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Deficient in Vitamin B12? Try these 3 vegetarian alternatives

17 Jun, 2019
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Your constant mood swings, fatigue, breathlessness, weakening vision, pale skin, depression, feeling dizzy, mouth ulcers, problems of the digestive system, difficulty in walking, loss of appetite or anemia could indicate that you are suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency. Most humans naturally may have a deficiency or two in them. This could depend on food habits, lifestyle and a host of factors. However, Vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies experienced by people all across the world. Interestingly, this vitamin, also known as cobalamin, is found in dairy as well as non-vegetarian foods items, obviously, making the vegetarians more prone to its deficiency.

Repercussions of cobalamin deficiency

The human body is designed in a way that we require almost all nutrients in a definite proportion. Lack of any one of them, in any form, can prove to be quite lethal for your body. Likewise, Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause huge ill-effects to your body. Here are 3 of them:

  1. Pale skin: That subtle yellow patch on your friend’s face may not necessarily be a sign of bad make-up but it might be an indicator of this deficiency. Vitamin B12 is responsible for the production of the body’s red blood cells. A deficiency in B12 could cause a type of anemia called the megaloblastic anemia too.
  2. Fatigue: A lot of us today, experience excessive fatigue. All thanks to our unhealthy lifestyle and junk-food addiction, we are stressed on most days. But that could also be an indicator that your body is running out of this vitamin B12. Simply explained, when your body isn’t able to produce enough red blood cells, the oxygen transportation to your whole body is hampered. This makes you tired and weak.
  3. Change in mobility: Over a period of time, if you suffer from untreated vitamin B12 deficiency, you will end up experiencing a change in the way you walk or move. Vitamin B12 affects your balance and before you realize it, you may be walking in a peculiar fashion, caused due to imbalance.

Here were some effects of this deficiency, but you need not worry! We give you 3 vegetarian options that you could gorge on, to shoo away that deficiency!

What to eat if you have this deficiency (Vegetarians, this side please!)

“Fortified foods, especially ready-to-eat cereals, and supplements can be important sources of vitamin B-12,” stated a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. That means that the deficiency is rampant and calls for a rather detailed understanding of what you could consume to avert these repercussions:

  1. Dairy products: I believe that authentic Indian meal generally is a balanced one. Rotis, rice, dal and two variety of vegetables, sweets, and chaas (butter-milk) pretty much cover all our essential nutrients. But in today’s time, most of us skip this type of meal and have tilted towards single- dominating meals. Milk or any kind of dairy products are very important for your body. Especially, if you are suffering from this deficiency, you must include dairy products in your everyday meal. If you find it difficult to include it in your diet, you could simply drink a glass of warm milk in the morning or milk with a pinch of turmeric at night.
  2. Nutritional yeast: One kind of fortified food that you must have is the nutritional yeast. This yeast is a versatile source of Vitamin B12 and is suitable for both vegans as well as vegetarians. One tablespoon of nutritional yeast provides 4 micrograms of B12. You could sprinkle it on your popcorn or any recipe to add a flavour.
  3. Fortified cereals: Cereals are not tasty breakfast options, but irreplaceable healthy alternatives too. A bowl of cereals like corn flakes or grape nuts could give you about 15 micrograms of Vitamin B12.  Not only that, but fortified foods are easy for your body to digest.

Reference:

Lindsay H Allen, How common is vitamin B-12 deficiency?, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 89, Issue 2, February 2009

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