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zatoichi
05-02-2004, 09:20 PM
i'm a morbidly selective eater and i'm afraid this could significantly compromise my health. so i ask you, what are the most essential foods to maintain a healthy vegan diet? what should any vegan not be without?

herbi
05-02-2004, 09:54 PM
Originally posted by zatoichi
what should any vegan not be without?

Vegenaise.
(OK, OK, I'll leave this to people with actual nutritional advice... :rolleyes: )

dviolet
05-02-2004, 10:04 PM
Nutrional yeast!

Ariann
05-02-2004, 10:28 PM
How about, "What should any healthy person not be without, whether they're vegan or not?" Green leafy vegetables, an assortment of other colorful vegetables, a wide selection of fruit - especially fruit that is in season, beans, soy products (if you're not allergic), whole grains, nuts (if you're not allergic). Even the pickiest eater can find things in each of those groups they enjoy and build their diets around them.

Dandelion
05-02-2004, 10:58 PM
GREENS!

zatoichi
05-02-2004, 11:45 PM
vegenaise. check.
nutritional yeast. check.

what's this? vegetables?

okay. let's try this. and i apologize for the zatoichi-centric nature of this thread, but my life is at stake. i'll list some meals that i enjoy (it's a short list) and if someone would like to point out what i'm missing, i'd appreciate it. again, my life hangs in the balance.

i like:
-amy's california burgers with vegenaise, lettuce, tomato, and a bun (sometimes whole wheat, sometimes not). burger must be pan-cooked in olive oil (sounds better than fried).

-smart ground beef burritos with iceberg lettuce (i'm aware of the lack of nutritional content) and salsa.

-bowl of whole grain cereal (usually bran flakes) in vanilla soy milk.

-pasta with fried zuccini w/ soymage parmesan.

-pasta salad consisting of basically pasta and spinach.

-fried tofu w/ zuccini and brocolli and rice.

-soba noodles in miso soup.

fruit: green apples, bananas, red grapes, grapefruit juice and orange juice (that's pretty much it)

i also eat the occasional salad with lettuce, tomato, olive oil, etc.

what else... take-out chinese food. usually vegetable lo mein, mushu vegetables, spicy string beans, tofu, vegetable rolls... (i like vegetables when they're cooked beyond recognition.

i'm honestly having trouble thinking of anything else...

oh. soy yogurt. i had a slice of watermelon the other day... and one stick of celery. sometimes i'll get vegetable roll sushi from the supermarket...

i know i'm missing stuff (besides just variety). when i was little all i'd eat was yogurt and macaroni and cheese and mcdonalds. so my diet has gradually improved. gradually.

Rosemary
05-03-2004, 04:35 PM
That sounds pretty good, actually.

In any case, you're doing better than me.

I'm going through a phase of grilled Tofutti cheese sandwiches.:blush:

Emiloid
05-03-2004, 04:49 PM
Sounds good. I would add flax oil to your list of essentials. And beans... and more greens, either fresh or sauted. If you haven't, I'd suggest trying young mustard greens (sauted) and bok choy (sauted or in your miso soup).

However, it sounds like you have a pretty decent diet.

zatoichi
05-03-2004, 05:18 PM
oh really? that's a relief... i just thought that maybe because it's so limited i might be in trouble...

i've tried flax in a few different forms. whole or partially ground flax seeds don't seem to get digested though (i won't reveal how i know this)... and flax oil is terrible. i was thinking about trying the oil again though. maybe if i absorb the table spoon dose in some bread it'll be easier to ingest than simply drinking the horrible stuff.

bok choy. is that often found in vegetable lo mein? sounds like it might go well with my fried tofu and vegetables.

