The Path to Healthy Veganism

Have you been feeling a bit off balance, stressed, lack of energy or hearing voices telling you to do odd things or even hurtful things to you or others, then, you are experiencing a possible vitamin B deficiency of one or more of the vitamins in this series. If you are experiencing any of the above you want to look at B vitamins because they are considered mood vitamins. Dr. Kalu, in this article will take a look at the importance of the B vitamins, how each vitamin is utilized in your body and their sources.

The Importance Of The B Vitamins:
The B vitamins, also referred to as B complex, are 8 distinct key nutrients that are essential for staying alive and healthy. They play an important role in turning food into fuel; supporting the body’s digestive system, immune system; regulating hormones; and keeping skin, bone, muscle, tissue, blood and the central nervous system strong and healthy. For the most part, the body cannot produce adequate levels of B vitamins and so must get them from food.

They often exist together in foods, but at different potencies. With the exception of B6 and B12, They are not stored in the body for more than a day and have to be replenished daily. As in all cases, diets containing less than 50% of any essential nutrient for 4 or more weeks can result in serious illness. Longer absences can cause irreversible damage. Intake deficiencies in certain B Vitamins can result in fatigue and anemic disorders, diseases of the central nervous system and impaired immunity. The good news is that by following a complete and varied diet, the Vegan/ Vegetarian can get comprehensive levels of the B vitamins from non-animal sources thanks to nature’s bounty and high quality Vegan supplements. Natural sources include vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, grains, seeds, and fungi (yeast and mushrooms).

Vitamin B Working for you and Where to get it:
B1, (Thiamine) is important for the heart, brain and central nervous system. It also helps turn carbohydrates into energy. Good Vegan food sources are rye, oatmeal, flax, sunflower seeds, brown rice, asparagus, oranges. While Vegan sources are not “very high” in B1, consuming them in plentiful amounts throughout the day can help achieve complete levels. Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for adults is 1.5 milligrams (mg).
1 ½ c cooked oatmeal 20%
1 ½ c of cooked brown rice 21%

B2, (Riboflavin) helps turn fats, proteins, and carbohydrates into fuel for the body. Vegan foods rich in B2 are soybeans, yeast; mushrooms; nuts and leafy greens; For Lacto vegetarians milk and cheese are rich sources. Adult RDI is 1.3 mg.
1 c dry roasted soy nuts 76%
1 c cooked Portabellas 34%

B3 (Niacin) is important in regulating sex and stress hormones, removing bodily toxins, controlling cholesterol and maintaining a healthy tongue, skin and digestive system. Starchy vegetables, nuts and fungi are the richest sources. The adult RDI is 15-16 mg.
2 tbsp brewers yeast 50%
2 tbsp peanut butter 21%

B5 (Pantothenicacid) plays a key role in the metabolism of foods, helps fight allergies and aids in maintaining skin, blood, muscles and nerves cell. Good sources are legumes, cereals and royal jelly. Adult RDI is 5mg.
1 c boiled mushrooms 34%
1 ½ c cooked mung beans 12%

B6 (Pyridoxine) plant sources provide the inactive form called Pyridoxine that is converted to an active form by the liver. Vegans with a deficient liver should take B6 supplement pyridoxal-5-phosphate from animal sources. B6 helps keep heart and skin healthy, promotes digestive hydrochloric acid production, promotes red blood cell production, aids the immune system and is needed for production of neurotransmitters. Good sources are legumes and potato skins. Adult RDI 1.3mg
4 tbsp peanut butter 18%
1 ½ c almonds 13%

B7 (Biotin) is necessary for cell growth, production of fatty acids, and metabolism of fats and amino acids. It helps maintain steady blood sugar levels and is the only B the body makes above the RDI. Sources are egg yolk, nuts, and fruits. Adult RDI is 300 micrograms (mcg.)

B9 (Folate) is required to produce healthy red blood cells and prevent anemia. Leafy greens and fortified cereals and breads are best food sources. Adult RDI 400mcg
1 c spinach 66%
1 ½ c almonds 13%

B12 is a bacteria life form that contains cobalt – an element essential to human life. Plants are not considered a reliable source of bio-available B12, However, the green grasses (taken in powdered form) such as wheat grass, barley grass can provide some B12. Vegans should eat B12 fortified food and/or take the sublingual form of the supplement Cyanocobalamin designed for the Vegan. Lacto-ovo vegetarians have the option of getting B12 from dairy products. B12 is important in the formation of red blood cells, bone marrow, and the maintenance of the nervous system. Adult RDI is 2-3 mcg.
1 serving Silk Ò Soymilk fortified 70%
1 serving Yogurt, plain, skim milk 25%

B Vitamin Supplements: The good and the bad
Dr. Kalu considers food the best source of nutrients. Everything your body needs is contained within fruit and vegetable produce grown from the earth. Fruits and vegetables can be taken in juiced form, eaten whole or cut up and made into a salad. Either way consume an abundance to get all the phytonutrients, plant sterols, vitamins or mineral you can to build a healthy body. Smart Vegan/Vegetarians also incorporate supplements into their healthy regimes. Mineral and Vitamin Supplements in the form of powders and drinks should be an essential part of the vegetarian diet. Many companies make supplements specifically for Vegans. Vegan face wash

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