There is said to be four essential nutrients that cannot be obtained readily from the average Australian diet. This is due to a number of factors being the high amount of low nutrient food we consume, the diminishing health of our soil and current lifestyle practises.
We have been led to believe that supplements are the easiest was to obtain missing nutrients.
Dr Andrew once questioned the need for supplements on a plant-based diet. When you think about it, vitamins and supplements are most of the time synthetic versions of wholefoods in isolation. People who don’t get enough nutrients which come from plants and whole foods are generally recommended to seek supplements. However, if you are eating a diet that is comprised of plant-based whole foods and are eating a wide variety of these foods using the rainbow, you should not need a medicine cabinet full of supplements.
Dr Andrew reinforces the fact that as a society we have massively overcomplicated everything. To the point where we think we need every little nutrient or supplement. To put it simply, he says “all you need to do is eat food”. To learn more about supplements, check out our earlier blog post here.
Research has shown that the following four nutrients are the most difficult to obtain and are the ones Australians are most deficient in or lacking; Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iodine and Omegas.
Vitamin B12 is the only essential nutrient you cannot obtain from a plant-based diet. You cannot obtain it form meat naturally either. B12 is produced from a bacterium found in the ground. Animals get their B12 when they graze, eating directly from the land. Then, when a human consumes meat, they get their B12 through digesting the meat from the animal. The only problem today is, our soil is depleted of nutrients and bacteria that produce Vitamin B12, making it difficult for animals to get it. Dr Andrew explains that our soils need cobalt for it to produce the bacteria needed for Vitamin B12. Our soils are so deficient in cobalt that it is making it nearly impossible for it to synthesis and produce Vitamin B12. Did you know that approximately 80% of all the worlds Vitamin B12 supplements get fed to animals so we can obtain it through eating meat? Whether you are getting it from a supplement or from meat, if you trace it back to the source, it is still coming from a supplement. In short, Vitamin B12 is the only nutrient today you cannot get naturally from plants or animals, however, in the past was obtainable on a plant-based diet.
Our ancestors would have been able to get Vitamin B12 from harvesting their crops and eating them. This may have been in the form of dirt ingested on potatoes or carrots. When it rained it would have also washed some soil into the freshwater streams where people would of drank from. Today, we heavily spray our crops with pesticides which kills the bacteria in the soil and we sanitise our water, removing all bacteria. This makes it almost impossible to obtain Vitamin B12 naturally. Dr Andrew states “It’s not a question of what diet you follow, it’s a question of modern farming practises and modern sanitisation practises”.
Iodine also comes from our soil. As a result of processed foods and overproduction, we are lacking iodine in our daily diet. Dr Andrew explains the best sources of iodine come from dark leafy sea greens like kelp. He warns we need to be careful about the concentrations of iodine in the form of supplements.
Omega-3-6-9 Fatty Acids. You can get all the omega’s you need from plants. Dr Andrew states that flax seeds contain all the ALA you need. Your body is then able to take the ALA and convert it to longer chain DHA and EPA which has been proven in his research.
Vitamin D. As humans we have evolved to naturally produce vitamin D through sunlight reacting with our skin. Dr Andrew believes we are not getting adequate amounts of exposure to sunlight like we should. He said we don’t run around naked anymore, therefore resulting in 58% of Australians having low levels of Vitamin D.
Our lifestyle practises of covering up in clothes, sitting indoors all day, wearing sunglasses and sunscreen and worrying about skin cancers may have contributed to our low levels of vitamin D. Dr Andrew states that sunny Queensland actually has the lowest levels of Vitamin D due to the fact that they are always covering up and escaping the heat and or sun.
In short, the four main nutrients that Dr Andrew believes need supplementing are Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iodine and Omega-3’s. He reinforces that this is not a question of our diet, more so a question of our modern farming and sanitisation practises resulting in soil depletion, which is making it difficult to obtain these four essential nutrients.
Dr Andrew has formulated a solution. The need for Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iodine and Omega-3’s along with the need to end animal suffering resulted in the creation of the BeHumane Smoothie Booster Supplement. He partners with an animal sanctuary called Edgar's mission, where he donates a percentage of his profits to. The BeHumane Supplement was designed to give you all the nutrition you need in one teaspoon a day.
His supplement contains Iodine found from organic kelp, Omega’s from organic flax seeds, Vitamin D from naturally sourced lichen (basically moss found growing on rocks) and is fortified with a small amount of Vitamin B12.
Dr Andrew’s supplement is not only for vegans but for all Australians. It is our responsibility to respond to the current challenges we are facing as a result of our environment, modern farming practises and lifestyle trends, to ensure we are getting all our essential nutrients.
At Garden of Vegan, it is also our responsibility to not only provide you with organic, plant-based wholefoods but to inform you about the essential nutrients we are lacking or are deficient in.
To ensure you are on top of your daily nutrient needs, we have teamed up with Dr Andrew. Garden of Vegan now offer a Superfood B12 Bliss Ball, on our menu. You can easily order these within your weekly meal subscription and trust me, they taste delicious. By eating one of these tasty treats a day, you will be meeting your daily requirements of Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Iodine and Omega-3’s. Not to mention the added health benefits of the other organic ingredients.
Add some of our Superfood B12 Bliss Balls to your order today. Order now
To learn more about Dr Andrew and his BeHumane Smoothie Booster, head to the website here.