Emiloid
05-03-2004, 05:50 PM
About flax... make sure your buy the oil or ground seeds refrigerated and keep them that way. I keep mine in the freezer. If the oil tastes really bad it might be rancid... not that it has a great taste anyway. Well, actually I kind of like it. If you use ground seeds, just make sure they are completely ground up. You can also get omega-3 from nuts, especially walnuts and pumpkin seeds (pepitas). And I think some places sell flax oil in veggie caps. By the way, I also keep nuts in the freezer. I'm a weirdo.

zatoichi
05-03-2004, 05:57 PM
i do keep all things flax in the refridgerator. but i don't think my ground flax seeds are ground very well. i think i'll have to resort to grinding my own in a coffee grinder. how do you take your flax oil? do you integrate it in your meals, or do you take it 'straight up'...? when i drink it, i use apple juice as a chaser.

Emiloid
05-03-2004, 06:42 PM
Originally posted by zatoichi
i think i'll have to resort to grinding my own in a coffee grinder.

That's what I do. I make a bunch at one time and then just wipe the coffee grinder out with a damp towel. Who ares if a tiny bit of flax gets into your coffee? (OK, I know that's blasphemy to some....)


how do you take your flax oil? do you integrate it in your meals, or do you take it 'straight up'...? when i drink it, i use apple juice as a chaser.

I use it on salads, or I'll eat a few bites of food, then take a spoonful of flax oil (usually with a little bit of food), and chase it with another bite of food. 'Course I don't dislike it all that much anyway. I mostly do that because it seems like it would get digested more easily if there's other stuff around it in my stomach.

zatoichi
05-03-2004, 08:31 PM
and do you find that you benefit significantly from it? i haven't really stuck with it long enough to notice any positive effects. is there a particular reason you take it? or is it just that omega 3 is supposed to vital for good health? in my case, i'd take it for mood, mental clarity, and complexion. all of which can be pretty poor.

vaalea
05-03-2004, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by herbi
Vegenaise.
(OK, OK, I'll leave this to people with actual nutritional advice... :rolleyes: )

whoop!

Vegenaise is awesome. Did you know it tastes awesome with hummus?
The one I cook for puts vegenaise in everything I make. It's a little insulting. ;) :D

grog
05-03-2004, 09:24 PM
vegenaise yum. I use the Follow Your Heart Grapeseed oil kind. Its tasty. I put it on tofu dogs, on the bun (along with ketchup, mustard, and sweet relish ok)


http://www.followyourheart.com/vegenaise_facts.html#grapeseed

bearhino
05-03-2004, 09:25 PM
a vegan should not go without tempeh
for short periods of time.

olive oil, onions and tomato sauce,almonds, are a must.


- the veganaise i do not care for.

vaalea
05-03-2004, 11:06 PM
I actually prefer the original over the other kinds... I had to try the other kinds when the store ran out of original. the original is cheaper too.

zatoichi
05-03-2004, 11:17 PM
why are almonds a must? not too fond of those almonds.

JasonSt
05-03-2004, 11:36 PM
I put together my own cereal, which I assume is rather healthy:

unsweetened multigrain flakes
whole wheat bran
whole flax seeds (grind 'em with the teeth:D )
organic raisins
a touch of grade b maple syrup
almond milk

I've been eating this combo everyday for about two months. It tastes good and keeps the system clean and optimally functioning.

Emiloid
05-04-2004, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by zatoichi
... is there a particular reason you take it? or is it just that omega 3 is supposed to vital for good health?
That's it, really. I take it because I've heard that Omega 3 fatty acids are great for a variety of reasons. I think I'm pretty healthy overall and I don't notice any particular difference in how I feel or look. Then again, I've been careful about getting enough O-3's since before I was vegan.

Oh, another thing you might consider is taking a veggie multi-vitamin or at least a B-12 supplement. Just in case. A lot of vegan prepared foods (and nutritional yeast) are good sources of B-12, but to be on the safe side I take a multi about 3 times a week.

dropscone
05-04-2004, 12:12 PM
Omega 3s are meant to be good for mood stabilization, I think. Also for hair and skin.

