Memorizing Nutrients, Recommended Daily Values, Deficiency symptoms, ...

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#1 10 April, 2015 - 03:18
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Memorizing Nutrients, Recommended Daily Values, Deficiency symptoms, ...


Hi all,

I've always been interested in nutrition and the effects it has on the human body. Yesterday I suddenly had an amazing idea that I really want to put into practice:

Memorizing every macro- and micronutrient (carbohydrates, protein, fats, minerals, vitamins, ...) together with its recommended daily value and deficiency symptoms. Say, you give every one of them a seperate journey/room in your memory palace.
Next stop would be adding the vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. to the journeys/rooms with the percentage of that specific nutrient you get when you eat 100 grams of it.

I guess you could also add a lot of other stuff in there, but I didn't have much time yet to further expand on it.

I think it would be an awesome challenge and very practical in everyday life. What do you think?

Macronutrients

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats

Micronutrients

Vitamins

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B9 (folate)
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Minerals

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
10 April, 2015 - 06:55
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Joined: 3 years 2 months ago

Sounds good.

A thing to keep in mind too is that 'Recommended Daily Values' are not necessarily the most optimal amount of that nutrient to have. Those are just the minimum amount you need to not show any symptoms of a deficiency(ie; vitamin D)

Also, everyone is different. Everything would depend on your needs. Ie: 1/3 people(allegedly, have not researched this) have a gene deficiency so they cannot absorb normal folate efficiently, then need 'optimized folate'. Some people have gene deficiencies so they can't absorb magnesium well, they need to megadose it. One of the ways to check is that if you have an actual deficiency, some supplements will feel like actual drugs; because your body was starving for them. That's why for some things(like optimized folate), some people will rave about it, calling it the best nutrient ever, and some people will be like 'meh, didn't do anything for me'.

Bateman

10 April, 2015 - 09:47
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Joined: 1 year 9 months ago

Hi Bateman,

Thanks for your reply!

I guess it depends on what you understand under 'Recommended Daily Values'.

Recording to Wikipedia (if you type 'Dietary Reference Value', which is used in the UK) there are several terms for several nutritional requirements:
RNI - Reference Nutrient Intake (97.5% of the population's requirement is met)
EAR - Estimated Average Requirement (50% of the population's requirement is met)
LRNI - Lower Recommended Nutritional Intake (2.5% of the population's requirement is met)

If you go for 'Dietary Reference Intake, which is used in the US, you get terms like these:
- Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), expected to satisfy the needs of 50% of the people in that age group based on a review of the scientific literature.
- Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), the daily dietary intake level of a nutrient considered sufficient by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine to meet the requirements of 97.5% of healthy individuals in each life-stage and sex group. It is calculated based on the EAR and is usually approximately 20% higher than the EAR (See Calculating the RDA).
- Adequate Intake (AI), where no RDA has been established, but the amount established is somewhat less firmly believed to be adequate for everyone in the demographic group.
- Tolerable upper intake levels (UL), to caution against excessive intake of nutrients (like vitamin A) that can be harmful in large amounts. This is the highest level of daily consumption that current data have shown to cause no side effects in humans when used indefinitely without medical supervision.

I don't know where you're from, but I usually use the RDA from the US when I talk about this stuff. Which means it's 20% higher then the level of nutrients you need before you would get deficiency symptoms.

Apart from that you're completely right! Everyone is unique and this should be considered when memorizing all these numbers. Maybe one should first adapt them to their unique situation, but then again that also changes over time...

You are right about the gene deficiency. For one example, some people can't convert vitamin A that comes from plants, so they have to get it from animal sources. Watch out with supplements though, you can get overdosed on some vitamins quite quickly with these.

I will post some numbers when I have more time. :)

10 April, 2015 - 13:22
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Quote:

Watch out with supplements though, you can get overdosed on some vitamins quite quickly with these.

Great project idea.

I'm very interested in nutrition, but I tend to be sceptical of the supplement industry. Vitamin E in supplement form, for example, increases the risk of prostate cancer. Beta carotene in supplement form increases cancer risk in smokers. Those risks don't come with taking the nutrients in food form. It takes a lot of effort to eat well, but it seems like the logical solution.

See also this thread for links to studies: "Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and Mineral Supplements".

I wish I could be even more disciplined about making sure that I'm getting all the nutrients I need. I'm not eating as strictly as before, but it's still pretty healthy. I think that the largest benefits came from cutting out sugar and refined flour.

10 April, 2015 - 13:23
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If you were studying medicine, a method for memorizing ranges would be good. Perhaps empty room virtual Memory Palaces with horizontal quarters would work ...

10 April, 2015 - 14:18
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@ Josh:

Yeah, I'm also sceptical when it comes to the supplement industry. The only supplement I'm taking sometimes is a B12 supplement, because I'm vegetarian/vegan. Apart from that, like you said, you especially have to watch out for supplements that are based on fat-soluble vitamins.

I checked your diet. Looks very similar to mine. I also use buckwheat and quinoa a lot, although I'm thinking of eliminating the quinoa because it's not local. I don't eat salmon though and fruits I eliminated recently. It's mainly a lot of legumes, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds and spices. :)

10 April, 2015 - 14:36
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Have you tried amaranth? I used to dislike it, but I got into it with the new diet. It tastes better if you cook it with stock. I keep it in the refrigerator. It's cheaper than quinoa too. You can also pop it like popcorn in a pan.

