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 Post subject: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:21 am 
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Hi everybody,

I'm a little embarrassed to ask this but ... well, I need help. I've been logging my food for a few days to see whether I was missing any nutrients or else. It actually helped me balance my diet a bit more and see just how much protein I'm getting - yeah, omnivores, because all vegans are lacking it, right ;)?!

What did concern me was how little calcium and iron there was in my diet. Where do you get these nutrients from? I heard/read that kale and collard greens are good sources but neither are in season/available in Germany.

I'd love to hear your ideas and hope the question isn't too stupid!


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:37 am 
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I would be more worried about B12 and vitamin D. You are going to need to take a B12 supplement. If you have plenty of sunshine where you live then you will be ok for vitamin D if you are out in it plenty. Otherwise make sure you get D2. I always took D anyway because there is never any sun where I live.

To be honest I know next to nothing about iron. I assume I get all I need because my Hb is always really good, occasionally too good, so I don't actively seek foods that are high in iron. Anything that is leafy and green will have enough iron in it. Eating plenty of foods with vitamin c in them will help your body absorb iron too.

If you take soya milks or any of the carton plant based milks then you should be getting enough from them.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:30 am 
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In addition to b12 and vitamin D, iron and calcium are also vitamins that are a little more difficult to get on a vegan diet than an omnivorous one and they are also very important, so there is definitely cause to be careful about your intake of calcium and iron. And actually, many people, not just vegans, have a difficult time getting enough calcium. I find it difficult to get enough calcium in my diet, so I take supplements. I take iron in my daily multi vitamin and an extra supplement when I have my period just to be on the safe side.

One thing is that it is possible that whatever computer program you were using to track your nutrition wasn't properly counting your intake of vitamins, which tends to happen with certain web-based nutrient calculators for various reasons.

I won't go into the details on calcium and iron because there are some excellent resources online for this info here:
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/calcium.htm
http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones
http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/iron

Also, calcium can inhibit iron absorption, so you don't want to eat foods rich in iron at the same time as calcium rich foods or take supplements at the same time when you're trying to up your intake of both of these

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 8:31 am 
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can you easily find molasses where you are? it has both.

also, if you eat something else with a lot of one or the other, stagger them because they interfere with each others absorption. (and vitamin c will help you absorb iron)

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:16 am 
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Some grocery chains like REWE have frozen kale available during summer, too. You could also start cooking with kohlrabi greens, turnip greens (Mair├╝bchen ), and other dark green leafy greens which are usually available in Germany. Some seeds like sesame and especially poppy seeds are very high in calcium. Dried figs are a good source, too. Alpro soy yoghurt is enriched with calcium, and so are most soy milks ( as you probably know). Legumes and some pseudo grains like amaranth or quinoa are good sources of iron. And like daisychain already said, make sure to consume some viamin c with iron rich meals.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:46 am 
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Also you might want to check out this chart.
http://vebu.de/gesundheit/naehrstoffe/naehrwerttabelle


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Wow, thanks to everyone for your detailed and fast answers! I'm going to read my way through your links and try to adjust my diet accordingly. Do any of you take supplements? What's your opinion on them? I'm not a fan but might try as long as I'm not sure I'll manage to get adequate amounts of the nutrients in the "natural" way.

Mihl: Ah, yes, I remember having downloaded that list years ago but I lost in. So special thanks for providing me with it again!
Frozen kale sounds like a good option but unfortunately, I'm sharing a fridge with a tiny ice box (think the size of a shoebox) with my roommate which is constantly overflowing - boo.
Where do you find turnips? As for kohlrabi greens: Do you just buy kohlrabi with greens or are they sold separately somewhere? The green on the kohlrabi I tend to see usually looks ... limpy.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:40 am 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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I'm a very new vegan but still thought I'd share my opinion.

I recommend this book, "vegan for life." It's really great, organized well, tons of information, but the authors use a nice friendly language so nothing was confusing.
http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Life-Everyt ... 0738214930

As soon as my package arrives (I could not find the particular kind of B12 I want to take locally so I ordered online), I will be taking a b12 supplement daily, (chewable), and it is 50 mcg
As prescribed by my doctor (although I can buy the vitamin over the counter) I take a daily vitamin D3 at 1000 (whatever the unit is). When my bottle is empty, I will consider switching to vitamin D2 since it is not animal based.

Buy enriched food products when you can, for example, soy milk. I actually think my soy milk has 50% of my RDA for vitamin B12.

As long as you eat a variety of good "healthy" "whole" foods like fruit and veg, beans, legumes, grains, pasta, etc.... I think you will be getting lots of good vitamin and mineral "stuff." EXCEPT for B12, you CANNOT get b12 from "plant sources" so you MUST take a supplement.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:59 am 
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I can get turnips at most supermarkets and the Wochenmarkt. I usually use the greens immediately and store the turnips. I also buy the kohlrabi with greens. I agree, it's sometimes limpy. I try to buy them in the morning, e.g. on weekends. The REWE where I usually go shopping tends to have good quality kohlrabi. There are other vegetables that are good calcium or iron sources. I recommend looking through the chart and then see what you have access to.

