• Your Vitamin B-12 level has a huge impact on your overall feeling of well-being.
• B-12 benefits you by supplying energy and regulating functions like sleep, mood, and motivation.
• Studies show that more Americans are B-12 deficient than previously thought.
• Certain foods can up your Vitamin B-12 intake greatly.
Could a Lack of Vitamin B-12 Be Running You Down? These 5 Foods Will Get You Up To Speed.
Do you feel worn out? Are you forgetting stuff that you usually remember? Do you get worked up more easily than usual or find yourself getting sad over little things? If so, it’s possible that you’re not getting enough Vitamin B-12. You might have noticed that B-12 shots are all the rage right now (They’re even giving them in the mall!). There’s a good reason for that. B Vitamins are often called the ‘energy vitamins’ because they work like keys to unlock your body’s energy reserve. Let’s look at what Vitamin B-12 specifically can do for you and why you need it.
Vitamin B-12 Benefits
What is Vitamin B-12 good for? It’s actually one of 8 essential B-vitamins that your body needs to turn the food you eat into glucose. Glucose, which you probably know is a form of sugar, actually turns into energy inside the body. Also, B12 benefits your body by supporting the central nervous system. It helps you maintain healthy brain chemistry and create ‘feel-good’ chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters control your sleep, mood, appetite, motivation, and cognition among other things. Vitamin B-12 is critically important to your overall health, but despite being available in many foods, a lot of people still aren’t getting enough.
More People Are B-12 Deficient Than You Might Think
You would imagine that with all we know about nutrition, no one would be vitamin deficient these days. Sadly, this is not the case. One recent study claimed that 1.5 percent to 15 percent of the general American population is lacking in Vitamin B12. Tufts University went much further in reporting that 40% of the population was B12 deficient. It’s also known that as we age we develop an increased likelihood of deficiency and that we may need a B12 supplement.
There are several potential reasons for this epidemic. One factor is simply that B12 deficiency is hard to identify. Vague symptoms such as fatigue and lack of focus are so general that they don’t point to just one issue. Beyond detection, there can be genetic and lifestyle factors. Strict vegans for instance have to be especially proactive about supplementing Vitamin B12 because it is usually found in animal foods. Smokers are also at a higher risk of developing the problem. Finally, one major reason that people lack Vitamin B12 is because of age. As we get older, our stomach becomes less able to absorb B-12 from our food.
5 Foods Packed With Vitamin B-12
If you’re feeling run-down, tired and lacking focus, you might benefit from adding more Vitamin B-12 to your diet. The good news is there are many tasty options for you to choose from. We rounded up five B12-rich foods for you to add to the menu. Bon Appétit!
Beef — If you really want to ramp up your B-12 intake, beef is one of the heavy hitters. One grilled flat iron steak can give you almost double the daily recommended intake of Vitamin B-12. Also a pro-tip: if you want a higher percentage of B12 in your beef, choose a leaner, low-fat cut of meat.
Mozzarella — Looking for an excuse to eat more pizza? Look no further. Mozzarella is an excellent source of B-12, and just one ounce will provide you with 5% of your daily requirement. It’s also a great source of protein!
Fortified Cereal — If you’re not a huge meat-eater, this could be a good route for you. Fortified cereal made with whole-grain oats or bran can contain up to 30% of your daily recommended dose of Vitamin B-12. One bowl of cereal and you’re well on your way to getting the vitamins you need for the day.
Eggs — Eggs are the classic breakfast staple and also one of the cheapest and best sources of Vitamin B12. It’s time to dust off your recipe book and perfect your omelet-making skills. Just two scrambled eggs can provide 14% of your daily intake of Vitamin B-12.
Salmon — For the seafood lovers among us, salmon is also an excellent option. Half of one filet of salmon contains 9 micrograms of B-12. That’s 150% of your daily B12 requirement!