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7 Best Plant Based Food Sources of Vitamin B12

Published : Sep 01, 2021 4 mins read Updated On : May 15, 2024

Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin crucial for various bodily functions, including nerve function, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell formation. It supports the health of the brain, nerves, and blood cells and aids in energy production. Adequate B12 intake is vital for preventing anemia and neurological issues. The recommended daily intake varies by age and life stage but generally ranges from 2.2 to 2.4 micrograms for adults.

Getting enough vitamin B12 solely from a vegetarian diet can be challenging because natural food sources rich in B12 are primarily animal-based, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Some plant-based foods like fortified cereals, nutritional yeast, and fortified plant-based milk alternatives contain B12, they may provide adequate amounts for everyone, especially strict vegetarians or vegans. In this blog we will find out the best b12 rich foods for vegetarians and vegans.

7 Best Plant Based Food Sources of Vitamin B12

Best Vitamin B12 Veg Foods

1. Milk

Milk is a staple in Indian households. Milk and milk based products like curd, cheese and butter milk are consumed almost on a daily basis. Milk is an excellent source of vitamin b12. One cup of milk provides 1.2 mcg of vitamin b12 which is 50% of RDA (1). Other dairy products like cheese and yogurt provide 0.9 - 1.1 mcg of vitamin b12. You can add yogurt to your breakfast, a glass of milk for afternoon drink and a slice of cheese as a snack to fulfill your daily b12 requirements.

2. Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is a fortified vitamin b12 plant source ideal for vegans. It is commonly used as a cheese substitute in vegan dishes due to its savory, cheesy flavor. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein and is rich in many essential nutrients, including B12 in fortified varieties, zinc, and protein. Its health benefits may include supporting immune function, improving digestion, and boosting energy levels.

One tablespoon of nutritional yeast can provide up to 2.4mcg of vitamin b12 which is 100% of RDA. It is super easy to add nutritional yeast to your diet. You can mix it with soups, stews, or sauces for added depth of flavor, blend into smoothies or salad dressings for added nutrition or incorporate it into homemade vegan cheese or creamy sauces.

3. Fortified Cereals

Fortified cereals are a convenient way to get the required daily vitamin b12. Some research shows that fortified cereals help you to increase vitamin B12 concentrations. One study found that participants ate 1 cup (240 mL) of fortified cereal containing 4.8 mcg (200% of the DV) of vitamin B12 daily for 14 weeks, their B12 levels increased significantly (2). Check the nutritional label carefully before you buy.

4. Nori

Nori is a type of edible seaweed that is commonly used in Japanese cuisine, particularly in making sushi rolls (maki) and rice balls (onigiri). It is a type of red algae that is dried and pressed into thin sheets. It is also highly nutritious, containing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants such as iodine, vitamin C, vitamin A, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Health experts recommend eating 4 grams of dried nori to meet the daily requirements for vitamin B12 intake.

5. Mushroom

Mushrooms are also a good source of vitamin b12. Shitake mushrooms are the best variety of mushrooms to fulfill your b12 requirements. 50g of shitake mushroom can provide 2mgc of vitamin b12. You can include mushrooms in your lunch or dinner to boost your vitamin b12 intake.

6. Fortified Non-dairy Milk

Non-dairy milk like oat or almond milk fortified with vitamin b12 is also an excellent source of vitamin b12 especially for vegans. One cup or 250ml of fortified milk can provide up to 80% of RDA of vitamin b12 (3).

You can incorporate non-dairy milk into your diet by using it in place of dairy milk in recipes, such as cereal, smoothies, coffee, tea, baking, or as a beverage on your own.

7. Tempeh

Tempeh is a rich source of plant-based protein, vitamins, and minerals. It contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Additionally, it provides dietary fiber, calcium, iron, and other nutrients. Tempeh is also a good source of vitamin B12 if it's fermented with a B12-producing bacteria.


It's crucial for vegetarians and vegans to be aware about their B12 consumption as it's a vital nutrient often deficient in those abstaining from meat. Vitamin B12 is a very important nutrient for the body. It helps in red blood formation, maintaining nerve signals and DNA synthesis. Our body cannot produce vitamin b12. Hence, we need to consume it externally. The best source of vitamin b12 is animal based but we hope through this blog you are now aware about some vegetarian sources of vitamin b12.


1. Which vegetarian food has the highest B12?

Fortified foods such as plant-based milk, breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeast are among the highest sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians, especially those following a vegan diet.

2. Can we take vitamin B12 daily?

Yes, it's generally safe to take vitamin B12 daily, especially if you have a deficiency or follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

3. How can I increase my B12 naturally?

To increase your vitamin B12 intake naturally as a vegetarian, focus on fortified foods like plant-based milk, breakfast cereals, and nutritional yeast. Supplements may also be necessary for some individuals.

Geeta Bhatia Thorat
Geeta Bhatia Thorat
Nutrition and diet

Geeta is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to right kind of diet. She has an extensive knowledge about food science which reflects in her blogs. She believes in providing most authenticated inf... Read More

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