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It is true that eating a healthy diet every day keeps you fit and away from health complications. However, it is also important to know why you are eating certain foods, understand the nutrients and vitamins they contain, and how they benefit your health. The most common vitamins you must have heard about are vitamins C, D, and E. But did you know that some foods might be a specific vitamin-rich that is secretly helping you stay healthy? Yes, and amongst them are Vitamin B12 rich foods!
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for your body and is equally important and contributes to your health. What are the foods high in Vitamin B12 might be the next question in your mind. So, read further to get an answer to it.
What Is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is an important vitamin your body can not produce alone. Vitamin B12 is naturally present in foods, especially in animal products like liver, sardines, trout, beef, etc. If included in your healthy food chart, it plays several roles in the body, from nerve cells’ normal functioning to red blood cells’ formation. But how does someone know that their body is lacking in Vitamin B12? Well, let’s check out the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency so you can overcome that with Vitamin B12 rich foods.
Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency In The Body
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to various symptoms and health issues, such as:
- Constipation: Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to gastrointestinal issues, including constipation.
- Loss of Appetite: A lack of B12 food sources can affect your appetite and reduce your food intake.
- Numbness: Numbness, particularly in the hands and feet, can result from nerve damage due to B12 deficiency.
- Muscle Weakness: Weakness in the muscles can result from inadequate B12 levels.
- Problems in Walking: Severe B12 deficiency can affect the nervous system, leading to difficulties in walking and coordination.
- Vision Loss: Although rare, vision changes and loss can occur in severe B12 deficiency.
- Fatigue: A common early sign of vitamin B12 deficiency is feeling tired and weak, even after getting enough sleep.
- Anemia: B12 deficiency can result in megaloblastic anemia, leading to symptoms such as pale skin, weakness, and shortness of breath.
- Diarrhea and Gas: Gastrointestinal disturbances like diarrhea and gas can occur in some cases of B12 deficiency. You can take B12 in your diarrhea diet plan to manage this issue.
- Pale or Jaundiced Skin: A lack of red blood cells can cause the skin to appear pale or yellowish (jaundice).
- Depression: Mood changes, including depression, can be associated with B12 deficiency.
- Memory Loss: Cognitive impairment, including memory problems, is a possible symptom of B12 deficiency.
- Behavioral Changes: B12 deficiency may lead to behavioral changes and mood swings.
- Glossitis and Mouth Ulcers: Inflammation of the tongue (glossitis) and mouth ulcers can occur.
- Heart Palpitations: An irregular heartbeat or palpitations can be a symptom of severe B12 deficiency.
It is important to note that these symptoms can vary in severity, and not everyone with a B12 deficiency will experience all of them. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you must contact a specialist and eat foods high in B12.
How Much Vitamin B12 Should You Take?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) foods can vary depending on age, gender, and specific health conditions. Here are some general guidelines for daily vitamin B12 intake:
|Age||Male (mcg)||Female (mcg)|
Point to Note: Pregnant women may require a higher B12 of 2.6 mcg. At the same time, a diet plan for breastfeeding mothers should include 2.8 mcg of vitamin B12.
It is essential to consult with a health specialist for personalized advice on intake of foods containing Vitamin B12 if you have specific dietary restrictions, medical conditions, or concerns about deficiency. They can perform blood tests to determine your B12 status and recommend foods high in B12.
Sources Of Vitamin B12 Rich Foods – Vegetarian
Vitamin B12 is primarily found in animal-based foods, making it more challenging for vegetarians and vegans to obtain adequate amounts naturally. So, which vegetables increase B12? Here are sources of vitamin B12 rich foods for vegetarians:
1. Mushrooms For Vitamin B12
Mushrooms are among the best vitamin B12 rich foods when it comes to vegetables.
- Mushrooms have antioxidants that reduce the risk of hypertension and other metabolic disorders.
- Also, they boost the immune system as they consist of anti-inflammatory properties.
- Moreover, being rich in potassium, they help lower blood pressure.
- Besides the foods containing Vitamin B12, mushrooms are also a good source of vitamin D which helps strengthen bones and immune health.
You can try several mushroom recipes from Fitelo’s kitchen, like mushroom bhaji, mushroom pepper fry, mushroom pulo, soup, and many more to raise B12 levels in a tasty way!
2. Beetroot Is a Vitamin B12 Rich Food
Whether the juice or eating raw, beetroots has several benefits to offer.
- Beetroot is rich in folates that further help in the growth of cells and their functioning.
- Also, being rich in nitrates it makes the blood vessels relax and widen lowering the blood pressure.
- Moreover, beetroot is high in fiber and promotes good gut bacteria.
- Apart from B12, beetroot is also rich in potassium, which is good for a healthy heart.
3. Butter Squash
This vegetable is one of the best vitamin B12 rich foods and is very healthy.
