Even though vegetarian diet has its benefits, most vegans who have given up animal products, including eggs and milk, have to face B12 deficiency. It's good to know that you're not the first one suffering from this problem, and there are numerous ways to cure it.
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin responsible for keeping our nerves and cells vital. Animal products are those rich in this vitamin, but meat is an excellent source. There always comes the question of how vegans get this vitamin. If you want to know the answer, continue reading.
What is B12 deficiency?
Since plant-based foods don't naturally contain this vitamin crucial for your health, you might have some problems with B12 deficiency. It occurs when a lack of B12 vitamin causes the production of abnormally large red blood cells that are unable to do their basic function. Without enough transported oxygen, haemoglobin levels in your body are lower, and it leads to anaemia. According to Better Weigh Medical, If you are vegetarian or vegan, you should not ignore these symptoms:
- Lack of energy
- Problems with memory
- Muscle weakness
How to increase B12 levels?
Reasons why you're lacking this crucial vitamin are numerous, but the main one lies in your diet. Rather you're vegan or vegetarian, we can offer you some solutions. Starting from the fact that you are aware of this potential problem, you can solve it sooner than you thought.
We need to admit that vegetarians have more options. Still, certain types of vegetarian diets exclude some animal products, like lacto-ovo vegetarians that avoid eating meat, fish, and poultry. Having this in mind, you can also be pretty limited, but still consider these options:
- Eggs- If you've decided that you're eating eggs, we can say that one large boiled egg contains 0.6 mcg of this vitamin. That is about 25% of your daily intake of vitamin B12. For all of you willing to try this method, eat more eggs for breakfast like scrambled eggs, omelettes or salads.
- Dairy products- Did you know that only one cup of low-fat milk can fill 50% of your daily value? Dairy products are the simplest way to increase your B12 intake. For example, 8 ounces of yogurt for breakfast or a few slices of cheese for dinner, or a snack will be enough to make a balance in your body.
We all know how hard it can be to get every possible mineral and protein from plants only. The B12 efficiency is usually the problem all vegans face at some point, but there are plenty of ways to fix it.
- Plant milks- Even dough they are not as tasty as regular dairy products, almond milk, and soy milk can help you fight this deficiency. Consuming one cup of milk for breakfast or dinner, or making healthy oatmeal as a snack will reduce the risk of lacking B12.
- Supplements- People are not usually happy to hear that they need to consume vitamins this way. We agree on the fact that it's not the healthiest solution ever, but if you're willing to increase B12 intake on a vegan diet, you have to do it. It would be great to consult your doctor and talk about doses of supplements. Then, you'll be able to continue with your diet with zero fear that you'll lack vitamin B12.
Suffering B12 deficiency is more common than you think. It would be great to do regular checkups from time to time and control levels of B12, just in case. Still, preventing this problem naturally is the safest option. With small changes in your diet, we are sure you can prevent this health problem.