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Vegan at Heart

30 Missions

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Mission #28:
Note These Nutrients

Dear Vegan at Heart,

Today your mission is to read about specific nutrients for vegans to watch out for.

Since youíve stuck with me this far, you seem pretty serious about this whole vegan thing. If so, then you should definitely get the unbiased truth about vegan health.

Itís true that vegans enjoy many health benefits, including: a lower chance of death from heart disease, lower cholesterol, a lower body mass index, and lower blood pressure, plus lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.

However, it doesnít mean that you can rest on your laurels and think youíll be fine just cutting out animal products. Vegans need to make sure they get vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and vitamin D. Luckily, itís pretty easy to get these from a diverse, healthy diet and fortified foods and supplements.

  1. Read the information below.
  2. If you have time, check out the hyperlinks.
  3. Look out for a mission tomorrow about vegan supplements.

Vitamin B12 is usually found in animal products, but it doesnít have to come from animals since itís just a byproduct of bacterial fermentation (yum.) I recommend getting this very important vitamin from fortified foods and supplements.
You can read more about it here.

Omega-3 fatty acids are the main reason why fish is touted as a health food. But where do you think fish get omega-3s? From plants! We can get it from micro algae in a capsule or drops, which is what I do. We can also get it from flax oil and ground flax seeds. (I sprinkle ground flax seeds on my cereal.) This way, weíre safe from the dioxin, PCBs and mercury that are too often found in fish.
You can read more about fats here.

Calcium is important for vegans and non-vegans alike. Luckily, we donít need dairy products to get it. (Think about itÖhumans arenít the only primates who need calcium, but we are the only species on the planet who: a.) drinks milk into adulthood; and b.) drinks the milk of another species!) So, where do other primates get calcium? From plants! So can we. Collard greens, kale, calcium-fortified OJ, fortified soy, rice, and nut milks, calcium-set tofu, blackstrap molasses, and sesame seeds are all sources of calcium. I also steer clear of caffeinated beverages, which leach calcium from the bones, and I take a vegan calcium supplement just in case.

Vitamin D regulates calcium absorption. I try to catch some rays for 10-15 minutes two or three times a week.
You can read more about calcium and vitamin D here.

Only one more mission to go!

:-) Marisa

P.s. Tomorrow for lunch this little German girl is having her weird but tasty sandwich with steamed kale, sauerkraut, Dijon, and tahini. What are you having?


How helpful is this mission? Rate it now!

You Said It!
Very informative on vitamins
So thorough and helpful.
Jeri @godsdreamsforme (Sun, 8th Aug, 2010)

You Said It!
Excellent missions
I'm enjoying all the missions. The weblinks are excellent. Thank you.
Angele (Wed, 19th Nov, 2008)


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