VEGANISM AND NATUROPATHY: IN PERSPECTIVE AND IN PRACTICE (continued)

The Blood Type Diet food lists allow selected eating from every food group, plus beverages, herbs, spices, condiments, sweeteners and additives. Because it is not a restricted food diet, it is unlikely that there will be nutrient deficiencies. I found I could use the Blood Type Diet food guidelines as a base for specialised dietary requirements. The GAPS, Ketogenic, Weston A. Price, gluten-free, vegetarian diets can all be adapted utilising the Blood Type Diet science. I had come out of the forest and could see clearly now.

When I encountered veganism, I found it to be problematic.

The Vegan Society definition: “A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

I tried raw veganism, but it made me feel lightheaded and fatigued. I had to return to a vegetarian diet that included grains, dairy and eggs. I discovered that I was an O blood type. Red meat is particularly important to sustain health and vitality for those with O blood type.

When Dr Weston A. Price visited over a dozen indigenous cultures in the 1930s, all known to have excellent health, teeth and bone structure, none of these traditional cultures had an exclusively vegan diet.

It is significant, that I have as yet found no group that was building and maintaining good bodies exclusively on plant foods. A number of groups are endeavoring to do so with marked evidence of failure.” – Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, p. 282.

Important tips for those choosing veganism:

  1. Aim for all plant foods to be certified organic and/or grown without pesticides and artificial fertiliser. Eat fruits that have been tree ripened to ensure full uptake of minerals and development of sugars. All people, no matter what their dietary choices, should aim for chemical-free food!
  2. Soak then cook all dried beans, grains and seeds. This eliminates the naturally occurring toxic protective coating and prepares the seed for human digestion. Fermentation is also recommended.
  3. Choose a diverse range of foods. This includes seeds, nuts, grains, beans, lentils, root vegetables, leafy vegetables, fruits (fresh and dried), extra virgin plant oils, seaweeds, fermented foods, coconut and fermented soy (tempeh, miso, natto). Be careful with unfermented soy such as tofu; it contains antinutrients like trypsin inhibitors and phytates. Fermenting breaks these inhibitors down so that the important nutrients are more absorbable.
  4. Enjoy a rainbow of colours when choosing foods (purple, green, red, orange, white, blue, yellow). These colours in foods supply important beneficial and health prevention support from phytonutrients.
  5. Be selective when using plant oils. Choose from flaxseed oil, hemp seed oil, soaked flax or chia seeds to provide omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids daily. Do not cook with these polyunsaturated oils. Heat-stable saturated fat plant-based cooking oils do not contain essential fatty acids, for example coconut oil. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat. It will help transport the fat-soluble vitamins in plant foods to the cells. Always include organic olive or flaxseed oil on salads, vegetables and a teaspoon in smoothies to assist digestion.
  6. The B vitamins are essential for energy, mood and all cellular functions. Wholegrains, legumes, seeds and nuts are the main food contributors of B vitamins. Millet is an excellent source that also contains B17, plus brown rice and barley. If you are a vegan, check your B12 status regularly. If you take B12 as an isolated supplement, it is recommended to also take a B complex formula at the same time.
  7. Digestion is critical. Some plant fibres can be irritating to the gut, causing loose bowel movements and other digestive issues. Include a vegetable enzyme supplement with meals to ensure the breakdown of fibre. Slippery Elm powder is an excellent option for healing the gut wall as well as slowing motility. Consider improving gut flora via fermented foods or supplemented probiotics.
  8. Ensure regular sunlight exposure for vitamin D. Animal fats such as butter and cod liver oil that contain vitamin D are not included in a vegan diet. That is why it is essential to expose the skin to the sun at the appropriate times of day. Note that most retail vitamin D supplements, and those used to “fortify” foods, are synthetic or made from sheep fat (lanolin).
  9. Mood issues may be the result of nutrient deficiencies. The brain is comprised of fatty tissue which needs nutrients to be supplied from fats and vitamins in the diet to ensure cognition (see GAPS protocol). For children with learning disabilities, the ingestion, digestion and assimilation of animal fats is crucial to restore neurotransmitter function. Cholesterol is the main fat component of the brain. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are an essential part of the daily diet. The major sources of these are animal fats. However, as a vegan, plants can supply some of these fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin A comes in the form of carotenoids in orange and yellow vegetables; vitamin E is found in wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, nuts and seeds; and vitamin K is found in leafy greens. Know that most companies use soy oil as the source of vitamin E (this may be from GMO soy). Microalgae (phytoplankton) can be a good supplemental source for these fat-soluble vitamins.
  10. Include good quality unprocessed salt daily. This supplies minerals in addition to the salt necessary for cellular health. The electrolyte minerals calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium are essential for life. Australian pink lake salts are best. Some people may need an additional multi-mineral complex supplement that includes zinc, selenium and iodine.

While veganism is a food and lifestyle philosophy, be aware that not all food philosophies suit all people. If your body is not responding in a healthy way being a vegan, then reassess your choices. You may be nutrient deficient. Your blood group and your genetics may not be ideally suited to veganism. You may have the blood group and genetics that needs some animal foods. These may include eggs, quality cheeses, yoghurts and raw milks especially from sheeps and goats. Check out your blood type and try the types of dairy foods that are right for you. Balance is the key to healthy living for mind, body and soul.

If your reason for eating and living a vegan lifestyle is altruistic, to contribute to saving the world from climate change, please be informed that animals have been and are today reared, respected and part of rehabilitating the earth and the environment. See these websites:

www.soilsforlife.org.au: An Australian initiative re-buffering ourselves against the ever changing climate.

www.savory.global: A worldwide organisation addressing climate change with practical solutions.  Watch Allan Savory with a top 100 Ted Talk “How to Green the World’s Deserts and Reverse Climate Change”.

For those seeking chemical-free, sustainable meat, all Australian certified organic meat is grown with regenerative agriculture techniques. In supermarkets, you can find Cleavers Organics. Some local butchers have grass fed and/or certified organic products. Look for the various organic certification labels (e.g. Demeter, NASAA, BFA).

Consider collagen powder for connective tissue health. Gelatin Australia uses collagen hydrolysate beef gelatin from New Zealand and Australian organic sources. Nutra Organics has many Australian-sourced products including broths. They also have grass-fed collagen products from Germany. Check your distributor for these products.

Be aware, be informed and be well.


Chat more about this interesting topic on the ANPA Members Facebook Group.