Foods High In B12: 7 Foods Rich In Vitamin B12 2023
Are you getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet? This essential nutrient plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of our body. For starters, it helps us maintain a healthy nervous system, produce red blood cells, and keep our energy levels up.
However, unlike many other vitamins, vitamin B12 is not produced naturally by the body. Instead, it is synthesized by a bacteria that lives in our gut, and many of us don’t make enough of it from this source to meet our daily requirement of 2.4 micrograms.
The good news is that plenty of foods high in B12 and B12 supplements can help you meet your daily requirements. Here, we’ll explore seven of the best foods high in vitamin B12 so you can meet your daily needs for optimal health. We will also see how to increase vitamin B12 levels in your body.
List Of Foods High In Vitamin B12
The seven foods rich in vitamin B12 include:
- Red meat
- Liver and Kidney
- Nutritional yeast
What Is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that plays an essential role in the functioning of our body. It is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as cobalamin, and is one of the eight B vitamins. Like all other B vitamins, vitamin B12 plays a vital role in converting food into energy in our bodies.
Causes Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
While our body can store vitamin B12 for several years, we need to maintain adequate levels of this nutrient through a balanced diet. If we do not eat foods rich in B12, our bodies cannot absorb vitamin B12 properly. So, a deficiency can ensue, which can cause several health issues.
Some common causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include;
- Lack of dietary intake
- Malabsorption of the vitamin due to medical conditions such as pernicious anemia or celiac disease.
- Certain medications can interfere with absorption.
- High consumption of dairy products over animal sources of lean protein.
Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include;
- Shortness of breath.
In more severe cases, neurological symptoms such as numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, or memory loss may occur. If left untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to severe complications such as anemia, nerve damage, and even dementia.
Treatment typically involves increasing vitamin B12 intake through dietary changes or supplements.
Foods Are High In Vitamin B12
Prevention is always better than cure, which is why it’s helpful to eat foods rich in B12. So, what foods are high in B12? Let’s find out! Here are some foods rich in vitamin B12.
The first food on our list that can naturally increase vitamin B12 is salmon. Salmon is a popular fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health and a rich vitamin B12 source.
One three-ounce serving of cooked salmon contains approximately 4.9 micrograms of vitamin B12, more than 50% of the recommended daily intake for adults. In fact, salmon is one of the best dietary sources of B12, making it an ideal food for those who may be at risk of deficiency.
Another common food source that is relatively high in nutrients, such as vitamin B12, is clams. One three-ounce serving of cooked clams contains approximately 84 micrograms of vitamin B12. This is over 4000% of the recommended daily intake for adults!
Aside from B12, clams also have a high quantity of iron and antioxidants and are among the few foods high in B12 and iron.
Fortified cereals are one of the foods high in B12 vegan-the popular food choice for vegetarians looking to increase vitamin B12 in their diet. Many cereal manufacturers add vitamin B12 to their products to help ensure that consumers are getting enough.
One study showed that participants who ate fortified breakfast cereals had increased levels of B12 after 14 weeks of incorporating it into their diet. In addition to vitamin B12, many fortified kinds of grain are good sources of other essential nutrients such as fiber, iron, and folic acid.
Also, the amount of vitamin B12 in fortified cereals can vary depending on the brand and the serving size. Still, wide varieties provide 1-6 micrograms of vitamin B12 per serving.
So, when choosing a fortified cereal, make sure to read the nutrition label to find out how much vitamin B12 is in it.
Meat lovers will be happy to know that red meat and animal products, in general, such as beef, lamb, and pork, are all excellent sources of vitamin B12. One three-ounce serving of cooked beef contains approximately 1.5-2.5 micrograms of vitamin B12. This comfortably covers your daily requirement by over 60%.
Liver And Kidney
The liver and kidney are organ meats that are excellent sources of vitamin B12.
One three-ounce serving of cooked beef liver contains approximately 70.7 micrograms of vitamin B12. In contrast, a three-ounce cooked beef kidney contains about 50 micrograms of vitamin B12, more than 800% of the recommended daily intake.
There is also a link between chronic kidney disease and vitamin B12 deficiency.
Nutritional yeast is a popular food product commonly used as a vegan and vegetarian source of vitamin B12. It is a deactivated yeast grown on molasses or sugar beet, harvested, washed, and dried.
Lastly, we have eggs. Eggs are a nutritious and versatile food that is a good source of vitamin B12. One large egg contains approximately 0.6 micrograms of vitamin B12. So, including eggs in your diet can help you meet a significant portion of your daily vitamin B12 requirements.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
The emphasis on vitamin B12 is because of the numerous benefits of vitamin B12 foods. Here are some vitamin B12 benefits:
It Supports The Production Of Red Blood Cells
Vitamin B12 is essential in producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. Without enough vitamin B12, the body may not have enough mature red blood cells. Eventually, this leads to anemia.
It Promotes Healthy Nerve Function
Vitamin B12 plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the nervous system. It produces myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers. Without enough vitamin B12, the nervous system can become damaged, leading to symptoms such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, difficulty walking, and memory loss.
Supports Cognitive Function
Several studies have shown that vitamin B12 may help to improve cognitive function, particularly in older adults. One study found that 2991 individuals who took a vitamin B12 supplement had better memory and information processing speed than those who didn’t use vitamin B12.
Supports Bone Health
Vitamin B12 may also play a role in maintaining bone health. Research suggests that low levels of vitamin B12 may be associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones.
This increased risk for brittle bones is because B12 is involved in the metabolism of bone cells, including osteoblasts and osteoclasts, which are responsible for building and breaking down bone tissue.
Risks & Precautions
Regardless of the benefits of eating foods rich in vitamin B12, there are still some risks and precautions to consider when taking vitamin B12.
Interference With Certain Medications
Vitamin B12 dietary supplements can interact with certain medications, including antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, histamine, metformin, methotrexate, and chemotherapy drugs. If you are taking any medication, talk to your healthcare provider before taking Vitamin B12 supplements.
Risk Of Overdose
While rare, vitamin B12 overdose can occur if supplements are taken in high doses. Symptoms of vitamin B12 overdose include headache, dizziness, and nausea. If you experience these symptoms after taking a vitamin B12 supplement, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Some people may be allergic to vitamin B12 supplements or the substances used to package the product. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe. They may include hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.
If you experience these symptoms after taking a Vitamin B12 supplement, seek medical attention immediately.
Some research suggests that high levels of vitamin B12 in the blood may increase the risk of certain types of cancer, such as lung and prostate cancer. However, more research is needed to confirm this link. This is because other research shows that these findings are not consistent.
You can incorporate numerous vitamin B12 foods into your diet to keep you healthy and to provide additional health benefits. Try out these seven choices we have hand-picked for you to improve your B12 levels easily.
Whether you consume meat or prefer a plant-based diet, there are many vitamin B12-rich foods and fortified foods to choose from. By including these foods in your meals, you can ensure you get all the B12 you need to maintain optimal health.
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