I have my flaxseeds ground up in smoothies. If you have something with pips in, like raspberries or blackberries you don't notice the bumpy texture the flaxseeds give so much, and they make smoothies lovely and thick.

I quite like the taste of freshly ground flaxseeds - reminds me a bit of the smell of freshly cut grass.

Lacykitten
05-04-2004, 01:27 PM
I was told that flax oil should not go anywhere near heated food (even on top like a baked potato) or else it loses it's good stuff. So the best bet is to eat it mixed in a salad dressing type thing, or in a smoothie or something. At least, as far as has been recommended to me.


As far as variety... to me your meals look very lacking in that area. I have always been of the idea that variety is a must for health, no matter what kind of diet you are eating. Tomatoes (esp cooked) are really important for males to get as they are supposed to reduce risk of prostate cancer...

I dunno.. I love veggies and hate not getting a variety. I always feel and look much better if my diet has a variety of veggies, rather than just one or two. Peppers (red and green, sometimes yellow or orange if I'm lucky), cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms, corn, peas, beans, potatoes, lentils are one of the major "vegan must" suggestions I've seen.. apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi is pretty major for healthy goodness (tons of Vit C and I think potassium and stuff!).. umm.. well those are my favorite things. :)

I recently found "bean curd sheets" at Sobey's and they are weird. Hard sheets, you soak them, they turn into snot-ish sheets, you fry them, they sorta look like fried egg without the yolk (if you put some turmeric in the oil, they really look like fried egg!), then you can put them in a stir fry and they soften up and are delicious! :)

I use tofu in everything pretty much... Trying to not use processed foods as much, as I feel much better when I eat natural vs dogs/burgers/cheese/etc.

But if you worry you're missing stuff, I'd suggest looking up vitamin and mineral contents of veggies and fruits, and adding them to your diet based on that. That is probably the best idea, that way you can focus on getting all the stuff you need. :)

iamtheqbu
05-04-2004, 02:42 PM
Everyone has really good advice, and there's not too much I can think of to add....

Flax oil can be used over pasta and other warm foods (it will still have some omega-3's, but some will be destroyed), but it should not be cooked with like olive oil or canola oil is. It is best in cold foods like salads and drinks. Flax seed egg repacer in breads and cookies, etc adds omega 3 if the seeds are ground up roughly or left whole (otherwise all of the omega 3 is destroyed). I don't think anyone mentioned how omega 3 is good for your heart, something everyone needs ;)

The key is variety. Don't get too habitual. The more you can mix it up, the better.

zatoichi
05-04-2004, 03:46 PM
variety. easier said than done. i don't like most food. it's icky! that's why i'm trying to find the most essential food for good health. corn. i can deal with corn. and peas. peas i can do. i've never tried a parsnip and i never will. i don't like root vegetables. especially carrots. i hate carrots!

Rosemary
05-04-2004, 04:29 PM
I didn't dare try parsnips until well into adulthood, and I wish I had. They have a yummy, sweet, slightly spicy taste.

They are my son's favourite vegetable.

zatoichi
05-04-2004, 04:37 PM
nooo! there's nothing worse than a sweet vegetable. oh god. i'm still haunted by that time i tried yams. it's been years but i can't get the taste out of my mouth!

Lacykitten
05-04-2004, 04:46 PM
zatoichi - my boyfriend did a study on native american culture (the way back when culture) and found that a lot of plains dwelling tribes, other than once in a while meat eating, ate.. I think it was squash, corn, beans and a bit of ash, and got 100% of what they needed from it! (I will check and see which 3/4 items it was...)

Though they surely got their essentials like B12 from the meat, so a supplement is really important... but I mean, eating only those things would get boring, and probably eating enough to get all you need wouldn't be easy, which is prolly why people rant and rave about variety. Still good to know though!

dropscone
05-04-2004, 11:09 PM
Originally posted by zatoichi
nooo! there's nothing worse than a sweet vegetable. oh god. i'm still haunted by that time i tried yams. it's been years but i can't get the taste out of my mouth!

