Vitamin B12 is the vitamin that is usually only found in animal foods. That is why vitamin B12 is an important topic for vegans, and it is often said that those who live a vegan life must expect a vitamin B12 deficiency. We bring you the solution to Vitamin B12 foods for vegans.
Vitamin B12 For Vegans – Vegetable Sources of Vitamin B12
The big question is that are there vegan sources of vitamin B12, i.e. purely plant-based foods that contain enough vitamin B12 for vegans?
Vitamin B12 is vital. It is involved in blood formation, in cell division, in the formation and regeneration of nerve cells, in detoxification and in the breakdown of homocysteine, a metabolic product that can attack the blood vessels and lead to arteriosclerosis.
Since vitamin B12 is almost exclusively contained in animal foods, vegans are often faced with the problem of how best to meet their vitamin B12 needs without having to resort to animal foods. Also, only a small part of the vitamin B12 contained in food can actually be absorbed and used.
So if you eat a food that contains 5 µg vitamin B12 per 100 g, which is the daily B12 requirement, it does not mean that you are consuming a sufficient amount of B12 because out of the 5 µg maybe only 2 µg can be absorbed. Again, vitamin B12 is extremely sensitive to heat and food suffers b12 losses of more than 60 percent when cooking, grilling, roasting, steaming and in the microwave
Some vegan websites state that the human intestinal flora itself produces sufficient vitamin B12. Others write that vegetables contain vitamin B12, but only if they are not fertilized with artificial fertilizers, but with natural manure.
Vitamin B12 for vegans: vegan foods with vitamin B12
On some vegan websites or in some books you can find the following vegan foods that are supposed to be able to provide vegan people with vitamin B12:
2. Unpeeled and unwashed root vegetables like carrots and beetroot
3. Wild plants
4. Wheatgrass and barley grass
5. Fermented soy products such as miso
6. Lactic acid preserved vegetables like Kimchi
7. Black tea
9. Sea buckthorn or Leh Berry
10. Palm sugar
There are certainly many other Vitamin B12 foods for vegans that are said to be able to provide vegans with vitamin B12. However, if there is no concrete evidence that these foods have the amount of the B12 that they are claimed to contain and therefore you should not rely on it.
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These sources are speculated to replenish the requirement of Vitamin b12 in the body however studies suggest that any of the vegan B12 sources cannot provide enough or are simply unrealistic when it comes to the amount to be consumed.
Let’s take the example of the best-speculated source of Vitamin B12, the mushroom or the death trumpet mushroom, to be specific. It contains 1 – 2.5 µg vitamin B12 per 100 g dry matter.
However, 100 g of dried mushrooms corresponds to fresh weight of 1 kg. Now, you could cover your daily requirement of vitamin B12 but with a kilo of mushrooms a day which is, obviously and unfortunately, not very realistic.
The Final Conclusion : Best Vitamin B12 Foods For Vegans
You can of course simply hope that the mushrooms and root vegetables that you eat provide sufficient Vitamin B12. You can also firmly believe that as a vegan you have a much lower need for vitamin B12 than omnivores as is often claimed but it is not true at all.
It’s just not worth it. We, therefore, recommend the simplest, safest and at the same time cheapest option that is to use a food supplement for vitamin B12.
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If you have been vegan for many years, you have never taken vitamin B12 supplements and you feel fit and your vitamin B12 level is under control, then everything is fine and you can confidently assume that you are doing everything correctly.
However, Vitamin B12 foods for vegans might not be sufficient, and especially with children, we believe that it is not worth taking the risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, we advise you to take vitamin B12 supplements with a 100% vegan diet.
This form of vitamin B12 supply is simple, safe and also inexpensive. You just have to remember to take a tiny tablet or capsule or a few drops regularly.