Friday, May 15, 2009

Power Up with B-12!

A wholesome diet based on natural, whole, fresh foods should provide plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals; however, we are all very unique and there may be times when we need extra amounts of some specific nutrients. Stress, in particular, puts extra demands on our bodies. Eating a vegetarian or vegan diet also means paying special attention and taking care to get a good balance of all the fantastic nutrients we require for vitality and optimal health. 

One important vitamin that people commonly become deficient in because of low stomach acid, stress, and/or a diet low in animal products is vitamin B-12, which unfortunately is not found in any plants. We need this vitamin for cell division and the production of red blood cells. Insufficient amounts can result in fatigue and anemia. Besides helping to keep our blood nice and healthy, it is also crucial for a well-functioning nervous system AND for happy moods :) A vitamin that helps give us energy and makes us happier is definitely one to appreciate :) 

Where does B-12 like to live? In most animal products, such as liver, beef, pork, white fish, eggs, and milk. I always recommend eating organic foods that are free from antibiotics, growth hormones, stress hormones, etc. Meat from small, local farms is usually tastier, more ethical, and more affordable than buying organic from a supermarket. 

For those who do not eat too many animal foods, a B-12 supplement may be a good option. For strict vegans, it is usually absolutely essential. The best way to take B-12 is in a sublingual tablet that dissolves under the tongue. It should be in the methylcobolamin form, which is the one that is active in the body. 

Summertime is just around the corner, and what better time to reconnect with our bodies and take extra care to nourish and nurture ourselves so that we can frolic outdoors and fully appreciate every breath of fresh summery air!

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