Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians
Esha Dhawan
Jan 23, 2024

Be it supporting cognitive function, maintaining the nervous system or producing blood red cells, vitamin B12 is the versatile and indispensable vitamin that does it all. And since plant-based and vegetarian diets can lack sufficient vitamin B12 content, it is even more crucial for vegetarians to pay attention to their B12 intake. Let’s dive in and learn about some vitamin B12 foods vegetarian and more about this crucial nutrient in detail.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12, also referred to as cobalamin, is a crucial nutrient that plays a vital role in various bodily functions. A few important functions that B12 helps with include nerve function, DNA synthesis, and the formation of red blood cells. And while this vitamin is easily found in animal products, it can often seem challenging for vegetarians to find good sources of vitamin B12. Keep reading to find some of the most effective vitamin B12 foods for vegetarians.

8 Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians

If you are a vegetarian looking for good sources of vitamin B12 that can help you fight your vitamin B12 deficiency, we have you covered. Here are some of the best vitamin B12 sources for vegetarians to help you naturally increase your B12 levels.

1. Yoghurt & Milk Products

2. Tempeh

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

4. Nutritional Yeast

5. Almonds & Peanuts

6. Whey Powder

7. Vitamin B12 Supplements

8. Fortified Cereal

1. Yoghurt & Milk Products

Milk Products with Vitamin B12

Here’s a common kitchen staple that is also a fantastic source of vitamin B12. By enjoying a big bowl of some delightful yoghurt, you can get a steady supply of this crucial vitamin. Moreover, choosing plain and unsweetened yoghurt is a way to make it more nutritious and healthy.

Furthermore, some classic vitamin B12-rich foods for vegetarians are milk and dairy products. These are reliable sources of vitamin B12 that are already a part of your daily diet. Choose low-calorie and fat-free fortified options to take a healthier approach.

2. Tempeh

For vegans who are looking for good vegan B12 sources, this fermented soy product is an excellent choice. Tempeh offers a meaty texture and a unique flavour that help provide a nutrient boost. You can use this soy product in salads or stir-fry it for a delicious addition to your diet.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a popular health staple that is renowned for its various health benefits including traces of vitamin B12. Thus, incorporating this vegan B12 source into your diet can help contribute to the vitamin B12 requirements. Some simple ways to use apple cider vinegar include using it in salad dressings or even in refreshing beverages by diluting it with water.

4. Nutritional Yeast

Another vitamin B food for vegetarians that you can generously use in different recipes is nutritional yeast. It has a cheesy flavour that can help elevate the taste and nutrition of dishes like pasta, salads and more.

5. Almonds & Peanuts

Here’s some nutty goodness that is rich in healthy fats and protein but also provides traces of vitamin B12, important for supporting overall health. You can eat almonds and peanuts daily as a nutritious snack that can contribute to your daily vitamin B12 requirements.

6. Whey Powder

Did you know that whey powder is not only a fantastic source of protein but also a good source of vitamin B12 for vegetarians? This is why it can be a great addition to your diet if you’re looking for a vegetarian source of vitamin B12. Consider adding whey powder to your morning smoothie or add it to different recipes to enjoy its nutritional benefits.

7. Vitamin B12 Supplements

Last but not least, here is a practical way to fulfil your vitamin B12 requirement. Add a vitamin B12 supplement to your diet as a solution to your vitamin B12 deficiency. However, it is best to consult a medical professional before starting a supplement. You can also ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate supplement for you.

8. Fortified Cereals

Many breakfast cereals are fortified with B12, making them a convenient option for vegetarians. Look for cereals that provide 100% of the daily value per serving. Enjoying a bowl of fortified cereal with milk in the morning can kickstart your day with a healthy dose of vitamin B12.

