Vitamin B12 Is Amazing for Your Brain—Here Are 6 Foods Rich in the Nutrient

"B12 is an essential vitamin necessary for cellular health, protein synthesis, neurological function, and making healthy, mature red blood cells," says Amy E. Chadwick, ND, of Four Moons Spa. See, B12, like many vitamins and minerals, is a co-factor in enzyme activity. "I liken this to the nuts and bolts in a set of gears," Chadwick says. "In order for the gears to function properly, they need to be connected well, maintained, and lubricated, and then they can generate whatever they are designed to generate." It's necessary for a healthy cardiovascular system, for the production of neurotransmitters (which affect your mood and well-being), as well as memory and brain cell function.

The interesting part about B12 is it's bound to proteins in food. However, the breakdown of the proteins to release the B12 requires healthy stomach acid production. When there's a deficiency, anemia can occur, which can lead to neurological imbalances and inefficient cellular activity. So according to celebrity nutritionist Elissa Goodman, approximately 40% of the population is deficient in B12. If you're feeling tired, confused, low-energy, weak, sluggish, anxious, those are initial deficiency symptoms.