Most vegans and plant based eaters get questioned about a lot of things, but among one of the most questioned-“Where do you get your protein” is “Where do you get your B12”?B12 is a very important vitamin that is critical to the body and it’s not just a vegan issue it’s a human issue. B12 helps to keep the blood and nerve cells healthy and helps with the make up of DNA. In turn it helps to prevent anemia (megaloblastic anemia) that makes people feel weak and tired all of the time., which most of us are always feeling day to day. B12 plays an important roll in our health, but most of us are convinced that it is only a “vegan issue” of deficiency because B12 is found in most animal foods, but I will explain to you why this is not true in just a moment.
Where does B12 come from?
No, B12 does not come from anywhere gross, in fact it comes from the place where all animals, humans and living things are suppose to get their foods. B12 is soley bacteria-based. Alone, fungi and animals cannot produce it, it must be obtained from an outside source. So where? Non-other then the soil itself where bacterial growth is sustained. For thousands of years we relied on farming and growing our own foods so we had regularly been exposed to B12 through the soil bits on our veggies. But because our food system has changed so much, we aren’t able to get the B12 on our veggies that we get from the store like the ones we grow in our backyard. This is also mostly because the food that we buy from the store needs to be washed very well before we eat it due to germs and pesticides. So by the time we get it cooked and on our plates, there is not enough vitamin B12 to rely on for health, if not any at all.
Why do animals have B12?
Milk, dairy,eggs and Meat all contain B12 because all of these animals generally eat their food from the soil where B12 is prevalent. After they eat their foods from the soil the naturally occurring bacteria in their guts help to produce and provide the B12 they need. So therefore, when eating animal products you get just a little B12 but without question you are also getting fat, cholesterol, naturally occurring animal hormones, added hormones. antibiotics and more environmental toxins. Animals and their products are not a great source to rely on for B12 though, this is because factory animals are caged inside warehouses and fed corn and various other things that do not contain naturally occurring B12. (Yes, this includes cage-free, grass-fed, organic and anti-biotic free food items too).
So how can I get it?
Since we know that vitamin B12 is very important to our health we should know how to get it in our diet. We can ensure were getting enough B12 in our diets by taking a supplement and eating plant based B12 fortified foods such as Kombucha, Barley Grass Juice Powder, Spirulina, Tempeh, Nori and Nutritional Yeast.
A few great plant based and organic supplements by Garden Of Life include:
- Vitamin Code Raw B-12 (which also contains probiotics and enzymes
- My Kind Organics B12 spray (which is a very convenient and easy to take spray)
We don’t need much B12, it is recommended that we take 3 micrograms a day. This is because B12 has an absorption rate in the body of only 50%, so if were taking atleast 3 micrograms a day then we are reaching our actual daily requirements of 1.5 micrograms a day. So try and make sure that you are getting our plant based B12 in everyday to prevent nerve damage and anemia, if your feeling tired and weak all the time you might need to boost the B12 in your life, it might just be the “energy drink” you need.