Good Sources of B12 for Your Diet
December 11, 2014
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is involved in many physiological processes. The body uses it to produce red blood cells, neurotransmitters, and energy. This is why when you run low of this vitamin for a long time, you tend to suffer from anemia, fatigue, neuropathy, and even brain damage. A balanced diet should provide you with enough Vitamin B12, but some people (especially vegans) tend to miss this micronutrient.
The type of your diet plays a major role in whether you are getting enough B12. People who include fish and meat in their diet most likely do not have any problem getting enough of this vitamin. In fact, if you’re not a vegan, you have nothing to worry about because you’re likely getting enough B12.
But what if you’re not getting enough of it? Here are some foods to check out.
Cooked clams, oysters, and mussels have lots of this micronutrient. For instance, 100 grams of cooked clams has 98.9 mcg of B12. That’s 16 times the daily recommended intake. That makes clams the best source of this vitamin in terms of density. No other food source yields the same amount of cobalamin per serving. The same amount of oysters yields about 28.8 mcg of this vitamin; mussels, about 24 mcg.
Beef liver also tops the list for having the most B12 per mass. Cook a hundred grams of beef liver, and it will give you 83.1 mcg of this B vitamin. That’s more than 13 times the amount you need for a day. But don’t worry. Your body tends to store the rest in case you run low of it in the coming days.
Fish is a good source of so many macro and micronutrients. If you’re concerned about its B12 content, worry not. Mackerel, for instance, has 19 mcg per 100-gram serving. The same amount of smoked salmon has 18 mcg; tuna, 10.9 mcg; herring, 13.1 mcg; and trout, 7.5 mcg. Even canned sardines is rich is B12. A 100-gram serving has 8.9 mcg.
Don’t even ignore caviar (fish eggs). A hundred grams gives you 20 mcg. That’s nearly twice the amount of B12 you get from the same amount of tuna!
Lean beef and lamb are good sources of B12 too. A 100-gram serving of lean beef has 8.2 mcg of B12, while lean lamb has 3.7 mcg.
It seems that the best sources for Vitamin B12 come from the sea. Crustaceans also top of the list of the best sources of this vitamin. A hundred grams of crab meat gives you 11.5 mcg of cobalamin. That’s almost twice the amount you find in 100-gram serving of red meat. Other crustaceans are shrimp (1.7 mcg per 100 grams) and lobster (1.4 mcg per 100 grams), but as you see they have significantly lower amounts of cobalamin per serving.
Eggs are a nutrient-dense food. One reason you may want to include them in your diet is because of their B12 content. A 100-gram serving gives you 2 mcg of B12.
For even more food ideas, check out this list of sources of B12.