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Is The Raw Food Diet Perfect? Nutrient Deficiencies To Watch As A Vegan Or Raw Vegan: Part 1

Some raw vegan diet gurus would have you believe that the raw diet is perfect and flawless.

They say it is the way we are designed to eat, because we are frugivores who originally lived in the tropics eating copious amounts of fresh tropical fruit and tender leafy greens to sustain ourselves.

They say that supplementation is unnecessary. The diet gives you everything you need.

If you happen to have bloodwork done (which is usually viewed as unneccesary by these folks), and it reveals a nutrient deficiency…

Your old dietary pattern is always to blame.

It’s what you ate prior to your raw vegan days that is hurting you now…

Don’t be a sucker for this nonsense!

Yes, you might be hurting now, because of your past of french fries and Big Mac’s.

But, we all live in the present moment!

Clearly, the plant-based diet you are currently consuming is not correcting your nutrient deficiency by itself.

And some nutrients, we simply cannot get from diet alone!

So, it is necessary to supplement for these vitamins.

In this post, I share nutrients to watch and my approach to supplementation.

Recently, I had bloodwork done, and some interesting things popped up. I thought I’d shared my findings, as they are all pretty common issues for raw vegans and vegans.

Note: I have been vegan since 2012, and mostly raw since 2014.

Vitamin B12

I talked about this in length here.

In a nutshell, it’s a good idea to get your B12 tested. We store up several years worth, but eventually our reserves run out.

Vegans and vegetarians are especially vulnerable. Be smart, and get tested.

My current supplementation strategy

I take 3 caps of this daily. I am also taking 1 spray of this daily.

In addition, I’ve gotten three B12 injections over the last 6 weeks or so to correct deficiency.

Vitamin D3

This is also known as the sunshine vitamin. Yeah, baby!

Unless you live in a tropical or sub-tropical environment, and get sun exposure pretty much all over your body, vitamin D3 is an easy one to not get.

Even if you do live in the tropics and tan in your birthday suit, you may be genetically predisposed (like me!) to have low levels of vitamin D.

A couple weeks ago, I tested extremely low in D3 after spending about a year in Nova Scotia and other cloudy places.

In the past, I have tested low in the middle of the summer with a golden sun tan.

Don’t think that just because you are tan, you have enough D3!

Why we need D3

Vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that the body produces in response to sun exposure.

Vitamin D3 regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, which assist with immune function. It’s necessary for normal growth as well as healthy bones and teeth.

Studies show it may protect against multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and the flu.

It may also help prevent depression, anxiety, and fibromyalgia.

In addition, vitamin D3 may assist with weight loss.

D3 deficiency may cause: soft bones (osteomalacia) or fragile bones (osteoporosis).

D3 deficiency symptoms include: tiredness, aches, pain, not feeling well, severe bone or muscle pain or weakness, and stress fractures.

Learn more here.

My current supplementation strategy

I am taking 1 spray of this daily as well as a 50,000 IU supplement (from my holistic doctor) once per week.

I am also making an effort to get more sun exposure.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

I talked about this one in length here.

My current supplementation strategy

I am consuming 1 tbsp of flax and chia seed plus 1 tbsp of walnuts and/or hemp seeds daily to boost my ALA, which was pretty good according to my blood work.

I am also trying this vegan source of DHA and EPA, as my EPA in particular was pretty low according to my blood work.

Go Read Part 2!

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Raw Food Ayurveda: Volume 1 is available in paperback here.

Check out my SAVORY recipe e-book, Raw Food Ayurveda: Volume 2 here.

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