While there are many causes of fatigue, depression, and anemia, including inadequate iron intake, a lack of vitamin B12 can also be to blame. Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is part of the vitamin B complex and is needed for energy production in cells, brain function and the production of DNA and proteins. While short-term deficiency, especially in terms of potentially debilitating fatigue, can be worrying enough, long-term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system.
Vitamin B12 is produced by gut bacteria as a metabolic by-product of the fermentation of certain foods; However, this production is not enough to meet your needs, so B12 must also be ingested with the diet. Since vitamin B12 occurs naturally only in animal products, vegans and vegetarians are particularly prone to deficiency symptoms. However, there are foods that are usually fortified with vitamin B12, such as breakfast cereals, milk, yogurt, nutritional yeast, and milk alternatives such as soy milk. The daily value for vitamin B12 is 2.4 µg per day, excess vitamin B12 is stored in the liver so that you can build up a reserve on days when you cannot meet your needs. To ensure that you are running at full speed and have the energy you need, make sure to stock up on your plate and make space on your plate with some of the following foods high in vitamin B12.
Shellfish are high in nutrients like protein and zinc, which are critical to immune system health. They’re also among the best sources of vitamin B12. For example, a 3-ounce serving of mussels contains a whopping 84.1 μg, or 3.502% of the daily value of vitamin B12. Oysters, mussels, and scallops are also great sources of vitamin B12, with a 3-ounce serving of 24.5 µg (1,020% DV), 20.4 µg (850% DV), and 1.8 µg (76% DV), respectively. supplies. When trying to imagine shellfish servings, 3 ounces is roughly equivalent to just 3 oysters, 5 clams, or 10 small scallops, which gives you a sense of how high the vitamin B12 levels are in shellfish.
It can take some persuasion to get a lot of people to eat liver, but the nutritional profile can be a powerful argument. Liver is an extremely rich source of nutrients like iron, vitamin A, selenium, and copper. It’s also high in vitamin B12 because excess vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. A 3.5-ounce serving of lamb liver, for example, contains an incredible 85.7 µg, which is 3.571% of the daily value. Beef and veal liver come second and also provide over 3000% DV. Kidneys are also an excellent option to meet your B12 needs.
Fortified breakfast cereal
Vegans and vegetarians often turn to dietary supplements to meet their vitamin B12 needs, but healthy, fortified breakfast cereals are another viable option. Depending on the cereal, you can meet or even exceed your vitamin B12 needs when you go to work in the morning. Combining cereal with fortified milk or soy milk will boost your intake even further. The vitamin B12 content of a grain depends on the type of grain. Some of the toppers for cereals with the most vitamin B12 are Kellogg’s All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes, Kellogg’s Special K Low Fat Granola, Kellogg’s Special K, General Mills Whole Grain Total, General Mills Multi-Grain Cheerios, and Kashi Heart to Heart Oatmeal. Many of these cereals offer 100% of the DV of vitamin B12 per serving.
Milk and other dairy products
Milk and other dairy products are also decent sources of natural vitamin B12. An 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk contains 1.3 μg (54% DV) of vitamin B12. Whole milk contains a little less. Non-fat plain yogurt and low-fat plain yogurt provide about 60% and 40% of the DV per cup, respectively. If you love cheese, opt for Swiss cheese, cheddar, or mozzarella as these are the ones that contain the most vitamin B12. Cottage cheese is also a good source, providing about 22% of the daily value per 1/2 cup serving. Milk and dairy products are also excellent sources of tryptophan, so a warm glass of milk before bed can promote a peaceful sleep.
Tuna is a source of protein of choice and a convenient lunch choice for many people, and it turns out that you’re getting a lot of invigorating vitamin B12 as well while taking your lean dose of protein. Whether you like tuna sushi or a meaty tuna steak, a 6-ounce fillet provides 18.5 μg (771% DV) of vitamin B12. Tuna is also rich in biotin, an important nutrient for hair and nails, and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and promote heart health. Other fatty fish are also rich in vitamin B12. Mackerel, for example, contains almost 1.5 times as much vitamin B12 as tuna. Herring, canned sardine, trout, and snapper are also good choices.
Eggs are small natural packages containing essential nutrients. An egg is a complete source of protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids. Egg yolks are also rich in vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in bone health, along with iron, which helps carry oxygen in the blood to every cell and tissue in the body. Egg yolks are also rich in B vitamins, especially biotin, with 10 µg biotin (33% DV) per whole egg, along with vitamin B12. Each egg provides 0.6 µg (23% DV) of this energizing nutrient. One cup of scrambled eggs contains 70% of the daily value.