Hehe, I'm with you on the yams (I think - it's been years since I tried them too), but isn't corn sweet??? :huh:

zatoichi
05-04-2004, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by dropscone
Hehe, I'm with you on the yams (I think - it's been years since I tried them too), but isn't corn sweet??? :huh:

ah-HA. but i only eat bland, frozen corn! and i love when it's soggy and overcooked. i've got hypersensitive tastebuds. i think i've got hypersenstive everything. like, i'm very particular about what fabrics i'll wear.

downwithapathy
02-04-2006, 05:05 AM
I have flax oil in soy milk. It's quick, the taste is sufficiently masked, and... this is a really old thread.

Kat
02-04-2006, 08:36 AM
Zat, the most essential vegan food is CABBAGE. LOTS OF CABBAGE. mwahaha.

zatoichi
02-04-2006, 07:14 PM
only kat could make cabbage sound so ominous.

i've been drinking strawberry-raspberry smoothies with ground flax seed nearly every morning for the past few weeks. i guess this makes me pretty much immortal and means i never have anything to worry about ever again.

bluemango
02-04-2006, 07:19 PM
I can't believe no one has said peanut butter. I eat peanut butter every day. Whole grain and/or sprouted grain bread. Chick peas, lentils, beans of all kinds. But peanut butter... that's the stuff.

zatoichi
02-04-2006, 07:26 PM
well that goes without saying.

bluemango
02-05-2006, 11:14 AM
*whew* I was scared there for a minute.

Vegit-8
02-05-2006, 02:40 PM
*evil rabbit hops onto scene*

Peanut butter is evil, with a risk of aflatoxins that are really nasty.
Almond butter, on the other hand, is far safer and very nutritious.

Almond butter is an essential food. Rabbits cannot live without almond butter. This is a fact. Just ask me.

If you want to ruin a perfectly good day, look up aflatoxins and peanuts.

*evil rabbit skulks off after ruining perfectly good day for various members of VRF*

May peace and joy be with you, and please forgive me.
Wabbit

herbi
02-05-2006, 03:10 PM
Whole Food Kid's peanut butter is certified aflatoxin free; each batch is tested. SO THERE! :p (It's also organic & non-hydrogenated & full of delicious fat and sugar and salt and peanutty goodness... I can't recommend it enough for anyone trying to escape "regular" peanut butter. So snack away! On ALL nutty spreads!)

zatoichi
02-05-2006, 03:47 PM
where do the aflatoxins come from, the peanuts or the additives? i always get the natural stuff.

bluedawg
02-05-2006, 04:09 PM
Whole Food Kid's peanut butter is certified aflatoxin free; each batch is tested. SO THERE! :p (It's also organic & non-hydrogenated & full of delicious fat and sugar and salt and peanutty goodness... I can't recommend it enough for anyone trying to escape "regular" peanut butter. So snack away! On ALL nutty spreads!)this is one of the main reasons i'm excited that a whole foods is being built in my town (near my house, in fact!)... i've been waiting to try this peanut butter you love so much.

Dandelion
02-05-2006, 06:53 PM
where do the aflatoxins come from, the peanuts or the additives? i always get the natural stuff.

beware cause i hear often the 'natural stuff' has way more aflatoxins than the cheapy crappy highly processed brands, especially the grind-at-the-store stuff. but what's the lesser of evils? aflatoxins or sugar? :p

grog
02-05-2006, 07:02 PM
its a mold type thing that grows on the peanuts, its not from the peanuts.

yeah, what dandy said, but I read an article on this and they had a good point. "you don't see an epidemic of children dying from alfalfatoxin poisioning, and they eat tons of it"

bluedawg
02-05-2006, 07:11 PM
i have eaten peanut butter almost every day of my life (totally not exaggerating). it's as if it's not a "real" day to me if i don't have peanut butter.

