What is B12 I hear you ask?
Vitamin B₁₂, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body: it is a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the maintenance and support of most of the vital processes that keep our body vibrant and healthy every day. Perhaps most importantly of all, it plays a vital part in the formation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to every part of the body.
The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimise potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.
To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:
- Eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or µg) of B12 a day
- OR Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms
- OR Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.
From my own personal experience, yeast flakes are the B12 natural super boosters. For many on a plant based diet, yeast flakes are a familiar part of our diet, including them in many of our dishes throughout the week. The Vegan Society suggests including 5g of nutritional yeast in one of meals daily. They can be used in pasta, stews, soups, salads, sprinkled onto salad and mixed into juices and smoothies. I love them sprinkled over my salty popcorn as a healthy snack (sneak a tub into the movies on your next visit, sprinkle over your popcorn and enjoy). I also use nutritional yeast in my pesto sauce as well as when I make ‘mac-n-cheese’ sauce as it really gives off that cheesy flavour I am looking for in these types of dishes.
Here is my recipe for a delicious pesto https://virtuosofoods.com/2020/01/pesto-pasta-with-a-twist-3rd-january/
The brand I use is #BRAGG which can be found online or at most Holland & Barrett stores nationwide as well as WholeFoods supermarkets worldwide.