There are a lot of essential vitamins that the body needs in order to thrive, and vitamin B12 tops the list. This B vitamin plays a crucial role in many of bodily functions. It helps create DNA, the genetic material that is found in all cells. It also helps to maintain the health of both the blood and nerve cells. If you are your vitamin B12 levels are even slightly deficient, you run the risk of developing certain health conditions, including megaloblastic anemia, a type of anemia that leads to excessive fatigue and weakness. A deficiency can also lead contribute to depression, as well as mania. If you have a long-term vitamin B12 deficiency, you are at a greater risk for suffering lasting damage to the central nervous system and the brain.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 depends on your age. For adults, the recommended intake is 2.4 mcg. While there are vitamin B12 supplements available, the easiest way to ensure that you are getting enough of this essential nutrient is to modify your diet. There are many foods that are excellent sources of vitamin B12. By adding these foods to your diet, you can prevent a deficiency and make sure that you are in good health.
If you are looking to up your B12 intake, here’s a look at 18 foods that are an excellent source of the vitamin, and that you should consider adding to your diet.
1. Beef liver
Vitamin B12 is found in all sources of beef, but the highest concentration is found in beef liver. By eating just one ounce of beef liver, you will get 20 mcg of B12, which is more than 300 percent of the daily recommended intake. To ensure that you are getting the highest quality B12, make sure that you are purchasing only the highest quality beef liver. Organic liver from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows is the best source. Beef liver is also high in iron, as well as folate, which means that by adding this food to your diet, you can stave off anemia and even recovery from the condition, if you develop it. If you’re hesitant about eating beef liver, sautee it with some onions and garlic and it actually makes a very tasty dish.