Let’s start with understanding some basics of Vitamin B12 and then dig deep into how we can increase it.
What really is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble, essential vitamin that plays an important role in many body functions. It helps to form red blood cells, convert the food we eat into glucose for energy, and make DNA. Vitamin B12 also aids in maintaining the nervous system.
Our body cannot produce their own Vitamin B12 and must obtain it from dietary sources or supplements. We will see how you can increase vitamin B12 in your body and what symptoms and tests are required for it.
Importance of Vitamin B12 in day-to-day life?
Vitamin B12 is a critical element in maintaining overall health and wellness. Adequate intake of Vitamin B12 helps to ensure that the body’s cells and tissues are functioning properly, allowing us to go about our daily activities with charged energy and vitality. It also boosts our moods, strengthens our immune systems, and improves cognitive function. A deficiency in Vitamin B12 can lead to fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and other health problems. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that we are taking in enough Vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is a coenzyme, which means it works with enzymes in the body to help them do their job. It helps with the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to organs and tissues in the body. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in ensuring that the nervous system is healthy and working properly. Finally, it helps with the metabolism of fats and proteins, enabling us to convert the food we eat into energy.
What causes vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by a variety of factors like Vegan/Vegetarian dietary habits, decreased food absorption in the stomach, and some autoimmune diseases. Some people may have difficulty absorbing the vitamin due to certain medical conditions such as Crohn’s Disease or pernicious anemia. Others may have diets that are low in Vitamin B12, such as those who eat a vegetarian or vegan diet and do not supplement with the vitamin. Older people may be at risk for Vitamin B12 deficiency due to a decrease in stomach acid production that comes with age. Finally, certain medications can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin B12, including metformin and proton pump inhibitors.
Let’s see how can we increase Vitamin B12 in our body:
Non-vegetarian foods are one of the primary sources:
– Fish: Salmon, tuna, herring, and sardines are all great sources of vitamin B12. They also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 3 ounces or 85 grams are required per day.
– Eggs (1 egg every other day): Egg yolks are a good source of B12 and contain lutein, which is beneficial for eye health. Have at least an egg every other day.
– Liver: The liver is a great source of many vitamins and minerals, including B12. It’s also packed with iron, protein, and healthy fats. 3 ounces or 85 grams are required per day.
– Beef: Beef is a good source of vitamin B12, as well as zinc, iron, and protein. 3 ounces or 85 grams are required per day.
– Chicken: Chicken is an excellent source of protein, as well as B12 and other vitamins and minerals. 3 ounces or 85 grams are required per day.
– Shellfish: Oysters, clams, mussels, and other shellfish are all excellent sources of B12. They also contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids. 3 ounces or 85 grams are required per day.
– Turkey: Turkey is a low-fat source of protein that’s packed with B12 and other vitamins and minerals. It also contains tryptophan, which helps to boost serotonin levels and improve mood. 3 ounces or 85 grams are required per day.
Veg and Vegan foods:
– Nuts & Seeds: Almonds, walnuts, chia, and flaxseeds, as well as other nuts and seeds, are all good sources of B12. A person requires 1/4th cup per day.
– Fortified foods: Foods such as breakfast cereals, fortified almond milk, and nutritional yeast are all often enriched with vitamin B12. Take 1 serving per day for better results.
– Nutritional Yeast: 2 tea spoon per day of Nutritional yeast is an excellent source of B12, protein, and fiber. It’s a great way to add flavor and extra nutrition to your meals.
– Seaweed: 2 teaspoons per day of Sea vegetables such as kelp, nori, and dulse are all high in B12, as well as iodine and other minerals.
– Tempeh: 3 ounces or 85 grams/day of this fermented food is made from soybeans and is a great source of B12, as well as protein and fiber.
– Spirulina: 1 teaspoon per day of Spirulina, a blue-green algae, is a superfood that’s packed with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants.
– Dairy: 1 cup of Milk, cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products on a daily basis are excellent sources of vitamin B12.
Ayurvedic Supplements to increase Vitamin B12:
– Plant-based Vitamin B12 supplement:
Plant-based B12 is the best supplement for vegetarians and vegans, made with plant-based ingredients like Wheatgrass, Amla, Moringa, and Beetroot.
2-3 teaspoons per day of Brahmi is an Ayurvedic herb used to treat cognitive and mental conditions. It also helps to boost the metabolism and is helpful in stimulating blood production.
Half (1/2) teaspoon per day of Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogenic herb, known for its calming properties, helping reduce stress and anxiety. It is also beneficial for increasing energy, improving sleep, and boosting immunity.
It is considered a rich source of Vitamin B12. 1 teaspoon per day of this herb has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to help balance hormones, improve fertility, and treat digestive issues.
To ensure optimal functioning of your body, it’s essential to incorporate the above-mentioned foods and ayurvedic medicines rich in B12 in your diet.
Which Food or Drinks to avoid?
It is important to avoid foods and drinks that can interfere with the absorption of Vitamin B12. These include coffee, alcoholic beverages, antacids, and calcium supplements. Additionally, it is important to limit your intake of processed foods, as these often contain preservatives that can interfere with vitamin B12 absorption.
Finally, be sure to avoid foods that are high in oxalates, such as spinach and rhubarb, as these can bind with vitamin B12 and make it unavailable for absorption. If you take any medications that interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, talk to your doctor about alternative treatments or medications. By making small changes to your diet and avoiding certain foods and beverages, you can help make sure that your body is getting enough vitamin B12. This will help to prevent the development of a deficiency and its associated symptoms.
Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining overall health and wellness. A deficiency of this vital nutrient can lead to fatigue, poor mental function, and other issues. Hence, it is necessary that you are getting enough Vitamin B12 from your diet or through supplementation. Doing so will help you feel better each day and allow you to live life to the fullest. If you think you might be deficient in vitamin B12, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. They can order a blood test to check your levels and make treatment recommendations accordingly. With proper care, it is possible to keep your vitamin B12 levels balanced and live a healthier life.