Nutrients required for a healthy Jain Vegan lifestyle & Questions - Should we as Jains consume milk products?
At AtmaDharma.com, our aim is to present only true, original and authenticated material - the book "Vegetarian Food & Jain Conduct" has been presented as it is. However due to lots of feedback pointing out the cruel processes used by modern milk industries, this page has been added.
While milk consumption is not forbidden under Jainism, the current practices in milk production are such that consuming milk is not compatible with the kindness expected of Jains.
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Don't just read the key points - watch the videos - they are far more informative.
Nutrients required for a healthy Jain Vegan lifestyle & Q&As - A talk by Dr Jina Shah on 22 Sept 2013 (in Gujarati & English)
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Nutrients required for a healthy Jain Vegan lifestyle & Questions
- The nutrient issues that need to be addressed are the same as if you were vegetarian but may be more or less in degree. Study in India also show the even vegetarian milk consumers have the same issues
- The 3 main Vitamins/Minerals that are important for Vegans are Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Calcium.
- B12 is only found in Animal products (where bacteria produce the B12 in their bodies)
- We need to get our Vitamin B12 levels checked and suppliment as required
- Vegan supplements of vitamin B12 are available
- If we do not supplement with B12 we can have 2 potential problems
- Without enough B12, Homocystine levels in the body rise - this is a risk for heart disease
- If B12 levels are very low we can have neurological problems in the brain and spinal cord both of which are completely preventable and partially reversible.
- To prevent these problems we need to get our Vitamin B12 levels checked and replaced as necessary
- B12 can be supplemented by one of 2 forms currently available:
- Tablets - if you have no trouble absorbing it from the then use this form
- Injections - if you have trouble absorbing it from the guts via tablets
- Some vegan milks such as soya milk etc. have B12 added
- Note that even older meat eaters also have B12 deficiencies – so this is not a problem due to becoming vegan
- Vegan supplements of Vitamin B12 made directly from bacteria are available
- Q: Is it not hinsa to kill bacteria for B12? A:Yes but this is better than killing a 5 sensed being for B12
- If we live in a place where the sun is at a high enough angle in the sky above us and we spend at least 20-30 minutes in the sun with limbs exposed then enough Vitamin D may be produced naturally in our body.
- Unfortunately we do not spend enough time in the sun. We also cover up our bodies. So getting Vitamin D naturally is difficult.
- Milk does not naturally have vitamin D – it is actually added to the milk.
- Vegans can get their Vitamin D from Vegan milks such as soya that may have Vitamin D added or via supplements
- Vitamin D comes in 2 forms D2 & D3. D3 may be better absorbed
- Vitamin D2 is always Vegan
- Vitamin D3 can be obtained from animal sources such as lanolin (oil from sheeps wool) OR now Vegan sources such as a plant called lichen.
- If Vitamin D levels in our bodies are low we do not absorb Calcium well
The 3 main Vitamins/Minerals that are important for Vegans are Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and Calcium
- Both vitamin D and Calcium are needed to keep bones healthy. This is a risk for bone thinning and fractures. This is especially a risk for women after menopause
- We've always been taught that we get calcium from milk or milk is the best source of calcium. However there is just as much bio-available calcium in other plant sources.
- Although milk has calcium in it, there is a theory that the milk protein in milk binds with the calcium and inhibits absorbtion
- There are Bio-available plant sources of calcium so you can do well on a plant based diet
- Soya, Rice or Almond etc. milks are often supplemented with calcium or you can take a calcium supplements
- Dark Green leafy vegetables contain calcium [and some nuts and pulses/lentils also contains calcium]
- There is a study that shows vegetarians and vegans who get less than 500mg of calcium per day are at risk of fractures - so it is important to make sure that you are getting enough
- This is not a unique issue to Vegans
- Some people have difficulty absorbing iron from milk
- Iron can be obtained from dark green leafy vegetables
- Q1: I'm not in favour of modern dairy farming but the quality standards in the UK are very strict – would they really allow blood in milk?
- Both here and USA where large scale dairy farming a certain amount of contamination is part of the process
- If you go on google and search for somatic cell count – somatic cells are basically blood and pus – and you will find sources telling you which government allows how much in the milk
- Q2: I understand that cows are injected with hormones to increase milk production and also fed antibiotics to keep infections down. When those chemicals are passed down to us via milk do they in any way produce any allergies?
- Hormones and antibiotics given to cows have serious health effects for humans
- The hormones passed to humans in milk could be responsible for prostrate cancer in men and breast cancer in women
- The antibiotics passed to humans when we drink milk are known to contribute to antibiotic resistance in humans
- So much antibiotics are used in animals such that when it comes to use then on humans they do not work any more
- One of the most common allergens is milk! The allergy is due to milk protein which has been implicated in:
- type-I diabetes and
- ear infections
- immune reactions like arthritis in joints
- skin eczema etc.
- There are other questions and answers on the video regarding:
- Milk replacement alternatives: Soya milk, Rice Milk, Almond milk, Hemp milk, Oat Milk
- Vitamin B12 and yeast
- Goats milk – same hinsa problems as with cows milk
- Panjrapore (Animal Sanctuary) - what happens when too many animals to look after?
- Whole soya based products health benefits verses isolated soya proteins and health risks
- Soya does not make men oestrogenised!
- Cultural attitudes to milk need to be changed
- Thyroid, iodine and soya
- Pregnancy, babies and veganism
- White sugar is refined in the USA using animal bones. Unrefined raw cane sugar is not processed in this way
Introduction to Speaker:
Introduction to Topic:
Why is practicing Jain Veganism an aspect of practicing of Ahinsa?
Health benefits of being a Jain Vegan
Instant Vegan Milk Recipe
For further information about these methods visit any of the following links:-