book review: Vegan for Her

vegan for her

Vegan for Her by Virginia Messina, MPH, RD. Publisher: Da Capo Press/ Lifelong Books (2013). Health and Fitness/ Diets. Softcover. 382 pages. ISBN 978-0-7382-1671-3.

Useful information for vegans and those transitioning to or considering a vegan diet. Well-organized and addresses life stages and health issues that most concern women.


Part One: Going Vegan

Part Two: Healthy Eating for All the Times of a Woman’s Life
–includes diet and hormones, enhancing fertility, nutrition for pregnancy and breastfeeding and the female vegan athlete

Part Three: Lifelong Health for Vegan Women
–includes aging, weight issues, controlling diabetes, strong heart and managing stress and depression

Part Four: Recipes

Useful information I culled from this book:

“Higher intake of fruits and vegetables might also help vegans avoid weight gain. These foods have bulk and volume because of their fiber and water content, which contributes to a feeling of fullness. Their rich phytochemical content could help with weight control, too. For example, the compound resveratrol, which is found in red grapes, grape juice, red wine, and peanuts, might increase activity of enzymes that induce fat breakdown.”

“Antioxidants in fruits and vegetables might aid in skin protection because they actually accumulate in the skin. Lycopene found in tomatoes is one of them, which may explain why consuming tomato paste can actually reduce sunburn damage.”

“Two compounds in plant foods—lutein and zeaxanthin—are especially protective against age-related eye problems. They are actually pigments that accumulate in the eye and filter out harmful ultraviolet light. Spinach, broccoli, kale, and corn are good sources of both.”

–Nutrients for strong bones–
Calcium—collard and turnip greens, kale, bok choy, figs, tahini
Vitamin D—sunlight, 600-1000 IUs of vit D
Protein—legumes, grains, nuts, seeds
Vitamin K—leafy green vegetables (fat enhances absorption of vit K so sauté in oil)
Vitamin C—fruits and veggies
Potassium—legumes, avocado, beet greens, spinach, sweet potatoes, bananas
Magnesium—whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy green vegetables

Depression treatment
–stress and depression in women has been linked to inflammation
–vitamin D has been shown to improve depression
–Vitamin B6 is needed for the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters, including serotonin (low serotonin levels have been implicated in depression). Vegans get plenty of B6 through diet sources such as bananas, avocado, potatoes, leafy green vegetables and soyfoods.
–Vitamin B12 is needed for nerve cell function and inadequate intake leads to neurological problems including cognitive decline and depression. Vegans need a supplement of 25 mcg daily.

RATING: ****/5

–review by Amy Steele

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Da Capo Press.

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