Posted on

What is the Best Protein Source

Protein.  Everyone praises and worships it like every day is Sunday. It’s like we forget there is more to good nutrition than one nutrient. But how bad do we really need protein?

For survival, we don’t need as much as you think! Kids are taught that they need to drink whole milk for strong bones, partly due to the protein content (as well as calcium and fat). The protein content in whole milk is 21%.  I can think of a million other food sources that can provide this much protein, or more.  As long as kids are eating a variety of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes… they will have no problem achieving this protein content. And there’s plenty of non-dairy milks containing nuts or seeds.

As adults, we are still stuck on this notion that protein is almighty and without it we will become scrawny and weak. We are always searching for the perfect protein. Meat is assumed to be the ultimate protein source, because it has the highest amount of protein, so it is assumed that it must be good. Even as adults, we still don’t need upwards of 40-60% protein. If we only select a food based on its protein content, and disregard all the health effects of consuming that food, we are setting ourselves up for failure. But carbs make us fat, right? Let’s just say if that were true, all the vegetarians and vegans would be dead or morbidly obese by now.

Honestly, there are vegetarians and meat-eaters of all sizes, so extreme dieting that avoids any single nutrient entirely won’t solve the world’s obesity crisis. The truth is, the older we get, the less active most of us become, and without exercise, we cannot build muscle.

Sign up for my fitness challenge to learn more about protein!  In our protein lesson, I will go into more detail dispelling myths about protein needs for babies, kids, and adults alike. We will explore what protein intake is optimal for runners, strength athletes, and the average joe. Then, I’ll even shed some light on what type of protein is best for you!  Join today and we’ll start tomorrow!

>> Take the Fitness Challenge Now <<

training-online-personal-trainer-for-weight-loss-online-fitness-trainer-toning-muscles
Try Nutrition Coaching for More on Protein

Written by Kelly Gibson | Kelly Athletics LLC | 480-270-4968 | www.FitWithKelly.com

 

 

Posted on

Unexpected Ways Diet Affects Your Life

Unexpected Ways Diet Affects Your Life

Written by Paige Johnson from Learnfit.org ; Edited by Kelly Gibson.

how-exercise-affects-your-health
Ways diet affects your life. Image via Pixabay

 

You’re probably already aware that the food you eat affects your weight. Healthy, low-calorie foods may help you lose excess pounds or maintain a fit figure, while processed foods high in sodium and sugar might make you pack on the pounds. It’s wise to enjoy unhealthy food and beverages in moderation, but not just because they impact your weight. Here are four surprising areas of your life that can benefit or suffer from your dietary choices.

 

Emotions

Mental illness is common in the United States. Approximately 44 million adults have a mental health condition, and many children also battle at least one form of mental illness. Some mental health conditions are triggered by genetic or environmental factors, but did you know that food also affects your mood? Even if you don’t have an existing mental health condition, your dietary habits may make you cranky, depressed, or anxious.

So what’s safe, and what should you avoid? It’s generally best for people to consume fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as whole, sprouted grains, legumes, natural oils, and nutrient-dense seeds. Grains and high-glycemic fruits should be balanced with protein-packed foods (think nuts, nut butters, beans, hemp seeds)  to avoid a blood sugar crash from excess carbohydrate consumption.

Here are some foods to limit or avoid completely if you want to protect your emotional health:

  • Dairy
  • Refined sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial colors and flavors
  • High-sodium foods

Some people may also need to avoid common foods associated with internal inflammation, such as gluten. Your doctor or a licensed nutritionist can review your current diet and let you know if it’s a good idea to change anything.

 

Mental Clarity

Do you ever find it difficult to focus on work, school, or household chores? Your diet might be the culprit. One recent study found that poor dietary habits may impact cognitive health. Some researchers believe that eating fried food can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

On a positive note, it may be possible to prevent or even reverse the effects of a bad diet. Here are some brain-friendly foods to incorporate into your diet:

  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Dark Chocolate (look for vegan options)
  • Acai berries
  • Coconut oil

Pay attention to how your body feels after you consume different foods. You may notice other foods help or hurt your memory.

 

Sleep Schedule

Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or perhaps you have no trouble falling asleep, but you find it difficult to wake up, even after a full night of rest? These are common complaints from people who do not consume nutritious foods on a regular basis. That’s because there is a potential link between sleep issues and poor dietary habits.

