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One of the most common questions I get asked as a plant-based health coach is about supplementation, in particular B12!
This is a great question and one that is important for anyone on, or transitioning to, a plant-based diet to consider.
Feel as confused as this giraffe??! Fear not! Read on!
B12 is an essential vitamin that is common deficiency in both meat eaters and vegans. Those consuming a plant-based diet must be particularly careful as the vitamin is not available through consumption of plants. We will explain why in a moment but firstly let's get an understanding of B12 and its role in our health.
Healthy levels of B12 assist the body to prevent a particular type of anaemia, it also plays a role in maintaining a healthy nervous system as well as assisting in maintaining healthy brain function.
A B12 deficiency may cause on-going tiredness, weakness, memory issues and even other neurological symptoms such as depression and potentially dementia in severe long-term deficiencies.
If you think you may be low or deficient in B12, get your blood-levels checked at a doctors and follow their advice on supplementing accordingly to get your levels back to healthy. If you'd simply like to maintain healthy levels, we recommend BetterYou's B12 spray.
So why is Vitamin B12 not available in adequate amounts on a modern plant-based diet?
This is because no animals or plants produce B12 naturally by themselves.
Animals, including humans, can obtain B12 in their bodies through the consumption of specific bacteria found in soil and dirt. For this bacteria to be produced, the science is suggesting that minerals such as cobalt must be present in adequate amounts in the soil. However, due to modern farming methods, soil is commonly depleted of many nutrients and our pre-washed, perfectly clean veggies, mean we no longer pass any of the earth through our lips.
Wild animals, including our close relatives, apes, can get adequate B12 levels from eating plants from the earth. However, many modern farmed animals are given B12 supplements in order to meet their requirements!
To be clear, I am not recommending that you start eating soil or dirt!!!! It is a modern victory that we can simply take a B12 supplement and not consume soil that may have other potential unwanted bacteria along-side the good stuff.
No one wants to be presented this for dinner. lets look into some more sensible alternatives!
Below is the supplement that I use myself and recommend to my clients. BetterYou produce a sublingual (absorbed under the tongue) spray, this type of supplement is absorbed more efficiently than B12 supplement pills that are swallowed. I also think it tastes great (bonus!). You can purchase the BetterYou B12 supplement here.
If you need help understanding and sticking to a healthy, whole-foods, plant-based diet, take a look at our Vegan Health & Self-Empowerment Guide (and get your discount while you can!)
Or get in contact if you would prefer one on one coaching to transition to a whole-foods plant-based diet for optimal health, a healthy weight and longevity!
Health Coach Certified Vegan Nutrition Consultant
Founder of Holistic Vegan Coaching
I developed a passion for plant-based health after overcoming severe digestive issues, anxiety and fatigue by changing my own diet. This give me a passion for researching pioneering medical and nutritional studies and a desire to help others! I take a holistic approach to health and incorporate mindfulness, psychology and other vital aspects that create a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle and assist in making eating plant-based easy and enjoyable!