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Monday, June 02, 2008

Can you get all your protein from fruit, veges and berries?

"Gary, wonder if you would comment on the following - XXX, the therapist who is helping me, is also a vegetarian and he told me that every day he drinks equiv. of three mugs of green-leaved veges, i.e. spinach, cale, watercress, type stuff, whipped up in a blender with water or juice and a piece of fruit or berries, whatever, to make it taste a little nicer. XXX says you can get your necessary protein i.e. that's amino acids, right? complement from this. A book I looked at recently claimed quite definitely that you cannot! Neither XXX nor the writer of the book are nutritionists, so wondered about your opinion on this? "
Gary Moller comments:
Being a vegetarian is not that easy in New Zealand. It is very difficult to get all of the nutrients, including some essential amino acids, vitamins and fatty acids. Even if some animal-sourced foods like eggs and milk are included. While spinach and kale are extremely rich in vitamin K, the uptake of it is very poor if not digested with fat (Vitamin K is one of the fat soluble vitamins). Spinach is best eaten with a dollop of yellow New Zealand butter.

I have an elderly Hindu friend. His extended family's principal source of many essential nutrients that are rare from plant sources is from the home made yogurt that is served with each meal. This is why the cow is sacred in India (from a nutritional viewpoint!). The only problem for them is the milk they use is the relatively indigestible type A1 milk protein, the pasteurisation and the the fact that most of the goodness is removed when most of the milk fat is removed. I therefore worry for their health. I have observed unusually high rates of osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and depression within the Indian population of Wellington and I wonder if it is partly due to the poor quality of the milk in their diet.

Not long ago, I had a client who went on vegetable juice diet. Trouble is he flushed his body clean of minerals and ended up in intensive care with heart problems. Just the other day, I had an inquiry from another person who had just completed a 10 day juice cleansing diet, only to be unable to sleep due to twitching legs. Another case of mineral flushing. To determine if you need minerals please go here.

A vegetarian diet should have a wide variety of foods, including lentil, nuts, vegetables and fruit. I am convinced that the vegetarian diet should include some animal protein and fat from raw milk and free range eggs. For more about the essential role of fats and fat soluble proteins, Google search for the Weston Price Foundation.

I would also be cautious about drinking loads of juice daily if it is not organic. The person drinking this could be ingesting more than their share of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals.

Do you have a question?
Email Gary: gary at (Replace the "at" with @ and remove spaces). Please include any relevant background information to your question.

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