Humans that do not consume enough vitamin B12 are at risk of anemia and damage to the nervous system. Reliable sources of vitamin b12 rich foods for vegans and vegetarians include fortified foods, plant milks, and supplements. Keep reading for these 8 Sources Of Vitamin B12 Every Vegan Must Know. Update, a 9th source of vitamin B12 rich foods for vegans has been added to the bottom of list, called water lentils (duckweed).
Vitamin B-12 is a water soluble vitamin also known as cobalamin. It is an important nutrient for the healthy functioning of the brain, nervous system, and formation of red blood cells. Vitamin B-12 is synthesized by bacteria or archaea.
No animal, human, or fungi can produce it on their own. Humans that do not consume enough vitamin B12 are at risk of anemia and damage to the nervous system. Reliable vegan sources of B12 include fortified foods and plant milks or supplements. Keep reading for these vitamin b12 rich foods for vegans and vegetarians.
Animals used for consumption get their vitamin b-12 from the bacteria in their gut. These animal also get B-12 because their feed is supplemented with it. Farm animals are often supplemented with vitamin b-12. B-12 is also present in natural water sources.
Plants and animals in nature get b-12 from natural water sources. Humans used to get vitamin B-12 from drinking water from the local creek. But now all our drinking water and agricultural crop water is purified.
This is good for preventing many diseases like cholera. However it depleted a reliable sources of b-12. Other ways meat eaters get their vitamin b-12 is through fortified foods. Vegans aren’t the only ones who need fortified foods to acquire sufficient nutrients.
The National Institute of Health recommends that people age 14 and older get 2.4 mcg of B-12, and for adults and adolescent pregnant females it is 2.6 mcg of B-12, and for adult and adolescent lactating females it is 2.8mcg per day.
Thankfully we have many vitamin b12 foods .
1. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast that is sold as a food product like a spice or seasoning. It comes in the form of yellow flakes or powder. Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores and online.
Nutritional yeast is packed with multiple vitamins and minerals. Many brands are fortified with even more nutrients including vitamin B-12. Furthermore fortified nutritional yeast is a complete protein.
Redbull is vegan and contains no animal products at all. This energy drink contains a variety of vegan ingredients, vitamins, and minerals. This includes vitamin B-12.
I was vegan almost my entire pregnancy. My daughter drank only breast milk and soy formula her entire infancy. Now that she’s a toddler she drinks almond milk. Another source of vitamin B12 and other nutrients is nutritional yeast.
This deactivated yeast that contains an abundance of nutritional value. It is a yellow powdered seasoning. This deactivated yeast is popular among vegans due to the fact it’s nutritionally rich. Furthermore it tastes like cheese. Nutritional yeast is a rich source of B complex vitamins.
Some brands are fortified with vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 can be hard for vegans to consume with out supplements. Therefore fortified nutritional yeast is a great condiment to have.
Nutritional yeast is not a reliable source of vitamin B12. Therefore it’s preferable to choose fortified brands to use in your cooking and recipes.
Nutritional yeast in considered a complete protein, which means it contains all 9 amino acids that the human body cannot create on its own.
Coincidentally thanks to Mother Nature, nutrition yeast tastes like cheese. It is very popular among vegans especially when making cheese substitutes.
I sprinkle it on everything from potatoes, green vegetables, and pastas. One tablespoon of nutritional yeast contains 28 calories, 77mg potassium, 2.1 grams dietary fiber, 3.8 grams protein, 1% calcium, 65% vitamin B-12, and 1% iron.
2. Red Bull
Redbull Energy Drink is vegan, gluten free, AND contains vitamin B-12. This energy drink sold by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH, was created in 1987.
Red Bull has the highest market share of any energy drink in the world, with 6.06 billion cans sold in 2016.
One 12 oz can of Redbull contains 168 calories, 11 mg potassium, 37 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 111 mg caffeine, 4% calcium, 119% vitamin B-12, 360% vitamin B-6, and 2% magnesium. Additionally, it’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians
An 8oz can of Sugar Free Redbull contains 10 calories, 6 grams of carbs, 1 gram of protein, 100% Niacin, 250% vitamin B-6, 80% vitamin B-12, and 50% panthothenic acid. Personally I love a big sugar free Red Bull energy drink! However I know that certainly is not for everyone, that’s why there are these 8 Sources Of Vitamin B12.
There’s nothing wrong with taking supplements to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients. Whether it be vitamin B12, calcium, iron, etc, it is an easy thing to do.
Meat eaters rely on supplements, vitamins, and fortified foods to get enough vitamin b-12 and other nutrients so why make a big deal of vegans do it?
Some supplements have gelatin in the capsules rendering them not vegan at all! Gelatin is made from animal parts. Vegan vitamin brands include Herbaland, Vegan Life Nutrition, UrbanVegan, and MegaFood.
What are the best vegan vitamin B12 supplements?
Since the natural sources of vegan vitamin B12 are somewhat limited let’s look at the best supplements to take. Vegans looking to supplement with vitamin B12 can not just take any supplements.
This is due to the fact that many vitamin supplements contain non vegan ingredients. Such as animal gelatin or animal glycerin. Therefore we have to chose from specifically vegan supplements.
VeganSafe B-12 vitamin B12 drops are vegan, organic, and gluten free. They are also GMO free and do not test on animals.
“VeganSafe B-12 is a certified organic blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, the two most bioactive forms of vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is a vital nutrient that supports normal energy levels, cardiovascular health, and the nervous system.”
