Do you feel tired lately? Do you experience a lack of energy or a lack of appetite? If yes, there are high chances that you are suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency. This post talks about Vitamin B12, its importance, the recommended dietary allowance and foods which are rich in Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 or Cobalamin is the largest and most complex vitamin of the eight B vitamins. Vitamin B12 is extremely essential for cell division, blood formation and maintaining a healthy nervous system and healthy cells in the body. Vitamin B12 is also indispensible in the process of forming DNA and metabolizing protein. Cobalamin is required to make white blood cells that are extremely important for the immune system. It is also essential for pregnant women as it helps in the embryo’s neurological development.
The recommended dietary allowance per day is 2.4 micrograms for adults and 2.8 micrograms for pregnant women. Vitamin B12 deficiency is rare as you can store this vitamin in the body for years. A deficiency can occur if you are not getting enough of it in your diet and it can lead to anemia, fatigue, depression and can even cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. It can even lead to heart palpitation, red or sore tongue or numbness of feet.
Vitamin B12 offers a plethora of benefits for the skin and hair. A diet inadequate in Vitamin B12 can lead to severe hair loss problems and undernourished hair follicles that grow at a slower rate. Vitamin B12 provides ample nutrition to the follicles to stimulate proper hair growth. It also encourages melanin production which helps to maintain the original colour of the hair.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to chronic skin issues like a dull and unhealthy complexion. Ample consumption of Vitamin B12 fights symptoms that lead to eczema and other skin diseases. It retains moisture of the skin and protects it from drying. Vitamin B12 helps to repair damaged skin and gives a healthy colour to the skin.
Food Rich in Vitamin B12:
Vitamin B12 can only be manufactured by bacteria and is found naturally in animal products because animals get their Vitamin B12 from eating foods enriched with Vitamin B12 and then, they become the source of Vitamin B12. Plants do not contain Vitamin B12 except if they are contaminated with microorganisms or have Vitamin B12 added to them. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in fish and meat, but there are also some vegetarian sources for this vitamin. Here is a list of food items rich in vitamin B12.
Clams can be consumed raw on the half shell, baked or cooked. 3 ounces of this mollusk contain 94.1 ug of Vitamin B12 making it one of the highest sources of Vitamin B12. Apart from B12, clams are also a good source of zinc, copper, phosphorus and iron.
Ready-to-eat cereals have around 6.0 ug of Vitamin B12 per cup. Choose cereals that are made of whole grains and do not buy those which contain added sugar.
Herrings are small fishes that offer 6.6 ug of vitamin B12 for every 3 ounces. Herrings are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which impart a healthy glow and shine to the face and give lustre to the hair.
Salmon is another great food rich in Vitamin B12 and contains 9.0ug of Vitamin B12 in half a fillet. It provides amino acids and omega 3 fatty acids both of which are essential for healthy skin and hair.
5. Crabs and lobsters:
Crabs and lobsters are mainly served baked, steamed or in bisque. Three ounces of crustacean crab contains 10 ug of Vitamin B12, while dungeness and stone crabs have relatively low amount of Vitamin B12. Lobster provides 4.5 ug of Vitamin B12 per 100 grams serving.
Despite being a high cholesterol food, cheese is a good source of calcium, protein and Vitamin B12. The amount of B12 depends entirely upon the variety of cheese. Swiss cheese contains the maximum amount of B12 with 6.5 ug per 100 grams serving, followed by ghettos, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
The raw yolk of chicken egg is the richest source of Vitamin B12 with 1.95 per 100 grams serving. Goose egg provides the maximum of 7.5 ug of Vitamin B12 per 100 gram while duck egg provides 3.8 ug of B12 per 100 grams.
8. Milk and milk products:
Milk and milk products are the most easily available source of Vitamin B12 for vegetarians. 100 grams of reduced fat milk yogurt provides 0.46ug of Vitamin B12 per cup. Fortified cereal with milk can be the best option for vegetarians to get their daily dose of Vitamin B12.
Mutton and chicken are also a decent source of Vitamin B12. Chicken provides 13.7 ug of B12 per cup while mutton provides the body with 15.7 ug of Vitamin B12 per ounce. They contain ample amount of proteins which are essential to maintain the health of the hair.
This mollusk is another good vitamin B12 rich food. Six medium oysters provide 16.4 ug of Vitamin B12. Oysters are also considered as super food because of their high iron content. Wild oysters can have high amount of contaminants so please stick to farmed oysters.
Don’t forget to include these vitamin B12 sources and foods in your daily diet. Stay healthy, stay fit!Did you find this post useful? Leave your comments in the box below.