- Butter squash keeps you hydrated and is an excellent immunity-boosting food as well.
- It has lutein and zeaxanthin which keeps your eyes healthy and improves vision.
- Being a good source of fiber, it helps manage weight and lowers the risk of cancer.
- Also, it contains a good amount of B12 and potassium, which lowers the risk of heart diseases like strokes.
One of the most widely available vegetables, potatoes are the best accessible source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians.
- Potatoes are rich in fiber keep the digestive system healthy and prevent the problem of gas.
- Also, they are packed with antioxidants which fight the free radicals from damaging the cells in your body.
- Being rich in potassium, they help in lowering blood pressure.
- Moreover, potatoes aid in weight loss as they are high in fiber and so they keep you full for a longer period.
Vitamin B12 food sources are primarily animal-based foods, and natural source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians are limited. They often do not provide enough to meet daily requirements, especially for strict vegetarians or vegans.
Sources Of Vitamin B12 Rich Foods – Non-Vegetarian
So, which food is highest in B12? Vitamin B12 is abundant in various non-vegetarian foods. Here are some excellent sources of vitamin B12 for non-vegetarians:
1. Animal Liver And Kidney
(3.5 Ounce/100 grams (liver) – 3,572 DV/3,000%)
- The liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. It is rich in protein, vitamins minerals, and all other essential nutrients. Moreover, it is low in calories.
- They are rich in vitamin A but in the form of retinol which is the active form.
- Animal liver and kidneys are also Vitamin D-rich food, which is usually difficult to find in foods.
- It is a good source of B vitamins like folate, choline, and B12 which are essential for metabolism and several functions in the body.
2. Clams Is A Vitamin B12 Rich Food
(3.5-ounce/100 grams – 99 mcg/4,120% DV)
- Clams are rich in zinc and selenium, which are important for men’s fertility and also help sperm motility, making them one of the best vitamin B12 rich foods.
- Also, clams consist of collagen, which is an essential protein for the human body and helps in maintaining your skin, joints, membranes, and other cells.
- Moreover, clams are rich in B12, which further helps improve memory and slows down aging.
- Clams also provide your body with iron and help regulate blood pressure.
(3.5-ounce/100 grams – 5.9 mcg/245% DV)
- Beef helps build your muscles as it is very high in protein.
- Also, it is high in minerals and prevents iron deficiency. For this, you must include it in your diet for anemia.
- Beef contains carnosine, which is quite affordable.
- Moreover, it is full of vitamins and contains natural creatine.
4. Fortified Cereals
(59 grams – 62% )
- Fortified cereals are the best vitamin B12 rich foods as they reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies and birth defects.
- Also, as they are high in nutrients, they provide energy to the body, making you feel active the whole day.
- Being rich in fiber, it improves the all-over functioning of the body and prevents heart diseases.
- Cereals are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which are essential for healthy bones.
5. Salmon As Vitamin B12 Rich Food
(178 grams – 200% DV)
Salmon is a silver side fish and has many benefits to offer to your body.
- Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease various disease risks.
- Moreover, salmon is a good source of B vitamins which helps the body to produce energy, control inflammation, and protect heart health.
- Also, being rich in B12 and potassium it manages blood pressure and prevents excess fluid retention. Try our Salmon salad recipe from Fitelo’s kitchen and reap its benefits.
- Salmon also, contains selenium which further improves thyroid function and protects against certain types of cancer, making it one of the excellent vitamin B12 rich foods.
(3.5 Ounce/100 grams – 7.5 mcg/312% DV)
Trouts are the fishes in freshwater usually found in rivers and lakes.
- Trout is a good source of protein that is essential for the normal functioning of the body, blood, skin, hair, and cartilage.
- Also, it contains omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins that help in healthy aging.
- Moreover, it is rich in potassium which enhances muscle strength, metabolism, and nerve function.
- Trouts are also rich in the B-vitamin complex, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and pantothenic acid which play a major role in cell metabolism.
7. Milk And Dairy Products
(240 ml Milk – 46 % DV)
- Dairy products keep muscles, nerves, teeth, bones, teeth, and vision healthy.
- Also, it helps release the energy from foods and further reduces tiredness and fatigue,
- It improves the functioning of the immune system and promotes brain development.
- Milk and dairy products are rich in B12, support gut health, and lead to improved digestive health.
(150 grams – 554% DV)
- Sardines are rich in protein and reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease.
- They are rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and selenium.
- Sardines provide various vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and selenium.
- Most importantly, it protects bone health and teeth. Also, it helps reduce depression and anxiety.
9. Eggs Are Vitamin B12 Rich Food
(100 grams – 1.1 mcg/46% DV)
Whole eggs are not bad to eat. Read the following benefits to know why.
