Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, naturally found in some food sources, and can also be taken in the form of supplements and tablets. Many types of foods can be fortified with vit B to add to the nutritional profile. Generally, your body maintains a store of vitamin B12 in the liver, but you also need to maintain daily uptake via diet and supplementation. Vitamin B plays an important role in many bodily functions and hence, experts suggest regularly consuming vitamin B12-rich foods to gain the maximum benefits.
- Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, also known as cobalamine, due to the presence of high levels of Cobalt in them.
- It can be obtained majorly from an animal-based diet but can also be found in plant-based food sources, fortified foods, and supplements.
- Some of the best food sources for vitamin B12 are meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as well as some nuts, fruits, green leafy vegetables, etc.
- Vitamin B12 plays a major role in maintaining several bodily functions and its deficiency can lead to issues like anemia, fatigue, glossitis, and paraesthesia (numbness of hands and feet).
Vitamin B12-rich foods:
There are many types of vitamin B12-rich foods gifted by nature, including both animal and plant-based sources. Let us see the list below to find out what food is vitamin B12 in.
1. Add Whole Grains to your Diet for Wholesome Health
Whole grains are rich in vitamins and minerals and it should come as no surprise, as they are the most significant and staple constituent of a well-balanced, nutritious diet. Whole grains can be consumed in the form of cereals with milk and fruits in the morning or can be made into round crisp chapatis for an evening snack.
In either case, it is bound to provide you with many essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, etc.
2. Gain B12 Benefits from Meaty Cuisines
Be it barbeque or a seasoned steak, tender meat has a tendency to make us all go craving for more. As a plus point, meat has high amounts of B12, making it one of the most important sources of this water-soluble vitamin.
According to an article published in the Oxford University Press, the value of B12 in 100 grams of the following types of raw meat is
3. Beef Liver – the Best Source of Vitamin B12
Beef liver is by far the richest source of vitamin B12 with 70.7 mcg of B12 per serving, making up for about 2944 percent of the daily requirement value. Amazing, right?
It means that eating a serving of well-cooked, pan-fried beef liver will not only satiate your taste buds but will also fulfill your B12 requirements.
4. Add B12 Richness with Fish and Seafood
If you are like most people, you ought to love seafood. Be it deep-fried or steamed, all seafood, especially fish, is among the most liked foods by many people. It is rich in essential nutrients and tops the list of vitamin B12-rich foods.
Let us see the vitamin B12 content among three of the most popular seafood options.
|Food||Vit B12 mcg per serving|
5. All Eggs in a Basket Full of Nutrients and Vitamin B12
Eggs are indeed a magic food in the sense that they are loaded with nutritional benefits and can be consumed in a number of ways. It is incredible that this tiny white ball of magic contains so many important nutritional elements.
One large egg contains 0.5 mcg of vitamin B12 accounting for almost 19% of the total daily requirement.
Hard-boiled eggs, omelets, and half-fry sunny-side-up eggs are some of the most widely adopted forms of eggs, the most popular for breakfasts served with toast and a hot cup of tea.
So the next time you plan to make yourself a breakfast, don’t forget to incorporate eggs to gain maximum benefits of its nutritional profile.
6. Dairy Products – for Daily Richness of Vitamin B12
Who doesn’t love dairy? Cheese, milk, and yogurt are some of the names that induce excitement in almost all of us. Let us see the nutritional profile of vitamin B12 in the most commonly used dairy products.
Food item per cup: Micrograms of vitamin B12
- Whole milk 1.1 mcg
- Chocolate milk 0.8 mcg
- Non-fat milk 1.2 mcg
- Non-fat yogurt 1.4 mcg
- Cottage cheese 1.4 mcg
7. Legumes – the Perfect Vegetarian Source of Vitamin B12
Are you not a fan of animal-based food options and often wonder what food is vitamin B12 in? Don’t worry, as there are plenty of plant-based food options for you as well.
Though not as rich as meat and beef liver, legumes have a fairly decent amount of vitamin B complex and are considered a good option in vitamin B12-rich foods.
Boil a cup of beans in water after soaking them overnight, and make yourself a bowl of delicious fresh salad after tossing in some freshly cut veggies and edible olive oil.
However, due to the low amount of vitamin B12 present in a vegetarian diet, doctors suggest taking a B12 supplement if you strictly follow an all-veg diet.
8. Seeds and Nuts – Munch your Way to a Healthy Body
Dry fruits including various kinds of seeds and nuts are an excellent source of vitamin B12, especially in the winter season when munching on peanuts is a favorite hobby for many people.
Apart from peanuts, other dried fruits like almonds, pecans, walnuts, and figs are also rich sources of vitamin B12. So, make yourself a glass of almond milkshake to fortify the benefits of almonds.
Not only this, but dried fruits can help you have many other health benefits like maintaining cardiac health and boosting immunity, etc.
9. An Ideal Source of B12: Fresh Dark Leafy Vegetables
Salads are an important constituent of a well-balanced diet, adding to the richness and freshness of any meal. You can also consume green leafy vegetables in the form of stir-fry with light olive oil or diced and steamed with a side of fish.
In addition to adding a fresh and energetic flavor to your daily meals, dark green leafy vegetables play an important role in providing you with significant quantities of vitamin B12 among other nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and K.
10. Enhance your B12 Consumption with Fruits
As mentioned above, while plant-based foods may not be the best option for obtaining vitamin B12, still, they can contribute to your daily requirement of vitamin B12 among other nutrients.
The fruits that can be associated with minimal quantities of vitamin B12 are bananas, apples, and berries.
11. Fortified Foods and Supplements
Last but not the least, on the list, are fortified foods and supplements.
There are many types of cereals and other food options fortified with vitamin B12 to help provide the daily requirement for people who do not get enough from natural food sources. They may be people who follow a vegetarian diet, or any other specific type of diet because of a health condition.
So, the next time you are strolling in the grocery store, add your favorite cereals fortified with vitamin B12 to the cart, in order to fulfill your body’s nutritional requirements.
Role of vitamin B12-rich foods for a healthy body:
Vitamin B12 plays a significant role in building genetic material, producing normal red blood cells, and the maintenance of the nervous system.
It also plays a major role in DNA duplication and repair, thus providing protection against the development of cancer. It also helps with brain function, boosts immunity, and reduces the chances of occurrence of macular degeneration.
Risks associated with vitamin B12 Deficiency
The deficiency of vitamin B12 may lead to the following issues:
By far we have established the significance of vitamin B12 and how it can help maintain your health and optimal functioning of all bodily systems. By maintaining adequate body levels of vitamin B12, either through diet or supplements, you can make sure that your body stays healthy and well-functioning.
However, we suggest that before adding any supplements to your dietary routine, you should consult a doctor for optimal dosage requirements. Book an appointment with a nutritionist via Marham for complete guidelines on your dietary requirements.
1. What are the best sources of vitamin B12?
Meat, dairy products, eggs, beef liver, and seafood are some of the best food sources for getting sufficient amounts of vitamin B12.
2. Can you get sick if you don’t get enough vitamin B12?
B12 deficiency can lead to medical conditions like anemia, fatigue, mouth ulcers, numbness in the hands or feet, etc.
3. Is a vegetarian diet sufficient to get enough vitamin B12?
Compared to animal-based food sources, following a vegetarian diet may not provide optimal amounts of vitamin B12. Hence, it is advised to add supplements to your diet if you are a complete vegetarian.