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Additional protein and iron sources

Are there any additional things I can add to my foods for a higher protein and iron intake? I was looking into using Braggs but noticed that the protein is derived from soy. I am still on the fence about using more soy based products after reading how controversial soy is for the human body. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    I think you are wise to stay away from soy, as it is so bad for you….as far a protein goes, spirulina is a great way to get more protein, as is hemp protein powder. Chickpeas (garbonzo beans) that are sprouted are also a good source of protein.

  • Hi, Nutgirl!

    I am new to raw food, however I think the best replacement for protein is sprouted quinoa. quinoa is a high protein grain (50% more protein than any other grain), and it is the easiest to sprout. It also contains many amino acids and vitamins (especially Vitamin E). It is also rich of calcium, iron and magnesium. I usually add about half a cup of quinoa in my salads in the evening. It satisfies my craving for heavier meal in the evening and it gives me tons of energy. Good luck!

  • Where can I find some of these things you mention like quinoa or spirulina? Are they available at the grocery store or are they available at a special store?

  • As a (very!) new raw fooder, I just wanted to make sure that I understand what sprouting is. I made an attempt last night at sprouting chick peas and I think I did it right but not exaclty sure. After soaking for about 12 hours I took them out of water and left them in a dish for one day. Once I checked on them, there were really sprouts that had grown from the bean (about 1/4 inch long). Is that then considered sprouted? I didn’t end up using them though because they had a funny smell. If someone could let me know if I’m on the right track I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    hi 2husky girl, you got to rinse the chickpeas at least twice a day to prevent the evil smell. Also I find it best doing them in a strainer or a sieve so that they don’t sit in a puddle of water – which makes them smell. Other than that I’d say you did great and got some sprouts!

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Spirulina and Quinoa can usually be purchased at any grocery store…and for sure at a health food/co-op. Wild Oats, Whole Foods, and New Frontiers have them for sure as well (not sure where you live). Spirulina comes in a powder, and is usually found by the supplements. Quinoa is a grain, and can be purchased in the bulk section, or in it’s own package near where the other grains and rice are found (usually).

  • Hi Zoe, thanks so much for the helpful information! I can’t wait to try them again!

  • I think one of the biggest misconceptions about the raw food diet is that we don’t consume enough protein. I think that is totally bogus.. if you eat enough calories, you get enough protein. You really only need 10% or less of your total calories from protein.. if your consuming more then you can also get toxic from overconsumption. A diet rich in Fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds can provide optimum protein in the proper amounts.. There is NO NEED to add grains or spiralina for protein. Read Dr Graham’s Grain Damage if you need more info on why not to eat grains, and as far as seaweeds or spirilina is concerned, it may contain loads of nutrients but seaweed is like a water filter and also contains tons of toxins. So is it really beneficial? you be the judge. Don’t worry about protein, it’s overrated.. the SAD diet and advertisers tend to brainwash you into thinking you need more than you do.

  • AHwM, you are painting with a rather broad brush, and it’s not a pretty picture. Do you have anything more specific with regard to sea vegetables and spirulina?

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Yes, I will have to disagree with the spirulina comment…I have used it, kelp, and a raw diet to stop the effects of hypothyroid. And no, it wasn’t just from the raw diet. I was down to kelp and spirulina BEFORE going raw, and I used to take a prescription thyroid medication.

    Plus, I hear this argument (protein) quite regularly from Dr. Graham’s followers. For me personally, his system of raw doesn’t work for my body.

    Also, if they do contain toxins, it could still help (maybe not for protein purposes) some people going on the principles of homeopathy.

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    If you are worrying about protein, you are most likely a victim of advertising & marketing from the animal foods industry. We’ve been taught that we desperately need animal protein, but nothing could be further from the truth. Protein deficiency caused by diet is only found in cases of severe starvation. Many plant foods have protein, and plant protein won’t kill you. Both spinach and broccoli have near twice the protein of beef. A diet of nothing but potatoes will give you enough protein.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    dates have got iron in them, I found out this morning.

