Dig Into Dairy If Thats Your Jam
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese naturally contain B12 and lots of it. If you drink a cup of milk and eat 8 ounces of yogurt, youre pretty much set for a day.
Any ol cheese will have some B12, but Swiss is the superstar with 27 percent of your daily needs in one slice. Also, try feta and Brie because yum.
Vitamin B12 Rich Foods Vegetarian
A nutritious diet is important for maintaining physical and mental health. To maintain a stable body structure, our bodies need a variety of micronutrients. Vitamin B is an important nutrient in the different vitamins. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a potent, water-soluble vitamin. It is essential for a variety of body functions, including the development of healthy red blood cells and neurological activity, in order to elevate mood. It is mostly consumed in the stomach, and excess vitamin B12 is retained in the liver and can be used as needed by the body.
Keep Nails Hair And Skin Healthy
All of the B vitamins may work together to keep your hair, skin, and nails healthy, but B-7, B-9, and B-12 may be especially helpful. Biotin deficiency often presents as brittle nails, hair loss, and skin rash, and while evidence is mostly anecdotal, biotin supplementation is often used in hopes of improving these conditions. Changes in your nails are often the result of micronutrient deficiencies, including an array of B vitamins. In fact, a B-12 deficiency may show up as entirely blue nails or other dark pigmentations. And a folate deficiency can cause your nails to become brittle and rigid.
Vitamin B12 And Vegetarians
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal-based foods.
This is why vegetarians and vegans pose a higher risk for deficiency. But no need to worry, there are many alternative plant-based food sources that contain adequate amounts of vitamin B12.
Lets discuss what vegetarianism is and what types of foods are consumed with this type of eating pattern.
In general, vegetarians abstain from eating meat products such as poultry, pork, beef, lamb or veal. However, there are a few subtypes of vegetarians, and they include:
- Lacto-ovo vegetarian: Consumes dairy products and eggs avoids meat and fish.
- Lacto-vegetarian: Consumes dairy products such as cheese, milk, butter and yogurt avoids meat, fish and eggs.
- Ovo-vegetarian: Consumes eggs avoids meat, fish and dairy products.
- Pescatarian: Consumes fish, eggs and dairy avoids meat.
- Vegan: Avoids all animal products and byproducts including meat, dairy, eggs and fish consumes primarily fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes.
Dont stress if you are vegan or vegetarian because there are still plenty of ways to get vitamin B12, as long as you the food sources!
Remember, there are many fortified foods that contain vitamin B12, among other important nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D3.
Believe it or not, fortified foods have a higher bioavailability of vitamin B12 when compared to animal-based foods . In other words, the absorption of vitamin B12 in the body is greater when it is added through fortification.
What Is Vitamin B12
Vitamins are essential elements for your body because they help it accomplish a variety of jobs. While animal products provide the majority of essential nutrients, vegans are frequently at a disadvantage due to a lack of natural vitamin sources.
B12 is one such vitamin, which has a number of health benefits when taken correctly but can also cause issues if there is a deficit. Vegetarians, on the other hand, frequently struggle to meet their daily requirements. If you’re a vegetarian, don’t worry there are now various food products that are high in vitamin B12 that you may consume in your daily diet.
Read Also: Can I Use Retinol With Vitamin C
Testing For Vitamin B Deficiency
A person may sometimes have a B vitamin deficiency diagnosis and obtain treatment based upon clinical findings and a response to treatment, rather than specific testing. But a blood or 24-hour urine test is usually done to confirm any suspicions if an individual is at high risk.
If you show concerning symptoms like a rash, anemia, numbness, tongue inflammation, or abnormal fatigue its more likely that testing should be done to diagnose whats going on. Or, if you have a condition that puts you at a higher risk for vitamin B deficiency, like alcoholism, malnutrition, or a malabsorption disease, testing may be indicated.
Test results may show that you have less than optimal levels of certain B vitamins, but cant necessarily tell you whether its because of a lack in your diet or an inability to properly absorb the vitamin. However, they do give your health care provider a place to start when determining the best plan forward to treat the deficiency and underlying cause.
Oysters Clams And Mussels
Oysters, clams and mussels are a stellar source of B12 and an excellent source of riboflavin. They also supply smaller amounts of thiamine, niacin and folate.
A 3.5-ounce cooked serving of each provides :
Summary Oysters, clams and mussels each supply at least four times the RDI for vitamin B12 per serving. Theyre also high in riboflavin and provide smaller amounts of thiamine, niacin and folate.
Recommended Reading: Vitamin B12 Injection Dosage For Adults In Ml
Can You Find Vitamin B12 In Vegan Food
While taking a supplement is usually the most reliable option, you can find B12 in some vegan and vegetarian food. How? Look for foods that are fortified with it! For instance, nutritional yeast, a common vegan ingredient, is often fortified with B12. But if relying on fortified foods, be sure to read the nutrition facts label to determine the amount.
