Cape Gooseberries – A Good Source of B12?
If you’re trying to get more vitamin B12 in your diet, it’s time to put Cape Gooseberries on your shopping list. It’s rare to find a fruit containing vitamin B12, but the Physalis Peruviana – or Cape Gooseberry – is believed to be one of the only fruits which may have a complete range of B Vitamins, including B12 as well as B1, B2 and B3. What’s more, the berries are high in phosphorous which helps your body absorb the B Vitamins.
B12 helps your brain and nervous system and is important for the formation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen around the body. If you’re deficient in B12, you could experience a range of symptoms including fatigue and weakness, light-headedness , rapid heart rate, easy bruising and bleeding, weight loss, bowel upset and sore tongue.
B12 for Vegans and Vegetarians
Most non-vegans get their B12 from animal products including fish, poultry, meat, eggs, milk and milk products like cheese and yoghurt. For vegetarians and vegans, who may eat no animal products, it’s important to find other sources of B12. This usually means eating fortified cereals, fortified nutritional yeast or taking a B12 supplement.
Can you get B12 from plants?
Research shows B12 is not available in plants, but is synthesised by intestinal bacteria in the guts of animals and humans. This explains why animal products are a good source of B12. This is still encouraging news for vegans and vegetarians because it confirms the human body is capable of synthesising its own B12 given healthy gut bacteria. So, although it is still widely debated whether B12 can be found in plant foods at all, vegans and vegetarians are encouraged to eat foods which foster good gut bacteria and, in turn, the synthesis of B12. These foods include:
- cultured foods (like Miso or sauerkraut)
- Shitake mushrooms
- Nori and other seaweeds
- Fruits such as Cape Gooseberries!
- A wide variety of vegetables
Cape Gooseberries for B12?
Although there are few scholarly articles stating Cape Gooseberries are a source of B-Vitamins including B12, perhaps the most likely reason Cape Gooseberries may boost B12 is their ultra high fibre content: such fibre promotes excellent gut-health, which may help gut bacteria synthesise B12 in the human body.
So whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or meat-eater, Cape Gooseberries are not only packed with vitamins and nutrition, but also boast high fibre for excellent gut health which may promote higher B12 production in the body.
Please remember this article is for general discussion is not nutritional advice! If in doubt, please visit your doctor to have your B12 levels checked.