Nutritional yeast, a fortified nutritional product used in many vegan cheeses and dairy-free substitutes, provides many vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids. It is an edible yeast like brewer’s yeast, but is not used as a leavening agent in bread or beer. Vitamin B12 in nutritional yeast is – as in food supplements – synthetic, as it is not obtained from animal products. That said, it’s a great option for vegans. Each 2 tablespoon serving of nutritional yeast contains 17.6 μg (733% DV). If you’re not sure how to use it, think of it like a parmesan cheese substitute. Sprinkle it on salads, pasta dishes, soups, or even popcorn.
Whether you’re a burger, steak, or short rib lover, you’ll be delighted to know that beef is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 in food. A 6-ounce rock steak provides 12.8 μg of vitamin B12, which is 533% of the daily value. If you choose round beef, short ribs, or hamburgers, your vitamin B12 needs won’t be nearly as high; Even so, with any of these options, you still get almost 100% of your daily value. Other red meats such as buffalo and shank of lamb also provide a good dose of vitamin B12. Opt for lean cuts to maximize nutritional value. With each of these options, you also get a high dose of iron, which is necessary for the transport of oxygen through your body.
In addition to shellfish and certain types of fatty fish, other seafood also contains high amounts of vitamin B12. A single king crab leg provides 15.4 μg, or 642% of the daily value, while a 3-ounce serving of Dungeness crab provides 8.8 μg. Crayfish, shrimp, and lobster are also high in vitamin B12, along with other nutrients like selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.
Fortified soy milk
Although soy milk does not naturally contain vitamin B12, most manufacturers fortify it with this energy-producing vitamin to help those following a plant-based diet meet their nutritional needs. An 8-ounce glass of fortified soy milk usually contains around 3 μg (125% DV) of vitamin B12. Other non-dairy milks, such as almond and coconut milk, are typically fortified to the same extent. Rice milk tends to be lower, with about half that amount, 1.5 μg, per 8-ounce glass. Tofu is another great option for vegans as it’s fortified with vitamin B12 as well. Each cup contains approximately 3.3 μg (137% DV). Soy, a nutritious legume, is also full of antioxidants and phytonutrients that make it an excellent food for prostate health.
Sardines are powerful little powerhouses for nutrition and provide plenty of calcium, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 in addition to many other essential nutrients. Each cup of drained sardines contains 13.3 μg or 554% of the daily value of vitamin B12. You can buy canned sardines in oil, water, or various sauces, or buy them fresh. Fresh sardines are good for grilling or steaming and can be enjoyed on salads or hearty toast.
Expert’s nutrition tips for runners
Running is a very popular sport, thanks to its simplicity and many health and fitness benefits. It’s versatile and inexpensive, requires very little equipment, and it’s an excellent way to strengthen your cardiovascular health.
Nutrition plays an important part in optimum running performance. pexels
With the competitive nature of the sport, runners continuously challenge themselves and each other to improve. In addition to training, proper fuel for the body is vital for peak sports performance.
Noted medical and nutrition specialist Dr. Korakod Panich provided the five best nutrients for optimal running performance.
Nutrition is important for runners because it plays a vital role in overall health and can also support performance. A balanced diet for healthy runners should include these five key nutrients:
Carbohydrates—which can be found in food such as fruits, dairy products, and starches such as rice, bread, and pasta—are the most important source of energy for the body.
For runners, a small meal, taken an hour before running, consisting of carbohydrates and a bit of protein can provide the energy needed to run effectively. A smoothie made with milk and fruit, or some yogurt topped with berries, provides the nutrients needed and is easily digested before a workout.
Consuming the right amount of carbohydrates before exercising can help you maximize your workout.
Protein—found in meat, milk, eggs, and soy—helps repair and rebuild tissues and muscles that could be affected during physical activities. With the proper amount of protein and adequate sleep, muscles repair, rebuild, and become stronger.
Soy is a good protein source as it is one of the few complete plant-based proteins containing all of the nine essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. Runners should consume a combination of carbs and protein 30 to 45 minutes after exercising.
Carb to protein ratio should be 2-3:1, with 20 grams of high-quality protein after a workout and between 40 and 60 grams of carbohydrate. A sandwich on whole-grain bread with a piece of fruit or a high-protein recovery shake would fill the bill.
