These are Foods and Drinks Sources of Vitamin B12 For Vegetarians!
Vitamin B12 is one of the biggest nutritional problems for vegetarians because the most abundant source of vitamin B12 is animal foods.
Researchers found that 92 percent of vegans who avoided all animal products, including milk and eggs, were deficient in vitamin B12.
Two out of three vegetarians who still eat milk and eggs also have a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Therefore, if you live a vegetarian diet, it is important for you to pay attention to the intake of these nutrients. Where are the good sources of vitamin B12 for a vegetarian? Check out the list below!
Why do we need vitamin B12?
Although it is a micronutrient, vitamin B12 is needed by the body for the following functions.
- Had an essential role in cell division and red blood cell production.
- Vitamin B12 is needed to form DNA so it becomes a very important nutrient during pregnancy and lactation.
- Helps in digestion and absorption of nutrients.
- Vitamin B12 plays an important role in controlling serotonin levels and regulating neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), to cure depression in old age.
- Plays a role in the production of the hormone, namely melatonin, which stimulates sleep.
- Maintain nerve health.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is usually characterized by symptoms that appear slowly. Starting from fatigue, weakness, nausea, and constipation (difficult bowel movements). Vitamin B12 deficiency in the long term and severe can cause nerve disorders such as numbness, tingling in the hands and feet, balance and memory problems, to depression.
There are also long-term complications that are dangerous, even fatal. It is important to note that folic acid levels are usually high enough in a vegetarian diet, to mask the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency.
How much vitamin B12 do we need every day?
According to the Nutrition Adequacy Rate (RDA) by the Ministry of Health, infants need 0.4 to 0.5 g (micrograms) of vitamin B12 per day. Children need 0.9 to 1.8 g per day. While adults should meet 2.4 g of vitamin B12 every day.
During pregnancy, the need for vitamin B12 increases to 2.6 g per day. Meanwhile, while breastfeeding, the need rose again to 2.8 g per day.
Source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians
These are the list of food and drink sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians:
- Fermented soy products such as tofu, miso, oncom, and tempeh.
- Shiitake (dried mushrooms).
- Several types of seaweed, namely nori is a source of vitamin B12 which is quite high. Nori dried seaweed contains up to 51.7 g of vitamin B12 per 100 grams. However, not all types of seaweed contain this vitamin.
- Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are generally fortified with vitamin B12.
- Soy milk, almond milk, and food products that mimic meat, chicken, or fish in taste, texture, and appearance (usually made from wheat or soy gluten) are generally fortified with vitamin B12.
- Some foods, such as cheddar cheese, plant-based margarine, yeast extract, and vegetable broth, contain added vitamin B12.
- When you eat eggs, a medium egg can be a source of vitamin B12 by 0.39 g per day.
Thus an article about sources of food and drink vitamin B12 for vegetarians. The Vegetarian Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group recommends that vegetarians and vegans take a vitamin B12 supplement of 250 g per day to meet the recommended daily intake of vitamin B12.
But keep in mind, that it's important to discuss the need for B12 supplements with your doctor.