Monthly Archives: November 2018

Vegan nutrition

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WHAT IS VEGAN?

Vegan is a person who don’t eat, wear or use anything that comes from an animal. For example vegans don’t wear leather, use cosmetics which are tested on animals or eat animal products. So there are many things to write about veganism but on this post we are going to look into vegan nutrition. Stay tuned if you want to know more about vegan cosmetics or get some awesome vegan recipes those posts are coming soon!

Of course like in every type of diet it’s really important to make sure that your vegan diet is versatile and that you are getting all the nutritions. In my opinion eating on a vegan diet is very simple and getting all the nutritions doesn’t require a lot of work. That might be because few years of being vegan I am used to all of that. But still many people think that being vegan is really difficult and that you can’t get all nutrients on a vegan diet. I am going to tell you the most important things in vegan nutrition so after reading this you can easily follow healthy vegan nutrition rich diet!

 

PROTEIN

First let’s answer the most asked question about veganism “Where do you get your protein?” From plants of course! Actually all the protein is originally coming from plants. Animals can’t produce protein on their own so they also have to get it from their diet. Animals are getting their protein from plants and when we eat the animal we are getting our protein from that. Actually we need to feed 8 kilos of plant protein to an animal in order to get one kilo of animal protein.

If we are looking for high protein plants we have a lot of options for them!  For example chickpeas, lentils, tofu, soy, oat, nuts, spirulina, chia seeds, hemp seeds, quinoa and beans. We just have to be careful because meat and plant protein are a bit different. Meat has a complete amino acid profile and there is some vegetables which contain all of them like soy, hemp, quinoa and spirulina but most of vegetables does not. So in order to get all essential amino acids you have to keep your vegan diet versatile. Legumes lacks methionine and cysteine, and wheat lacks lysine. That’s why it’s good to combine different type of plant protein sources for example you can eat beans with grains and oatmeal with nuts and seeds. You can add peanut butter to whole wheat bread or make hummus from chickpeas and tahini.

 

B12

There is only one essential nutrient which is impossible to get from plant based diet. That’s vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is a bacteria which we can’t produce on our own so it’s necessary to get in our diet.  Some animals can produce it in their intestinal and some animals are getting it from supplement and that’s why it is possible to get B12 from animal products. Of course vegans don’t eat any animal products so we have to get it somewhere else. We used to get B12 by just eating wild living plants and drinking water but modern world is so sterile that B12 bacteria doesn’t live in our ground anymore so only what we have left is supplementing it.

B12 deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage so it’s really important to every vegan supplement it. We have a lot of options of vitamin B12 in Anni’s vital shop. My favourite is Nordic Health B12 Boost spray. Just spray it under your tongue and that’s it! No need to get glass of water and swallow pills. Four sprays of this contains 1200ug of vitamin B12, 40ug of chromium, green tea extract and it’s sweetened with xylitol.

 

CALCIUM

When I tell people that I am vegan after asking about my protein the next question usually will be “How do you get enough calcium without cows milk?” Well easily! There are a lot of plant based calcium sources. Tofu, sesam seed, nettle, broccoli, kale, tahini, spinach, almonds, hazelnuts… Also many plant milks and yogurts are fortified with calcium. Of course if you are having hard time to make sure that you are eating some of these every day you it would be good to supplement it.

 

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IODINE

Iodine is necessary to us and our body can’t make it on it’s own so we have to get it from our food. Iodine is really important to our thyroid and if we aren’t getting it enough it can cause thyroid insufficiency. Mostly iodine is found in the ocean and that’s why seaweed is iodine rich. There are not so many iodine sources so it can be little bit difficult to get from food. Besides seaweed it’s found in fish, dairy and eggs, which obviously aren’t vegan. Nowadays it’s also added to some salts.

If you are vegan and don’t use iodine fortified salt or eat seaweed it might be good to supplement it. We have a great selection iodine supplements in Anni’s vital shop. I really like the solgar kelp one. It is made from seaweed named kelp. One capsule of these contains 200ug iodine which is 133% of daily recommendation.

 

OMEGA 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for us so it is really important to make sure that we are getting them enough from our food. When we say omega 3 people tend to think that it’s only fish where it’s coming from but actually there are also many plant based sources for omega 3. For example chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and avocado contains omega 3. If it’s difficult to you make sure that you are eating some of these every day it might be good idea to supplement it. For that there’s also vegan options. We have a good selection of those in Anni’s vital shop. Products that I like to use are Pharma Nord Omega 7 and Biosym VegOmega-3. Omega 7 is made of sea buckthorn oil and it contains omega 3, 6, 7 and 9 in a good balance. VegOmega-3 is made from algae and it has high content of omega 3.

