Vitamin B12 is essential for the body and not getting enough can be detrimental to a person’s health. The vitamin helps the production of red blood cells, and not getting enough can result in a shortage. A lack of red blood cells can lead to tissues and organs becoming deprived of oxygen, and this can trigger anaemia which can lead to heat and lung problems.
So what can you do to avoid a vitamin B12 deficiency, particularly on Christmas Day?
The NHS lists a number of good sources of vitamin B12, such as milk, eggs and some fortified breakfast cereals.
But there are three you’re more likely to tuck into on the big day.
The sea fish is an excellent source of vitamin B12 according to experts.
Smoked salmon on blinis or toast is a popular Christmas Day breakfast treat.
Beef contains a high amount of the vitamin but also isn’t everyone’s first choice of meat when it comes to Christmas dinner.
Those opting for the more traditional turkey dinner need not worry, as poultry, such as turkey, chicken, goose and duck, all contain vitamin B12 too.
Cheese is a great natural source of vitamin B12, particularly for vegetarians.
Mozzarella, feta and brie tend to have higher amounts of the vitamin.
So there’s another reason to get out the cheese board for dessert.
If you don’t choose to include these foods in your diet, vitamin B12 is also available in supplement form.
Symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be mistaken for less serious health conditions.
But Bupa lists six to watch out for:
- Feeling very tired
- Breathlessness even after little exercise
- Heart palpitations
- A reduced appetite
- A sore mouth and tongue
Another three signs of a vitamin B12 deficiency can be spotted when you go to the toilet.