Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential micronutrients that our body needs for general well-being. This water-soluble vitamin plays a key role in the production of red blood cells and contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system. It also helps boost our immunity and improve hair and skin health. However, this essential nutrient is not naturally produced in our body and we have to rely on the foods we eat for its supply. Therefore, health experts often advise following a well-balanced diet to protect our body from vitamin B12 deficiency.
Also known as cobalamin, this vitamin is widely found in dairy products and non-vegetarian foods, including meat, fish, chicken, and eggs. This raises a question, how vegetarians and vegans get their daily dose of vitamin B12. Although drugs and supplements have been one of the most common answers for centuries, a recent study found that even vegetarians and vegans can increase their vitamin B12 intake through their diet without taking pills. How, you ask?
Research at the University of Helsinki found that fermented dough (read: the dough used to prepare bature and Naan) can be a good source of vitamin B12 for those who avoid consuming foods of animal origin.
“In situ enrichment of B12 by fermentation could be a more cost-effective alternative. And as a commonly consumed staple food, grains are excellent vehicles for micronutrient fortification, ”explained Chong Xie of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki.
According to a report from the University of Helsinki, the researchers used 11 different grain-based materials and “fermented them with Propionibacterium freudenreichii – the only B12-producing microorganism accepted for food.” It has been found to produce a significant amount of vitamin B12 in most fermented grains.
The study further stated that after a 3-day fermentation process, both rice bran and buckwheat bran contained the highest amount of vitamin B12.
So, now instead of popping supplements, you can think about including these fermented foods to get your daily dose of vitamin B12.
Eat healthy, stay happy!
About Somdatta SahaExplorer – that’s what Somdatta likes to call herself. Whether in terms of food, people or places, all she dreams of is knowing the unknown. A simple aglio olio or daal-chawal paste and a good movie can make your day.