Nutrition Questions and Answers
Vital Health Zone is proud to announce Anastacia Sampson , who is our resident naturopathic expert and who is available to answer questions about nutrition and health.
Anastacia Sampson has a private practice and is available for consultation in a number of ways.
Anastacia Sampson will answer your nutrition-related questions.
Q: My wife and I have been vegetarians for 10 years and we are slowly heading towards dropping animal protein altogether.
Would you recommend an iron and vitamin B12 combined supplement?
In regards to iodine intake, what would be better, seaweed derivatives ie, kelp and nori, or a supplement. We try not to add salt to our food or buy commercial breads so we don't get iodine in our diet from those.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
A: Thank you for your email.
It would be worthy to supplement iodine, vitamin B12, iron and zinc. As for iron it is best taken with vitamin C. Also note that the quality of plant proteins can be boosted by combining groups together.
Iodine is usually sourced from kelp (seaweed) so basically a kelp supplement will serve you well. Of course one can also rather eat some types of seaweed. Note we only need so much iodine and it is usually always best to follow the supplement guidelines.
Taking a vitamin B12 supplement is especially beneficial as we age to support neurological (brain) health. A complex vitamin B supplement could be of support as B vitamins function well together and to prevent any potential deficiency.
Our prime sources of zinc are animal sources and a 15mg zinc supplement would be ideal. Although some cereal grains and nuts with seeds do contribute fairly well in zinc.
Lastly iron from animal sources is more efficiently absorbed than from plant sources (in different forms). However accompanying vitamin C will boost the use of plant iron. Once again anything from 100mg to 1000mg daily of vitamin C will serve you well. You may not need to be too concerned with iron (being male or post menopausal for a woman) but generally 18mg daily will be fine.
Always mix your plant wholefoods (one part pulse - beans, lentils and two parts cereal - rice, wheat, maize, rye, barley or oats). Remember high protein foods such as buck wheat, millet, lentils and peanuts. There are of course many brilliant plant foods out there! They are extremely healthy and protect us from diseases and fast track ageing. Do try and have as much variety as possible and there are many types of plant foods to maintain and promote well-being.
Congratulations on your dietary progress, remember there is ample natural organic salt in many plant foods such as leafy vegetables but hardly any in cereal grains. We need the healthy salts in moderation just as we need many nutrients in balance. Bread can be far more appealing when prepared according to personal tastes (perhaps with seeds) and definitely superior when home baked with whole grain flours.
If you should have any further questions do email any time.
Please note that the information provided is for educational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Consult with your medical physician regarding appropriateness of using supplements in your healing process.
Enjoy better health!