Whenever you make any big dietary change, it’s important that you do all the necessary research first to make sure that you’re plying your body with all the nutrients and vitamins it needs to keep you healthy and in excellent working order.
Veganism and plant-based diets have grown in popularity over the last few years, which is certainly something worth applauding from both an environmental and human health perspective – but you do need to make sure that you know you’re getting the right quantities of everything from your diet.
Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient and one that you need to make sure you’re getting consistently each day, which a vegan diet can make difficult because it is the only vitamin that cannot be reliably supplied from a varied plant-based diet of lots of fruit and veg, and sun exposure.
If you don’t get enough of this particular vitamin, you can give yourself anaemia (when your body produces abnormally large red blood cells that don’t work properly) or even damage your nervous system.
Those of you considering switching to a plant-based diet should make sure that you eat foods fortified with B12 a couple of times a day so you know you’re getting enough. Or, for peace of mind and to make food shopping a bit easier, you could always just take a B12 supplement instead, providing you with at least ten micrograms.
Familiarise yourself with the symptoms of a B12 deficiency so you know what to look out for. These include vision problems, a sore tongue, confusion, lack of energy, numbness and tingling, among others.
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