There are a lot of B vitamins, and B12 is an important one. If you're deficient in this vitamin you can wind up feeling fatigued. Vitamin B12 helps maintain a healthy nervous system and your healthy red blood cells. It is involved in the process of making DNA as well as metabolizing protein. B12 helps make white blood cells, which are important for your immune system, and are necessary for pregnant women since they help with an embryo's neurological development. That's a lot for one little subset of a vitamin, but your body doesn't need much — only 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of B12 a day (2.8 mcg if you're pregnant), and since your body can store several years' worth of this vitamin, a deficiency is rare unless you're not getting it in your diet. Vitamin B12 is mostly found in meat, fish, and dairy products. Check out the highest sources to make sure you're consuming your fill:
- 3 oz. clams: 84 mcg (holy B12!)
- 3/4 cup fortified breakfast cereal: 6 mcg
- 3 oz. of rainbow trout: 5.4 mcg
- 1 tbsp Red Star Nutritional Yeast: 4 mcg (great for vegetarians and vegans)
- 3 oz. beef: 2.4 mcg
Fit's Tips: To see other sources of vitamin B12, check out this chart. If you're not obtaining enough form your diet, then you'll want to consider taking a B12 supplement.