Linseed Meal or Ground Flaxseed for Omega 3

I bought some linseed meal from Chemist Warehouse. Linseed (also known as flaxseed) is a good vegan source of omega 3. It is best to eat ground linseed as crushing linseeds releases nutrients. One tablespoon of linseed meal contains about 1500 mg of ALA. ALA gets converted in the body into DHA and EPA. One to two tablespoons per day of linseed meal will provide you with enough omega 3. Even though the conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA is low, there is so much ALA in linseed that it doesn’t matter. The recommended amount of DHA per day is about 100 mg. Another vegan source of DHA and EPA is algae oil. Most DHA supplements are derived from microalgae. A non-vegan source of DHA and EPA is fish, but fish also contains industrial pollutants such as mercury, DDT, dieldrin, microplastics, and other industrial toxins. Better to stick with the vegan sources of omega 3, namely ground linseed/flaxseed or microalgae based supplements.

Deva Omega 3 DHA-EPA

In theory vegans do not need to take omega 3 supplements because there are many vegan foods with omega 3 in them, such as chia seeds or ground flaxseeds. Dr Michael Gregor recommends two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds per day to get your omega 3 requirements. However, the form of omega 3 in most plant food is ALA (alpha linoleic acid). DHA and EPA (which are important for brain function) can be made by the body using ALA, but the concern by some is that the conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA is not efficient.

The main sources of DHA and EPA are algae or fish. Fish get DHA and EPA from eating algae. The main concern with eating fish is the risk of industrial pollutants such as mercury. To avoid any concern about mercury, I take DHA and EPA supplements purchased off iHerb. These supplements contain DHA and EPA from algae grown on land in controlled conditions ensuring no industrial contaminants.

I am personally using the Deva Omega 3 DHA-EPA I have purchased off iHerb, but if there is one criticism I have it is that they have a very fishy taste and the capsules seem moist when you touch it. I have tried other omega 3 supplements that don’t seem to have this issue, such as the Source Naturals vegan omega 3 brand.

 

Q&A: Is Veganism Unnatural and Unhealthy?

Question: 

If being vegan necessitates having to eat food that have been fortified with nutrients artificially just to maintain a healthy body, does that mean the vegan diet is unhealthy?

Answer:

No, the vegan diet is healthy. Vitamin B12 is a necessary nutrient that does not come from plants. However, vitamin B12 is also not an animal product. Rather, vitamin B12 is derived from bacteria. As the vegan diet does not forbid food derived from bacteria, vitamin B12 in fortified food or from pills can be taken as part of a vegan diet.

In terms of whether taking an unnatural food is unhealthy, the answer is no. Processed or unnatural food is not necessarily unhealthy. This is the “appeal to nature” fallacy. There are no toxicology reports that prove that vitamin B12 is toxic and there is no scientific evidence that food that is processed is necessarily more toxic than food that is unprocessed.

What is natural?

There is significant industrialization nowadays that it’s very difficult to know what is natural or unnatural food.

The main problem with the term “natural” is that it is not scientific. There is no consistent definition.

Natural foods and all natural foods are widely used terms in food labeling and marketing with a variety of definitions, most of which are vague. The term is often assumed to imply foods that are minimally processed and all of whose ingredients are natural products (in the chemist’s sense of that term), but the lack of standards in most jurisdictions means that the term assures nothing. In some countries, the term “natural” is defined and enforced. In others, such as the United States, it has no meaning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_foods

Most people believe that a natural product is one that has not been chemically altered or processed. However, even cooking a product chemically alters it, and so do we classify the cooked beans we ate as natural or not?

Some go as far as to say that a natural product is not cooked and is completely raw (see raw foodism). Natural food is only natural if you can pick it from the ground or from a tree and there is no human intervention thereafter.

However, even with this raw food definition, there is a problem because raw and unprocessed food is not necessarily healthy.

