Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for red blood cells, nerve function, and DNA synthesis. It's basically brain food! "Getting B12 daily is crucial as we age, since a deficiency is linked to cognitive decline and impaired nerve function," says Jaclyn London, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., Nutrition Director at the GolfHr Institute. "You can think of it as being in all animal products and some fortified grain and bean products." If you're concerned about reaching the minimum (RDA) of 2.4 micrograms, talk to your physician about further testing.
It's soft, decadent, and spreadable — plus surprisingly low in sodium. One half-cup serving can also help you get closer to meeting your B12 goals with about 7% of your daily value, not to mention the boatload of calcium and vitamin A.
Here's an easy way to get more B12 out of any sandwich, soup, salad, or pasta dish — and pizza. (We can't forget about pizza!) Mozzarella cheese provides 5% of your daily value per 1-ounce serving, and you’ll get an extra 8 grams protein!
Grilled or canned, this fatty fish is full of brain-boosting omega-3s, protein, and vitamin B12 — up to your whole day's worth in just one 3-ounce serving. Aim to have about 12 ounces of a mix of fatty fish per week to meet your needs for key nutrients.
Besides providing B12, this kitchen staple can help you fill up for relatively few calories. A 1/2 cup of 1% is about 90, and contains up to 18 grams of protein. Spread a lower-sodium version on toast or use it as a swap for sour cream and cheese in home-cooked recipes.
What's not to love about cheese?! Swiss cheese is higher in vitamin B12 than other cheese, providing about 14% of the daily value per ounce. Pair a slice with a piece of fruit for a filling snack that's got protein, fiber, and a little bit of fat to stave off diet-derailing cravings.
These teeny fish are super tasty, and easy to eat from a can or fresh off the grill. Sardines are filled with lean protein and docosahexaonic acid (DHA), which is crucial for fetal brain development (in utero) and cognition in adults. A serving of sardines also contains nearly 20% of your daily value for vitamin B12.
Just 3 ounces of mussels delivers up to 340% of your daily value for B12. Plus, they're filled with lean protein (20 grams), vitamin C, and iron. Serve 'em steamed with olive oil or the Provençal way, with fennel, garlic, and tomatoes.
Also known as "nooch," this comes from sugarcane or beet molasses. It's a favorite for vegans since nooch delivers three times your daily requirements for B12, plus 8 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup of flakes. Sprinkle it in pasta sauce, or on nachos or popcorn for a umami flavor boost.
Three ounces of crab has 9.8 micrograms of vitamin B12. According to the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) , snow and stone crab have low amounts of contaminants and harvesting causes less habitat damage. If you buy red and blue king crabs, look for ones from the U.S. instead of imported varieties.
These small fish offer 3.6 micrograms of vitamin B12 in every 3 ounces. Look for Atlantic or Pacific herring as these fish have low amounts of contaminants, according to the .
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These delicious, low-calorie power bowls will keep you feeling satisfied and energized from breakfast to dinner.