Vitamin B12 is one of the most complex and largest vitamins of the B group. It is an essential nutrient required for our body’s good health.
Most people can get B12 from having a diet that includes meat but it can become somewhat difficult for people with a regular vegetarian or vegan diet to get B12 naturally from there so they end up having to take the supplements. Vegetarians, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, people with B12 deficiency, or people of old age may want to monitor their diet and track it to make sure they are getting enough of this vitamin.
What Is The Vitamin Known As B12?
B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Because our body cannot produce B12 on its own, we need to take it from our diet and when that doesn’t suffice at a time; we resort to taking it in from supplements. This vitamin handles the smooth functioning of multiple physical activities and certain core functioning of our body which are essential to our health.
Vitamin B12 handles the process which is accountable for producing our red blood cells (RBCs) along with the synthesis of DNA. It also plays a significant role in maintaining the neurological functioning of our brain. This vitamin has a complex structure that allows it to be easily dissolvable and travel effectively in our body through our bloodstream.
A fun fact about vitamin B12 is that our body can store it for up to 4 years. After the required amount is taken from the food through our stomach, we absorb it into our bloodstream. Our body then sends the excessive B12 to our liver for storage and future usage.
While we mainly find vitamin B12 in animal products such as meat and dairy products, vegans and vegetarians options, though limited, exist too. Luckily for them, fortified foods can be a significant source of this vitamin. Now let us look into food items containing the B12 vitamin that you may not have known about.
Foods With Vitamin B12 In Them
These foods can mainly be divided into three different sections. These categories are meat, vegetables, and dairy. The vegetable section mainly comprises the vegan options and the diary options are mentioned in the vegetable section as well.
Meats with vitamin B12:
Eggs are a prominent source of overall nutrition. They are wonderful sources of B vitamins as well, especially B2 and B12. Eggs have the added benefit of being tasty when eaten in different forms.
Animal liver and kidneys
Organ meat, especially the liver and kidneys of lambs, is extremely rich in the vitamin B12. Lamb’s liver is also known to be high in copper, vitamin A along with vitamin B2. since non-vegetarians consume lamb and veal in high quantities, they get their required amount of B12 easily.
Beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12, protein, iron, and vitamin A. But since it has a high level of cholesterol, it is recommended to not solely rely on beef to reach our requirement for vitamin B12.
Clams are small, chewy shellfish. They are excellent sources of B12 along with being high in protein, low in fat, and excellent antioxidant and iron sources.
A few other examples include tuna, sardines, salmon, ham, chicken breast, and trout.
Vegetarian And Vegan Options With Vitamin B12:
Vitamin B12 is not something that presents itself in vegetables or fruits so people who follow a plant-based diet need to get this vitamin through fortified foods and supplements available in the market nowadays.
Fortified nutritional milk (almond, soy, cashew nut, coconut, and oat milk)
Fortified nutritional yeast
Margarine and spreads
Cottage and swiss cheese
B12 is a crucial nutrient that is essential to our body to help it perform multiple functions properly. We can end up developing a vitamin B12 deficiency if we do not intake the proper required amount of food rich in this vitamin. This deficiency can lead to severe complications and illness.
We can find vitamin B12 supplements in both the forms of tablets or liquid. It is advisable to only consume B12 supplements on the recommendation of your doctor to avoid any complications.