Vitamin B12 helps keep the body’s nerves and blood cells healthy, plays an essential role in making DNA and it also helps to prevent anaemia – the general term for having either fewer red blood cells than normal or having an abnormally low amount of haemoglobin in each red blood cell. Haemoglobin (Hb) is a protein found in the red blood cells that carries oxygen in your body and gives blood its red colour.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: Sign in your tongue you may lack B12
Most people don’t get enough vitamin B12 from the foods they eat.
But some people also have difficulty absorbing the vitamin from food. As a result, vitamin B12 deficiency affects between 1.5 percent and 15 percent of the public.
A GP will be able to test a person’s B12 levels to check for deficiencies.
Eating a diet rich in these five foods will also ensure the risk of a B12 deficiency is reduced.
Vegetarians, pregnant or breastfeeding women and others at high risk of deficiency may want to track their diets closely to make sure they’re getting enough.
The water-soluble vitamin has many essential functions in the body.
The recommended daily intake is about 2.4mcg but slightly higher for pregnant or breastfeeding woman.
A person may develop a deficiency if the body doesn’t produce enough intrinsic factor or if they don’t eat enough vitamin-B12-rich foods.
Five of the best foods
Animal liver and kidneys
Organ meats are some of the most nutritious foods out there. Liver and kidneys, especially from lamb, are rich in vitamin B12. Lamb liver is very high in copper, selenium and vitamins A and B2. Lamb, veal and beef kidneys are also high in vitamin B12, providing 13,000 percent of the RDI per serving.
Clams are small, chewy shellfish that are packed with nutrients. They are a source of lean protein and contains very high concentrations of vitamin B12.
Clams are also good sources of antioxidants.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms: The sign in your movement
Sardines are small, soft-boned saltwater fish. They’re usually sold canned in water, oil or sauces, though you can also buy them fresh.
Sardines are extremely nutritious because they contain virtually every single nutrient in good amounts.
Beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12. One grilled flat iron steak provides almost 200 percent of the RDI for vitamin B12.
Also, the same amount of steak contains reasonable amounts of vitamins B2, B3 and B6
This source of vitamin B12 may work well for vegetarians and vegans as it’s synthetically made and not derived from animal sources.
Research shows that eating fortified cereals daily helps increase vitamin B12 concentrations.
Vitamin B12 supplements are recommended for people who are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
These include older adults, pregnant or breastfeeding women, vegetarians and vegans, individuals with intestinal problems and those who have had stomach surgery.
Vitamin B12 supplements can be found in many forms and can be swallowed, chewed, drank or taken as a B12 injection.
If you suspect you may have a vitamin B12 deficiency, it’s important to speak with your GP about the best treatment options.
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