actually, it's not a "real" day to me if i don't have:
peanut butter
milk
chocolate

i swear i have those every day in some way shape or form... not that they are necessarily essential to nutrition. ;)

Dandelion
02-05-2006, 07:23 PM
"you don't see an epidemic of children dying from alfalfatoxin poisioning, and they eat tons of it"
or are they?

attackferret
02-05-2006, 10:37 PM
the amount of aflatoxins is regulated... i can't access the place i saw the exact stat right now, and i know this is a large uncertainty, but they make it so if either 10,000 or 100,000 people eat 4 tbsp of peanut butter a day for a year only 8 will die from aflatoxin induced cancer. and that's if you eat 4 tbsp a day for an entire year. you'd have to be pretty hardcore to do that :)

Dandelion
02-05-2006, 10:41 PM
the amount of aflatoxins is regulated... i can't access the place i saw the exact stat right now, and i know this is a large uncertainty, but they make it so if either 10,000 or 100,000 people eat 4 tbsp of peanut butter a day for a year only 8 will die from aflatoxin induced cancer. and that's if you eat 4 tbsp a day for an entire year. you'd have to be pretty hardcore to do that :)
oh no bluedawg!

bluedawg
02-06-2006, 12:07 AM
:uhoh:

:umm:

;)

calendar
02-16-2006, 05:27 PM
I think the most essential foods are

-fortified soymilk or other milk alternative
-flax seed or oil
-vast quantities of romaine lettuce
-onions
-tomatoes
-oranges

I have to have my flax every day and I have to have a green salad every day and I have to have an orange every day and I have to put something in my coffee or tea to mollify it.

When I see people going without a huge salad every day, it just makes me cringe, sort of like people dragging their nails down a blackboard only much much worse. I think about their GI tracts, the state of their colons, their plasma lipids, their insulin responses, etc. and it just seems so nasty that anyone could go even a single day without a huge green salad.

Not that one can't have good health without it, it's just like this big indicator for me.

If a person does that, (s)he is probably doing a lot of other things right, and if (s)he doesn't, (s)he may be doing a lot of other things wrong, too.

Raw salad snob here.

dropscone
02-16-2006, 05:58 PM
Ugh, lettuce. Bleugh!

I *can* eat lettuce, but only if it's accompanied by vast amounts of bread and hummous.

Dandelion
02-16-2006, 06:07 PM
Ugh, lettuce. Bleugh!

I *can* eat lettuce, but only if it's accompanied by vast amounts of bread and hummous.
mmm lettuce, blegh milk! ;)
droppy, i hope yer eating some greens.

dropscone
02-16-2006, 06:12 PM
I have a lot of cucumber and green peppers, and I'll happily eat cabbage if someone else prepares it - does that count?

As I say, I *will* eat it if I have to, but it's a chore. I blame my mum for putting me off it (as she did with nuts for years) by trying to force me to eat vast amounts on the grounds that it was "good for me" and she'd got wheelbarrows of it that needed eating from various allotments she was working on. Most of which was quite bitter :sick:

calendar
02-16-2006, 08:52 PM
I I blame my mum for putting me off it (as she did with nuts for years) by trying to force me to eat vast amounts on the grounds that it was "good for me"

I could blame my dad for my preferences, too. He forced me to eat meat but he told me that I would not like vegetables children don't like vegetables, children don't like greens, children don't like this or that, and he never pushed them on me.

I grew up to love vegetables and to detest meat.

Surprise!

Lettuces are simply divine. I think it is necessary to do some experimenting, maybe to stick with the baby greens at first; they are not so bitter. Iceberg is also sweetish to me and better than many other foods but not so nutritious as the darker green ones. I also love redleaf, greenleaf, boston/bibb/butterhead, chicory/endive, radicchio, you name it, I love it. I love the taste of fresh, it reminds me of spring and gardens and growth and all those beautiful and holy things.

