Most adults get sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 from their diets; however, the elderly, those with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, Crohn’s disease, and pancreatic disease, those who take certain medications such as heartburn medicines that reduce stomach acid, and vegetarians can experience vitamin B12 deficiency. Additionally, certain immune disorders like lupus and Graves’ disease, those suffering from atrophic gastritis and those with pernicious anemia can have low levels of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 helps with the production of DNA and red blood cells and is necessary for a properly functioning nervous system. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, which means they cannot be stored in the body. For this reason, you must get an ample amount of vitamin B12 each day. If you do not eat foods that are high in vitamin B12 daily, a vitamin B12 deficiency can occur, causing a plethora of symptoms, including:
- Numbness/tingling in the extremities
- Balance issues
- A swollen and inflamed tongue
- Cognitive difficulties
- Memory loss
- Digestive issues – diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, vomiting, nausea, gas, loss of appetite and abdominal distention
Consuming a diet rich in vitamin B12 can help to prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency. The top ten vitamin B12 rich foods include:
1.Beef – Beef, especially low-fat cuts of beef, contain vitamin B12. To preserve the amount of vitamin B12 in your meat, opt for grilling or roasting instead of frying. However, beef should not be consumed daily because it increases cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
2.Organ meats – Organ meat, including liver and kidneys, are rich in vitamin B12. In fact, consuming 3.5 ounces of lamb liver provides you with 1,500 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12. has the highest levels of vitamin B12 per serving; however, beef and veal also contain high levels of vitamin B12.
3.Clams – Clams, especially whole baby clams, are full of protein, vitamin B12, iron, and antioxidants. To maximize the amount of vitamin B12, enjoy a cup of boiled clam broth.
4.Fortified cereal – Cereal is an excellent choice of vitamin B12 rich food, especially for vegans and vegetarians. Fortified cereal is not derived from animal sources; instead, it is synthetically made. Synthetically made vitamin B12 is already in free form, which means it can easily be absorbed into the body.
5.Salmon – Salmon contains vitamin B12, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. When choosing salmon, opt for wild caught salmon rather than farmed salmon to ensure you get the maximum amount of vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
6.Nutritional yeast – If you follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, you can get the vitamin B12 that your body needs in nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast is a protein that contains 9 different amino acid that the body is unable to naturally produce.
7.Eggs – Eggs are a great source of protein and vitamin B12. In addition to this, eggs contain choline that helps the liver function properly. Eating two eggs for breakfast will help you start your day off right by providing you 22 percent of the recommended daily allowance.
8.Dairy products – Dairy products, including cheese, yogurt, and milk, supplies you with a plethora of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D and potassium. The vitamin B12 found in dairy products is easier to absorb the B12 found in eggs, fish or beef.
9.Sardine – Sardines are chockful of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12 and omega 3 fatty acids that decrease inflammation, boost heart health and protect against disease.
10.Poultry – Chicken and turkey are great lean proteins that provide your body with the nutrients it needs for health. In addition to vitamin B12, poultry contains trace minerals like selenium to improve immunity and tryptophan for improved sleep.
Vitamin B12 is found in protein. As the food is digested in the stomach, the stomach releases protease and hydrochloric acid and separates vitamin B12. The vitamin then travels via the bloodstream to cells throughout the body. It is recommended that all healthy adults get 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 each day. Eating foods that are rich in vitamin B12 and taking a vitamin B12 booster, helps to improve and decreases the risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency.