The Nutrients People Think You Don’t Get When You Go Plant-Based

plant-based-table-foods

There are a lot of misconceptions about switching to a plant-based diet. Some people want to start omitting animal products from their diets, but they are skeptical that they won’t obtain enough calcium, protein, iron, or other nutrients from plant-based foods. Little do they know that these nutrients, and many more, are easily obtained while consuming a vegetarian diet.

 

Consuming animal products makes the body work extra hard because the body was not designed to process those foods. It takes the body two to three times longer to digest animal products as opposed to plant-based foods. Additionally, the body can easily absorb the nutrients from plant-based foods because it doesn’t have to fight through hormones, saturated fat, or antibiotics that are in animal products.

 

We encourage you to experiment with more plant-based foods to see how your body benefits from them. Explore the following nutrients that you can obtain from these foods.

 

1) Protein:

Good sources of plant protein include beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, tempeh, and pea protein, according to Vandana Sheth, R.D.N., C.D.E., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Most official nutrition organizations recommend a fairly modest protein intake. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. It is said that the average sedentary American man is recommended to eat 56 grams of protein a day, while the average sedentary American woman should eat 46 grams of protein a day. These numbers are subject to body weight and physical activity.

People who are physically active do need more protein than people who are sedentary. Try to avoid soy-protein products because the majority of soy is genetically modified. Soy is actually one of the most processed and genetically modified foods in the world

There have been a number of health concerns raised concerning the risks associated with protein derived primarily from animal sources. Primarily, these health risks include cardiovascular disease (due to the high saturated fat and cholesterol consumption) and bone health issues (from bone resorption due to sulfur-containing amino acids associated with animal protein). Vegetable proteins, on the other hand, provide essential proteins that will likely result in a reduction in the intake of saturated fat and cholesterol. Here is a list of some great plant proteins:

  • Chickpeas, 12 grams per cup
  • Lentils, 18 grams of protein per cup
  • Tempeh, 41 grams per cup
  • Black beans, 15 grams per cup
  • Nuts and nut butters, varied
  • Quinoa, 9 grams per cup

 

2) Amino Acids:

A common belief is that most plant foods are completely devoid of at least one essential amino acid, but the truth is that all plant proteins have some of every essential amino acid. To ensure adequate protein intake, plant-based diets should include 3-4 servings of the following foods, which are both high in protein and the amino acid lysine:

  • Legumes—1/2 cup cooked
    • Beans—Garbanzo, kidney, pinto, or navy
    • Lentils
    • Peas—Split or green
    • Soy foods—Edamame, tofu, tempeh,
    • Peanuts—1/4 cup
  • Quinoa—1 cup cooked
  • Pistachios—1/4 cup
  • Pumpkin seeds—1/4 cup

 

3) Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

Omega 3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial for the brain and cardiovascular health. ALA is an essential fatty acid because it cannot be synthesized from saturated fatty acids. Some of the best dietary sources of ALA include flaxseeds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and olive oil.

DHA is the most abundant and essential omega 3 fatty acid present in bodily tissues. Because only a small amount of ALA can be converted to DHA and a minimal amount is converted to EPA, other options need to be utilized by vegetarians and persons who do not eat fish. Other options for increasing the intake of EPA and DHA for persons who do not consume fish are seaweeds like wakame or spirulina.

 

Here is a list of plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids:

  • Chia Seeds
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Algal Oil
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds

 

4) Iron:

Iron is essential to carry oxygen and nutrients into your blood. Some of the best plant sources of iron include:

  • Legumes: Lentils, tempeh, lima beans
  • Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal
  • Nuts and seeds: Pumpkin, squash, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews
  • Vegetables: Swiss chard, collard greens
  • Other: Molasses, prune juice

The key is how well your body absorbs iron. Eating smaller amounts throughout the day is a great way to increase absorption. The iron in beans, grains, and seeds is better absorbed when combined with the vitamin C found in fruits and vegetables. Think black beans and brown rice with homemade salsa, or falafel with tomatoes and hummus with lemon juice. Some iron sources like leafy greens already contain vitamin C.

 

5) Zinc:

The primary function of zinc is to enhance the immune system. Zinc is poorly bioavailable on a plant-based diet, though traditional methods of food preparation (soaking, sprouting, fermenting, even roasting) can go a long way to neutralize these effects. Zinc can be better absorbed by the body with the inclusion of fermented foods into your diet. Primary sources of zinc in a plant-based diet include:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Sesame, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds
  • Oats
  • Asparagus
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa

Considering zinc’s critical role in varied bodily processes, particularly growth, development, wound healing, and immune function, it is important to include this nutrient in your diet.

 

We this information helps with your transition to a plant-based diet. If you have any other questions or tips about switching, ask us in the comments below.

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-much-protein-per-day#section6
  2. Hoffman, J. R., & Falvo, M. J. (2004). Protein – Which is Best? Journal of Sports Science & Medicine3(3), 118–130.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905294/

  1. https://veganhealth.org/protein-part-1/#amino-acids
  2. Sarah K Gebauer, Tricia L Psota, William S Harris, Penny M Kris-Etherton; n−3 Fatty acid dietary recommendations and food sources to achieve essentiality and cardiovascular benefits, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  3. Lazarte, C. E., Vargas, M., & Granfeldt, Y. (2015). Zinc bioavailability in rats fed a plant-based diet: a study of fermentation and zinc supplementation. Food & Nutrition Research59, 10.3402/fnr.v59.27796. http://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.27796

2018-05-23T16:57:11+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: Is necessary to continue food combining after completing FULL BODY DETOX in 20 Days? For example can you consume sweet fruit with sub acid & acid fruit also starches and vegetable (beans) proteins together? I learned in Nutrition that starches (rice) and beans are complete protein when combined together that our body needs. Are you at risk for protein deficiency if consuming vegan diet?

    A:

    IT'S YOUR CHOICE! OF COURSE IT'S BEST TO CONTINUE TO DO SO. IT'S UP TO YOU, BELOVED! I PERSONALLY DON'T RECOMMEND IT. NOT TRUE! YOU CAN'T GET PROTEIN FROM COOKED FOODS REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE FOOD IS. OF COURSE NOT, UNLESS YOU ARE IGNORANT TO PROTEIN, REAL PROTEIN, HOW AND WHERE TO GET IT.

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    Q: I have read lots of information about B12. Is the plant based formula as reliable as other sources? If you could provide some more information it would be great.

    A:

    Our choice and vote is that plant-based products are always better than man-made sources. Consider doing a search on the Inter-net and compare findings and then make your choice in which form of Vitamin B12 you will use and deem best for you.

    Product Links:
    Vitamin B-12

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    Q: I just began the cleanse. My concern is that I am not getting enough protein. I have been eating nuts, and I will not eat uncooked beans or peas. What can I do to get more protein while I am on this 20 day regiment?

    A: Great question. There is protein in a lot of the vegetables that we eat. Think about it like this, elephants are vegetarians, and they are some of the biggest/strongest animals around. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, etc.), goji berries, nuts, broccoli, avocados, beets, cauliflower, and asparagus.

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    Q:

    A:

    Herbal supplements are not drugs. The Vegan Protein Powder Mix contains natural occurring protein, and will supplement your diet at a healthy level. We do not offer measurements in mg per capsule because there is no true way to measure how much protein is in an organic item. Many companies offer that measurement as a way to get you to buy more of their products, but it is typically just a guesstimate. For instance, we could say that there is "x" amount of protein inside of each capsule but some of the capsules may be denser than others etc. Hopefully this offers an honest explanation of why we do not do this. If you are using it to gain muscle mass while lifting weights, this product should suffice, and can be mixed in an Almond Shake or with other such ingredients that are high in organic protein to help you reach your goal.

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    Q: I read your article on protein. Will I lose muscle mass if I cut the protein out? I have already done away with meats and I don't want to become skinny. How do preserve my muscle tone with out taking the whey protein?

    A: You can still receive your daily required value of protein from vegetarian sources, such as avocado, almonds, and pumpkin seeds. You can also add vegan protein powder to smoothies.

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    Q: I am a 55 year old female. I have an overactive bladder. I am trying to control it myself, without medication. I have not tried herbs. I eat fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins (not beef or pork). I added back more meat proteins 1 1/2 years ago because I was becoming so tired and lacking energy. (I read The Schwartzbein Diet, which helped convince me to add more protein.) I don't eat much sugar, salt (only 500 mg./day) or hardly any processed foods. I drink water and licorice tea, because it makes me feel good. I believe in the power of positive thinking. Can you help me with this?

    A:

    The steps you are taking in your diet are a great start. Try going raw, and eliminating grains and meat altogether. You can get enough protein and healthy fats with avocado, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, brazil nuts, coconut. You can also add Vegan Protein Powder to smoothies.

    I also recommend you give our Full Body Cleanse a try to further detoxify your entire body. After detoxing, the ideal formula for you is our Kidneys Bladder-Adrenal formula.

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    Q: For the last 2 weeks, I've been eating only raw foods. My daily intake mainly consist of snow beans, green beans (string beans), kale, carrots, a small amount butter and crackers, bananas, apples, pears, lettuce, tomatoes, dates, spinach and filtered water. My question is: Am I getting the required nutrients and how would I know if I were not and specifically, how would I know what nutrient was missing. I also take the MALE HORMONAL FORMULA and JACKRABBIT FORMULA (regardless of whether I intend to engage in sexual activity).

    A:

    OF COURSE! WHAT TO KNOW FOR SURE? GO GET A MINERAL TEST DONE. FIND SOMEONE IN YOUR TOWN WHO DOES NUTRITIONAL TESTING OR LIVE BLOOD CELL MICROSCOPY.

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    Q: I just ordered the FULL BODY DETOX and I know there's a dietary regimen that I will have to follow. I was wondering if you would approve of a protein shake that consist of (raw hemp protein powder, raw almond butter, sea salt, flax seed, 100% young coconut water & meat inside the coconut, raw carob powder,) (optional soy or rice milk or soy or rice cream)

    A:

    Doesn't sound like it will mess up your FULL BODY DETOX. Go for it! But leave out the rice/soy cream! The rice milk is okay (but it is processed/cooked)!

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    Q: Yes coconut oil maybe natural but I go thru 3-4 jars per week, 1-1/2 a jar a day, not only is it making me broke out I do not think all that saturated fat is good for me. I know I lack a lot of protein and other vitamins in my diet. Could this lack of essential nutrition cause this weird craving? I don't know if it is the massive loss of blood due to the fibroids.

    A:

    I think you know the answer for yourself. Therefore, stop eating the coconut oil. Take some vitamins and minerals and see if this helps. Sounds like PICA, a nutritional deficiency which causes cravings. Blood loss most certainly will cause loss of nutrients.

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    Q: Hello, I recently purchased full body cleanse. The problem is that I am a body builder and it is impossible to not consume protein for 21 days, I also do not consume soy products. How do I get around this and still accomplish a sufficient level of detoxing. Can I eat wild game, fish, and whey protein? Any information would be appreciated.

    A:

    You may not consume wild game, fish or whey protein. However, you can try the Vegan Protein to mix with smoothies. Spinach, kale, and raw nuts and seeds are also good sources of protein.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I have ordered the detox cleanse, and the weight cleanse. Both state to eat a raw diet of veggies and fruit, nuts, nut pastes??, legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea veggies??,and fresh juices. It mentions Vegan Diet. What are my options when it comes to these choices? What do I eat and how often to keep my sugar from dropping, and feeling sick? Usually mid am, and mid afternoon?

    A:

    The best way to balance blood sugar and keep your body in a fat burning zone is to eat low fat and every 3-4 hours. Also high raw and high carb. Here are some options. Just a general outline.

     

    6am 

    Muesli - fruit smoothie-green smoothie

    9am

    2-3 pieces of fruit

    12pm

    Raw wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    3pm

    2-3 peices of fruit

    6pm

    wraps-raw pasta-salad with legumes

    9pm

    Sorbet

     

    I suggest reading "Beauty detox solution" by Snyder, "Crazy Sexy Diet" by Karr, or 80-10-10 by Graham.

     

    I also recommend to check out my health coaching program www.theveganefect.com for more info.

     

    I hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I am 22 weeks pregnant and in the hospital on bed rest with Preeclampsia. Today I was told that the protein in my urine was up to 9 grams from 2.1 and my platelet count has dropped from 180 to 130. The doctors want to start discussing delivery, which for me would mean the lost of a 4th child. I have been on a regimen vitamin c, primrose oil, hawthorn berries, calcium, omega fish oil, magnesium and potassium and that seemed to work for about 4 weeks. Now things have just gone bad. Is there a hope for saving my child, as things have gotten crucial?

    A:

    2nd RESPONSE: The following products are toxic to you: Vitamin C Calcium Fish Oil Magnesium Potassium Toxic products can cause pre-eclampsia! Make sure you read our article â€ECLAMPSIAâ€. Start getting your products from Dherbs because we are all natural (herbal-based) and you can trust our integrity.

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    Q: I've been taking the Full Body Cleanse for almost 2 weeks. In general, I feel much better. My question is if I can eat spirulina. and/or Ultimate Meal (mainly is Quinoa, millet, brown rice, yellow pea protein, spirulina and another natural ingredients) as breakfast or lunch. In case you do not know Ultimate Meal you can see it at www.ultimatelife.com Thank you. Ricardo. Your customer service rep told me after full body detox is good to take cholesterol formula. Is enough or Do I need to take lose weight tabs? after the full body cleanse? I am taking care of my diet and exercise 3 -4 times a week 2 hours each with stationary bike or tread mill and exercises with weights.

    A:

    Spirulina and Ultimate Meal are excellent supplementary products to take in order for your body to receive an adequate amount of protein while on the cleanse.

    Yes, take Cholesterol Formula (and Intestinal Cleanser) after you complete the cleanse. These products will serve as a transitionary period as your body slowly accustoms to returning back to normal routines.

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: I have read about your detox system on your site and others. Here is the product that I am thinking about purchasing: Full Body Detox I have some questions... 1) Is there a diet plan or eating plan that comes with this order? and 2) I have 100 pounds to lose and am thinking about going on the Medifast plan. That is a high (vegetable) protein diet with no fruit and not a lot of vegetables allowed. Would these supplements in the detox plan help my organs that might be taxed a bit on this diet with very little vegetables and no fruit? I am skeptical about #2...I think raw fruits and vegetables are so important inour diets, yet, I do need to drop weight fast. I look forward to any thoughts that you might have.

    A:

    Yes, the Full Body Cleanse comes with a dietary regimen prescribing an all-raw foods diet (fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds). This means no meat, dairy, grains, or processed foods.

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    Q: I work out at the gym at 6am till 7:30am hard six days a week. Since I'm eating raw foods while detoxing, what will help me keep up that same intensity in the gym. Will protein bars or protein powder help? Maybe you can recommend something? Thank you!

    A:

    Try BIO-PROTEIN FORMULA, ENERGIZER FORMULA, and IODINE PHOSPHATE. Protein bars are toxic!

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: What is the best supplement (protein or herbal) to take to help build muscle for strength training and bodybuilding? All these protein powders on the market I've stopped taking because of all the sugar, whey and casinete; among other weight (fat) inducing ingredients.

    A:

    Try Vegan Protein on our site. It's all natural and 100% absorbable! You'll find it beneficial. There's a capsule and a powdered version. Take both if you're really into protein.

    Spirulina is the BEST individual natural source of protein (75% bio-protein)!

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    Q: I have had gastric sleeve surgery and I have hit a wall with my weight loss due to a number of physical challenges and overall eating poorly (I am an emotional eater and have been very depressed due to my physical challenges). I am required to have between 80 and 100 grams of protein daily as a result of my surgery. Would you recommend the full body cleanse for someone like me? If so, would there be any modifications that you would recommend?

    A: The cleanse is still okay for you to do. Some people experience difficulties digesting capsules after having the procedure. If this applies to you we recommend doing the Liquid Version of the Full Body Cleanse. The capsules are always more potent however. You do have the option of emptying the contents of the capsules into freshly squeezed juices, smoothies or herbal teas. http://dherbs.com/store/liquid-full-body-cleanse-p-560.html

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    Q: Do you have any protein products, and can I use them while doing one of your detox programs?

    A:

    Only the BIO-PROTEIN POWDER MIX (in a fruit smoothie mix).

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    Q: I notice that my 5 year old son as a cavity, and also his teeth are of a grayish color. He does not eat a lot of sweets, and artificial foods. I try to eat food that is organic, lots of fruits and vegetables. My concern is that, he is not getting enough vitamins, protein, and calcium. Is there of particular diet that you would recommend for my child?

    A:

    To make sure your child is getting enough nutrients, give the child Dherbs.com Children's Nutritive Formula 9, Calcium Extract, and Moringa Seed Extract. (Read our article on Moringa in the articles section of our site).

    Article:
    Moringa

    Product Links:
    Children's Calcium Extract
    Children's Iodine Extract
    Moringa Seed Extract

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

    A:

    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.

     

    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 

    Example:

    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC