People that choose vegetarian or vegan lifestyles often worry that they may be lacking in their daily need for Vitamin B12. This article takes a look at different ways to obtain Vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the human body, so it is important to obtain enough by eating plant-based foods such as fortified cereals or soy milk, taking supplements, or consuming food from animal sources that have been fortified/treated with Vitamin B12.
Benefits of Vitamin B12
1) Helps maintain healthy nerve cells and prevents anemia from folic acid deficiency – One of the most well-known benefits of Vitamins is their role in preventing diseases like anemia and nerve damage due to folic acid deficiency. Vitamin B12 is one of the nutrients that helps in the production of red blood cells. The vitamin is also responsible for the production of a compound called hemoglobin in red blood cells which makes sure that oxygen is distributed throughout the body.
2) Helps in weight loss – It has been reported that combining Vitamin B12 with a high protein diet can help people lose weight faster than following a high protein diet alone. This is because a lack of Vitamin B12 can cause a lack of energy and moodiness.
3) Helps in hypertension – People who use Vitamin B12 supplements tend to experience less pressure and restlessness due to the supplement. Low levels of the vitamin can also cause nerve damage. This can cause problems like numbness, tingling, and pain as well as difficulty sleeping as a result of the tension in the body.
4) Prevents heart disease – Studies have found that people who take Vitamin B12 supplements tend to experience lower blood cholesterol levels and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) or stroke as a result of maintaining sufficient levels of the vitamin in the body.
5) Prevents neurological disorders – Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Studies show that high levels of vitamins can help prevent the onset of these kinds of neurological disorders in people who are not yet at risk.
6) Prevents cancer – Due to its antioxidant properties, Vitamin B12 is known to help wards off the harmful effects of oxygen-based free radicals in cells. These free radicals can lead to cell damage and even major disorders like cancer. The vitamin is essential in improving overall health because it helps repair tissues and cells damaged by oxidation caused by free radicals.
7) Helps maintain healthy skin – Vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy skin. The vitamin is found in high levels in the cells of the body, especially the heart, liver, red blood cells, and immune system. Therefore, maintaining adequate levels of vitamin B12 can help the immune system to fight against disease and free radicals.
8) Prevents sugar disorders – It has been found that people who have low levels of Vitamin B12 have a higher chance of developing glucose-intolerant disorders. This is because people who are deficient in the vitamin tend to experience gum disease due to an overgrowth of harmful bacteria in their mouths which can lead to diabetes as well as other types of sugar disorders like hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency causes anemia due to a shortage in hemoglobin and red blood cell count. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, extreme weakness, and pale skin color. In addition, Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause moodiness, confusion, and memory loss. Vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians are extremely important.
One of the main symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency is what’s known as “pernicious anemia” or “pellagra,” which causes severe weakness and cognitive problems due to a lack of red blood cells. In other cases, Vitamin B12 deficiency causes other symptoms such as loss of appetite and numbness in the hands and feet.
Why Vegetarians Need Vitamin B12?
Vegetarians are especially prone to vitamin B12 deficiency because the richest Vitamin B12 source is meat. You might be asking yourself, well why couldn’t you just take a vitamin? You can and maybe you should, more on that later…
A lack of this nutrient can lead to symptoms like fatigue, confusion, depression, and poor memory. Even worse is the fact that prolonged deficiency can lead to permanent nerve damage and an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
If you do not eat meat, you might assume that there is no way to get the necessary vitamin B12 for your body. A vegetarian does not necessarily consume milk or eggs, but instead, they consume eggs and dairy substitutes, grains made of calcium-settle grasses, some fortified soy products, nuts, and seeds. Doing this would be healthier than consuming meat alone however it would not guarantee good health on its own due to the lack of B12.
While most foods are fortified with B12 these days, some people choose to take a vitamin B-complex supplement. Before taking any form of B12 supplement, it is important to know how it is made and where the ingredients come from.
Methylcobalamin (also known as vitamin B12) can be found in two forms: cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12-C) and hydroxocobalamin (vitamin B12-H). Both of these versions are actually synthetic, meaning that they are created artificially. Cyanocobalamin is the traditional name given to vitamin B12 found naturally in animal foods like fish eggs and dairy, whereas hydroxocobalamin is the synthetic one created through chemical reactions.
Best Vitamin B12 Sources For Vegetarians
The following sources of B12 can be used to obtain Vitamin B12:
Fortified Soy Milk: This is a quick and easy way to obtain Vitamin B12. Just read the labels, because some brands will just have added Vitamin B12. If that’s the case you will need to buy powders such as Vegi-lac, which does not contain any added Vitamin B12. There are many brands of fortified soymilk available so it may be worth trying a few different ones – we’ve had good results with Silk and Alpro.
This is a quick and easy way to obtain Vitamin B12. Just read the labels, because some brands will just have added Vitamin B12. If that’s the case you will need to buy powders such as Vegi-lac, which does not contain any added Vitamin B12. There are many brands of fortified soymilk available so it may be worth trying a few different ones – we’ve had good results with Silk and Alpro.
Fortified Grain/Cereal: Many breakfast kinds of cereal are fortified with Vitamin B12. If you eat cereals, make sure you check the label to see if they are fortified – it’s always best to check for yourself to make sure there is enough!
Many breakfast kinds of cereal are fortified with Vitamin B12. If you eat cereals, make sure you check the label to see if they are fortified – it’s always best to check for yourself to make sure there is enough! Fortified Nutritional Yeast: Vegans and vegetarians will find this an easy and reliable source of B12 as long as they choose a brand that is not packed with added salt.
Vegans and vegetarians will find this an easy and reliable source of B12 as long as they choose a brand that is not packed with added salt.
If you’re a vegetarian, your diet might be missing an important nutrient: vitamin B12. But don’t worry — there are loads of nutritious options to choose from!
Here are more best sources of vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians.
- Fortified Tofu
- Low-Fat Yogurt
- Miso Soup
- Nutritional Yeast
- Baked Potatoes
- Sunflower Seeds
- Soy Milk
If you believe you need a supplement for vitamin B12, check the article below:
it is not hard to understand why vegetarians would be susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiencies. While meat is an excellent source of protein, it is also one of the dietary sources for this vitamin.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan that does not consume eggs or dairy, then there are many ways to obtain B12. The most common sources are fortified grains/cereals, fortified soy-based products, and nutritional yeast.
But don’t forget that even with the best available vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians, knowing how much you need is still important in order to ensure the right amount of the nutrient in your body.
Unfortunately, Vitamin B12 is naturally available from animal sources. People who do not consume meat have a tendency towards B12 deficiency, as different vegetables and fruits do not contain this vitamin.
As a result, both non-vegetarians and vegetarians might need to take a Vitamin B12 dietary supplement.
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