A decline in cognitive function is a normal part of aging because the brain shrinks as age increases, affecting all levels from molecules to morphology. Although you can’t really do anything about it, you can, however, keep your brain active and preserve your mental acuity with the help of brain-stimulating activities, physical exercise and most importantly, good nutrition.
One of the many nutrients that play a vital role in the proper functioning of the nervous system is Vitamin B12. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that is responsible for the metabolism of every cell in our bodies.
Although it’s readily available in a lot of food sources, some people may not be getting enough. And as you age, your body’s ability to absorb Vitamin B12 from food also slows down.
That said, it’s important to increase your Vitamin B12-rich food intake to get your adequate supply of this brain-boosting nutrient, and here are the best sources:
Shellfish: Clams, Oysters & Mussels (cooked)
These three are loaded with Vitamin B12 with 14.6, 13.2-21.6 and 18.0 micrograms respectively per 75 g (2 ½ oz).
Liver: from Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Turkey or Pork (cooked)
For 75 g of Lamb, Veal and Beef liver, you can get up to 66 mcg of Vitamin B12 and for Chicken, Turkey and Pork, you can get around 12 to 23 mcg per 2 ½ oz.
Fish: Mackerel (King or Atlantic), Herring (Atlantic), Tuna (Bluefin)
These are the top sources of Vitamin B12 from fish, cooked Mackerel will give you up to 14.3 mcg of Vitamin B12, 14 mcg for kippered Herring and 8.2-9.3 mcg for raw or cooked Tuna.
Vegans and vegetarians may have problems consuming enough Vitamin B12 since most food sources come from animal meats but don’t worry, here are a few options for you:
Fortified Soy Products: Tofu and Soymilk
100 grams of Tofu contains 2.42 micrograms of Vitamin B12 while a cup of plain Soymilk has 2.99 mcg.
A 100 g – serving size of All-Bran Cereal contains 20 micrograms of Vitamin B12.