There are so many great reasons to go 100% vegan or raw in your diet, from compassion for animals to radiant well-being – and as the effectiveness and health benefits are becoming more evident, the popularity of such dietary changes is skyrocketing.
This is a wonderful development! Whether you take this route because of your belief in the value of all sentient beings, to take a stand against animal cruelty, to rid yourself of health problems, for the environment, to reverse disease – or any other reason – you are making a valuable contribution to society.
You can probably see the “but” coming from a mile away – however, it’s something that cannot be ignored: the vital importance of getting enough vitamin B12. Let’s be perfectly clear – there is no reason whatsoever to sacrifice any of your dietary plans and values to get this vitamin. However, it is a topic that needs attention regularly to avoid the health pitfalls of becoming vitamin B12 deficient.
Vegans are especially susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiencies because you cannot get vitamin B12 from plant foods (1). Therefore, it is critical that vegans and/or raw foodists look for ways to get it in their diets through supplements or fortified foods.
Also, senior citizens and pregnant women can be susceptible to a B12 deficiency, so they should also ensure they are getting the proper amounts. (2)
Let’s go over some facts about the superpower vitamin known as B12. This nutrient packs a powerful punch, and having too little of it can spell serious health problems.
How vitamin B12 helps us
Vitamin B12 assists your body in many ways: (3)
- keeping blood cells and nerves healthy
- supports the making of DNA
- helps with maintenance of the central nervous system
- prevents megaloblastic anemia
- boosts energy (it helps convert carbs into glucose)
Signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency
This nutrient is so important, in fact, that having a deficiency can lead to some very serious health problems, and symptoms include: (4)
- low energy and fatigue
- blurred vision
- memory problems
- numbness and/or tingling
Consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, if a vitamin B12 deficiency goes too long without attention, it can lead to a host of health concerns, but we won’t dwell on what those are here. (5)
The good news
All of the health pitfalls and risks from vitamin B12 deficiency can be easily prevented! You simply need to ensure that you are getting it through fortified foods and/or supplements.
Here are some excellent sources for you to consider: (6)
- fortified cereals
- fortified coconut milk
- nutritional yeast
- vegan mayonnaise
- supplements in pill, shot or patch form
Vitamin B12 patches
If you don’t want to worry about getting the right amount of vitamin B12 through fortified foods or with vitamin pills, an excellent way to ensure you will never become deficient is through the use of vitamin B12 patches.
In addition to keeping your vitamin B12 levels healthy, using a B12 patch can give you a tremendous boost in energy and mental clarity – that’s a win/win!
We all know that a vegan and/or raw foods diet is exceptionally healthy, and is also kinder to our animal friends and the earth. Just make sure you keep your minimum vitamin B12 levels up so you can remain in peak health!
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