B12 or cobalamin, is an essential vitamin that we must obtain through our diet. It is a necessary component of red blood cell formation, DNA synthesis, nervous system regulation, and neurological function. B12 is also a necessary vitamin during pregnancy. This vitamin not only helps improve our neurological function, but it is vital for the growth of a baby’s brain and entire nervous system. Additionally, it is known to prevent heart disease!
Where can you get B12?
So how do we obtain B12? Animal products like beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy are common natural sources of this vitamin. However, if we have an allergy to animal products or choose not to eat them it is important to find other sources to prevent a deficit. Breakfast cereals and some baked goods are another source of B12 however, only if they are fortified. Fortification is when vitamins and minerals are added to a food to prevent deficiencies in a population. Fortified vitamins, though, are often synthesized, which can cause other problems within your body.
Now, however, you can get your daily B12 from a plant! Recently, it was discovered that water lentils contain a natural source of Vitamin B12 making them one of the only vegan, plant-based sources of B12! One serving of Water Lentil Superfood contains 11% of your daily value and Water Lentil Lean contains 35% of the daily value for B12 and is easy to incorporate into any diet! Water lentils are actually a flowering plant, not a lentil, and do not contain any of the anti-nutrients or lectins seen in beans and grains. Water lentils also contain antioxidants and are equivalent to a serving of kale – something breakfast cereals can’t stand up to.
This means that water lentils contain important vitamins and minerals that vegans and vegetarians are often lacking such as iron, calcium, zinc, and Vitamin B12 as well as plant protein! At the end of the day, the goal of a healthful diet is to make sure you reach the recommended daily values of each vitamin, mineral, and macronutrient. Water lentils are such a great solution to your diet because of the high bioavailability of plant protein with a complete amino acid profile, omega-3s, dietary fiber, and important vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin B12!
Incorporating Water Lentils into your meatless diet
16 oz filtered water with 1 scoop Water Lentil Superfood
Breakfast: Iced Vanilla Coffee Shake
Mid-day snack: 10-16 oz almond milk with 2 scoops Water Lentil Lean Chocolate
Lunch: Salad with roasted vegetables, avocado, and chickpeas
Afternoon Snack: Water Lentil Coconut Energy Bites
Dinner: Lentil “Bolognese” over zucchini noodles
Dessert: Cacao Cashew Bar
Lastly, B12 is known to give a boost of energy, so next time you have a mid-afternoon slump, reach for Water Lentil Superfood over another latte. It will be more nutritious and won’t leave you with a crash!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
MS, CNS Clinical Nutritionist
Charlotte is a Certified Nutrition Specialist professional and a member of the American College of Nutrition. Native to the East End of Long Island, her love for food started at a young age.
Completing her Masters of Clinical Nutrition from the Maryland University of Integrative Health, she learned to approach nutrition with an integrative lens, incorporating diet, lifestyle, and physical activity.