 

VITAMIN D

It’s really difficult to get enough vitamin D from food, no matter what type of diet you are on, because fish and wild mushrooms are almost only food that contain even a little bit of vitamin D. Of course following vegan diet you can’t have it from fish so that is leaving you only mushrooms and I wouldn’t count on them. What we have left is supplementing it or getting it from the sun. Our skin can produce vitamin D from the sun if suns UV rays are close enough. For example in Finland there is only three months during whole year when suns UV rays are close enough to get you vitamin D from the sun. In Spain of course we have a little bit more sun than in Finland but even here it’s actually really hard to get it from the sun because you would have to be in the sun without clothes every day. That’s why I would recommend to every vegan and also non vegan to supplement vitamin D. There are two types of vitamin D. Our body can use either one so just take care you are getting one of those. D2 is always plant based and usually D3 is animal based, but there are some exceptions. Vitamin D3 is absorbed better than vitamin D2. We have in Anni’s vital shop Veg D-3 which contain 75ug vitamin D3.

 

MULTIVITAMIN

If you feel like you need a little more help to get all the vitamins and minerals, we have multivitamins which are specially made for vegans. Sometimes life can get a little busy and we don’t have so much time to make sure that we’re getting every nutrient so multivitamins can be good option for those periods of life. In our selection we have three different multivitamins which are specially for vegans. SpektroVEG, Longo Vital Vegan and Omni Vegan. They all contain a good amount of essential vitamins and minerals. These has also iodine, vitamin D and b12 in them so if you choose to buy one of these it might be only supplement you have to take.

 

 See you in the shop!

Milla – Anni’s Vital Shop, Los Boliches

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Atrial fibrillation

By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,
Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

 

Hjertefl
The article is also available in Spanish, Finnish, Danish

 

Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the heart’s atrium. The atrium is contracting faster than with a normal heart rhythm.
Atrial fibrillation can often cause blood clots in the brain.

In this time, I seem to be surrounded by people who complain about atrial fibrillation. I was wondering why this was the case, until I stumbled across an article, that described different kinds of heart attack and mentioned, that the attacks occur most frequently in the months October, November, and December.
You should obviously see a doctor if you are experiencing heart problems. There are many effective ways to help your heart today.
You can take many actions yourself, to ensure that your heart remains strong and functioning, even as you get older. The heart is an amazing pump, that starts working even before we are born, only to continue all throughout our life.
We only have one heart, so we should see it as a wonderful gift that we take care of, but often we don’t think much about it, until it starts to signal that it needs attention and appreciation for its hard work.
The stress many of us are experiencing these days, is our hearts worst enemy. It is as if stress leaves a contagious source in the air, which is difficult to get around, but we must be very conscious to deal with it, in the best manner possible.
The heart is a very delicate motor, that doesn’t benefit from suddenly getting pushed to its max performance, as it can damage it.
I felt it with myself, when I had to run for half an hour with a heavy suitcase, when my plane was delayed and had to get to the next flight (which I ended up missing anyways). It lasted for a while, the feeling that I should take extra care of my heart.


The symptoms of atrial fibrillation
They are most commonly abnormal heart rhythm, difficulty catching your breath, chest pain together with dizziness and fatigue.
It is usually people above 50 that are affected by atrial fibrillation, and more than 13.000 people are yearly hospitalized with the affliction in Denmark. It is estimated that roughly 75.000 people live with the illness. Studies have shown that roughly 10% of all people have atrial fibrillation. It is a common sickness that exists in numerous variations, some people experience it as rare attacks, while other people have it more or less all the time.
Atrial fibrillation is a rhythm disturbance in the heart’s atrium. The atrium is contracting faster than with a normal heart rhythm.
Visit your doctor, if you suddenly feel that your heart is running rampant, with an unusual fast heart rhythm. Atrial fibrillation can often cause blood clots in the brain.

The diet
The diet can perhaps not completely prevent atrial fibrillation, but it is certain that you can strengthen and keep your heart healthy through your diet.

If you have a large consumption of coffee and sugary treats, then cut down on them. Instead choose a high-quality green tea, you can also alternate between teas with nettle and ginger. Make sure to drink plenty of water of a high quality. Be careful with alcohol. The heart association discourages alcohol consumption completely. Too much alcohol can trigger symptoms connected with atrial fibrillation. Avoid fast-food such as burgers and hotdogs and exclude cake and fatty deserts. All in all, the combination of fat and sugar is a poor mix.
Eat lots of foods that contain plenty of antioxidants and focus on getting anti-inflammatory foods. Make sure, to the extend that it is possible, to eat ecological foods of a good quality.
Be careful with beef and animal innards and eat very little meat in general. Make sure that fish is on the menu at least two times a week. Be sparse with all kinds of dairy products, they help increase inflammation, which is often a part of having an irregular heart rhythm.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Apricots are strengthening for both heart and brain. You can eat dried apricots outside of the apricot season, but make sure that they are not treated with sulfur dioxide. It’s best to eat apricots after 3pm. Berries are good against atrial fibrillation. Your daily apple or two must not be forgotten. If you can get your hands on wild blueberries, optionally frozen, then use them in your daily diet. Another precious fruit is pineapple, which is also great for your green salads. Vegetables help flush out acid accumulations. Eat plenty of broccoli, cauliflower, red cabbage etc. Make sure that your vegetables also contain leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, chard, field lettuce etc. Let onions be a part of your daily diet and remember the healthy artichoke.
If you haven’t tried it before, then introduce sweet potatoes into your diet. They bring many benefits, one of which is the relief of heart palpitations.
Use plenty of garlic, turmeric, ginger, and olive oil in your daily diet. You should also consider coconut in its different forms, such as oil or coconut water.
Eat plenty of nuts and almonds.
Avoid wheat products, but instead use buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and wholegrain rice. The products come in many variants, such as flour or grain for porridge and pasta. You can find many wonderful recipes for bread using these ingredients on the internet. Anette Harbech Olesen has written many easy-to-follow cook/baking books that doesn’t use wheat, but instead utilises other exciting grains.


