Vitamin B12 (also called cobalamin) is a real diva. It cannot be produced by our body itself, it is very cleverly hidden and yet it is essential for life. Quite a fuss for such a small enzyme. A deficiency can lead to depression, constant tiredness, and nerve pain. PraxisVITA lists 15 vitamins B12 foods that you can use to keep your household in good shape.
How much vitamin B12 does our body need?
The amount of vitamin B12 required depends on the living conditions. Babies and children need fewer vitamin B12 than adults, while pregnant and breastfeeding women need more than the average person. Athletes also have an increased need. The daily requirement of vitamin B12 for infants up to twelve months is between 0.4 and 0.8 micrograms (µg) per day. This amount is easily absorbed through breast milk. Children between the ages of one and four need one microgram of vitamin B12 per day.
Up to the age of 13, the need for children increases steadily until it is around three micrograms a day. This is also the amount that an adult needs. Pregnant women need a little more. They need about 3.5 micrograms per day. Athletes should also consume this amount every day. Breastfeeding mothers need an even higher dose because they pass parts of it to the infant with breast milk. It should be four micrograms here. And don’t worry: an overdose is not possible. Excess vitamin B12 is excreted from the body in the stool.
What happens with vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 is an enzyme that is only found in animal products. Therefore, vegans in particular are often at risk of malnutrition. The consequences of a deficiency can be drastic. In addition to tingling in the hands and feet, a severe deficiency can also lead to exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, depression, psychosis, and, finally, anemia.
Important vitamin B12 foods
As already mentioned, vitamin B12 is only found in animal products. Even animals do not produce the enzyme themselves. As in humans, the manufacturing process takes place by bacteria in the animal’s intestines and from there it is distributed throughout the body. Offal in particular has a high vitamin B12 content. All figures are micrograms per 100 grams of the food.
- 1st place. Liver: The liver is the undisputed number one source of vitamin B12. No wonder, the enzyme is stored in it. 100 grams of liver contains between 60 and 80 micrograms of vitamin B12. That is more than twenty times the required daily dose.
- place 2. Kidneys: Where the liver is close by, the kidneys are usually not far away. Kidneys also have a high vitamin B12 content. They contain up to 60 micrograms. However, kidneys – like the liver – are a matter of taste.
- place 3. Oysters: These mussels may not look appetizing, but they are excellent sources of vitamin B12. Oysters offer up to 14 micrograms per 100 grams. That is more than four times the recommended daily dose.
- 4th place. Rabbit: Many eat rabbit meat only on holidays. That should change. 100 grams of rabbit meat provide up to 10 micrograms of vitamin B12. More than three times the recommended daily requirement.
- 5th place. Mackerel: 100 grams of mackerel provide three times the daily requirement. With nine micrograms, they are excellent vitamin B12 suppliers. There are also omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy ingredients.
- Rank 6. Herring: Also a fish and also very rich in vitamin B12. 100 grams of herring contain more than eight micrograms.
- 7th place. Mussels: An old rule says that you can only buy mussels with R in months. The fishing season runs from September to April. You should take advantage of this and eat the shellfish regularly. 100 grams of mussels contain up to eight micrograms of vitamin B12.
- 8th place. Beef: Even a normal-sized piece of beef is enough to cover your daily requirement of vitamin B12 because beef contains up to five micrograms of the enzyme. However, it should be muscle meat or tartare.
- 9th place. Trout: The third fish on our list and one of the most popular in Germany. The trout provides more than four micrograms of vitamin B12 per 100 grams. But watch out for the bones when eating. While they are easy to remove, they are small and easily overlooked.
- Place 10. Lamb: Very few would say no to a piece of grilled lamb. Lamb is not only convincing in terms of taste. There are over three micrograms of vitamin B12 in 100 grams of lamb.
- 11th place. Camembert: The first cheese in our series impresses with around three micrograms per 100 grams. Camembert thus covers the daily requirement of an adult. In addition to a lot of protein, Camembert unfortunately also contains a lot of fat.
- 12th place. Emmentaler: With a little more than two micrograms per 100 grams, Emmentaler no longer quite provides the daily dose required by an adult. However, Emmentaler is a great addition.
- 13th place. Cottage cheese: The granular cream cheese cuts a fine figure as a vitamin B12 supplier. 100 grams contain two micrograms of the valuable enzyme. If you start your day with a spoonful of cottage cheese in the morning, you have already taken a big step towards the recommended daily dose.
- 14th place. Eggs: 100 grams of eggs contain almost two micrograms of vitamin B12. This is easy to achieve, especially in the form of scrambled or fried eggs. Together with a piece of cheese, the daily requirement is already covered after breakfast.
- 15th place. Chicken: Chicken has many benefits and is very tasty. In our vitamin B12 list, however, white meat takes last place. Chicken meat provides just half a microgram per 100 grams. Chicken is therefore not suitable for more than a supplement.