Guest Post by Mishka Thomas
There are many popular dietary B12 sources, mostly animal-based products. Upon researching these food sources, you have probably read about vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals on many mainstream lists and supermarkets. But are cereals actually a health-smart way to fight off vitamin B12 deficiency and other lack in nutrients?
Breakfast cereals are not a healthy food at all – and this holds true whether you are taking about vitamin B12-fortified varieties or not. The highly processed grains in the cereals immediately break down to sugar in your body and stimulate production of insulin. It may also be interesting for you to know that children and infants do not fare well consuming these breakfast staples that are deceptively marketed as healthy and beneficial.
So what B12 sources should you stick to? Natural ones, of course!
• Fish and Seafood Certain types of seafood provide good amounts of B12. Be sure to buy your fish from clean sources so you can avoid eating contaminated fish. This is the result of industrial processes that have already contaminated the oceans and seas with toxins like mercury. The jury is out on whether or not he risks linked to mercury-laced seafood outweigh any potential health benefit. Extra caution is necessary if you are pregnant or have a growing family. Methyl mercury is highly toxic to the developing brains and nervous function of infants and children. Do your best to find uncontaminated fish.
•Chicken This is another natural B12 source. However, stick with organic chicken because conventionally raised chicken may contain antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
•Beef and Beef Liver Keep in mind, though, that grass-fed beef is highly preferable to the grain-fed kind. Besides, it tastes better.
•Milk Raw milk is a good bet, especially if you are able to get Certified Grade A milk that is guaranteed clean and produced under government watch. Otherwise, make sure it’s organic.
• Eggs These are not only rich in vitamin B12, but also considered among the healthiest all- around foods in the world. My first choice would be to buy your eggs from a free-range pasture farm. If this is not possible, buy free-range organic eggs from the grocery. What you should avoid are omega-3 added eggs, which are actually less healthy than regular egg varieties.
• Pork While it is another natural source of vitamin B12, pork is not highly recommended. Pigs are scavengers in nature, and they will consume almost anything. This makes them susceptible to parasites and retroviruses, which have quite a huge chance of making it into pork-based food supplies. There is simply no assurance they these viruses have been killed even if you have efficiently cooked the meat. If you consume pork, your safest bet is the meat of organically fed pigs. It is also crucial that you avoid eating sausage, bacon, and other processed pork treats.
How about if you’re a vegetarian or vegan? You may want to consider a B12 supplement. This will help you keep your B12 in a positive balance and give your tissues sufficient B12 for their requirements. Even if you eat meat and eggs, you may still be deficient. A deficiency in B12 levels can cause problems including extreme fatigue, dementia and permanent damage to nervous tissue if left untreated. Symptoms can be vague so so ask your doctor to give you a simple blood test to check your levels, particularly if you are experiencing inexplicable fatigue.
It is important that you source your supplement from a reliable manufacturer. You should take note that a B12 supplement should be free of sugar, wheat, starch, yeast, salt, gluten, eggs, soy, dairy, stimulants and artificial flavors and colors. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a real and serious threat that you should guard yourself against.
About the Author
Mishka Thomas is a health blogger who reviews new and emerging supplements on the market
and features wellness trends and developments. She favors vitamin B12 and its host of benefits for
individuals young and old.