Eating healthy does not always have to be a pricey affair and so is not the case of vitamin B12. This water-soluble vitamin is an important key to the proper function of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood. B12 is one of the group of eight B vitamins. This essential nutrient can be availed in the form of foods and as supplements. Maintaining and elevating energy levels in the body is also looked after by this very vitamin.
Animals and plants do not possess the ability to produce this vitamin in their bodies, while, microorganisms such as yeasts, bacteria, molds and fungi do. However, in animals, the microorganisms which are found in the large intestine are responsible for producing the vitamin B12. Also, the absorption of this essential vitamin depends on a particular type of protein in the stomach. This is known as the 'intrinsic factor' and its absence prevents the body from absorbing the B12 vitamin.
Rich Sources of Vitamin B12
Compared to plants, animals are known as better food sources of B12. In them the nutrient is stored in the liver. So it is obvious that liver of animals provides an excellent source of vitamin B12, especially calf's liver and snappers. Other good sources of vitamin B12 which you may benefit from include beef, boiled eggs, scallops and cow's milk. Fish products such as tuna, shrimp, sardine, and salmons are also considered to be some appreciable sources.
The prospect of foods rich in B12 for vegetarians is not so bright. This is due to the fact which I have already cited above. Plants do not do good when it comes to storing this vitamin. And that is why, the amount mainly depends on the vitamin-producing microorganisms found in the roots and the soil where the plants are grown. Nevertheless, sources which do well for vegetarians include items such as naturally fermented soy products, which include tempeh, tamari, natto, miso and shoyu. But unfortunately, these foods are not well-known in many parts of the world. Not to forget, algae including other kinds of sea vegetables and seaweeds may also make up for the requirement of B12 for those who cannot benefit from animal products.
So these were the few good sources of B12 . I would also like to tell you about some foods rich in iron, as well. The reason? Very few are aware of the fact that if someone suffers vitamin B12 deficiency, then he becomes more vulnerable to suffer deficient in iron. Again why? These two nutrients go hand in hand in their functions in the body. So, having a diet rich in B12 foods is not enough. You must pay equal heed to the requirement of iron.
In case you are not aware, deficiency of B12 can lead to the development of conditions like anemia and nerve damage, and symptoms like depression, fatigue, memory disorders, heart palpitations, weakness, etc. So, keep up the levels of such vitamin, in fact all vitamins and minerals, and stay healthy!