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Vitamin B12 is naturally found in some foods (animal foods like seafood, poultry, beef, pork and dairy products are the most reliable sources), added to others (like fortified breakfast cereal) and available as a dietary supplement or prescription medication. Here are four of the most powerful ways you can start including more B12 in your diet.
- Begin With a Breakfast of Champions: Fortified breakfast cereals are an affordable, super easy way to get the B12 you need. Check the label and choose your favorite whole-grain cereal that provides 25% to 100% of the daily value (DV) of B12. Add 1 cup of organic low-fat or skim milk or yogurt for another 15% to 20% DV of B12, and you can meet your needs before you’ve cleared the breakfast table.
- Cook Up a Buffalo Slider: The best natural sources of vitamin B12 are animal foods. One-hundred percent grass-fed buffalo (or bison) is a lean and green superfood, as it’s lower in calories, total fat and saturated fat than conventional beef, and higher in heart-healthy omega-3s. Look for “100% grass fed” on the label, as some buffalo at the supermarket is corn-fed (in which case, those health benefits disappear). If you can’t find buffalo or bison, 95% extra-lean organic grass-fed beef is a good alternative.
- Crack Open a Clam: Seafood provides some of the best B12 foods on the planet. Just 3 ounces of canned clams, for example, pack over 100% of the DV for vitamin B12 and is also an excellent source of selenium, iron, zinc and protein. You can also find frozen clams in the freezer section of many seafood counters. Don’t like clams? Substitute 4 to 5 ounces of sardines, salmon or trout for a nutrient-rich B12 boost.
- Try a Nutritional Yeast: If you’ve eliminated red meat altogether, are a vegan or vegetarian, a nutritional yeast that is fortified with B12 (be sure to check the label) can also be an excellent source of this vitamin; simply sprinkle 1 tablespoon per day into your lasagnas, smoothies and even desserts for your daily dose of B12. While other plant foods may claim to be a source of B12, these are unreliable as the amount can vary; a fortified yeast (or breakfast cereal) is a better bet.
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.