cobalt rich foods

In this article, we will cover what foods are high in cobalt, and what foods have cobalt.

With all the talk about vitamins and minerals, it’s easy to forget trace minerals. They are just as important as any other nutrient, maybe even more so. 

One of these essential nutrients is cobalt.

It’s a vital trace mineral found in soil, water, and some foods. The body needs cobalt to make vitamin B12, essential for red blood cell production and nervous system function. 

A lack of cobalt can lead to anemia and other health problems.

While you don’t need a lot of cobalt, it’s still important to ensure you get enough. The best way to do this is by eating cobalt-rich foods. 

Foods high in cobalt help the body to absorb and process vitamin B12. This nutrient is beneficial to the body’s red blood cells and keeps nerves healthy. 

Aside from that, cobalt boosts the immune system by stimulating the activities of the white blood cells to prevent infections. 

Currently, the recommended dietary allowance for cobalt. The average intake for an adult is between 5-8mcg a day.

So what foods are high in cobalt and what are their benefits? You may be surprised by our findings! 

Read on to find out more about cobalt food sources. Here are some of the best foods to eat if you want to up your intake of this important nutrient.


Cobalt Foods To Add To Your Diet 9

Finally, a treat we can enjoy without feeling too guilty! 

Chocolate lovers will be happy to know that this sweet treat is a great way to get your daily amount of cobalt. 

Dark chocolate is an excellent source of cobalt and antioxidants. 

Fish & Seafood

Plate Meal Fish Dish Seafood Food Salmon
Plate Meal Fish Dish Seafood Food Salmon

We all know that fish is a source of Omega 3 and contains fatty acids that promote healthy brain activity. 

Fish is also a good source of protein and, more importantly, cobalt. 

Shellfish and crustaceans have good levels of cobalt as the fish absorb the mineral through the seawater. 

Seafood is one of the best sources of cobalt. 

The body needs to create vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is necessary for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis. 

The recommended daily intake (RDI) of cobalt is 0.11-0.30 mg for adults.


Not only do figs contain cobalt, but they also help promote digestion and lower the risk of cancer. Figs can be eaten alone or baked in sweet dishes. 

Meat – Beef And Pork

Cobalt can be found in organs such as the pancreas and the liver. This is also true in animals, so eating meat such as pork liver is a good source of cobalt. 

Although not as appealing, offal also offers the same benefit. Red meat in general is rich in cobalt, so a diet with plenty of red meat is recommended if you are trying to up your cobalt intake. 

Beef and pork are also considered one of the best sources of cobalt. 

One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of roasted beef provides 0.27 mg of cobalt, while one 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of roasted pork provides 0.24 mg.

Both beef and pork are excellent sources of protein, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron and zinc.

Organ Meats

Organ meats are an excellent source of cobalt. 

One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of liver provides 0.32 mg of cobalt, while one 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of kidney provides 0.28 mg. 

Organ meats are also a good source of protein, B vitamins, iron, and other minerals.

Green Leafy Vegetables

cobalt rich foods
Cobalt Foods To Add To Your Diet 10

Green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, green beans, and spinach are all excellent sources of iron that prevent inflammatory diseases and improve general energy and focus. 

A meal including red meat, rice, and green vegetables is rich in protein, iron, and carbohydrates, as well as cobalt. 

Other vegetables that are rich in cobalt include potatoes, onions, garlic, cucumber, and radishes. 

Leafy green vegetables also serve as the major component to fulfill the needs of cobalt in the human body. 

One cup (30 grams) of cooked kale provides 0.18 mg of cobalt, while one cup (30 grams) of cooked spinach provides 0.16 mg. You can also get vitamin C, folate, and other minerals from veggies.

Fruits And Fruit Juices

healthy green vegetables
Cobalt Foods To Add To Your Diet 11

Berries contain levels of cobalt, such as strawberries and cranberries. Other recommended fruits include grapes, apricots, and pears.

Fruits and fruit juices are good sources of cobalt.

A cup (240 ml) of grapefruit juice provides 0.21 mg of cobalt, while one cup (165 grams) of mashed bananas provides 0.10 mg. 

Also, get a punch of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with juices.

Eggs, Nuts, And Seeds – Nuts

Walnuts Natural Organic Nuts Health Walnut Seeds
Walnuts Natural Organic Nuts Health Walnut Seeds

Unsalted nuts are a great way to provide the body with healthy fats and cobalt. 

You can experiment with different tastes such as roasting almonds, chopping up cashews to sprinkle over salads, and eating a handful of brazil nuts as a mid-morning snack. 

Nuts help to lower the risk of heart disease and promote healthy brain activity. 

Eggs are also a vital source of cobalt. One large egg provides 0.06 mg of cobalt. Nuts and seeds are also essential to fulfill the needs of cobalt. 

One ounce (28 grams) of sunflower seeds provides 0.07 mg of cobalt, while one ounce (28 grams) of pumpkin seeds provides 0.05 mg.

Cheese and Dairy Products – Butter

cobalt foods dairy
Cobalt Foods To Add To Your Diet 12

Another ‘naughty’ item that we can’t seem to part ways with is butter. 

We are usually warned to steer clear of butter and any foods that contain it.

However, butter contains a good amount of cobalt and can be used in several ways. Spread it on toast, mix into cake ingredients, or use it to fry your morning eggs.

