How To Include Vitamin B12 In A Vegetarian Diet?
The natural food sources rich in vitamin B12 are not suitable for vegetarians. Vitamin B12 is most commonly found in liver, fish, seafood and beef. A total non-no for vegetarians! In India there are so many of us who are vegetarians. You all must be aware that I am a vegetarian too but I eat eggs. Eggs have helped me shed weight actually. I also go on egg fasting sometimes. Eggs are a good source of vitamin B12, so I am kind of sorted!
So vegetarian people, here is what you should include in your diet to make sure that you get sufficient amounts of vitamin B12.
Vegetarians must include dairy products in their daily diet. Dairy products are a naturally good source of vitamin B12. For example a glass of milk (8 ounces or 236 ml) has 0.9 micrograms of vitamin B12 to offer. Have a tall glass of milkshake everyday if you find plain milk boring. You can have yoghurt with your meals and cheese of different kinds including the much loved paneer. Relish paneer butter masala or grilled paneer, you can even have paneer parathas! Enjoy a glass of chilled lassi or chach! So many options yummy options and you say that vegetarian diet is boring 😛
My favourite eggs are a great natural source of vitamin B12. A single large chicken egg yolk has 0.33 micrograms of the vitamin which is 13.8% of your daily intake. However, eggs of other birds such as duck have more amount of vitamin B12. A single duck egg provides you with 3.78 micrograms of vitamin B12 and the egg of the goose has 7.34 micrograms. But goose eggs are not pretty common in our diets and nor are duck eggs. You don’t get them everywhere. So, you have to do with the commonly and widely available chicken eggs.
Apart from dairy and eggs, there are no other solid sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians. However, there are foods that are fortified with the vitamin. Yes, fortified foods are a great vegetarian source of vitamin B12. Fortified foods include soya products and breakfast cereals. However, not all breakfast cereals and food products are fortified with vitamin B12, you need to read the outer pack to check if it is fortified with vitamin B12 or not. So, check the nutritional information labels before purchasing it.
Deficiency of vitamin B12
Now a bit about the deficiency of vitamin B12!
Do you know that our body need vitamin B12 for the formation of blood and fro the functioning of the brain and nerves? Every cell in your body needs vitamin B12 in order to function the right way. Following a vegetarian diet can elevate the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency unless you eat the above mentioned foods.
What happens when you are deficient in vitamin B12?
When you are deficient in vitamin B12, you suffer from fatigue, weakness, lethargy, memory loss along with neurological and psychiatric problems. As the deficiency worsens you may have some of the following:
- Stomach upset and loss of weight
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Weakness or light-headedness
- Pale skin
- Bruising and bleeding
- Sore tongue
You wouldn’t want all this to happen to you, so make it a point to include sufficient dairy and eggs in your diet.
Hope you found this post useful!
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