4 Unexpected Vegan Sources of Vitamin B12

4 Unexpected Vegan Sources of Vitamin B12

  • Sarah Von Alt
  • Sarah Von Alt

First off, let me start by saying that vitamin B12 is incredibly important for formation of red blood cells and healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system. And regardless of diet, everyone should be taking a multivitamin that includes B12 for optimal health. But this vitamin is mainly found in animal products—so you may find yourself wondering about vegan sources of vitamin B12.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. You can find this vitamin in some plant-based foods, including many that you may not realize are fortified with vitamin B12.

1. Nutritional Yeast

Highly regarded by vegans around the globe, nutritional yeast is a must-have vegan pantry staple. From an amazing Parmesan alternative to a bomb dairy-free nacho cheese dip, nutritional yeast (lovingly known as “nooch”) can do it all. Just a quarter cup of fortified nutritional yeast gives you 290 percent of your daily value of vitamin B12! It also provides nine grams of protein.

2. Fortified Cereals

Who doesn’t love breakfast cereal? Tons of your favorite brands are fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, vitamin B12 included. For ready-to-eat cereals, try Total Corn Flakes, Malt-O-Meal Bran Flakes, Rice Chex, Kellogg’s All-Bran, and many varieties from General Mills. For a hot cereal, try Kashi Heart to Heart Instant Oatmeal, which provides 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin B12 per serving!


3. Fortified Dairy-Free Milks

There are tons of dairy-free milks on the market these days, and many of them are fortified with calcium and several vitamins, including B12. Some of our favorites include Silk soy milk, EdenSoy Extra, Tempt hemp milk, and Coconut Dream coconut milk. Try one of these or check the label on your favorite vegan milk to find out whether it’s fortified!


4. Meat Alternatives

While many meat alternatives used to be fortified with vitamin B12, many currently are not. But meatless products from Yves—including several varieties of deli slices, hot dogs, and veggie burgers—contain up to 25 percent of your recommended dietary allowance (RDA) per serving.


Remember, the RDA for adults is 2.4 micrograms (not milligrams) per day. If you’re not sure you’re getting enough B12, it’s best to meet with your doctor, who can order blood work to determine your B12 levels.

Learn more about vitamin B12 and a vegan diet here.