MNT Tells Vegans what They Need to Know About Supplements

You can read their full article here, but here are the key points:

A vegan diet is low in some nutrients, such as vitamin B-12, that are primarily present in animal products. Vegan supplements offer a simple way for people to get enough of these nutrients.

In this article, learn about the most common vegan supplements and why they are beneficial.

1. Vitamin B-12

Most vegans can benefit from taking a B-12 supplement.

Vitamin B-12 may be the most important supplement for vegans. It is crucial for maintaining many bodily processes.

This vitamin plays a role in the formation of red blood cells, helps metabolize proteins, and even supports a healthy nervous system.

Although anyone can have low vitamin B-12 levels, vegans typically have a higher risk of deficiency as there are limited vegan sources of this vitamin.

It is important to note that people absorb and use vitamin B-12 differently. Even people who eat meat can have a vitamin B-12 deficiency if their body is unable to absorb the vitamin properly. The body’s ability to use vitamin B-12 also declines with age.

It is important for vegans to check in with their doctor from time to time to test their vitamin B-12 and iron levels. Working directly with a nutritionist or doctor can help them create a balanced diet plan.

The authors of a 2014 study recommend eating nori, a type of seaweed, regularly. It contains high levels of vitamin B-12 and other important nutrients for vegans, such as iron and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Another simple way to add vitamin B-12 to a vegan diet is to eat nutritional yeast, which has a nutty, cheesy flavor. Manufacturers often fortify this inactive yeast with the vitamins that a vegan diet may be lacking.

Manufacturers may fortify other foods with B-12 as well, such as tofu or other soy products, some breakfast cereals, and soy, rice, or nut milk. As the plant-based movement continues to grow, more sources of vitamin B-12 may become available.What to know about eating veganLearn more about the health benefits of a vegan diet here.READ NOW

2. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a great source of healthful fats. A plant-based vegan diet is generally high in some types of omega-3 fatty acids, but it is low in others.

Omega-3 fatty acids offer several health benefits, including:

Although more research in these areas is necessary, omega-3 fatty acids may also play a role in the development or treatment of other conditions, including:

Essential omega-3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), must come from the diet. The body cannot make them itself.

Long chain omega-3 fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), are nonessential, meaning that the body can make them using ALA.

However, as 2017 research notes, the human body has a limited capacity to convert ALA into DHA or EPA. Furthermore, vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower EPA and DHA levels.

While ALA is present in flaxseed, canola oil, and soy products, EPA and DHA are only present in fish, fish oils, and microalgae.

Algae oil supplements and concentrates are the best vegan sources of EPA and DHA.

3. Iron

broccoli, tofu, rice and seeds in a bowl

Broccoli and seeds are rich in iron.

Iron is crucial for building healthy blood cells and helping them carry oxygen throughout the body. It has two different forms: heme and nonheme. Heme iron comes from animals, while nonheme iron comes from plants.

Heme iron is easier for the body to absorb and use. With that said, the authors of a 2013 studynoted that eating a vegetarian or vegan diet high in iron-rich foods can provide the body with adequate iron.

Vegan iron-rich foods include:

  • nuts
  • legumes
  • whole grains
  • seeds
  • dried fruits
  • dark, leafy vegetables
  • some fortified cereals and foods

Additionally, getting plenty of vitamin C increases the intake of iron. People can request a blood test to see if they are getting and storing enough iron. Eating enough of these foods may mean that there is no need for supplementation.

In cases where a person has very low iron stores, doctors may still recommend iron supplements.

Getting too much iron can be dangerous, so it may be best to speak with a doctor before supplementing it.

4. Calcium

Calcium is another vital nutrient that some vegans may be lacking. It plays an important role in bone and teeth formation, muscle function, and heart health.

According to research from 2014, calcium levels are lowest in vegans, compared with omnivores and vegetarians.

The following plant sources are rich in calcium:

  • dark, leafy greens, such as mustard greens, bok choy, and watercress
  • legumes, such as chickpeas
  • fortified foods, which include many types of plant-based milk

If a person is not getting enough calcium from these foods, they should consider supplementation. Calcium typically comes in both capsule and powder form. Taking vitamin D alongside calcium may help boost its absorption.

5. Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps regulate mood and improve immune system function, and it aids the body’s absorption of other nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorous.

The body can make vitamin D when it gets enough sunlight. Most people can make an ample amount of vitamin D each day by spending about 15 to 20 minutes in the afternoon sun.

However, this is not always possible. Wearing sunscreen, which is vital for skin cancer prevention, may reduce the production of vitamin D. Many people live in areas with cold, cloudy weather and cover up their skin most of the time.

Few foods contain vitamin D. Many dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, may contain added vitamin D, but these foods are not suitable for vegans.

Vegan sources of vitamin D include fortified cereals and some types of mushroom. The average vitamin D intake from food alone tends to be lower than the recommended daily intake, so both omnivores and vegans can often benefit from taking a supplement.

Grub Street Has the Story on Ikea’s Meatballs

See the full article here

With the exception of Costco, Ikea is just about the only major retailer where shoppers arrive ready to eat. So, it makes sense that the Swedish retailer, taking note of the rising popularity of vegan and plant-based options, would begin offering a vegan version of its most famous product: Swedish meatballs.

Bloomberg reports that after initial plans to begin testing the vegan meatballs early next year, Ikea’s director of food services decided to fast-track the new product and begin testing it in stores this fall. From there, the meatballs will go global in 2020.

To make sure the meatballs are ready on time, the company has eight employees exclusively working on the new product, which could be wheat-, soy-, peas-, or oat-based. Whatever they settle on, the new product will reportedly imitate meat because Ikea already has the veggie-meatball game covered.

Seaweed for Shoreline Protection

Example of natural Shoreline Protection

How to Stop Shoreline Erosion just by using barriers of Seaweed. There is no need to build fancy concrete walls, just use what mother nature gave us. This is sustainable and a pure natural shoreline protection during the wintertime and the spring storms to save the environment and to provide tourists a very nice beach time in Summer. In 2018 the Government of Denia (Spain) achieved an increase of 20% (!) dry beach Land. We love it!

The Posidonia Australis

is one out of nice species in the Posidonia Genus which could be found at southern coast and at the western coast of Australia. First described by Josep Hooker back in 1858 the Posidonia had some hard times int he past years caused by boot moorings.

So we are even more pleased to hear that Scientist from the Operation Posidonia Org made encouraging Progress in their efforts to restore the Posidonia after she was getting destroyed by humans.

We love you Guys!

Is Seaweed a Solution for Skin Problems?

Skin irregularities vary in symptoms and severity. Some are just temporary others are permanent issues. Some are pretty painless others are extrem painful. Some have situational reasons, while others may be generic causes.  Beside the psychological effects like Depressions.

Seaweed comes in several variations, and the benefits of each one are unique in their very own way.  The main three categories of seaweed are green, brown and red.  The Pigmentation is the difference between them which gives each one of them unique, natural abilities to hydrate and repair your skin.

Here are some known benefits of seaweed for Skin Health:

Bladderwrack – also known as Fucus vesiculosus, rockweed, sea oak, red fucus and black tang, is a brown seaweed. It has carotene, selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, C and E giving it anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits.  So Bladderwrack is your choice especially for Acne, Rosacea and sensitive skin Problems.

Oarweed – also known as Laminaria digitata,  is a golden-brown seaweed  It’s well known for holding large amounts of water which gives it great hydration and elasticity benefits for your skin.

Carrageenan – also known as Irish Moss, Chondrus Crispus is a red seaweed. Due carrageenan has no nutritional value; it is used in cosmetics as a safe and natural thickening agent. These ingredients do zero harm and they are save for all skin types.

Organic kelp powder – also known as Ascophyllum nodosum. These large brown algae are a major source of iodine, calcium, iron, copper, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E. Among its many benefits, kelp powder helps to hydrate the body and restore the natural balance of PH levels.

All of them do zero harm and they are safe for all skin types!

More than 70% of the World’s Oxygen comes from the Ocean

If you ever thought most oxygen on the Earth is produced by the rainforests, you might be wrong.

Marine Plants like Phytoplankton, Kelp and Alga`s are responsible for     ( + / -) 70% of the oxygen in the atmosphere. Some Scientists even believe up to 85 percent.

Only 28% is produced by rainforests, the remaining 2% comes from other sources.

The Sea Plants produce oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis, a process which converts carbon dioxide and sunlight into sugars the organism can use for energy. So about 330 billion tons of oxygen comes out of the World Ocean.

Please remind that approximately 71% of Earth`s surface is covered by the Pacific, Indian, Atlantic, Arctic and Antarctic Ocean.

Humans can protect Algae`s and help overall ocean health by decreasing pollution, over harvesting, and habitat destruction.

Seaweed as an alternative to the global plastic pollution

 

The consequences of global plastic pollution have reached an alarming Level. Based on the latest available informations, 9 billion tonnes of plastics have been produced since the 1950s, creating 7 billion tonnes of waste. Plastic waste not only damages the environment and threaten animal life but also harms human populations.

One of the most dangerous elements of plastic waste is tiny pieces of debris known as micro plastics. Plastic waste is damaging the environment, mostly the ocean, and in much greater amounts than originally thought. A recent study shows the number of micro plastics has reached up to 51 trillion particles, or 236,000 metric tonnes, worldwide.

These very tiny particles end up in people’s stomachs via drinking water or eating seafood, which could present health risks. Various attempts to minimize plastic use have been introduced. One involves developing plastic materials, known as biodegradable plastics or bioplastics, that decompose naturally in the environment. Latest research aims to show how seaweed can be the best material for use in bioplastics.

However, it is almost impossible to stop plastic use.

So far, plastic is the most convenient and versatile material for various purposes and brings benefits to our lives. People’s continued dependency on plastic has encouraged the rise in the production of plastic now and in the future. The plastic industry is huge and is expected to continue expanding. In 2014, the plastic packaging industry was valued at US$270 billion and this is projected to increase to $375 billion by 2030.

One way to control plastic use is through recycling. However, things are not as easy as expected. Plastic products come in a hundred or more varieties. These variations are so huge that it is difficult to sort them out for the recycling process. But only about 9% of plastic waste is recycled. Around 12% is incinerated. The rest ends up mostly in landfills or the ocean.

Bioplastics offer us an alternative. The Material are commonly made from plants or bacteria and are more environmentally friendly as well as sustainable.

Why red seaweed for bioplastics?

The brilliant invention shows that red seaweed has a huge potential as an alternative material for bioplastics. Of course more research is needed to ensure that seaweed-based plastics can be applied to other plastic products. But in the future, we hope that seaweed-based plastics will be comparable with conventional plastics.

The materials commonly used to produce bioplastics are corn, sugarcane, vegetable oil and starch. However, using these ingredients for plastics has raised some concerns. First, the production of bioplastics requires a huge investment in the land, fertilizers and chemicals. Second, the use of these plants for plastics will trigger a competition between plants for food versus plants for plastics, which will lead to food price hikes and food crisis.

Red Seaweed is so far the best candidate for bioplastics as it manages to answer both of the challenges above. First, it is cheap. Unlike other terrestrial plants, seaweed can grow without fertilizers. It does not take up huge space on land as it grows offshore. By using seaweed for bioplastics, the production of agricultural commodities for food will remain intact, so no food price hikes nor food crisis will occur.

With its potential, red seaweed should play a key role in developing eco friendly-plastics from seaweed to fight the global plastic crisis. When water bottles or shopping bags from seaweed-based plastics become waste, we have nothing to worry about, as the waste will just go back to where it came from.

Photo Credit: Stefan Leijon

Why Vegans NEED Seaweed in Their Diet

5 Years ago our friends at OneGreenPlanet wrote up an article about why Seaweed is almost essential for a healthy Vegan Diet.