Even if you eat well, you may notice you feel more tired than usual after you consume certain foods. L-tryptophan is an amino acid that raises serotonin levels in your brain. When this occurs, you feel sleepy or relaxed, which can disrupt your sleep cycle. Here are some foods that contain this amino acid:

  • Turkey
  • Cheese
  • Red meat
  • Chicken
  • Tofu
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Animal based foods like turkey, cheese, red meat, and chicken also lack glucose which is the primary energy source for the brain – I recommend avoiding these foods. You may also experience fatigue if you eat too much of a specific food, even if it’s a healthy plant-based food like tofu, nuts and seeds. This is because your body has to work hard to digest the food and distribute the nutrients throughout your body. Limit these.

 

Social Functions

The foods you eat or avoid can have a major impact on your social life. Depending on your lifestyle, this can be a positive or negative experience. For example, if you avoid foods with refined sugar and wheat, you may find it difficult to dine out with friends. If you live a vegan lifestyle, you may notice friends no longer extend invitations to barbecues or birthday parties.

Luckily, there’s an easy solution for this issue. If you don’t want to change your diet, just make sure you arrive prepared for social functions. Let friends know that you don’t mind bringing a gluten-free dessert or vegan appetizer to their party. You can also host potluck parties at your home so that everyone can eat something they enjoy.

Your dietary choices can tilt the scale in either direction, but they also impact other areas of your life. Think carefully about the foods you consume so that you can protect your mind and body.

 

Posted on

How to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

How To Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau
Are you constantly exercising, dieting, and still can’t get past your weight loss plateau?!

 

Here are some tips on how to manage this:

1. Weight gain does not mean fat gain.  Assess the food you are eating because calories are not always the cause of weight gain. Sometimes bloating can come from too much sodium, or being a bit constipated or backed up. If you eat more whole foods and less processed foods, you can reduce your sodium intake and increase fiber intake to flush out the added weight rather quickly.

2. Nutrients you are getting – are you missing something from your diet? take multivitamin or supplement if you are lacking.

3. How much water do you drink?  If you are dehydrated you can easily overeat or your body will hold more sodium, again creating a bloated unhappy feeling with potential weight gain. Cleansing can help get rid of toxins, so drink your water at every meal and consider a 3-day Shakeology Cleanse or Thisilyn Cleanse. (I have had positive results with both of these, but no I do not sell them).

4. Take multiple measurements – body fat %, circumference measurements, and the scale. Don’t always rely on one number because you could making improvements in one place and not another!  The scale is sometimes a false reading of your true progress and can make you think you are getting fat when you are actually losing fat, holding water and/or building muscle.

5. How hard are you working? Increase the intensity of your workouts to burn fat faster, such as high intensity interval training or HIIT workouts.  Lifting heavier weights can also increase your metabolism for up to 36 hours.  Walking or jogging for an hour can be a waste of time if you aren’t burning fat. If you want to know why click here.

Written by Kelly Gibson on November 30, 2012

Contact Me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

 

Comment with how you plan to fight through your next weight loss plateau!

Kelly Athletics LLC: NASM Certified Personal Trainer | Tempe Arizona | Mesa Personal Training | Tempe Boot Camps | Boot Camp Classes in Arizona | AZ Fitness Trainer | Exercises for Women | Workouts for Fat Loss | How to Burn Fat | Easy Exercises for Weight Loss | Vegan Diets and Plant Based Dieting | Vegan Nutrition | Am I Lacking Nutrients on a vegan diet | Overcome Weight Loss Plateau | Cleanse and Detox | Former Team Beachbody Coach 2012 | Need more help with your diet? Try Nutrition Coaching today!

 

Posted on

Why French Pressed Coffee is the Best!

Why French Pressed Coffee is the Best

Are you a coffee drinker? Do you love the smell of coffee in the morning? Are you totally hooked on caffeine but have a weak stomach?  French Pressed Coffee is the best option for you!! You don’t need to quit to be healthier.

1. Cheaper than a keurig or regular coffee machine.

 

2. Faster and Easier than brewing coffee.

 

3. If you’re in a hurry, don’t wait! Just pour your hot coffee right away for some caffeine 😉  Optimal wait time is 4 minutes to use all the grounds, but you know how hard it is to wait to turn on your brains in the morning!

