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Not a lot of people
know that ...

VeggieBite ...
The amount of land needed to produce a one-year food supply for a person on a meat-eating diet is 3.25 acres. The amount of land needed to produce a one-year food supply for a pure vegetarian is just 1/6 (0.16) acre.
From: "Diet for A New America" by John Robbins.

Amazon UK

Here's a VeggieGlobal-Bite:
Recent research has found that vegetarians live up to 6 years longer than their meat-eating counterparts.

about iron & B12 I about fatigue & the glycaemic index I about coffee
about chocolate I about exercise I about eggs

Not a lot of people know that ...
Iron, B12 and EFAs
... are vital to stay healthy, but there's always a natural veggie equivalent to match these dietary essentials otherwise found in meat.
But with vegetables you need to know where to find them.
On a daily basis, the most important life sustaining nutrients for a vegetarian are: IRON, Vitamin B12 and EFAs


Most of us are aware that lack of iron can cause anaemia. This means that the body's natural stores of iron are depleted leading to a range of dangerously unpleasant symptoms. The healthy body contains between 3.5 and 4.5g of iron, 2/3 of which is present in haemoglobin (the essential red pigment in your blood). The remainder is stored in the liver, spleen and bone-marrow. Symptoms of anaemia include tiredness, lack of stamina and headaches. Iron deficiency is also associated with impaired brain function, and in young people can result in impaired learning ability and behavioral problems.

Iron is the least plentiful nutrient in the typical Western diet and anaemia is fairly common in the UK particularly in female vegetarians. Females can require at least twice the amount of iron than males, particularly at child bearing age and during periods.

Iron exists in two forms. Haem iron only exists in animal tissues, while non-haem iron is present in plant foods. A mixed omnivore diet distributes around 25% of non-haem iron. But haem iron from meat makes up the rest of the 75%. To complicate matters more, non-haem iron from plant foods is less easily absorbed by the body than haem iron. This is why it's vitally important that vegetarians make a conscious effort to keep their iron levels well stocked.

Here's how: Some natural chemicals in plant foods can actually inhibit iron absorption into the body (like tannin in tea). So it's important that you accompany iron-rich plant foods with Vitamin C which greatly increases the absorption of non-haem iron. Foods rich in Vitamin C include citrus fruits, green peppers, potatoes and fresh leafy green vegetables. Citric acid, sugars and alcohol (in moderate quantities) can also help promote iron absorption.

Many vegetarians don't eat nearly enough fresh green leafy vegetables. A side plate per person of steamed broccoli, spinach, mixed green salad or other iron rich vegetables should always accompany a main meal ... and remember to eat these foods with an accompaniment of Vitamin C enriched foods or drink, which helps to absorb this non-haem iron.

Note: if you take an iron supplement such as Floradix or iron water sachets, mix them with fresh orange juice (or eat an orange). Don't drink tea for a few hours either side of taking an iron supplement. Iron water sachets are probably the best choice for people who find that other iron supplements give them an upset stomach. Naturally iron enriched water from a natural source is great poured into a small glass mixed with some orange juice.

A list of iron enriched foods

Vitamin B12:

This section ties in with symptoms linked to low iron levels. So if you are suffering from any amount of anaemia read this:

Vitamin B12 is synthesized by bacteria and is found primarily in meat, eggs and dairy products. Again, this is why it's important that veggies take special care in sourcing B12 as part of their every day diet. It is currently suggested that the kind of B12 present in plant foods is not easily absorbed by the human body. This means that plant foods shouldn't be relied upon as a ready source of B12. Vitamin B12 is necessary for red blood cell synthesis, the maintenance of the nervous system and growth and development in children. With symptoms similar to iron deficiency, lack of B12 can cause anaemia - involving the degeneration of nerve fibres and irreversible neurological damage. As with iron deficiency, symptoms also include excessive tiredness, breathlessness, listlessness, pallor, and poor resistance to infection. Other symptoms in females can include menstrual disorders. Anaemia may also be due to folic acid deficiency - folic acid also being necessary for DNA synthesis. Rapid DNA cell division synthesis in young people is important for healthy bone and blood development. Anaemia caused by lack of B12 and iron can cause irreversible damage. It can take up to twenty years for the full effect of B12 deficiency to become apparent. This depends on how effectively each individual is reabsorbing B12 through bile. B12 is a complex thing and primarily linked to meat origins. But there are sources which are synthesized and generated though plant extracts such as yeast.