Not all vegan products nor nutritional yeast are fortified with vitamin B12.
If you have concerns about your vitamin levels, ask your doctor for a blood test and work with a registered dietitian nutritionist to develop an individualized nutrition plan. There are many registered dietitians with vegetarian nutrition expertise you can turn to.
The Risks Of A B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is serious and a major cause of anemia. Although most people will experience some signs and symptoms of anemia or B12 deficiency, some develop acute liver failure. People who have a B12 deficiency may also develop an inability to absorb a vitamin from food. In addition to anemia, there are numerous signs and symptoms of B12 deficiency, including headaches, confusion, seizures, and memory loss.
Some symptoms of B12 deficiency are similar to those of celiac disease or of fibromyalgia. Symptoms may also include an elevated liver function test. People who are taking anti-inflammatory medications or HIV medications that also have effects on liver function may also have elevated liver function tests. B12 deficiency can also lead to nerve pain.
It is essential to follow a vegan diet if you are vegan. However, if you suffer from a vitamin B-12 deficiency, it can affect your physical and mental health. Vitamin B-12 is essential for cell and bone growth in children and adults. It is also used for the normal functioning of red blood cells.
A deficiency can result in anemia, in which the body does not have enough red blood cells. Other symptoms of a B12 deficiency can include:
- Digestive problems,
- Apathy, and
- Problems speaking, understanding, and remembering.
If you have any of these symptoms, you should consider consulting a doctor, as the disease may be life-threatening.
Also Check: How Much Vitamin C Should A Child Take
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Foods For Vegetarians:
Most of you dont know that there are several Vitamin B12 foods for vegetarians. It is not just restricted to eggs or chicken but also has varieties of vegan options. In this table below, youll find which vegan foods offer how much percentage of your Daily Value of Vitamin B12.
Top Vitamin B12 Foods For Vegetarians
Vegetarians have several options for sources of B12. These include eggs and dairy products, such as milk and cheese.
Vegans have a more limited list of options. Fortified foods, or those with added vitamin B12, are a great source.
Below, we take a closer look at the best sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians, and some for vegans, too.
Don’t Miss: Does Vitamin C Help Dark Spots
Vitamin B3 Rich 5 Foods For Vegetarian Health
Niacin is also known as vitamin B-3 and helps your body convert food into energy, plays a role in sex and suppresses hormone production, lowers cholesterol, and improves blood circulation.
Most vegetarian diets contain a healthy dose of niacin and can help you meet daily dietary recommendations of 14 milligrams to 16 milligrams.
What Are The Symptoms Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Symptoms of B-12 deficiency vary. They include:
- Severe brain damage, and
- Impaired thinking.
How can you prevent a vitamin B12 deficiency? In addition to avoiding vitamin B-12-containing meat, eggs, and dairy products, a vegan or vegetarian can take supplements of vitamin B-12 to ensure that they are adequately supplied with the vitamin. However, people are advised to take vitamins in moderation and when recommended. For vegans or vegetarians, a B-12 deficiency is a possible risk. The primary risk is due to taking supplements without enough magnesium or potassium.
Abdominal cramps are one of the first signs of a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency include:
- bloody stools
- unexplained fatigue
- spinal problems
Vitamin B-12 plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the nervous, digestive, and reproductive systems. A deficiency in this essential vitamin is very common in people who do not eat animal products. Vitamin B-12 is often found in animal products, including dairy products, eggs, and liver.
You May Like: Quercetin With Vitamin C Benefits
Are People Who Eat More Vegetarian Also Healthier
Recent research found that vegetarians tend to have better health than omnivores. A recent study found that vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and some types of cancer. Their diets are also higher in fiber and healthy fats. There are many different types of vegetarianism, including veganism, which follows a diet completely free of animal products. There are also a variety of diets that may include vegetarian foods. Some examples include the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. Another type of vegetarianism is flexitarianism, which is a type of vegetarian diet that includes animal products. One study found that a Mediterranean diet was better than veganism. The study showed that vegetarians and omnivores have similar healthy food choices, but the vegetarians tended to eat more plant-based foods. And a recent study found that vegetarians had a lower risk of depression than meat-eaters. So, people who eat a vegetarian diet tend to have a healthier lifestyle.
Vitamin B12 And Pernicious Anemia
Remember earlier in this article we discussed the roles of vitamin B12? Healthy red blood cell formation is one of them!
Pernicious anemia is when the body is unable to produce enough red blood cells due to lack of vitamin B12 .
Individuals who have pernicious anemia are unable to absorb adequate amounts of vitamin B12 from food sources because they lack intrinsic factor .
A complete blood count and serum B12 will help diagnose pernicious anemia . Pernicious anemia is indicated by a low number of red blood cells that are abnormally large in size .
Serum vitamin B12 low and normal ranges are listed below :
- Less than 150 pg per mL determines vitamin B12 deficiency
- 150 to 399 pg per mL determines low to normal levels
- Over 400 pg per mL determines normal levels with no deficiency
Speak with your physician and Registered Dietitian about dietary or supplemental treatments regarding your individual results.