Death cap mushrooms

Death cap mushroom are very natural. You pick it from the ground and do not process it in any way. However, if you eat a death cap mushroom, you will die.

Amanita-phalloides061

Take another example. A multivitamin is highly processed yet it is healthy. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends you take a multivitamin every day.

Then there is water. Natural water is water from a pond. Pond water can provide us with nutrients. For example, pond water contains vitamin B12.

If vitamin B12 is found in pond water, why not drink pond water?

Pond water is likely to also contain dirt and feces. It is cleaner and healthier, rather than drinking natural pond water, to drink water from a tap, bottled water, or filtered water, all of which are processed and unnatural.

Of course, filtered water does not contain vitamin B12. However, vitamin B12 pills do contain vitamin B12.

Why not just take vitamin B12 pills?

Many will argue that vitamin B12 pills are not natural. But tap water or bottled water is not natural either. Pond water is natural. Do these people drink pond water rather than tap water?

Pond water may contain vitamin B12 but it also contains harmful germs. Likewise, meat contains vitamin B12 but also saturated fat and trans fat.

Supplements are not necessarily unhealthy

Some supplements are healthy and some supplements are unhealthy. Death cap mushrooms are natural but toxic. Aspirin is artificial, processed, but healthy.

As I said, tap water is unnatural and may even have flouride in it. Even salt is commonly fortified with iodine. Why is everything else in our lives unnatural (even non-vegan food) but we demand natural vegan food?

Is it just an excuse?

Conclusion

It is very hard to find food that is natural. Chances are, food is processed to some degree. Even if we grow a banana, we are taking seeds, sunlight, water, etc and then processing these in soil to grow a banana. If we did something chemically similar in a laboratory, would it be natural or not? Chemical reactions happen everywhere and humans intervene to start these chemical reactions. What really matters is not whether something is natural or not but whether it is toxic or not or if it is healthy.

Veganism is Easy

Many people say they cannot go vegan because it’s too hard, but my experience has been the opposite. I actually find it is easy to be vegan, and it is easier than being an omnivore.

Going on a vegan diet doesn’t require you to actually do anything. However, what it requires you to do is to not do something. For example, if someone serves you chicken, you don’t eat it. Whereas previously you did something, now as a vegan you are not doing something.

The vegan diet is about not eating meat, not eating dairy, and not eating eggs.

What you do need to do, however, is learn how to say no.

I have always been a nice person. In fact, I am too nice. I am the type of person who has trouble saying no and would often try to please people too much, and over time I learned this was not healthy. Being nice is great, but if you’re too nice, people take advantage and walk all over you.

Going on a vegan diet, it turns out, had helped me practice how to say no. When I stood up and defended what I ate, people seemed to take note that I didn’t just accept whatever they put upon me, and over time they took advantage of me less.

So if you’re too nice, if you’re a people pleaser, then give the vegan diet a go. Not only will it help you practice being assertive, it will also help the environment and spare animals from torture and slaughter.

 

 

Supercharger Emporium

I was feeling hungry for lunch and so decided to try eating at Supercharger in the Emporium food court in Melbourne.

This was the first time I’d been to this place. The menu looked complicated. They presented two pieces of paper. One allowed you to make your own meal. Another piece of paper had four different set meals. However, the set menu was set up in a way that was very unclear. When it was all explained to me, I understood it. I actually thought that the menu was referring to many different meals when really they were just referring to different aspects of each meal (did that make sense?). Have a look at Supercharger’s menu at Zomato to see for yourself.

Anyway, for newbies, I recommend you get a set meal. They have names like “immunity” or “strength” depending on what you want the food to do to you. I assume the “immunity” meal makes you immune to sickness.

You pay around $14 and you get a number. After waiting around a bit, you receive a tray usually with three bowls. There is usually a soup, some creamy mixture, and a big main bowl with salads, edamame, noodles, and all sorts of other things that I don’t know the name of (luckily I took a photo).

All in all, it was very tasty and definitely very filling! I highly recommend it.

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