Are you on a plant-based diet and wondering if you need any supplements to ensure the right B12 levels? There are major health reasons why you should ensure this vitamin, so here we tell you all you need to know about your vegan sources of B12.
Are you on a whole food plant-based or a vegan diet? Do you often worry about the risks of following such a strict diet? Well, when you follow such a diet, you’re bound to face the risks of suffering from deficiency of certain nutrients in the body. Therefore we need to enure alternatives of vegan sources of B12.
In fact, this vitamin is the most common deficiency that vegans and plant-based dieters might suffer from. This is because vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal products. Studies have shown that up to 92% of vegans suffer from deficiency of vitamin B12 in the body. The deficit of vitamin B12 in the body can be a real threat. Let’s explore a little more about how to prevent this while you stay in your vegan diet.
What are the Risks of Vitamin B12 Deficiency in the Human Body?
Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient that is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain cells. It is also needed for the synthesis of red blood cells.
Lower consumption of vitamin B12 can lead to anaemia and can cause damage to your nervous system.
When you are suffering from whitening B12 deficiency, you might notice some symptoms as the following:
- Difficulty in walking (cause due to damage nervous system, it is disrupting our body balance)
- Inflamed tongue
- Weakness and fatigue
- Difficulty in performing cognitive activities and something even memory loss
- A strange sensation of sudden numbness in the legs, feet, and hands.
Few Sources of Vitamin B12 for Plant-based Eaters and Vegetarians
If you are a vegetarian or a plant-based dieter, then you might be able to incorporate some animal products into your diet that are good sources of vitamin B12.
This is why the deficiency of vitamin B12 is more common among vegans than vegetarians or plant-based eaters. The following food item can provide you with the needed amount of B12 if you are a vegetarian or a plant-based eater.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein and vitamin D. It also has an abundant amount of vitamin B12. Including an egg in your daily, everyday diet is not well-recommended advice because it can also cause some excess nutrients in the body.
Milk or milk products are good sources of calcium to help you keep your bones healthy and strong. It also has a good concentration of vitamin B12. People who are intolerant to dairy products can try using vegan alternatives.
Swiss cheese contains the highest concentration of vitamin B12 among other types of cheese. You can also find vitamin B12 in cheddar and romano cheese but not in the same level of concentration.
The absolutely reliable vegan source of B12 vitamins
It is very vital to maintain the amount of B12 consumption in a diet. As for the vegans, don’t worry! You don’t have to trade your veggie bowls for chickens just yet. There are a few natural and organic sources of vitamin B12 that you could try to include in your diet. Let us find out about these sources and learn about how they impact your body.
Marmite and yeast spread
This British food spread is said to be one of the excellent vegan sources of B12. Just as their slogan says, “love it or hate it,” the taste of marmite is said to be exactly like that. The flavor of this spread is different for every palate.
Vitamin B12 is an essential added ingredient in Marmite. It contains about 40% vitamin B12 in the composition.
Nutritional yeast is a form of deactivated yeast that can be used as a spice or garnish over salads and other dishes. Nutritional yeast has excellent nutritional value. Nutritional yeast is considered to be a complete source of the different proteins needed for the body, i.e., nutritional yeast contains all the nine different types of needed amino acids that our body can produce on its own.
Nutritional is the best known vegan source of vitamin B12 because it contains more than 65% of B12 in its composition.
This might look almost unbelievable, but it has been proven that red bull is a good source of vitamin B12. Redbull is an entirely vegan product without any animal product in it and can serve as a source of several vitamins and minerals.
The red bull energy drink is not only vegan but also gluten-free and contains a fair amount of vitamin B12. This worldwide popular energy drink contains 119% vitamin B12 within its composition. But it is not for everyone because too much consumption of red bull can also negatively affect your health.
Fortified milk and milk products
All types of fortified milk products are a very reliant source of vitamin B12. Always check the label for ingredients and composition of the product to ensure that it contains a substantial amount of the needed vitamin B12. Some of the common types of fortified milk are::
- Oat milk
- Almond milk
- Hemp milk
- Soy milk
Fortified breakfast cereals
Breakfast cereals are also an excellent source of vitamin B12. Most of the breakfast that is commonly eaten is vegan. You can have this with any vegan milk to ensure intake of vitamin B12 in your daily diet.
Natural Sources and Supplements
Food that has been sourced from natural products is now becoming very popular among vegans and plant-based eaters. They provide the needed nutrients and minerals without causing any side effects or harm to the body.
So here are some of the most commonly known natural sources of vitamin B12.
- Nori seaweed
- Cremini Mushrooms
Following a completely vegan diet is not easy. It requires you to sometimes rely on nutritional supplements for proper nutrients and minerals.
The most vital nutritional supplement is the vitamin B12 supplement. The other known supplement parts vegans should definitely include in their diet are iodine, Omega 3, and vitamin D supplements.
Taking inadequately dosed vitamin B12 supplements daily can help you avoid any deficiency of vitamin B12 without making significant changes to your diet.
Some of the most popularly used and preferred vegan vitamin B12 supplements are:
- Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin
The recommended amount of vitamin B12 intake for age 14 to 65 is-
- Daily supplement of 25–100 mcg
- 2.0-3.5 mcg of fortified food per serving, twice a day
- About 800-1000 mcg supplement, Twice a week
All in all, when you are following a vegan or plant-based diet, you should try to take good care of your body to ensure a safe and healthy future.