(AscendHealthy.com) – Most of us crave a morning boost to help stimulate brain power and restore energy levels. Many of us turn to the first thing that comes to mind: a tasty morning cup of joe. While that and other caffeinated drinks can provide that power boost we crave, there may be an even better option: Vitamin B12. Here’s how this nutrient can give us added stamina and enhance our lifestyle.
Provides a Nice Surge of Energy
When that blanket of tiredness and accompanying lack of energy takes over, it’s hard to get anything accomplished — especially early in the morning. Making sure vitamin B12 levels are within the normal range (160 to 950 pg/ml) is critical to starting and maintaining a high-energy day. When our levels are too low, we may have too little stamina to sustain ourselves during the day. Taking frequent naps during the day yet still waking up tired could be a sign of B12 deficiency.
May Improve Mood
Noticed any fluctuations in behavior lately? While stress or sudden lifestyle changes might be the culprits, low B12 levels could also be to blame. People who follow a strict vegetarian or meat-free diet may be susceptible to low B12 levels. Normalizing levels can help improve mood and happiness, giving a huge boost to mental health.
Helps Keep Memory Crisp
As we age, we may experience slight declines in mental acuity, but typically before we’re 70 or so. However, if our bodies are extremely tired, especially if we’re reacting to low B12 levels, our minds could be cloudy and sluggish. Bumping up our vitamin B levels into the normal range can help improve memory function and pave the way for a clearer mind throughout the day.
Regulates Circadian Rhythms
At the correct doses, B12 may help modulate our sleeping and waking cycles, or our circadian rhythms, according to studies. Too little B12, and we may experience sleepiness and lack of energy. Too much B12 and we might experience a form of insomnia where the onset of sleep is delayed, and we wake sooner than is optimal. So while getting enough B12 is certainly important, too much of a good thing could actually be counterproductive.
Getting Enough Vitamin B12
The recommended daily amount of Vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg. The majority of people living in the US get enough of it through their diets alone, but it’s still important to know what foods are the best sources.
Eggs are a great source of B12 and other B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, D, and E. Many kinds of cereal are fortified with B12, as well. Whole milk and other dairy products like cheese are also good sources of the valuable vitamin. Fatty fish like salmon, trout and sardines are another way to increase daily intake. Other foods especially high in B12 include beef, organ meats, clams, crab and fortified tofu.
Vegans may choose to supplement by using B12 vitamins or fortified nutritional yeast. People experiencing digestive issues, including older adults who may not produce the same levels of stomach acid they once did, may also need to supplement. In addition, doctors may advise pregnant women to supplement their B12 intake using vitamins.
Everyone wants to feel amazing when they wake up in the morning. If the coffee isn’t cutting it, it could be time to talk to a healthcare team about testing for a vitamin B12 deficiency. A few easy diet modifications might have us feeling better and brighter than we have in a while.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension
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