Food With Iron And B12 contains of a list of foods high in these nutrients. This can help with preventing anemia, improving energy, and maintaining a healthy attention span.
Have you ever wondered if there’s anything that can help you fight anemia? Well, in this article I will share with you some vegetables and seafoods that are high in iron.
Iron & B12/Folate Diet Advice
Iron-rich foods include:
- dark-green leafy vegetables, such as watercress and curly kale
- iron-fortified cereals or bread
- brown rice
- pulses and beans
- nuts and seeds
- white and red meat
- dried fruit, such as dried apricots, prunes and raisins
You should also try and include foods from all major food groups in your diet, to ensure it is healthy and well-balanced. In particular, you should try to include foods and drinks containing vitamin C, as vitamin C can help your body to absorb iron.
However, high levels of some foods and drinks, as well as certain medicines, may make it harder for your body to absorb iron. These include:
- tea and coffee
- calcium, found in dairy products such as milk
- antacids and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are medications sometimes used to relieve indigestion
- wholegrain cereals – although wholegrains are a good source of iron themselves, they contain phytic acid, which can stop your body absorbing iron from other foods and pills
Folic acid, known as folate in its natural form, is one of the B-group vitamins.
Folic acid has several important functions. For example, it:
- works together with vitamin B12 to form healthy red blood cells
- helps reduce the risk of central nervous system defects such as spina bifida in unborn babies
A lack of folic acid could lead to folate deficiency anaemia.
Good sources of folic acid
Folic acid is found in small amounts in many foods. Good sources include:
- brussels sprouts
- brown rice
- fortified breakfast cereals
How much folic acid do I need?
Adults need 0.2mg of folic acid a day.
Folic acid cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day.
Most people should be able to get the amount they need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
However, if you are pregnant or thinking of trying to have a baby, take a 0.4mg (400 microgram) of folic acid supplement daily from the time you stop using contraception until the 12th week of pregnancy. This is to help prevent birth defects of the central nervous system, such as spina bifida, in your baby.
If you have a family history of conditions like spina bifida (known as neural tube defects), you may need to take 5mg of folic acid each day until the 12th week of pregnancy. This is available on prescription from your GP. Women with diabetes and those taking anti-epileptic medicines should speak to their GP for advice.
What happens if I take too much folic acid?
Taking doses of folic acid higher than 1mg can disguise vitamin B12 deficiency.
An early symptom of vitamin B12 deficiency is anaemia. However, taking large amounts of folic acid treats the anaemia without treating the B12 deficiency. If a vitamin B12 deficiency is not noticed, it can eventually damage the nervous system.
This is particularly a concern for older people because it becomes more difficult to absorb vitamin B12 as you get older.
What does the Department of Health advise?
The Department of Health recommends that folic acid supplements are taken by women who are pregnant or thinking of having a baby (see above).
Women who are not pregnant or planning for a baby should be able to get all the folate they need by eating a varied and balanced diet.
If you are taking folic acid supplements, it is important not to take too much because this could be harmful.
Taking 1mg or less a day of folic acid supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
Vitamin B12 has several important functions and is involved in:
- making red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthy
- releasing energy from the food we eat
- processing folic acid
A lack of vitamin B12 could lead to vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia.
Good sources of vitamin B12
- some fortified breakfast cereals
How much vitamin B12 do I need?
Adults need approximately 0.0015mg a day of vitamin B12.
If you eat meat, fish or dairy foods, you should be able to get enough vitamin B12 from your diet.
However, because vitamin B12 is not found in foods such as fruit, vegetables and grains, vegans may not get enough of this vitamin.
What happens if I take too much vitamin B12?
There is not enough evidence to show what the effects may be of taking high doses of vitamin B12 supplements each day.
What does the Department of Health advise?
You should be able to get all the vitamin B12 you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you take vitamin B12 supplements, do not take too much because this could be harmful.
Taking 2mg or less a day of vitamin B12 in supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
How to Boost Iron & B-12
Both iron and vitamin B-12 play an important role in helping build red blood cells. If you’re feeling a little run down or foggy, you may have concerns about whether or not you’re getting enough of these blood-building nutrients in your diet. Luckily, they’re both found in a wide-variety of foods, making it easy for you to boost your intake. If you’re considering dietary supplements, talk to your doctor first to discuss your needs and the proper dosages.
What’s So Special About Iron and B-12?
Iron is a mineral your body needs to make hemoglobin, which is the component in your blood that carries oxygen to all your vital organs and tissues. Iron also assists in the production of certain hormones and connective tissue.
Like iron, vitamin B-12 also plays an important role in helping in the production of red blood cells. But it’s also needed for brain function and making DNA. Not getting enough of either one of these essential nutrients in your diet may affect blood production and lead to anemia, a medical condition that might cause you to feel fatigued, lightheaded or weak.
Boosting Your Iron
The best way to boost your iron intake is to eat a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of foods from all the food groups. Iron is found in meat, eggs, beans, veggies and fortified cereals. White beans, chickpeas, spinach and pumpkins seeds are some of the best vegetable sources.
However, when you’re trying to boost your intake of iron, it’s important to distinguish between the two types of iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is found in meat, poultry and seafood, while nonheme iron is found in beans, veggies, seeds, nuts and grains. Your body absorbs heme iron better than nonheme iron. However, that doesn’t mean you should discount the nonheme sources.
To maximize absorption of either type of iron, pair foods that are high in vitamin C with iron-rich foods. For example, have orange juice with your iron-fortified breakfast cereal, tomatoes on your turkey sandwich at lunch or a dish of broccoli with your brown rice and beans.
Boosting Your B-12
Vitamin B-12 isn’t found in as many food groups as iron, which might make it harder for certain groups of people to get. The best sources of vitamin B-12 include meat, poultry, seafood, cheese, yogurt, milk and fortified breakfast cereals. The B vitamin isn’t naturally found in any plant food, so if you’re a vegan who doesn’t eat any meat or animal products, you may have a harder time getting your vitamin B-12 than a meat eater. Fortified breakfast cereals may be your only option. If you’re a vegan and are considering vitamin B-12 supplements, talk to your doctor first for guidance.
Top Foods That Are High in Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body can’t make on its own, so you need to get it from your diet or from supplements.
Vegetarians, people who are pregnant or nursing, and others who are at risk of deficiency may want to track their diets closely to make sure they’re getting enough.
Here are 12 foods rich in vitamin B12 to add to your shopping list.
Good sources of vitamin B12
1. Animal liver and kidneys
Organ meats are some of the most nutrient-packed foods. Liver and kidneys, especially from lamb, are rich in vitamin B12.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of lamb liver provides an incredible 3,571% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin B12
Lamb liver is also very high in copper, selenium, and vitamins A and B2
Lamb, veal, and beef kidneys are likewise high in vitamin B12. Lamb kidneys provide about 3,000% of the DV per 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving, plus more than 100% of the DV for vitamin B2 and selenium .
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of lamb, beef, or veal liver contains up to 3,571% of the DV for vitamin B12, while the same serving of kidneys contains up to 3,000% of the DV.
Clams are small, chewy shellfish that are packed with nutrients.
This mollusk is a lean source of protein and contains very high concentrations of vitamin B12. You can get more than 7,000% of the DV in just 20 small clams (190 grams) .
Clams, especially whole baby clams, also provide a great amount of iron, with almost 200% of the DV in a 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving.
Plus, clams have been shown to be a good source of antioxidants.
Interestingly, the broth of boiled clams is also high in vitamin B12. Canned clam broth has been shown to provide 113–588% of the DV per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) .
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of clams contains up to 99 mcg of vitamin B12, which is 4,120% of the DV.
Sardines are small, soft-boned saltwater fish. They’re usually sold canned in water, oil, or sauces, though you can also buy them fresh. Sardines are especially nutritious because they contain good amounts of almost every single nutrient.
A 1-cup (150-gram) serving of drained sardines provides 554% of the DV for vitamin B12.
Furthermore, sardines are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to provide many health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and improving heart health .
One cup (150 grams) of drained sardines contains up to 554% of the DV for vitamin B12.
Beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12.
One grilled flat iron steak (about 190 grams) provides 467% of the DV for vitamin B12
Also, the same amount of steak contains reasonable amounts of vitamins B2, B3, and B6, as well as more than 100% of the DVs for selenium and zinc .
If you’re looking for higher concentrations of vitamin B12, it’s recommended to choose low fat cuts of meat. It’s also better to grill or roast it — instead of frying — to preserve the B12 content (12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source).
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of beef contains about 5.9 mcg of vitamin B12. That’s 245% of the DV.
5. Fortified cereal
This source of vitamin B12 may work well for vegetarians and vegans because it’s synthetically made and not derived from animal sources .
Although not commonly recommended as part of a healthy diet, fortified cereals can be a good source of B vitamins, especially B12. Food fortification is the process of adding nutrients that are not originally in the food.
For instance, Malt-O-Meal Raisin Bran offers up to 62% of the DV for vitamin B12 in 1 cup (59 grams) .
The same serving of this cereal also packs 29% of the DV for vitamin B6 and good amounts of vitamin A, folate, and iron.
Research shows that eating fortified cereals daily helps increase vitamin B12 concentrations .
In fact, one study showed that when participants ate 1 cup (240 mL) of fortified cereal containing 4.8 mcg (200% of the DV) of vitamin B12 daily for 14 weeks, their B12 levels increased significantly .
If you choose to use fortified cereal to increase your vitamin B12 intake, make sure to choose a product that’s low in added sugar and high in fiber or whole grains.
Cereal fortified with vitamin B12 may also help you increase your vitamin B12 levels. One cup (59 grams) of Malt-O-Meal Raisin Bran provides 62% of the DV.
Tuna is a commonly consumed fish and a great source of nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals. It contains high concentrations of vitamin B12, especially in the muscles right beneath the skin, which are known as dark muscles .
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked tuna contains 453% of the DV for the vitamin (19Trusted Source).
This same serving size also packs a good amount of lean protein, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins A and B3 .
Canned tuna also contains a decent amount of vitamin B12. In fact, a can (142 grams) of light tuna canned in water contains 152% of the DV .
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked tuna provides 10.9 mcg of vitamin B12. That’s 453% of the DV.