Dairy-free With Vitamin B12 Products in Singapore
When it comes to personal nutrition, vitamins are key. We need a variety of vitamins to keep ourselves healthy and avoid long-term illnesses as we get older. Vitamins are critical in supporting our body’s everyday functions and helping us fight off potential infections and illnesses. Though our body is capable of creating some of these necessary vitamins on our own, there are some we are not personally able to produce - such as Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is essential to the function of our nervous system and is necessary for our red blood cells and DNA synthesis. It also supports your bone health and contributes to better mental health, reducing your risk of depression.
Since it is so important, how do we get this vitamin? People often rely on animal-derived food to attain this vitamin, such as dairy products or meat. And yet, same as human beings, animals don't produce it themselves. They obtain it via their food intake, as well.
Vitamin B12 is made naturally by bacteria in the soil, which made animals not the single best source for vitamin B12, which is good news for vegan diet people. As suggested by the US National Institute of Health, people age 14 and above are recommended to consume 2.4 mcg per day. We can get B12 from a few different non-animal-based foods, including:
Seaweed-derived foods, including nori and edible seaweed
Some plant-based milk, like soy milk or oat milk
Though many types of plant-based milk do have Vitamin B12, it’s important to note not all of them include it. Be sure to review the nutritional content of the foods before you made a purchase. Consuming these types of foods regularly will contribute to a higher overall intake of the essential vitamin.
Symptoms of Vitamin B12 DeficiencyDifferent vitamins maintain different organs and systems in our body, with different benefits that contribute to our overall health and wellness. Not getting these key vitamins for long periods can lead to significant damage to our well-being.
Without Vitamin B12, we are susceptible to a number of health issues that may lead to permanent negative effects on your body. Some symptoms of deficiency include:
- Soreness of the mouth and tongue
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet
- Dizziness, light-headedness
- Poor memory and confusion
If you continue to leave your Vitamin B12 deficiency untreated, it can lead to serious damage, including severe neurological issues and blood diseases. Damage to these major body systems can permanently alter your long-term health.
If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, talk to your doctor to see if the cause may be a vitamin B12 deficiency. Your doctor will be able to test your Vitamin B12 levels, and if low, help you determine a plan that fits into your lifestyle to help you increase your overall intake.
3 Reasons People Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency
There are a few factors that may contribute to an individual’s Vitamin B12 deficiency. Some of them may include:
As we get older, our bodies produce less gastric acid, which allows us to digest and absorb Vitamin B12. As we produce less and less, it becomes more difficult to absorb Vitamin B12 and can lead to a deficiency.
Some medications stop our bodies from producing gastric acid - specifically medications that treat indigestion and acid reflux. Additionally, some diabetes medications may disrupt B12 absorption, making it difficult for an individual to get the right amount necessary.
Vegan DietsSome individuals who follow a vegan diet may find themselves Vitamin B12 deficient due to a lack of the vitamin in their everyday meals.
Though various animal products, such as meat, dairy, and eggs contain B12, it is important to note that non-vegans, as well as vegans, can become Vitamin B12 deficient. In fact, it is quite common - in the United States and the United Kingdom alone, 6% of adults under the age of 60 are Vitamin B12 deficient. As people get older, Vitamin B12 deficiency becomes even more common - 20% of individuals over the age of 60 are B12 deficient.
Fortified Foods That Can Be Bought in Singapore
To get your daily dose of Vitamin B12, especially for vegans, fortified food is a better option. Some vegan food manufacturers have fortified vitamin B12 in their products, and here are some fortified food options available in Singapore:
- Oatly - Oat Drink (0.38 µg per 100ml)
- Oatly - Oat Drink Barista Edition (0.38 μg per 100ml)
- Oatly - Oat Drink Chocolate (0.38 µg per 100ml)
- Vitasoy - Soy Milk Calci-Plus (1.0µg per 100ml)
- Natura - Enriched Almond Beverage (1.2µg per 100ml)
Vegan Energy Bite:
- Fuel10k Chunky Chocolate Granola (1.8µg per 100g)
- Fuel10k Protein Boosted Granola (1.8µg per 100g)
- Violife Original flavour Slices (2.5µg per 100g)
- Violife Mozzarella Flavour Grated (2.5µg per 100g)
- Green Vie - Blue Cheese (2.5µg per 100g)
- Green Vie - Gouda Flavor Cheese (2.5µg per 100g)
- Green Vie - Parmesan Flavor Cheese (2.5µg per 100g)
These are just a few food items that have Vitamin B12 included in their ingredients. Note that, most Violife cheese options are fortified with 2.5µg of vitamin B12 per 100g. If you are still finding it difficult to keep up with your B12 intake from food alone, you can take advantage of supplements available to boost the amount of B12 daily consumption.
Maintaining a steady intake of this key vitamin will benefit you for the long term, for example, it helps you avoid serious issues with your nervous system and bloodstream. Be sure to monitor your intake of B12 and other critical vitamins as you navigate your vegan lifestyle.