A diet rich in vitamin b12 sources is a vital whether you are a vegetarian or not. However new vegetarians may worry that they are not getting enough.
Put simply, vitamin B12 is critical in the formation of red blood cells and for the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Deficiency can lead to pernicious anaemia, symptoms of which include excessive fatigue, a low resistance to infection and often menstrual problems for women.Vitamin B12 awareness is important because detection of deficiency can be a problem. The body has an ability to reabsorb Vitamin B12, meaning that a deficiency may not become apparent for a long time even if the diet is low in the vitamin.
For vegetarians, the issue is that there are no adequate non-animal Vitamin B12 Sources in the diet.
However for lacto ovo vegetarians, this is not a problem. Eggs and dairy products are foods rich in Vitamin B12. I think this is an issue that causes some confusion, mainly because some people are unclear about the definition of a vegetarian. Please take a look at this page for more information.Particularly when pregnant, I’ve had doctors assume that I will be lacking in B12 when they hear I am a vegetarian. Happily, an explanation of my diet (and a blood test of course!) has clarified that there is no issue for me.
it’s worth considering a supplement or at least ensuring that you eat
plenty of fortified foods. Many breakfast cereals and soy
products are fortified with vitamin B12 making it easy to include them.
If you are a new vegetarian and want to know more about what do vegetarians eat, do take the time to look at these pages about protein and vegetarian sources of iron.
And cook! If you take the time to cook and eat well, don't worry. You will have little trouble eating a balanced diet as a vegetarian.