Attention to B12 Deficiency in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition

Attention to B Deficiency in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition
Attention to B12 Deficiency in Vegetarian and Vegan Nutrition

Üsküdar University NPİSTANBUL Hospital Dietitian Özden Örkcü touched upon the risks that vegetarian and vegan nutrition can cause if not followed as required, and emphasized the importance of vitamin B12 in vegan nutrition.

When properly balanced, a vegan diet can provide many health benefits. Experts state that vegan dieters prefer a diet consisting of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, and that they are at risk of protein and vitamin B12 deficiency because they do not eat meat. Dietitian Özden Örkcü reminded that vitamin B12 is naturally only found in animal products and emphasized that its deficiency can lead to anemia and blindness. Örkcü pointed out that children under the age of 5 who are raised on vegan diets may also experience growth disorders.

Dietitian Özden Örkcü emphasized that vegetarian or vegan diets can bring risks if they are not properly balanced.

Örkcü said, “Because vegetarians do not eat meat, they are at risk of protein and vitamin B12 deficiency. Vegans who do not eat any animal products follow an even more restrictive diet. Vegans who do not have eggs and dairy products in their diet should pay attention to their calcium and vitamin D intake, as well as protein and vitamin B12.

Özden Örkcü explained that vegetarian diets contain less saturated fat.

Stating that vegetarians prefer a diet consisting of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, Dietician Özden Örkcü said, “Some choose to include dairy products, including cheese (made using vegetable yeast) and eggs. Typically, a vegetarian diet contains less saturated fat and more folate, fiber and antioxidants. Also, as a vegetarian, you are more likely to exceed your recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables.

Dietitian Özden Örkcü reminded that vitamin B12 is naturally found only in animal products and continued as follows:

“Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia and blindness. It can also cause muscle weakness, tingling, and numbness. Nutritional warnings for pregnant and lactating women who are vegan need a little more attention. Studies show that having a vitamin B12 deficiency impairs neurological development in infants breastfed by vegetarian mothers. Vitamin D and calcium deficiency can also cause bone demineralization in breastfeeding women. Similarly, children under the age of 5 raised on vegan diets may also experience growth disturbances. This is due to vitamin B12 deficiency, which can cause anemia, rickets, and vitamin D deficiency. DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, is essential for optimal brain development in the first 2 years of life.”

Dietitian Özden Örkcü shared his recommendations for vegan individuals about which foods they can get the protein, vitamins and minerals they need:

"Protein: Choose high-protein whole grains such as tofu, veggie burgers with 5 grams or more of protein, beans and other legumes, nuts, nut butters, eggs, and quinoa.

Iron: Eggs, fortified cereals, soy-based foods, prunes, dried apricots, nuts, beans, legumes, and fortified whole-wheat bread are good choices.

Calcium: It is abundant in cheese, yogurt, milk, tofu, almonds, sesame tahini, calcium-fortified orange juice, calcium-fortified non-dairy beverages such as soy or almond milk, and dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and bok choy and spinach.

Zinc that strengthens the immune system; It is abundant in soybeans, soy milk, veggie meats, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, fortified breakfast cereals, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, lentils, black-eyed peas, peas and wheat germ.

Vitamin B12: Soy-based beverages, some breakfast cereals, and fortified veggie meats.

Riboflavin: Almonds, fortified cereals, cow's milk, yogurt, mushrooms, and soy milk are riboflavin-rich foods.

Alpha-Linolenic Acid (Omega-3): Canola oil, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, walnut oil, soybeans, and tofu are good choices.”

Günceleme: 01/11/2022 16:42

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