Dietary supplements

  • Start with a broad-spectrum vitamin/mineral product, which is of good quality and easily absorbable.
  • There should also be a good and likewise easily absorbable vitamin-B product as a part of your base. Optionally you could supplement with extra vitamin-B12, in spray form or as a tablet.
  • Take extra vitamin-C. 1 – 1½ grams daily. It is important with all cardiovascular disorders. It helps repair the blood vessels and prevents inflammatory changes that causes atrial fibrillation.
  • You can optionally supplement with vitamin-E, up to 350 mg daily. Some people prefer to get their vitamin-E through wheat germ oil.
  • Selenium, 100 – 200 mcg daily can also be a great help.
  • Magnesium can be recommended, preferably 600 mg in the evening. There must also be calcium present in your dietary supplements. If you are not taking a supplement of vitamin-B, then you have to supplement with B6, as it aids the absorption of magnesium in the body.
  • Q10 is recommended, in doses between 100 – 300 mg daily. Make sure to get a product that has a documented absorption rate.
  • Omega-3 is very important for the heart and counteracts heartrate disturbances. It can be taken as a fish oil, roughly 2 grams daily, or in the form of flaxseed oil, 1 table spoon daily. Omega-3 does also have a vegan edition which is made from algae.
  • Hawthorn comes both in liquid and capsule form. When I personally experience difficulties with my heart, then I always turn to this and have done so in many years. I feel it has a remarkable strengthening effect on my heart, but it might not be as effective against atrial fibrillation. It is a great remedy for high blood pressure.
  • Pycnogenol is bark from a French pine tree and it’s very effective at preventing blood clots and supports a good blood circulation. You should take 1 tablet in the morning. It is a powerful antioxidant, that protects the body from damages from oxygen radicals and thereby prevents inflammation.
  • Garlic is also preventive against blood clots.
  •  The amino acid Taurine counteracts potassium deficiency, and it has been shown to help some people with heart problems, by strengthening and making the contractions in the heart muscle more efficient. Taurine can be a great 3-step rocket, together with magnesium and B6.
  • The amino acid L-carnitine also works as a heart strengthener and is known to improve irregular heart rhythms.
  • If you are receiving any prescription heart medication, then you should always discuss the supplements you are planning to take, with your doctor. The doctor should, in my opinion, be able to provide guidance about what combination of the allopathic medicine goes together with the dietary supplements that so many heart patients wish to use. This is very important, and the allopathic medicine often is affected by different supplements.


Tips

  • Stay far away from tobacco. If you are a smoker, then reduce your tobacco consumption as quickly as you can muster without getting stressed.
  • It is important to avoid stress, especially the long-lasting stress can be very burdensome on the heart. If you drive a car, then practice patience.
  • If you are overweight, then make sure that you start losing weight in a sensible way, again without too much stress, you may be able to utilize a dietician. The hard part comes after you have reached your desired weight, namely that you must keep your weight stable. So, if you have used a dietician, then keep that connection, incase you might need it again.
  • Make sure to get exercise. It is important, if you want to have a healthy heart, that you are active, so blood is circulating properly. If you are having a cold or have just had one, or another infectious disease, then you must spare your heart. Avoid exercise until you are completely healthy. It is often a virus in the heart muscle. We usually function fine with it, but if the heart is strained during an infection, then it can act up, as it doesn’t like to get pressured in these situations.
  • You must be aware that sick teeth can have tremendous influence on your heart. Certain teeth have direct reflex pathways to the heart. It takes a professional dentist and doctor to guide you in this matter.

Louise Hay writes, the heart represents love and our blood represents joy. Our heart lovingly pumps joy through our body. If we deny ourselves joy and love, then our heart shrinks and gets cold, and that is when heart attacks happen.
Louse Hay also mentions, that the people who experience heart attacks are never happy people. To avoid more heart attacks, you must give yourself time to appreciate the joys in life.