 

4. Cold-pressed coffee is 67% less acidic! Many of us can’t stomach brewed coffee.

Just pour in your grounds, add cold water, and let it soak overnight in the fridge before you press.

 

5. You no longer have to worry about replacing filters or k-cups, or tearing apart your machine to clean it.  

The 2-Piece French Press is so easy to clean!

 

Summary: Why French Pressed coffee is the best

1. cheaper than other coffee
2. faster and easier to make
3. less waiting time
4. 67% less acidic
5. easy as 1-2-3 to clean

Written by Kelly Gibson June 10 2015

Contact Me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

 

Nutrition Coach | French Pressed Coffee | Coffee Drinker | Caffeine | Healthy Coffee | Is Coffee Healthy | Coffee is Vegan

Posted on

Gluten Free Diets – Fad or Fact?

Gluten Free Diets – Fad or Fact?

Have you chosen a gluten free diet to lose weight or get healthy because you have heard that wheat or gluten is “bad for you?”  I am about to tell you how true these health claims really are.

Gluten free diets can be effective for weight loss and health, depending on three factors:

1. Whether or not you have a gluten intolerance, celiac’s disease, or a wheat allergy

Are you gluten intolerant, have an allergy, or suffer from a lifelong auto-immune condition known as Celiac’s Disease?  If so, you should absolutely follow a strictly gluten free diet upon diagnosis.  If you have not been tested and have suspicions of having a gluten problem, I encourage you to see a ND or MD to run blood tests. Food intolerances, allergies and celiac’s disease are NOT something to mess with, as gluten problems can lead to immunodeficiency, leaky gut, and even more auto-immune conditions over time.  You may want to know exactly what foods are safe to eat and stick to it 100% if you have these gluten problems.  For these conditions, it requires a lifestyle change moreso than a short-term “diet”.   Eating foods that your body can’t handle will lead to unwanted weight gain. For those who do not have a true gluten problem, you might be trying a gluten free diet for the wrong reasons and may put yourself through more trouble than its worth to restrict the popular gluten ingredients in the supermarket. Glutenous foods include wheat, barley, rye, and vital wheat gluten.

2.  What you are eating to replace gluten in your diet 

If you are replacing glutenous grains with processed grains instead of healthy whole grains, you are most likely on a fad diet and not making healthy choices for weight loss.  100% whole wheat has moderate protein from gluten and also is a high fiber food; processed grains are typically low protein and low fiber. Regardless of your reason for going gluten-free, you should try to eat healthy to get results. Take the time to study the ingredients that you find on the labels of foods or be careful what you put in your homemade meals to replace the gluten proteins in wheat, rye, or barley.  Many gluten free foods are also high in oils which are 100% calories from fat, and there are 9 calories per gram of fat. Other gluten-free products contain eggs, which are both very high in saturated fat and cholesterol, yet contains no fiber.  To be safe, I would avoid eggs on a gluten-free diet (another common allergen) and then check to see if there are less than 20% of calories from fat on the nutrition label.  Remember to question if a product is fad or fat? If you can follow these few tips, and eat more home cooked meals, you are likely going to see some weight loss results.

3.  The amount of sugar you are eating on gluten free diets

If you are overeating sugar, you are going to have trouble losing weight and might even gain weight on a gluten-free diet.  If you have gluten intolerance and also want to lose weight, then contact me for help because a lot of gluten free foods are jam-packed with added sugars and processed chemicals to make up for the lack of gluten.  This could bump up the amount of calories per gram of food, and you can easily overeat if your new diet is highly processed.  If going gluten free results in you making more homemade meals, you might experience the contrary and start to lose weight.

Need help learning about gluten-free diets or getting a written nutrition plan that’s right for you?  I write plans with both 100% whole wheat and gluten free options! Choose the foods that are right for you!

kelly-gibson-vegan-gluten-free-nutritionist-nutrition-coach-tempe-mesa-az-ahwatukee-scottsdale-phoenix-gilbert-arizona
Kelly Gibson, Vegan Gluten Free Nutrition Coach

My name is Kelly and I am intolerant to wheat and gluten.   I was sticking to gluten free diets mostly for 3 years, but cheating once in a while with a food that contained wheat or gluten really affected my weight goals.  Having a snack once a week containing gluten created auto-immunity inside of my body and prevented me from losing the weight that I worked so hard for the other 95% of the time.  After going fully gluten free, I have never felt better and even lost my last 7 pounds. I plan to be on a gluten free diet for the rest of my life and I do it for my health! If I didn’t have intolerance I would have no problem eating it, and I have no problem encouraging others to do the same. It is estimated that roughly 30% of people have a gluten problem; as for the other 70% they shouldn’t have to worry about cutting the gluten.

