Concerns over being vegan/vegetarian

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Mad Bard
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What about the nutrients and vitamins in plants? How do we absorb those if we cannot actually digest plants?
Our bodies can digest that which is digestible while allowing the fibre to carry waste substances through harmlessly. We can and do digest plants. Omnivores do too, otherwise they would have serious nutrition deficiencies.
 

shyvas

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Vitamins are absorbed in the body during the digestion process. If you are eating carrots, butternut squash, spinach and dried apricots, you shouldn't be worried about vitamin A.
 
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drummerboy

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Vitamins are absorbed in the body during the digestion process. If you are eating carrots, butternut squash, spinach and dried apricots, you shouldn't be worried about vitamin A.

Ok thanks, yes, eat plenty of those veg. Funnily enough I bought a packed of dried apricots a few days ago. Haven't had them for years.
 
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drummerboy

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Our bodies can digest that which is digestible while allowing the fibre to carry waste substances through harmlessly. We can and do digest plants. Omnivores do too, otherwise they would have serious nutrition deficiencies.

Thanks for the reply. I guess I've been listening to a few too many carnivores.......it's difficult when so many of them claim to be in optimum health and cured of all kinds of ailments and diseases just by eating meat.
 
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feather

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@drummerboy I'm going to point to nutritionfacts.org as well to get the scientific facts on fiber and algal oil.

Fiber acts as a broom in your gut, sweeping out, all the toxins, waste products, extra hormones, that your liver and kidneys filter out of your system and put into your gut to be pooped out. Check out the study of poop in paleolithic times. (yes really) If you don't get enough fiber, those toxins, waste products, and hormones recycle in your systems and your organs have to filter it out again. Learn the basic biology of what your small intestine does to help you absorb nutrients and what your large intestine does to get rid of waste. The body is a miraculous thing given the right fuels. Plants.

Check out the nutritionfacts.org on eye health and absorbing vitamins from plants and how much better that is for eye health than taking refined vitamins which don't give the same benefits of whole food plant based foods.

Take a break from the constant onslaught of questioning and arguing and learn about it. Learn about it for yourself first.
 

Lou

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Piling on here.
Brian and Feather are absolutely correct but I'm going to back up a bit and give you a little bit of the bigger picture.

Oh and by the way, anyone who says plants are indigestible is lacking both knowledge and common sense. That a nicer way of saying that they are stupid and Not worth paying attention to.

There are basically two kinds of cells in the the world. Animal cells and plant cells. Plant cells are different from animal cells in a few different ways. One of those ways is that plants cells, and only plant cells, have cell walls.

The thing you need to know is that cell walls are made of cellulose. Cellulose Is Undigestible. Once cellulose is out of the plant and inside our guts we call it fiber. Maybe a common mistake is to think that since the cell wall is undigestible the nutrients are locked inside. This is a mistake on several levels.

Our stomach acids and the mechanical digestive processes of our stomach and mouth break down the cell walls and release the nutrients inside.

Also maybe the term undigestible is too broad. Bacteria in the gut Do digest cellulose. Non-herbivores don't get much out of this but herbivores have more complex digestive systems and can basically live on cellulose.

Not to confuse you but the breaking down of the cell wall is not absolute. Take a look at your poop. Sometimes you can discern pieces of peas or carrots or peanuts. These are plant based things that didn't get digested. (lesson one - chew your food better- cows know this)

Two more little details. Since only plants have cell walls (cellulose), only plants have fiber. no animal based foods have fiber. And fiber is necessary.

Cellulose is a type of carbohydrate. When bacteria in a cows gut breaks down cellulose it releases sugar. I know that in our guts we have bacteria breaking down cellulose too. I'm not sure about the science here: does our gut bacteria produce more sugar than they can use?

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Not sure about the vitamin A thing. I know there are two forms of Vitamin A and its important in picking out vitamins. but I think that plants only have the good kind. I'm pretty sure there is someone in the forum who knows more about this and I expect her to fill us in shortly.

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I'm also pretty sure the fish oil thing is backwards too. Algae oil is fine.
 

feather

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To do a search on google for science and medical studies through nutritionfacts.org, just google "eye health vision nutritionfacts.org". There's so much available, all backed up with medical studies, in blogs and video's easily pages of reading and 20 or so videos spanning the past 10 or so years. eye health vision nutritionfacts.org - Google Search

If you are looking for algae oil, then "nutritionfacts.org algae oil"
 
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Lou

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Take a break from the constant onslaught of questioning and arguing and learn about it. Learn about it for yourself first.

