Have you recently cut out animal products to better your health? Great! Yes, a plant-based diet is best in reducing heart disease, diabetes, and obesity but going meat-free can cause confusion on B12 recommendations.
B12 comes from microorganisms and is found in animal products, b12 supplements, and fortified foods. Low intake can cause anemia, damage to the nervous system, and increased homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. Vegans and near-vegans who do not supplement with vitamin B12 have consistently shown elevated homocysteine levels.
I bring this point up because although I whole-heartidly believe that a plant-based diet is superior for optimal health, the need for B12 cannot be ignored. Some argue that people only need a very small amount of B12 and that it is stored in the body for years. This is true only in individuals who consume a large amount of B12 over a number of years. For most new vegetarian and vegans, they have been reducing their intake of animal foods for a while and may not have adequate stores to begin with. Also, even lowered levels of B12 can increase homocysteine. The easiest way to ensure your getting enough B12 is to consume fortified foods or take a supplement.
Daily recommended amounts are 2.4 micrograms for adults.
Do not rely on any seaweed, brewer’s yeast, tempeh, or vitamin supplement that uses plants as a source of B12. Brewers and nutritional yeast only contain B12 if it is added, like the yeast from Red Star or Twinlab (Added B12 comes from the bacteria Propionibacterium shermanii and Pseudomonas denitrificans.) However, B12 is very light sensitive, so I would never recommend your only source of B12 to be from yeast. The tempeh sold in America and Europe has not been shown to contain any b12. Also, there are claims that unwashed foods like root vegetables will have enough B12 from the soil, but as studies have shown the amount of b12 in soil varies greatly.
In conclusion, fortified foods like non-dairy milk, meat substitutes, breakfast cereals and supplements are the best sources. I highly recommend taking a B12 supplement daily, I rely on the Pangea VeganLife B12 Chewable Supplement.
As I know this is a controversial discussion, I would love to hear your comments, questions, and feedback on this post.
I am really excited for fall to get to Northern California; boots, pumpkins, and hearty soups are some of my favorite things. A big bowl of soup and crusty bread are one of my favorite combinations and my go-to on a fall day. Thanks to my sister for coming up with this recipe, looks delicious!
Lentil Soup with “Sausage”
1 lb vegetarian sausage
1 large onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
2 (14 1/2 ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 -3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups dry lentils, brown
red pepper flakes
1. Brown sausage and sweat onion
2. In a large pot combine all ingredients bring to boil.
3. Reduce heat,cover.
4. Simmer for about 1 hour or until lentils are tender. Add water if necessary, for desired consistency. I like to puree about 1 cup of the soup and add back to pot to give it a thicker consistency.
Nutrition Information, makes about 8 servings: 336 calories, 5.6g fat, 42g carbohydrates, 19.5g fiber, 29g protein
One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday, brunch followed by a few hours on the couch watching a movie, reading, and taking a break! I woke up to this feast and it was awesome. B prepared it all himself, I guess I’ll keep him for another year
Whole-Wheat Belgian Waffles
2 cup white whole wheat flour*
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 cups almond milk, vanilla or unflavored
1/4 cup oil
2 Tbsp ground flax
6 Tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Mix ground flax with 6 tbsp water in a small bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, and salt. In a blender or with an electric mixer combine the flax seed mixture, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Be sure not to over mix or you will end up with a tough and chewy waffle. Cook with a standard or Belgian waffle maker as directed by your maker. Made 5 waffles.
*If you like a lighter waffle, mix 1 cup white whole wheat flour and 1 cup white flour.
B served the waffles with coffee, mimosas, veggie sausage, and fresh berries!
Enjoy your Sunday, go Vikings!
A veggie delight twist on a Giada dish.
Roasted Vegetable Eggplant Timbale
2 eggplants, sliced flat and thin
1 carrot, sliced thin
1/2 onion, diced
3 summer squash, sliced in half moons
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup nutrition yeast
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 pound smoked tofu, diced
pinch sea salt
1 lb. whole wheat penne, cooked and drained
Toss the carrots and squash with 1 tbsp. olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes at 375 degrees.
Start the sauce. Sweat the onions and garlic in 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add the green pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, smoked tofu, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, yeast, and pepper. Cook over low heat or a flame tamer for 30-45 minutes.