Posted by: Micky | 2004/10/06

Vegetarian rush

I have been one of those rare children who's mothers had no problem with eating veggies, but meat. I have stopped eating red meat in 1997 & cut all animal proteins as a new year's resolution this year. I've been vegan for almost a year now. I have a family history of terrible allergies which was one of the reasons for me quiting animal proteins. The problem is that my family history also includes low blood pressure, low blood sugar levels & a tenancy to be anemic. I can feel a definate improvement in my allergies. The problem is that I am more prone to suffer from dizziness & fatigue than before. I try to include lots of spinanch & beetroot into my diet to make up for the loss of iron. I am a modern day hippy & won't consider going back on meat just for the sake of saving myself from dizzy spells. I also drink only Rooibos tea & don't smoke. Which veggies can I also include to give me more of an iron injection?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Micky
Unfortunately the iron in plant foods is not bioavailable because it is bound to phytates. You need to take an iron-folic acid supplement and if you have cut out all animal proteins, then you will also be at risk of calcium, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acid deficiencies. It may thus be a good idea to take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement like Centrum or Supradyn forte, Calcium Sandoz forte and Salmon oil capsules (for omega-3). It would be a pity if you improved your allergies, but developed deficiencies instead.
Best regards

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