The Best 12 Foods High In Vitamin B12

The Best 12 Foods High In Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is an extremely important vitamin and nutrient for your body. Also called Cobalamin, it’s so important that when your body doesn’t get enough of it, it could cause depression, fatigue, anemia, mania, and even possibly permanent brain damage if the deficiency lasts long enough.

One of the most important things about vitamin B12 is that it cannot – repeat cannot – be manufactured inside your own body. The only way to get the vitamin B12 that your body needs is either through supplements or by consuming animal products high in vitamin B12.

Luckily, when you take in too much vitamin B12 for your body to process, it’s able to excrete the excess or store it in your liver – so there’s no way to overdose on vitamin B12.

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How Much Vitamin B12 Do You Need Per Day?

In general, it’s recommended that the suggested daily allowance of vitamin B12 is between 0.4 and 2.8μg per day, and the recommended daily value of vitamin B12 is 6μg per day.

The reason why the recommended daily value is higher is because your body can excrete any excess vitamin B12 without being harmed by it, meaning that it’s easy for your body to tolerate extra vitamin B12.

For infants less than 6 months old, the recommended daily allowance is 0.4μg. Children from 7 to 12 months old should get 0.5μg, while children between 1 year and 3 years old should be getting 0.9μg per day.

As children get older, they need more vitamin B12. Children from 4 to 8 years old require 1.2μg/day, while children from 9 to 13 require 1.8μg/day. Anyone more than 14 years old has a recommended daily allowance of 2.4μg, with pregnant and lactating women needing slightly more.

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Here are the best foods that are highest in vitamin B12 for your diet.

The Best Foods Highest In Vitamin B12

1. Cooked Clams

Cooked clams (and some other types of shellfish) are extremely high in vitamin B12. They top the list for foods that are highest in vitamin B12 per serving.

100 grams of cooked clams give you 98.9μg of vitamin B12 – or more than 1600% of your suggested daily value.

2. Beef Liver

Beef liver is the animal product with the second highest amount of natural vitamin B12 in it. It contains 83.1μg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams, adding up to nearly 1400% of your daily value.

Remember to avoid eating too much beef liver and other types of liver (including foie gras and chicken liver pate) if you are struggling with high cholesterol or heart disease.

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3. Lamb Kidney

Lamb kidney is a huge source of vitamin B12. If you enjoy the taste, it’s a great way to get way more vitamin B12 than your body needs.

75 grams of cooked lamb kidney gives you 59.2μg – or almost 10 times the daily value you need.

4. Fortified Bran Cereals

Many bran cereals and other types of cereals come fortified with high levels of vitamin B12. Those cereals can have up to 20μg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams, making it an excellent choice to start your morning and get the vitamin B12 your body needs.

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5. Mackerel

Mackerel (and many other types of fish) contain good amounts of vitamin B12 that your body needs.

Mackerel itself contains 19μg per 100 grams, making it the top fish on the list for a good source of vitamin B12.

6. Herring

Atlantic kippered herring is a great source of vitamin B12. It contains 14μg per 75 grams – making it one of the best foods to eat if you want to get a lot of vitamin B12 fast (and you like the taste of herring!)

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7. Crab Meat

Crab and other crustaceans are foods that are high in naturally occurring vitamin B12. 100g of crab meat gives you 11.5μg of vitamin B12 – almost 200% of your daily value.

8. Beef

Beef, and other types of red meat, are an excellent source of vitamin B12. 100 grams of beef gives you 6μg of vitamin B12 – your entire daily value.

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9. Swiss Cheese

Cheeses are also an excellent source of vitamin B12, being animal products that, when eaten in moderation, are healthy for you.

You get 3.1μg from 100 grams of swiss cheese – which gives you approximately 50% of your daily value of vitamin B12.

10. Fortified Soy

Any soy products that have been fortified with vitamin B12 are great candidates for getting you the vitamin B12 you need.

Many fortified soymilks and other soy products contain 2.4μg per 100 grams of serving, which means you’re getting 40% of your daily value from one 100 gram serving.

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11. Tuna Canned In Water

For an easy fish fix, it’s hard to go wrong with canned tuna. And for a vitamin B12 fix, it’s a great option too.

One 75 gram serving of canned tuna gives you 2.2μg, getting you almost all of your recommended daily allowance and a little more than a third of your daily value.

12. Eggs

Chicken eggs are a great source of vitamin B12. You get about 1.5 to 1.6μg of vitamin B12 from 2 whole large eggs.

In general, the most vitamin B12 is in the yolk of a chicken egg, so don’t cut out the yolks if you want to get the vitamin B12 your body needs!

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What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 has several different health benefits that make a huge difference in how your body feels and functions as it goes through its day.

On a daily basis, vitamin B12 provides your body with the energy and endurance you need to accomplish your goals. If you’re not getting enough vitamin B12, you could develop anemia, which can cause weakness and hamper your ability to do everything you want to do in a day.

Vitamin B12 also provides long term health benefits. It has been shown to potentially protect against dementia and cognitive decline due to aging – although more research is needed.

In addition, studies have demonstrated that vitamin B12 deficiencies can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

more: List Of Foods High In Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 also can help protect against heart disease, and even has been shown to reduce cancer risk by protecting your body’s ability to repair DNA and replicate it successfully.

Who Is At Risk Of A Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

People at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include vegetarians and vegans – which makes sense since the human body can’t create vitamin B12 on its own and it’s mostly found in animal products.

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People with pernicious anemia are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency – and need regular vitamin B12 injections to get the B12 they need.

A hugely common condition that stops your body from being able to absorb all the vitamin B12 it needs is called atrophic gastritis. Between one third and one half of all adults over 50 have this condition – and thus are at greater risk for a vitamin B12 deficiency.