Fat serves as an essential energy source. It is often used as fuel, particularly during moderate-intensity exercise that lasts for an extended period, such as a moderate jog lasting at least 30 minutes or so. The body will utilize more fat than carbohydrate for fuel in an attempt to conserve carbohydrate that is stored in the liver and muscles.
Choose beneficial fats—such as those found in olive oil, avocado, and nuts—and avoid saturated fats¬¬that can raise the risk of heart disease. This means staying away from fatty red meats, and ultra-processed foods, such as fast food or bakery items.
4. Vitamins and minerals
There are different kinds of vitamins and minerals that help maintain the balance in body system functions; fruits and vegetables are the best sources to obtain them. During exercise, the body excretes waste in the form of sweat, which also removes important minerals from the body. If you opt to exercise for more than one hour, energy and mineral drinks are highly recommended to replace lost fluids and minerals.
The human body is made up of 70 percent water, which is why staying hydrated is crucial. Water helps deliver nutrients to the cells and plays a significant role in eliminating waste. Runners need to maintain body water balance before, during, and after workouts because water provides nourishment that the body needs for almost every single function. It also helps limit changes in body temperature.
Make sure not to lose more than two percent of your body weight in fluids during exercise, as it can reduce your strength and affect performance. If you exercise regularly, check your weight before and after a workout to keep track of water loss and be sure to replace those losses. For every pound of weight lost during exercise, replace with 2-3 cups of fluid (or 1 liter of fluid for every kilogram lost during exercise).
Nutrition and running style
Aside from understanding the importance of nutrients, it is also essential for new runners to learn the proper way to run. Running not just makes our bodies stronger; it also helps burn calories and fat, depending on the goal.
If you have little time and would like to burn calories and fat, you can do interval training, which alternates short work intervals (80-90 percent of maximum heart rate for 30-60 seconds) with rest periods (50 percent of maximum heart rate for 1-2 minutes). This helps improve circulation and enable the heart to pump blood and make it healthier while strengthening the muscles.
If your main aim is to burn fat, and you have some time, you can run slowly to raise your heart rate to 40-60 percent of your maximum, for at least 45-60 minutes.
Korakod Panich is a member of the Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board.
Weekly Spotlight: Make the Perfect Spring Vegan Pasta Salad!
Pasta salad is a wonderful spring meal, plus it’s a wonderful plant-based meal that can easily be veganized! It’s a meal that you can add any veggie that you want to, making it super versatile for this time of year. When spring produces like arugula, garlic and some herbs are hitting their peak season, you might have extra veggies on hand or are looking for a way to clear out some veggies from your fridge. Pasta salad is also easy to whip up, and you can either do a simple dressing or a more involved creamy dressing to top it.
Depending on your time and how you want to enjoy your pasta salad, this guide splits pasta salad recipes depending on their sauce base. The simple oil and garlic type dressings are lighter in flavor, allowing whatever you hand (veggies or herbs) to stand out in your final pasta salad. However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more hands-on homemade dressing, we’ve got you covered too! These are topped with a dressing that uses a base of tahini, tofu, or even hemp seeds to create a delicious creamy dressing. The last group focuses on taking a traditional pasta salad adding a twist, like a clever flavor or mixing up the base grain!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, vegan, plant-based, and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Weekly Meal Plan Archives!
Are you ready to have a week full of delicious, high-protein, whole-food vegan food that leaves you nourished and content? Let’s get started!
This week, we’re bringing delicious pasta salad recipes that are fully vegan and plant-based!
Pasta Salads that Use a Mayo, Sour Cream, or Simple Oil Dressing:
Source: Spring Pea and Arugula Pasta Salad
These quick pasta salads are great to throw together for the week! Their light dressing makes it excellent to eat on its own to get a variety of simple flavors and enjoy the fresher crunch of the veggies in these dishes.
Pasta Salads that Use a Tofu, Tahini, Homemade, or Cashew Based Dressing
Source: Easy Vegetable Pasta Salad
These creamy pasta salads are excellent to enjoy on their own, or if you’re looking to add even more veggies, you could enjoy these over a base of greens for an extra crunch of texture! There are so many ways to make a creamy pasta salad with vegan ingredients; you could use cashews, tofu, tahini, or even hemp hearts to get a creamy sauce.
Pasta Salads that Are a Twist on a Classic Dish:
Source: Greek Pasta Salad with Tofu Feta
Cacio e Pepe as a pasta salad? Using orzo instead of pasta? There are so many ways to change up the flavors and inspiration you use for your pasta salads. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy a new way of eating pasta salad, this is your list right here!
