7 vitamin B12-rich foods for brain health

Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential nutrients for the body.

Not only does it help form red blood cells and DNA, but it also assists in the proper functioning and development of the brain and nerve cells.

Low levels of this nutrient can therefore cause several health problems, leading to symptoms that can sometimes be ‘irreversible’.

While this water-soluble vitamin, also known as cobalamin, is not naturally made in the body, one must acquire it from foods that are rich sources of this nutrient.

That said, here are 7 vitamin B12-rich foods for both non-vegetarians and vegetarians.

1. Fish

Fishes like sardines, tuna, rainbow trout, sockeye salmon are loaded with vitamin B12, which helps keep our brain and nerve cells in order. What’s really great about these particular foods is that they are not just rich in B12 but contain almost every other nutrient. From protein to omega-3 fatty acids to phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins A and B3, these seafoods can provide you with the best nutrition.

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2. Clams

When it comes to getting your vitamin B12 fill from seafood, you can also have clams, a small, chewy shellfish that are full of beneficial nutrients. Besides being one of the highest sources of vitamin B12, it also contains protein, a great amount of iron and antioxidants.

3. Choose lean meat

Most vitamin B12 sources are animal products. That said, choosing lean meat such as seafoods, lamb, chicken, not only help decrease your risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, but also provide you with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, zinc and iron. These do not increase cardiovascular risk factors and also keep your energy levels high.

4. Eggs

According to WebMD, one hard-boiled egg has about 0.6 micrograms of B12. It is essential that one eat the whole egg as most of B12 comes from the yolk. In general, eggs are a great source of complete protein and B vitamins, especially B2 and B12, which is what makes it extremely important for your diet.

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5. Milk and dairy products

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are excellent sources of vitamin B12. They also contain protein, calcium, vitamins A, D, zinc, potassium and choline, which are extremely important for your overall health.

6. Fortified cereal for vegetarians

If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, fortified cereals can also be a good source of vitamin B12 for you. It is synthetically made and not acquired from animal sources. The products go through a food fortification process, which is the process of adding nutrients that are not originally in the food.

7. Vegetables rich in vitamin B12

If you follow a plant-based diet, then vegetables like spinach, beetroot, butternut squash, mushroom and potato contain good amounts of vitamin B12. However, it is less likely to receive the whole amount of nutrients just from vegetable sources. That is when you must speak with your doctor or nutritionists and discuss supplements.

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