The human body needs the basic nutrients for proper functioning which include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Besides these, the body also needs some important minerals and vitamins. They hold equal importance for maintaining the health of the body. One such vitamin is B complex of which essential vitamin is known as vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is a nutrient which helps in keeping the nerve and blood cells of the body healthy. It also has a role in making DNA and RNA. Nowadays, the problem of vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming common, affecting elders the most.
If your body is going through deficiency of vitamin B12, it can make you anemic. A minor lacking of may cause no symptoms. If treatment not done on time, it can lead to following symptoms.
- Skin becomes white or pale.
- Constipation, loss of diet, or gas
- Palpitations of heart and short breaths
- Problems of nerves like numbness, weakness of muscles and difficulty in walking
- Mental problems like depression or memory loss
- Loss of vision and tongue becomes smooth
Vitamin B12 controls various factors of a human body and hence plays a major role. This vitamin is necessary for staying healthy. Some of the main roles of vitamin B12 are given below.
Boosts Energy :
It helps to keep the stability of energy production in the body, by converting carbohydrates into glucose. Glucose is the main source of energy. Thus, deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause weakness.
Controls Nervous System :
Vitamin B12 helps in making of nerve cells and also protects the covering of nerve cells. So, shortage of vitamin B12 can damage the nervous system.
Need for Bones :
Our bones also need vitamin B12 and its deficiency can cause disorders of bones.
Foods rich in Vitamin B12 :
Eating foods rich in vitamin B12 can fuel up your brain with it. The best sources of vitamin B12 include:-
- Milk products
- Low-fat dairy products
- Shellfish and poultry
As non-vegetarian food items are main sources of vitamin B12. This is the reason why vegetarian people suffer the most with deficiency of vitamin B12. To all those vegan readers there’s no need to worry anymore. Here I’m sharing some food items which pure veg people can take for getting sufficient amount of vitamin B12.
Role for Skin :
Vitamin B12 helps to prevent skin darkening by controlling pigment production of the skin.
For Heart :
The heart needs sufficient amount of vitamin B12 with B6 and B9 for making amino acids which help in controlling heart diseases.
Brain Health :
Vitamin B12 is also important for brain health and any deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause disorders of the brain.
Production of red blood cells :
Along with vitamin B9, B12 also helps in making of red blood cells which make red pigment of the blood. So, deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause anemia making the skin look white.
Healthy Hair and Nails :
Vitamin B12 plays a major role in cell production so it is important for healthy hair and nails. It can make nails stronger and stops hair breakage.
Sources of Vitamin B12 for Vegetarian :
- Breakfast cereals like corn flakes and grape nuts.
- Nutritional yeast; one tsp. of nutritional yeast contains 4 gm. Vitamin B12. Nutritional yeast can help in adding flavors to vegetarian food.
- Yogurt (curd)
- Low-fat milk
- Soy products
- Meat substitutes
- Vegan spreads for example Marmite
- Rice and soy beverages
Vegetarian are at more risk of lacking vitamin B12 so they must take steps to make sure that they include vitamin B12 to their diet. Health specialists can also help them by advising intake of proper amounts of vitamin B12. Since there is no plant-based food as a source of vitamin B12, vegetarian people must take fortified products.
So, these are the main points of discussion about vitamin B12. Good nutrition is the basic requirement of the body. To know whether there is a deficiency of vitamin B12 in your body, you can observe the above-mentioned symptoms. In case these signs are not shown by your body, you can go for clinical tests. A deficiency of vitamin B12 is also a reason for anemia. So, a clinical report of blood test can make the things clear.
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