On a plant-based diet? Make sure you are taking vitamin B12.
Feeling tired, weak, exhausted? Exercising and eating healthy but still lack energy? You may be deficient in vitamin B12 an essential vitamin that is difficult to get enough of on a plant-based diet. Studies have shown that a shocking 40% of the population may be lacking in vitamin B12.
Natural food sources high in vitamin B12 include; sardines, salmon, tuna, cod, lamb, shrimp, scallops, beef, yogurt, and milk. However, if you are on a plant-based diet like me, you don’t eat most or any of these foods. Research shows that those on an egg-free and meat-free diet have lower bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure, less free radical damage, and a lower body mass index as well as other health benefits. However, vegans and vegetarians are also at high risk of serious B12 deficiency.
If you grow your own produce in good soil and eat some of it without washing it, you may be getting sufficient levels of B12 but also could be at risk for parasitic infections…. yuck!
Lots of foods are fortified with B12, but if you avoid processed and prepackaged foods (like you should) then you most likely need to take a supplement.
More serious deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause shortness of breath, numbness and tingling in the extremities, nervousness, and problems with balance. Memory problems, depression, delusions, paranoia, anemia, and even brain damage (your brain actually shrinks) can be a result.
If you are eating a mostly plant-based diet I would encourage you to look into vitamin supplementation but make sure your vitamins are from a reputable source. B vitamins in a B-complex form and in a whole food/raw food form are best. Most vitamins sold at grocery stores, pharmacies, and big retail stores (you know the ones) are synthetic and made with cyanocobalamin…yep, a cyanide molecule…cyanide the poison. Make sure your vitamin is made with methylcobalamin a form that exists in nature and has better absorption and retention in body tissue.
Eat healthy, exercise, and be aware of what supplements you need.