  • Christcarton, can you please let me know where you got your information from for these two statements:

    “Both spinach and broccoli have near twice the protein of beef. A diet of nothing but potatoes will give you enough protein.”

    Sounds interesting and exciting, but a bit unlikely.

  • http://www.vsc.org/protein.htm

    Here is a link for you to check out about the above question. I was suprised broccoli has as much protein as it has but I was also shocked at how many carbs it has and how many calories. You can get 49 grams of protein from 7 avg stalks of broccoli. That would be about 700 calories. If you juiced it it would be a lot easier to “eat” this much. http://www.healthrecipes.com/healthy_diet.htm Another link pertaining to the above question.

  • devittlesdevittles Raw Newbie


    Dr. Joel Furhman writes about this topic fairly regularly in his columns and newsletters.

  • zenpawn wrote: AHwM, you are painting with a rather broad brush, and it

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    If you want to get technical, chlorophyll is attributed to plants, not animals. All plants have toxins of their own by nature to ward off preditors like birds and bugs (e.g. saponins, lectins). All plants on land filter the air and it’s polluted too. Pristine is a word of the past as there is nothing pristinely clean in our world. Besides the pest protection, some plants have anti-nutritive properties and they bother some people, not others (goitrogenus plants block iodine absorption, grains leach vitamins and minerals if eaten in large quantities) some plants, like nightshades, have natural chemicals (alkaloids) that can be downright poisonous. We all need to find our own personal diets. I eat seaweed, I don’t eat wheat or other glutenous grains. My parents eat meat and processed foods. Some people only eat fruit. Health (good or bad) usually determines the diet for many of us.

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    Hello Belisarius,

    It’s amazing to me how many in the raw and vegan world do not know about “The Protein Myth”. It is all, 100% spin and marketing by the animal foods industry. Just the same as “The Calcium Myth”. Absolute hogwash!

    I first heard about protein in vegetables in 2003, from the film ‘Eating’. An amazing documentary that won the Raw Food Film Festival this year. The people who made the film have the following website to support their film. The website has an extensive resource list. http://www.ravediet.com/

    Here are some other sources…




    Beef is aprox. 23% protein compared to…

    spinach-49% protein broccoli-45% protein lettuce-34% protein cauliflower-40% protein kale-45% protein zucchini-28% protein cabbage-22% protein Chinese cabbage-34% Mung beansprouts-43% bamboo shoots-39% protein wheat germ-31% protein strawberries, oranges, cherries, apricots, watermelon, and grapes-8% protein lemons-16% protein honeydew melon-10% navy beans-26% protein mushrooms-38% protein pumpkin seeds-21% protein soybean sprouts-54% protein oats-15% protein brown rice-8% protein whole wheat-17% protein walnuts-13% protein pecans-5% protein filberts-8% protein

    Veggie List Source: Nutritive Value of American Foods in Common Units, USDA Handbook No. 456

    If you have not seen ‘Eating’, it’s available on DVD for about $15. Everyone in the world should see this film. It promotes a Vegan diet, not Raw. Even though, it is a Fantastic Film!

    Thank you for asking me about this! I love this forum!

    Lovebows, Chris

  • This vegan site seems to contradict you:


    It says broccoli has 4g protein per cup & spinach 5g protein per cup. I know that beef has at least 20g protein per cup.

    Is this incorrect? I read the links you suggested but am really quite confused.

  • “Health (good or bad) usually determines the diet for many of us.”

    I totally agree. Each person has to determine which diet and lifestyle choices best suits him or her. Some need more protein than others and that has absolutely nothing to do with any “spin” put on by any industry. Sometimes veggies are not enough and additional supplements or foods are needed. As far as the whole broccoli protein debate there seems to be much contradiction. One site that says one thing and another says the opposite.



  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    Broccoli is one of those veggies that are reportedly more bioavailable cooked than raw. The preparation may change the stats from one study to another. Broccoli is also goitrogenous. Cooking it lessons the ability for it to inhibit iodine uptake. There are raw foods that are considered less than optimal because of the indigestibility. I think they should be eaten in moderation for the best results. Raw for health isn’t just about what you eat, it’s also about what you digest and assimilate.

