Consuming the right amount of Vitamin B12 is important in your diet. In particular, vegetarians and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are at especially high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency and should take extra precautions to ensure that they get the required amount.
The water-soluble vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body does not naturally produce. This means that vitamin B12 needs to be obtained from your diet or from supplements since not getting sufficient amounts of this vitamin can lead to many issues with your bodily functions.
What are the Benefits of Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 ensures normal nerve, DNA, brain, and red blood cell function; all of which are extremely vital parts of your body’s health. As excess B12 is stored in the liver when your consumption exceeds the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in a day, these nutrients will not go to waste as it is saved by your body.
Not sure where to get your vitamin B12 from? Listed below are 12 healthy foods that are high in the vitamin for you to choose from that suits all diets.
These small saltwater fish can be bought in several forms: fresh, canned in water, oil or sauces. Sardines contain good amounts of nearly every single nutrient, making it a must in every balanced, nutritious diet!
In the case of vitamin B12, get more than twice the required RDI with just a 150 gram serving of drained sardines. It is also known to be an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is famously known to provide many health benefits such as reducing inflammation and improving heart health.
2. Animal Liver and Kidneys
Meats such as liver and kidneys are especially rich in vitamin B12. When choosing between different types of meat, choosing lamb over beef and veal liver is a strategic choice, since it is significantly richer in vitamin B12. By consuming lamb liver, you can also get your fill of other important nutrients such as copper, vitamin A, and selenium.
These small, tasty shellfish are full of nutrients. For instance, clams are more than just a good source of lean protein, as they are a rich source of vitamin B12. With 20 small clams, you are able to exceed the RDI by 3,300 percent. Even eating baby clams as a whole will give you high quantities of iron along with its generous amounts of vitamin B12. To round it all off, these mollusks have a broth that has also been proven to be a good source of antioxidants.
A single serving of grilled steak provides almost double the daily required amount of vitamin B12, as well as significant amounts of other B vitamins like B2, B3, and B6. For richer contents of vitamin B12, choose low-fat cuts and avoid frying the meat during preparation. Alternatively, choose the healthier way of cooking such as opting for grilling or roasting for an easy yet delicious way to retain the richness of vitamin B12.
5. Fortified Cereal
The steps involved in fortification include putting in nutrients that are not already in the food. As such, vegetarians and vegans do not have to fret as this option is completely cruelty-free. Fortified cereals are very rich in vitamin B12, along with the other kinds of vitamin Bs.
Eating a cup of fortified cereal with vitamin B12 daily has been proven to significantly increase a body’s vitamin B12 level. However, when selecting the cereal to buy, definitely choose those with low levels of artificial sugar and high levels of fiber to maximize the health benefits of consuming fortified cereal.
6. Fortified Nutritional Yeast
Another vegan-friendly choice, fortified nutritional yeast is packed with a lot of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Though not naturally found in nutritional yeast, its fortified version makes for an amazing source of vitamin B12. For vegans, adding it to their diets helps to significantly reduce the chances of developing vitamin deficiency.
This commonly consumed fish is full of nutrients like protein, vitamins, and minerals; particularly in the muscles under the skin. 100 grams of fresh tuna contains more than the RDI of vitamin B12, at 160 percent and also contains a good amount of other nutrients such as phosphorus, protein, and selenium. Its canned version, though not as nutritious, is also a rich source of this vitamin.
As one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, the nutritional value of salmon is already a frequently recommended item to add to your diet. To add another reason to the list, it is also rich in vitamin B12 and protein.
9. Fortified Non-Dairy Milk
Vegans looking for a nutritious alternative for dairy milk often turn to fortified non-dairy milk such as soy, almond, and rice milk. On their own, these types of milk do not have high levels of the vitamin, but they are often fortified to become a great source of the vitamin to avoid deficiency and boost overall health.
Eggs are a food item rich in complete protein and B vitamins; in particular, B2 and B12. Egg yolks not only have higher levels of vitamin B12 than egg whites but are also absorbed much easier. So, don’t be picky, and eat whole eggs if you want to reap its full benefits!
11. Milk and Dairy Products
Milk, yogurt, and cheese are some household favorites that are not only yummy but will give you your required fill of protein and vitamins. It is worthy to note that out of all the cheeses, swiss cheese comes out at the top with every ounce containing about 16 percent of the RDI.
Plain yogurt has also been proven to be a great source of the vitamin, and can greatly benefit those lacking the vitamin. In fact, studies revealed that the body digests vitamin B12 in milk and dairy products faster than that of other sources such as beef, fish or eggs.
Should You Take Vitamin B12 Supplements?
Vitamin B12 supplements are suitable for those who have dangerously low levels of vitamin B12 in their bodies. This includes older adults and those with a history of stomach surgery. Vitamin B12 supplements come in a myriad of forms; from pills and drinks to injections, with dosages ranging from 150 to 2,000 mcg.
Mainly found in animal products, especially meat and dairy products, fortified foods are especially good sources of vitamin B12 for those with dietary restrictions.
As vitamin B12 is a crucial nutrient that your body needs for many essential functions, eating these foods will significantly improve your overall health by increasing your vitamin intake and preventing deficiency altogether.
With our Green TONIK you don’t need to worry about missing out on your Vitamin B12 as each serving gives you just the right amount.