So, it is important to supplement your diet with yeast extract on a daily basis, particularly if you are vegan. If you are vegetarian, milk, cheeses and especially bolied eggs provide naturally absorbable B12.
Fortified cereals such as Bran Flakes should contain both iron and B12 vitamins.

For B Vitamin daily intake and more information on B12 click here

EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids):

Cod Liver Oil is always noted as a best source for Omega 3 essential fats. But for vegetarians did you know that there are seed oils such as flax seed oil which is very rich in Omega 3. For example there is a product available called Udo's Choice Ultimate Blend which combines Omega 3 and Omega 6 from unrefined organic vegetable oils, and is also suitable for vegans.

For a list of EFA enriched foods click here

Find out more about Omega 3 at VeggieGlobal Q & As

Not a lot of people know that ...
fatigue, irritability, and aggressiveness...
...can be caused by an imbalance of blood sugar levels.
Checking your diet with the Veggie Glycaemic Index can change all that ... here's how:

If you eat a mixture of foods at mealtimes that very quickly release sugars into your blood stream, then you are setting yourself up for a very rocky day ahead.

Balancing your blood sugar levels throughout the day can greatly help to keep you feeling calm and relaxed ... and for those of you looking after your figure, slow energy releasing foods will stop you craving for sugary foods.

How can you achieve this balance?

Becoming familiar with the Glycaemic (Glycemic) Index or the "GI" is a good starting point. The GI is a way of ranking foods that release their sugars into the blood at different speeds. Foods that release sugar slowly are generally better, giving you longer lasting physical and mental energy. Foods that release sugar quickly may be OK for a five minute hit if you need an instant pick-up, but otherwise to be sure that you can calmly see your way through to lunch or dinner, eat the foods that keep you balanced throughout the hours until the next main meal.

The Glycaemic Index is a food numbering index from 1 to 100. The lower the GI number for a particular food the slower that food releases its sugars and therefore helps to keep your blood sugar in balance for much longer.
For example, Soya beans have a ranking of 14 whilst dates have a ranking of 99!

It's important to understand that this doesn't mean dates are bad for you. They have many other nutritional qualities. But for example, if you ate white rice (87) cooked carrots (85) and a French baguette (95) all around the same time, your blood sugars would plummet far too quickly during the day, then you'll begin to feel hypoglycaemic - the symptoms being irritable and fatigued.

By mixing various foods with different GI numbers you can sustain enough blood sugar levels evenly throughout the day. Even at night, keep a check on what you eat or drink before going to bed; Some people can be moody in the morning and this can be because their blood sugar levels have fallen so much during sleep... hence they wake up irritable.

Here's a rough plan of GI balanced meals and snacks from morning to bedtime.

MORNING: Porridge (42) with honey (58) - Dried Prunes (approx 90) - cherries (22) - croissants (67) - low fat yogurt (33)

LUNCH SNACK: Peanuts (15) - Apple (38) Quality bar of chocolate (22) Glass of skimmed milk (32) or Orange Juice (46) .... Note: between lunch and evening meal is an important time to keep blood sugar levels sustained as many people overlook this long high energy period (just take a look at the bad moods of evening drivers and commuters on their way home from work!)

EVENING MEAL: Lentils (18) - Brown Rice (76) - Peas (48)

NEAR BEDTIME: Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk drink like hot chocolate (approx 32). A calcium enriched drink like milk at bedtime will help you sleep - and with a low GI number you will sleep more restfully. Note: if you drink alcohol late in the evening this will destroy the calcium benefits. Alcohol also wipes out B vitamins which also help you sleep.

NOTE: If you are suffering from constant low blood sugar levels with the accompanying symptoms you should consult your physician who should check for signs of diabetes.

For a brief Veggie Glycaemic Index Chart Click Here


Not a lot of people know that ...
both normal and decaffeinated coffee can be fatal for occasional coffee drinkers

Research by cardiologist Dr Roberto Corti of the University of Zurich showed that the occasional cup of coffee, including decaffeinated, is worse for the heart than drinking it every day. The research shows that a surge in blood pressure which occasional coffee drinkers experience is six times higher on pressure readings than those who drink it habitually.

