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Vitamin B12-rich food items and their benefits

Team AckoSept 15, 2022

Vitamins are essential for the body to function smoothly and protect from diseases. While you require different types of vitamins for a healthy body, Vitamin B12 is vital, as it helps maintain and regulate the most fundamental structure — the DNA. Thus, you must be aware of how to consume sufficient amounts of Vitamin B12 naturally. Here’s a detailed article on the list of Vitamin B12-rich food items, their benefits, and information on vitamin deficiency.

Vitamin B12-rich foods

What is Vitamin B12?

Cobalamin, commonly known as Vitamin B12, is a type of vitamin that your body needs to function smoothly. It is naturally found in meat-based diets. It can also be added to certain foods as a supplement. Vitamin B12 is necessary for red blood cells and DNA synthesis. Additionally, it is essential for the formation and function of nerve and brain cells. 

Role of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is required for good blood circulation. When the body lacks B12, it reduces normal red blood cell synthesis (causing anaemia), leading to compromised oxygen transport. Other important functions of Vitamin B12 in the body include the following.

  1. Helping the brain and nervous system to function normally

  2. Helping in reducing congenital disabilities

  3. Aiding the formation of red blood cells

  4. Assisting in energy production

  5. Protecting the eyes against macular degeneration

  6. Providing the ability to think clearly

  7. Helping in the prevention of anaemia

  8. Assisting in the creation and regulation of DNA

List of the top food items high in Vitamin B12

The following table lists 20 food items rich in Vitamin B12. Consuming these in moderate quantities can fulfil your daily requirement. Please consult a doctor before making any dietary changes. This table contains both, Non-vegetarian and vegetarian Vitamin B12-rich foods.

Food item Explanation
Mussels Mussels are high in vitamin C, iron, lean protein, and Vitamin B12.
Turkey Vitamin B12 is abundant in heritage turkeys.
Crab Around 85 grams of crab provides roughly 9.8 mg of Vitamin B12.
Pork The tenderloin of pork is high in Vitamin B12 and lean protein.
Herring Herrings are tiny fish that provide 3.6 mg of Vitamin B12 for every 85 grams.
Shrimp Shrimps are a good source of Vitamin B12.
Oysters Oysters, in addition to being high in Vitamin B12, are also high in iron.
Trout Trouts are high in healthy fats, protein, phosphorus, selenium, and manganese, in addition to being a good source of Vitamin B12.
Chicken Chicken is high in protein and Vitamin B12.
Fortified vegan milk As with other fortified foods, the Vitamin B12 included in non-dairy milk is synthesised, making it vegan-friendly in nature.
Salmon Salmon is abundant in Vitamin B12 and has a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids as well.
Eggs In addition to being a rich source of complete protein, eggs are also a good source of B vitamins such as Vitamin B12 and vitamin B2.
Milk and other dairy products Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt, are high in Vitamin B12 and protein.
Kidneys and Liver from Animals Organ meats contain a high concentration of nutrients. Lamb and animal kidneys and livers, in particular, are high in Vitamin B12.
Sardines These little saltwater fish with soft bones have a high nutritional value. Aside from being abundant in Vitamin B12, these are also high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Clams Clams are shellfish that are chewy in texture. These are high in nutrients. Clams are a good source of antioxidants and iron, in addition to having a lot of Vitamin B12.
Tuna This fish includes a lot of Vitamin B12, especially in the dark muscles, which are the muscles just beneath the skin.
Fortified cereal Food fortification is the process of adding nutrients that are not initially present in the food. Fortified cereals may be a good source of Vitamin B12 for vegetarians.
Fortified yeast Although nutritional yeast does not naturally contain Vitamin B12, the fortified variety is a good source of this vitamin.

Top vegetables that are rich in Vitamin B12

The following vegetables are rich in Vitamin B12.

  1. Beetroot: Beetroot has numerous health-promoting compounds. Beetroot is high in vitamins, including B12, minerals, calcium, and iron.

  2. Potato: An average organic potato contains potassium, salt, and vitamins B12, A, and D. Potatoes are high in magnesium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus as well. The potato's high antioxidant content protects against free radical damage.

  3. Squash (Butternut): Butternut squash is an uncommon vegetable that is high in minerals and fibre. It also has a high concentration of Vitamin B12.

  4. Mushroom: Mushroom is a type of fungus. It's high in Vitamin B12, natural vitamin D, protein, calcium, and minerals like germanium, copper, niacin, potassium, and phosphorus as well.

  5. Alpha-alpha: Alpha-alpha is a name taken from the Arabian language that means "plant head." Its roots reach depths of 20 to 30 feet below the surface of the earth. Alpha-alpha is high in vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. 

Vitamin B12 deficiency

A human body cannot create Vitamin B12; thus, it is necessary to obtain it from other sources like meat, fruits or vegetables. When you include it in your diet, your body tends to store the excess in the liver, which can stay there for up to five years. However, you can have a Vitamin B12 deficiency when you don't replenish these stores. 

Deficiency symptoms may include.

  • Shortness of breath 

  • Palpitations 

  • Weakness, fatigue, or dizziness

  • Depression, memory loss, and behavioural changes 

  • Light skin

  • Smooth tongue

  • Nerve issues such as numbness or tingling and muscle weakness 

  • Constipation, diarrhoea, appetite loss, or gas

  • Difficulty in walking

  • Loss of vision

Frequently asked questions

Following are some common queries about Vitamin B12.

Which fruits are high in Vitamin B12?

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Fruits high in Vitamin B12 include apples, bananas, blueberries, and oranges.

Who is at risk for anaemia caused by Vitamin B12 deficiency?

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People with the following conditions can be susceptible to Vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • HIV

  • Crohn's disease

  • People who follow a strict vegetarian diet

  • Elderly people

  • Those with a family history of Vitamin B12 deficiency

  • People who had stomach or intestine surgery to remove some parts

Is it safe to take Vitamin B12 supplements?

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Vitamin B-12 supplements are typically regarded as safe when taken in appropriate doses. While 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B-12 is the recommended daily amount for people, more significant amounts have been demonstrated to be safe.

Which are Vitamin B12 Rich foods for women vs men?

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Men and women can eat all types of food rich in Vitamin B12. For example, non-vegetarian foods like tuna, shrimp, clams, turkey, etc., and vegetarian foods like beetroot, potato, mushrooms, etc.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. As this content piece is not vetted by a medical professional, please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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