscle repair. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, stimulates wound healing and produces growth hormones. (Tempeh, buckwheat, legumes)
  7. Isoleucine: The last of the three branched-chain amino acids, isoleucine is involved in muscle metabolism and is heavily concentrated in muscle tissue. It’s also important for immune function, hemoglobin production and energy regulation.(Tempeh, buckwheat)
  8. Lysine: Lysine plays major roles in protein synthesis, hormone and enzyme production and the absorption of calcium. It’s also important for energy production, immune function and the production of collagen and elastin. (Pumpkin, tempeh, buckwheat)
  9. Histidine: Histidine is used to produce histamine, a neurotransmitter that is vital to immune response, digestion, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles. It’s critical for maintaining the myelin sheath, a protective barrier that surrounds your nerve cells. (Tempeh, Buckwheat, spirulina, lentils, almonds)

As you can see, essential amino acids are at the core of many vital processes. Though amino acids are most recognized for their role in muscle development and repair, the body depends on them for so much more.That’s why essential amino acid deficiencies can negatively impact your entire body including your nervous, reproductive, immune and digestive systems.

The US recommended daily allowances per 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of body weight for the nine essential amino acids are:

  • Histidine: 14 mg
  • Isoleucine: 19 mg
  • Leucine: 42 mg
  • Lysine: 38 mg
  • Methionine (+ the non-essential amino acid cysteine): 19 mg
  • Phenylalanine (+ the non-essential amino acid tyrosine): 33 mg
  • Threonine: 20 mg
  • Tryptophan: 5 mg
  • Valine: 24 mg

Soy, quinoa and buckwheat are plant-based foods that contain all nine essential amino acids, making them complete protein sources as well. Other plant-based sources of protein like beans and nuts are considered incomplete, as they lack one or more of the essential amino acids. However, if you’re following a plant-based diet, you can still ensure proper intake of all essential amino acids as long as you eat a variety of plant proteins each day. For example, choosing a variety of incomplete proteins such as beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables can ensure that your essential amino acid needs are met, even if you choose to exclude animal products from your diet.

Fibre

Vegan diets, rich in vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes are much more likely to easily yield the amount and kind of fiber your body needs to maintain good digestive health. ... Peas, beans and apples contain soluble fiber, which slows digestion and helps the body absorb nutrients from food.Fiber is an important part of our diets and most people simply aren’t getting enough of it. Fiber is essential to the body’s digestive system and it helps to expel toxins from the intestines and the bowels. Fiber is actually a type of carbohydrate that the body doesn’t digest, but instead, passes to help to clear out some of the unhealthy junk we’ve been eating. The two types of fibers include soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers absorb water from the body and helps move waste. Soluble fiber is related to lowering cholesterol levels and slowing digestion, which keeps our energy levels stable and helps to control our hunger. Inulin and psyllium are commonly used forms of soluble fiber but they differ in many ways. One of the main benefits of adding soluble fiber to your diet is that it adds bulk to stool, helping to relieve constipation. Soluble fiber absorbs excess water in your digestive tract, helping to prevent loose watery stools. Increasing your soluble fiber intake also aids in controlling your cholesterol and blood glucose levels, the University of Maryland Medical Center notes. Psyllium is more effective in these aspects because it does not get broken down by intestinal bacteria. Insoluble fiber helps to prevent constipation by fermenting and creating bacteria, which makes it bulky and helps to clean our digestive tract from leftovers.

The recommended daily intake of fiber for women hovers between 21 and 25 grams of fiber per day, while for men it’s 30 to 38 grams per day.

Raspberries - Fiber: 8 grams per cup, raw.

Blackberries - Fiber: 7.6 grams per cup, raw.

Avocados- Fiber: 6.7 grams per half, raw.

Pears - Fiber: 5.5 grams per medium fruit, raw.

Nuts & Seeds: 1/4 cup = 2.5 grams of fibre

Tips to Add More Fiber to Any Meal

Add flaxseed meal to oats, smoothies, yogurt, A two-tablespoon serving contains 3.8 grams of fiber and a dose of omega-3 fatty acids. Chia seeds have a whopping 5.5 grams of fiber per tablespoon. When they meet with water, they form a goopy gel that is great for thickening smoothies, making healthy puddings, or replacing eggs in cakes and cookies. Refer to the Medicinal Cookies recipe in week 6 module notes which contain both organic Psyllium fiber and organic Inulin powder.

Hesperidin

Hesperidin is a compound in orange peels that gives the flavonoid hesperitin to the body, and this flavonoid mediates most benefits of hesperidin including an increase in circulation and possible brain protective effects. Hesperidin, alongside naringenin, are known as the main citrus flavonoids.

