Which foods can I use to eliminate a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamins take on vital functions in our organism. Above all, we are most aware of vitamins C or D. However, vitamin B12 itself and a potential vitamin B12 deficiency are anything but irrelevant to health and well-being.
Therefore, I want to clarify which task vitamin B12 has in concrete, and how you can compensate for a deficiency by means of an adapted diet and suitable foods.
Can I get enough Vitamin B12 through proper nutrition?
Through nutrition, we can influence our vitamin B12 budget and, thus, address a possible deficiency. In the United States, the recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms for adults.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women require between 2.6 and 2.8 micrograms daily. This is the absolute lowest limit and just sufficient to prevent a shortage and possible consequences.
Which foods contain a lot of vitamin B12?
The various forms of vitamin B12 are predominantly contained in foods of animal origin. These include meat, fish as well as eggs, cheese or other dairy products.
Chlorella is one of the few non-animal foods that contain bioactive vitamin B12 in significant quantities. Spirulina, on the other hand, contains a form of vitamin B12 that the human body cannot absorb and utilize.
The same applies to herbal vitamin B sources such as whole grains or legumes. Our human body cannot utilize the majority of the contained vitamins.
Unfortunately, many people are not aware of this. Also, the nutrition labels are misleading, as all of them do state the supposed number of vitamins you’ll get per consumed serving.
Therefore, vegetarians and vegans should pay particular attention to their vitamin B12 household and, if necessary, help with a dietary supplement or Chlorella capsules.
Of course, the foods often vary from each other regarding the exact amount of vitamin B12.
Food with a lot of vitamin B12
Thus, the proportion of vitamin B12 is particularly high in offal. For example, beef liver has a weight of up to 65 micrograms per 100 grams. That’s more than 16 times the daily requirement for vitamin B12.
By the way, one serving of beef liver covers the monthly requirement of vitamin B12. Normal pork contains only two micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams.
Caviar also contains a healthy amount of 16 micrograms per 100 grams, and oysters come with 14.5 micrograms per 100 grams.
These are the two foods that have the most vitamin B12 content when it comes to sea products. Other types of fish and seafood also contain significant amounts; between two to four micrograms per 100 g.
Eggs contain everything a chicken embryo needs to grow; including all vitamin B forms. In any case, the vitamin B12 content of 2 micrograms per 100 g is worth mentioning.
Cheeses with a high level of vitamin B12 are Emmentaler and Camembert. They both contain 3.1 micrograms per 100 grams each, followed by Edam and Parmesan which supply you with 2.0 micrograms per 100 grams each.
We should never forget to mention Chlorella. The microalgae come to a considerable value of 40 to 80 micrograms of vitamin b12 per 100 g.
With the right diet, you can cover the daily requirement of 4.0 micrograms of vitamin B12. However, there is a problem especially for vegans, as all the products mentioned are of animal origin – except for Chlorella!
Again, most plant-based eaters still aren’t aware of this great vitamin B12 source, and I truly hope they will stumble upon this information soon. Chlorella is still more natural and healthier than capsules and other over the counter supplements.
For now, however, these people should at least take vitamin B12 supplements on a sufficient level, so as to eliminate any deficiencies or counteract it.
What is the function of vitamin B12 in the body and how extreme is a deficiency?
The consumption of vitamin B12 takes place exclusively through food/dietary supplements and is necessary for the survival of humans.
The absorption happens in the small intestine via a protein called intrinsic factor. This is necessary because vitamin B12 is a very large molecule that our body cannot use as easily as sugar or amino acids without support.
Among other things, the various types of vitamin B12 are involved in the formation of blood. They, furthermore, ensure that the red blood cells do their job and cells renew themselves throughout the body. The most important form of B12 for us is methylcobalamin.
In the metabolism, especially in the liver, vitamin B12 is indispensable, helping to rebuild proteins and build up hemoglobin, the oxygen transporter.
In addition, without B12, the central nervous system can no longer function well. This causes a lack of processed and forwarded information, and thereby nerve cells cannot renew themselves.
That’s why you’ll find vitamin B12 in most nutritional supplements that are formulated to increase your thinking.
Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms
If there is a vitamin B12 deficiency, the information in the body is not forwarded as fast as it normally is. That is the reason why the following symptoms occur, among other things, if you supply too little vitamin B12 to the body:
Difficulty in concentration (also see Creatine for focus)
Dizziness and vomiting
In addition, anemia can set in, resulting from a reduced formation of red blood cells. Other negative side effects are possible:
These signs of vitamin B12 deficiency may not all occur simultaneously, yet it is entirely possible. In any case, it is important to bridge this state of under-supply of vitamin B12. One can ascertain this when beginning to eat a more mindful and wholesome diet.
Dear Vegans -Watch out for vitamin B12
A purely herbal diet most certainly does have its advantages, but, please, pay more attention to your vitamin B12 supply.
The body’s own vitamin B12 stores last up to 3-4 years, after which the amount drops and becomes critical.
That is a big reason why vegans are doing so well at the beginning of the vegan diet, but after a few years, they become anemic with chronic fatigue and concentration problems.
Pure plant-based dieters can prevent this by either adding Chlorella to their diet or by using a high-quality vitamin B supplement containing all the bioactive forms of vitamin B.
Learn more about which exact nutrients Vegans should always have an extra eye on in their diets in my article in the link below.
As you can see now, vitamin B12 deficiency is nothing to take lightly. Regardless if you are a plant-based eater, or not, in our stressful world it has become mandatory to watch out for our balanced nutrients intake. Hectic and stress also tend to drain our energy and vitamin storage!
Please, share your experience and story regarding vitamin B12 or another nutrient deficiency, and how you have managed to get the levels back to normal again.
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