Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient for your body. Red blood cell production, cell metabolism, etc. require vitamin B12 for smooth functioning. Since the body cannot synthesize it on its own, you need to be aware of the top vitamin B12 foods which can help avoid deficiency.
Why vitamin B12 deficiency is dangerous
Since vitamin B12 is required for a host of vital body functions, its deficiency can be pretty dangerous. If you’re deficient in vitamin B12, then symptoms like digestive problems, muscle weakness, fatigue, and anemia can show up.
Hence, it is quite important to ensure you’re getting enough vitamin B12, especially if you are a vegetarian or a pregnant/breastfeeding woman.
Which vitamin B12 foods are recommended?
Since the main source of vitamin B12 is through food, the below list will provide you with the top vitamin B12 foods that you should definitely include in your diet:
Kidney and Liver of animals
Organs from animals such as lambs constitute the best and richest source of vitamin B12. They provide as high as ~3000% of the daily requirement of vitamin B12 hence people who regularly consume non-vegetarian food are at less risk of deficiency.
Sardines are nutrient-rich, soft boned fish. You can either buy them fresh or canned in oils/water. You must consume sardines since it has almost all the nutrients that humans need, including vitamin B12.
A single serving of sardine consists of approximately 500% of the daily vitamin B12 requirement and hence, considered a vital source.
Apart from featuring in top vitamin B12 foods, tuna is also a great source of vitamin A and B3.
Tuna is commonly consumed and a single serving contains more than 100% of the daily required value of vitamin B12.
One of the most commonly consumed sources of vitamin B12 for non-vegetarians is chicken. Apart from vitamin B12, chicken is also a great source of lean proteins.
Chicken can be consumed in a variety of ways and regular eating ensures that your body is not deficient in vitamin B12.
Boiled eggs, especially the yolk, are a great source of vitamin B12. Eggs are more accepted sources of this vitamin since there is a large section of society that might be vegetarian but doesn’t mind eating eggs.
Having boiled eggs for breakfast can fulfill as much as 45% of the daily requirement of vitamin B12. Furthermore, they are a great source of vitamin B2 and vitamin D as well.
For those who are vegetarians, dairy products make for a great source of vitamin B12. A single serving of milk, cheese, and yogurt can provide as much as ~50% of the daily required value of vitamin B12, with studies showing that they have a higher absorption rate than their non-vegetarian counterparts.
Hence, if you’re a vegetarian, then it is very important that you regularly consume at least one of the above to keep your vitamin B12 levels in check.
Even though cereals are not a natural source, but they are often fortified with vitamin B12. This is mainly because most of the natural sources of vitamin B12 are non-vegetarian, leaving vegetarian people at a higher risk of deficiency.
Combining these with milk increases the nutritional quotient of the meal and help fulfill the daily quota of vitamin B12.
Fortified non-dairy milk
Another one of the top vitamin B12 foods particularly for vegans is fortified non-dairy milk. Almond, rice and soy milk are great replacement sources for those who want a vegan source of milk. Even though they are not naturally a high source of vitamin B12, they get fortified with it in order to fulfill your daily requirement.
Hence, if you’re a vegan, then consuming these non-dairy milk products is your best bet to avoid vitamin B12 deficiency.