Written by Kelly Gibson on Jan 12, 2015. Edited Aug 5th 2016.

Contact me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

Call me at Kelly Athletics for more info 480-270-49six8

Phoenix Personal Trainer 85044 | Plant-Based Nutrition Coach 85244 | Gluten-Free Nutrition | Gluten-Free Meal Plan | List of Vegan Nutritionists in Chandler Arizona | Tempe Personal Training | Group Personal Training | Gilbert Personal Training | Phoenix Personal Training | Old Town Scottsdale Personal Trainer | Fitness Trainer Chandler AZ | Gluten Free Diets | Kelly Athletics LLC 

Posted on

Can Eating Salad make me Fat?

Can Eating Salad make me Fat?

Is a salad with dressing really worse than a cheeseburger? A pound of lettuce is going to contribute about 20 calories so there is a negligent amount of macronutrients to worry about in that by itself. The real calories come from what you add to the salad. Let’s take a look to answer your question “Can Eating Salad make me Fat?”:

It almost seems silly to compare the two, since their macronutrient ratios are entirely different. However, in terms of calories you would need to add 6-7 tablespoons of Italian Dressing to make a plain salad as unhealhty as a cheeseburger.  That means almost a half of a cup of dressing!  I don’t know anyone who needs that much dressing. What a relief! So I guess we should keep adding dressing to our salads as long as we control our portions, right?

Wrong and let me tell you why. The first ingredient in majority of store-bought dressings is the most overused sweetener in America, and the worst part is? Everyone tells you to stop having it.  You may not know it, but you are defeating the purpose of a healthy salad when you add High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), with a hint of added flavors and preservatives. What about Fat-Free?  Don’t worry, food companies will sneak in some artificial sweeteners like sucralose or dextrins to make it taste better.

Unfortunately, toxins like these can make it very difficult to lose weight, even if you’re limiting your overall calorie intake.  I suggest you take a look in your refrigerator and read the ingredient label on your salad dressings (or ALL condiments for that matter). If it’s got HFCS, I recommend you chuck it or donate it to your local food drive.

Many of you may already be aware of this problem, and you probably stock up on organic dressings.  But there’s still a ton of sodium in those too. Hmm! What to do now?  I know I know… create your own salad dressing! It takes 2 minutes or less to whip up a healthier dressing to ensure you’re not putting toxic ingredients in your body. Sounds worth it to me. It’s important to add healthy proteins to your salad and cut down on the processed oils, so I tend to make nut or seed butter dressings like tahini, made from sesame seeds.

Try my mega easy 30-SECOND dressing recipe! It contains more protein than most store-bought dressings.

easy-lemon-tahini-dressing-recipe
Easy Lemon Tahini Dressing

Lemon tahini dressing:

1 TBSP Tahini

1TSP Lemon Juice

1TSP Water

Instructions: Whip together all of the ingredients in a small bowl for one serving. 3 ingredients in 30 seconds? You must think I’m joking!! Seriously I’m not, this is my go-to salad dressing and its as easy as 1 2 3! Give it a try and let me know how you like it! If you eat salad wtih this amazing protein dense dressing you wont be asking “Can Eating Salad make me Fat?” anymore.

Looking for more easy vegan recipe ideas? Try a Vegan Challenge or Contact Me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

Posted on

The Vitamin D Deficiency Problem

The Vitamin D Deficiency Problem

Video Transcript:  Do you take a multivitamin to ensure that you cover your bases? Or maybe your doctor already diagnosed you with a Vitamin D deficiency and put you on a high dose? 

