Vegans, for the most part, are more concerned about their health so they’re bound to come across this burning question – does the plant-based diet take care of all our nutritional needs? Most of the misconceptions about the so-called benefits of animal products have been cleared and we can safely come to this conclusion that the animal-based diet does us more harm than good.
Exposing the B-12 Myth
B-12 is not produced by animals like most people have been made to believe. In fact, it’s manufactured by yeast and bacteria. Since animal diet contains decomposing products, they tend to be higher in B-12.
Due to a highly sanitized environment and the commercial production of our fruits and vegetables in today’s world, bacteria is not able to survive.
The Importance of B-12
B-12 deficiency can have adverse negative effects on your health. People must ensure their diet contains sufficient amounts of the nutrient. B-12 plays an important role in your body:
- Critical for proper neurological functioning
- Helps proper formation of red blood cells
- Required for DNA synthesis
Supplements & Sources
- Fortified foods: for example, soy and plant milk, cereals and grains
- Tablets: Plant-based supplements, multivitamins, and B12 tablets can easily provide a sufficient daily dose. Make sure to consult with the doctor.
- Marmite & Vegemite: Made from yeast and is a rich source of B-12
- Nutritional yeast
- Shiitake mushrooms: Commercially available dried shiitake mushrooms
How Much Do I Need?
B12 requirements vary based on age and gender:
- 0-6 months: 0.4 mcg (micrograms)
- 7-12 months: 0.5 mcg
- 1-3 years: 0.9 mcg
- 4-8 years: 1.2 mcg
- 9-13 years: 1.8 mcg
- 14+ years: 2.4 mcg
- Pregnancy: 2.6 mcg
- Lactation: 2.8 mcg
Note: Make sure you always consult with the doctor before you decide to take any supplements
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