Why is vitamin B12 intake a concern for individuals on a vegan diet?
Studies have found that vegetarians, particularly vegans, have lower serum vitamin B12 levels, and it is likely that anyone avoiding animal-based foods will eventually become deficient if their diet is not supplemented.
What nutrients are of concern when following a vegan dietary pattern?
Nutritional concerns regard- ing vegetarian and vegan diets include the intake of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12 and D, calcium, iron, zinc, and iodine.
Why is B12 a concern for vegetarians?
Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimize potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.
Why is it important for vegans and vegetarians to eat high in protein and vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is important for red blood cell production – it helps to maintain healthy nerves and a healthy brain. People following a vegan diet are at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency because it is only found in animal products.
What are the neurological symptoms of B12 deficiency?
A lack of vitamin B12 can cause neurological problems, which affect your nervous system, such as:
- vision problems.
- memory loss.
- pins and needles (paraesthesia)
- loss of physical co-ordination (ataxia), which can affect your whole body and cause difficulty speaking or walking.
How do vegans get B12 without supplements?
Vegans have a more limited list of options. Fortified foods, or those with added vitamin B12, are a great source. Natural foods such as nutritional yeast, yeast spreads, certain mushrooms, and some algae also contain vitamin B12.
What are some of the health issues associated with processed vegetarian vegan food sources?
Those following a vegan diet may want to be extra careful to ensure they are consuming enough iron, zinc, vitamin D, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. Vegans are also at a high risk of developing a Vitamin-B12 deficiency that, if untreated, can potentially cause neurological effects that are irreversible.
How do vegans get all their nutrients?
Vegans can get protein from nuts, peanut butter, seeds, grains, and legumes. Non-animal products like tofu and soymilk also provide protein. Vegans have to consider getting enough “complete proteins.” A complete protein contains all the amino acids your body needs to help maintain your metabolism.
Which fruit is rich in vitamin B12?
Vitamin B-12 is not found in fruits, but that’s no reason to leave fruit off your plate. Most fruit is high in folic acid, another B vitamin your body may lack. Fruit is also high in fiber. High-fiber diets may reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
How can I get B12 naturally?
To increase the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, eat more of foods that contain it, such as:
- Beef, liver, and chicken.
- Fish and shellfish such as trout, salmon, tuna fish, and clams.
- Fortified breakfast cereal.
- Low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Do I need to take B12 if I’m vegetarian?
Vegetarians need to make sure they get enough iron and vitamin B12, and vegans enough calcium, iron and vitamin B12. Women are thought to be at particular risk of iron deficiency, including those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.