30 Bananas a Day!


I'm still quite a beginner at this lifestyle but I've diligently been noting all my meals in cronometer.com and this brings a few questions.

I'm very often in the red for some vitamins, like vitamin A and the Bs (and occacionally potassium), and I was wondering if there was any risk in getting too much. For example, when it comes to vitamin A, I sometimes get 1000+% of the recommended daily dose, and there are rumours that you can die of vitamin A poisoning, so I wouldn't mind being reassured on that point :) 

I also seem to never get enough calcium, sadly (rarely over 50%), same goes for vitamin E and K, and to a lesser extent selenium, iron and sodium. Do I just need to up the greens ? I try to have at least one green veg every day, usually broccoli (whole), spinach (200-300 gr) or lentils (1-2 cups) as well as plenty of salad. Any tips on maxing out these requirements ? They're the only things I need to keep my parents happy, and I'm due for a blood test in december so I want it to all be fine :)

Thank you so much for reading and replying if you can, 

Have a nice day,


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Cronometer bundles vitamin a and beta carotene as the same thing. The reason you are in the red for vit a is that you are consuming a lot of beta carotene. It's a vitamin a precursor. You can't get poisoned from having too much beta carotene. When your body has had enough, it just stops converting the surplus to vit a.

Oh, I thought our liver converted beta carotene to vitamin A? Is that not how it works then? Nevertheless, very reassuring, it's hard to weed out all the misleading info to get the right stuff.

Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. Because our body converts BC to vit A, cronometer counts it As vit A. But when you get enough, our bodies stop converting.

Ah ok, I understand, that's good to know! 

Eat a single Brazil nut every day and you will have covered your selenium needs.

Ah cool, I had no idea!

Mushrooms and rice are also a good source of Selenium.


Check out Adam's posts in the above thread about calcium.

Very interesting, many thanks !!

Here's another great repost from Adam:

"So, the numbers are typically based on USDA rdas. The numbers I tend to recommend (since there is such international discrepancy over Recommended nutrent intakes, and whether they are truly recommended intakes or reference nutrient intakes) are those set by the world health organisation (WHO) in their booklet

The trouble with nutrient intake requirements is that they vary so much depending on different factors.

For example, calcium intake requirements varies depending on consumption of protein, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium as well as due to consumption of anti-nutrient properties such as oxalic acid. Ideally, we want a 1:1:1 ratio between calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. when our sodium intake is less tha 1.15g per day, our calcium requirements drop drastically. When our consumption of animal proteins in the diet reduces our requirements reduce, and when they are completely eliminated they change even more.

Similarly, our zinc requirements vary dramatically, depending on whether we consume anti-nutrients such as oxalates and phytates, as well as whether we are exercising dramatically, taking medications or recreational drugs and whether the food sources are easy to digest.

If you read through the booklet it can be heavy reading if you don't have a science background in parts but fo the most part its pretty approachable I think. But I think its certainly worthwhile as you can start to see all the different recommendations that are actually given depending on the different factors in our diet and lifestyle, and why they make a difference. And you can start to see that the often quoted WHO recommendations are only based on safety margins (assuming you are consuming all the anti-nutrient factors, high protein and sodium intakes etc) so they can account for as many people as possible. So it becomes clearer that for most people, as long as they are not grossly deficient when they come to a raw diet, their nutrient requirements may be much lower than on previous diets consumed.

Most of the figures I tend to recommend are based on figures found in the WHO recommendations. Where a clear recommendation is not available (eg. with vitamin E, which is dependant on PUFA intake), I tend to just recommend what the UK government recommend in their DRV book produced by the DHSS, or what is an average of countries recommendations.

Some of the figures I recommend are similarly based on a margin of safety, and our nutrient requirements may infact be much lower (eg. omega 6), but I think its best to be safe rather than sorry.

It is important to remember that whilst these numbers may be useful for an average person, they cannot apply for everyone. Depending on whether you are severely nutrient deficient already, whether you have poor absorption of nutrients or intestinal damage, whether you live in a city, are pregnant, are male, female, under 18 or over 60, whether you use recreational or medicinal drugs or have done in the past, your nutrient requirements may vary substantially from these figures one way or another.

So, for most figures, I think you don't need to worry about changing, as long as you're getting enough calories (if you arent getting enough, your nutrient requirements will be higher as you will have an increased requirement due to the greater demand by organs like the adrenals and the nervous system.

Numbers I think that can be adjusted include:

Omega 6- You want to be getting at least as much as omega 3 (either 1.1g if youre female or 1.6g if youre male), or perhaps a little higher (2-3.3g)

calcium - as long as you are not consuming any salt (except for natural sodium in veggies and fruit of course) and animal products (be they eggs, dairy, meat or fish) then your calcium requirements are likely to be pretty low, although as mentioned previously, how low will depend on a number of factors. I think we shoudl ideally have a 1:1 ratio with phosphorus and ideally magnesium, but if one has to be higher than the other, I would say it should be calcium. 450-500mg should be sufficient as long as you are getting enough vitamin D.

Zinc - our requirements can be incredibly low if we are not consuming phytates, oxalates and tannins in our diet, and if we are not consuming refined sugars, medications, recreational drugs including caffeine, cigarettes, cacao and alcohol. How low will vary, for some non-pregnant, non-lactating females, this figure may be around 3mg, whilst for males, it may be around 4.3g. Though there is no certainty in this issue, since most variations in requirements are based on whether the diet is high in animal or grain products, rather tha fruit. As such, I tend to say that its wise to make sure one is getting at least 4.3mg, and ideally, 7mg for safety.

Selenium - there is no certainty on this. Some countries have had very low intakes (around 10mcg) with no problems. Certainly, almost all cases of people getting selenium deficient conditions involve those consuming intakes lower than 17mcg. However its generally recommended that the minimum women should aim to consume is 21-26mcg and for males around 26-33mcg as the minimum.

Sodium - Our requirements vary dramatically, depending on activity levels, climate, altitude, potassium intakes, kidney function and other factors. We can adapt to intakes as low as 69mg but its generally recommended to consume around 450-500mg per day.

Vitamin K - The requirement is thought to be 1mg per kg bodyweight so that means that if you weigh 65kg, you need 65mg

vitamin E - Theres no consensus on our requirements for vitamin E, since our requirements depend upon our intake of PUFA's like omega 3 and 6. Its considered that if you are consuming more than 4.8mg per day then you are probably ok, but its usually recommended to consume 10mg or more per day.

Hope this helps.

Take care

Adam x"

That is zoo useful, thank you so much for taking the time to share all this!

what about vitamin D? Is there a range for the IU amount that we should be getting daily based on WHO?



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