- Eggs are rich in nutrients like vitamins A, B5, B12, D, E, K, B6, Folate, Phosphorus, Selenium, Calcium, and zinc.
- Eating eggs leads to elevated levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is good cholesterol.
- Moreover, whole eggs contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin that help improve vision and reduce the risk of cataracts. You can also follow an egg diet to lose weight naturally.
- Eggs reduce lipid fat in the body which is triglycerides due to the presence of omega-3.
These non-vegetarian sources provide ample amounts of vitamin B12, making it relatively easy for individuals who include animal products in their diets to meet their B12 requirements. However, maintaining a balanced diet ensures you are getting a wide range of essential nutrients.
Benefits Of Eating Vitamin B12 Rich Foods
Consuming foods rich in vitamin B12 offers several important health benefits:
1. Supports Red Blood Cell Production: Vitamin B12 is vital for healthy red blood cell production and prevents megaloblastic anemia, which causes fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.
2. Maintains Nervous System Function: B12 is essential for nerve health, aiding myelin formation crucial for proper nerve signal transmission; deficiency can cause numbness, tingling, and nerve problems.
3. Boosts Energy Levels: Adequate B12 levels help convert food into energy, reducing fatigue and increasing overall energy levels.
4. Supports Cognitive Function: Sufficient B12 levels may help prevent memory problems, confusion, and cognitive decline, particularly in older adults.
5. Mood Regulation: B12 helps synthesize neurotransmitters like serotonin, potentially stabilizing mood and reducing the risk of mood disorders like depression.
6. Cardiovascular Health: Some research suggests that vitamin B12 may help reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid linked to an increased risk of heart disease when elevated.
7. Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails: B12 is involved in cell production and renewal, which can contribute to healthy skin, hair, and nails. Consume B12 rich foods in your diet plan for glowing skin to see the magic!
8. Prevents Birth Defects: Sufficient B12 intake is essential during pregnancy, as it helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus.
9. Supports Digestive Health: Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of the digestive system, as it aids in producing stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
10. Bone Health: B12, along with other nutrients like calcium and vitamin D, contributes to maintaining healthy bones.
While vitamin B12 offers numerous health benefits, excessive intake is not harmful because the body excretes excess B12 in the urine.
Bottomline: Vitamin B12 Rich Foods
In conclusion, adding foods high in vitamin B12 into your diet is not just a matter of nutritional necessity but a step towards optimal health and vitality. This vital nutrient supports red blood cell production nerve health, and can even influence mood regulation. For non-vegetarians, options like meat, poultry, and seafood provide ample B12. Vegetarians can turn to vegetables like potatoes, mushrooms, butter squash, or dairy products. However, there are not many options for Vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians.
You can also connect with our Fitelo experts, who can customize a diet plan for Vitamin B12 deficiency. Regardless of your dietary preference, recognizing the importance of vitamin B12 and ensuring its inclusion in your meals can lead to improved overall well-being and a healthier, more vibrant you.
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Did you know that butter is not as unhealthy as perceived by a lot of us? Butter is one of the richest sources of fat-soluble vitamins. For example: Vitamin A: 11% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI),
Vitamin E: 2% of the RDI, Vitamin B12: 1% of the RDI, and Vitamin K: 1% of the RDI! So butter is rich in vitamins!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which Are The Vitamin B12 Rich Foods Among Dry Fruits?
Among the variety of dry fruits, some can provide small amounts of vitamin B12 in your diet. These include peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts, figs, and hazelnuts.
How Can I Raise My B12 Levels Fast?
To raise your B12 levels quickly, consume B12-rich foods like meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and fortified foods. Some vegetarian and several non-vegetarian food sources are available to overcome Vitamin B12 deficiency.
What Happens When You Have Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, anemia, nerve problems (like numbness and tingling), cognitive issues, mood changes, and potential long-term health complications if left untreated.
Which Vegetables Increase B12?
Some vegetables like mushrooms, spinach, potatoes, butter squash, beetroots, etc may help you raise Vitamin B12 levels. However, non-vegetarian food sources for B12 are more helpful in this.
Do Vitamin B12 Rich Foods Promote Weight Gain?
Vitamin B12 itself does not promote weight gain. In fact, it is not a weight-gaining nutrient. While vitamin B12 is important for various bodily functions, including metabolism, its consumption alone is not a direct cause of weight gain.
Contact Us Today
Get in touch with our expert team at Fitelo to kick-start your transformative journey! Let us guide you toward your weight loss goals and help you cultivate sustainable & healthy eating habits. So, contact us today and take the first step towards a healthier, happier you with Fitelo!
This blog post was written to help you make healthy and better food choices. So, be aware and take care. The vital thing to consider is your health before starting a restrictive diet. Therefore, always seek advice from a doctor/dietitian before starting if you have any concerns.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy. Enjoy a long, happy life.