Many of my vegan/vegetarian patient’s laboratory studies show low protein, low globulin, and low IgA, IgM, IgG — which are basically signs of low antibody function. This mean the immune system is not working so well.
A functioning immune system helps the body fight off infections and cancer. Our goal is to have our immune systems working at full throttle.
When blood protein is low, patients usually report hair loss, fluid retention, and loss of muscle. When the other blood markers for your immune system are low, patients usually report frequent viral and bacterial infections.
It has come to my attention that many of my vegetarian patients do not know how to food combine. So here is the primer:
•beans and rice
•beans and legumes (chickpeas, black beans, lentils, kidney beans) — especially in combination with whole wheat (must say 100% whole wheat)
•seitan (pronounced say-THAN) with dairy or legumes
Tofu is a good food but please know that 4 ozs. of Tofu is 11 grams of protein, and 4 ozs of Seitan is 31 grams of protein. Since we need about l gram of protein for each kilogram of body weight (just divide your weight by 2). For example,a l50 lb. person needs about 75 grams of protein a day. That’s a lot of Tofu.
There are 20 amino acids. Our bodies make 11 amino acids. The other 9 must be obtained in our diet. WE NEED these other 9 amino acids to make protein, to make muscle, to make brain chemicals, to make hair, skin and nails, and to have an immune system that helps us fight off infection.
Regarding fish oils, please know it takes 30 times the amount of FLAX OIL to achieve optimal levels of the good fats. The brain is 60% fat. Fish oils make neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), healthy skin and hair, and improve cardiac markers (laboratory studies showing your cardiac function). See future section on the good fats.
I respect my patient’s reasons for eating a certain way. It is merely that I am discovering many do not know how to achieve optimal health.
Soy doesn’t make Estrogen as many women believe. The phytoestrogens in Soy are 1000 weaker than the molecule Estrogen. The only Soy I want my patients to eat is Tempeh, Tofu, Miso, and Soy Sauce which has been cultured and fermented. The other Soy products you think are good for you decrease the effectiveness of the thyroid, contain phytates which inhibit the absorption of minerals, and contain enzyme disruptors which don’t allow us to absorb our food.
The following websites will teach you more regarding portion sizes:
I would like to thank my eldest daughter, the future Dr. Cara Foss-Suchy for her invaluable assistance. Also, thank you to Erik Ewell, on of my very young and brilliant patients who completed his homework assignment I gave him when I asked him to tell me how he food combines as a vegan.
Updated September 30. 2007 by Roberta Foss-Morgan, DO