Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is an essential vitamin, which belongs to the Vitamin B complex group. It is one of the thirteen different vitamins that are required by the human body, to function properly. Health experts advise people to consume this Vitamin, for both mental as well as physical health. Adding various Vitamin B12 sources to a diet can help in a number of ways, which also includes controlling negative emotions, such as depression and anxiety. Some of the other health benefits of Vitamin B12 are the production as well as the regeneration of red blood cells, the proper functioning of the central nervous system, relieving irritability and mood swings, improving concentration and increasing memory.
The human body can also utilize fats, carbs and proteins in the right manner, with the help of Vitamin B12. Children especially should be given high Vitamin B12 sources, as they help promote growth, by stimulating the child’s appetite. It also helps children fight off various diseases, by boosting their immune system. This is probably why pregnant women are advised to include several Vitamin B12 sources in food in their diets too. Fortunately, several food items are rich in Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 sources
There are a number of foods that are good Vitamin B12 sources. However, Vitamin B12 occurs naturally only in meat or other forms of animal products like eggs and milk. Some of the foods that are rich Vitamin B12 sources include:
• Milk and other dairy products like yogurt and cheese
The Vitamin B12 sources list mainly contains products that are not suitable for those people who are following a vegetarian or a vegan diet. However, there are certain Vitamin B12 sources for vegans too, since most of the commercial cereals and breads that are available in supermarkets today have been fortified with the vitamin.
In fact some breakfast cereals claim that they are such high Vitamin B12 sources, that a person can receive 100% of the daily required dose, just by eating one bowl of cereal in the morning. Other vegan sources of Vitamin B12 are Margarine, Soybean, Soy milk, Avocado, peanuts and Brazil nuts. There are certain people following special diets, who are looking for Vitamin B12 sources in vegetables and fruits. However, apart from avocado, B12 is found in very few plant based foods. In order to know if a particular commercial food item is a high source of Vitamin B12 or not, it is important to read the nutritional facts on the label. Any food item that has daily value percentage exceeding 19% is an excellent source of Vitamin B12.
In case people do not get the required amount of this vitamin through the various Vitamin B12 sources, then they can check with a doctor, for low dosage Vitamin B12 supplements. Most of these supplements are easily available at drugstores, without requiring a prescription. However, these supplements should never be added to a diet, without the approval of a doctor.