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What Foods To Avoid And Why If You Have A B12 Deficiency?

What Foods To Avoid And Why If You Have A B12 Deficiency?

What Foods You Should Avoid And Why If You Have A B12 Deficiency?


A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause everything from emotional stress to fatigue and poor health.  Foods such as folic acid forified foods, spirulina, and seaweed can inflame this deficiency and worsen your health if you’re suffering or diagnosed with a B12 deficiency. Spirulina, seaweed, and folic acid are not only deficient in the level of vitamin B12 necessary for your health, but they can inflame your B12 deficiency and worsen your condition. In addition to this, alcohol consumption can worsen B12 deficiency and deplete your body of this important nutrient for both your emotional and physical health.


The necessary dietary changes for a B12 deficiency are often not discussed the way that they should be. It’s incredibly important to treat your body with care and be aware of what foods to avoid as well as what foods are rich in B12.


Vitamin B12 is a fantastic nutrient that keeps nerve cells functioning and improves brain function. We regularly associate anemia with a lack of iron in the body, but a B12 deficiency can also lead to anemia. Having the recommended level of B12 is key to living a healthy life, fighting off disease, having energy, and achieving optimal health.


Just like with all aspects of a healthy diet, attaining a balance between foods that are rich in vitamin B12 and lacking in vitamin B12 are an important aspect of healthy living.


Read on to see which foods to avoid if you are suffering or diagnosed with a deficiency in vitamin B12!


Folic Acid Fortified Foods


Folic acid, also referred to as synthetic vitamin B9, works similarly to vitamin B12 in the sense that it helps blood cells and nerves to function. However, too much folic acid can negate and deplete your B12 levels, leading to further deficiencies.


What are some examples of foods that are rich in folic acid? Chickpeas, kidney beans, broccoli, peas, and breakfast cereals are only a few of the foods that are rich in synthetic vitamin B9.


If you’re diagnosed with a B12 deficiency, countering it with an excessive amount of synthetic B9 can do more harm than good, as well as hide your B12 deficiency and avoid you being able to realize that you are deficient. Memory loss can be a symptom of overconsuming B9, especially if you are 60 years or older.



Because the function of B9 and B12 are so similar, consuming folic acid can give you energy even though you are actually deficient in a separate vitamin, causing you to not realize that you have a vitamin deficiency.


Some symptoms of B12 deficiency are fatigue, irritability, and depression. B12 deficiency not only causes fatigue, mood swings, and more, in severe or unkept cases it can actually lead to irrecoverable nerve damage. Given this potential severity, it’s always recommended to treat B12 deficiency as effectively as possible.

Because of this it’s highly important to find balance between the two nutrients, avoid consuming over 1,000 mcg of folic acid foods per day.


Too Many Vitamin B12 rich foods can also be harmful


Intake of too much B12 can be harmful for your health, just like not enough B12. Taking too much B12 can cause lethargy, skin rash, dizziness, skin itching, and even diarrhea and nausea.


The National Institutes of Health recommends that the correct daily dosage of B12 should be:

  • 2.8 mcg for women who are breastfeeding
  • 2.8 mcg for pregnant women
  • 2.4 mcg for people over the age of 14
  • 2.4 mcg for people over the age of 50
  • 6 mcg for vegetarians and vegans

By taking vitamin B12 tablets or supplements, you can receive the proper amount as listed above for your lifestyle and diet.


One Food That Is Not A Sufficient B12 Source Is Seaweed


Nori, a commonly purchased seaweed from Japan, is often seen as a great source for vitamins. While nori can be a great source of certain vitamins, contrary to popular belief it is not a significant source of B12.


A great excerpt from a book by Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Fortify Your Life, discusses the basis of how uninformed the belief that seaweed holds a significant amount of B12 is.


It is often best to combine B12 supplements with large dose seaweed intake, such as the Why Not Natural B12 supplement.


There are, however, many alternative B12 rich food sources that you can either combine with seaweed or substitute seaweed or nori with.


Avoid Spirulina If You Are B12 Deficient


For someone who is deficient in the vitamin B12, Spirulina is not a great choice for a supplement that will properly aid in your health journey. Often considered to be rich in many vitamins and minerals, it is easy to assume Spirulina could aid in a B12 deficiency, but this cannot be further from the truth.


While this unique plant is rich in iron, copper, protein, and vitamin B1, B2, and B3, It does not contain a high content of B12 for human consumption.


Spirulina is rich in synthetic B12, which we spoke about earlier and introduced as potentially being counterintuitive to those who suffer with B12 deficiency. While many have this misunderstanding, spirulina is ineffective in aiding those with a deficiency in vitamin B12.


Pseudo vitamins often contain a similar molecular build to the vitamin.


Consuming this vitamin in no way matches up to the real thing. Consuming pseudo B12 has lessened health benefits and should be either replaced or supplemented with legitimate and natural B12 intake.


Alcohol Is Among The Worst For Those With A B12 Deficiency, And Can Even Cause One


Alcoholics are one of the highest statistics and demographics of B12 deficiencies in the world. Alcohol not only expels water from your system is large doses, but along with that hydration comes vitamin expulsion as well. It is recommended that anyone suffering from B12 deficiency refrains from excessive alcohol use. 


Alcohol gets broken down in the body by utilizing nutrients that are currently stored. By consuming alcohol regularly or in excess, your body is required to expel all of the nutrients and vitamins found in your body including vitamins A, C, D, K, and E.


Your liver provides a necessary function by breaking down the alcohol and helping metabolize. If necessary, the liver will use all of your bodies nutrients including vitamin B12 to make sure that this process is able to happen.


One common symptom of binge drinking is gastritis, which in turn only further robs your body of nutrients due to severe stomach inflammation. Through this inflammation, B12 is further expelled and lost from your body, causing your deficiency to worsen.

In addition to expelling nutrients, alcohol can render tests for vitamin deficiencies including B12 to be inconclusive, which can lead to you not being able to recognize or know that you have a vitamin deficiency and require supplementation, which can, as we mentioned before, cause more serious health issues.


In Conclusion

It is incredibly important for your overall health to take note of the foods not to consume in addition to ensuring to consume B12 rich foods whenever you suffer from this vitamin deficiency. Avoiding alcohol, ingesting supplements, and having a balanced diet that includes knowing what foods to take in is incredibly important.


While folic acid is often seen as a health supplement, for those suffering from B12 deficiency, it can have a negative impact. Not only can it hide your deficiency causing you to go undiagnosed, but it can also negatively impact your bodies absorption of B12.


Consuming alcohol worsens health in general, but especially those with vitamin deficiencies and B12 deficiencies in particular. This is done by causing nutrients and hydration to expel from your body, making it difficult to absorb B12, in addition to causing inflammation of the stomach and liver which further exacerbate the condition.


The best way to treat your B12 deficiency is by keeping a healthy diet, avoiding alcohol whenever possible, and using a supplement such as the Why Not Natural B12 liquid drops. Our all natural B12 supplements even come in an enjoyable and fully organic cherry flavor!

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