Thursday, August 5, 2010

B12 Lovin'

"Where do you get your B12?"

The more nutritionally-conscious raw diet skeptics have cleverly replaced the age-old "where do you get your protein?" question with this one. However, as always, I come prepared! While we only need a very small amount of B12 every day, it's vital that we get it so I welcome the question.

B12 helps your body convert carbs, fats, and proteins into energy. It helps maintain red and white blood cell health. Finally, it helps form necessary protection around your very important brain nerve cells.

Deficiency usually expresses itself in the form of anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, inexplicable weight loss, and more dramatic neurological changes like tingling of the extremities, maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, and memory loss. The thing about a B12 deficiency is that for some, it hits them suddenly, but for others it could take up to a period of as long as 20+ years to express (but then the consequences are pretty drastic).


Given that fact, and pardon the image, but I'm quite content to say that I don't need carcass parasites to get my daily dose of B12. Because B12 is produced by healthy bacteria and fermentation, a (raw) vegan on a nutrition-conscious diet can easily get their necessary dose of the elusive vitamin when they explore their options.

Vegan Sources of B12 include:


all sea vegetables (especially spirulina and nori)
nutritional yeast
kimchi
sauerkraut
miso
tempeh
rejuvelac*
fermented nut cheese**
tamari
tofu
kombucha
(and bee pollen, for non-vegans)

* for a rejuvelac how-to, check out Miss Mer's revolutionizing tutorial
**guess what? There's a video for that too!

That's quite the list, isn't it? And guess what? Most of those sources are either raw or living foods, so they're good in my books! To celebrate my love for B12, here's what I had today that was jam-packed with bacteria goodness:

1) Pre-breakfast: A glass of home-made Kombucha (oh yeah...)

2) Lunch: Sauerkraut and Kimchi from the amazing Green Door Restaurant

3) Snack: I snagged a tasted of the raw pizza I made this morning with rejuvelac, probiotic, AND nutrtional yeast nut cheese before Andrew nom-nomed the whole thing. It was awesome. This pizza had the usual pineapple, broccoli, and black olive toppings, but one half had crumbles of my leftover falafels, while the other half had crumbled sundried tomato-chipotle marinated tempeh (also a clever re-working of last night's leftovers). It really tasted like Italian sausage, and was AAAmazing.

So yes, I get my B12. And no, I don't take supplements. In fact, I don't need them. Of course if you want to be extra sure, I'm sure Vitamin Code and Vega (among others) will supply you with ample amounts of B12 to keep you going. In the meantime, keep fermenting stuff!

3 comments:

  1. When I first changed my diet I got worried about b-12 but as I did more research and better understood it I stopped letting "bad information' infect me. But honestly it's so hard to know who to believe when you can have two very reputable sources telling you very different things.

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  2. I do think it is a very good thing to be conscious of your nutrient intake when you make a pretty drastic change to your diet! But obviously, I also think that there is so much myth or as you said "bad information" out there, that it does get complicate pretty fast. It does make me question the whole concept of "sound science" when you do get two sources giving completely different results though. It makes me know that I should focus on what I am personally doing, and try not to let the rest bother me too much :) In health,
    Chantal

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  3. You are sooo awesome! Thank you for sharing <3

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