Vitamins are necessary for our health; physically and mentally. A lot of controversies are associated with vegetarian and vegan diets, especially when it comes to vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, which is a nutrient found in vegetarian and vegan foods.
This is a water-soluble vitamin, released from proteins by pepsin and stomach acid, and it gets into your bloodstream through resorption. The main reason for controversies and divided opinion is that it's mostly produced in animals or by microbes.
Veganism and various forms of vegetarianism don't provide vitamin B12 through food because they exclude foods of animal origin. However, people who follow such a lifestyle and diet don't have to worry about their bodies not getting this vitamin.
The first thing we want to do is explain why B12 is so important in the body and what happens if it's not there. We only wonder about vitamin B12 when we're low on it. Having enough B12 is essential for the proper functioning of our nervous system and red blood cells.
You'll feel tension and anxiety, have trouble with concentration, have issues with your hair and skin (eczema, dermatitis, fungi), feel tired and weak, and be anemic. Stress and lifestyle have been blamed for these ailments and conditions that have plagued many in recent years.
Plant-based diets contain foods enriched with vitamin B12, which is produced by microorganisms, namely bacteria. It's an amazing vitamin, you need only three to ten micrograms of it a day, but if you're missing it, the consequences can be quite serious.
Because it's not found in plant foods, there's often doubt about whether it's a good dietary supplement. It's often mentioned that spirulina, nori, tempeh, and soy can help boost or replace vitamin B12. No worries if you don't recognize some of these symptoms, but if you do, you should see a doctor and check your vitamin levels.
This goes for omnivores, vegetarians, and vegans too. You can get vitamin B12 by eating foods that are fortified with it (don't make it hard for you to read food labels, and if you eat plant-based foods, make sure you drink herbal drinks that contain vitamin B12 instead of ones that don't) and/or consuming vitamin B12 supplements or vitamin B12 replacements.
There are some plant-based products that are enriched with vitamin B12. You can find them in plant-based milks, cereals, baby porridges.