B12 sources for vegans and other plant based eaters
B12 is known as the ‘meat vitamin’ because it is most often found in animal products like meat and dairy. If you know anything about vegans, you know they don’t eat, use or wear animal-derived products. Unfortunately, humans don’t produce this vitamin so vegans need to find sources of B12 in other foods or take supplements to fill this vitamin void. B12 helps to create red blood cells, thus preventing you from a vitamin deficiency anemia, which is a problem many vegans face. Here are some vegan-friendly sources of B12.
1 Almond, soy, hemp or coconut milk
Thankfully, most milk alternatives are fortified with B12 vitamin, which means you can easily consume your daily intake (aim for at least 3 micrograms a day) of this vitamin while sipping on your morning coffee or by munching on your favourite cereals. Vegan ice cream also counts, right? Enjoy a second scoop of your lactose-free ice cream and feel good about it!
2 Nutritional yeast
Obviously, vegans don’t eat nutritional yeast by the teaspoon. However, if you’re making cauliflower mac ‘n’ cheese, vegan cheddar jalapeno biscuits, vegan pasta alfredo, vegan pesto, etc. you’ll at least know you are getting some sources of B12 in your meal. Note: check the label to make sure you are buying B12 fortified nutritional yeast.
This nutrient-dense algae has many benefits including improving energy levels, and a high source of antioxidants, iron copper and B12. You can easily add a teaspoon of spirulina in smoothies or in yogurt.
Supplements are, of course, the easy route to take. You should be taking at least 10 micrograms daily. Many multivitamins, like Ritual’s Essential for Women for example, also includes vitamin B12 so you can take one daily supplement instead of carrying a baggy full of them every day with you.
Vegans can be confident they will reach their daily intake of B12 with these plant-based diet-friendly foods and supplements. You can’t have “too much B12” so feel free to add a second teaspoon of spirulina to your smoothie or down a second glass of your favourite fortified coconut milk guilt-free.
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