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Protein & Calcium


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I am new to the vegan lifestyle and am loving it already...

 

Two things concern me.

 

1. Protein

 

What is the largest source of protein that I can take daily?

 

2. Calcium

 

I don't want my bones to become weak - what do you suggest for this?

 

I try to stick to raw, organic, and whole foods - please keep that in mind when answering protein/calcium questions above. I don't really take supplments, I am sticking to a natural lifestyle.

 

Thanks.

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I do supplement with protein powders, but that is because I am a BBer and really hit the weights really heavy (bulking season has begun in earnest!! Yeah!). My kids do not lift now that school has begun. They each get their protein in different ways. My littlest one eats peanut butter by the large spoonfuls (and garlicky tahini sauce instead of butter on his bread and tortillas). My other son eats seiten sausages by just heating them up in the microwave and rolls them up in a tortilla. My other one (that is done growing I hope at 6'3" and 205 lbs! turning 18 years old in March! Very big vegan!) does bean dip (heats up a can of refried beans - usually green chilis and lime style) and corn chips & salsa. This is all in addition to the revolving meals of beans and rice, sausages in some wheat standard (biscuits, pizza, buns), stirfry with nuts (cashews, almonds, pinenuts), and more stuff (even my morning muffins have walnuts and ground up flax/sunflower/pepitas for extra protein and nutrition). I also do spirulina in my oatmeal for more protein punch. immune properties, and overall health enhancements.

 

Calcium is just there the varied diet that we have. Have to remember to get outside to get Vitamin D though. When winter hits the MidWest around December I put the kids on Vitamin D2 to help them keep growing healthy and utilize their calcium for bone growth (I take the supplement too because I need to keep my calcium in my bones!). I do know that tahini has alot of calcium and so does my dulse flakes that I use in my baked goods.

 

Dulse info:

 

* Dulse is a rich source of potassium, which is an essential cellular ion and low in sodium salts. A recent study suggested that the majority of Westerners exhibit a potassium deficiency.

 

* Zinc is an important ion required for the proper functioning of an enzyme called DNA.

 

* Manganese is required for a surprising number of essential enzymes, such as pyruvate carboxylase, a key enzyme involved in the production of energy from sugars. Therefore, this ion is of cardinal importance.

 

* Dulse sea vegetable is rich in iron and is recognized for its important role as a central component of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. These cells transport oxygen around the body through blood stream. Therefore, taking a dulse seaweed supplement can help prevent anemia.

 

* Dulse seaweed is rich in calcium, an ion required by the body for the formation of healthy bones. Calcium is especially required by women at risk of osteoporosis and young children for the development of strong, healthy bones and teeth.

 

* The Magnesium in dulse is found to bind to adenosine triphosphate, the energy currency of the cell. This important energy molecule is involved in the majority of the biochemical processes the cell undergoes.

 

* Iodine is found in most types of sea vegetables, seaweeds and kelps. Iodine prevents gout and should be taken by people who obtain nutrition from food stuffs grown in iodine poor soils. This ion plays a role in controlling thyroxine concentration, a hormone that regulates energy levels within the body. People who are run down or are affected by lethargy often find that they suffer from reduced thyroxine levels.

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Thanks so much for the response.

 

My issue is I want to stay away from all the stuff you mentioned

 

I stick to whole, raw, & organic only - No supplements, no canned stuff, no refried beans, chips, dip - none of that stuff.

 

I should've been more clear when asking the question.

 

What's the best source of protein & calcium that is whole, raw, & organic only?

 

Thanks.

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Spinach has a lot of calcium for a vegetable (I think... I could be wrong. I know spinach is very rich in iron but off hand I think it might be rich in calcium too)

 

You may want to play around with Cronometer (google it). Put in your daily food intake and see how you match up as far as calcium and protein intake.

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Oxalic acid prevents calcium from being absorbed. Spinach has a lot of calcium, but a lot of oxalic acid. Spinach is a poor calcium source because most of it people can't absorb.

 

Here is a sticky that compares the best calcium sources and looks at how much calcium from each you can expect to absorb

http://veganbodybuilding.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=13765

 

Nice! just bookmarked it. You're always such a great source of info BW! I love love love your sticky article on your blog which refers to being obsessed with the number on the scale and I sometimes forward that article to my clients.

