KEY POINTS

  • Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin, wherein deficiency from it can lead to certain health issues
  • Since this vitamin mostly is found in animal products, many vegans experience vitamin deficiency
  • There are five plant-based foods which vegan can eat to meet their vitamin B12 needs

Deficiency in vitamin B12 occurs when levels of this vitamin in your body are at an all-time low. Such deficiency can cause permanent neurological symptoms like loss of physical coordination, memory loss, pins and needles, and vision problems.

You can counter this deficiency by consuming foods that are rich in vitamin B12, such as fish, ham, lamb, pork, poultry, and beef. If you are a vegan, however, it can pose a problem. This is why a lot of vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency.

While eating a plant-based diet regularly is a healthy option, it also carries with it the risk of becoming vitamin B12 deficient. Plant-based diets contain rich amounts of other minerals and vitamins, but they often lack vitamin B12.

Fortunately, there are five vegan foods found to contain sufficient amounts of vitamin B12. Vegans and vegetarians should include them in the diet to avoid becoming vitamin B12 deficient.

Cheese Seaweed Crisps

Made available by Abakusfoods, cheese seaweed crisps are a good source of vitamin B12. Aside from being vegan, they have a delicious cheesy flavor that the food owes to its nutritional yeast content. According to diet experts, a serving of seaweed crisps contains 70% of the Reference Daily Intake of B12.

Yeast Extract

Popularly known as marmite, this is a classic British spread rich in minerals and vitamins. It has been proven to offer a host of health benefits. Diet gurus and experts say that a serving of marmite contains approximately 25% of your RDI of vitamin B12.

Shiitake Mushrooms

These tasty Asian mushrooms are convenient vegan sources of vitamin B12. In a Japanese study, researchers found that 100 grams of shiitake mushrooms contain approximately 50% of your RDI of B12.

Aside from being a good source of vitamin B12, shiitake mushrooms contain sufficient amounts of polysaccharides, which help enhance the immune system. It also has anti-cancer properties.

Fortified Cereals

Many kinds of cereals are fortified with vitamin B12. These include many varieties of bran flakes. It is highly recommended, however, that you first check the label to see if there is a vegan seal of approval before buying the product. This is because some cereals are not vegan at all. According to studies, one cereal serving contains a quarter of your Reference Daily Intake of vitamin B12.

Tempeh

A traditional Indonesian soybean meat substitute, the popularity of tempeh is growing among vegans and vegetarians. It is made by fermenting the soybean, resulting in a dense product that contains rich amounts of protein compared to other soy products.

Studies show that 100 grams of tempeh contain more than 30% of your RDI of vitamin B12. Most vegans enjoy them as poultry substitutes in popular meals such as fajitas or stir-fry.