You’re not alone. The Vitamin D Deficiency Problem affects up to 75% of the population in the U.S. There are 3 main reasons why it’s so common today – 1. the overuse of sunscreen, people treat the sun like it’s full of germs and they’re afraid to get sunlight for a few minutes they’ll catch cancer. It’s beneficial to use sunscreen for longer duration of sunlight, but it’s ok to use spf 8 on occasion to get more vit d. 2. the American lifestyle of having desk jobs, playing on our computers or smartphones all day and spending less time outdoors, and 3. Eating a diet high in processed foods or fast foods. Does this sound familiar? Well If you suffer from any of the following symptoms – keep watching:

  • Weight Gain or Inability to Lose Weight
  • Severe asthma
  • Depression or gloomy moods
  • Weak, Brittle Bones or Bone Pain
  • Cognitive issues or poor mental function
  • Skin rashes like Psoriasis or Dermatitis

If you suffer from any of these symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency the first thing I’d recommend is getting sunshine 15 minutes a day 3 times a week – minimum. An easy way to do this is to do a cardio warmup and stretch outside for your workout. Your body produces vitamin D through skin exposure to UV rays  – so you have to be in direct sunlight (not through a window or in the shade) to boost your D levels. Your improved vitamin D levels can help release norepinephrine and dopamine (similar to an anti-depressant), AND you’ll release endorphins from the exercise which also improves your mood. Win-win.   If you live in a climate where that’s just not possible, then try to get your vit D from whole food sources of fat such as nuts, seeds, and oils.  The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for the average adult is 600IU (international units) or higher.

The benefits of having healthy levels of Vitamin D is:

  • Lower risk of getting type II diabetes
  • Weight Loss or lower body fat
  • Helps with the absorption of calcium into your bones which is why you’ll notice that calcium supplements also contain vitamin D

Before you start going overboard with getting rays of sun every day let me just warn you that there are some side effects from having an overdose of Vitamin D: Here’s what to watch out for:

  •  Increased risk of skin cancer or sunburn by getting too much sun
  • Obtaining more than 4000IU per day can be a health risk, increasing your blood calcium levels which can lead to kidney stones.
  • Foods fortified with Vit D  – typically means the natural source of Vit D has been stripped from the food in processing and they needed to reapply the vitamin to the food to make you think its healthy and compete for your business.

Remember – spend about 15 minutes a day 3 days a week to get sufficient vitamin D levels, avoid fortified foods, only supplement if you are allergic to the sun or suffer from a severe Vitamin D deficiency, and make sure you don’t overdo it. Too much of anything can be bad!

Want to learn more about where to get vitamins in food? Try Nutrition Coaching or Contact Me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

Resources/Credit:

www.webmd.com

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/#h4

Video by Kelly Gibson on July 30, 2014

Vegan Nutrition Coach | Plant Based Nutrtition | Vegan Personal Trainer for Women

Posted on

Benefits of Phytonutrients

Benefits of Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are organic yet chemical-like substances only existent in plants such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, teas, and nuts.  Although they are not “essential” for human life, the benefits of phytonutrients are their health-promoting properties.  Phytonutrients come in many classes, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and phytoestrogens. 

3 Foods with Phytonutrients: Moringa, Chlorella, and Spirulina

If you are wondering “why would I eat these?” let me explain the benefits of phytonutrients.  Flavonoids are compounds that are known to have antiviral, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant affects on the human body. Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments responsible for coloration of fruits and vegetables.  They provide a source of vitamin A, protect the body from free radicals, and are known to lower mortality rate from chronic illnesses.  Phytoestrogens are compounds (most notably contained in soy) that mimic the function of the hormone estrogen, and is known to lower risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and breast cancer.

“Moringa is a nutrient-rich superfood that’s packed with more vitamin A than carrots, more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges, and more potassium than bananas. No wonder moringa is considered to be one of the most nutrient-rich plants on earth. Moringa has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and is known to promote energy, vitality, athletic performance, and weight loss, while boosting the immune system and protecting against disease.

Spirulina – this high-protein blue-green algae superfood can help boost your immune system, as well asregulate cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Spirulina is one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, and provides high concentrations of amino acids, chelated minerals, pigmentations, rhamnose sugars (complex natural plant sugars), trace elements, and enzymes—all in an easily assimilable form.

Chlorella is a blue-green algae superfood that has an amazing ability to cleanse the blood, digestive system, and liver of toxins and heavy metals. It regulates blood sugar, helps lower cholesterol, promotes healthy blood pressure, heals wounds, enhances the immune system, and battles free radicals. Chlorella also contains high concentrations of iron and B-complex vitamins.” 

Need more info on how to increase phytonutrient intake in your diet, try Nutrition Coaching with Kelly Athletics! 

Contact Me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

Posted on

Benefits of CHOCOLATE this Valentine’s Day!

