I am a new member and new to veganism. I have been vegetarian for years and have flirted with a vegan lifestyle many times. Being a college student in Mississippi, it has been a challenge to find vegan foods that can be made in a dorm without a kitchen, but I am finally getting an apartment and I am ready to go full vegan. My concern is getting B12. Do most vegetarians and vegans take B12 supplements? I take a multi-vitamin but I worry that I need more. Any suggestions?
There is B12 in soy milk and alot of cereals are fortified with it also, so you may be getting it from some of those sources. I don't take any supplements because they make me nauseous. You are probably fine if you are taking a multivitamin.
I believe that nutritional yeast, sea vegetables and tempeh all contain vitamin B12. In addition, most vegan milks are fortified with it, as minniehenka said. Health food stores sell little B12 tablets that melt under your tongue...I take one of those when I remember. Take the supplement if it makes you feel better, but the body doesn't need crazy amounts of B12, so I think as long as you are eating a varied diet that contains some sea veggies and perhaps some fortified milks and/or cereals, you are fine, especially since you are already taking a multi!
I also recently started taking a sublingual B12 supplement. Just 1-2 times a week. I used to take a multi-vitamin but have read and heard from more than one source (including The Kind Diet) that that is not good for our bodies. Most of the nutrients we need should, and do, come from the foods we eat, especially if we're eating a relatively varied vegan diet. So...my advice would be to drop the multi and take a B12 supplement only. If your body is truly deficient in any other nutrient (diagnosed by a doctor or you just know yourself), then address those needs.
You usually don't need to worry until you are completely vegan for 3 years. I have been taking the sublingual B12 for about a year and just got my levels checked . . . we have been vegan for almost 4 years and mine was great!
Dolores K., is the spirulina powder easy to get? I am a college student in the middle of nowhere Mississippi so we have Walmart and Piggly Wiggly and that's about it. The hardest part of veganism for me is finding ingredients.
As said previously, there is B12 in most soy/nut milks (about 50% per serving). It is also in some nutritional yeast brands. There is also 100% of your needed daily serving of B12 in Vitamin Water (specifically, Vitamin Water Zero--the lemonade flavor). It's probably in other Vitamin Waters, too, but I prefer the taste of that one best and it doesn't have any calories. It's also sweetened with Stevia--a natural sweetener. :)