B12 is considered to be the most complex vitamin, because it plays an important role in the vital processes in our body.
What this means? Well it means that lack of B12 vitamin in the human body, can lead to many health disorders and illnesses.
We sincerely hope that after reading this article, you will be able to realize the importance of this vitamin for your health and wellbeing.
After that, we’ll tell you what are the signs that your body is giving you when it lacks B12 vitamin, and we will talk about what are the best food sources of B12 vitamin.
What are the health benefits of vitamin B12?
- Vitamin B12 can prevent nerve damage
This type of vitamin helps your body replenish the protective covering which is responsible for keeping the nerves safe from free radicals and toxins.
If the nerves do not have this covering, they can be damaged with ease and in some cases, die. With dead nerves, the signals that go to and from the brain are interrupted, causing nerve related disorders.
- It protects your heart
It is statistically backed that heart disease is the number one cause of death throughout the world. B12 vitamin is very beneficial for the heart. It reduces the levels of amino acid homocysteine, which is a major cause in heart diseases.
The levels of B12 and other B-complex vitamins, affect the levels of homocysteine in the blood. So, it reduces the risk of heart attack because of its ability to reduce the levels of homocysteine in the blood.
- B12 vitamin supports energy
Vitamin B12 helps your body in the process of production of energy, because it keeps your cells well fed and healthy. When the body lacks this vitamin you will feel tired and weak, because your cells will be hungry.
This vitamin is essential for the metabolism to be able to convert carbohydrates into glucose which is needed in the energy creating process.
Your body also needs this vitamin B12 to perform neurotransmitter signaling, which helps with muscle contraction.
- The bones need this vitamin
Osteoporosis patients have lower levels of B12 and higher levels of homocysteine, compared to people with healthy bones.
This is a disease that is characterized by weak, brittle or fragile bones as a result of loss of tissue. So, people that suffer from osteoporosis or other bone condition, are strongly recommended to consult their doctor, in order to get their B12 vitamin levels checked.
Symptoms of B12 Deficiency
- Numbness and strange sensations
Low oxygen levels in the cells can cause nerve damage, which can lead to numbness or a pins and needles like sensations that can run from your head to your toes.
B12 vitamin is involved in the process of creating the cells which carry oxygen trough the body. These cells are known as erythrocytes. If the body lacks this vitamin, it can lead to anemia.
People who have anemia are experiencing weakness and tiredness throughout the day. The deficiency of B12 vitamin can also affect your memory and damage your nerves.
- Swollen, inflamed tongue
People with who are lacking B12 vitamin lose the little bumps on the tongues, called papillae. They lose the taste buds that are located on the papillae around the edges of the tongue.
This unfortunately means that people can lose taste. Another symptom can be a burning sensation and soreness in the back of the tongue. This also means that women can lose their appetite because the food that they are eating no longer tastes as good as it previously did. In most cases this can lead to loss of weight.
One of the main symptoms of low levels of B12 vitamin is fatigue. The deficiency of this vitamin, means that the cells do not receive the necessary levels of oxygen which leads to tiredness regardless of the amount of sleep you previously had.
Food sources of B12 vitamin
Make sure you choose a leaner beef because beef is abundant with vitamin A and B12.
Clams are generally a great source of potassium and B12. They also, are rich in iron because 3 oz. of clams has 126 calories and 23.8 mg. iron.
Heritage turkey is as delicious as it is a great source of vitamin B12. 1 cup of turkey meat has 48.2 mg of B12 vitamin.
Eggs are versatile and cheap. They can also be added to soups, stir-fries and salads and are great source of vitamin B12 in general.
Vegan food that contains B12:
- Plant based milk like soymilk, coconut milk and almond milk.
- Nutritional yeasts.