Vitamin deficiencies are a cause for concern because vitamins are essential for health. The problem is we often pay no mind to their importance. Your can have a deficiency of any vitamin, but being a vegan, a lack of animal food intake may put you at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency. It may show symptoms like tiredness, but it’s nothing like regular tiredness. Vitamin B12 contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system and immune system.
Recommended daily intake
A healthy person needs to consume around 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 every single day. This figure was for adults, while for children, it should be around 0.9 to 1.8 mcg. How does being a vegan put you at risk of this deficiency? It’s simple, fruits and vegetables don’t contain this vitamin. We normally meet the daily needs for Vitamin B12 by eating animal food sources.
Tiredness is one of the symptoms of this condition. You may also experience rapid breathing and lightheadedness. If the deficiency is so severe, it may cause symptoms like depression and confusion. While these could also accompany other conditions, you should take notice when they come at the same time. Oftentimes, the deficiency also causes symptoms like weight loss and trouble keeping balance.
Alternatives for vegetarians
If you’re a vegan, you shouldn’t worry about having this issue because there are a handful of options to meet the daily recommendation of Vitamin B12. The first one is dairy products. Some vegetarians don’t strictly eat plant-based foods as they still consume dairy products. If you’re one of them, then the risk of developing this deficiency should be low considering dairy products like yogurt and milk are loaded with Vitamin B12.
Another food that some vegetarians still consume is eggs. Eggs are also a good source of Vitamin B12. You need to eat some per day considering one only has about 0.6 mcg. Next, you can also eat fortified foods. They are basically the safest option for those wanting to steer clear of animal products. Fortified foods are processed foods that have been enriched with certain nutrients to boost their nutritional value. In this case, many foods have added Vitamin b-12 in them. Just look at the package to find out if a food has this compound or not.
Another option available is nori. Nori is a staple in Japanese cuisine. If you like to go to Japanese restaurants, you’ll often see this on your dishes. Only 4 gr of nori can provide you enough Vitamin B12 to meet your daily allowance. It’s very easy to find nori. If there is an Asian store nearby, just go there, you should be able to see this food on the shelves.
In addition to fresh foods, you still have another option, which is Vitamin B12 supplements. They usually contain high doses of Vitamin B12, like 1000 mcg per capsule. However, you need to make sure if you’re really having a deficiency before taking any of these. Talk to the doctor to find out whether your tiredness is caused by a deficiency or another problem. You wouldn’t want to overload your body with a vitamin that you don’t actually need.