Benefits of CHOCOLATE this Valentine’s Day!

So you’ve heard all the bad things about chocolate, like how it is high in fat and sugar and will make you gain weight if you overeat it… But, if you take away the dairy and the sugar, you might actually have a healthy product!  Let’s take a look at the benefits of chocolate in it’s most valuable ingredient: cocoa.

Cocoa Powder comes from the cocoa bean, grown on cacao trees mainly in South America.  Raw Cocoa is a nutritious plant that contains several minerals like calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc. (Sounds like the benefits of chocolate could mean good for your bone health… Now we are onto something!) Not only that, but cocoa powder by itself contains almost 20% of calories from protein!


Image by http://www.nutritiondata.self.com/

Cocoa powder can be used in so many ways!  I like to come up with healthy ways to eat food we like, especially chocolate!!  Here is a 3-ingredient cocoa recipe that you can try for  Valentine’s Day:

2T cocoa powder
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup dried pitted dates

Instructions: Use a food processor to mix all of the ingredients together, then shape into cookie balls. No baking required. (This was a favorite in our first Vegan Challenge!)

I have so many more chocolate-y ideas! Join the Vegan Challenge for more cocoa-based recipes and you can experience all the benefits of chocolate! Contact Me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

Posted on

Do Vegans Need Vitamin B12?

Do Vegans Need Vitamin B12?

By: Cheyenne W, vegan blog writer for Kelly Athletics. Revised by Kelly Gibson – Do Vegans Need Vitamin B12?

 

Have you heard the argument that vitamin B-12 is absent from a plant based diet and that vegans are deficient? Many of these arguments have spread propaganda such as “If you only eat a plant based diet, you will be deficient in B-12. Therefore you need meat and other animal products in order to survive.” But all this that has been said is completely false. It can be possible for anyone to be deficient of B-12 regardless of what they include in their diet. Often health problems such as gluten intolerance can lead to a B-12 deficiency. So, the question arises, do vegans get Vitamin B12 from their diet or should they supplement?

What exactly is Vitamin B12?  B12 belongs to the B complex of vitamins. B vitamins are necessary for energy metabolism and other biological processes. The B12 vitamin is essential for the replications of DNA, the formation of red blood cells and maintenance of the central nervous system. Vitamin B12 in fact is derived from a bacteria in the soil that grow the plants we eat. So, do vegans need vitamin B12 or is it in our plant-based diet already?

 

Extensive use of pesticides and sanitation to the soil in which we grow our produce has diminished the soil of essential nutrients, which has lead to an absence of B-12 in plant sources. The amount of B-12 a person needs every day is very minimal and a person who eats animal products gets far more than they actually need. The recommended weekly allowance of B-12 is believed to be 2,000-2500 microgram. Like any other vitamin, too much B-12 has been found to be very harmful rather than helpful so moderation is important. There are many much healthier sources of B-12 that are free from unhealthy animal products and should be incorporated into a person’s diet.

One option is to take a B-12 supplement, best absorbed with methylcobalamin as pictured below. Cyanocobalamin can release cyanide into the bloodstream which can be harmful to our bodies. Be sure to get vitamins that are suitable for vegetarians and vegans because often the capsules are made from gelatin, which is derived from the connective tissue and bones of livestock.

 

Many vegan foods are fortified with B-12 such as foods made from wheat gluten and soy beans and other vegan meat substitutes. Make sure though that the meat substitutes are in fact vegan because often they contain eggs or milk, such as the morning star brand.  Always check to see if they are vegan and fortified with B-12. The most famous of the foods that are fortified with B-12 is nutritional yeast. Brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast are often fortified with B-12 and added to various foods as a source of this vitamin. Another great source of B-12 are fortified plant milks such as fortified soy milk.

Eating vegan foods fortified with B-12 at least three times a day have been found to give the full needed daily amount in place of supplements. B-12 supplements and foods that are fortified with B-12 are healthy sources that do not contain any of the unfortunate health consequences from animal derived foods. With careful planning and knowledge of nutrition, you will get every nutrient you need to live a healthy life from a plant based diet.

Looking to learn more about vegan vitamins or plant-based nutrition? Contact Me for More Info:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your Phone (optional)

How did you find my blog?

What Questions or Comments Do You Have?

References:
eCornell Certification in Plant Based NutritionCourse: Principles in Practice, Lecture: The Role of Supplements.