Hesperidin is a bioflavonoid glycoside commonly found in citrus fruits (most notoriously oranges) and is a sugar-bound form of the flavonoid hesperitin. Hesperitin is known to mediate the actions of hesperidin in the body, and since hesperidin needs to progress to the colon to be 'released' by intestinal bacteria it acts as a time-release for hesperitin; one serving of hesperidin seems to increased blood levels for over the course of a day or so when consumed in this manner.

If we are to look currently at the human evidence on orally ingested hesperidin, it appears to promote blood flow (minorly to moderately) and may have a weak influence on blood pressure while it is pretty much ineffective on cholesterol and triglycerides. Not much other human evidence exists aside from the cardiovascular parameters mentioned above, and it seems pretty weak at improving parameters of diabetes as well (with exception to the eyes, diabetic retinopathy, as preliminary evidence suggests that hesperidin is quite protective of them).

That being said, in animal studies oral intake of hesperidin at a dose similar to that used in humans seems to be a very potent cardioprotection agent and is quite protective of the brain in response to various stressors; the protection is antioxidative in nature, but it seems to work through a currently not identified antioxidant responses from the genome. Aside from the protective effects (most notable in the heart and brain, but extend to every organ), hesperidin may be able to reduce a lack of appetite and have minor anti-allergic properties.

Orange peels can actually be used to get the supplemental dosage of hesperidin seen in the human studies. Dr. Brant Cortright suggests the following Bioflavonoids (Quercitin, Hesperidin, Apigenin, Diosmin) which encourages Neurogenesis or the formation of new brain cells.

Why are Cruciferous Vegetables so important?

Because they contain a isothiocyanate called Glucoraphanin which when exposed to the enzyme Myrosinase coverts to a powerful antioxidant called
Sulforaphane. Broccoli Sprouts is The Ultimate Cruciferous Vegetable for Sulforaphane Benefits.

Sulforaphane Benefits:

Sulforaphane Protects the Gastrointestinal Tract(GI)
Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Skin
Sulforaphane Improves Immune System Function
Sulforaphane Promotes Weight Loss
Sulforaphane Encourages Fully Body Detoxification
Sulforaphane Reduces Autoimmune/General Inflammation
Sulforaphane Promotes Hair Growth
Sulforaphane Supports Healthy Liver Function
Sulforaphane Combats Cancer
Sulforaphane Lowers Bad Cholesterol
Sulforaphane Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Sulforaphane Helps Control Diabetes
Sulforaphane Acts as an Antiviral
Sulforaphane Fights Fungal and Bacterial Infections
Sulforaphane Slows Down Degenerative Disorders
Sulforaphane Turbocharges Cognitive Function
Sulforaphane Combats Depression/Anxiety
Sulforaphane Can Reduce the Symptoms of Autism
Sulforaphane May Help Asthma Sufferers
Sulforaphane Alleviates Bladder Dysfunction
Sulforaphane Promotes Healthy Eye Function
Sulforaphane is Great for Bone Formation + Density
Sulforaphane Improves Arthritis Symptoms
Sulforaphane Shields the Kidneys from Disease
Sulforaphane Facilitates a Healthy Pregnancy

Glutathione - Critical Master Detoxifier:

Glutathione (GSH) is a tripeptide of cysteine, glutamate, and glycine. These amino acids made the synthesis of GSH possible and act as a major cellular antioxidant in the body. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant produced in humans, plants, animals, fungi and some bacteria. Glutathione is capabe of preventing damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species such as free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides and heavy metals. Glutathione is one of our bodies most important antioxidant, made up of three amino acids: Glutamine, glycine and cysteine. Sulfur is important for producing glutathione such as that found in onions, garlic and cruciferous vegetables. Vitamin C also plays a role in glutathione maintenance levels. N-acetyl L-cysteine (NAC) helps to replenish intracellular glutathione, a vital cellular antioxidant. NAC has a low molecular weight and is well absorbed via oral administration. NAC is a glutathione precursor that has been used in therapeutic practices for several decades. It has long been used to support healthy mucous production in a subset of patients and to support liver function.

The GSH blood test will test for glutathione levels in body, to determine your body's ability to detoxify. A blood test to check CRP (C-reative protein) - will tell you the inflammation level of your body which may indicate a lack of glutathione.

Increase glutathione with:

Vitamin C
Selenium
Milk thistle
Onions/garlic
Cabbage/broccoli
Avocado/spinach
Aerobic exercise
Weight lifting
Turmeric extract
Good sleep
Avoid alcohol

By | 2019-05-21T18:35:49+01:00 May 21st, 2019|Blog|Comments Off on Nutritional Science Summary
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