Mostly agree with you. definitely good advice from the mental health standpoint.
However ( of course I have a however), Debate (and auguring) can be enlightening and sharpening.

You still have to do your own research and not just take the word of the peeps on Facebook. But maybe the peeps on FB can send you down some paths that hadn't occurred to you.

For instance @drummerboy , a little googling on your part would have revealed this articles. although I appreciate that you took your questions to the VF.

I've included a small expert for each link.

"Because your body cannot digest fiber, it doesn't provide calories for energy or nutrients for cells. Despite this fact, fiber provides health benefits and is an important part of a nutritious diet."


"Plants do not contain vitamin A, but many dark-green or dark-yellow plants (including the famous carrot) contain carotenoids such as beta-carotene that serve as provitamins because they are converted within the intestinal mucosa to retinol during absorption."

"the percentage of omega-3s in microalgae is comparable to that of various fish"
 

feather

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Cellulose is a type of carbohydrate. When bacteria in a cows gut breaks down cellulose it releases sugar. I know that in our guts we have bacteria breaking down cellulose too. I'm not sure about the science here: does our gut bacteria produce more sugar than they can use?
Well, there are different kinds of gut bacteria, some kinds specialize in digesting meat or eggs or dairy, some kinds specialize in eating plant foods, and notably bacteria of digesting legumes, or the brassica family. Someone that doesn't eat brassicas for a long time then eats them, has undigested brassicas fermenting in the colon, producing, yes, you guessed it GAS. Same with legumes. As you feed the 'good bacteria', let's say the legume bacteria, at first you'll get gas, then the bacteria recognizes it has too much available 'sugar=fuel', so it starts to multiply. As you eat more legumes the bacteria that digests legumes becomes a larger proportion of the bacteria in the gut. The gas problem is reduced and your gut is healthier. The survival of the bacteria is dependent on its food source, or more specifically, YOUR food sources, your choices.
 
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silva

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Please educate yourself of nutrition!
There are certain vitamins iron protein that carnivores do need formulated. We are NOT carnivores, and prices vitamin a, minerals from plants, and all the amino acids.
It is the oil from fish that retains mercury and heavy metals. Algae does not, and is bio available and clean.
Now the fiber thing- there are quack pots who think humans should eat no fiber. Enough said
 

Lou

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Now the fiber thing- there are quack pots who think humans should eat no fiber. Enough said
yes. but keep in mind that an early study on Eskimos found that they were very healthy and hardly ate any plants. So I suppose there is out there somewhere the Eskimo Diet. I was going to try it but have you seen the prices on Walrus meat?
 

feather

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I was going to try it but have you seen the prices on Walrus meat?
Tisk tisk, that was pretty funny, I love that sense of humor. :joy: :joy: :joy:

It is surmised, that leaky gut, the first step in acquiring the dreaded auto-immune diseases of all types, is caused by the malfunction of the endothelial lining of the intestines (gut). Prebiotics, fiber, helps keep it healthy. So without enough fiber, besides constipation, recycling toxins, oxidative cells, hormones putting more pressure on the other organs to filter it out, low fiber contributes to disease.
The average american doesn't even get 25 grams of fiber per day, 90% of them! And we still wonder why auto-immune disease, and colon cancer is happening! Sad!
 
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Mad Bard
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yes. but keep in mind that an early study on Eskimos found that they were very healthy and hardly ate any plants. So I suppose there is out there somewhere the Eskimo Diet. I was going to try it but have you seen the prices on Walrus meat?
It's been debunked quite a lot.

In fact, data collected over many decades showed that coronary artery disease is common in Greenland's Inuit population. Heart disease is as frequent -- or even more so -- among native northern populations as it is for other populations. Strokes are particularly common, and life expectancy overall was found to be about a decade shorter among native populations.
The best estimates suggest that a diet emphasizing fish and blubber is, if anything, harmful for heart health. Northern natives pay an unfortunate price for the lack of availability of healthful foods.

New Study Explodes the 'Eskimo Myth'
 

Lou

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Huh, I didn't know that.
but the studies I was aware of were I believe older and in Alaska And/or Russia.

just did a little googling.... and yeah that 70s Greenland study has been throughly debunked.
but what about this?

