carotene, Essential fatty acids, fiber, Raw, Uncategorized, Vitamin A, vitamin C

For the endurance athletes: mangoes

Whether you are a long distance endurance runner of a frequent, steady 5K jogger, you are well aware that the energy sustaining your efforts comes mainly from carbohydrates. And while fruit high in fructose and total carbohydrate are to be avoided for those with high level of blood sugar, endurance training requires healthy loads of yummy carbs. Mangoes, among the sweetest, richest fruit out there, are perfect candidates for inclusion in a pre-training meal: in addition to the 28g of carbohydrates, they are a fantastic source of vitamins A, C, and B6, alpha and beta-carotene, and omega 6 polyunsaturated fatty acids. So don’t forget to include half a mango in a smoothie, add some light leafy greens–spinach or kale, some ground nuts and seeds, and enjoy a peak in energy and stamina.

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Essential fatty acids, Science-based nutrition, Uncategorized

Omega fatty acids: types, availability in plant-based diets, and supplementation

During the scheduled break of that neuroimaging bootcamp I am at, I was looking at the status of Omega-3 fatty acids critical for neuronal integrity and retinal function, to start with,  in a vegan diet. Although my research was brief, it was also informative.

The proper metabolic derivation of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) plus eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)–available in fish and fish oil but NOT plants via alpha linoleic acids available in flaxceed and canola oil (vegan sources), if very limited in humans. In fact, “Current intakes of DHA are approximately 20% of the target (300 mg/day) suggested by an expert scientific group during pregnancy and lactation. The extremely low intake of DHA in young children (e.g., approximately 19 mg DHA/day on average for 3-yr. olds in North America ) is also of particular concern. Current intakes of DHA/EPA (combined) of 130 mg/day are approximately 15% of the target (900 mg/day) officially recommended by the American Heart Association for those with coronary heart disease and 20% of the 650 mg/day advised by an expert scientific group for healthy individuals. In view of the widespread reluctance of the public to consume sufficient amounts of fish, functional foods containing DHA plus EPA will become increasingly important sources of these important nutrients in the coming years to support optimal brain/visual performance, for cardio care, and other health conditions for young and old alike.” (see http://www.dhaomega3.org/Overview/Introduction-to-Omega-3, and also http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21204526, and http://www.fatsoflife.com/fatty-acid-basics/metabolic-fate-of-la-ala-and-lc-pufas/)

It’s critical to supplement properly and secure an adequate supply of fatty acids. Luckily, vegan supplements are available, and every vegan should be acquainted with and utilize these sources.

 

Be a smart vegan!

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