B-12: The Supernutrient You Need and a Recipe To Maximize It

As a postpartum doula, my favorite way to love, care for, and nourish my clients is feeding them. During the postpartum period, you need nourishment more than ever in all ways, but especially physically.

Since the marathon of pregnancy, labor, and delivery leave you depleted across the board, the best way to kickstart your healing process is…you guessed it…with food. It truly is one of the most important medicines we can integrate once our nutrient stores have been essentially emptied.

While there can be so many external forces encouraging you to “bounce back” after the baby is born, I am here to tell you that you’re not a bouncy ball. You are a human being who just created and birthed another human being. 

I am encouraging you to sit down, hell, lie down! And let someone else nourish you.

You deserve to take it slow and to create space for self-care. And while that space can be hard to come by in the whirlwind of the newborn months, a great way to start to really care for yourself is to feed yourself lovingly. Or better yet, tell someone else how to feed you lovingly.

NOTE: Forward this to your friends and family for your postpartum meal train. Let other people do the dirty work and bring this meal with them when they visit.

While there are tons of nutrients and recipes that are supremely supportive during postpartum, today I want to let you in on one powerhouse that helps keep nerve and blood cells healthy and help make DNA. You know the genetic material in all cells? Yea, that! 

Vitamin B12.

Here are some fun facts about this key nutrient.

Babies with low B12 levels are often more irritable, developmental delays, and poor brain growth. Oof. Don’t be scared! I know it sounds dramatic, but luckily we have plenty of sources of B12 we can utilize!

B12 also helps prevent anemia which leaves you tired and weak. And since we don’t need any more exhaustion or depletion, we can use food to support our physical and energetic bodies. We can also use food as medicine to support our mental health. Read more about that here

So, what are the best sources of B12? Animal foods, such as clams, tuna, liver, beef, salmon, and eggs. You can also get it from fortified dairy and cereals. If you are vegan, your doctor will likely advise you to take a B12 supplement.

If you’re in the mood for a delicious, warm, nourishing meal that is chock full of Vitamin B12, look not further than this recipe from The Spruce Eats*. It’s quick and easy to make.

Pasta with White Clam Sauce

What you’ll need:

1/2 pound (8 ounces) spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (10-ounce) can chopped clams (do not drain)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

What to do:

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Boil a large pot of water. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until soft and aromatic.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Add the minced clams with the liquid and bring to a boil.
  6. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the liquid reduces by about half.
  7. Add the parsley, salt, and pepper, and toss gently.
  8. Remove about 1/4 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce, mixing gently to coat. Add a little bit of the cooking water to help the sauce thicken.
  9. Serve immediately, garnished with some grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

A friendly reminder that this is the time to heal and replenish. You are working so hard and giving so much to your family, I hope you bring some of this yummy nourishment in so you can give back to you too.

Really want someone else to make you this recipe? Don’t be afraid to send this article to loved ones and let them cook it for you. Nourishing your body, mind, and spirit just got a little bit easier.

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