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Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental well-being, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, good health other more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster app which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental other health benefits of a plant based diet.
Here are some resources to get you started:
For more Animal, Earth, Life, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter! Lastly, being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
Food Therapist Debunks Myths About Veganism
Veganism is a lifestyle that is based on the ideology that humans should not exploit animals or the environment for their needs. Vegans refrain from utilizing any kind of animal products for food, clothing, or work, among other things, and they do not differentiate between any species as they consider all animals equal. Simply put, veganism is the practice of avoiding the use of any animal products—particularly in our diet—including meat, eggs, and dairy products.
Myths about veganism
Additionally, there are countless myths, misconceptions, and assumptions about being vegan from all corners. We got Nidhi Nahata—Founder, Justbe Resto Cafe, Bangalore, and food therapist—to debunk a few common floating speculations.
1. Milk has a lot of calcium
There is an existing misconception that only cow milk contains calcium. So, what is the optimal source of calcium? Like plenty of other nutrients, calcium is readily available in a variety of plant-based foods that are better absorbed by the body than dairy. Think broccoli, cabbage, kale, almonds, chia, beans, pulses, leafy vegetables, and more. Therefore, even if you are not vegan, having a wide range of calcium sources in your diet can be a healthier option.
2. Animal protein is more important than plant protein
Incidentally, the animals that are consumed for so-called protein are fed on a plant based diet, which basically means that we are consuming the same and/or processed protein through dead tissues or extracted produce from an animal. For those on the lookout for plant-based protein sources, there are plenty of options like soya, lentils, pulses, broccoli, seaweed, peas, spinach, beans, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, quinoa, peanuts, cashews, almonds , pistachios, walnuts, oats, and seitan tofu.
3. Vegans have B12 deficiency
Vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians—all could have deficiency because of vitamin B12, which is a bacteria found in nature. The sources of vitamin B12 are commonly questioned in reference to being vegan, since the most common source is assumed to be animals and animal products. But the reality is that vegans can achieve the intake needed through reliable sources, such as supplements or fortified foods.
Vitamin B12 is produced by certain microorganisms and is processed while consuming cobalt from a plant base. However, our modern day agriculture prevents these nutrients to be transferred into our bodies through either sources-–animals or plants. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or non-vegetarians need to normally be given cobalt or B12 supplements to attain suitable levels regardless of their dietary preference.
4. Vegan lifestyle is very expensive
The limited accessibility to vegan food and alternatives is one of the biggest restrictive misconnects prevalent in our society. The reality is that, similar to any diet, plant-based eating is only expensive if there are a lot of quick-to-eat processed foods, readymade meal preps, and products from vegan-specific brands. There are plenty of vegan foods and ingredients that are affordable in India, especially if the diet is centered around cheaper foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, beans, and several others. Good planning can make vegan diet more affordable than the ones that include animal products.
5. Pregnant women need milk and dairy
“You cannot be vegan when pregnant” is a common misconception for soon-to-be vegan parents. The basic fact is that pregnancy is a challenge for the body, no matter what diet you are on and usually requires additional nutrients. It is advised to be closer to iron and vitamin B12, which can be attained on a vegan diet as well. The tradition of milk being one of the most integral components of our diet has been prevalent for decades. We need to be mindful and bring logical reasoning in choosing food for soon-to-be parents as well as children.
6. Soy increases the chances of breast cancer
There is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based food increases the risk of breast cancer in humans. This misunderstanding, however, might arise from earlier studies conducted on rodents. Scientists of this study showed that when these animals received large amounts of soy-compounds called flavones, they showed likelihood to develop breast cancer.
A study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology, in February 2020, searched associations between soy intake and breast cancer risk by following 52,795 cancer-free women in the US for an average of 7.9 years. In the results, they found no substantial association between soy intake and breast cancer, but they did identify a link between dairy (milk) and breast cancer.
Soy as an ingredient is loaded with fiber and is a good source of protein, omega 3, and antioxidants. Research also suggests that soy has a good amount of protein which is well absorbed by the body, and the best way to consume it is in bean form, tofu, tempeh, and other such forms.
7. Veganism is a cult
Being compassionate and conscious can never be a cult. Veganism is a lifestyle that utilizes an ideology to bring people closer to their instincts. This means bringing us closer to eating what nature has designed and grown for us, rather than exploiting animals and other sentient beings.
Lead Image Credit: Alia Bhatt and Yami Gautam Dhar, Instagram
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