What Is The Best Source Of B12 For Vegans?
It can be challenging for vegans to get enough vitamin B12 into their diet because the nutrient is primarily present in animal sources.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a range of conditions, including pernicious anemia, a condition that causes fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and constipation.
The richest sources of B12 for vegans are foods fortified with vitamin B12, nutritional yeast, almond milk, organic unsweetened soy milk, vegan cheese, etc. While vegans can get B12 through natural means, supplementation is more efficient and convenient.
An average adult requires a minimum of 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 daily. Experts suggest that anything up to 7 mcg per day can be beneficial for your health. While there is a debate whether the minimum consumption limits should be higher for adults above 65 years, there is no substantial evidence to prove the fact.
This article will list down the best vitamin B12 options for vegans.
Let’s get started!
Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast with several vitamins and minerals. When eaten in moderation, it doesn’t usually cause side effects, but it might interact with certain medications if taken in large doses.
Nutritional yeast is sold in flake or powder form and is often used as a cheese substitute by vegans and vegetarians. One cup of nutritional yeast contains approximately 70 mcg of vitamin B12. So, even less than a quarter of a cup should suffice for your daily vitamin needs.
Nutritional yeast generally comes as an ingredient in fortified foods, and it’s a complete protein synthesized by bacteria. As a result, it contains all the amino acids your body can’t produce.
Sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes on your food, and you are good to go! You can also add it to soups and stews or use it in place of salt on popcorn, pasta, soups, and salads.
Nori is a delicacy from the sea with a great vitamin B12 content. It’s an edible seaweed predominantly used in Japanese dishes and comes in the form of sheets. Each Nori sheet has around 1.9 mcg of vitamin B12 that can suffice up to 80% of your daily B12 needs.
According to some studies, Nori contains pseudo-B12 - an inactive protein in humans. Other studies suggest that it contains the active vitamin B12. Therefore, it’s best to take a few other ingredients with this vitamin. Entirely relying on Nori for B12 isn’t promising.
Some people may be allergic to certain types of seaweed, so it’s a good idea to try a small amount before consuming more.
You can add Nori to your diet with vegan sushi rolls like sweet potato rolls, cucumber or avocado rolls, etc. If you like munching, try dried seaweed instead of chips and dried Nori flakes with rice.
Almond milk is made with ground almonds and water. You may consume it both cold and warm due to its higher nutritional value. The three micrograms of vitamin B12 that a single cup of unsweetened almond milk contains is enough to fulfill the day's requirement.
Other types of vegan milk, such as soy and rice milk, are also fortified with vitamin B12.
With almond milk, you can also reap the benefits of dairy milk because it has half its nutrients. Moreover, almond milk is rich in proteins and fibers.
Almond milk is readily available in stores with multiple flavors. You can make almond milk at home as well. While you can incorporate almond milk in desserts, consuming one cup without added ingredients will be equally effective.
Shiitake is a common edible mushroom found majorly in Japan and China. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin B12, among other types of edible mushrooms. A single 100 gram serving of Shiitake provides an average of 4.2 to 5.6 mcg of vitamin B12, which is equivalent to a two-day requirement in adults.
In contrast to many plant-based foods, Shiitake mushrooms contain naturally occurring vitamin B12. This means that there is no fortification or addition of nutrients in these products.
Since mushrooms are popular and a common ingredient in many delicacies, it’s much easier to incorporate them in a vegan diet for B12 content. For instance, you can stir-fry them and consume them with regular fries. Also, sauté, Risotto, and Pasta dishes are some other options for Shiitake mushrooms.
Organic unsweetened soy milk
Studies suggest that a liter of unsweetened soy milk has more than 100 mcg of vitamin B12. It also contains half of the calories present in dairy milk. Along with B12, there are various minerals, fiber, and proteins, so it’s a complete meal for both young and adults.
Soy milk is a plant-based alternative to dairy milk, and it has become popular due to its high nutritional value. It is often used in cafes and restaurants that serve vegan menu items.
Soy milk is pretty much derived the same way as almond milk. Soybeans are soaked in water, crushed and strained, before they are finally packaged for the stores.
Since soy milk is organic, it doesn’t have any side effects either. So, unsweetened organic soy milk is one of the easier options if you want a single option for B12.
Soybean milk is a ready-to-use product, so there’s no food prep needed.
In addition to B12, vegan yogurt also provides Vitamin D3, which is vital for muscular problems and protein deficiency issues. One cup of plain vegan yogurt can have up to 28% of B12.
Vegan yogurt is a healthy food with a decadent taste and a creamy consistency. It can reduce fat absorption, fight stomach problems, and even improve digestion.
As a vegan, you know the importance of a balanced diet. And when it comes to nutrient-dense foods, it doesn't get much better than yogurt.
