More and more we are seeing how a plant based diet is vital from optimal health because of its richness in phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals as well as providing plenty of fibre for digestive health.
Essential fats for a healthy inflammatory response to injury
A study published in 2014 found the risk of cancers was lower in fish eaters and vegetarians than in meat eaters. The benefits of oily fish are that they are rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids. Fundamental to The In-Sync Diet is the principal that inflammation is at the root of all chronic disease. In 1996 Dr Chales Sarhan, who helped develop the asparin realised that a local healing inflammatory response does not fizzle out. Instead it has a beginning a middle and an end. This knowledge is vitally important for the treatment of inflammation because non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines were developed to dampen down the inflammatory response. If a response is dampened down you may still be producing inflammation which does not resolve itself.
What we know now is that within the first four days of injuring yourself it is important to have a correct inflammatory reaction so that the compensatory anti-inflammatory response can occur. Vegans should consume a vegan supplement made from marine algae to boost omega 3 levels. They should also have walnuts seaweeds, squash and leafy greens which should also contribute. Whether a vegan, vegetarian or omnivore it is important that the diet is weighed in favour of omega 3 fatty acids rather than the pro-inflammatory, but nevertheless essential as we cannot make them in the body, omega 6 fatty acids.
B Vitamins in particular B12
B vitamins are essential for heath, and necessary for cell division and metabolism, and energy production. They are plentiful in meat, eggs and dairy. Whilst B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 and folate are found (in varying quantities) in plant foods, this is not the case for Vitamin B12. B12 deficiency has serious consequences and is, frequently misdiagnosed. Deficiency may lead to megaloblastic anaemia and neurological complaints. In infants it can cause symptoms similar to those of autism. It is essential that those not eating meat get adequate B12 from a supplement or from fortified foods if they don’t want to put their health at serious risk.
What about bone health?
If you don’t eat dairy, or foods that contain fat soluble vitamin D, your doctor may worry about the effects on your bone health. However concluded that plant-based diets are not detrimental to bone in young adults. Increased plant and vegetable intake increases alkalinity, which benefits bone mineral density. However, the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada warn that calcium intake for vegan children may below the recommended ”. In addition, they warn that compounds such as phytates in whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds can be detrimental to calcium (and iron and zinc) absorption. Vitamin D2 is for bone health, and this is found in grass-fed meats, as well as in fermented vegetables.
Keeping your gut healthy
The In-Sync Diet omits gluten-containing grains because of the risks of gluten and its role in inflammation and many gut-related health issues. Lectins, which can occur at particularly high levels in legumes, if uncooked or undercooked can also interfere with the delicate gut lining of the digestive tract and cause permeability. As a vegan you will need to get some of your protein from legumes. As we advise in our book, these should be prepared yourself by soaking them for twenty-four hours then rinsed thoroughly a couple of times and cooked until soft to remove much of the lectin content. Traditionally ferment soy products such as tofu or tempeh should also be fine. Mushrooms compared to other plant foods are surprisingly high in protein content with shitake being the best. Again algae is coming to the fore not only because if its healthy fat content but also its protein profile too. Blue green algae is known to consist of seventy percent vegetable protein and also has higher levels of beta-carotene than broccoli.
To discuss any concerns you may have please get in contact.