Top 21 Vitamin B12 Rich Foods (Veg & NonVeg)
Vitamin B12 Rich Foods are mostly the food obtained from animals. Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B group vitamins. Cobalamin is another name for vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is water-soluble and ensures the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.
It also contributes to the formation of Red Blood Cells. The functions carried out with the help of vitamin b12 in our body are very crucial. The deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause serious damage to our brain and nervous system. That’s why it is very important to keep proper intake of this vitamin in our diet. Today I will discuss in details about what is vitamin b12, why it is an essential vitamin, top Vitamin B12 Rich Foods, and its benefits.
The enzymes for synthesis of Vitamin B12 are possessed only by bacterias and arches. All plants and animals are incapable of producing it. Main sources of vitamin B12 are animal products, fortified food products, and dietary supplements. The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg. Vitamin B12 deficiency is mostly caused by its low intake But it can also be caused due to malabsorption, intestinal disorders, low presence of binding proteins and the use of certain medications. (1)
Intrinsic factor the protein present in the human body helps in the absorption of B12. If your body does not produce enough of intrinsic factor you run the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Excess of vitamin B12 is stored into the liver and used in future when required.
Why is Vitamin B12 Essential?
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It helps in the formation of RBCs which required for curing Anaemia. Vitamin B12 helps in the metabolism of Fatty and Amino acids. It is essential for the growth and development of our body. (2)
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include weak muscles, dizziness, weakness, paleness of skin etc. As Vitamin B12 is associated with nerve development, deficiency of it causes numbness and tingling in hands and feet, balancing problem, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory and soreness of the mouth and tongue. In Infants, it can cause problems with movement, delays in development at the right time and megaloblastic anemia. (3)
Dietary Recommendations for Vitamin B12:
The average daily amount of Vitamin B12 required to meet the nutrient requirement for a healthy individual is given in below chart. (4)
For pregnant and Lactating Women the Recommended allowance is 2.6 and 2.8 mcg respectively. It is advisable to consult your doctor before starting any B12 supplements.
Vitamin B12 Rich Foods:
As we have discussed earlier, Vitamin B12 cannot be obtained from plant sources. Eggs are one of the best sources for eggetarians. Including eggs in your daily diet will provide you sufficient protein and vitamin B12. It is better than taking artificial supplements. Eggs are easily available and nutritious hence it is one of the best vitamin b12 rich foods.
An egg is rich in vitamin B2 and vitamin D. Two eggs (100gm approx) contains 28% of your daily requirement of vitamin B2 and 9% of your daily requirement of vitamin D. You might have heard fitness freaks completely avoiding the yellow egg yolk. Egg yolk is full of various vitamins and proteins and it is advisable to eat a whole egg. The form of vitamin B12 found in egg yolk is easily digestible by the human body.
2. Fortified Cereals
Many vegans or vegetarians who don’t eat eggs can opt for fortified Cereals. You will get the quantity of B12 mentioned on the packaging. For vegetarians, fortified products are best vitamin b12 rich foods.
If you plan to take a healthy diet you might not need the fortified cereals. But if your vitamin b12 levels are very low you can think of including such cereals in your diet. While purchasing the products check out for the sugar levels, fiber content etc. (5)
Yeast contains enzymes which are responsible for making Vitamin B12. It is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians. You can make it at home or buy it from the market. The average amount of vitamin B12 present in the fortified yeast is 132% of your daily requirement.
Apart from vitamin B12, yeast is a good source of minerals, proteins, and other vitamins.
Milk is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians. It contains almost all essential nutrient. A glass of milk with turmeric before going to bed will definitely ensure a good night sleep and you will wake up energized. (6)
There are various brands present in the market for nondairy fortified milk. The fortified milk is a good source of various nutrients. Soy, Almond or Rice milk are available with various vitamins and minerals added to it.
Here is an informative video from HomeVeda Nutrition
Yogurt is tasty as well as a healthy option to get your vitamin B12. It is easily available and you can eat it as a snack or between any two main meals.
Milk products have the highest absorption rate of vitamin B12. Yogurt generally has an absorption of 79% of the vitamin B12 content. Yogurt is formed by bacterial fermentation of milk and many of these bacterias are helpful in digestion. You might have seen people eating yogurt while suffering from stomach upset it is because the bacterias in yogurt help to cure the stomach upset and helps in digestion.
Chicken is a very good source of protein as well as vitamin B12. It is very popular amongst non-vegetarians and you can savor various dishes made from it. It is one of the best vitamin b12 rich foods.
The amount of vitamin B12 received from chicken is approximately 3.7 micrograms per cup. So a cup of chicken is enough to get the daily requirement of vitamin B12. Apart from vitamin b12, chicken is a good source of protein, minerals, phosphorus, vitamin B6, niacin etc.
Mutton contains a good amount of vitamin B12. It is also very popular and you can prepare a variety of dishes from mutton. Also, it is easily available globally.
A large variety of seafood is rich in Vitamin B12. Sardines, Salmon, Crabs, Clams, Oysters, Tuna, Trout etc. Richest sources of vitamin B12 is seafood. Seafood is a vitamin E rich food which is essential for our health.
Feta Cheese is a very good source of vitamin B12, especially for vegetarians. It is yummy and nutritious as well. You can make feta cheese at home for fresh usage.
10. Cottage Cheese or Paneer
Paneer is very famous amongst vegetarians because of its taste. It is often called the chicken of vegetarians. It is also a rich source of vitamin B12. To get an ample amount of vitamin B12 to include paneer in your regular diet.
The vitamin B12 from paneer is easily absorbed in the human body. The rate of absorption is better for dairy products compared to the non-vegetarian diet. The supplements are not digested and absorbed as easily as the natural sources of vitamin B12. So it is always better to get the vitamins from natural sources.
Tuna is a good source of vitamin B12. Coming from the seafood category it has a high level of other nutrients like Iron, vitamin D, selenium and calcium.
Shrimp are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. The amount of vitamin B12 found in shrimps is enough for daily requirement by humans. There are various dishes prepared from shrimp so it is easy to include them in the diet.
Mussels are rich in Vitamin C, Iron, and lean protein. The amount of B12 found in mussels is 3 times the daily requirement.
Clams can be eaten raw or cooked and is a good source of vitamin B12, Iron, potassium and other vital nutrients.
Like other kinds of seafood, oysters are also rich in various essential vitamins and minerals. You can include oysters as raw or cooked in your diet.
Snow and stone crabs are a good source of various nutrients. Three ounces of crab meat contains approximately 9.8 mcg of vitamin b12 which is much higher than the daily requirement.
Salmon is a rich source of vitamin B12. Half a fillet of salmon contains 9 mcg of vitamin b12.
With 48 mcg per cup, Turkey is one of the best sources of vitamin B12. The Thanksgiving meal is packed with multiple nutrients and good to fulfill your daily requirement of essential vitamins and minerals.
4.2 mcg per three ounces, trout is one of the vitamin B12 rich food. It is better if you eat this cooked or add to salads. There are various healthy salad recipes made up from seafood.
Three ounces of herrings contain approximately 3.5 mcg of vitamin B12. Include herrings in your meal at least once every fortnight.
Sardines are a good source of potassium, iron and vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Vitamin B12 benefits are a strong immune system, strong muscles etc.
Hope this article was helpful. Do write to me with your views/suggestions.