When it comes to a plant-based diet, it is not uncommon to be quizzed about your nutritional intake of Vitamin B12. Many of us still associate Vitamin B12 as an animal-only derived nutrient, however this is simply not the case. Achieving your Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of Vitamin B12 is easy with the support of fortified foods and vegan friendly supplements. But what is Vitamin B12, and why is it so important to our diets?
What is Vitamin B12 and Why Do I Need It?
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is involved in the metabolism of every single cell within the human body. Its innate functions are that it fuels the production of DNA and Red Blood Cells (RBCs) as well as supports healthy brain function. While many believe that Vitamin B12 is derived only from animals, recent research from Dr Michael Gregor indicates that B12 does not actually come from animals, but the “microbes that blanket the earth.” Microbes in the soil create a symbiotic relationship with plant roots, which then creates Vitamin B12.
Fortified foods and supplements are recommended for vegans and vegetarians for achieving RDI of this important vitamin.
What are the symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
While there is a plethora of food sources available that contain Vitamin B12, the deficiency is still very common in vegans and even non-vegans. Low Vitamin B12 levels tend to increase with age, so it’s important to plan how to get your daily intake of this important vitamin and know the symptoms of deficiency. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Constant fatigue
- Little to no appetite
- Unplanned weight loss
- Numbness and tingling sensations
- Soreness of the mouth and tongue
- Problems with balance
What are some plant based sources of Vitamin B12?
- Nutritional Yeast
- Fortified Plant Milk (soy, almond, coconut, rice)
- Fortified breakfast cereals
Are there further ways to prevent deficiency?
Supplementation is often recommended to ensure adequate intake. VITUS Pure Plant Sourced VEGAN B12 + Vitamin D is a vegan friendly wholefood formula to achieve 100% RDI of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D in just 1 easy teaspoon. With a natural neutral taste, you can mix, stir, bake and blend or simply have neat mixed with a glass of water.