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About Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a type of water-soluble vitamin that serves a variety of purposes for the human body. Primarily, however, Vitamin B12 is essential for the purposes of producing DNA material as well as the formation of red blood cells, both of which help keep our nervous system healthy. Vitamin B12 is vital in transport oxygen to all parts of your body, which is why any deficiency of the nutrient can result in diseases like anemia. 

There are a number of nutrients that are essential for our well-being and overall physical health. Some such nutrients can be consumed as supplements but more importantly, also as an integral part of our diets. Among such nutrients, Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential in order to ensure that the nervous system and various body functions keep running smoothly.

If you wish to increase your intake of this essential vitamin, here is a look at the various B12 rich foods you can easily incorporate into your regular diet.

In order to reap the various benefits of Vitamin B12, it is recommended to regularly incorporate foods that contain B12 in your regular diet. An important thing to remember about Vitamin B12 is that it is largely found in animal-based products, although there are several vegetarian and vegan food items that also contain the vitamin in varying amounts. This is an important consideration as there are a variety of dietary lifestyles and preferences and it might be easier for some to incorporate Vitamin B rich foods than others.

Benefits of Vitamin B12

As mentioned before, B12 rich foods can contribute to various benefits that are provided by the presence of the nutrient. Here are just some of the health benefits of including Vitamin B12 in your diet:

  • Helps Boost Energy:

Vitamin B12 is crucial in the process of red blood cell formation. This is important because in the absence of Vitamin B12, red blood cells can develop in irregular shapes and structures. This tends to make them difficult to transport in the bloodstream, thereby leading to the development of anemia and symptoms like fatigue. Therefore, as long as you consume adequate amounts of food rich in B12, your energy levels will only benefit from this nutrient.

  • Keeps Nervous System Healthy:

Since Vitamin b12 is directly responsible for how red blood cells are formed and transported in your body, this has a significant impact on your overall nervous system as well. Not only that, but the vitamin also leads to the production of the substances that help protect your nerves, keeping them safeguarded against attacks.

  • Supports Good Heart Health:

A lesser-known benefit of Vitamin B12 rich foods is that they help reduce the presence of a substance known as homocysteine. This substance has been linked with damage to arteries, thereby resulting in various heart diseases. By decreasing the production of homocysteine in the body, Vitamin B12 helps protect and improve your overall heart health.

Foods that are Rich in Vitamin B12

Now that we understand what vitamin B12 is as well as the many benefits it provides, let us take a look at a few items of food high in B12 that you can include in your diet:

  • Fish:

There are various types of fish known around the world for containing different nutrients. But there is no nutrient as highly concentrated in a food source as Vitamin B12 is in fish. In particular, certain varieties of fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and trout contain substantial amounts of the vitamin.

  • Dairy and Dairy Products:

The simplest way of including B12 rich foods in your diet is by increasing the amount of dairy and dairy products in your diet. There are substantial amounts of Vitamin B12 in whole milk as well as in dairy products such as yogurt and certain types of cheese.

  • Other Types of Milk:

There is also a significant amount of B12 in various non-dairy forms of milk, such as soy milk, coconut milk, almond milk, and oat milk. They also serve as great vegan dietary options.

  • Eggs:

Not only do eggs serve as an excellent option for breakfast but they are also a food rich in vitamin B12. It is recommended to eat the whole egg in order to reap the maximum benefit of this Vitamin B12 source, as the vitamin is usually more concentrated in the yolk than in the egg whites.

  • Chicken Breast:

If you enjoy incorporating chicken into your meals, there is yet another reason to do so as it contains high levels of Vitamin B12. It is important to note, however, that the benefit of Vitamin B12 is best enjoyed only when using the chicken breast part.

How much Vitamin B12 does your body need?

While it is essential for everyone to include Vitamin B12 in their diet so as to enjoy its various health benefits, not everyone requires the same amount of the nutrient to thrive. Here is a chart listing out how much Vitamin B12 is required by a person on a daily basis, depending on age:

Age

Dietary Allowance (in microgram)

0 to 6 months

0.4

7 to 12 months

0.5

1 t0 3 years

0.9

4 to 8 years

1.2

9 to 13 years

1.8

14 years and older

2.4

 

Aside from these, pregnant women and breastfeeding women are recommended to consume 2.6 micrograms and 2.8 micrograms of Vitamin B12 respectively.

To Sum it Up

Increasing your intake of Vitamin B12 rich foods can not only help prevent the onset of diseases like anemia but can keep your nervous system and cardiovascular health in check for the long-term. However, it is not always possible to prevent the occurrence of various illnesses and medical conditions which is why it is prudent to be prepared for such eventuality with a health insurance plan. To that end, you can consider availing a health insurance plan that provides comprehensive coverage options, affordable premiums, and a simple and hassle-free claim process among various other benefits.

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