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Q: Vegan Dietary Requirements ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Vegan Dietary Requirements
Category: Health > Alternative
Asked by: synaptikal_defekt-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 06 Oct 2006 12:12 PDT
Expires: 05 Nov 2006 11:12 PST
Question ID: 771352
I am wondering what the necessary amounts of certain
foods/supplements/etc are required to be healthy on a vegan diet.
Ethically I have chosen a vegan diet.  I am concerned however that I
do not get enough of all the things I need in my diet.  I also don't
know what those things are.

I am looking for what my daily intakes of vitamins/minerals/etc should
be. What foods I should incorporate in my diet to get them. Is there a
"perfect" vitamin?

Vegan=No meat. No fish (fish is not a vegetable...). No dairy. No eggs.

I am a very capable cook and I am not afraid to try new foods. I have
no food allergies. I am a woman in my early 20s. Normal menstrual
cycles. No medical problems affected by diet in myself or in my family
history. I smoke (trying to quit...). Drink on social occasions (a few
fridays or saturdays here and there). I am an active student and ride
my bike/walk often. I do not "exercise" in the traditional sense, but
I live in a city and rarely use the public transportation  system or a

I think the above information should help you in determining what
things I need to incorporate in my diet. feel free to ask more
Subject: Re: Vegan Dietary Requirements
Answered By: sublime1-ga on 06 Oct 2006 15:25 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

There is no "perfect vitamin", in the sense that taking that
one vitamin will preclude the need for others. Vitamins should
be understood as catalysts for the digestive process, in that
they allow for the easy breakdown and assimilation of the foods
you eat.

Fortunately, vitamins are plentiful in vegan foods. They are
present in a more natural form and are healthier than any of
the man-made supplements you might add. In truth, supplements
are only helpful to those who are not obtaining them naturally
from eating raw foods.

The website of the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine
has everything you need to know to support a vegan or vegetarian
lifestyle, and recommends vegan over vegetarian as the healthiest

"Vegan diets, which contain no animal products (meat, dairy, eggs,
 or other animal products), are even healthier than vegetarian
 diets. Vegan diets contain no cholesterol and even less fat,
 saturated fat, and calories than vegetarian diets because they
 exclude dairy and eggs. Scientific research shows that health
 benefits increase as the amount of food from animal sources in
 the diet decreases, making vegan diets the healthiest overall."

A good introductory page on their site, with FAQs is this one:

Their Vegetarian Starter Kit page provides multiple links to
pretty much everything you need to know:

Among those links is one to the New Four Food Groups page,
which outlines the primary vegan food groups, and provides
recommended daily intakes for each group, along with the
nutritional contents for items in that group:

3 or more servings a day

"Fruits are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and beta-carotene.
 Be sure to include at least one serving each day of fruits
 that are high in vitamin C?citrus fruits, melons, and
 strawberries are all good choices. Choose whole fruit over
 fruit juices, which do not contain very much fiber."

 2 or more servings a day

"Legumes, which is another name for beans, peas, and lentils,
 are all good sources of fiber, protein, iron, calcium, zinc,
 and B vitamins. This group also includes chickpeas, baked
 and refried beans, soymilk, tempeh, and texturized vegetable

Whole Grains
5 or more servings a day

"This group includes bread, rice, tortillas, pasta, hot or
 cold cereal, corn, millet, barley, and bulgur wheat. Build
 each of your meals around a hearty grain dish?grains are
 rich in fiber and other complex carbohydrates, as well as
 protein, B vitamins, and zinc."

4 or more servings a day

"Vegetables are packed with nutrients; they provide vitamin
 C, beta-carotene, riboflavin, iron, calcium, fiber, and
 other nutrients. Dark green leafy vegetables such as
 broccoli, collards, kale, mustard and turnip greens,
 chicory, or cabbage are especially good sources of these
 important nutrients. Dark yellow and orange vegetables
 such as carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin
 provide extra beta-carotene. Include generous portions of
 a variety of vegetables in your diet."

More on the page:

If you want to assure that you're getting optimal nutrition,
you might consider supplementing your own cooking with some
kind of scientifically engineered high-nutrition product,
such as Juvo, which is used and endorsed by such prominent
vegans as Brendan Brazier, an Ironman Triathlete:

The nutritional label from their product is here:

And their ingredients page provides a detailed look at the
(sometimes exotic) contents of the product, and the nutrients
which each one provides. You can use this to expand your 
knowledge of unusual sources of vegan nutrition to include
in your own diet and recipes.

And, from personal experience, let me recommend raw bee pollen
as an excellent source of additional protein. It contains all
the essential amino acids which make up healthy proteins, as
well as innumerable trace minerals and other nutrients.

Here's a comprehensive page on bee pollen from Envirobee:

Please be aware that bee pollen can cause a severe allergic
reaction in a very small percentage of persons, resulting
in anaphylactic shock, so it's important to test your reaction
to it by sampling just a grain or two at first, and gradually
increasing this amount until you're certain there's no reaction
such as a sense of tightening of the throat or swelling of the
face. Again, this is rare, but it's better to be safe than 

That should be more than enough to get you going in a healthy
vegan regime, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask
before rating this answer.


Additional information may be found from further exploration
of the links provided above, as well as those resulting from
the Google searches outlined below.

Searches done, via Google:

perfect nutrition vegan diet

raw bee pollen

Clarification of Answer by sublime1-ga on 06 Oct 2006 16:37 PDT

One of my colleagues has pointed out that one of the more significant
issues to be aware of when entering on a vegan diet is that vitamin
B12 is not readily found outside of meat products, and a deficiency
of this vitamin can lead to severe problems.

This is covered if you follow the links I provided, but I agree with
my colleague that it is probably wise to point you precisely to a
page which specifically addresses this important consideration:

Here's a page all about B12, which recommends 2.4 micrograms per day
for an adult:

Though bee pollen is a relatively rich source of B vitamins in 
general, it contains only .02 micrograms of B12 per ounce:


Additional searches done, via Google:

b12 rda

"bee pollen" b12
synaptikal_defekt-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
The person answering my question cover all the topics I was asking
about and provided links to back up their answer. Excellent response.

There are no comments at this time.

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