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    The information I posted is talking about the percentage of calories being protein. In Broccoli, 45% of the calories are protein. In Beef, 23% of the calories are protein. A ‘cup’ is a measure of volume, not calories or even weight. Beef is more dense, so it will have more protein than broccoli, when compared by volume. A cup of Beef has many more total calories than a ‘cup’ of broccoli, it also weighs a lot more. Broccoli is 91% water, while beef is only 54% water.

    It pointless to compare protein content by volume. For example, comparing a cup of lettuce, to a cup of beef. It’s obvious that the cup of beef is much more dense than the lettuce, which would weigh almost nothing. I hope all this makes sense.

    As far as supplements go, I have never needed a supplement less than I do now. Being 100% raw, I get much more nutrition from my diet than I actually need. This is because of much greater assimilation and absorption. This is why, as a 100% raw foodist, old nutritional guidlines, simply do not apply.

  • AHwMama”, it seems to me, many of those issues with nori (I don’t see that spirulina is addressed) are avoidable by purchasing quality products from reputable companies. For sea vegetables, I would suggest either Maine Coast Sea Vegetables (http://www.seaveg.com) or Eden Foods. For spirulina, Earthrise (http://www.earthrise.com). Their spirulina is farmed and thus quite controlled for these contaminants.

  • zenpawn, Either way, buying from a more reputable source doesn’t mean it’s not still full of toxins. Spirulina falls into the same (call it what you want) seaweed/sea veggie/algae catagory as all the rest. Hey, if you think it’s working for you, go for it. I even eat the stuff once a year or so I just choose not to praise it as being some sort of magical healing food because doesn’t seem to me that toxins are very healing.

  • You’re missing my point. If you can avoid the toxin accumulation, which certainly seems the case with spirulina grown in maintained farming conditions, then you are left with no argument against the underlying foodstuff itself.

  • stinging nettles grow all over the world and they contain almost twice as much iron as beef liver (not that that is some kind of an ideal source…) – most important – they are very tasty in green smoothies.. especially with mangos and mint.. remember that as much as we need iron – we also have to make sure it doesn’t accumulate in our body.. iron from supplements and cooked food accumulates easily (the body absorbs it faster) – this is just one more reason to eat greens.. high in iron but doesn’t accumulate so easily. also a reason for men and post menstural womean to donate blood every once in a while.. some say the reason why women live longer is because of their ability to rid themselves from iron deposits when they bleed.

  • I happen to be one of those people who need protein or I feel lethargic. I am new to raw. I am able to go all day without cooked foods, but I feel tired come dinner time and I need “something”. I feel tired when I do not consume enough protein. What is the best source for protein on a raw diet? Thanks.

  • This list of vegetables sorted from highest to lowest for protein to calorie ratio should help: http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-011078000000…

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Good info. Thanks zenpawn!

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    Be careful wannaB, Your feeling the need for something may be nothing more than years of strategic mental conditioning. (brainwashing) If you believe on any level that something is missing, you will feel the effects of your belief. A great way to learn about your bodies actual energy needs is to experiment with fasting. I have done many fasts, never more than 3 days. I have never experienced a lack of energy while fasting, even when being very active. I am lucky to have exposed to fasting in a very healthy environment surrounded by experienced people. I have found that people who have dips in their energy while fasting have deep held beliefs that they “need to eat”. Their body is only making their mind right.

    Needing something more than raw plant foods just doesn’t make any sense. When eating only raw plant foods you are getting much more nutrition for many reasons, mainly because of greater assimilation, but also because the type of nutrients you get from plants are a better fit for your body and much more available. And there’s also the factor of transmutation. Any data that you see that says otherwise is based on years of research on cooked foodists and lab rats and is complete crap!

    Science will eventually catch up with what Raw food is now proving every day. Until then though, I encourage you to do enerything you can to rid yourself of any old nutritional beliefs. We barely need anything to eat and eating the amount of food that most of us do is complete overkill. The link between longevity, health and a sparse diet has been proven to many times to mention. Eat for pleasure, move for energy.

    Rawk On!

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