Are Dry Fruits Rich Sources of Vitamin B12? A Closer Look At Vitamin B12 Sources, Oral and Overall Health Benefits
If you’ve stumbled upon this article, you probably came here to figure out which dry fruits are rich in vitamin B12. Well, as much as I want you to be excited to learn about all things vitamin B12 and dry fruits, dry fruits are just not rich in this crucial nutrient.
However, if you are a dry fruit lover or seeking to understand what foods are high in B12, you are in good company. Dry fruits can surely be enjoyed with B12-filled foods.
No one food group or food provides us with all the nutrients we need for a happy, healthy, functioning body. Vitamin B12 is one of many vitamins that we need to maintain ourselves. So, in this post you can look forward to learning about all things vitamin B12 and dry fruits, specifically, we will cover:
• What is vitamin B12?
• Foods rich in vitamin B12
• Vitamin B12 dental health benefits
• What are dry fruits?
• How to enjoy dry fruits and vitamin B12 foods
So, without further ado, read on for all the fun details!
What Is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is one of the b vitamins. It is a water-soluble vitamin and sometimes you may see it listed as cobalamin. B12 is naturally present in certain foods, fortified into other foods and can be found in a variety of supplement forms ranging from pills to tablets to powders to drinks.
Plus, this vitamin helps support varying aspects of our bodies. B12 is an essential vitamin helps our central nervous system by contributing to the development and functions of cells for nerve and brain health. On top of that, this nutrient is needed to allow red blood cells to form and for DNA to synthesize.
Although, it’s not a laundry list of benefits the systems this vitamin does support and is needed for are vital to our well-being. Next, we will go over how vitamin B12 is absorbed. Bear with me, it’s a bit science-filled, but having a basic knowledge of this will help with understanding how B12 deficiency can reduce the quality of life and daily tasks of living.
Whenever you take eat B12 it is absorbed in a specific way within your gastrointestinal tract. First, when it hits your stomach, it meets hydrochloric acid. After that, it connects with a protein called intrinsic factor, moves into the small intestine, and then is absorbed and further utilized by the human body.
If you want an even more deep dive into the chemistry and science of B12 check out the National Institutes of Health’s Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Causes and Signs
B12 vitamin deficiency can be detrimental to our health. If you are concerned that you may have it or are heading toward a deficiency here are the causes and signs.
B12 deficiency can be caused from a myriad of factors. People who have been vegans, vegetarians or omit meat from their diet for long periods may develop a deficiency. This is because rich food sources of B12 mostly come from animal food products.
Furthermore, if you’ve had gastrointestinal surgery, you may have altered intrinsic factor or stomach acid which could result in a reduced or inability to break down and absorb the vitamin.
In addition, long-term use of certain medications or simply ageing can trigger low stomach acid. Low stomach acid can result in a reduced ability for hydrochloric acid to break B12 off from foods during digestion in our stomach.
And lastly, having no intrinsic factor, which can be caused by specific autoimmune diseases can lead to B12 deficiency. Without intrinsic factor our bodies cannot properly absorb this vitamin.
Of the following signs, no one sign is the end all be all when it comes to concluding that one is B12 deficient. If you are concerned about your B12 status, please consult with a healthcare professional.
And here are the signs:
• heart palpitations
• memory loss
• numbness or tingling in your hands and legs
• inflamed tongue aka glossitis
• pale skin
• feeling lethargic and tired
• megaloblastic anemia
• pernicious anemia
Lastly, these are just some of the potential signs. For more research-based evidence and analysis on signs, symptoms and general information on B12 head on down to the sources section.
Foods Rich In Vitamin B12
As mentioned in the last section, vitamin B12 foods tend to be found in animal or fish products, so long-term vegans or vegetarians may have a hard time eating enough B12 daily.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is the suggested amount most adults so try to get each day. For B12 the RDA for adults 19+ is 2.4 micrograms. Now, let’s check out the foods high in it with the list below:
|Vitamin B12 in Micrograms (mcg)
|~3.0 – 6.1 mcg*
|~3.0 – 6.0 mcg**
|~2.4 – 4.0 mcg***
|1 large egg
*vitamin B12 content varies depending on brand and type of cereal. **vitamin B12 content varies depending on brand and type of milk alternative. ***vitamin B12 content varies depending on wild caught or farm raise salmon.
And fun fact, a lot of these foods are also great sources of other nutrients that are vital to our overall and oral health. To learn more about what other vitamins and minerals many of these foods are filled with (along with learning about what vitamins are great for teeth) please refer to the blog post “6 Vitamins for Strong Teeth”.
Vitamin B12 Dental Health Benefits
The benefits of vitamin B12 for your dental health are still not fully understood, but there are some ways that B12 can indirectly or directly support your oral health.
