These are just a few of the nutritional deficiencies commonly found in vegetarians.
Vitamin B 12 deficiency is very common amongst plant-eating people, because this vitamin comes exclusively from animal foods. It is one of the most essential substances for our bodies to function properly. Your brain, the rest of your nervous system, your immune system and all other organs in the body require this vitamin. Our blood composition is particularly vulnerable to deficiency in vitamin B12, which leads to pernicious anaemia (deficiency in the production of red blood cells).
People can take supplements of this vitamin, but in order to process it properly the body requires protein. Good quality protein comes only from animal foods, so the bodies of many vegetarians are unable to use vitamin BI2 from supplements. Our gut flora produces this vitamin, but unfortunately many people have unhealthy gut flora. It is essential for all humans to consume at least some animal foods!
Vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy need to make sure they consume enough of these foods to supply them with this vital vitamin. Animal liver provides large amounts of vitamin BI2 in combination with protein, fat-soluble vitamins and all other nutrients necessary for the body to use BI2 appropriately. Even Max Gerson, the creator of The Gerson Protocol for treating cancer (a vegan protocol), included raw liver in his patients’ diet.
Vitamin A is an essential substance for the human body. Our brain, eyes, immune system and all cells in the body require this vitamin for their structure and function. Plants do not contain functional vitamin A-retinol. Instead they contain carotenoids, which in a healthy body can be converted into retinol. The problem is that environmental toxins and nutritional deficiencies are able to block this conversion; so many people are unable to convert plant carotenoids into real vitamin A. Despite eating plenty of carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and other plants rich in carotenoids, these people develop vitamin A deficiency. Real functional vitamin A is found only in animal foods, and the richest sources are organ meats, liver in particular. Eggs and butter also contain good amounts of vitamin A. Vegetarians have to be aware of this fact and make sure they eat plenty of eggs, ghee and butter.
When you start developing vitamin A deficiency, your immune system gets compromised and you start getting infections. This is important to watch for. The problem is that very often the immune system of vegans is not in a fit state to launch a proper reaction to a microbe. When we get a common cold, it is not the virus that gives us high temperature, headache, runny nose, sneezing and all the other symptoms. It is our own immune system that is causing all these uncomfortable symptoms because it is fighting the virus. Some vegans will tell you that they ‘never get colds’. The reality is that they get the viruses, but their immune system is unable to launch any defence against these viruses. So, the person doesn’t get any symptoms, while the virus just gets into the body and settles in.
Vitamin D is only present in animal foods; fish livers and oily fish are the richest sources of this vitamin. When we sunbathe, cholesterol in our skin is converted into vitamin D. That is why this vitamin is called ‘the sunshine vitamin’. Plant foods do not provide any cholesterol, so the body of a person on a plant-based diet has to work very hard to manufacture cholesterol (7-dehydrocholesterol) and send it to the skin to be converted into vitamin D.
Eggs from birds that are raised under sunshine on pasture contain a good amount of vitamin D. The same goes for milk and butter: the cows or goats must graze in the sunshine on pasture in order to have vitamin D in their milk. When we don’t have enough vitamin D, most things in the body go wrong!
The body cannot build bones without this vitamin; deficiency leads to osteoporosis, rickets and osteomalacia (softening of the bones). Every degenerative disease, including heart disease, diabetes and cancer, are linked to low levels of vitamin D in the body. Lack of vitamin D is also linked to neurological and mental illness. Vegetarians must consume good quality eggs and dairy products, and they need to make sure they sunbathe as much as possible to maintain normal levels of this vital vitamin in their bodies. Research has discovered that the majority of the Western population has low levels of vitamin D.
Both cholesterol and sunshine are essential for us, but the population has been subjected to a long period of faulty propaganda against them. Please read my book Put Your Heart in Your Mouth to get a good understanding of this subject. Here is the link https://www.amazon.com/Put-Your-Heart-Mouth-Atherosclerosis/dp/095485201X
Vitamin K2 comes from animal foods, and it is produced by healthy gut flora. It is different from K1, which comes from plants. K1 is largely involved in blood clotting, while K2 has many different functions. For example, without K2 calcium doesn’t go into your bones and teeth; instead it settles in soft tissues while you are developing osteoporosis and tooth decay. Goose liver, traditional high-fat cheeses, egg yolks, butter, meats and animal livers are the richest sources of this vitamin. The only plant food that provides large amounts of vitamin K2 is natto.
Vegetarians need to make sure they eat natto daily, as well as good quality eggs and cheese, to obtain enough vitamin K2. Fermented foods contain good amounts of this vitamin because it is produced by microbes. In traditional cultures healthy vegetarians always included fermented foods in their diet: sauerkraut and kimchi, kefir and cheese, fermented grains and beans, and fermented beverages.
Zinc is one of the most important minerals a human body uses. It is involved in hundreds of enzymatic reactions and it is a structural element for many organs and hormones in the body. Animal foods, seafood in particular, are rich in this mineral, while plants contain very little. It is impossible to provide your body with enough zinc on a purely plant-based diet! Deficiency leads to low immune status, anorexia and other mental illnesses, poor digestive function, poor perception of taste, skin problems and problems in the rest of the body. Egg yolks and milk will provide some zinc, but the richest sources are oysters, crab, shrimp and other seafood, as well as livers of animals and red meat.
Deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals, protein and natural fats are common amongst vegetarians. People who choose this lifestyle must study the value of foods and think carefully about what they eat on a daily basis to provide their bodies with proper nutrition. Without this planning it is very easy to develop multiple nutritional deficiencies and a degenerative illness.
Many people choose this vegetarianism and veganism lifestyle for emotional, political or other reasons, without much understanding of what the consequences. Doctors see more and more people who live on plant-based diets with profound mental and physical degeneration: anorexia nervosa, depression, schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Unfortunately, once they get ill, it is extremely difficult to help them.
It is very easy to destroy your health! It is much more difficult to regain it!
Vegans force their bodies to survive on cleansing foods only, that is why many of them look ‘washed out’ and are severely malnourished. The goal is not to just survive but to have optimal physical and mental health, full vitality, boundless energy to enjoy life and be successful, finding love, building a family, having beautiful children and enough resources to bring them up.
Weston A. Price, a wonderful scientist who at the beginning of the 20th century traveled around the world to study traditional cultures. He was specifically looking for a purely plant-based healthy culture; he did not find one! He concluded: ‘As yet, I have not found a single group of primitive racial stock which was building and maintaining excellent bodies by living entirely on plant foods. I have found in many parts of the world most devout representatives of modern ethical systems advocating restriction of foods to the vegetable products. In every instance, where the groups involved had been long under this teaching, I found evidence of degeneration.’
For more information on vegetarianism and veganism please visit my Blog, 2HealthyHabits.
Also, for an in depth understanding, copy and paste the link and read Vegetarianism and Nutrient Deficiencies
I hope this Post has brought some clarity to the subject of a plant-based lifestyle.
This Post has been condensed from Dr. Natasha McBride’s book: Vegetarianism Explained: Making an Informed Decision. Here is a link: https://www.amazon.com/Vegetarianism-Explained-Making-Informed-Decision/dp/0954852060
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