Cobalamin, also commonly known as vitamin B12, is one of the essential micronutrients required by our body to perform day-to-day activities. Our body outsources vitamin B12 through different dietary and food supplements. The body cannot produce vitamin B12 of its own. However, it plays an essential role in maintaining and keeping the nerve and blood cells healthy.
Vitamin B12 improves blood circulation through the body, energizes your body, helps retain memory, and reduces the chances of having a heart attack. The average requirement of B12 in the human body ranges between 2.4 micrograms to 2.6 micrograms. It also helps humans get over minor issues like fatigue, weakness, numbness, and loss of appetite.
The top 5 sources of vitamin B12 in our body are:
1. Milk and dairy products
One of the best sources for the body to acquire vitamin B12 is kill and dairy products. These products include cheese, yogurt, raw milk, etc.
Whole fat plain yogurt can also be a decent source. It has even been shown to help improve vitamin B12 status in people deficient in the vitamin.
Dairy products help you cover almost half of the daily reasonable intake limit for vitamin B12. In addition, as per scientific studies, the vitamin absorption rate for adults from milk products is as high as 60%, making it the best source of vitamins for vegetarians.
2. Fortified foods
It is highly essential to start your first meal of the day with a good intake of vitamins, and foods fortified with vitamin B12 can help. These are readily available sources of B12 with high bioavailability for vegetarians and vegans.
Fortified breakfast cereal is a tasty and healthy choice for the same. Our body can easily digest cereals; hence it increases the absorption rate of vitamin B12 in the body, making it the perfect source for vegetarians. Additionally, fortified foods are found in fortified plant-based milk, milk variants, soya milk, juices, etc.
3. Nutritional yeast
Nutritional yeast also falls into fortified food with high nutritional value. In addition, it is a good source of vitamin B12, which is why it is a go-to food for many vegetarians and vegans. Nutritional yeast provides a depth of flavor to cooking and provides nutritional value. Cooks use nutritional yeast to add a cheesy or nutty flavor to foods.
Chefs also add nutritional yeast to vegetarian sauces, chilies, or curries—the best way to sprinkle and use it over a pack of popcorn during your snacks time.
4. Shitake mushroom
Like nutritional yeast, some mushrooms are also trusted to provide vitamins and nutrients. For example, mushroom Supplements, including shitake, contain vitamin B12. The nutritional content is relatively low, though.
It is recommended to have about 60gm of mushroom to fulfill your daily intake requirements for vitamin B12. You can add mushrooms to your veggies or enjoy it in pasta or pizza to have nutritional value.
Nori is a sheet of essentially compressed seaweed. Natural seaweed is extracted, dried, and rolled out in a sheet form to make nori. It is used as a sushi cover, salads, rolls, etc. It is a very high content of vitamin b12 in it.
They take a weird texture that cannot be sliced with a knife. Instead, you have to use a pair of scissors to chop it. It adds an umami bomb to your food. In addition to vitamin b12, nori also contains vitamin c, iodine, and vitamin A.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a widespread problem that people, especially vegetarians and vegans, face as it is believed to be primarily found in meat and non-veg products. But that is a myth. In addition to the list we have mentioned, you can also go for B12 Supplements like Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin or Hydroxocobalamin.
In addition, natural sources like Tempeh, chlorella, spirulina, and Cremini Mushrooms also contain high levels of B12.
This vitamin is a must for the healthy functioning of the nervous system, brain, and blood cells, protecting the nervous system, synthesizing a person’s DNA, and providing the body with energy. But, unfortunately, it may not be found in everyday foods for vegetarians. Still, we have to ensure that our B12 levels are always maintained.