Vitamin B12 deficiency: The term “B vitamin” actually refers to multiple vitamins, as there are eight different types of B vitamins in total. They are valued for their ability to facilitate the conversion of other nutrients into energy, maintain a healthy metabolism, support fetal growth during pregnancy, and support neurological, liver, eye, and skin health. Still, vitamin B12, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells and DNA, is the most important type of vitamin B.
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 belongs to the vitamin B complex family and is a water-soluble vitamin. It is a necessary nutrient that is essential for the development and regular functioning of our body.
Why do you need vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a crucial component that helps in the generation of DNA, the genetic material in our cells, as well as in maintaining the health of our blood and nerve cells. However, unlike many other nutrients, vitamin B12 cannot be produced by the body itself, so individuals choose supplements to compensate for it or other nutrients they may be lacking.
What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?
The ability to absorb this vitamin can decrease with age. It can also happen if you drink alcohol regularly or have had weight-loss surgery or another procedure that removes part of your stomach.
Ask your doctor if you should have a blood test to determine your vitamin B12 levels if you are unsure.
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Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
Neurological symptoms, often referred to as signs of vitamin B12 deficiency, can affect your brain and nervous system and include:
– muscle weakness
– mental health problems ranging from mild depression
– Anxiety, confusion and dementia
– Problems with balance and coordination
– Needles and pins
– Incontinence (inability to control the flow of urine from the bladder)
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Diet rich in vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 deficiency is typical and can cause a number of health problems. When we think about supplements, we often overlook the fact that improving our diet is the best way to ensure essential nutrients are present in our bodies. And there is nothing better than consuming these foods high in vitamin B12 listed below.
“Food of animal origin is the natural source of vitamin B12. Fish, meat, poultry products, dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese, and fortified foods like cereals, etc. are rich sources of vitamin B12,” says Dr. Paritosh Baghel, Senior Physician – Internal Medicine, SL Raheja Hospital Mahim.
Let’s look at the standard vitamin B12-rich diet:
Eating eggs can ensure your body gets access to protein and B vitamins. Most of the B12 is in the yolk. Eggs are also a great source of iron, good fat, saturated fat, other vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.
Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and also contains vitamin B12 and niacin, both of which help maintain normal cholesterol levels in the body. Due to the absence of starch or sugar, it contains no carbohydrates. The vitamins and minerals in chicken breast can improve sleep, mood, muscle mass, bone health, and hunger regulation.
3. Dairy products
Start with dairy products if you are not lactose intolerant. Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese and other dairy products are great sources of vitamins, including vitamin B12. Dairy products help reduce muscle damage while increasing strength and energy.
Tuna is a readily available and popular fish that is high in protein, vitamins and minerals and rich in vitamin B12. This can encourage the growth of new red blood cells and prevent the development of anemia.
The concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon fish is well known, and the fish is also a great source of vitamin B12. Not only can it promote muscle growth, but it can also reduce the risk of heart disease and weight gain.
5. Non-dairy products
Although non-dairy types of milk like soy, almond, and rice milk are usually supplemented, they’re not naturally high in vitamin B12, making them an excellent option for vegans to get the necessary nutrients. So make room for them in your diet.
6. Liver and kidneys of animals
One of the most nutrient dense foods is offal. Lamb liver and kidneys in particular are rich in vitamin B12.
Good sources of vitamin B12 can be found in vegetables such as spinach, beets, butternut squash, mushrooms and potatoes. However, it is less likely to get all of the nutrients it needs from plant sources. At this point, you should discuss supplements with your doctor or nutritionist.
(Disclaimer: The information in this article is based on general information. Zee News does not confirm this.)
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