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin B12 can lead to many health symptoms that can vary in severity and can develop gradually. Also, individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets, as well as older adults and those with certain medical conditions, may be at a higher risk of B12 deficiency. Thus, they should monitor their B12 intake carefully. These are some of the major symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Frequent Mouth Ulcers
  • Shortness of breath
  • Digestive system problems
  • Decline in Cognitive Abilities
  • Pale skin

Vitamin B12 Fruits for Vegetarians

Vitamin B12 fruits

Fruits, by nature, do not contain significant amounts of vitamin B12. However, for vegetarians looking to supplement their B12 intake, fortified fruit juices can be a beneficial option. These juices are enriched with vitamin B12 during processing, providing a convenient way to meet daily nutritional needs without relying solely on animal products.

Look for varieties like fortified orange juice or other fruit juices labelled with added B12 to ensure adequate intake of this essential nutrient.

Health Benefits of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 for vegetarians is essential for various bodily functions, offering critical benefits that support overall well-being. Here are five of the many benefits of vitamin B12.

Supports Nerve Health- B12 benefits by maintaining the myelin sheath around nerve fibres, crucial for healthy nervous system function and preventing nerve damage.

Aids in Red Blood Cell Formation- Vitamin B12 is essential for producing red blood cells to prevent anaemia, ensuring efficient oxygen transport and sustained energy levels.

Boosts Energy Levels-  This vitamin benefits by converting carbohydrates into glucose for energy, reducing fatigue, and enhancing vitality.

Improves Cognitive Function- It enhances memory and cognitive abilities to support brain health, while also preserving nerve cells and lowering homocysteine levels.

Supports Heart Health- It supports heart health by reducing homocysteine levels, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease, preventing blood clot formation, and promoting cardiovascular well-being.

Side Effects of Vitamin B12

While B12 is generally safe and non-toxic, excessive intake can cause side effects such as dizziness, headache, anxiety, and nausea. In rare cases, it can lead to more severe allergic reactions, such as swelling, itching, and difficulty breathing. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting high-dose supplements to avoid any potential adverse effects.

The Takeaway

By incorporating fortified foods, dry fruits like almonds, peanuts, apple cider vinegar and soy products, you can ensure that you get your daily requirement of vitamin B12. Whether you are vegetarian or vegan, it is important to make informed dietary choices and choose mindful eating options to ensure your body functions properly. Shop for vitamin b12 foods vegetarian and other organic and healthy food options at Amala Earth.

FAQs on Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians

How can I increase my B12 naturally?

In order to increase your vitamin B12 naturally, you must add vitamin B12-rich foods to your diet. If you are a vegetarian, make sure to find vegetarian sources of B12 like fortified plant-based milk, nutritional yeast, tempeh, peanuts and more.

What food is highest in B12?

Most foods that have high vitamin B12 are animal products or non-vegetarian options. However, there are also some b12-rich foods for vegetarians such as yoghurt, nutritional yeast, whey powder and more.

What vegetarian foods are high in B12?

Some B12 enriched vegetarian foods include tempeh, nori, shitake mushrooms, apple cider vinegar and more. Even milk and most dairy products have considerable quantities of vitamin B12, making them important for people suffering from low levels of vitamin B12.

Which fruit is rich in vitamin B12?

Some fruits that have some content of vitamin B12 include apple, banana, blueberries and oranges. Apart from these, it is also important to add dry fruits to your diet like almonds as they are a significant vitamin B12 source for vegetarians.

What are some vitamin B12 foods vegetarian for Indians?

Some vegetarian foods rich in vitamin B12 for Indians include cottage cheese (paneer) and other fortified foods. Apart from this, nuts like almonds and peanuts are common Indian foods that are rich in this crucial nutrient.

Which form of vitamin B12 is the best?

Methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin are the most common forms of B12. Methylcobalamin is often preferred as it is more easily absorbed and utilised by the body, making it a better option for supplementation.

Do almonds have vitamin B12?

Almonds do not contain vitamin B12, but fortified almond milk can be a good source. Always check the nutrition label to ensure it is fortified with B12 to get the necessary amount.

What are some vitamin B12-rich dry fruits?

Dry fruits typically do not contain significant amounts of B12. However, some dried fruit products might be fortified with B12. Always check product labels for fortification to ensure you’re getting enough B12.

Popup Image