Hello everyone. I recently shared with you about my experience of vegetarianism and some books that answer many questions about plant foods. Today I want to focus on a narrow topic and talk about vitamins. I was prompted to write this text by a question from a “stuck” vegetarian: “How do you live without B12?” Now, when it is mostly cloudy and rainy outside (at least in Perm, this is the case), the topic of vitamins is especially relevant. It doesn’t matter if you are a vegetarian or not.
Dispelling the B12 myth
More than a year ago, the book “Plant Diet” helped me to understand everything (and don’t be intimidated by the word “diet”). The author notes that vitamin B12 deficiency is not only a vegetarian problem. Many meat eaters also experience low levels of it in their bodies. The fact is that it is formed not in plants or animals, as it seems to us, but in the ground with the help of microorganisms. Yes, some types of meat contain vitamin B12, but only because the animal that became the source of this meat ate plants covered with earth. Many foods, such as cereals and soy milk, are also fortified with B12.
Where are the rest of the vitamins?
Typically, plant foods are the richest source of these vitamins and minerals. Below you will find a list of foods with the highest RDA per serving of these vitamins and minerals. Some of them exceed the daily requirement by four or more times. For example, a serving of cabbage contains 1327.6% vitamin K. And the vitamin E content (61.5%) in sunflower seeds seems insignificant, although they are the richest source of it. You might be surprised, but oranges are not the richest source of vitamin C. So if your friend is sick, bring him bell peppers or papaya.
Let’s decide on the unit of measurement. Per serving: 2 teaspoons of spices and herbs, 1 fruit, 1 cup (240 ml) cooked herbs or raw vegetables.
Sweet potatoes (438.1%), carrots (407.6%), spinach (377.3%), kale (354.1%), collard greens (308.3%), turnip greens (219.6%) ), Swiss chard (this is a subspecies of beets, 214.3%), pumpkin (214.3%), mustard leaves (177%), romaine lettuce (163.7%).
Papaya (313.1%), bell peppers (195.8%), strawberries (141.1%), broccoli (135.2%), pineapple (131.4%), Brussels sprouts (126.6%), kiwi (120%), oranges (116.1%), melon (97.8%), kale (88.8%)
Kale (1327.6%), spinach (1110.6%), collard greens (1045%), Swiss chard (715.9%), mustard leaves (524.1%), Brussels sprouts (194.7%), parsley (155.8%), romaine lettuce (120.4%), broccoli (115.5%).
Potatoes (27%), sunflower seeds (23.5%), spinach (22%), bananas (21.5%), avocado (19%), bell peppers (13.5%), turnips (13%), pumpkin (12.5%), shiitake mushrooms (12.5%), basil (7.7%), garlic (7.4%), cayenne pepper (7.1%), cauliflower (6.7%) , mustard leaves (6%).
Sunflower seeds (61.5%), almonds (44.8%), spinach (18.7%), Swiss chard (16.5%), turnip leaves (13.5%), papaya (11%), mustard leaves (8.4%), collard greens (8.3%), asparagus (7.5%), bell peppers (7.2%), kale (5.6%), raspberries (5.4%), cayenne pepper (5.3%), tomatoes (4.9%).
Soybeans (49.1%), lentils (36.6%), spinach (35.7%), tofu (33.7%), sesame seeds (29.1%), chickpeas (26.3%), beans lima (24.9%), olives (24.6%), Turkish beans (23.8%), Swiss chard (22%), thyme (19.2%), asparagus (15.9%), cumin (15 ,5%).
Tofu (39.6%), sesame seeds (35.1%), collard greens (26.6%), spinach (24.4%), turnip leaves (19.7%), molasses (11.8%) , Swiss chard (10.1%), kale (9.36%), basil (5.9%), oregano (5.7%), thyme (5.3%), cinnamon (5.2%) ( products of animal origin have comparable values).
What’s with vitamin D?
The book Blue Zones teaches that vitamin D is an important ingredient in a recipe for longevity. It is produced by our skin when exposed to sunlight. Lack of this vitamin increases the risk of developing a huge number of different diseases, including cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Heart problems, brittle bones, muscle atrophy are also consequences of a lack of vitamin D.
The National Institutes of Health recommends sun exposure for 10-15 minutes twice a week. What should we, residents of cities do, where the sun does not exist for more than six months? Dairy products, potatoes, parsley, sunflower seeds, nuts, mushrooms and oatmeal help us to fill the lack of vitamin D.
Isn’t it better to drink a vitamin complex?
Here’s a quote from the book Blue Zones: “In most cases, eating 6-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is enough to meet your daily vitamin requirements. Few people follow this advice. And why not provide your body with cheap and affordable multivitamins? ” Usually, vitamin complexes that have passed all the necessary checks, clinical studies and certification are quite expensive. It is much more pleasant to cook a variety of dishes, even with meat, but with a lot of vegetables.
Don’t get sick this fall, friends!
Based on the books “Blue Zones” and “Plant Diet”.
Cover photo: pixabay.