However, B12 deficiency is not only found in vegans. The way meat-eaters get it is through fortified foods - animals who received a B12 shot. However, not all of your non-plant food will have been B12 fortified, or you might not be receiving or absorbing enough of the stuff anyways! It's a potential deficiency everyone should consider getting tested for, and a nutrient they might need to supplement.
Here's how you can do it!
- A B12 supplement:
- These come in one of two ways, a pill or a spray, and need to be taken daily. The pill is probably the most common choice for vegans, as it's cheap and widely accessible! Get it from Amazon for £0.06 a pill.
- The alternative to the daily supplement is the shot, which is once-a-month or so thing. If you're forgetful, this is a good replacement for the supplement, due to how rare you get the shot. However, it's a slightly less pleasant alternative, especially if you hate needles, like yours truly.
- There is a variety of vegan foods fortified with B12, such as nutritional yeast, or foods which have been fortified with a combination of nutrients, vitamins, minerals. Other common options are vegan yogurt, non-dairy milks, and spreads like vegan butter.
Personally, I do a combination of the above - I take a supplement every day or nearly every day, and eat fortified foods (mostly nutritional yeast), with at least one meal every day.
Don't forget there are other vital nutrients to make sure you're getting from your food or supplements, not just B12, so look into vitamin D, iron, calcium, omegas, to name a few! Feel free to ask me any questions about these and more, as I've been vegan for over a year and vegetarian for 6 years before that.
You can read a more detailed version of this on medium.com
Joana's new project, Kindred Vegan, is on instagram @kindredvegan, so follow her for updates on the upcoming website launch and for daily yummy, healthy, cheap and easy vegan meal ideas!