Following on from the “five a day” rant, I’m going to post some advice on where to get your vegetable vitamins.
The only vitamins you need to concern yourself with are: carotinoids including beta-carotene, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
Two ounces of chicken liver or three ounces of dried lentils will provide you with your daily RDA of folate. Chicken liver isn’t failsafe but contains negligible salicylates. Chicken liver can contain amines unless it is very fresh. One cup of Brussels sprouts contains about 20-25% of your RDA. You can get 100% of the US RDA of 400mcg from:
- 60-70g duck/goose/turkey/chicken liver
- 70-80g yardlong/mothbeans/cowpeas/mung beans/adzuki beans/chickpeas/pinto/green or puy lentils
- 100g most other beans/veal liver/wheat germ
- 200g beef liver/lamb liver/sunflower seeds/moose liver/pink lentils
Liver is salicylate-free but not failsafe as it contains some amines. Beans, pulses and and wheat germ are all failsafe.
Carotinoids and Beta-Carotene
Carotinoids do not have an RDA. Beta-carotene is used to make vitamin A in the body and is not necessary for good health. Vitamin A is found in animal fat. Meat and dairy including butter are good sources. Sprouts and cabbage are a significant source of carotinoids. Carotinoids are also found in yellow fats and are what gives the colour. Egg yolks and butter are sources of carotinoids. They also indicate the vitamin A content; the yellower the better.
To get enough vitamin C on this diet you need to eat 3/4ths of a cup of Brussels sprouts every day, or two and a half cups of swede (rutabaga). No alternatives (actually four cups of potato or four cups of cabbage would also give you your RDA, if you are feeling masochistic). Some people who can’t tolerate any plant foods will need to find a source of pure ascorbic acid. It can be added to Magic Cordial without affecting the taste. Consumption of carbohydrates increases your need for vitamin C. People who eat an all-meat diet rarely get scurvy.
Vitamin K is found in different forms in three foods: dark leafy greens contain one type, fermented foods contain another type, and butterfat, egg yolks and liver contain a third type. It is also made by bacteria living in your digestive system, so an overt vitamin K deficiency is fairly rare. Brussels sprouts and cabbage are two of the highest sources of the plant form of vitamin K. Live yoghurt is an excellent source of the bacterial type. Egg yolks and dairy fat are a great source of the best type.
Vitamin A is found in eggs, liver, and animal fats. B-complex vitamins are found in meat and whole grains. B6 is harder to get but mainly found in red meat or chicken. Potatoes are unusually high in B6, as are whole grains and bananas (not failsafe for amines but negligible for salicylate). Cashews are high in B6, but you will not get a significant amount from your limit of ten per day. Vitamin D can be found in dairy and the fats of free-range animals, or can be obtained from the sun on the two hours either side of noon. Vitamin E is found in eggs, wheat germ and sunflower oil, and in trace amounts in all animal fats. Consumption of polyunsaturated (vegetable) fats increases your need for vitamin E.
Copper and zinc are both found in meat. Calcium you will only get from consuming dairy products. You need to drink 2½ cups of whole milk or whole yoghurt every day. I say whole milk and yoghurt because without the vitamin A and Activator X in the fat component of the milk, you will not absorb the calcium content. This will also provide you with 30% of your magnesium intake. Brussels sprouts, cashew nuts, a slice of whole wheat bread and a decaf espresso or filter coffee are all it takes to get your RDA. The exact same sources of foods, plus eggs, will provide you with your RDA of selenium.
Even on a very restricted diet like failsafe, it’s possible to do the diet in startlingly different ways. You can do it very badly (by eating lots of white bread, rice, and potatoes, and drinking soy milk), or you can do it very well (by eating meat, and milk, cream, pears, Brussels sprouts, cashews and whole grains). Failsafe is actually very compatible with Kwasniewski’s Optimal Diet, even if you can’t eat dairy or wheat.