Vitamin B 12 is an essential nutrient for the human body because it keeps the metabolism active and performs important actions in the body. Its main functions are to protect DNA, boost immunity, improve mood, concentration, and memory, reduce stress and migraines, and assist in the absorption of other nutrients. Vitamin B12 is beneficial to health since it is essential to generate energy, maintain the integrity of bones and collaborate to improve the gut functions, reduces constipation, bloating, or diarrhea, as well as reduces the chances of developing anemia.
It is a vitamin produced by gut bacteria, therefore it is directly connected with intestinal health as a part of the process of nutrients’ absorption. When the consumption of vitamin B 12 is insufficient or deficient, it may be associated with increased infections and neurodegenerative diseases. One of its activities is to assist in the formation of the myelin sheath, which is a layer that protects neurons, and if the consumption of dietary sources of vitamin B 12 is insufficient, the brain functions cannot be performed correctly and might generate diseases like Parkinson, Alzheimer, migraine, and others.
In addition, vitamin B 12 is connected with the process of digestion and absorption of nutrients and immunity. As it is a nutrient that aids in the formation of red blood cells and repairs some other cells, when the immune system is attacked by some environmental toxin or undigested food, the body’s defense process acts irregularly and does not protect itself properly.
Furthermore, immunity can be inefficient due to injury caused in the intestinal cells. This situation may cause damage and open the intestinal wall cells because of the food quality eaten. Usually, these foods are "fast food" or processed foods, which don’t contain healthy nutrients in their composition. For this reason, these foods reduce vitamin B12 absorption, activate infections and negatively change the body functioning.
In order to the intake of vitamin B12 is appropriate and assist in health and quality of life, some foods containing the vitamin should be frequently eaten (meat, eggs, fish, pork, among others).
But, what about the vegetarian diet?
Even with the low consumption of animal food sources, it’s possible to achieve the desired levels of vitamin B 12 with a vegetarian diet. In such cases, the consumption of algae must be present, as well as proper supplementation of the vitamin.
How can you add vitamin B12 consumption on a daily basis?
Eat a type of animal protein in one meal of the day and associate it with other natural and healthy foods like fruits and vegetables to ensure the necessary supply of vitamins. In the vegetarian food, the ideal is to eat some algae such as chlorella, spirulina, nori seaweed and adjust supplementation, if necessary.
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