At the moment, my main grains are oats, rye, wheat, and spelt. The last three are eaten fermented -- I make no-knead, sprouted, whole-grain sourdough bread every few days. (recipe -- I got rid of the seeds, because I think the oils might go bad at the high temperature) Eliminating wheat didn't have a noticeable effect, so I added it back in sourdough form.

I also added fermented dairy (yogurt and kefir) for the microbes, as well as small amounts of meat and eggs. I occasionally eat a vegan diet for a few months at a time, which I think is a good idea, but it doesn't work well for me longer than about three months.

11 April, 2015 - 01:22
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I tried amaranth a couple of times, but it never became a regular in my diet. The problem with amaranth is the same as I have with quinoa: it's not local (I'm from Belgium, btw). I think you can grow it here in a hot summer, but certainly not all year around.

I'm trying to get away from grains, so I'm really glad I discovered buckwheat. It used to be really popular in these regions and still today there are some famous traditional dishes made with this, but it's less common. I used to eat oats for breakfast every morning, but it's way less now..
I tried to sprout some stuff, but I got lazy and my sprouts got moldy... Maybe I'll try again over the next few weeks.

I'm also a big fan of fermented stuff, especially sauerkraut and kim chi. I've tried water kefir and kombucha. Tastes really good!

11 April, 2015 - 03:11
r30
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Have you ever tried quinoa flour? One of the worst things I ever tasted, literally had to put my will into swallowing each spoonfull. Although quinoa itself tastes quite good.

Same is with amaranth - the seeds itself are good (a bit sweet taste even), but flour tastes bad (not so bad as quinoa fortunately).

I'm really fortunate that all the grains I eat come from foreign countries (Italy, Germany, Asia, USA), because ALL Estonian grains are cross-contaminated with gluten. Even our ecofarmed buckwheat.

When one has so many digestive problems like me, then one can't think about minor things like "Where's it from?" or "Does it have enough vitamins?" or "Is it ecologically grown? If not, have to thourougly rub-wash those pesticedes off!", because eating a wrong food (that you have intolerance to) instantly causes more symptoms that you may notice long term when you eat "non-eco" foods. Can't be too picky about those things. Better take vitamin pills.

12 April, 2015 - 02:44
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@ r30:
Completely understandable. :) I'm quite shocked that even your eco-farmed buckwheat has gluten traces on it... What happens when you eat gluten? What are the other allergies you have?

12 April, 2015 - 11:15
r30
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I gave gluten intolerance (non celiac). Depending on the extent of contamination, I get brain fog and exhaustion that can last half a day (some wheat flour) or up to 10 days (several wheat grains). Often same is for those who have celiac, that's why we are super careful and persistent with our diet.

My other food intolerances are not so severe, but those foods still have strong effects that can last up to 6 hours. In my case worst foods are: yeast containing foods, a lot of vegetables, citrus fruits, some nuts. After 5 years of strict diet avoiding those foods, fortunately some intolerances have significantly reduced, e.g. apples, kefir, yoghurt. I don't mind being on strict diets, cause that's the only way to keep off brain fog.

My case is a bit more complicated than just "intolerances" and "not intolerances". But that's not worth further explaining, cause I seem to be a very rare individual who has that.

Anyway, I memorized all vitamins, their daily dosage and associated diseases. I used similar approach to yours (journey method), it is a good one. Check out this post, it might be helpful for finding accurate nutrition consistency of different foods.

12 April, 2015 - 12:30
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Brain fog? Sounds interesting...I also tend to have that when I eat too much bread, pasta and such.

Yeast containing foods? Does that include mushrooms? I guess no marmite for you. :)

Which vegetables are a big no?

Nuts? I guess cashews, pistachios, peanuts, ...?

If you want, you can explain more about your situation. I'm very interested in these sort of things. I'm studying for this actually, so the more cases I read about, the better. :)

Yeah I know the website you're using, it's awesome! I also use it, together with healthaliciousness.com. My 2 favorite websites. :)

12 April, 2015 - 14:02
r30
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Hmm, quite a lot of people complain of symptoms after eating gluten, usually the symptoms are not neurological, but gastrointestinal (bloating, pain, GERD, constipation/diarrhea), and that isn't only for gluten, but also the rest of the food intolerances (milk, egg, ...).

If one isn't celiac, nor wheat allergy, but shows sympoms after eating gluten, then it is called non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Currently there are no accurate tests for determining it (it has been even argued whether it exists), one has to detect by himself that (s)he is sensitive to it. celiac.com - you'll find everything about it on that site&forum, if you're interested.

  • Surprisingly, mushrooms are quite ok. What are absolutely no are foods made with baker's yeast; and fermented foods (not bacterial fermentation (milk products), but yeast fermentation)
  • Vegetables - dill, parsley, onion, garlic, paprika, red cabbage are big no; rest of them are medium no. Best are tomato, pumpkin and lettuce.
  • Nuts - yes, those that you listed. Almonds and hazelnuts are better.
  • Also fish.

If you want to read my story, then it's written here. It explains that for some reason I'm sensitive to all foods; and have symptoms that are unusual (major symptom is brain fog, instead of GI symptoms). In my blog there and forum posts I write what vitamins and other stuff I've tried, only caffeine proving to be successful (lately also creatine I think, still experimenting).

12 April, 2015 - 23:03
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I am currently studying a degree in Dietetics so this going to come in very handy.

16 April, 2015 - 01:45
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Okay, to start of this challenge with some basics:

Macronutrients

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats

Micronutrients

Vitamins

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamin)
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin)
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic)
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B9 (folate)
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K

Minerals

  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

I'll add this list also to the first post and expand it whenever I have time. :)

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