Vitamin B12 is needed for cell division and blood formation. This article provides information regarding foods that contain a good amount of this vitamin.
Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a member of vitamin B complex family. It plays an important role in the formation of blood and helps build up a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B12 is not produced by plants and animals; however, it is produced by bacteria. Animals become a source of cobalamin when they eat foods contaminated with this vitamin. Similarly, plants become a source of this vitamin when they are contaminated by microorganisms. Although cobalamin is required in small amounts, its deficiency can be a very serious problem, which may ultimately lead to irreversible nerve damage. Blind loop syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and in certain instances, veganism can also lead to its deficiency.
- Sore throat, tongue, and mouth
- Excessive fatigue
- Bleeding gums
- Abnormal heartbeats
- Low pulse rate
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Undesired weight loss
- Loss of sensation in the fingers and toes
- Loss of appetite
- Confusion, lack of concentration, and loss of mental abilities
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products. Some nutritional yeast products also contain this vitamin. Several food sources of vitamin B12 are mentioned below:
|Food||Micrograms (mcg) per serving||Percent Daily Value (DV)|
|Clams, cooked, 3 ounces||84.1||1,402|
|Liver, beef, cooked, 3 ounces||70.7||1,178|
|Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked, 3 ounces||5.4||90|
|Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces||4.8||80|
|Tuna fish, light, canned in water, 3 ounces||2.5||42|
|Milk, low-fat, 1 cup||1.2||18|
|Yogurt, fruit, low-fat, 8 ounces||1.1||18|
|Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce||0.9||15|
|Egg, whole, hard boiled, 1 large||0.6||10|
|Chicken, breast meat, roasted, 3 ounces||0.3||5|
|Ham, cured, roasted, 3 ounces||0.6||10|
|Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for vitamin B12, 1 serving||6.0||100|
- It is essential for the proper functioning of brain and nervous system. It improves your concentration and learning skills.
- It helps maintain the health of red blood cells and brings about improvement in metabolism, which helps boost your energy levels.
- It helps building up the structure of DNA.
- It lowers the risk of pernicious anemia and Alzheimer’s disease.
- It strengthens your immune system and prevents infections and diseases. It helps increase your stamina.
- It plays an important role in maintenance of the myelin sheath that insulates nerve fibers.
- It helps prevent certain liver and kidney diseases.
- Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, insomnia, allergies, osteoporosis, and asthma can be prevented by providing the body with sufficient amounts of this vitamin.
Only a balanced and healthy diet can provide all the necessary nutrients to your body. Including vitamin B12 dietary sources is more safe and healthy than taking supplements or injections. Food sources never cause side effects while overdose of supplements can result in side effects such as headache, joint pain, stomach related ailments, nausea, and loss of appetite.
A balanced diet contains all essential nutrients in proper proportions. For proper absorption and utilization of cobalamin, other vitamins like vitamin B6 and vitamin E are also needed. Thus, a balanced diet plays an important role in avoiding this vitamin deficiency.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.