Food, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wellness

Ways to Include Vitamin B12 in Your Vegan Diet

Going vegan in your diet can have some obvious health benefits, and also make a statement. But greens don’t meet all of your dietary needs. Vegan diets neglect some important nutrients, and there isn’t always an alternative way of getting the nutrients your body needs. Vitamin B12 is a prime example.

Vitamin B12 affects brain function, the nervous system, and red blood cell production. It’s a vital nutrient that’s found naturally in meats and seafood, and in B-12 fortified soy products. It isn’t easy to include B12 in a vegan diet, so here are a few different suggestions to help:

Pill Supplement

B12 pills and multi-vitamins with B12 are regularly available in drug stores and major retailers.  Although pill-form B12 is relatively inexpensive and widely available, the body doesn’t absorb pills very well because of digestion. Pill form supplements can provide some of the necessary B12, but other sources are better.

Bulk Powder Supplement

B12 powder is available in bulk through a variety of major stores and online retailers. Most Bulk Powders have no flavor, and therefore don’t affect the taste of whatever dish/drink you’re adding it too. Quality B-12 powder supplements can be pricey at times, but bulk ends up being a great value over time. Powder also digests and dilutes in your system more efficiently than pills do, especially in beverages.  Amazon, GNC, and PureBulk are three great examples of where to find B12 powder.

Vitamin B12 Injections

Injections can be a scary experience for those afraid of needles, but B12 injections are weekly and provide all the vitamin intake you’ll need. B12 injections aren’t digested and go straight into the bloodstream. This allows your body to absorb the greatest amount of the vitamin compared to other options.

The drawback to the injection method is cost and terror for those with needle phobia. Quality B12 injections are more expensive than bulk supplements or pills, and using needles on a weekly basis isn’t an appealing prospect for some people. For these reasons, other options may be more attractive.

Other Things to Consider

A commitment to a vegan/vegetarian lifestyle hinders B12 intake, but medical conditions could also be the cause.  The US Department of Health outlines several conditions dependent on B12 that could point to medical problems like anemia, or gastrointestinal disorders. Always see your doctor and get a professional opinion before adding supplements to your diet.

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