If you're looking trim down, then read up: we're about to tell you all about one of the best vitamins to boost metabolism—and it’s a vitamin that many vegans don’t get enough of.
But, before you go crazy popping supplements, remember that, vegan or not, this nutrient can only support better metabolic health: it cannot undo an otherwise crappy diet and inactive lifestyle.
So, make sure you're eating healthfully and working out regularly. Both will help you jack up your metabolism, no supplements required.
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What is Metabolism?
When people think of their metabolism, they usually automatically think of weight control. While one's metabolic health does affect one's weight, metabolism is much more complex and ties into just about every system in our bodies (including our immune systems).
However, the easy definition is that metabolism is the process by which your body breaks down food and nutrients to convert to energy.
Learn more: Digestion vs. Metabolism: Not the Same Things!
Try This Top Vitamin to Boost Metabolism
Food is always the best place to get vitamins to boost your metabolism, but we understand that eating a completely balanced diet doesn't always happen. We also understand that some people naturally have deficiencies of certain nutrients, so supplements may be necessary even with a totally balanced diet.
Wherever you get this nutrient from, rest assured that it'll help keep your metabolism revved and ready.
B Vitamins to Boost Metabolism
If you want to support solid metabolic health, make sure you're getting all the B vitamins. This includes:
- thiamine or B-1
- riboflavin or B-2
- niacin or B-3
- pantothenic acid or B-5
Sure, you can just take a B complex supplement and get all these vitamins, but B vitamins are also readily available in food, including:
- whole grains
- lean meats
- nuts and seeds
Of course, if you’re vegan, you won’t be eating all these foods, and therein lies part of the catch: B12 is a B vitamin that’s pivotal in the metabolizing of fats and proteins and can only be found in animal products. For these reasons, it’s important that vegans pay careful attention to their intake.
In addition to supplements, vegans can also bump up their vitamin B12 by ingesting these foods:
- fortified plant-based milk
- fortified breakfast cereals
- nutritional yeast
- meat substitutes
This said, there is still some debate as to whether or not the plant-based form of the vitamin is active (biologically available) in humans. If you’re a vegan, consult your doctor as to whether you require supplementation.
You can also pick up our Plant-Based Vegan Guide, which dives deep into plant-based nutrition for optimal health. It talks about how to get all the essential nutrients from your plant-based diet, plant-based training and it has dozens of delicious recipes, including desserts.
Grab a copy now—it’s on sale!
More About B12
B12 is necessary for protein metabolism. It also aids the formation of red blood cells, and is essential for supporting a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anemia, damage to the nervous system, as well as bone disease, heart disease, and infertility.
The daily recommended intake is 2.4 mcg per day for adults, 2.6 mcg per day during pregnancy, and 2.8 mcg per day while breastfeeding.
At the end of the day, you may be a vegan with a robust metabolism and no nutritional deficiencies, but if you have doubts, it’s worth taking a look at your diet and talking to your doctor.