B12 on a Plant-Based Diet

B12 on a Plant-Based Diet

If you’re wondering why vitamin B12 is such a hot topic in plant-based diets, then you’ve come to the right place! In this blog, we’ll break it down for you, step by step.

So what is vitamin B12, and why do I need it?

Part of the B vitamin complex, B12 is a nutrient that is important for vibrant health.

It is needed to form red blood cells, is a factor in energy metabolism, and helps protect the nervous system. Maintaining proper levels of this vitamin is important to avoid any health defects. Signs of deficiency include weakness, fatigue, tingling in hands/feet, and numbness.

So what foods contain B12?

While most of the B vitamins are rich in plant-based foods, B12 is an exception. B12 is found predominately in animal products but generally not in plant-based foods unless fortified. This is why those following a plant-based diet need to be aware of this important vitamin, and supplement if needed.

With fortified foods, the amount of B12 will vary, which is an important reason to read food labels and look at the nutrition facts to ensure adequate intake.

Best plant-based sources:

Some mushrooms

Nutritional yeast

Plant-based milks

Fortified cereals

Some meat substitutes

The bottom line:

Those following a plant-based diet should ensure that they consume enough fortified foods to get enough of this important vitamin of have a supplement plan. If you are concerned about your B12 levels and not consuming enough fortified foods, speak with your health care practitioner, who can advise you on the best plan for youself.