September 27, 2023
Learn about the top 10 foods rich in vitamin B12, tips for incorporating them in your diet, plant-based options, and surprising sources of vitamin B12.


Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that our body requires for healthy nerve function and the production of red blood cells. While B12 deficiency can lead to various health issues, incorporating this nutrient in our diet can be challenging. Vegans, vegetarians, and older adults are particularly at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. In this article, we will explore ten foods that are high in B12, how to incorporate them into your diet, tips for plant-based options, and surprising sources of B12.

Top 10 Foods that are High in Vitamin B12

1. Clams: Clams are one of the best sources of vitamin B12. A three-ounce serving of cooked clams contains 84 micrograms of vitamin B12, which is more than ten times the daily recommended value (DV).

2. Beef Liver: Beef liver is another excellent source of vitamin B12. A three-ounce serving of cooked beef liver contains around 70 micrograms of vitamin B12, which is over nine times the daily recommended value.

3. Trout: Fishes are known to have high vitamin B12 content, and trout is no exception. A three-ounce serving of cooked trout contains 5.4 micrograms of vitamin B12.

4. Salmon: Another fish that is known for its high vitamin B12 content is salmon. A 3-ounce serving of cooked salmon provides 3.5 micrograms of vitamin B12.

5. Tuna: Tuna is also a good source of vitamin B12. A 3-ounce serving of cooked tuna provides 2.5 micrograms of vitamin B12.

6. Fortified Cereals: Many cereals are fortified with vitamin B12, making it an easy way to incorporate the nutrient into your diet. Check the label of the cereal box, and aim for at least 6 micrograms per serving.

7. Milk and Yogurt: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese contain vitamin B12. A cup of milk or yogurt contains 1.2 micrograms of vitamin B12.

8. Eggs: Not only are eggs packed with protein, but they’re also an excellent source of vitamin B12. One large egg can provide up to 0.6 micrograms of vitamin B12.

9. Chicken: Chicken is a great source of protein, but it’s also a great source of vitamin B12. A 3-ounce serving of cooked chicken contains 0.3 micrograms of vitamin B12.

10. Beef: Like chicken, beef is also a good source of vitamin B12. A 3-ounce serving of cooked beef provides 2.1 micrograms of vitamin B12.

A Complete Guide to Vitamin B12 Rich Foods

Incorporating B12 rich foods in our diet can be challenging, but it’s crucial for maintaining optimal health. Here’s a comprehensive list of vitamin B12 rich foods and recommended daily intake

Animal-Based Sources

– Fish and shellfish: Salmon, sardines, tuna, trout, clams, and mussels.

– Meat: Beef, liver, chicken, turkey, pork, and lamb.

– Dairy products: Milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter.

– Eggs: Chicken, quail, and duck eggs.

Plant-Based Sources

– Fortified Foods: Soy milk, cereals, and nutritional yeast.

– Supplements: Vitamin B12 supplements if you’re not getting enough B12 from food.

Recommended Daily Intake

– Infants (0-6 months): 0.4 micrograms

– Infants (7-12 months): 0.5 micrograms

– Children (1-3 years): 0.9 micrograms

– Children (4-8 years): 1.2 micrograms

– Children (9-13 years): 1.8 micrograms

– Teens (14-18 years): 2.4 micrograms

– Adults (19 years and older): 2.4 micrograms

– Pregnant Women: 2.6 micrograms

– Breastfeeding Women: 2.8 micrograms

Tips for Incorporating B12 Rich Foods

– Incorporate B12 rich foods into your daily diet by eating them as snacks, add them to salads, or make them part of your dinner routine.

– Try different types of fish and shellfish to keep your meals varied and exciting.

– Consider fortified foods like cereals or soy milk.

– If you’re vegan or vegetarian, take supplements to maintain optimum B12 levels.

How to Incorporate Vitamin B12 in a Plant-Based Diet

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you may struggle to get enough vitamin B12. Here’s a list of plant-based foods that are rich in vitamin B12.

Plant-Based Sources

– Fortified foods: Many plant-based milks, meat substitutes, cereals, and nutritional yeast are fortified with vitamin B12. Check the labels for dosage.

– Seaweed: Some seaweed types contain high amounts of vitamin B12; however, it is not reliable as some seaweed contains inactive B12 analogs that the body cannot utilize.

