Foods with Vitamin B12 are Readily Available

Are You Getting Enough of this
essential vitamin?

Foods with Vitamin B12 are available in all developed countries and some of our foods are actually fortified with this essential vitamin and others as well. Just read the Nutritional Information and facts about vitamins written on the packaging to know which foods you buy are vitamin fortified.

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What is the function of Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which means they dissolve in water. Any excess vitamins the body doesn’t need leave the body through the urine.

Vitamin B12, like the other B vitamins, is essential for balanced function of the metabolism. It has a role in the formation of red blood cells and also in the maintenance of the central nervous system.

Food Sources

Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, is found in:
  • Fortified foods such as soymilk and some cereals
  • Meat
  • Organ meats (liver and kidney)
  • Poultry
  • Shellfish – mussels, clams and oysters
  • Caviar (fish eggs)
  • Octopus, crab and lobster
  • Snapper, salmon, tuna, trout and haddock
  • Eggs
  • Milk, cheese, yoghurt and eggs (butter contains only trace levels)
  • Mushrooms – In 2009 researchers at the University of Western Sydney came to the following conclusions on the vitamin B12 content of Australian button mushrooms (Koyyalamudi 2009) 1. Mushrooms have vitamin B12 present in the surface and flesh with the majority in the surface of the cup of the mushroom. 2. The vitamin B12 is bio-available and 3. The levels of vitamin B12 varies from crop to crop.
  • Brewer's and nutritional yeast can also be good sources of B12 in a vegetarian diet but that depends upon the medium they are grown in.
  • Similarly, cultured and fermented bean products like tofu, tempeh, tamari, shoyu and miso may or may not contain vitamin B12.
  • The vitamin B12 content of sea vegetables ie seaweeds also varies.

The vitamin B12 from animal sources of is absorbed easier than that from plant sources. Plant sources of vitamin B12 vary in their amount of B12 and so are not thought to be reliable sources of the vitamin. That being said, if a vegan is regularly eating mushrooms, kelp and tofu from different sources, that can be an important part of their vitamin B12 intake over years.

Does cooking affect vitamin B12?

Cooked animal foods are considered to retain most of their vitamin B12 (about 70% varying). Boiled cow’s milk will still retain about 70% of its vitamin B12 content. Not enough research has been done on plant foods like tofu so minimal cooking and heating is probably the go. It gets tough is you cook it too long anyway.

So what is the best way to get my vitamin B12?

  • Eat plenty of foods with vitamin B12! A variety of animal products: meat, eggs (free range, organic), cheese, and milk (organic unhomogenized is better). Also include some plant-based sources like mushrooms, tofu, kelp etc.
  • All quality multivitamins will contain vitamin B12 and is better absorbed when taken with the other vitamin B’s. Sublingual tabs (dissolve under the tongue) are touted as being better for absorption but the jury is still out on this one. When taken with the other vitamins you are getting the balance the body needs.
  • If you are anemic your health professional will prescribe injections, supplements and/or a nasal gel and hopefully a diet rich in foods with vitamin B12.
  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, ask your health professional what is best for you as you will need higher amounts of vitamin B12. They will provide you with some facts about vitamins but remember to avoid the synthetic forms.
  • Which multivitamin is best?

    If you feel you are not eating enough foods with vitamin B12, then a multivitamin is probably a good choice as you are probably not getting adequate amounts of some of the other vitamins either. The best multivitamin is one that is based on organic whole foods. Avoid the synthetic ones as they can cause problems. Natural is always best.

    The same goes when shopping for B-Complex. and also if you just want the Vitamin B12 supplement. Always look for organic whole food vitamins.

    Visit my Vitamin Store for the best choices.

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