First off, B12 helps with wound healing. If you undergo dental surgery, such as, having a tooth pulled, wisdom teeth removed or periodontal procedures, foods rich in B12 can assist with healthy and potentially quicker recovery.
The research is quite early for the correlation between B12 and mouth health, yet the information that has emerged links B12 with gum disease and cavities. Specifically, vitamin B12 helps metabolize carbohydrates, especially sugar. Therefore, for kids having adequate B12 status may help reduce the development of cavities.
Regarding gum disease, B12 may help keep gums healthy. Studies show that some people with advanced gum disease may be deficient in B12 or have low B12 levels. If you’d like to explore the research these two studies are a good place to start, “Cross Sectional Study: Assessment of B12 and Dental Caries in Children” and “Cohort Study: Serum Vitamin B12 and Periodontal Disease“
What Are Dry Fruits
Dried fruit is a fruit that has had the water removed. This can be done by leaving fruit out in the sun or using a dehydration machine. The natural sugars found in fruit are dispersed among the food because of water. So, when the water is removed, the sugars become condensed and concentrated in dry fruit. Therefore, dry fruit tends to taste a lot sweeter than fresh, frozen, or canned fruit!
Vitamins Dry Fruits Are Rich In
Dry fruits can certainly be part of a healthy diet. Many dried fruits are packed with nutrients ranging from potassium to calcium to fiber to vitamins A and K. Listed below are some popular dried fruits and the nutrients they are loaded with:
All the following are based on 40 grams, roughly ¼ cup serving size
|~3 grams Fiber
~290 mg Potassium
~25 mcg Vitamin K
|~2 grams Fiber
~290 mg Potassium
|~3 grams Fiber
~460 mg Potassium
~250 mg Vitamin A
|~3 grams Fiber
~340 mg Potassium
~50 mg Calcium
|~3 grams Fiber
~340 mg Potassium
~50 mg Calcium
These nutrient values may vary slightly based on any other added ingredients that may be in the brand you choose.
Dry Fruits Impact On Your Dental Health
Dry fruits make for a quick grab-and-go energizing snack. They tend not to take up much room and last a long time, making them a good snack to throw into your backpack, purse, or bag to have on hand while travelling or hiking.
There sure are many positives to reaching for dried fruit, but there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to chomping down on some dried goodness and supporting your dental health.
Because dried fruit is a condensed source of natural sugars and is inherently chewy, they can cause damage to your teeth. The sticky dried fruit can leave sugar debris on your teeth and potentially wear down your enamel leading to cavities. To reduce tooth damage that this can cause try having sips of water during and after eating dried fruit.
In addition to that try pairing dried fruits with other less sugary foods like cheese or nuts. This may help lessen the sugar adhering to your teeth. Sipping water during and after can further help wash out any sugar or food crumbs too!
How To Enjoy Dry Fruits and Vitamin B12 Foods
As we know by now, dry fruits are not rich in vitamin B12. But, if you love dried fruits and want to up your B12 intake, both can be accomplished by pairing B12-packed foods with nutrient-dense dried fruit. So, here’s a look at some of these snack and meal ideas:
• A serving of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt with a serving of chopped dried fruits (pineapple or cherries would make delish options) with some vanilla extract and flaxseed
• One hard-boiled egg with a serving of dried fruit
• A serving of fortified cereal with a cup of fortified milk and a serving of raisins
• Beef or lamb stew with dried fruits and nuts
Conclusion: No, Dry Fruits Are Not Rich in Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is such a pivotal nutrient to our health. Without it, we could suffer serious health consequences. There are numerous reasons why someone may be low or deficient in it.
The foods that tend to be rich in B12 unless fortified mainly come from animal and fish sources, so if you are a vegan or vegetarian, it’s important to include fortified food sources that are B12 rich.
Additionally, if you do follow a mostly plant-based non-animal meat diet you may have been hoping to uncover other sources (such as dried fruits) that are high in B12. Even though dried fruits are not rich in vitamin B12, they tend to be solid sources of other nutrients that are also vital to keeping our bodies and oral health well and happy.
So, combining dry fruits with vitamin B12-rich foods is a great way to enjoy dry fruits while ensuring that you are eating foods that fulfill your B12 needs. Plus, when it comes to your dental health pairing dry fruits with other foods helps reduce the potential of developing cavities.
All in all, I hope this article provided you with a general understanding of vitamin B12, its oral and overall health benefits, dry fruit nutrition and ways you can eat your B12 while keeping dry fruits in your diet.
If you are looking for nutrition guidance regarding your dental health or would like to talk more about all things vitamin B12 and dry fruits, I offer nutrition services, please head on over to my contact me page and reach out.
Cheers to Dental Health, Dry Fruits and B12
Additional B12 Sources: