what is a healthy diet, plant based whole food

What is a healthy diet? The potential ‘health destroying’ deficiencies!

If you are overweight and making progress losing weight, that’s a good thing. But, if you aren’t feeling better in the process, you might be missing something in your lifestyle and diet. But, what is a healthy diet?

Protein deficiency is not a risk on a whole food plant based diet!

There are government sources which dependably explain the facts about vitamins and minerals. If you plan to or are already taking supplements, you should be sure you are using them safely in the right amounts [1 ods.od.nih.gov].

Vitamin D

Many of us work inside away from direct sunlight. So, we may need more vitamin D than those who work or go outside more than we do. The best way to get the proper amount, is directly from the sun itself.

So, the solution is easy and fun. Try to get out into the sun daily and breath the fresh air. Take a walk or sit in the sunlight. Many suffer from depression and don’t know not getting enough vitamin D can actually contribute to this condition. Vitamin d helps your body absorb calcium.

Vitamin deficiencies which can turn serious!

  • Vitamin D- For adults, 600 IU. Get out into the sun often. You might want to avoid supplements, as they can be toxic. When your skin gets a little red, that’s when you should have enough exposure. Vitamin D is actually a hormone. The kidneys and liver are required for its activation. Vitamin D is called the ‘wonder vitamin’, because it does many good things to maintain the health of our bodies. A deficiency of this essential vitamin can lead to osteoporosis and several other serious medical conditions. By the way, a noticeable portion of the world population suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Furthermore, me and my wife didn’t know why we suffering from bone and muscle pain, until I did some research. Then, once I suspected the cause, we began sitting outside in the sun everyday! In a matter of days, the problem solved! But, you need to keep doing it on a regular basis…
  • Vitamin B12- Adult dose is around 2.4 mcg per day. But, everyone is different, so you might need somewhat more. Deficiency symptoms include numbness in limbs, pain in joints, anemia, jaundice, difficulty in thinking, weakness and fatigue
  • Omega 3 and 6- Eat a few walnuts or use a little ground up flax seed. Chia seeds are also a good source. Signs of deficiency are bone pain and muscle weakness
  • Iron- Foods rich in iron are beans, cabbage and spinach. Deficiency symptoms include extreme weakness, cold hands and feet, shortness of breath, headaches and more
  • Calcium- Good source is kale

Vitamin B12

If you don’t eat meat or use animal products, after some time, you might become deficient in vitamin B12. Although, the body stores it well, each of us has unique requirements. If you have doubts, contact your doctor. He or she may tell you to take a supplement.

Most B12 pills are above 500 mcg, but I understand taking this high amount never will pose a potential health problem. In other words, you can’t overdose as with Vitamin D pills. Although, the daily requirement for adults is somewhere around 2.4 mcg; whenever I think of it, I take one 1000 mcg tablet at least once a week to be sure. Vitamin B12 is the only supplement I take.

Omega 3 fatty acids

And, as  for Omega 3, you can get it by eating certain nutrient dense foods. The richest sources for ALA is ground flax seeds and walnuts. I use both, maybe once a week in small amounts like a tablespoon of flax and a couple walnuts.

Our body converts the short chain ALA into long chain EPA and DHA. So, you shouldn’t have eat fish or take fish oil because they usually contain contaminants.

But, you can use algae as an alternative to fish oil, which also has the long chain EPA and DHA Omega 3. With taking algae, you don’t have to worry about any pollutant contamination because these supplements are grown in tanks having no contact with the ocean.

Omega 3 ALA recommended dosage per day for adults is 1.1 g for women and 1.6 g a day for men. Although, your nutritional needs should be met with nutrient dense food, (plant-based) some supplements may be beneficial, as your physician may recommend [2 ods.od.nih.gov].

There is ‘proof’ a plant based diet works!

To conclude, a healthy plant-based diet is composed largely of nutrient-dense plant foods while limiting or excluding processed foods, refined oils like olive, vegetable, canola, and all animal foods including meat, dairy products and eggs.

There is ample evidence eating a variety of fruits and vegetables (cooked and raw), beans, peas, lentils, and whole intact grains with a small amount of seeds and nuts promotes superior health and is ‘highly effective for weight loss’ [3 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov].

Source-

1 URL ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-VitaminsMinerals/
Website Title NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Article Title Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets
Date Accessed February 08, 2018

2 URL ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-HealthProfessional/
Website Title NIH Office of Dietary Supplements
Article Title Office of Dietary Supplements – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Date Accessed February 08, 2018

3 URL ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/
Website Title The Permanente Journal
Publication Year 2013
Date Accessed February 08, 2018

Note- contact your doctor before you change your diet.

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