What is Vitamin B12, and What does Vitamin B12 do?
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including the formation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and the proper functioning of the nervous system.
While it is predominantly found in animal-derived foods, vegans, who exclude all animal products from their diet, may be at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency due to the limited plant-based sources available.
Sources of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is primarily produced by bacteria, and in nature, it is found in animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Plants, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains, generally do not contain significant amounts of vitamin B12, with a few exceptions, such as certain seaweeds.
Fortified foods, such as plant-based milk, breakfast cereals, nuts like almonds and peanuts, soy-based products like tofu, and nutritional yeast, are one option for vegans to obtain B12 to meet their requirements. These products are fortified with synthetic or naturally derived B12, making them suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
However, reading the labels and ensuring that the fortified products contain adequate amounts of B12 is crucial. Another reliable method for vegans to ensure sufficient B12 intake is through supplementation. Vitamin B12 supplements are available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, sublingual (under-the-tongue) drops, and sprays.
It is recommended to choose supplements that provide at least the recommended daily intake (RDI) of B12, which is approximately 2.4 micrograms for adults. Simultaneously watching for the signs and symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency is essential. 
Fatigue, weakness, and lack of energy, pale skin and shortness of breath, neurological symptoms like tingling or numbness in the extremities, balance problems, and cognitive changes are some of the common symptoms of a lack of Vitamin B12.
Keep a check on your Vitamin B12
Vegans should regularly monitor vitamin B12 levels through blood tests to maintain adequate levels. Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance on meeting nutritional needs while following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.
Choosing a healthy plant-based and vegan diet is most beneficial when it comes to:
Higher levels of energy;
Aids in energy and overall happiness;
Provides a sense of comfort and relief;
Could prevent major diseases such as obesity and diabetes;
Accomplish weight-loss and management; and
Improves mental and cognitive functioning.
There are really no excuses not to try healthier habits in your everyday life. If you are a man or woman looking for specific benefits of adopting healthier habits or just want to know about the general healing properties of herbs. Please remember to comment or post any health questions, or contact us directly!
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