To support the return of the We Eat Balanced campaign, Dr Ranj Singh, the NHS doctor, is encouraging Britons to ‘Wake Up to B12’, one of many important nutrients that we get from a healthy balanced diet.
One in four (26%) adults surveyed by AHDB are unaware that vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, while a further quarter (27%) do not know of B12’s role in helping the immune system to work normally.1
Why is B12 so important?
Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the diet. If you’re feeling a little run-down or worse for wear, you may have concerns about whether you are getting enough nutrients in your diet. A healthy, balanced diet will provide you with the nutrients you need.
When it comes to vitamin B12, adults need around 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 a day. B12 is found naturally in a wide variety of animal-sourced foods, including meat (beef, lamb and pork) and dairy (milk, cheese and yogurt). B12 can be more difficult to source from foods of plant origin but can be found in certain fortified products like breakfast cereals and dairy milk alternatives.
Three reasons to wake up to B12
- B12 helps reduce tiredness and fatigue
- B12 helps the immune system to work normally
- B12 helps the body to release energy from food
A varied and balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are recommended for good health.
Benefits of milk
- Milk is a good value source of vitamin B12, as it can be purchased for as little as 95p per pint 2, so can help with household spending affected by the cost-of-living crisis
- In addition, milk contains six other essential vitamins and minerals
FOODS naturally CONTAINING VITAMIN B12 TO ADD TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST:
- Meat such as pork, beef and lamb. Opt for lean cuts, such as 5% pork or beef mince
- Milk, cheese and yogurt
Tips for healthy eating and meal planning
- Meal planning and preparation is a great way to make healthier food choices and save time and money. It may seem overwhelming at first, but there are a variety of culinary hacks to develop a sustainable meal-planning habit that works for your lifestyle or family
- Planning to cook leftovers is a great idea if you don’t want to spend time in your kitchen every day of the week. Making a few extra dinner servings is great for lunch options without additional effort
- Batch cook rice or roast a large tray of vegetables or meat joint at the start of the week and use it in wraps/flatbreads, salads, stir-fries, or assorted grain bowls
- Fall in love with your freezer – great for storing batch-cooked meals and, at the same time, reduces food waste and stretches the pennies
- Shopping hacks – to save on your weekly shopping, where you can, buy loose rather than bagged vegetables, as they’re often cheaper.
Money-saving recipe hacks
- Overnight oats – an easy breakfast option that won’t break the bank. Made with oats, semi-skimmed milk or yogurt and fruit
- Quesadillas – using your favourite flatbreads, these make incredible lunch or tea time treats that all the family adore. Filled with leftover meat, vegetables or cooked rice and a handful of grated cheese
- For dinner ideas, try a fridge stir-fry – why not whip up a delicious stir-fry with leftover meat and veggies in your fridge?
- Baked potatoes – these are great finished with a variety of toppings from baked beans and grated cheese, coleslaw, leftover curry, chilli, etc
- Lunch – salads with leftover cooked roast meats and vegetables. Stir through wholewheat pasta shapes or nutty wholegrain rice or couscous
- Soups – great for using up leftover strips of roasted meats and root veggies. Why not batch-make your soups, divide into individual portions, and include as a lunch option
- According to an Opinium study of 4,000 adults commissioned by AHDB in August 2022, 26% don’t recognise B12 as an essential nutrient that helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue or for its role in helping the immune system to work normally (27%)
- Price sourced from Tesco on 13 December 2022