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Is it possible to not take supplements and still be healthy?

PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2004 7:10 pm
by Fruitbat
Up until now I have always taken a complete vitamin and mineral complex as an insurance on getting all those essentials but I feel that this hardly fits in with my lifestyle optimising on natural living. Is it not possible to get eveything from my food? I know vitamin b12 is difficult and that is my main worry - i have b12 foritfied yeas spread but there is controversy over whether b12 in that form is usale by the body and how much would i have to eat every day or week to be sure of enough?

For all the other nutritional requirements I make sure i vary my food and I have alist of foods I MUST include every week. Here they are and why:

I always have some soy, some pulses and some grains during the week but the amount and what type varies

Red peppers - antio C
Sweet potatoes - excellent antioxidant with vit A and E
Broccoli - antio with vit C and K, folic acid
Raw organic carrots - antio vit A and C
Watercress - antio A and C

High vit C with raw spinach to increase Iron absorption in every salad and I have a salad at least once a day

Nuts and nut spread (raw and no added sugar or oil) for protein, fats, fibre, vit E,magnesium, choline, inositol and zinc. Almonds are particularly good (calcium also among others) so I make sure I cinlude them as well as a mixture of nuts like brasils, walnuts, hazelnuts. My favourites are macadamias and cashews

Seeds for same reasons as above and for essential omegas, vit E and iron : linseeeds, sesame (co-enzyme Q10), pumpkin and loads of tahini (rich in calcium)

apples for chromium (help release engery) and as hunger-stoppers

avocadoes and tomatoes (for vit C and biotin) and healthy oils and the cancer-fighting molecules in tomatoes need some fat to be absorbed properly so hence combining the two

vitamin b12 yeast spread (meridian)

mushrooms for the vit Bs, selenium, potassium

Watercress: antiox with C and A, sodium, potassium, manganese, vit A B1 2 5 6

I always have some berries and kiwis as part of my fruit quota during the week.

PostPosted: Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:56 pm
by kls
wow! you're organized! and incredibly balanced!
yes, i believe it is possible to get everything you need from food--just keep up on that b12. what about nutritional yeast? do you use it? or is that the same form of b12 that is in your spread? i sprinkle nutritional yeast on my pizza (maybe mixed with vegan parmesan) or add a spoonful to my smoothie/shake. my book recommends 6.0 mcg of b12, but i am not sure if that is per day, per thousand calories or what. it also says to choose a supplement that has passed the 45 minute dissolution test (to be sure of absorption). can you find out if the b12 in meridian has passed it?
i don't take a multivitamin--i'm just that forgetful :oops: --but no glaring nutritional deficiencies as of yet! and my food intake is nowhere near as thought out as yours! you obviously put alot of effort into your diet! good for you!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:39 am
by Heyutang
It seems you did some research on food, fruitbat. Good for you. A lot of it is well thought out.
May I ask how active you are? There are indications that people can produce vit B12 (and essential amino acids, amongst others) within their own bodies. However, if you are very active, be it either mental or physical stress (work, emotional stress and sports) resources may not be enough to do so. The body may well be capable of doing much more than nowadays mainstream science is printing.
So to answer your question: yes I do think it is possible to be healthy without supplements, but only if your requirements are not too high i.e. not live a too stressful life. Also, organic food contains more nutrition.

Another thought I had was about your grain and protein intake. Do you have enough of those? Again, if you are not too busy, you do not need too much of those. But the busier you are, the more you should eat them- esp whole grains.

Keep up the good work!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:49 am
by Fruitbat
I am very active - see my log (I swim, run and workout every day).

I also am sometimes concerned about my protein and card intake - I pay so much attention to the est esp getting enough fats which i a pb for me after my ED and obsession with fats. I know i get anough protein in the form of soy, nuts, seed, pulses and grains and because it is not hard to get enough protein but I do worry about carbs.
I eat whole grains and never refined ones but i just dont htink I eat them oftne enough. I like most grains - quinoa, whole mixed rices (brown basmati, red and wild); spirullina wholemeal pasta; brown bread, brown pittas (YUM), sometimes rye bread or malt bread; and accasionally toubbouleh and couscous. I try to limit wheat becos i tmakes me bloated. I just think I donteat enough of them! This is something I am working on - still with all the time i spend exercising I would prob know if there was something really wrong!

I will try to find out about the B12 in the Meridian yeast spread!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:59 am
by Mary
Hi Fruitbat.

Great diet. I am sure you are getting enough carbs - it is hard not to on a balanced vegan diet, and you surely seem balanced. If you want to give yourself a carb boost, just eat some fruit.

I have been told not to eat as much spinach as I would like, because the calcium isn't accessible to the body. However, as an iron supplement it seems fine. Must admit, I love spinach! And water cress. Here is a recipe Pat Reeves gave me (very easy. :lol: ) Tub of soya yoghurt, fresh cress or mustard, whizz it up in the blender. Green soup! (Or dip to stick your veggies in.) If you can find a tub of growing cress and mustard, and trim it out of the box, then it is packed full of living enzymes. I find that one gives me an energy boost when I eat it.

I'll find you another couple of recipes and post them. Good work!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 7:01 am
by Heyutang
In Asia, whole grains are the main part of the diet (before they invented white rice). I also think one should eat them at every meal. Brown rice is the best one (macrobiotics mention 50% of total food intake!), then the other grains. Then noodles, and then sourdough bread and flat breads, and yeast bread.
You can cook a big pot, and then eat those for 2/3 days, if you worry about not having enough time to cook them.
You are right, we often know when something is wrong by the signals our bodies give us. OTOH, many people just ignore those and eat away.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 1:06 pm
by wannalift
in the long run i don't think it is possible to get everything you need without taking supplements. just as you can live to 100 without ever needing surgery, getting seriously ill, etc, so can you abstain from supplements. the odds are still against you the long term. you are better off getting too much than not enough. if you can do it, then more power to you. i just think the diet will be overwhelming to maintain in the long run. good luck to you though.

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 6:13 pm
by Fruitbat
This is not a new diet - this is a diet I have been following more or less for year but with just a couple of additions to complete the vitamins and minerals thing so that I can consider stopping taking them. It is not difficult for me at all only expensive!

PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 10:40 pm
by Heyutang
Daviddenton, not sure if I agree completely with what you say about ithat t is better to have more than not enough. Too high doses of vitamins and minerals confuse the body, especially the liver who has to sort out all the molecules. If your liver has to work on that, than your liver has less time to sort out other things (so it puts more stress on the liver). There have been indications that when you take a multivitamin on an empty stomach, your liver is so confused with the 100% of the daily recommended dosages of all those molecules that it doesn't know what to do with it. Hence why some people say you better take it with food high in vitamins and minerals.
I wouldn't overdo it, to not burden the liver too much.