Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that’s involved with a lot of important processes in the human body. Vitamin B12 is structurally the largest and most complex of all the vitamins known to man.
1. Prevents Nerve Damage
Your nerves have a protective covering to keep them safe from toxins and free radicals in your blood. Without these coverings, called myelin sheaths, exposed nerves get damaged and may even die. These dead nerves disrupt signals to and from the brain and may play a role in nerve-related conditions. Vitamin B12 supports the way your body replenishes this protective covering.
2. Protects The Heart
Your heart and entire cardiovascular system needs B12. One of its jobs is to remove a dangerous protein called homocysteine from the blood. If homocysteine is allowed to roam through blood, it damages your arteries leading to inflammation and heart disease.
3. Supports Energy
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in how your body creates energy. It keeps your cells fed, happy, and healthy. Without it, your cells get hungry and you feel weak, tired, and like you’re dragging all the time.
4. Your Bones Need It
Patients with osteoporosis have higher levels of homocysteine and low levels of B12 than people with strong, healthy bones. If you suffer from osteoporosis or similar bone issues, speak to your doctor about getting your vitamin B12 levels tested.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be slow to develop, causing symptoms to appear gradually and intensify over time. It can also come on relatively quickly.
1. Strange Sensations, Numbness
3. A swollen, Inflamed Tongue
The majority of food sources for vitamin B12 are available from animal sources only. Keep in mind that the majority of these B12 foods, despite their high levels of the nutrient, contain their own concerns. This is particularly true if the animal is raised in a conventional feedlot environment. Here are the highest non-vegan sources of vitamin B12:
Clams take the top prize for providing the most iron. Three ounces of the shellfish provide 23.8 milligrams of iron and 126 calories. Clams are a top source of potassium and vitamin B12.
Beef is another great source of vitamin B12 and vitamin A. Be sure to pick up the leaner beef in the grocery store and you’re off to a healthy start.
Eggs are a great source of B12 for vegetarians, as they can easily be added to salads, top soups and stir frys, or step in for dinner. Plus, they’re super-cheap!
Heritage turkeys are full of flavor and also deliver 48.2 milligrams of Vitamin B12 per cup of meat.