Simple things like forgetting where you kept your car keys are common to most people. But then slowly you notice that you aren’t able to remember details quite as clearly as before.
Also, your ability to focus and concentrate on something has decreased. And the thought instantly is that the brain isn’t functioning properly. Maybe you’ll try some puzzles and word games to keep our mind sharp, but things still feel hazy. Well, you may just be deficient in an essential vitamin – vitamin B12.
This wonderful vitamin strengthens red blood cells, keeps the nervous system and brain function healthy, keeps emotions and mood balanced and performs several other important functions. Yet a majority of Indians are found extremely lacking in this vitamin. Why is it so? And what can we do about it?
Firstly let’s understand how much vitamin B12 we actually need. As per WHO, the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for Adults is 2.4 mcg (microgram) every day. And this value goes up for pregnant women and lactating women requiring 2.6 to 2.8 mcg.
Now we don’t expect you to count the micrograms of nutrients in every food you eat. But we are going to help you understand the amount of B12 found naturally in various sources to help you determine how sufficient your consumption actually is.
The best way to improve vitamin B12 levels is through natural dietary sources. Let’s look at what they are:
This is the number one source of dietary vitamin B12. As B12 is made in the liver, meat is one of the best sources of this important vitamin.
1 average slice = 48mcg
Common meat options such as chicken and turkey also offer vitamin B12, though not as much as beef.
100 grams of chicken/turkey (one serving size) = 0.3mcg
Seafood lovers are going to love this! Fish is amongst the best natural sources of vitamin B12 and other important minerals. For those that aren’t able to consume fresh fish, even canned fish has substantial amounts of B12 to prevent deficiency.
Salmon (75 grams) = 4mcg
Sardines (75 grams) = 3mcg
Canned Tuna fish (1 small an) = 2.5mcg
The bacteria responsible for making cheese actually have vitamin B12 in it making it a great dietary source for vegetarians.
28gms of cheese = 0.2mcg
Favorite breakfast foods for many, eggs are a great source of vitamin B12. However, be sure to consume the entire egg for complete nutrition. Now many are worried about the controversy surrounding eggs and cholesterol levels, so if that is a concern, consume them moderately unless your doctor says differently. On average consuming eggs, 2-3 times a week should not have any adverse impact on your health.
1 egg = 0.5mcg
This glass of wholesome goodness is also great for vitamin B12, especially for vegetarians. It is also rich in calcium which is essential for healthy bones.
1 cup = 0.9mcg
Another milk product loved especially in summers, yogurt is a good source for vitamin B12. You can have it plain or with a bowl of fruits. It is also great for soothing the stomach and relieving mild acidity.
1 cup = 1.2mcg
Thus we can see that vitamin b12 is found largely in meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Include these in your diet to get keep your vitamin B12 levels healthy. Also be sure to get a routine blood test to ensure your levels are within the normal range. For those who just can’t be bothered with the hassle of going to a clinic for a blood test – don’t worry, we’ll come to you. We offer free home collection service of blood sample right from your doorstep at most places in India.
The Jubination Comprehensive Health Package which offers a thorough screening of the body's vital parameters.