As for supplements. definitely take B12. I take Ankermann B12 Tropfen, available at the pharmacy.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:23 am 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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i forgot to add that i also recently bought a small package of ground flaxseed meal. it will be good to use as an egg replacer in baking recipes. but i can also sprinkle the ground flaxseed meal over oatmeal, yogurt, etc..... I have never tried it before, so I have no idea what it will taste like.

I don't know tons about flaxseeds or omega 3's (I'll be re-reading that section in "vegan for life") but flaxseeds are a good source of Omega 3's.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:55 am 
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bookwormbethie wrote:
As prescribed by my doctor (although I can buy the vitamin over the counter) I take a daily vitamin D3 at 1000 (whatever the unit is). When my bottle is empty, I will consider switching to vitamin D2 since it is not animal based.

they figured out how to make vegan D3! (i think one of the companies doing it is vitashine, i don't remember the names of any of the other companies doing it. but definitely look around. D3 is still on the table.)

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:15 pm 
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My idiot proof plan looks like this:

Morning: eat a multivitamin and a calcium/vit-D supplement with breakfast.
Evening: eat iron supplement (as this should not be taken with coffee or high caffeine teas etc.).

this has kept me going for the past 8-ish years as a vegan. sometimes i take a vegan multivitamin with a high dose of b12 and folic acid, instead of the regular multivitamin, but that's just to change up the routine. so far my blood tests have come out perfectly fine every time i've been checked (but you should still get your levels checked if there is any indication of anything that could be a vitamin deficiency - some people have a hard time absorbing specific vitamins. it's a good idea to get your levels checked every 1-2 years, just you know, to be sure. but if you're feeling tired, etc, usually a little extra iron can be awesome.)

but, as my doctor friend said, don't ever overdose on vitamin D, which can be deadly in high doses, because it will poison you. be especially weary of taking super high doses of vitamin D (and A and K, as those are fat soluble aswell), if you are overweight or have a fluctating weight, as the vitamin D will be released into your system as you lose bodyfat, and can cause poisoning. So please stick to the recommended amounts, when it comes to D!


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:58 am 
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Ah, I'm sorry I didn't get back to this post earlier. I can get seriously forgetful about things ...

Thank you so much again for all of your helpful answers and recommendations.
I've gone back to taking effervescent iron respectively calcium tablets - one in the morning, the other in the evening. I had already taken Veg1 tablets prior to starting this thread but by far not regularly. And because I assume we all prefer the most natural way I'm also trying to come up with fun recipes including iron- and calcium-rich foods. Bok choy has become a new favourite.

Does anybody know for sure how much calcium tempeh contains? I wasn't able to find clear information on this so far. Also, if a homemade meal contains large amounts of both calcium and iron will the latter not be absorbed at all because of the calcium? Sorry for all of my questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:01 am 
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don't forget to avoid taking calcium and iron too close together, since they block each other's absorptions. give it a few hours.

:edit: oops, i jumped the gun before reading your last sentence. yeah, it's best to split them up.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 9:18 am 
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kleineKaiserin wrote:

Does anybody know for sure how much calcium tempeh contains? I wasn't able to find clear information on this so far.


I guess that depends a lot on the brand and other factors.
Vegan for Life says 55mg per 100 g. The side I am linking to says 111mg per 100g.
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/leg ... cts/4381/2
Soybeans have about 100mg per 100g.


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:08 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
so I take supplements.

IJDI, which calcium do you take? I don't supplement that and probably should.

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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:29 pm 
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supercarrot wrote:
don't forget to avoid taking calcium and iron too close together, since they block each other's absorptions. give it a few hours.

:edit: oops, i jumped the gun before reading your last sentence. yeah, it's best to split them up.


I do take the supplements hours apart so that should be fine. My question was rather aiming at dishes naturally having both of these nutrients like a stir-fry including bok choy and tempeh both of which offer significant amounts of iron as well as calcium. Does the calcium completely block the iron absorption (or vice versa?) or only partially?


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:32 pm 
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kittee wrote:
ijustdiedinside wrote:
so I take supplements.

IJDI, which calcium do you take? I don't supplement that and probably should.

I know you were asking someone else, but I figured I'd mention Deva Cal-Mag because it's pretty inexpensive as far as vegan supplements go. The pills are enormous but it does what it's supposed to and says VEGAN in big letters right on the bottle!


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 Post subject: Re: Where to get my nutrients from
PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:33 am 
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The sites IJDI linked to above all say calcium supplements make absorption of iron more difficult. I woudn't worry too much about food.


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