Food With Cobalt


Food with Cobalt is a visual guide to international cuisine, covering everything from recipes and ingredients, to cooking techniques and tips from our talented chef. With over 5 recipes cooked by hand in 3 different countries, Food with Cobalt is an educational blog on food, culture and travel.


Food With Cobalt

So what foods are high in cobalt and what are their benefits? You may be surprised by our findings! Read on to find out more. 


Chocolate is a food high in cobalt

Finally, a treat we can enjoy without feeling too guilty! Chocolate lovers will be happy to know that this sweet treat is a great way to get your daily amount of cobalt. Dark chocolate is an excellent source of cobalt and antioxidants. 


The list gets better and better! This popular dairy product may not seem nutritious at all, but in fact, you can receive your daily amount of cobalt in 200 grams of cheese. So the next time you are layering your homemade lasagne with generous helping, remind yourself it’s for health reasons! 


This staple Asian dish is an excellent source of cobalt and contains up to 0.010mcg a portion. Rice is a great alternative to bread if you are trying to cut down on your carb intake. Brown rice in particular is good for weight loss. 


Not only do figs contain cobalt, but they also help promote digestion and lower the risk of cancer. Figs can be eaten alone or baked in sweet dishes. 



Plate Meal Fish Dish Seafood Food Salmon

We all know that fish is a source of Omega 3 and contains fatty acids that promote healthy brain activity. Fish is also a good source of protein and, more importantly, cobalt. Shellfish and crustaceans have good levels of cobalt as the fish absorb the mineral through the seawater. 


Cobalt can be found in organs such as the pancreas and the liver. This is also true in animals, so eating meat such as pork liver is a good source of cobalt. Although not as appealing, offal also offers the same benefit. Red meat in general is rich in cobalt, so a diet with plenty of red meat is recommended if you are trying to up your cobalt intake. 

Green Vegetables

Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, green beans, and spinach are all excellent sources of iron that prevent inflammatory diseases and improve general energy and focus. A meal including red meat, rice, and green vegetables is rich in protein, iron, and carbohydrates, as well as cobalt. Other vegetables that are rich in cobalt include potatoes, onions, garlic, cucumber, and radishes. 



Walnuts Natural Organic Nuts Health Walnut Seeds

Unsalted nuts are a great way to provide the body with healthy fats and cobalt. You can experiment with different tastes such as roasting almonds, chopping up cashews to sprinkle over salads, and eating a handful of brazil nuts as a mid-morning snack. Nuts help to lower the risk of heart disease and promote healthy brain activity. 

Whole Grain Cereals

Whole grain cereals are packed with nutrients, fiber, and cobalt. Adding whole grains to your diet is a great way to reduce the risk of obesity, reduce inflammation and support a healthy digestive system. 


Another ‘naughty’ item that we can’t seem to part ways with is butter. We are usually warned to steer clear of butter and any foods that contain it. However, butter contains a good amount of cobalt and can be used in several ways. Spread it on toast, mix into cake ingredients, or use it to fry your morning eggs.


Health Benefits Of Cobalt 

Now we have discussed what types of food contain cobalt, let’s check out the other health benefits it has to offer. 

Fights against cancer cells

A 2020 study found cobalt useful in the prevention of cancer when used in specific treatments, including stem cell delivery and phototherapy. Cobalt therapy is used to treat cancer by aiming gamma rays at cells using a cobalt machine. It produces rays that destroy cancerous cells found in the brain, neck, and vital blood vessels. 

Reduces Cholesterol Levels

An intake of cobalt is thought to decrease levels of cholesterol which prevents the risk of heart-related diseases and maintains a healthy cardiovascular system. One study performed on rats found that cobalt helped reduce cerebral cortical cholesterol levels.

Promotes Heart Health

Cobalt found in foods such as whole grains aid heart health by supporting the vascular functions of the heart. Having a healthy heart is essential in protecting all other parts of the human body. 

Aids Absorption Of Other Minerals 

Cobalt helps the body to absorb other minerals and nutrients that are digested from other foods. It is beneficial in the absorption of iron which is a vital nutrient needed by all. 


Cobalt is a trace mineral stored in the liver that is a component of vitamin B12. It is important in the normal development of red-blood cells. It’s also involved in various enzyme reactions and aids in the formation of myelin nerve coverings.

Food Sources


The following foods are natural sources of cobalt. For a more expansive list on food sources of specific nutrients visit Health Canada’s Dietary Reference Intakes for Elements or USDA’s National Nutrient Database

Small amounts can also be found in plant sources, and are best utilized as part of vitamin B12-rich foods.


The following are the primary uses for cobalt: 

  • Anemia: Cobalt supplementation may play a role in treating anemia when other treatments don’t work.
  • Cancer: Cobalt in the form of radioactive cobalt-60 may treat certain kinds of cancer.
  • Fatigue, digestive disorders, neuromuscular problems: Cobalt may treat these conditions.
  • Recent and severe burns and injuries: Individuals with recent and severe burns and injuries may need additional amounts.
  • Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia: Individuals with anorexia nervosa and bulimia may need additional amounts.
  • Vegan and Vegetarians: Many vegans and vegetarians have inadequate B12 intake and may require additional amounts of cobalt.

Deficiency Symptoms

Deficiency in cobalt may lead to pernicious anemia due to the fact that it is an essential component of vitamin B12. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • weakness, especially in the arms and legs
  • sore tongue
  • nausea, appetite loss, weight loss
  • bleeding gums
  • numbness and tingling in hands and feet
  • difficulty maintaining balance
  • pale lips, tongue, gums
  • confusion and dementia
  • headache
  • poor memory

Excess Symptoms

In doses of 20-30mg/day, cobalt can lead to:

  • polycythemia
  • enlargement of the thyroid gland (also can lead to thyroid growth in infants)
  • enlargement of the heart leading to congestive heart failure

Assessment Procedure

Lab tests to detect deficiency: 

  • Concentrations in human plasma
  • Measured in bioassay as part of vitamin B12

Prescribing Considerations

  • The recommended dosages varies based on age and health status. To determine what your specific requirements are talk to your naturopathic doctor or other trained medical professional.


  • Generally: Eat a balanced diet to prevent deficiency
  • Pregnancy: Take as B12 if doctor advises.
  • Breastfeeding: Take as B12 if doctor advises.

Drug Interactions

  • Drug Interactions include:
  • Colchicine – Drug may cause inaccurate lab studies of cobalt or vitamin B12.
  • Neomycin – Drug may cause inaccurate lab studies of cobalt or vitamin B12.
  • Para-aminosalicylic Acid – Drug may cause inaccurate lab studies of cobalt or vitamin B12.
  • Phenytoin – Drug may cause inaccurate lab studies of cobalt or vitamin B12.

Other Interactions

  • Alcohol – Some beer contains cobalt as a stabilizer. Individuals who consume high volumes of beer containing cobalt have an increased risk of developing cobalt toxicity which can lead to cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure.

Ranked List Of 17 Foods With Cobalt

Below we list 17 foods that contain cobalt. It’s sorted from the food with the most amount to the food with the least amount.

Table of Contents

Foods Ranked 1 – 17 With Cobalt

Click on a food to explore all of the nutrients it contains.

Use the ToC button in the upper right to easily jump between sections.

RankFoodper 100gper Oz
1.Dry Light Tan Beans (0% Moisture)58.5 µg16.6 µg
2.Dry Red Beans (0% Moisture)56.5 µg16 µg
3.Dry Brown Beans (0% Moisture)55 µg15.6 µg
4.Dry Medium Red Beans (0% Moisture)52.5 µg14.9 µg
5.Dry Great Northern Beans (0% Moisture)51.2 µg14.5 µg
6.Dry Brown Beans (0% Moisture)49.9 µg14.1 µg
7.Dry Small Red Beans (0% Moisture)47.5 µg13.5 µg
8.Dry Pink Beans (0% Moisture)44 µg12.5 µg
9.Dry Black Beans (0% Moisture)43.8 µg12.4 µg
10.Dry Tan Beans (0% Moisture)43.5 µg12.3 µg
11.Dry Flor De Mayo Beans (0% Moisture)39.5 µg11.2 µg
12.Dry Carioca Beans (0% Moisture)39 µg11.1 µg
13.Dry Small White Beans (0% Moisture)38.9 µg11 µg
14.Dry Navy Beans (0% Moisture)38.9 µg11 µg
15.Dry Cranberry Beans (0% Moisture)30.2 µg8.6 µg
16.Dry Dark Red Kidney Beans (0% Moisture)30 µg8.5 µg
17.Dry Light Red Kidney Beans (0% Moisture)26 µg7.4 µg

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