A lot of times when someone first goes vegan or vegetarian, whether it’s themselves or someone else, the common question comes up: where will I/you get the nutrients I need from foods that I’d normally get from animal products? A prime example of this is B-12. Keep in mind that this vitamin can also be called: cobrynamide, cobinamide, cobamide, cobalamin, hydroxcobalamin, aquocobalamin, nitrotocobalamin, and cyanocobalamin.And as we know, B-12 is primarily found in animal products like meats like fish, beef, cheese and eggs, but did you know that there are alternatives ways of receiving an equal, if not higher quality amount?
Here are some alternatives sources for B-12:
· Fortified cereals
· Nutritional yeast
· Fortified soymilk (one cup has half the daily recommendations!)
· Fortified tofu
· Fortified soy products
· Grape Nuts
· Sea Vegetables
While some argue there is no need to take a B-12 supplement, that is for you to decide. If you are concerned with not getting enough B-12 from the fortified foods you consume, then it may be a good idea to be safe than sorry. The amount required is very low, but very essential so if you experience any of the following warning signs, please revaluate your diet and seek medical help if necessary.
Although B12 is not the only nutrient deficiency that can contribute to occurrence of the following symptoms, B12 deficiency should be considered as a possible underlying factor whenever any of the symptoms listed below are present.
Symptoms potentially associated with vitamin B12 deficiency:
-decreased blood clotting
-numbness in feet
-tingling in feet
With that being said, what is the easiest and most efficient way to get B-12? My personal favorite is nutritional yeast! It has a nutty, cheese like flavor and packed with B vitamins. Plus, there’s an abundance of ways you can incorporate it into your diet. Nutritional yeast is great on salads, popcorn, pasta, soups, vegetables, or anywhere you’d put cheese! Not only is this yeast a great cheese alternative but loaded with other vitamins and minerals as well. Check out the label!
With all the recipes available, you’ll find that B-12 will easily make it’s way into your diet one way or another as long as you make smart choices. For more ideas on how to use nutritional yeast, go here.
Nutritional yeast can be found at most health food stores. I recommend Kal’s Nutritional Yeast Flakes. Do not get brewer’s yeast though, it is not the same!
When it boils down to it, saying you need to eat meat to get B-12 and be healthy is just an excuse. Of course not everyone who doesn’t eat meat is healthy but in order to do so, one must be informed and make those choices to reflect their health.
Still not convinced? Watch the video below.