Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps maintain nerve cells and red blood cells and is also an essential in making the DNA found in all cells. It's brain food. Because the nutrient is found in meat, fish and dairy, vegans and vegetarians are more susceptible to Vitamin B12 deficiency.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 2.4 μg for both men and women.
Here are the top 10 food sources of Vitamin B12 according to the USDA's National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.
Whether you like them raw on the half shell or cooked in your clam chowder, three ounces of these mollusks boast 84.1 μg of Vitamin B12. A king of the superfoods, clams are also a top source of potassium and the No. 1 source of iron.
Clams are unlikely to be contaminated, and according to the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector, the farming of the most common clams in the U.S. (northern quahogs) does little ecological damage.
Linguine with White Clam Sauce
Three ounces of beef has 70.7 μg of Vitamin B12. Look for local grass-fed beef to limit the environmental impact of raising cattle.
Beef and Barley with Mushrooms
Beef Brisket with Fresh and Dried Mushroom
Grandma Kellys Organic Beef Stew
Plum-spiced Beef Brisket
Chayote in Ground Beef Tomato Sauce
Shepherds Pie with Brown Ale
Heritage turkeys are full of flavor and also deliver 48.2 μg of Vitamin B12 per cup of meat.
Turkey and Vegetable Stir Fry
Turkey Scallopini with Apricot Sauce
Roasting Heritage Turkeys
Maple-Glazed Turkey with Sage-Infused Butter
Hearty Turkey Soup
Turkey Cutlets with Spicy Eggplant Relish
Achiote-Citrus Roasted Heritage Turkey
Orange Rosemary Turkey, Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Arugula
Herb Grilled Turkey Breast with Mushroom Quinoa and Asparagus
Another mollusk that is a good source of Vitamin B12 are oysters. Six medium oysters have 16.4 μg of Vitamin B12. A true superfood, oysters are also a top source of iron.
Wild oysters can have high amounts of contaminants, and may be harvested using destructive methods, according to Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector, so stick with farmed Pacific or edible (a.k.a. European) oysters. Enjoy them on the half shell, or try these recipes:
Roasted Oysters with Shallots and Herbs
Fresh Oysters with Champagne Vinaigrette
This bird is also a good source of Vitamin B12 with 13.7 μg per cup.
Stick with organic chicken or poultry from a local farm to avoid meat thats been bathed in chlorine.
Sunday Roast Chicken
Apple and Sage-Roasted Chicken
Chicken Tangine and Green Olives
Easiest Roast Chicken Dinner
Country Curried Chicken
Warm Chicken and Apple Salad
Lemon-Mint Chicken Cutlets on Watercress
Baked Honey-Mustard Chicken and Vegetables
Boneless Chicken with Potato-Pepper Hash
Quinoa Crusted Chicken
Pasta with Chicken and Pesto
Bistro Chicken and Eggplant Sandwich
Chicken Couscous Salad
Broiled Chicken and Panzanella
Campanelle with Chicken and Pea-Mint Pesto
Preserved Lemon Chicken
Jerk Chicken Kabobs
Grilled Chicken Marsala
Three ounces of this crustacean has 9.8 μg of Vitamin B12.
According to the Environmental Defense Funds Seafood Selector, Dungeness and stone crab have low amounts of contaminants and fishing cause very little habitat damage. Also, if you buy red and blue king crabs, look for ones from the U.S.
Dungeness Crab and Mussel Chowder
Half a filet of salmon has 9.0 μg of Vitamin B12.
Look for wild salmon from Alaska, because the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector shows these fish come from well-maintained fisheries and have low contaminants. Another option is Artic Char, which mostly comes from eco-friendly farms.
Honey-Lime Wild Salmon
Red Chili-Rubbed Salmon
Teriyaki Salmon with Gingery Chard
Curried Stir-fry Salmon
Horseradish Crusted Wild Pacific Salmon
Toasted Sesame Wild Salmon
Wild Salmon with Ginger and Green Onions
Sesame Wild Salmon with Bok Choy
8. Ready-to-Eat Cereals
Starting the day off with fortified cereals like Kellogg's Special K or General Mills' Total Raisin Bran have around 6.0 μg of Vitamin B12 per cup. Look at your favorite cereal's label for nutrition facts. Choose cereals made from whole grains, and skip any with lots of added sugar.
Trout, a salmon relative, has 4.2 μg of Vitamin B12 in every three ounces.
Because these fish are mostly farmed, the Environmental Defense Fund's Seafood Selector deems these fish as "eco-best." All trout you'll find at the fish market come from U.S. farms with high environmental standards.
Trout with Beet-Horseradish Yogurt Sauce and Green Garlic Oil
Sauteed Trout Fillet with Crispy Sage and Prosciutto
Egg and Smoked Trout Salad with Mayo