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Finally, pregnant women and women who are lactating and who are also vegetarian or vegan remain at greater risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, do to their higher daily need for vitamin B12, as well as the lack of animal products in their diet.

In summary…

The Best Foods High In Vitamin B12

  1. Cooked clams
  2. Beef liver
  3. Lamb kidney
  4. Fortified bran cereals
  5. Mackerel
  6. Herring
  7. Crab meat
  8. Beef
  9. Swiss cheese
  10. Fortified soy
  11. Tuna canned in water
  12. Eggs

foods high in vitamin B12

30 comments… add one
  • trina May 16, 2018, 6:29 pm

    i love clams and i’m glad they’re also a great source of vit b12. i also like other shellfish and it’s nice to know they do too.

  • mia May 17, 2018, 6:00 pm

    now i know the importance of eating foods rich in vit B12. i will make sure that my fridge is full of these foods since vit B12 can’t be manufactured inside our bodies.

  • maya May 18, 2018, 8:17 pm

    it’s good to know how much vitamin b12 our body needs per day. these foods are are going to be in my diet for sure. thanks!

  • alaine May 21, 2018, 6:45 pm

    wow!i didn’t know that a person with atrophic gastritis is at greater risk for vitamin B12 deficiency! this site really posts informational articles! i will never get tired of visiting this site.

  • cate May 22, 2018, 3:54 pm

    i will definitely switch to bran cereal now. i’ve been seeing a lot of good things written about it. i’ll try it for sure!

  • abigail May 24, 2018, 2:17 am

    i love shellfish but never tried clams. 98.9 ug of vitamin B12 is great! now let me research clam recipes i could try. i hope my family will love shellfish too!

  • nola May 24, 2018, 10:42 pm

    i tried mackerel and some of the foods in this list and they’re really rich in vitamin b12. i was vit b12 deficient at one point and so i tried this and supplements too.

  • luna May 25, 2018, 5:28 pm

    i was prescribed to take vitamin B12 when i was pregnant and i even combined it with folic acid. it helps maintain the health of my nervous system and prevent birth defects in my baby too.

  • genny May 29, 2018, 8:24 pm

    think i might try more beef liver and clams for more vitamin b12. i’m not a fan of these foods in general but i need to try them for better health.

  • bea May 30, 2018, 5:17 pm

    i love beef liver and lamb kidney! organ meats are really some of the nutritious foods out there.

  • mildred May 31, 2018, 6:15 pm

    i am vegan and i didn’t know that i can be at risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. thank you for adding a link where i could find foods for vegetarians. appreciate it.

  • syndney June 4, 2018, 8:39 pm

    i am feeling very tired lately and always experience a lack of appetite? i did some research and one probable cause is Vitamin B12 deficiency.i hope i can get my old self back after adding these foods in my diet.

  • danielle June 6, 2018, 7:47 pm

    i normally get b12 from fish and eggs but i also love to give some of the foods listed here a try, expect beef liver and lamb kidney because i don’t really like eating organ meats.

  • dorothy June 7, 2018, 6:49 pm

    i love mackerel and tuna. i always eat them with grilled veggies. yummy!

  • zoe June 8, 2018, 8:03 pm

    2.2μg?! wow! that is indeed almost all of my recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12! more tuna canned in water please!

  • freda June 11, 2018, 8:09 pm

    now i know which foods to consume to avoid vitamin b12 deficiency. i want to thank you for taking the time to share this wonderful article.

  • bell June 12, 2018, 8:44 pm

    vitamin b12 is involved in the metabolism of our body so it is more important that we realize. make eating foods rich in vitamin b12 part of our healthy habit.

  • nichole June 14, 2018, 3:11 am

    thank you for including how much vitamin B12 we need per day. your article is very detailed. it is not surprising why you have many readers.

  • rita June 15, 2018, 3:20 am

    of all the foods listed above, my favorite is tuna canned in water! Eating it also makes me lose extra pounds!

  • virtue June 16, 2018, 4:18 am

    this is a very informative guide to foods high in vitamin b12. i will stock up on this foods to make sure i am getting enough b12.

  • mira June 19, 2018, 5:01 am

    cooked clams and beef liver are the best! if you are looking for foods rich in vitamin B12, these are the first to try!

  • spring June 20, 2018, 1:56 am

    i love beef liver and i always purchase the highest quality. make sure that it is organic from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows.

  • celine June 21, 2018, 2:31 am

    our body cannot produce vitamin b12 on its own so we need to help it by having a proper diet with the foods listed above or supplements.

  • aureli June 22, 2018, 2:57 am

    i need vitamin b12 to keep my nerves working properly. my favorite food sources are mackerel and crab meat! they are really yummy!

  • layla June 22, 2018, 6:08 pm

    wow! i love all the foods in this list! i can snatch them right up in my local grocery store!

  • zara June 27, 2018, 2:43 am

    i want to thank you so much for creating this amazing article. i am taking vitamin b12 and it really made a huge difference in my life. and of course, i will include these foods in my diet.

  • alexia July 3, 2018, 1:26 am

    i am pregnant with my first child and i was advised to eat foods rich in vitamin b12 and i clearly understand why. the foods i love to eat are tuna and cooked clams.

  • josie July 3, 2018, 9:50 pm

    i am a vegetarian and looking for food sources of vitamin B12. this article made everything easier for me. thanks a bunch!

  • rylee July 4, 2018, 9:30 pm

    our diet is really the best way to get vitamin B12. Thank you for listing down some of the best food sources of this important vitamin.

  • brielle July 6, 2018, 3:40 am

    i love fish more than beef! i am happy to know that my daily vitamin b12 need could be met in most of the seafoods included in your post.

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