3+1 recipes that will give you the required amount of vitamin B12
Proper nutrition is a doorway to a long, healthy and disease free life. Maintaining optimal levels of nutrients helps keep body functioning at optimal status and prevents changes that can lead to disease. Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient, that when kept in normal ranges in body helps maintain proper neural and red blood cells function amongst other. Here will be presented a short introduction to B12 and its importance for us, as well as few tasty and healthy recipes that ensure that you will at the end of the day maintain B12 balance.
What is vitamin B12 is and what does it do for you?
B12 falls into the group of water soluble B vitamins that have many functions in our body. It is a crucial component of enzymes that participate in creation of DNA in our bodies along with folic acid. Thus, it affects all of our cells in every organ or system (1).
Picture 1. Molecular structure of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is not found naturally in our bodies and it needs to be ingested through food. In our body B12 is stored in deposits in liver, to be used when blood levels get low.
What is vitamin B12 deficiency and what causes it?
The optimal range of vitamin B12 is not precisely defined in medical practice and different organizations, research data and groups suggest different values. With that, World Health Organization take lower limit to be 150 pmol/ml while others suggest 200pmol/ml or even higher. Whatever the lower limit, all agree upon that deficiency can occur at apparently normal levels (2,3).
Picture 2. Seashells are brimmed with vitamin B12.
Table 1. Vitamin B12 concentrations in the healthy and sick (4,5).
|State||Concentration vitamin B12 (pg/ml;pmol/ml)|
|Normal serum levels||200-800; 148-590*|
|Borderline deficiency level||170-250; 120-180|
*These recommendations of vitamin B12 levels are given in many countries around world. This clinical assessment is however disputed in scientific literature and research. Many think that subtle deficiencies are present even at levels of 300 and more. Medical practitioners in Japan recommend higher levels of vitamin B12 above level of 500 pg/ml. This is due to the fact that there is a possible connection observed between levels of B12 below that concentration and onset of dementia and other neurological disorders (8, 9).
Deficiency is caused when there is not enough B12 to sustain normal cell function. This can be due to a vitamin B12 poor diet, or diseases which can cause B12 not to be absorbed sufficiently or at all.
What symptoms and diseases you can get when vitamin B12 deficient?
Vitamin B12 balance in our body can be out of order due to various reasons. Whatever the reason may be first systems to show symptoms of deficiency are nervous system and red blood cells. Deficiency is known to cause damage to nerve tissue which in turn shows symptoms like pins and needles in arms and legs, lack of coordination in movement and even more serious problems like mental deterioration
Picture 3. Ground beef, like in this patty is full of vitamin B12.
Deficiency causes an anaemia called macrocytic anaemia and which displays symptoms like tiredness, paleness, and palpitations, feeling faint and other. This amongst darkening of skin and many other symptoms and signs may signal you or your doctor that your vitamin B12 levels are off.
List of the 4 top foods with most vitamin B12 for EATER foods
Some foods contain more than enough vitamin B12 to sustain healthy levels while other are poor in this nutrient. Vitamin B12 rich foods are:
• Animal products like liver, kidney, brains
• Fish and various shellfish
• Diary products
It is important to note that while plants do not contain vitamin B12 naturally, modern food industry fortifies some products like flour or cereal with vitamin B12. This is because pregnant women, elderly and people with special diets (either medically prescribed or vegans and vegetarians) can with these meet their daily needs of B12.
Picture 4. Liver is rich in vitamin B12.
Table 2. The top foods you need to eat each day to get your daily intake need (highest need) (5).
|Number||Type of food||Amount needed per day to reach RDI (gram)||Note|
|1||Liver (lamb, veal, beef) cooked||2.72 g||Really rich in vitamin B12 as well as kidneys|
|2||Oyster – cooked||6.79 g|
|3||Tuna, Bluefin – raw or cooked||20 g|
|4||Egg cooked||112 g (2 eggs)||Can be exchanged with a 2 cups of milk or Swiss cheese|
Picture 5. Dairy, a good source of vitamin B12.