– Mushrooms: button and shiitake mushrooms contain small amounts of vitamin B12.

– Supplements: Vitamin B12 supplements are vital for vegans and vegetarian to ensure an adequate intake of the nutrient.

Tips for selecting and preparing vitamin B12 rich plant-based foods

– Look for nutritional yeast that is fortified with vitamin B12.

– Use vegan meat substitutes that are fortified with vitamin B12.

– Add shiitake mushrooms to soups and stews.

– Incorporate seaweed into salads, stir-fries, and sushi rolls.

Vitamin B12 for Older Adults: Foods You Need to Know

Older adults are at increased risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. Here’s a list of recommended foods for older adults to include in their diets to ensure adequate vitamin B12 intake.

– Salmon, tuna, and clams.

– Dairy products.

– Fortified cereals.

– Eggs.

– Chicken and beef.

Suggestions for vitamin B12 supplements for older adults

Supplements are a great way for older adults to maintain optimum levels of vitamin B12. Here are our top suggestions:

– Liquid supplements that can be placed under the tongue for faster absorption.

– Chewing or crushing pills for better assimilation.

– Nasal sprays that bypass the gut and go directly into the bloodstream.

5 Breakfast Recipes Packed with Vitamin B12

Here are five breakfast recipes that can help you meet your daily vitamin B12 requirements.

1. Omelette with Spinach and Feta

– 3 large eggs
– 1 cup baby spinach leaves
– 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
– 1 teaspoon olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste


1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
2. Add spinach and feta cheese to the bowl and mix.
3. In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
4. Pour egg mixture into the skillet.
5. Cook until set, about 3-5 minutes.
6. Fold the omelette in half and serve.

2. Smoked Salmon Bagel

– 1 everything bagel
– 2 tablespoons cream cheese
– 2 ounces smoked salmon
– 1 tablespoon capers
– 1 slice of red onion


1. Cut the bagel in half and toast it to your desired texture.
2. Spread cream cheese on both halves of the bagel.
3. Add the smoked salmon, capers, and red onion slice on one of the halves.
4. Top with the other half of the bagel and serve.

3. Scrambled Tofu with Vegetables

– 1 block of firm tofu
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
– 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste


1. Drain the tofu and press it using paper towels to remove any excess water.
2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
3. Sauté onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms until the vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
4. Crumble the tofu and add it to the skillet.
5. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.
6. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

4. Greek Yogurt Bowl with Berries and Granola

– 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
– 1/2 cup mixed berries
– 1/4 cup granola


1. Spoon yogurt into a bowl.
2. Top with mixed berries and granola.
3. Serve cold.

5. Whole Wheat Spinach Pancakes

– 1 cup whole wheat flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 egg
– 1/2 cup milk
– 1/2 cup cooked spinach, chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil


1. In a large bowl, mix whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In another bowl, whisk egg, milk, spinach, and oil.
3. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until well combined.
4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
5. Spoon batter into the skillet, cook until the edges are dry and bubbles form on the surface.
6. Flip and cook on the other side.
7. Repeat with remaining batter.
8. Serve hot with your choice of topping.

Surprising Foods That Contain Vitamin B12: From Clams to Nutritional Yeast

Apart from the top B12 rich foods, some unexpected sources also contain vitamin B12, such as:

– Swiss Cheese

– Parmesan Cheese

– Beef Jerky

– Fortified Instant Oatmeal

– Nutritional Yeast

Serving suggestions and recipes for each food

– Swiss Cheese: Add it to sandwiches or use it to make cheese platters.

– Parmesan Cheese: Use it to as a seasoning on salads or pasta.

– Beef Jerky: Eat as a high-protein on-the-go snack.

– Fortified Instant Oatmeal: Mix it with your favorite milk or yogurt for a quick breakfast.

– Nutritional Yeast: Add it to soups and stews for added flavor.


Incorporating vitamin B12 in our diets is essential, and getting enough of this nutrient can be challenging. Fortified cereals, dairy products, fish, and meat are high in vitamin B12. For vegans and vegetarians, supplements and fortifiers are also excellent options. With these tips, incorporating vitamin B12 into your daily diet can be easy, delicious, and fun.

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