Vitamin B12 is essential for the overall health of a person – whether they’re young or old. However, it is generally found in meats and other animal foods. Therefore, it is a cause of concern for vegetarians who may not be able to supplement their diet with foods rich in Vitamin B12 on a regular basis. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 or cobalamin levels can lead to anemia, fatigue, mania and depression. Long term deficiency can lead to permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. In order to avoid these health issues, it is important to incorporate Vitamin B12 rich foods in your diet, apart from taking nutritional supplement.
Here are some natural sources of Vitamin B12 for vegetarians:
Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are a good source of vitamin B12. They are naturally high in this vitamin. The dietary reference intake for an adult is 2.4 microgram, and a 240 ml (8-ounce) glass of milk can provide 0.9 micrograms of vitamin B12. That’s 37.5% of your daily vitamin B12 requirement. The same amount of yogurt provides an equal amount (0.9 mg) of B12. Including these in your daily diet can help fulfil your body’s nutritional requirement to some extent.
Eggs are naturally high sources of vitamin B12. The egg yolk of a chicken’s egg contains about 0.33 micrograms of vitamin B12, or 13.8 percent of your daily intake. In comparison, eggs from other birds contain much more vitamin B12 – a duck’s egg contains 3.78 micrograms, while a goose egg contains 7.34 micrograms. However, they’re not as easily available or popular as chicken eggs.
Yeast extract spreads or Marmites are very popular in Britain and Europe, and are becoming available in many other parts of the world. They are a good source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians, as well as vegans. A tablespoon serving of yeast extract spread contains 0.09 micrograms of vitamin B12 or 3.75 percent of your daily requirement.
Fortified foods like soy products, dairy alternatives and cereals are a good source of Vitamin B12. A cup of fortified bran flake contains 1.5 microgram of the nutrient – that’s 62.5 percent of your daily requirement. However, not all fortified foods contain vitamin B12 so be sure to read the label before buying. You can also consider taking some Vitamin B12 supplements available at Vista Nutrition’s website.
What was once popular only with body builder is now becoming more and more mainstream. Whey powder is popular source of vitamin B12 and those who have vegetarian diets prefer adding this to their breads and smoothies. 100 grams of whey powder provides 2.5 mg of vitamin B12.
If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, including foods that are rich in vitamin B12 is extremely important. Ensure you eat some of the above mentioned foods every day to naturally meet your body’s nutritional requirement.