4 tasty dinner recipes for the 4 top foods with the highest concentration of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a stable water soluble molecule. It is stable to heat, sensitive to light, oxygen, acid or alkali environments. 70% of vitamin B12 is lost through cooking activity. However, cooking milk can reduce vitamin B12 in it by a large amount (4). Even so, recipes presented below are meant to provide more than enough of daily vitamin intake, ensuring your need for B12 are met.
Picture 6. Vitamin B12 is heat stable.
Liver & bacon sauté with potatoes & parsley
Give yourself a treat with this hearty warm meal! Easy to make and ready in 45 minutes, this dish is meant for 2 people.
– 400g new potato
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 4 spring onions, trimmed and each cut into 2-3 pieces on the diagonal
– 4 rashers of unsmoked bacon, snipped into pieces
– 1 tbsp plain flour
– 1 tsp paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
– 175g lamb’s liver, sliced into thin strips
– 20g pack flatleaf parsley, chopped
– 150ml hot vegetable stock (made with bouillon powder)
– 4 tbsp soured cream
1. Cut the potatoes in half. Let them simmer in salted water for 12-15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat the oil in a wok (or a deep pan). Add the potatoes and fry them for 4-5 minutes over a high heat until browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
3. Put the spring onions and bacon into the pan and stir and sizzle for 3-4 minutes or until the bacon gets crispy. Meanwhile, season the flour with paprika, a little salt and plenty of black pepper, then use to coat the liver.
4. Stir the liver into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Toss in the potatoes and quickly reheat. Stir in the chopped parsley, remove everything from the pan and divide between 2 plates. Keep warm.
5. Quickly pour the hot stock into the pan and scrape all the crispy bits up from the bottom. Bubble for 1-2 minutes, and then pour around the liver and potatoes. Serve each portion topped with soured cream and a sprinkling of paprika.
Tributes to: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2723/liver-and-bacon-saut-with-potatoes-and-parsley
Trout with Cucumber and Sour Cream
Impress your friends when you invite them to dinner. This simple and refreshing fish dish is just what is needed with good wine to get the night going. Easy and quick recipe that serves 4 and takes around 30 minutes to make.
– 1 tsp. of raw lemon peel (around 2g)
– 2 ½ tsp. of raw lemon juice
– 3 tsp. of fresh dill
– 1 cup of reduced fat or regular sour cream
– 2 tbsp. of unsalted butter
– Around 700g of fresh trout
– 1 large peeled cucumber
1. PREPARATION: Peel cucumber and slice into thin rounds, chop dill, grate lemon peel, melt butter.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Combine cucumber, 1 1/2 teaspoons dill and 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice in medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Combine sour cream, lemon peel and remaining 1 teaspoon lemon juice in small bowl; season with salt and pepper and stir to blend.
3. Brush baking sheet with some of melted butter. Arrange trout fillets, skin side down, on prepared sheet. Brush with remaining butter. Sprinkle trout with salt and pepper. Bake until just opaque in center, about 10 minutes.
4. Divide cucumbers among 4 plates. Using spatula, place trout atop cucumbers. Spoon sour cream sauce over. Sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons dill.
Tributes to: https://www.eatthismuch.com/recipe/view/trout-with-cucumber-and-sour-cream,45065/
Spice up your dinner party menu with this innovative appetizer. Prepares in 45 minutes, it is great for showing off your creative cooking skills. This recipe is meant for one serving of 4, but who’s to stop you from making bunch of them!
– 4 large medium hard boiled eggs
– 450 g ground beef
– 2 cloves of minced garlic
– 1 tbsp. of hot sauce or pepper
– 1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
– 1 tsp. of salt
– ½ tsp. of pepper, ground
– 3 tbsp. of wheat flour
– 1 cup of Panko breadcrumbs
– 3 tbsp. olive oil
– 2 tbsp. of mayonnaise-like dressing
– 1 tbsp. of Dijon mustard
1. Place all but one of the eggs in the saucepan and add cold water to cover the eggs completely. Bring it to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour off hot water and add cold water. Once cooled, peel the eggs and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
3. Beat the remaining one egg in bowl. Place flour and panko in separate bowls as well.
4. In a medium bowl, combine ground beef, garlic, a few dashes of hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Mix everything until combined with your hands. Divide the meat into equal parts (one part per egg). Flatten the meat patties and place peeled hard boiled eggs on each one. Carefully shape the meat around the egg. Pinch the seams together and gently roll it between your palms for a minute or so squeezing out the air between the egg and meat and sealing the edges of the meat. Now, roll each meat-wrapped eggs in the flour, then dip them in the beaten egg, and finally roll them in the Panko.
