This week I want to focus on vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, which is essential to good health. If you are a strict vegan and do not eat any animal products, you could be at risk for a B12 deficiency because B12 is primarily found in animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs and milk. It can also be found in some fortified foods, such as certain ready-to-eat breakfast cereals or in dietary supplements. As we age, some people will develop a reduced ability to absorb B12, so the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends that adults age 50 and older eat foods that are “fortified with B12, such as fortified cereals, or dietary supplements.”
What does B12 do for you?
Along with folate, it helps make red blood cells, is important for metabolism and helps keep your central nervous system healthy.
How much B12 do you need?
The RDA for people who are age 14 or older, is 2.4 mcg/day. If you are pregnant, the RDA is 2.6 mcg/day, and if you are breast-feeding, the RDA is 2.8 mcg/day. One cup of low-fat milk has approximately 1.0 mcg of B12; three ounces of cooked salmon has approximately 3.8 mcg of B12. One serving of this vegetable frittata supplies approximately .67 mcg of B12.