Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is crucial for various bodily functions, including the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of the nervous system. It is primarily found in animal-based foods, so sources of vitamin B12 include:
- Meats: Meats, particularly organ meats like liver, are excellent sources of vitamin B12. Beef, pork, and lamb are also rich in this vitamin.
- Poultry: Chicken and turkey provide vitamin B12, especially in the dark meat.
- Fish: Fish, such as salmon, trout, and tuna, contain significant amounts of vitamin B12. Canned fish like sardines and mackerel are also good sources.
- Shellfish: Shellfish like clams, mussels, and oysters are among the richest sources of vitamin B12.
- Dairy Products: Dairy foods, including milk, yogurt, and cheese, contain vitamin B12. They are common dietary sources of this vitamin.
- Eggs: Eggs, particularly the yolk, contain vitamin B12. They are a versatile source of this nutrient.
- Fortified Foods: Some plant-based foods, such as breakfast cereals, plant-based milk alternatives (like almond milk and soy milk), and nutritional yeast, are fortified with vitamin B12. This is done to make it more accessible for individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets.
- Supplements: Vitamin B12 supplements are available and are often recommended for individuals who have difficulty obtaining sufficient B12 from their diets, especially if they are on a strict vegetarian or vegan diet.
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It’s important to note that plant-based foods, except for fortified options, generally do not naturally contain vitamin B12. Therefore, individuals who follow strict vegetarian or vegan diets or have conditions that affect B12 absorption may need to rely on supplements or fortified foods to meet their B12 requirements.