It’s green, a little slimy, and I admit it’s a bit scary, but seaweed is one food you need to stop fearing and start eating, my fellow veggie lovers! I remember exactly what went through my mind the first time someone told me seaweed was good for me.  “Are you kidding me? I’m not eating the same slime that I used to avoid as a kid while at the beach. No thanks!”  Then a few years later, I became a health nut and there was no ignoring the truth any longer. I knew I had to learn to love seaweed, especially since it’s practically a food group in a plant-based diet.

Since vegan eaters don’t eat fish, getting certain nutrients like omega-3s, iodine, Vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium can sometimes be a bit challenging.  That’s where seaweed comes to the rescue! If you’re on the fence about seaweed or even scared of it like I was, here are some facts and recipes that will familiarize you with this foreign food and introduce you to its many benefits. Oh, and I promise, the taste actually grows on you!

The Most Popular Types of Edible Seaweeds

Seaweed is available in many different types, but here are some of the most common ones you’ll see at your health food store or online:

  • Spirulina: a deep sea green algae that contain more protein than any food on Earth.  One teaspoon of spirulina contains 150 percent of your daily Vitamin B12 requirements, 4 grams of protein, 80 percent of your daily iron requirements, and 880 percent of your daily Vitamin A content. It contains more chlorophyll than wheatgrass and is an amazing food for the brain, digestive system, heart, lungs, and liver. You can buy spirulina in powder or tablet form and it’s easy enough to toss into your next green smoothie or vegan superfood bar.
  • Agar-Agar: this seaweed is commonly used as a vegan baking aid, due to its thickening properties. Agar-agar is rich in fiber, iodine, and is sold in flake or solid form, though the flake form is usually less expensive and easier to use. It is light and almost white in color.
  • Kombu: a brown seaweed that increases digestion and is added to many soups or vegan bean dishes for this reason. Kombu also contains a zesty, salty taste that goes well in any savory dish. It may even help prevent weight gain due to a pigment it contains known as fucoxanthin. Fucoxanthin helps metabolize fats for energy instead of storing them as fat in your body.
  • Dulse: a green and slightly purple seaweed, dulse is one of my favorites! It is very light in taste but adds a lovely salty taste to any dish. You can use it in soups, stews, on salads, in dressings, and it even makes a lovely addition to smoothies where the salt helps bring out the flavor of ingredients like cacao.
  • Kelp: a green seaweed that is wonderful for the thyroid due to its high iodine levels. You may have heard of kelp noodles, which are zero calorie noodles that make a wonderful replacement to grain-based noodles. Though kelp contains little to no calories, it is still a nutritious seaweed to consume. Kelp is rich in magnesium, fiber, iodine, and may help keep you fuller longer than starchy foods rich in fiber like whole wheat noodles or bread. Kelp has even been linked to fat reduction and better digestion. Kelp is available in flake form, noodle form, and is commonly added to many superfood powders as well.
  • Hijiki: Need calcium? Eat more of this seaweed! It contains 14 times the calcium of milk and is rich in fiber. It does need to be soaked before you eat it, since it is tough in texture or you can simply use it in soups and stews to naturally soften it.
  • Wakame: This dark blue, almost black seaweed is rich in protein, magnesium, chlorophyll, iron, calcium, and zinc. Wakame can be used in flakes over a vegan Caesar salad or in a savory dish you choose.

The Benefits of Seaweed

Here are 10 amazing things seaweed can do for you and why it’s essential to a vegan diet:

  1. Provides the body with magnesium, zinc, Vitamin B12, biotin, and iron
  2. Just one gram of seaweed provides your entire day’s worth of iodine, a critical mineral for the thyroid.
  3. Increases hair and nail growth
  4. Clears the skin and enhances eyesight
  5. Improves mood by reducing anxiety and enhancing mental focus
  6. Prevents anemia and fatigue
  7. Cleanses the digestive tract
  8. Alkalizes the blood
  9. Prevents and treats sugar cravings
  10. May prevent depression

How to Use Seaweed

Still afraid of seaweed? Here are a few delicious recipe ideas to use seaweed in right now:

  1. Sprinkle dulse flakes on salads for a salty twist.
  2. Add kombu to a vegan soup.
  3. Make vegan “crab” cakes.
  4. Add it to this Mock tuna sandwich.
  5. Eat kelp via these Vegan Chili Thai Kelp Noodles.
  6. Use agar-agar to make this Almost Raw Panna Cotta Cream.

