Although B12 sources are most prominent in animal products, they can be found in numerous other fortified foods. Making sure that food sources of B12 are consumed is especially important for those that have adopted a vegetarian and vegan diet, and for those that limit their intake of animal products. If finding reliable sources of B12 is a concern for you, consider looking into the following food options that can be easily found at your local health food stores and even on the Internet if you can’t find them at your local grocery store.
1. Nutritional Yeast
Although there are a few different brands to choose from, Red Star is by far the most popular option. It’s considered a valuable vegetarian support tool because it provides not only 100% of your recommended B12 intake, but it provides a complete source of protein and other nutrients that are essential to good health, including calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and E (and also all the essential amino acids). Nutritional yeast can be used on popcorn, in soups, stews, casseroles, stir fries and even in marinara sauces.
2. Fortified Soy, Almond or Rice Milk
Because there are no satisfactory B12 sources found in plant based foods, those that are looking for a reliable source need to consider fortified products such as nut milk. Most of these milk products are fortified with calcium and vitamin B12 and should be consumed multiple times each week if you aren’t consuming animal products or other sources of this particular vitamin.
Just one egg provides more than enough B12, but you’ll want to consume the entire egg, not just the whites. If you’re used to preparing only egg whites, consider using just one yolk when making things like omelets in order to make sure you are consign enough of this important vitamin.
4. Breakfast Cereals
Many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin B12. The easiest way to determine whether your favorite cereals contain this nutrient is to check the nutritional label on the product. The best B12 sources come from cereals that are fortified with at 50% of your recommended daily intake. Organic and granola cereals are the best place to start your search. The number of options that provide a decent source of B12 continues to rise.
5. Soy Products
Some veggie burgers contain plenty of B12, as do other products such as textured vegetable protein, vegetable stocks and even vegetable based margarines. In order to determine if your favorite soy based foods contain any B12 sources, simply check the label. If the B12 isn’t documented on the package, more than likely it doesn’t contain the specific nutrient.
It’s important to understand that vitamin B12 can be stored in the body so you don’t have worry about missing a day or two without it. But it is critical to make sure that you make foods that contain B12 a priority when planning meals if you don’t consume many animal products.