Most times people ask me: "As a plant-based, living foodist, where do you get your protein?" Protein intake has been a hot topic since the 90's. But what about MINERALS?
I feel so many people who are transitioning into a plant-based lifestyle, especially ALL RAW or what I like to term, LIVING FOODS, simply are neglectful with proper mineral intake. Maybe it's because only small quantities are needed to fulfill the daily intake. Maybe it's because mainstream is obviously OBSESSED with protein intake. Whatever the case, a number of "vegans" complain of low energy, moodiness and even slight bodily discomfort and or pain.
As a plant-based, special nutritionist who has maintained this lifestyle for more than 13 years, I'd recommend anyone who is experiencing the above to recheck if they are getting the proper amount of minerals.
WHAT ARE MINERALS ANYWAY?
Minerals are inorganic chemicals that occur naturally. They are not created secondarily by a living organism. Though there are more than 30 natural minerals, approximately 16 of them have been found to be essential for optimal human being functioning. (See infograph above.)
Minerals can be imbalanced by how and what we consume as well as failure to put in that weekly exercise. They serve an important role in the following:
CAN YOU INTAKE TO MANY MINERALS?
The answer is yes. Avoiding exceeding the recommended amount of mineral intake is just as important as ensuring you are getting enough minerals. It's definitely a balancing game. Consuming an overload of minerals can prove detrimental to your health.
411 ON COMMON KNOWN MINERALS:
When we think of Calcium, the first thing that comes to mind is its importance in healthy bones. However, Calcium plays an important role in blood clotting, enzyme stabilization, nerve communication and muscle responsiveness.
FUN FACTS ABOUT CALCIUM:
Currently, there is not a recommended daily intake for sodium as most of our consumption of this mineral is in excess, especially if we are consuming processed foods or eat out often. However, there is an excessive amount of sodium loss through sweating or any bodily excretion.
When too much sodium accumulates in the body, muscles and tissues will retain water and a rise in blood pressure is likely to occur. Lack of efficient sodium can lead to muscular weakness, nausea, vertigo and respiratory failure.
I consider Iron to be one of the most important minerals for the human body, especially as a woman. It's key in forming hemoglobin, the blood protein that carries oxygen. As women, we loose much iron when we menstruate. In fact if a woman is iron deficient, she will not even ovulate. Though foods have been so called "enriched" with iron and other minerals since the '40s, many people are still iron deficient. However, I do not recommend taking iron supplements. It's best to get iron from the foods we eat. This way the body has the ability to process and kick out what it doesn't need or use easier.
FUN FACTS ABOUT IRON:
Make sure to get in those vital nutrients in the form of minerals. Next time you're feeling off balance, ask yourself have you been eating whole foods, sprouted grains, leafy greens and of course getting the proper amount of water to assist in processing the nutrients you intake. Also if you unnaturally crave the following you probably suffer from Pica, which is caused by mineral deficiencies, especially iron.
* Ice * Clay *Dirt *Laundry Starch *Ashes or similar materials.
Article written by Chef India Camiel , All rights reserved. Sources: "Nutrition For Vegetarians" - Agatha Moody, M.D. & Calvin Thrash Jr. M.D.
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