Garden of Life Vitamin B12 Vitamin Code Raw B12 is a Whole Food Supplement.
“Although the human body does store vitamin B12, it is the most common nutritional deficiency in the developing world and possibly in the U.S. (reports the August 2005 issue of the Harvard Health Letter) Essential to protect the body against anemia and support a healthy central nervous system*, vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin involved in the metabolism of every cell of the body. Helping to support the body’s own production of energy through its role in the metabolism of food, vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells and is also needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.”
DEVA Vegan B12 Sublingual is 100% animal free, and guaranteed for purity
“It is an especially important vitamin for maintaining healthy nerve cells. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is stored in the liver. Vitamin B12 serves to control homocysteine levels. DEVA Sublingual Vitamin B-12 contains 100% Daily Value of Folic Acid and Vitamin B-6 to help reduce blood homocysteine levels. Recommended Use : For adults take one (1) tablet daily by dissolving in mouth before swallowing or as directed by a health care professional. Tablet can also be chewed if desired”
MaryRuth Organics Vegan Vitamin D3+B12 Gummy supplements are Plant-Based.
MaryRuth Organics Vegan Vitamin D3+B12 Gummy supplements by MaryRuth’s is Made with Organic Ingredients. They are Non-GMO, Vegan, Paleo, and Gluten Free. This vitamin B12 supplement is also free of dairy, wheat, soy, yeast, corn, nightshades and contains no gelatin.
“Whatever lifestyle you live, you can make it a healthy one with MaryRuth. *This product Contains Nuts (Coconut Oil).”
Taking one of these vegan supplements is 1 of the 7 Sources Of Vitamin B12. Additionally, fortified plant based milk is another vitamin b12 rich foods for vegans and vegetarians.
4. SO DELICIOUS ALMOND MILK
Many plant based milks are fortified with vitamin B-12. That’s why almond milk is one of the 8 Sources Of Vitamin B12. Almond Milk is made by grinding down the almonds with water and straining out the pulp.
Many Manufacturers fortify their plant milk with vitamins such as B12. In 2013 almond milk surpass soy milk sales in the United States. Almond milk has half the calories of dairy milk. It’s also rich in protein, fiber, and other essential nutrients.
One cup of unsweetened So Delicious Almond Milk contains 30 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 35 mg potassium, 1 gram of protein, 10% vitamin A, 10% calcium, 30% vitamin D, 10% magnesium, 8% selenium, 50% vitamin B-12, and 4% zinc.
5. SILK ORGANIC UNSWEETENED SOYMILK
Soymilk is made by soaking then grinding soybeans, boiling the mixture, and filtering out the pulp. It is a stable emulsion of oil, water, and protein. Soymilk also has half the calories of dairy milk. It’s rich in protein, fiber, calcium, and potassium. It also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. .
One cup of Silk Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk contains 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, 350 mg potassium, 2 grams of fiber, 1 gram sugar, 7 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 30% calcium, 30% vitamin D, 15% folate, 8% phosphorus, 6% iron, 30% riboflavin, 50% vitamin b-12, and 10% magnesium.
This fortified nut milk is made with macadamia nuts. One cup of Milkadamia Original Macadamia Milk contains 70 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 10% vitamin A, 45% calcium, 2% iron, 25% vitamin D, and 50% vitamin B-12.
I literally just learned about this condiment while researching this article. Marmite is a British food paste or spread that is apparently very salty. Marmite is one of the 7 Sources Of Vitamin B12.
Their slogan is “Love It Or Hate It.” The flavor is so distinctive the product name has become a metaphor in British culture as something that requires an acquired taste.
A marmite is a French term for large metal cooking pots. Ingredients in Marmite include glutamic acid-rich yeast extract, with sodium chloride, vegetable extract, spice extracts and celery extracts. Yeast extract is an ingredient in Marmite.
This yeast ingredient is a byproduct of brewing beer. The exact composition is a trade secret. Marmite is a vitamin b12 rich food for vegans and vegetarians.
Vitamin B12 is not naturally found in yeast extract, but is added to Marmite during manufacture.
4 grams of Marmite contains 9 calories, 1.5 grams of protein, .1 grams of fiber, .23 mg thiamin, .28 mg riboflavin, 6.4 mg niacin, 50% folic acid, and 40% vitamin B-12.
In addition to fortified nutritional yeast and plant based milks, another vegan and vegetarian source of vitamin B12 includes breakfast cereals. There are multiple vegan friendly breakfast cereals that are fortified with vitamin b12.
Break fast cereals are another vitamin b12 foods. Vegan friendly breakfast cereals that are fortified with vitamin B-12 Total Corn Flakes(192%) and Fiber One Original Bran (20%).
Additionally there are a few hot breakfast cereals that are both vegan and contain vitamin B-12. For example, Kashi brand “Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal(100%).”
Update to vegan food sources of vitamin B12. According to reports, scientists have discovered that water lentils (or duckweed) contain bioactive vitamin B12. Water lentils are an aquatic plant that float on the surface of still bodies of freshwater.
Until now water lentils (duckweed) could be found in things like home aquariums. However a Florida based start up company called Parabel, discovered the natural bioactive forms of vitamin B12: adenosylcobalamin, methycobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin. It has approximately 750 percent of the RDV of vitamin B12.
Leave a comment about your favorite source of vitamin b12 rich foods for vegans and vegetarians.