Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient your body needs to keep functioning properly. Without it, your brain function is affected, and you can always feel tired. Also, vitamin B12 is required for a range of other body functions and has a significant number of health advantages. Sadly, a very high number of people suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency today. On the bright side, with a few changes in your diet, it’s easy to incorporate this essential vitamin in your life.
What exactly is vitamin B12?
Cobalamin is another name for vitamin B12 which is a highly complex vitamin and is naturally found only in animal products. It is also synthetically manufactured, and there are many foods in the market which are fortified with vitamin b12. It is fine if you consume too much of this wonder vitamin as the body excretes excess and stores it up to a year if reserves are low.
A list of food sources of vitamin B12 will help you ensure that your body gets enough.
Why does your body need vitamin B12?
This wonder vitamin pumps energy to your body’s cells and prevents you from feeling fatigued. It helps the heart function properly by getting rid of a harmful protein called homocysteine from your blood. You can prevent osteoporosis and other weak bone issues by eating enough b complex foods. The myelin sheaths which cover the nerves get replenished with vitamin B12, so that your nerves don’t get damaged. It can also help to keep Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases at bay. With optimum vitamin B12 levels, your outlook towards life will stay positive, and you will look and feel youthful. To help you achieve all this, here’s a list of b12 foods based on a diet of 2000 calories for healthy adults.
The best vitamin b12 foods
Shellfish like cooked clams, oysters, and mussels top the list of b12 vitamin foods. Cooked clams steal the thunder with 1401 % DV (daily value), meaning that a single serving gives you 1401% of the vitamin b12 you need in a day. Talk about topping up! Oysters and mussels also do a good job with 408% DV and 340% DV respectively.
Meat is a vitamin b12 source
One of the other foods high in vitamin b12 is liver. Do you remember your mom always telling you to eat the liver, even though you didn’t like the taste? Well, that was with good reason. Beef liver packs in a whopping 1178% DV of vitamin b12 while liverwurst sausage with 189%, pate de Foie gras with 133%, and chicken liver pate with 114% do a pretty decent job too. Beef and lamb are also not far behind in vitamin b12 foods.
As fishy as it gets
If you avoid red meat, go for fish. It’s another food with vitamin b12, in addition to plenty of other nutrients. As expected, salmon tops the list. You could also incorporate herring, tuna, canned sardines, or trout into your diet. They all give you more than 100% DV.
Crustaceans also make the list of foods rich in vitamin b12. They are not everyone’s favorite, but for those who like them, here’s the reason to cheer.Crabs give 163% DV while crayfish, shrimp, and lobster are also okay. Cook all these shelled creatures well before eating them.
Something for vegetarians
Vegetarians, there’s no reason to despair. You don’t have to rely totally on supplements to get your dose of vitamin b12. Plain soy milk is also on the list of food sources of vitamin B12. So are enriched soy products like tofu. All bran cereals which are fortified are also a source of b12.
Other milk products like non-fat yogurt, full fat yogurt, raw milk, skim milk, reduced fat milk and even whole milk are sources of vitamin b12. Cheeses like Swiss cheese, reduced fat mozzarella, cottage cheese, parmesan, feta, Tilsit, and Geitost can also enhance your vitamin b12 levels.
A note of caution for vegans
If you happen to be a vegan, it can get pretty difficult to get your vitamin b12 from food sources. There are some things you should know. After all, you will have to go the additional step by taking B12 supplements and eating fortified foods.
Eggs and other sources
Eggs are always a healthy eating choice, especially because they are also one of the foods with vitamin b12. If you can lay your hands on them, raw goose eggs are one of the best vitamin b12 sources. Eggs from ducks, turkey, chicken, and quail also have some vitamin b12.
Other vitamin b12 food includes whey powder, rice milk, fortified energy bars, low-fat buttermilk, marmite, venison, pastrami, cooked turkey, cured lean ham, lean chicken, vegetarian burgers, and scallops.
People who should keep a lookout
This long list should have answered your questions about what foods contain vitamin b12. There are some groups of people who are at a higher risk of having vitamin b12 deficiency than others. These include older adults and vegetarians.
Now you know what your body may be lacking if you have been feeling tired and fatigued or not reaching your normal workout levels. That’s right, vitamin B12. Either get yourself tested or directly incorporate some of the foods mentioned above into your diet. If neither of these options is possible, start taking vitamin B12 supplements. You will immediately see a difference in your mood and energy levels. Your daily workout will reach a new level, and you will feel healthier than ever.