Vegetarian Sources: Vitamin D & B12

Vegetarians are known to have low levels of both vitamins B12 and D (since the best sources of these vitamins are found in the flesh of fatty fish, seafood and meat products).  Luckily, many foods are now “fortified” with vitamins B12 and D.  When a food is fortified, it means the company has added vitamins and minerals to enrich the product’s nutritional value.  How to detect if a product is fortified?  #1 Look for the Nutrition Facts label. #2 At the bottom of the label, a product is required to list the amounts of vitamins A and C, and the minerals calcium and iron.  #3 Many times there are additional vitamin or mineral listings, in order for a company to market the product as, “an excellent source of B12!” or, “enriched with vitamin D.”  Some examples are: Kashi’s Heart to Heart cereal (100% B12); Soy Milk (50% B12; 30% vitamin D).  Other B12/D vegetarian sources include: nutritional yeast (which are flakes to add to yogurt, cereal or oatmeal), orange juice, dairy products, eggs and veggie burgers.

Maximize B12 with Food Sources:

  • Breakfast ideas:
    • 1 cup heart to heart cereal with soy milk
    • 1 cup yogurt (half DV B12) with nutritional yeast
    • Lunch ideas:
      • Tofu (good source) with veggies and brown rice
      • Snack: 1 cup soy milk with a piece of fruit
      • Dinner:
        • Veggie burgers (fortified with B12!)
        • Whole wheat bread (fortified!)

Maximize Vitamin D with food sources:

  • Milk and Soymilk
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Swiss Cheese (also has B12)

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