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Methylated Vitamins – Diet Tips

By Jiri Kaloc

Methylated vitamins are most often discussed as something to supplement. But diet should be a significant source of these vitamins too. Let’s take a look at which foods contain high amounts of methylated vitamins.

Best sources of methylated vitamin B12, Methylcobalamin

Methylcobalamin, the methylated form of vitamin B12 is best sourced from animal-based foods. A few plant foods naturally contain trace amounts of bioactive forms vitamin B12, but it’s near impossible to get sufficient amounts. For example, if you wanted to get your B12 from the popular seaweed nori you’d need to eat a more than 13 sheets of it every day. You’ll have a much easier time if you regularly include the following foods into your diet.

  • Animal liver
  • Salmon, tuna, trout, sardines
  • Beef, chicken, pork
  • Milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Eggs, particularly the yolk

Best sources of methylated vitamin B9, Methylfolate

Vitamin B9 is found in high amounts in legumes, green vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, and animal liver. But most of these foods contain mainly the non-methylated version of B9, folic acid. Thankfully, some of the folate is already methylated in food. Here is a list of foods that have the highest proportion of the active form of B9 called methylfolate.

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sprouted buckwheat, beans, chickpeas
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Asparagus
  • Kale and spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Fermented foods such as miso and kefir
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits
Berries Smoothie
Berries are one of the best sourcs of methylfolate.

What about vitamin B6 and B2 and choline?

Pyridoxine and Riboflavin, Vitamin B6 and B2, are involved in the methylation cycle but are not methylated. This makes it simpler when looking for food sources. Here are examples of foods high in both of these vitamins.

Vitamin B6:

  • Chickpeas
  • Tuna, salmon, halibut
  • Animal liver
  • Potatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Chicken, turkey
  • Bananas

Vitamin B2:

  • Animal liver
  • Dairy
  • Beef, clams, chicken
  • Almonds
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms, spinach

Choline, formerly known as vitamin B4 because of its similarity to other vitamins from the B group, is also one to pay attention. It’s an important source of methyl groups in the methylation cycle. Here are some of the best foods to get enough of choline.

  • Animal liver
  • Eggs
  • Soybeans
  • Beef, chicken
  • Fish
  • Potatoes
  • Legumes, dairy, shiitake mushrooms

What foods should you eat to get enough methylated vitamins?

When we look at the foods mentioned in this article, it’s clear that some of them are being mentioned more than others. One certainly stands out among all others, and that’s animal liver. It’s an excellent source of methylated vitamins and B vitamins, but even if you’re not into liver because of its specific taste, there are other excellent choices. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, eggs, fish, and meat are good examples.

What’s also apparent is that a diet high in these basic, real foods is also a good diet to maintain good intake of B vitamins. If you’re following a vegan diet, you may have a harder time getting some of these vitamins, especially B12. Fortified foods or supplements may be the way to go in that case. And if you’re worried whether you’re getting enough, ask your doctor to test your vitamin B levels.

Next up in Methylated Vitamins series