Cook Up a Buffalo Slider
The best natural sources of vitamin B12 are animal foods. One-hundred percent grass-fed buffalo (or bison) is a lean and green superfood, as it’s lower in calories, total fat and saturated fat than conventional beef, and higher in heart-healthy omega-3s. Look for “100% grass fed” on the label, as some buffalo at the supermarket is corn-fed (in which case, those health benefits disappear). If you can’t find buffalo or bison, 95% extra lean organic grass-fed beef is a good alternative.
Crack Open a Clam
Seafood provides some of the best B12 foods on the planet. Just 3 ounces of canned clams, for example, pack over 100% of the DV for vitamin B12, and is also an excellent source of selenium, iron, zinc and protein. You can also find frozen clams in the freezer section of many seafood counters. Don’t like clams? Substitute 4-5 ounces of sardines, salmon or trout for a nutrient-rich B12 boost.
Try a Nutritional Yeast
If you’ve eliminated red meat altogether, are a vegan or vegetarian, a nutritional yeast that is fortified with B12 (be sure to check the label) can also be an excellent source of this vitamin; simply sprinkle 1 tablespoon per day into your lasagnas, smoothies and even desserts for your daily dose of B12. While other plant foods may claim to be a source of B12, these are unreliable as the amount can vary; a fortified yeast (or breakfast cereal) is a better bet.
What About B12 Shots or Supplements?
For many Americans, including vitamin B12-rich foods and fortified foods can help them easily meet their needs. However, supplements and injections can be another option for people who already have or are at higher risk for deficiency. There are numerous vitamins, lozenges, dissolving oral tablets, lollipops and patches that deliver adequate amounts of B12, so choose a method that works for you, and be sure it provides the dose you are looking for. If you have a B12 deficiency, injections can also be very effective, as they provide an immediate boost of energy and help to correct the deficiency. However, they tend to be more expensive and you need to visit a doctor or health-care provider. Be sure to discuss all of your options and choose the one that is the best fit for your health needs, budget and lifestyle.