That’s how I ensure I get Vitamin B12. That nutritional yeast—in my pantry right now—is 133% Vitamin B12 per serving; serving size is 1 1/2 tablespoons and I eat that much AT LEAST once a day. I put it in my chocolate pudding.
I mention this, because this LOOPY report just came out, suggesting that eating an animal product-free diet shrinks people’s brains. Dr. Fuhrman had this to say about it, “Duh, they are telling people NOW that B12 deficiency damages the nervous system and brain. What a revelation! The headline that a veggie diet shrinks the brain is simply a distortion.”
Vegans and vegetarians — such as Heather Mills — are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system.
Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.
The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87.
When the volunteers were retested five years later the medics found those with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 were also the most likely to have brain shrinkage. It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.
Now, Dr. Fuhrman recommends taking a multi-vitamin to get B12. Actually, he sells his own multi, called Gentle Care. So you don’t HAVE to eat animal products if you don’t want to, but if you eat a vegetable-based diet with SOME animal products, consider these diet tips from Dr. Fuhrman. Take a look:
- Get enough daily sunshine in a southern climate to obtain vitamin D needs.
- Consume a small amount of kelp regularly to ensure sufficient iodine intake.
- Consume some animal products such as nonfat dairy or fish at least every other day to assure B12 needs are met.
- Eat flaxseed or walnuts every day to potentially meet omega-3 fatty acid needs.
- Eat enough fresh green vegetables, seeds (especially pumpkin seeds), and beans to ensure adequate intake of zinc and other minerals.
Works for me! I’m not a vegan or a vegetarian. I eat fish. So I know, given the hefty amount of fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds I eat—plus the yeast and occasional seafood—I’m getting all the nutrients I need. However, if you are a vegan or vegetarian, Dr. Fuhrman insists there is legitimate concern for vitamin-deficiency—be mindful of it.
But don’t get confused. Fruits and vegetables ARE nutritional superstars! In fact, some vegetables—like kale, spinach and broccoli—have MORE protein than steak.
Oh, and don’t call me stupid because I don’t eat meat!
UPDATE: The yeast might be tasty, but Dr. Fuhrman STILL recommends taking a B12 supplement. So, I've got some Gentle Care to buy!