5. Heat the olive oil in the large skillet over medium high heat. Place the meat-wrapped eggs in skillet and brown slightly from all sides, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer onto the baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, or silicone mat. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
6. For the sauce, whisk together mayo, sour cream, mustard and cayenne pepper sauce. Cut each Scotch egg into quarters and drizzle the sauce. Serve warm. Enjoy!
Tributes to: https://www.eatthismuch.com/recipe/view/scotch-egg,386848/
Mexican Beef Taco Salad
Start movie night, home party or any other occasion that you think is good enough to gather people around, the right way. This salad serves 8 and takes less than 30 minutes to make, so that means you can work on your other preparations.
– 450 g of ground beef
– 1 tbsp. of dry taco seasoning mix
– ¼ cup of water
– 8 cups of shredded lettuce
– ¼ cup of corn
– 1 ½ cup of cherry tomatoes
– 250 g of tortilla chips
1. Coat a large, nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook until browned. Drain any accumulated fat and add the taco seasoning and water. Stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat.
2. Combine the lettuce, corn, tomatoes in a large bowl. Top with the meat and the chips just before serving. Enjoy!
Tributes to: https://www.eatthismuch.com/recipe/view/mexican-beef-taco-salad,927295/
How to easy test yourself for vitamin B12 deficiency from home
Testing yourself for vitamin B12 levels in blood is easy, cheap and private way to update your health status. You need to provide a blood sample which you then send to a certified laboratory and wait couple of business days for the result. Home testing relies on the same or similar techniques used to test vitamin B12 levels in doctor’s office so the results you get are reliable and accurate.
Recommended vitamin B12 home tests to use:
Order home the kit, collect a small blood sample from a finger to the provided tube and place it in the kit container. Post the sample back and receive the results online. Clear and simple user instructions comes with this fully anonymous test kit.
- Accurate since it measure blood
- Available worldwide
1. Circa 0.5 ml blood needs to be collected
- Al-Hashel JY, Ismail II, John JK, Ibrahim M, 2015,Neurological, Hematological and Dermatological Manifestations of Vitamin B12 Deficiency Secondary to Pernicious Anemia; A Case Report and Literature Review, NEJM and Journal of Neurology and Stroke, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMicm020588
- 2. Unknown author, 2018., Reference ranges, American College of Physicians (ACP), https://annualmeeting.acponline.org/sites/default/files/shared/documents/for-meeting-attendees/normal-lab-values.pdf
- Unknown author, 2008., Conclusions of a WHO Technical Consultation on folate and vitamin B12 deficiencies, WHO Food and Nutrition Bulletin, vol. 29. http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/micronutrients/FNBvol29N2supjun08.pdf
- Unknown author, unknown date, Vitamin B12—cyanocobalamin and cobalamin, Orthomolecular, http://orthomolecular.org/nutrients/b12.html
- Unknown Author, 2015., Food Sources of Vitamin B12, Dieticians of Canada https://www.dietitians.ca/getattachment/45413d68-0639-4ad6-8de6-10eb97556e5f/FACTSHEET-Food-Sources-of-Vitamin-B12.pdf.aspx
- Unknown author, unknown date, Vitamin B12 fact sheet for health professionals, National Institutes of Health, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Vitamin%20B12-HealthProfessional/
- Unknown author, 2018., Reference ranges, American College of Physicians (ACP), https://annualmeeting.acponline.org/sites/default/files/shared/documents/for-meeting-attendees/normal-lab-values.pdf
- Mitsuyama Y, Kogoh H. , 03.1988., Serum and cerebrospinal fluid vitamin B12 levels in demented patients with CH3-B12 treatment–preliminary study., Japanese Journal of Psychiatry and Neurology, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3398357
- A. David Smith Helga Refsum, 17.11.2011., Do we need to reconsider the desirable blood level of vitamin B12?, Journal of Internal Medicine, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2011.02485.x