See how tasty that was? Do you eat seaweed? What’s your favorite kind?

What You Didn’t Know About Seaweed

Although seaweed may not seem like much at first glance, don’t be fooled—this marine plant has been highly coveted for thousands of years. Rich in nutrients, seaweed contains cancer-fighting compounds and trace minerals that is said to heal the body and rejuvenate the skin.

With the help of modern science, we are learning that seaweed is far more valuable than we originally thought. People from all across the globe are now looking to incorporate seaweed into their diets and skincare routines.

Don’t believe the hype? Here are five mind-blowing facts about seaweed that might change your mind:

#1: Ancient Greeks Used It For Healing Purposes
Long before we were putting seaweed in our skincare lines, the Ancient Greeks were using it in their heated baths to draw out toxins from the body and rejuvenate their skin. This was known as Thalassotherapy (Thalasso is Greek for ‘sea’) and the Greeks believed it could restore good health and cure illness.

Today, many spas still offer thalassotherapy and use seaweed in their treatments to rejuvenate the body and achieve glowing skin. Seaweed contains many beneficial trace minerals such as Zinc, Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, and Iodide, which can be absorbed through the skin and will keep it resilient and elastic.

#2: Most of the World’s Oxygen Comes From Seaweed
The next time you inhale deeply, you may want to say a silent thanks to seaweed for the glorious oxygen that fills your lungs. According to researchers, roughly 70% of oxygen in the world is produced by species including phytoplankton, kelp, and algal plankton.

Rainforests make up 28% of oxygen production, while 2% comes from other sources. Crazy, right? It’s one of many reasons to protect our oceans and keep them healthy. If you want to help this important cause, an easy way to do so is by supporting the Marine Conservation Institute!

#3: It’s Not Just For Mermaids!
Have you ever seen a mermaid with less than perfect skin? Of course not! That’s because mermaids are surrounded by one of the best organic skincare ingredients available today—seaweed! Seaweed is rich in vitamins and minerals that help keep your skin looking supple and radiant. The anti-inflammatory properties in seaweed can combat acne and alleviate symptoms of rosacea, while its abundance of antioxidants act as powerful anti-agers.

It’s no wonder why mermaids look forever young. If you want to steal their “trade secret” to ageless skin, you can Pre-order our Over Makeup Sunscreen Facial Mist, ZINC IT OVER™, which is Broad Spectrum, Cruelty Free & Vegan and contains all-natural ingredients, including a very special type of seaweed. Your skin will thank you and you will quickly see why it is the best Zinc sunscreen on the market!

#4: There Are Over 12,000 Species of Seaweeds
Seaweed doesn’t refer to a single plant—rather, it is a common name for thousands of marine plants and algae. Although it lacks a formal term, many group seaweed into three categories: red, green, and brown algae.

To date, scientists have discovered over 12,000 species of seaweed, many of which have valuable uses. As you now know, it’s an ingredient found in many of the best anti-aging products today and widely used for cosmetic purposes.

Seaweed is also considered a superfood and can provide you with many health benefits. From lowering your risk of breast cancer to fighting off deadly diseases, seaweed is essentially the kale of the sea. That is something we all can use, right?!

Be Healthy has even more amazing facts and figures about seaweed that will blow your mind. Check them out here!

#5: It Tastes Like Bacon!
Are you thinking about going meatless? We’ve got good news for you. Researchers at Oregon State University grew a strain of seaweed that tastes like bacon when it’s fried. Not only does it taste delicious, but this patented strain of seaweed has twice the nutritional value of kale. The discovery, made in 2015, has opened doors in the vegan and vegetarian market. This seaweed bacon is not just vegan-friendly, but also gluten-free, low carbohydrate, organic, and sustainable. We now have a delicious and healthy alternative to bacon, all thanks to seaweed!

Now that you know the vast benefits and uses of seaweed, how will you be utilizing it? Let us know in the comments!