Wellness Tip


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Body Tip Canker sores? You may be short on vitamin B12 and folate. Add canned clams and frozen spinach to spaghetti to get a generous dose of both.

Can’t seem to go more than a few weeks without a new canker sore? Even though they generally go away on their own and are nothing to worry about, these painful lesions can make eating and drinking pretty uncomfortable. Though no one is sure exactly what causes canker sores, some research suggests they may benefit from fixing a vitamin deficiency. Studies looking at canker sores and diets consistently found that sufferers were lacking in vitamin B12, folate and iron. Plants don’t produce B12, so vegetarians, especially those who eat no animal products whatsoever, i.e. vegans, may be at an especially increased risk of B12 deficiency. The elderly, as well as individuals with celiac or Crohn’s disease, are also at increased risk of deficiency. If you eat fish, clams are a great source for a megadose of B12; just three ounces provide a whopping 1,400 percent of your daily allowance. They’re also a better source of iron than a slab of steak, delivering 32 percent of your daily need. One cup of cooked frozen spinach also supplies a generous dose of iron, as well as nearly 60 percent of your folate needs. Vegetarians looking to up their vitamin B12 intake can look to fortified whole-grain breakfast cereal, soy milk, nutritional yeast (a light yellow powder that looks and tastes kind of like Parmesan cheese), fat-free milk and fat-free, plain yogurt.

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