Are we getting enough vitamin B12? In India, most of us are vegetarians and suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency as we miss out on the only dietary sources of the vitamin that come from egg, fish, meat and dairy products. The early symptoms of the B12 deficiency include headache, tiredness, fatigue, pale skin, stomach upset, and hair loss. The condition may worsen and result in severe anemia and dementia if left untreated. In older people, this vitamin deficiency may also lead to Alzheimer's disease.
Why do we need vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin contains tons of benefits in it. It plays a vital role in body metabolism. It helps the body convert the carbohydrates in food into glucose to generate energy. It also helps in the production of blood cells. Besides, it is also crucial in maintaining the central nervous system. In children, vitamin B12 helps combat asthma.
Although this type of vitamin is absorbed in small amounts by the body, it is important for us to get enough of this nutrient from our diet. Vitamin B12 supplements offer great health benefits, but it is always better to go by the natural way.
Vitamin B12 sources
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Commercial cereals are often fortified with this vitamin. Cereals such as oats and muesli can be a good alternate source of this vitamin for vegetarians and vegans. Do remember to pick up cereals with whole grains and skip the ones with added sugar.
People who choose not to consume meat and seafood can now count on eggs for adequate vitamin B12 supply. Whole eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet with a bit of all the nutrients in it. Eggs contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that are very important for eye health.
Include dairy products such as milk, butter and cheese in your diet to not run out of vitamin B12 in the body. Whole milk can be the healthiest choice as it raises good calories in the body and also prevents heart disease.
Seafood is one of the richest sources of naturally occurring vitamin B12. They are packed with the goodness of vitamins and minerals. Including a portion of seafood in your weekly diet may reduce the chances of suffering from a heart attack. You can choose from a wide variety of fishes such as trout, salmon, tuna, prawns and mackerel.
Meat is a rich source of this vitamin. The vitamins in meat not only promote good vision, stronger teeth and bones but also support the central nervous system promoting mental health as well. Meat also being rich in protein is required for the overall health and well-being of the body.