Another trick is that it has to be absolutely fresh. Try to eat it the same day you buy it. If it's in the fridge for even one day there is a noticeable turn for the worse in flavor.

I also dislike the presealed prewashed prechopped bagged varieties. I have yet to have a good-tasting product from one of those.

Dandelion
02-16-2006, 11:49 PM
I have a lot of cucumber and green peppers, and I'll happily eat cabbage if someone else prepares it - does that count?

As I say, I *will* eat it if I have to, but it's a chore. I blame my mum for putting me off it (as she did with nuts for years) by trying to force me to eat vast amounts on the grounds that it was "good for me" and she'd got wheelbarrows of it that needed eating from various allotments she was working on. Most of which was quite bitter :sick:
droppy, greens are really good for you, the darker the better methinx. alotta the food some up grew up with we detest cause we never had it fresh or prepared properly. if not raw, greens are great sauteed n such. i aint gonna pressure you into it, just try to experience them for the first time, again. :)

calendar
02-17-2006, 01:16 AM
I don't like the "new four food groups" vegan food plan.

I think there ought to be a food pyramid for vegans with greens at the base:

6-11 servings of greens (4-6 or more from lettuce family, 1-2 from spinach family, 2-3 from crucifer family)

and also:

4-6 or more servings of other non-starchy vegetables and non-sweet fruits

2-4 or more servings of starchy roots/tubers, winter squash, or corn on the cob with emphasis on the colored ones

4 or more servings of sweet fruit emphasizing the whole fruit rather than juice, with at least one serving of citrus and one serving of berries

2 or more servings of legumes including soy milks

at least 1 tbsp of ground flax per day, 2 is better, round out fat needs with uncooked almonds, avocado, extra virgin olive oil, pistachios, macadamias, hazelnuts in preference to processed oils or cooked nuts

any other kcal needs could be filled from the other whole grains (wheat, rice, processed corn, rye, spelt, triticale, etc.) and grainlike (quinoa, amaranth) alternatives.

sweets, alcohol, junk only sparingly

adequate reliable B12 and D2 supplementation

food choices to reflect a wide variety of colors and genetic diversity

---

Just imagine: the healthiest people on this planet, without a doubt, would be the well-fed vegans under such a plan.

mamaquilla
02-17-2006, 02:17 AM
broccoli
potatoes
carrots
beans
rice

(and lots of chocolate ;) )

dropscone
02-17-2006, 07:27 AM
droppy, greens are really good for you...

I *eat* greens! Green peppers are green! as are cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli and peas - what is there in lettuce and all that stuff that I can't get in other veg?

calendar
02-17-2006, 08:41 AM
what is there in lettuce and all that stuff that I can't get in other veg?

For one thing, significantly higher superoxide radical scavenging ability:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14522687&query_hl=9&itool=pubmed_docsum

attackferret
02-17-2006, 09:45 AM
hehe. 'superoxide radical scavenging ability' :silly:

::scurries back into little geek hidey-hole::

MissLovely
02-17-2006, 10:22 AM
I *eat* greens! Green peppers are green! as are cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli and peas - what is there in lettuce and all that stuff that I can't get in other veg?
Those are green, but aren't considered "greens."
Greens are green leafy vegetables, high in calcium and iron! Kale, chard, beet greens, etc.

9nines
02-17-2006, 12:00 PM
I have made some green smoothies lately. I put a few big leaves of Kale, collards etc. with a few pieces of fruit and blend for about 3 minutes or so.

It actually has a good taste (not sweet or bitter - very original taste.) Also, blended so well, you digest more of the greens.

dropscone
02-17-2006, 12:05 PM
For one thing, significantly higher superoxide radical scavenging ability:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14522687&query_hl=9&itool=pubmed_docsum


I may have missed it, but I couldn't see in that abstract anything to say that leafy greens, in particular, offer much higher radical scavenging ability than other fresh veg (or fruit, for that matter), it just said they were an inexpensive source.

