When my son mentioned becoming a vegan to his doctor, he was told get Vitamin B12. That was all that was said. I think there is much more to it than that.
Actually, I am anxious to learn more about vegan protein. I thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have as we begin our quest for knowledge about vegan nutrition. - M. W.
Dear M. W., You're right, there is much more to it than that!
I recommend the book, Becoming Vegan by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis, both vegetarian nutritionists and long time vegans. It's a thorough and well written vegan nutrition reference. Vegan for Life by Virginia Messina and Jack Norris is also excellent
For vegan cookbooks, browse our index of cookbook reviews. I think we review a new vegan cookbook about every other week! 30 Minute Vegan is a good one for beginning cooks, or The Everything Vegan Cookbook. There are many other wonderful vegan cookbooks available, too many to list.
It's not a given that vegans must suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. If your son eats different foods that have been fortified with B12, that might or might not be enough. For anybody, vegan or not, stress or illness or nutritional deficiencies may quickly deplete the body's store of B12. So it is recommended to take B12, whether vegan or not, as part of a daily multivitamin, or by itself. A low dose sublingual methylcobalamin tablet or drops is easily absorbed and both can be found online.
If your son is reluctant to take a B12 supplement, then he should be tested regularly for vitamin B12 deficiency, which can have devastating, permanent effects. For more information, read Vegetarians, Are You Getting Enough Vitamin B12?
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian