While most of us are aware of the importance of a healthy, balanced diet (it would be difficult to forget the food pyramid), it can still be difficult to ensure we’re getting the correct amounts of nutrients in our day to day diet to keep our bodies healthy and functioning.
It’s possible to get the right amount of nutrients from diet alone, but, for those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, or for those with underlying diseases such as Crohn’s or diabetes - it can be hard to ensure you’re getting just the right amount vitamins and minerals - particularly vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 helps in keeping the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy so it’s pretty easy to understand why it’s so important to get just the right daily amount. If you’re looking for some inspiration for foods high in vitamin B12, some of the most common include:
- Plant-based sources
See also: Top Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Vegans
What foods are high in vitamin B12?
Most healthy adults can get a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 from diet alone, according to Harvard Health Publishing . However, following a certain diet, having an underlying disease, or simply growing older can all have an impact on our vitamin B12 levels and our ability to absorb B12 from the foods we eat.
One of the best ways to get the required daily amount of vitamin B12 is through your diet, these are the top five foods high in vitamin B12.
Fish is packed with protein, essential omega-3s and vitamin B12. The key players in attaining your daily requirements of the mineral include:
- Shellfish such as mussels, clams and oysters
For vegetarians and egg lovers alike, eggs are an essential source of natural protein and Vitamin B12. One large egg contains 0.6 micrograms of vitamin B12 .
Fortified cereals aren’t derived from animal sources and can be a good source of vitamin B12, making them a reliable source of the vitamin for both vegetarians and vegans. In addition, there are a number of other great sources of vitamin B12 for those following a plant-based diet, including:
- Nutritional yeast
- Fortified plant milk
It’s important to remember that processed foods aren’t the answer for all meat replacements and should be eaten in moderation alongside a balanced diet.
Dairy produce such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are all great sources of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12. Some primary sources include:
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Low-fat milk
- Cheese (Swiss, cottage, cheddar, Monterey)
Meat is a premium source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12. Optimum levels of B12 are found in organic, grass-fed meat products; some of these include:
- Chicken breast
How can you raise B12 levels?
If you are experiencing signs or symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency such as fatigue, lack of energy, or feeling faint - it’s important to check in with your healthcare provider to find out more.
The steps you can take towards healthier B12 levels are completely dependent on the cause of your low levels. According to the NHS, if your deficiency is caused by your diet, your doctor may prescribe vitamin B12 tablets to take every day between meals.
See also: Do You Have a Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
It’s important to keep an eye on your vitamin levels and monitor them regularly. This can be done by visiting your local doctor or taking a vitamin test from the comfort of your own home.
One of the most reliable ways to know more about your vitamin levels is through a test, this can be done with your doctor or from the comfort of your own home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetChecked’s range of Nutrient and Vitamin Tests allow you to measure key nutrient levels and identify potential imbalances. Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated medical team will be available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.
You should take a test if:
- You’re suffering from chronic fatigue
- You’re following a plant-based diet
- You’re planning on becoming pregnant
- You’re over the age of 50
- You suffer from Crohn's disease
- You suffer from Coeliac disease
- You’re deficient in the intrinsic factor, a glycoprotein which plays an important role in absorbing vitamin B12