Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians and Vegans
Vitamin B12 is a key ingredient in one’s nutrition. Vegetarians and vegans’ plant-based diets often lack Vitamin B12 since it is mostly available in animal-based food sources. So, if you’re looking for foods that contain Vitamin B12 for vegetarians and vegans we’re here to help you!
|● Understanding Vitamin B12 and Its Importance
|● Vitamin B12 Sources for Vegetarians and Vegans
|● Top 5 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians
|● Top 5 Vitamin B12 foods for vegans
|● Multivitamins and Vitamin B12 supplements
|● How to Choose a High-Quality Supplement?
|● Vitamin B12 fruits for vegetarians
|● Delicious recipes packed with Vitamin B12
|● Product Mentioned in the Blog
What is B12 and why should we know about it?
Understanding Vitamin B12 and Its Importance
Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential nutrient that plays several important roles in the body, such as producing red blood cells, maintaining a healthy nervous system, and supporting DNA synthesis.
While plant-based foods offer varied health benefits, they can be low in Vitamin B12. This is because natural sources of Vitamin B12 are animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
This results in vegans and vegetarians having an increased risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency can sometimes lead to symptoms like fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and numbness/tingling in the hands and feet.
Hence incorporating food rich in Vitamin B12 into one’s diet is essential to prevent deficiencies and maintain optimal health.
Vitamin B12 Sources for Vegetarians and Vegans
So, you might be wondering how to increase Vitamin B12 for vegetarians. Some of the food items which can help are nutritional yeast, fortified cereals, tempeh, shiitake mushrooms, and almond milk.
It’s also important to understand the exact Vitamin B12 content these Vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians and vegans contain:
- 226g of yogurt contains 1.1 micrograms of Vitamin B12
- 28.3g of Swiss cheese contains .95 micrograms of Vitamin B12
- 100g of Tempeh contains .05 micrograms of Vitamin B12
- 15g of nutritional yeast contains 17.6 micrograms of Vitamin B12
Some ways to have Vitamin B12 foods for vegetarians and vegans is by adding fortified yeasts into dishes like pasta and salads. Fortified plant milks can also be used to make milkshakes and smoothies. Similarly, fortified cereals can be incorporated into one’s breakfast. Fortified plant-based yogurt serves as a quick snack, and for additional supplementation, options like Diataal D can be used.
Remember, it’s important to prioritize a well-rounded and balanced diet along with plant-based sources of Vitamin B12 to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need, especially when following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Top 5 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians
Here’s a list to help you.
Almonds, like most nuts and dry fruits, are abundant in Vitamin B12. Per 100g of almonds contains 0.3 micrograms of Vitamin B12.
2. Whole wheat oats
Breakfast cereals such as whole wheat oats are also a great source of Vitamin B12. A 28g serving of whole wheat oats contains 1.3 micrograms of Vitamin B12. When choosing whole wheat oats, it is necessary to make sure they are high in fiber, high in protein and have no added sugar.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product which is rich in Vitamin B12. One cup of Tempeh contains 0.1 micrograms of Vitamin B12 along with 33 grams of protein.
Like most dairy products, curd contains Vitamin B12. A cup of curd can contain up to 1.2 micrograms of Vitamin B12.
Different varieties of cheese contain different amounts of Vitamin B12. Cheddar cheese contains 0.8 micrograms of Vitamin B12 per 100 grams, while 28g of whole milk Swiss Cheese provides 0.9 micrograms of Vitamin B12.
Top 5 Vitamin B12 foods for vegans
Here are the top 5 Vitamin B12 foods for vegans.
1. Nutritional Yeast
Yeast which is obtained from Saccharomyces cerevisiae is known as nutritional yeast. One quarter cup of nutritional yeast contains 17.6 micrograms of Vitamin B12. It can be used in common foods such as popcorn or macaroni & cheese. It gives a savoury/nutty flavour to dishes.
2. Fortified plant-based milk
Most plant-based milks like soy milk, almond milk, and coconut milk are fortified with Vitamin B12. These dairy alternatives can be used to make milkshakes and smoothies.
3. Fortified plant-based meat
Another great Vitamin B12 source is plant-based meats which are nowadays available in most supermarkets. It is necessary to go through product packaging and read the nutritional values while buying plant-based meats.
Nori sheets, that are used in making sushi, are a great source of Vitamin B12. Most stores sell packaged nori snacks.
It is a fermented soy product which is rich in Vitamin B12. One cup of Tempeh contains 0.1 micrograms of Vitamin B12 along with 33 grams of protein.