I like to think I get a reasonable variety of fruit and veg, but you have to remember it's winter and I'm in the UK - our food prices seem to be around double those in the US, not sure about organics but that's probably even more of a disparity. Locally grown green things are going to be of the cabbagy variety at this time of year... is it worth my while to pay a fortune for imported lettuce? Keep the evidence coming if you like, I have yet to be convinced :)

Dandelion
02-17-2006, 12:07 PM
I have made some green smoothies lately. I put a few big leaves of Kale, collards etc. with a few pieces of fruit and blend for about 3 minutes or so.

It actually has a good taste (not sweet or bitter - very original taste.) Also, blended so well, you digest more of the greens.

good one 9nines. :thumbsup: green smoothies (http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/green_smoothies.html) are a big trend with the raw foodists out here. i have to try this but sounds like a great way to get the greens in.

Vegit-8
02-17-2006, 08:33 PM
Speaking of green smoothies, I like to throw a handful of wheatgrass into my fruit based smoothies upon occasion. Very nice (if you are a wabbit).
Frequently throw in romaine lettuce and other greens.

May peace and joy be with you.
Wabbit

mamaquilla
02-17-2006, 09:15 PM
our new kitty Lucy Lou loves wheat grass but alas i have yet to try it other than chewing on a random stem many years ago to see. and well it tasted like what grass smells like :umm: but in all fairness i have had a green drink or two that it was an ingredient and enjoyed them.

i think beet greens(or collard greens) with a bit of wine vinegar and olive oil are delicccccccccious ! try it Dropscone!

calendar
02-18-2006, 12:44 AM
I may have missed it, but I couldn't see in that abstract anything to say that leafy greens, in particular, offer much higher radical scavenging ability than other fresh veg (or fruit, for that matter), it just said they were an inexpensive source.

Raw leaves are much more protective:

the super oxide scavenging ability values also exibited large variation (10.6-55.9), with significantly higher values in the raw state than the cooked state (P<0.001). Omum leaves, radish leaves and lettuce had high values for this index. The range of values for ferrous iron chelating activity was from 9.3 to 65.7 mM EDTA/100 g food material, indicating again a large variability in this assay...Differences between raw and cooked values were highly significant for all the three indices (P<0.001).


I like to think I get a reasonable variety of fruit and veg, but you have to remember it's winter and I'm in the UK - our food prices seem to be around double those in the US, not sure about organics but that's probably even more of a disparity. Locally grown green things are going to be of the cabbagy variety at this time of year... is it worth my while to pay a fortune for imported lettuce? Keep the evidence coming if you like, I have yet to be convinced :)

I am not trying to twist your arm but I think you are making a mistake by omitting them. I consider them to be the most important part of my diet. Raw vegetables are much more protective than cooked ones for cancer (it doesn't seem to make much of a difference for CHD risks, however); the protection is probably proportional to the fraction of kcals they make in the total diet. More is better and it just so happens that raw lettuces are among the best tolerated raw vegetables. Some people will get gas with other raw vegetables which are actually fruits (summer squash, cucumbers, etc.). Although my diet is very high in fiber I still have some difficulty with these, whereas I have never had a problem with small mountains of lettuce.

Also see this:

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Sep;13(9):1422-35.
Raw versus cooked vegetables and cancer risk.
Link LB, Potter JD.
PMID: 15342442
free full paper
http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/full/13/9/1422

Also, there is a breast cancer/ordet control paper free here:
http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/full/13/4/567

Four dietary patterns, which explained 30% of the variance, emerged:

salad vegetables (mainly consisting of raw vegetables and olive oil);

western (mainly consisting of potatoes, red meat, eggs and butter);

canteen (pasta and tomato sauce);

prudent (cooked vegetables, pulses, and fish, with negative loading on wines and spirits)

