All B vitamins are important for the growth and development of your body. Without the right amount in your diet, you may have problems with your muscle and nerve function, red blood cell development, and more.
All B vitamins are found in animal products, as well as in some fortified foods, so vegetarians do not get enough of each vitamin. If you are at risk of a deficiency, make sure you eat the foods you eat to make sure you are getting the right amount of all B vitamins.
Vitamin B Foods for Vegetarians
Thiamine or vitamin B-1 is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and energy production. Vegetarian sources include whole grains, rich bread, and flours, dried beans, nuts and seeds, peas, and eggs.
Vitamin B-2 or riboflavin works with other B vitamins to make red blood cells and break down carbohydrates to produce energy. You can find riboflavin in green vegetables, beans, nuts, eggs, and dairy products.
Avocados, eggs, beans, nuts, and potatoes all contain vitamin B-3, also known as niacin. Eating enough of these foods will help the nerves to function properly.
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B-5, is essential for food metabolism as well as for the production of hormones and cholesterol.
It is found in avocados, broccoli, kale, cabbage, eggs, beans and lentils, mushrooms, whole grain cereals, and dairy products.
Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B-6 is involved in blood cell production and brain activity. Avocados, bananas, beans, nuts, and whole grains are all sources of vitamin B-6.
Available in chocolate, egg yolks, preserved cereals, beans, nuts, and milk, it is biologically involved with breaking down proteins and carbohydrates for energy. And it plays an important role in making cholesterol and hormones.
Folate, known as vitamin B-9, helps prevent birth defects because it plays a role in DNA production and repair. Vegetarian sources include asparagus, broccoli, beets, beans and lentils, green vegetables, preserved cereals, oranges and preserved orange juice, peanuts, and wheat germ.
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate and is added to inaccessible foods and juices. The Harvard School of Public Health and the Institute of Medicine recommend against getting too much folic acid from smelly foods and supplements. Instead, focus on the natural folate found in foods.
Vitamin B-12 is used to make red blood cells and is needed for nerve function. It is found in eggs and dairy products as well as preserved cereals and soy milk.
The main concern is vegetarians who do not eat eggs and milk because they are not able to get enough vitamin B-12 from other sources.
Adding other vegetarian options such as nutritional yeast, fun meat alternatives and supplements can help vegetarians get the recommended amount.
What food has B12 for vegetarians?
The main foods which provide vitamin B12 are derived from animals, such as dairy products and eggs. For people not eating any animal products, yeast extract and other fortified/supplemented foods such as breakfast cereals, soy milk, soya/veggie burgers, and vegetable margarine are all good sources.
How much B12 does a vegetarian need daily?
All vegans should take 250 mcg per day of a B12 supplement. All Lacto-ovo vegetarians should consider taking 250 mcg per day of a B12 supplement a few times per week.