Don’t Miss: How Much Vitamin C Should We Take
How To Get All The B Vitamins
The b vitamins are vitamin B1 , B2 , B3 , B5 , B6 , B7 , B9 , and B12 . Most people get all of these vitamins from a healthy diet. However, some people who eat a vegetarian diet may not get enough of certain B vitamins. B1 is found in dairy products, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and liver. B2 is found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk. B3 is found in meats, fish, poultry, and dairy products. B5 is found in milk, meat, fish, eggs, and wheat. B6 is found in meats, fish, poultry, dairy products, and cereals. B7 is found in milk, eggs, meats, fish, poultry, and legumes. B9 is found in meats, fish, and dairy products. B12 is found in meats, fish, dairy products, and eggs. So, if you are a vegetarian, you might need to take a B-complex supplement to ensure you get all of the b vitamins.
Healthy Vegetarian Sources Of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that cannot be produced by our body, so you need to get it from outside. Most of the time it can obtain from animal products. Hence, vegans and vegetarians have trouble consuming enough vitamin B12. Here we enlisted some healthy vegetarian sources of vitamin B12
Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Can I Take To Get Pregnant Fast
What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12
Below is an Open Letter containing detailed information on vitamin B12 from the health professionals and organisations listed at the end. If you simply want to know what to do, read ‘Vitamin B12 : your key facts‘.
The information below was prepared by Stephen Walsh, a Vegan Society trustee, and other members of the International Vegetarian Union Science Group , in October 2001. This information may be freely reproduced but only in its entirety.
Vitamin B12 And The Elderly
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 absorption in the body naturally decreases as we age . This is due to a reduction of gastric secretions over time.
Why Vitamin B12 Absorption Decreases with Age
Lets talk about how Vitamin B12 is digested and absorbed. This will provide a better understanding of why the elderly are at a higher risk for deficiency.
Vitamin B12 is bound to protein in food. In order for the body to absorb vitamin B12, it must be released from the protein. This starts when saliva and food are combined in the mouth.
After food is swallowed it reaches the stomach. Here, hydrochloric acid and other gastric secretions help bind vitamin B12 to a protein called haptocorrin .
Next, vitamin B12, bound to haptocorrin, exits the stomach and enters the small intestine. Here, more digestive enzymes help release vitamin B12 from haptocorrin.
After this step, vitamin B12 binds to intrinsic factor. Intrinsic factor is a protein produced by cells in the stomach. It is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12 in the small intestine .
As we age, the natural production of intrinsic factor and hydrochloric acid decrease. This is one of the primary reasons why the elderly population is at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency.
Studies show, up to 43% of community dwelling older adults have a vitamin B12 deficiency .
Medications That Interfere with Absorption of Vitamin B12:
Talk to your doctor and/or pharmacist with medication concerns.
Fortified Vitamin B12 Foods for Elderly
Don’t Miss: Do Cherries Have Vitamin C
What Are The Vegetarian B Vitamins
The B vitamins are a group of eight compounds that your body requires to function properly. They are involved in energy production, helping your body create proteins and neurotransmitters, and helping to keep your bones, skin, and organs healthy. The B vitamins are vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B7, vitamin B8, and vitamin B9. All of these compounds are water-soluble, so they can be easily destroyed by heat and light. They are also very perishable.
Help Regulate Blood Sugar
Getting enough B vitamins is important for regulating your blood sugar. Lower levels of B-1, B-6, and B-7 have been observed among people who are struggling to regulate there blood sugar levels, and supplementing these has been shown to help improve metabolic control. Additionally, pharmaceutical doses of B-1 and B-3 may be useful to prevent kidney and cardiovascular complications in people with type 2 diabetes. The absorption of B-9 and B-12 has been found to be decreased by the use of metformin, a very common drug used to help manage blood sugar in type 2 diabetes. This demonstrates the importance of making sure youre getting enough B-9 and B-12 if you have type 2 diabetes or other conditions that require close monitoring of your blood glucose.
Read Also: Best Vitamins For Working Out
Liver And Other Organ Meats
Though not especially popular, organ meats especially liver are packed with B vitamins. This is true whether theyre from beef, pork, lamb or chicken .
For example, a 3.5-ounce serving of beef liver contains :
- Thiamine : 12% of the RDI
- Riboflavin : 201% of the RDI
- Niacin : 87% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid : 69% of the RDI
- Pyridoxine : 51% of the RDI
- Biotin : 138% of the RDI
- Folate : 65% of the RDI
- Cobalamin : 1,386% of the RDI
If youre unaccustomed to livers strong flavor or view organ meats as unappetizing, try them ground and mixed with traditional cuts of ground meat or add them to highly seasoned foods, such as chili.
Summary Organ meats particularly liver are high in most B vitamins. To make liver more palatable, grind it with common cuts of meat or use it in highly seasoned food.