Vitamin B12 is important whether you have it through supplements or through natural sources
Multivitamins and Vitamin B12 supplements
It’s no secret that multivitamins and Vitamin B12 supplements help increase the amount of Vitamin B12 in an individual’s diet. Multivitamins can help fill dietary gaps and ensure that vegetarians and vegans get the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
There are two common forms of Vitamin B12 supplements: cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of Vitamin B12 that is typically more stable and less expensive to produce. It is converted into active forms of Vitamin B12 in the body. Methylcobalamin is the active form of Vitamin B12 that the body can directly utilize. It is often considered a more bioavailable option for supplementation, especially for those who may have difficulties converting cyanocobalamin into its active forms.
The recommended dosage of Vitamin B12 for vegetarians and vegans is typically around 250 to 500 micrograms per day. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage for your individual needs.
How to Choose a High-Quality Supplement?
When choosing a multivitamin supplement, it is important to consider the following factors:
1. The form of B12:
If possible, opt for methylcobalamin or other active forms of B12 for potentially better absorption.
2. Purity and quality:
Choose supplements from reputable brands that undergo third-party testing for quality and purity.
3. Dosage accuracy:
Ensure the supplement accurately delivers the stated dosage.
4. Additives and fillers:
Check the ingredient list for unnecessary additives, fillers, or allergens.
Look for supplements that are formulated for better absorption and utilization.
Multivitamins can be a convenient way for vegetarians and vegans to bridge potential nutrient gaps in their diets. When it comes to Vitamin B12 supplementation, both cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin can be effective, but methylcobalamin is often preferred for its direct usability by the body. Diataal D is a great source of many vitamins along with Vitamin B12, but taking Diataal D alone will not fix a lack of Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 fruits for vegetarians
Fruits are a healthy part of a plant-based diet, but they do not naturally contain Vitamin B12 as they are high in folic acid. Therefore, there are no fruits that can serve as a source of Vitamin B12.
There are a few fortified fruit products available on the market that have been enriched with synthetic Vitamin B12. These fortified fruits can be a helpful addition to increase the amount of Vitamin B12 in your body, but they should not be relied upon as the sole source of Vitamin B12.
It’s important for vegetarians and vegans to actively seek out reliable plant-based sources of Vitamin B12, such as fortified foods and supplements. Incorporating a variety of these sources into your diet will help ensure you meet your nutritional needs and maintain optimal health. Always consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized guidance on meeting your nutritional requirements.
Delicious recipes packed with Vitamin B12
Here are a few delicious plant-based recipes that are not only tasty but also packed with Vitamin B12 from fortified foods and other sources:
A delicious B12 recipe just for you!
1. Vegan Breakfast Burrito
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Tofu scramble (made with crumbled tofu, turmeric, nutritional yeast, spinach, bell peppers, and onions)
- Black beans (canned or cooked)
- Sliced avocado
- Salsa or hot sauce
- Fortified nutritional yeast (for extra Vitamin B12)
- Prepare the tofu scramble by sautéing crumbled tofu with turmeric, nutritional yeast, and vegetables.
- “Warm the tortillas and assemble the burritos by adding the tofu scramble, black beans, and avocado slices, along with a sprinkle of fortified nutritional yeast.”
- Top with salsa or hot sauce, fold the tortillas, and enjoy a hearty and flavourful breakfast.
2. Vegan Chickpea and Spinach Curry
- Onion, garlic, and ginger (minced)
- Coconut milk
- Curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander
- Fortified nutritional yeast
- In a pan, sauté minced onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant.
- Add chickpeas, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Cook for a few minutes.
- Stir in coconut milk and chopped spinach. Simmer until the flavours meld and the spinach wilts.
- Finish with a sprinkle of fortified nutritional yeast for a rich and flavourful curry.
Remember, these recipes can be customized to your taste preferences. Enjoy these flavourful and nutritious dishes while getting a good dose of Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in various body functions and is not easily available in vegan and vegetarian diets. It’s important for vegetarians and vegans to prioritize their Vitamin B12 intake by making sure they take supplements like Diataal D alongside a well-balanced diet.
Consulting a doctor or dietitian can also help individuals meet their Vitamin B12 needs.
Product Mentioned in the Blog
Can I get enough Vitamin B12 from natural sources if I follow a vegetarian or vegan diet?
No. This is because Vitamin B12 is naturally found mostly in meat products.
Are there any specific supplements designed for vegetarians and vegans to obtain Vitamin B12?
Yes, Diataal is designed for vegetarians and vegans.
Are there any cooking methods that preserve Vitamin B12 in plant-based foods?
Vitamin B12 doesn’t break down easily, so there are no necessary cooking methods to preserve it.