"This increase in the intake of carbohydrate appears to have contributed to dyslipidaemia in the Alaskan Inuit."
" In other words, the Alaskan Inuit apparently had a fivefold lower cardiovascular mortality rate versus those in the USA at the time"
"In the 1950s, only five diagnoses of diabetes had been made from eight hospitals serving Alaskan Inuit, ‘Five hospitals had never seen diabetes mellitus in an Eskimo’."


BTW, if you ever get a chance watch Nanook of the North. its interesting on several levels.
 
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juliajhon43

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Vegans should take extra precautions to ensure that they are getting enough iron, zinc, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vegans are also at a higher risk of developing a Vitamin B 12 deficiency, which, if left untreated, can result in irreversible neurological effects.
 

VeganRachel

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Hi all, great to be here. I've been looking for somewhere to discuss my worries for quite some time now, and apologise that my very first post is based on negative feelings!

Bit of background history, me and my partner have been together for around 11 years. She had been a vegetarian since childhood, and it's something I adapted to after a few years of being together.

Six years ago we welcomed our first daughter into the world. We actually fed her some meat during her first 2 years because we had concerns whether or not being vegetarian was beneficial enough for a baby/toddler. However my partner decided after a few years that she felt meat was not necessary. But, when our daughter was a few months old, we began to notice her poo was always green and very liquified. We visited our doctor a few times who wasn't concerned and just said it was a virus/mild infection. However we then noticed blood, and we demanded to be referred to a paediatrician, who suggested that my partner cut out dairy because the symptoms matched up with a dairy intolerance passed through breast milk. We were also referred to a dietician who said when our daughter gets to weaning, we can challenge the intolerance by introducing mild dairy products. We did, and unfortunately the green diarrhea returned. My partner then decided she wanted to go dairy free full time, because she'd never liked the dairy industry - even though she loved cheese! I didn't mind because I grew to like the taste of soy milk, even though the cheese back then was horrid!

Fast forward to today, we have two daughters, and live mostly on a plant based diet except for eggs which we get from our own rescue hens - I know many vegans disagree with this, so sorry for upsetting people. We try really hard to make sure the children especially get calcium enriched foods, along with fortified foods, and we try and sneak in the good veg thats high in iron and folates that they tend not to like.

I have three areas where I'm concerned:

Both of our daughters are fairly small in comparison to friends. My eldest 6yr old is thinner than her friends, while my youngest (4) is quite short, although she is pretty solid and strong - something the teachers mentioned! My family always go on about how other kids are big and strong, and constantly question our decision to be vegan (apart from eggs).

I do have concerns about their health long term. Unfortunately I've been on quite a few meat vs vegan groups on facebook, and I am getting swayed that being plant based could be detrimental long term - especially for a developing child. There are loads of ex-vegan videos online about how people become very poorly and how vegan children are malnourished.

Finally, there's the food itself. After reading up about meat-free foods, I'm worried about the amount of processed foods we eat. We probably eat things like quorn pieces, meat-free sausages, burgers etc around 4-5 nights per week, along with things like quorn slices in sandwiches and vegan pasties for packed lunches. I make my own seitan at times, but keep on reading that this is bad for you as the flour is highly processed. We try and make things using lentils, pulses and legumes (falafels from chickpeas, lentil loaf etc), but I've read recently that consuming lots of this stuff can cause leaky gut and stop absorption of nutrients. It just seems like you can't win!!

Sorry one last point, we do take vitamins and supplements. We buy high quality multi-vitamins for the children along with algal omega chewies, and we just buy supermarket branded stuff.

Phew, I'm glad I managed to get this off my chest, and sorry it's such a long read, but my partner is just completely dismissive of my worries and my family are not really supportive of the vegan thing. Unfortunately I have suffered from anxiety since a teenager, and do have obsessional style thinking, and this worry has been going round and roung my head for weeks.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Hi, I am not a parent but perhaps some vegan doctors offer zoom conference sessions. You could also contact pam popper
who seems to be an excellent nutritionist I have heard speak multiple times on the what the health conferences. I would
definitely shy away from the myriad of vegan processed foods available. They are convenient but you could find recipes of
your own and make quantities to store or freeze (Like veggie burgers, soups/stew, chili, etcetera). Are your kids low in any
nutrients like B12, iron, getting enough protein, have a leaky gut? maybe that is a factor, Peace.