 

I think its challenging to get all of her/his needs met that OP is trying to with the restrictions that she's put on her diet. Its a very healthy way to live... but challenging to find the Vitamin/Mineral requirements with such strict guidelines. I put my diet in Cronometer once and it is off the charts in all vitamins and minerals. I think I came in at like 80% in Potassium and Vitamin K or something like that, but everything else was way way over 100 and even 200%, but I attribute some of that to supplementing with things like fortefied soymilks, etc.

 

If you end up putting together a well balanced plan for yourself adequate in those nutrients, maybe you'll want to share with the board what you put together for yourself

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I should've been more clear when asking the question.

 

What's the best source of protein & calcium that is whole, raw, & organic only?

 

Thanks.

 

Nuts and seeds. I make my own trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dates, apricots, raisins, and ginger and snack on it whenever I'm hungry. Sometimes I eat a lot of it as a small meal. If you want more calcium, add sesame seeds to your diet and eat more leafy greens and broccoli.

 

But, eating too much protein will do more to weaken your bones than not eating enough calcium. Too much protein is a huge contributor to acidosis, which requires your body to pull calcium from your bones to keep your blood neutral.

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I should've been more clear when asking the question.

 

What's the best source of protein & calcium that is whole, raw, & organic only?

 

Thanks.

 

Nuts and seeds. I make my own trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dates, apricots, raisins, and ginger and snack on it whenever I'm hungry. Sometimes I eat a lot of it as a small meal. If you want more calcium, add sesame seeds to your diet and eat more leafy greens and broccoli.

 

But, eating too much protein will do more to weaken your bones than not eating enough calcium. Too much protein is a huge contributor to acidosis, which requires your body to pull calcium from your bones to keep your blood neutral.

 

If he/she (OP) is eating Raw, Organic, nothing processed, whole foods... I think it would be virtually impossible for her to get TOO MUCH protein, don't you?

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I should've been more clear when asking the question.

 

What's the best source of protein & calcium that is whole, raw, & organic only?

 

Thanks.

 

Nuts and seeds. I make my own trail mix with almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, dates, apricots, raisins, and ginger and snack on it whenever I'm hungry. Sometimes I eat a lot of it as a small meal. If you want more calcium, add sesame seeds to your diet and eat more leafy greens and broccoli.

 

But, eating too much protein will do more to weaken your bones than not eating enough calcium. Too much protein is a huge contributor to acidosis, which requires your body to pull calcium from your bones to keep your blood neutral.

 

If he/she (OP) is eating Raw, Organic, nothing processed, whole foods... I think it would be virtually impossible for her to get TOO MUCH protein, don't you?

 

No, I don't. Harder, yes, but not virtually impossible. Although it is true that the protein that they're eating would be a lot less acid-forming and thus less harmful, I think that lack of dietary calcium is usually the least likely reason why people develop bone problems.

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The American Dietetic Association recommends:

 

Protein:

almonds, black beans, brown rice, cashews, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, peanut butter, pinto beans, seitan, soybeans, soymilk, sunflower seeds, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu, vegetarian hot dogs, and vegetarian burgers.

 

Iron:

Black beans, bran flakes, cashews, Cream of Wheat, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), GrapeNuts, kidney beans, lentils, navy beans, oatmeal, pumpkin seeds, raisins, soybeans, soymilk, spinach, sunflower seeds, tofu, tomato juice, whole wheat bread.

 

Calcium:

Almonds, black beans, broccoli, calcium-fortified orange juice, collard greens, great northern beans, kale, kidney beans, mustard greens, navy beans, orange juice, pinto beans, sesame seeds, soybeans, soymilk, textured vegetable protein (TVP), tofu.

 

I am certain there are many other ways to get protein. I don't drink Soy milk. I drink Rice Milk and there is protein and calcium in the milk I drink. I try to eat beans each day for either lunch or dinner. I drink orange juice with calcium. I also take vitamins. I try to drink one smoothie each day with bananas, orange juice, and strawberries. I just added Vega Smoothie Infusion to my smoothies and it is really good. I make it a point to get all of the calcium and protein in my diet on a daily basis. If I don't then I have to pay the price of listening to my family lecture me (you can read previous posts about that) LOL.

 

The above information (protein, iron and calcium) I found in a Vegetarian Starter Guide (printed by Compassion Over Killing). Mercy For Animals and PETA also both have a Vegetarian Starter Guide that you can get for free online at their sites. These guides refer to the common questions many people have with dietary needs when they start out as vegetarians/vegans. I am also in the process of working on a website that will help newbie vegans (like myself) to help with answers to dietary questions. I will definitely post when the site is finished.

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