B12 The Better Hair, Better Mood Vitamin
If you follow a healthy vegan or vegetarian diet, you are likely consuming far more antioxidants and skin loving nutrients than your fellow carnivore. You’re also helping the planet in the most profound way. However, there is a downside; you might be missing B12. Tests have found that 68 per cent of vegetarians and 83 per cent of vegans are deficient in B12, compared to just 5 per cent of omnivores. So why do you need it? Read on.
Vitamin B12 helps balance our mood, improve our digestion and flush toxins out of the body, thanks to its importance in the methylation system.
Signs of Deficiency
Below are just some of the signs that might alert you to a lack of B12.
* Low mood
* Brain fog
* Thinning hair
While a lack of iron or protein may also point to these symptoms, a plant-based diet is less likely to be lacking in these nutrients since iron is found in foods like spinach and cacao while protein is abundant in many vegan foods including spirulina and quinoa.
Unfortunately B12 is the only vitamin we can’t obtain from plants; as it is produced in the stomach of animals. This doesn’t mean you need to start eating steak. If you are vegetarian or pescetarian, both eggs and fish provide rich sources of B12. However if you follow a strict vegan diet you may consider a vegan supplement. A common myth is that it’s possible to get B12 from plant sources like seaweed, fermented soy, spirulina and brewers yeast. However according to studies plant foods like these actually contain B12 analogs called cobamides that actually block the intake of and increase the need for true B12.
Nutritional Yeast is also a rich source of B12 and is great in recipes like Vegetarian Gluten Free Lasagne. Click here to buy from our MARKETPLACE
 Herbert V. Am J Clin Nutr 1987;46:387-402 and Carmel R, Karnaze DS, Weiner JM. Neurologic abnormalities in cobalamin deficiency are associated with higher cobalamin ‘analogue’ values than are hematologic abnormalities. J Lab Clin Med 1988 Jan;111(1):57-62.