Ask Margaret #2

 In Ask Margaret
Where do you get your Vitamin B12 and protein from?

So where did people get their B12 from hundreds of years ago, before we had supplements? The answer to this may surprise you because many people believe they get B12 from animal products.

The scientists have now discovered that, although there is B12 in animal produce, it is very difficult for us to extract it, especially as we age and our digestion becomes less efficient. In fact B12 is made by water borne bacteria! The chlorine in our water supply kills nasty bacteria and protects us from diseases such a cholera. Chlorine also kills the bacteria which make vitamin B12. The irony is that when animals grazed in outdoor pastures, they drank from the streams and ponds, teaming with B12 making bacteria they got their B12 from the water supply too. Modern factory farming means that many animals are given mains water to drink. So now the animals are given a supplement of B12. I prefer to take my supplements direct.

We all use protein to build and repair our bodies. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Our bodies make some of these amino acids ; however, there are some 8 or 9amino acids which we need to take in our food. Combining grain with beans, seeds and some nuts gives the complete amino acid profile. Traditional Eastern Diets comprised of a grain, often wheat or rice, beans, such as lentils or tofu, and seeds and nuts. In the middle east this may have been flat bread with hummus and dhukka, (toasted nuts with ground spices). In the far East brown rice and soya products such as tofu made from soya beans were used and gomasio, (toasted sesame seeds ground with salt) was sprinkled on top. In Scotland, my mother gave us soup with pulses such as lentil or peas, with bread or barley, again making a complete protein. Even baked beans on wholegrain toast makes a complete protein. So with a bit of knowledge we can all make wonderful healthy, high protein dishes. For those who seek the dense, chewy texture in their foods, Gambadeli’s produce high quality foods which can be used in most recipes – even on the BBQ, and combined with beans and seeds makes a complete protein.

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