Dairy products are also everyday materials to benefit your health and complete cobalt needs. 

One cup (240 ml) of milk provides 0.09 mg of cobalt, while one ounce (28 grams) of cheddar cheese provides 0.04 mg (9). They are also a good source of protein, calcium, and other minerals.


This staple Asian dish is an excellent source of cobalt and contains up to 0.010mcg a portion. 

Rice is a great alternative to bread if you are trying to cut down on your carb intake. 

Brown rice in particular is good for weight loss. 

Legumes And Grains – Whole Grain Cereals

Whole grain cereals are packed with nutrients, fiber, and cobalt. 

Adding whole grains to your diet is a great way to reduce the risk of obesity, reduce inflammation, and support a healthy digestive system. 

Legumes are a good source of cobalt. One cup (198 grams) of cooked black beans provides 0.077 mg of cobalt, while one cup (172 grams) of cooked lentils provides 0.064 mg (10). 

Also, a cup (165 grams) of cooked quinoa provides 0.05 mg of cobalt, while one cup (190 grams) of cooked brown rice provides 0.04 mg.

Benefit Of Cobalt in the Human Body

Cobalt is an essential trace mineral required for the proper functioning of several enzymes in the body. 

It is found in food sources such as meat, poultry, fish, and vegetables. It is also available in supplement form. It has several important roles in the body, including:

  • This essential mineral helps the thyroid gland produce hormones that regulate metabolism, and it’s also necessary for the proper function of several other key organs and systems in the body.
  • Cobalt is necessary for absorbing vitamin B12, essential for good health. Vitamin B12 helps to produce healthy red blood cells and keeps your nervous system functioning properly.
  • It is important for immune system function. It helps the body to produce white blood cells, which are essential for fighting infection.
  • Cobalt also helps reduce inflammation, which can benefit people suffering from conditions like arthritis.
  • It is involved in the regulation of cell growth and metabolism. It helps to control the production of enzymes and hormones, which are essential for healthy functioning.

Other Health Benefits Of Cobalt 

Now we have discussed what types of food contain cobalt, let’s check out the other health benefits it has to offer. 

Fights against cancer cells

A 2020 study found cobalt useful in the prevention of cancer when used in specific treatments, including stem cell delivery and phototherapy.

Cobalt therapy is used to treat cancer by aiming gamma rays at cells using a cobalt machine. It produces rays that destroy cancerous cells found in the brain, neck, and vital blood vessels. 

Reduces Cholesterol Levels

An intake of cobalt is thought to decrease levels of cholesterol which prevent the risk of heart-related diseases and maintains a healthy cardiovascular system. One study performed on rats found that cobalt helped reduce cerebral cortical cholesterol levels.

Promotes Heart Health

Cobalt found in foods such as whole grains aid heart health by supporting the vascular functions of the heart. Having a healthy heart is essential in protecting all other parts of the human body. 

Aids Absorption Of Other Minerals 

Cobalt helps the body to absorb other minerals and nutrients that are digested from other foods. It is beneficial in the absorption of iron which is a vital nutrient needed by all. 

Cobalt Deficiency

The human body contains around 1-2mg of cobalt. While this is only a tiny amount, it is important to make sure you provide your body with foods rich in cobalt to prevent the following problems from arising. 

A deficiency in cobalt can lead to:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • The longer healing process when injured
  • Feeling ‘foggy’ or weak

A loss of cobalt levels could be due to:

  • Heavy blood loss
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Poor gut health or gastrointestinal infections

Mineral supplements can assist in the healthy functioning of organs. 

A depletion in cobalt is rare. but can lead to anemia and decreased thyroid functions. 

On the other hand, too much cobalt can affect the nervous system and affect the arterial walls. 


1. What Nutrients Does Cobalt Contain?

Cobalt is a mineral that is found in various food items. The body needs to maintain a proper level of this mineral, as it helps with the metabolism and the production of red blood cells. A lack of cobalt can lead to anemia, so be sure to add cobalt-rich foods to your diet.

2. How Much Cobalt Do I Need per Day?

The recommended daily intake for cobalt is 0.11-0.30 mg for adults. However, this amount may vary depending on age, gender, and health condition.

3. What Are the Symptoms of Cobalt Deficiency?

Cobalt deficiency can lead to anemia and other problems such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and pale skin. You must speak with your doctor if you think you are deficient in cobalt.

4. Are There Any Risks Associated with Cobalt Supplements?

While cobalt supplements are generally safe, taking too much of this mineral can lead to toxicity. Symptoms of cobalt toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, headache, and dizziness. Speaking with your doctor before taking any supplements is important, as too much cobalt is also not good.

Final Thoughts

Cobalt is an essential trace mineral that holds many benefits for the human body. It helps boost the immune system, increases the production of red blood cells, and helps prevent infections. 

It is apparent in a number of popular everyday food items. Some are tastier than others! It is important to make sure your cobalt levels do not become too low as it can lead to extreme fatigue, which can begin to affect everyday activities.

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About the Author Adam

As a health and fitness writer, Adam combines his two passions—weightlifting and writing. With a creative writing degree under his belt, he spends his mornings lifting weights, his nights putting pen to paper, and eating too many snacks in between.

Health Disclaimer

  • Any products written about is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
  • Results may vary/may not be typical. 
  • This information does not constitute medical advice and it should not be relied upon as such. Consult with your doctor before modifying your regular medical regime.


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