Vegan yogurt is the perfect breakfast or snack. It's a tasty and versatile food that you can add to almost any meal. Plus, it's full of essential nutrients, including protein, calcium, and probiotics.
Whole grain bread
Whole grain bread is beneficial for your health as it’s packed with protein, fiber, B vitamins, and many other nutrients. However, Stone ground whole grain bread is better if you want more B12. You will come across fortified versions as well that guarantee the optimum amount of vitamins for daily needs. In general, a slice of whole grain bread includes 0.07 mcg of B12.
Whole grain bread isn’t enough alone if you want to consume the minimum B12 content for the whole day. You should eat it in conjunction with other ingredients. For instance, you can add some jams, vegan yogurt, and cereals to go with your whole grain bread.
You can use whole grain bread for most meals throughout the day. However, breakfast should be the primary choice because it contains energy for the day ahead.
The ingredients in vegan cheese make it a healthier alternative to dairy cheese. Instead of promoting disease, vegan cheese is cholesterol and hormone-free. In addition, it is full of beneficial B12 vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. An ounce of vegan cheese can have up to 0.3 mcg of vitamin B12.
Although vegan cheese may not be a standalone option for your daily B12 intake, you can pair it with other ingredients to compensate for the remaining nutritional value.
You can use vegan cheese to make delicious nachos, top mac and cheese with it, or use it as a dip for veggies.
Fortified food products
Fortified food products enriched with vitamin B12 are derived from carefully selected ingredients and designed to provide healthy nutrients.
Generally, products like breakfast cereals and flakes contain fortified nutrients so they can give you energy for the whole day. As fortified foods are nutrient-rich, a 100-gram serving should be good enough for your nutritional requirement.
For instance, Kellogg’s All Bran Wheat flakes breakfast cereal has around 20.7 mcg B12 per 100 grams of serving. Since this cereal is a fortified formula, it also contains other nutrients to keep you active.
Such delicious single-serving cereals are not only healthy enough to eat for breakfast, but their intense flavors make them the perfect dessert.
While consuming fortified food like cereals, you can add soy milk or almond milk to enhance the taste further and add more B12 content to the meal.
Why Not Natural B12 supplement
Supplements are another great alternative to get vitamin B12. They are beneficial if you need instant recovery from vitamin B12 deficiency side effects like anemia and nervous system disorders. Why Not Natural is a reliable B12 supplement for vegans and vegetarians. It’s a sublingual, energy-boosting product with all-natural ingredients. A full dose of B12 helps you remain active and maintain a good mood throughout the day.
This nutrient-rich supplement supports mental clarity, memory, and stress levels. It’s delicately flavored with cherry and natural citrus extracts.
The supplement comes with a dropper that allows you to monitor dosage. With a single dose, you can consume up to 5000 mcg. With clearly marked labels, it is easier to choose the right amount for your daily needs.
Since this supplement is packed with methylcobalamin (a bioactive form of vitamin B12), it gets absorbed quickly.
You should shake the bottle before use. Take one dropper in the morning or before exercise.
Deva Vegan vitamin B12 supplement
Deva Vegan B12 is another effective B12 supplement. Moreover, it comes in the form of dissolvable tablets for easy consumption. Along with vitamin B12, it also contains B6 and folic acid that provide the optimal energy for the whole day as each tablet provides 1000 mcg of vitamin B12.
Each bottle contains 90 tablets. It’s primarily formulated for vegans and vegetarians, so there are no dairy products, fish, crustaceans, or shellfish. Therefore, it can be a worry-free addition to your daily diet.
Also, its tri-nutrient formula is quite effective for older women and men, providing strength and agility to last for the whole day.
Consume a tablet of Deva Vegan with your morning meal. It’s best to get your doctor’s consent before starting with the supplement. The tablets have a pleasant flavor as they dissolve in your mouth before swallowing. Also, you can chew these products if swallowing isn’t your thing.
The vegan diet leaves you at a higher risk of becoming deficient in B12. So you need to supplement your diet with B12, eat foods rich in this vitamin, or possibly use a dietary additive to ensure you are getting enough.
Vegans can indeed get vitamin B12 through fortified foods and certain types of vegan milk and cheese. However, supplements are a much more reliable and convenient way to reap the benefits of this vitamin.
However, there is a trust factor when it comes to supplements. So choosing the right product can be slightly tricky.
Why Not Natural is an excellent option for B12 supplements, thanks to its exciting cherry flavor, easy consumption, and high efficacy. Now you can forget about those confusing vitamin bottle labels.
This supplement is easy to digest and contains high-quality ingredients for your dietary and wellness goals. 100% natural and no chalky aftertaste!
Take your vitamins naturally with Why Not Natural!