However, caffeine is not the culprit but a range of other coffee ingredients called theobromines which cause blood vessels to contract. Frequent drinkers may be used to these effects, but for non frequent drinkers the sudden strain can greatly increase the risk of heart attacks. The research has concluded that completely abstaining from coffee is the safest solution.

But VeggieGlobal' s pragmatic philosophy sometimes steers towards stricking a happy medium, and suggests that coffee drinking should always be blanaced by gentle exercise to alleviate its negative cardiac related effects. Disperse the body's energy flow to its natural state by using your most effective healing resource... physical movement!... get off that chair and jump around a little!

Also note that antioxidants in chocolate (see next section) can relax the blood vessels so maybe the answer is to drink "mocha" - coffee with chocolate!

Not a lot of people know that ...
chocolate as an antioxidant is as good for you as red wine and apples!

The high antioxidants in chocolate means that it is as good for your heart as red wine, apples and tea. In fact a 40g bar of dark chocolate contains double the amount of antioxidants than a glass of red wine. Chocolate is rich in an antioxidant called procynadin which reduces the the risk of blood clotting. It helps protect against stress and relaxes the blood vessels.

However, it is important to choose quality chocolate which doesn't contain excess sugars and added chemicals.

It's also important to balance the temptation to stuff your sweet-craved-face with chocolate and remember that generous portions of fruit should always be listed as part of your healthy daily diet!

More info on antioxidants

Not a lot of people know that ...
short simple exercise can help your heart just as much as long sporty workouts

Physical activity need last no longer than 15 minutes to help reduce the risk of heart disease. Health benefits from a lengthy and sweaty exercise session are no greater than several short sessions spread over the day. By keeping reasonably active throughout the day and then perhaps jogging, stretching or swimming laps for 15 minutes, your body will tone up perfectly and will attain its natural, lean qualities for longer.

If you are the whimsical kind of person with disposable income why fork out hundreds to join cattle-market health clubs with rows of cardiovascular machinery? With all those flashing displays and knobs they may look like they are going to magically turn you into the perfect figure. But the truth is that they are "artificially" stimulating muscle growth in places that you will otherwise rarely use in daily life. You will just end up being an even heavier and shapeless blob when the fitness novelty wears off!

Use your senses.... Moderate momentum is the natural answer!

Not a lot of people know that ...
eggs are produced through farming techniques in dramatically different ways. A hen is a living creature... not a feathered robot.

Normal Eggs...
... as the general consumer might call them - are in fact the least "normal". They are battery farmed eggs. On battery farms, hens are squashed into tiny cages throughout their whole lives, surrounded by conveyor belts which automatically supply food and retrieve the eggs. There are usually thousands of hens to a shed, lined up in a fixed position until death. The birds are stuffed full of antibiotics, because the extreme conditions cause health problems.

Barn Eggs...
... may sound more rustic and natural, but but the "barn" hen's life is pretty much similar to her battery farmed cousins. The only difference here is that the hens are not kept in cages but crammed together in barns with the same diet as battery birds. They are also de-beaked so that they don't damage each other due to such close contact with each other.

Free Range Eggs...
The only difference between barn and free range is that the chickens can roam around outdoors. All other treatments apply.

Organic Eggs...
... are the closest that farmed hens will ever get to freedom. They are allowed to roam free in and outdoors, rather than in crammed conditions. There is also a maximum flock size and therefore they are not de-beaked. The birds are also not fed with routine antibiotics. Besides these hens living more natural, healthier lives, consumers also benefit from far tastier and safer eggs. Best for you - and best for the hens. In fact natural grazing hens lay eggs with higher levels of essential Omega 3 oils. You are far better off eating these naturally laid eggs rather than buying so-called Omega 3 enriched eggs which are laid by hens forcibly fed with flax seed.
Don't forget though that when commercial egg laying hens no longer lay the required quota as they get older they are sent to slaughter. If you want to be a responsible vegetarian you should only source free range unfertilized organic eggs from small-holdings, who leave the hens to live their full lives and often sell the eggs as and when they are laying naturally. Better still, if there is one near you, get in touch with your local battery hen rescue. They often sell the eggs laid by their rescued hens ... and the money helps to support their rescue work.

For more about the ethics of animal welfare, vegetarianism and compassionate awareness read Cow to Clown

Are you finding this information useful? If so, a would be gratefully appreciated to help the good-cause campaigns and charitable services provided by the non-profit VeggieGlobal and Looking-Glass web

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