Looking for foods rich in vitamin B12? We must warn you that in fact, B12 it is not naturally present in any food of vegetable origin. In fact, it is one of the few vitamins found only in animal products.
B12 is found in microorganisms, present in the soil. This is how the animals get it, from the grass later on. The progressive impoverishment of soils has been reducing the presence of these microorganisms and nowadays, especially in intensive livestock farming, this vitamin is included in the feed that is supplied.
In the past, we used to obtain it without any problem by eating fruits and vegetables because they contained vitamin B12 from the soil. Now, even if we continue to consume (almost) the same fruits and vegetables, by washing them we are causing them to lose all these properties. But of course, it is necessary to do it for health reasons, since in most cases, crops are treated with toxic agro-chemicals that are not advisable to ingest. It is also true that the impoverishment of the soil we were talking about, or the cultivation in greenhouses outside the soil, has an impact on the quantity of these microorganisms.
But don’t give up yet! There are so many options available to you to make sure you are getting vitamin B12 that it’s not worth stressing about it. In these cases, we can count on vegan, natural and vitamin-rich food products to give us the boost we need.
The constant battle with B12, why do we need it?
We have always heard about the importance of eating animal protein for its high vitamin B12 content. In fact, it is essential in our body thanks to its contribution to the production of blood cells, among other great benefits. But are meat and fish the only foods rich in vitamin B12?
Although you may have been told many times that when eating a plant-based diet you should pay attention to your B12 intake, this is something we should all do, no matter what we eat. In fact, in many cases, even if you eat an omnivorous diet, you can have the same vitamin B12 deficiency as a person with a plant-based diet.
Thus, although it is not often talked about, it is also important to ensure that the vitamin is well absorbed. It is useless to have the recommended daily intake if in the end our body does not absorb it.
Because we know that animal meat is an important source of protein, but not the only one, in Veggunn we are going to detail the 5 foods richest in this well-known and necessary vitamin.
Top 5 foods rich in vitamin B12
As we were saying, an adequate intake of vitamin B12 reflects in our body a great vitality, health and energy, prevents cardiovascular, mental, neuronal and brain diseases, among other risks that lack of it entails.
Attention! Knowledge is power. That is why we want to explain that some of the foods rich in vitamin B12 that we have included in this list are foods that have been artificially supplemented with this vitamin. And that’s okay, it’s another way to take care of your health and the word “artificial” shouldn’t scare you (well, in this case). Thanks to this, eating a plant-based diet is much easier, so here’s to them!
Here we will focus on those foods rich in Vitamin B12, if you want to know more about the main sources of Omega 3, we recommend this other article.
Vegetable Milks Enriched With B12
Vegetable milks are one of the easiest foods (or beverages) rich in B12 to find and take. Thanks to the recent boom in the vegetarian craze and the growing number of lactose intolerant people, plant-based milks are everywhere, and the number of lactose-intolerant people is increasing. you will have no trouble finding them in your favorite supermarket.
You can choose from soy, rice, hazelnut, oat, almond… Personally, almond milk may be the most complete as it is usually fortified with calcium (calcium, that other great battle).
A glass of milk has about 1 µg. The recommended daily amount of B12 is 3µg, so to make sure we are getting enough we should drink three glasses of milk every day.
If you are not a big fan of milk, that’s okay because we still have more foods rich in vitamin B12, don’t worry!
Products Made With Soybeans (Tempeh, Tofu, Etc.)
Fermented soy derivatives are another B12-rich food that you can start including in your diet, if you have not already done so. They are a perfect alternative to give some body to your meals. You can add a few pieces of marinated tofu to salads or stir-fries, prepare textured soybean steaks or fry a good tempeh sanjacobo (our mouths are watering just thinking about it). There are so many possibilities!
They do not have as much B12 as fortified plant milks (about 0.7 to 8.0g/100g), but they can also contribute to achieving the recommended daily intake of B12.
Have you ever noticed the properties of the cereals you eat for breakfast every day? If you notice, they could be another one of the easiest vitamin B12-rich foods to find. The vast majority of brands and types of cereals have good amounts of this vitamin.
That’s right! We remind you that, although they are rich in B12, as they are processed products, they can also contain a lot of sugar or saturated fats, so we recommend that you keep an eye on them and pay attention to the recommended amounts.
Not familiar with brewer’s yeast? Well, it is one of the most complete vitamin B12-rich foods on this list. It has all kinds of properties: it is rich in protein, fiber, iron and vitamin B in general. It’s a superfood! It will give you energy and will be that little boost you need in the morning.
How can you take it? Then add it to salads, soups, yogurt, pasta (nutritional yeast is often used as a substitute for Parmesan cheese, and is also used to make vegan cheeses). It is so versatile that you can let your imagination run wild without fear of making a mistake.
If you are an athlete, you may have noticed that energy bars are also another food rich in vitamin B12 that you can include in your diet. But really… they’re so good, you don’t need to be a sportsman to know that.
If you choose well, it could be the perfect alternative for you since energy bars (vegan, of course) are also a good source of protein, calcium and iron, among others. But, as with cereals, we warn you to be careful with the amount of sugar they contain and to watch out for saturated fats.
However, we understand that checking the amount of B12 in all the foods you eat every day can be tedious. We believe that the way to make sure you get your required B12 ration is from B12 supplements.
In Veggunn, we have vegan products and food supplements that help diets to provide these nutrients so important for the health of our body. Visit our online store and see how they convince you!