Things can be a bit more challenging for vegans, if they want to balance their nutritional intake. Insufficient vitamin B intake could cause people to get stressed and feel a bit off balance. It’s true that vitamins can affect our emotional state, as well as our physical conditions. B vitamins are essential for our immune system, digestion system, hormonal balance, central nervous system, blood, tissue, muscle, bone and skin.
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamine): Vegans can get thiamine from oatmeal, rye, brown rice, sunflower seeds, oranges and asparagus. Typical vegan diet is typically low in vitamin B1 level. The RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) is about 1.5mg each day. Thiamine is essential for our central nervous system, brain and heart.
- Vitamin B12 (Riboflavin): Leafy greens, nuts, mushrooms, yeast and soybeans are rich in vitamin B12. RDI for adult is 1.3 mg. Vitamin B12 is essential to turn carbohydrate, proteins and fats into usable fuel.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin): You can get vitamin B3 from fungi, nuts and various vegetables. The adult RDI is around 15 mg. Niacin is essential for regulating hormonal balance, controlling cholesterol level, removing toxins and maintaining digestive system.
- Vitamin B5 (Panthothenic acid): You can get vitamin B5 from royal jelly, cereals and legumes. It is beneficial for maintaining the health of our nervous cells, muscles, blood and skin. It also has a key role in fighting allergies and maintaining metabolism of food, The adult RDI of vitamin B5 is 5mg.
- Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Vitamin B6 is present in an inactive form in plants and it needs to be converted by our liver into a usable form. A good source of pyridoxine is potato skins and legumes, so you should eat your potato whole. For vegans who have deficient liver, they should take vitamin B6 supplement that contains pyridoxal-5-phosphate, which is derived from animal sources. This could be controversial for some diehard vegans, but ensuring health and good physical condition should be the top priority. Vitamin B6 is important to keep your skin and heart healthy. It also aids the immune system and boosts the production of red blood cell.
- Vitamin B7 (Biotin): Vegans can get vitamin B7 from fruits and nuts. For lacto-ovo vegetarians, egg yolk could provide them with ample biotin. Vitamin B7 is essential for amino acids metabolism, production of fatty acids and overall cell growth. Regular consumption of vitamin B7 could help to maintain your blood sugar level.
- Vitamin B9 (Folate): Vegans can get vitamin B9 from whole grain breads, fortified cereals and leafy greens. Adult RDI of vitamin B9 is 400mcg. Folate is essential for preventing anemia by ensuring production of red blood cells.
Although you can get a lot of nutrients from supplements, food is still the best source. Food contains not only vitamins, but also minerals, antioxidants, dietary fiber and other substances that are beneficial for our body. Only in special cases that vegans need supplements, if they are able to manage their diet well and plan for the future.