Table 4. Relative risk for breast cancer by tertiles of factor score for each dietary pattern, stratified by BMI, these values are for BMI <25

Dietary pattern RR by increasing tertiles of factor score, P value

Salad vegetables
1 0.58 (0.370.92) 0.39 (0.220.69) 0.001
Western
1 0.75 (0.451.24) 0.75 (0.411.38) 0.342
Canteen
1 1.19 (0.741.93) 0.72 (0.401.30) 0.291
Prudent
1 1.02 (0.621.69) 1.24 (0.762.03) 0.374

The salad vegetable pattern was highly protective, the prudent diet (cooked vegetables, legumes, fish) not at all protective.

This has some relevance even if you are male because prostate cancer development is probably similar to breast cancer development in many ways.

I don't think diet will provide much protection from hormonal cancers unless there are lots of raw vegetables and the BMI is low to moderate.

In addition, you can look at nutrient densities. Members of the lettuce family tend to be more highly placed than most other vegetables and leaves, and since there is a significant loss of protective phytochemicals and vitamins on cooking combined with the fact than many cruciferous vegetables are not very palatable unless cooked, it provides a good reason to have a big lettuce-based salad every day.

Many years ago, I dismissed the lettuce family and concentrated only on cooked collards, kale, bok choi, and broccoli because I considered them to be the more significant sources of calcium. I learned with time that this was a mistake.

By all means include cooked leaves in your diet, but also incorporate as many delicious raw ones as you can: these will probably make the bigger difference in your overall health.

I don't know what to tell you about seasonality. Energy use due to transport is a grave concern. I am fortunate that I can get raw leaves year round at relatively low cost and distance and so I do. I am also growing them in pots on my terrace.

There are many other studies, too, but some use animals as subjects and I can't post them here.

I think 4-8 cups of lettuces (raw) and 1-2 cups of crucifers (raw or slightly cooked) and 1-2 cups of spinach, chard, or beet greens (raw or slightly cooked) is a very protective combination.

Dandelion
02-18-2006, 01:20 AM
how many layers of green paint have we covered droppy in so far? ;)

dropscone
02-18-2006, 12:04 PM
By all means include cooked leaves in your diet, but also incorporate as many delicious raw ones as you can: these will probably make the bigger difference in your overall health.


I do include raw vegetables in my diet - my question was "why is lettuce better than other raw veggies (or fruit)"?

I take it as a given that raw veg are going to contain more protective vits and antioxidants and whatnot than cooked, with the possible exception of tomatoes, and I attempt to get over the recommended "5 a day" with a good amount of raw wherever possible. I just fail to see why lettuce in particular is going to be better for me than, say, cabbage, peppers, freshly sprouted beans, (bell) peppers, cucumber, carrots or beetroot, all of which I enjoy raw.

Having said this, I did buy 2 organic little gem lettuces today, imported from Spain, which I will endeavour to enjoy eating this evening. There'll be trouble for Dandy and Cal if I don't like them though, after all your badgering :threaten: :brood:

calendar
02-18-2006, 12:23 PM
I don't think you are actually reading my posts.

dropscone
02-18-2006, 05:16 PM
Well, I guess that makes two of us then :umm:

I have read your posts, and if I have misunderstood that may be because I do not have a scientific background, but I don't see that any of what you posted actually answered my query.

mamaquilla
02-18-2006, 05:24 PM
dropscone, on a lighter note, i wrote you a haiku...please refer to the haiku thread :D

Dandelion
09-21-2006, 03:24 AM
I *eat* greens! Green peppers are green! as are cucumbers, cabbage, broccoli and peas - what is there in lettuce and all that stuff that I can't get in other veg?
man i saw Dropscone eating the HELL outta some greens, not the wimpy lettuce stuff either. I'm talkin spinach n stuff, yo. She got a big salad at Diner while we were chowin down on the fried, grilled cooked stuff. She brought up this thread so i had to revisit cause i have like zero memory. :p