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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Five vegan foods you can eat to prevent the condition

Vitamin B12 deficiencies can result when levels of vitamin B12 are too low and this can lead to irreversible neurological symptoms such as vision problems, memory loss, pins and needles or loss of physical co-ordination. Vitamin B12 is also important for brain function in the synthesis of red blood cells. The important vitamin can be found naturally in animal products such as fish, meat, eggs and dairy products. Good dietary sources include beef, pork, ham, poultry, lamb and fish. This is the reason why many vegans and vegetarians are more at risk of having a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Consuming a plant-based diet is one of the most healthier actions a person can take, however, it carries the very serious and potentially fatal risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Although plant-based diets are full of other vitamins and mineral, they are generally devoid of vitamin B12.

However, these five vegan foods are a good source of vitamin B12 and should be consumed by vegans to avoid a deficiency.

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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Five of the best vegan foods with high levels of B12 (Image: Getty Images)

Shiitake mushrooms

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These delicious Asian-inspired mushrooms are a convenient go-to vegan vitamin B12 source.

Some studies have found that 100g of shiitake mushrooms contain around 1/2 RDI.

The mushrooms are also rich in polysaccharides that help boost the immune system and have anti-cancer properties.

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Cheese seaweed crisps

These crisps available from Abakusfoods are ideal as they are not only vegan, but the nutritional yeast gives them their mouth-watering cheesy flavour and is a great source of vitamin B12.

One serving of seaweed crisps contain a staggering 70 percent of RDI of B12 and are also a source of iodine.

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Vitamin B12 deficiency: Shiitake mushrooms contain polysaccharides which boost the immune system (Image: Getty Images)

Fortified cereals

There are numerous produces that fortify their cereals with vitamin B12 including most bran flakes varieties.

It’s advised to check the label for the vegan seal of approval before purchasing as lots of people are unaware that some cereals aren’t vegan.

A serving of cereal can have a quarter of your RDI of vitamin B12.

Tempeh

Tempeh is a traditionally Indonesian soybean meat substitute that’s growing in popularity.

It’s a fermented soybean product and is very dense, making it higher in protein that other soy products.

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With 100g of tempeh containing around a third of your RDI they are a great source for vitamin B12.

They can be enjoyed as a chicken replacement in dishes like fajitas or stir-fry’s.

Yeast extract

A classic British spread that is more commonly known as marmite.

Being rich in vitamins and minerals, the spread has many health benefits.

Each serving roughly contains 25 percent of your RDI of vitamin B12.

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