Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient essential for numerous bodily processes. Despite its presence in many foods, vitamin B12 deficiency is still quite prevalent. This article covers the sources of B12-rich foods that will ensure you're getting enough of this vital nutrient for your body.

Many of us may not realise just how important vitamin B12 is to our overall health. It’s a vital vitamin that our body requires but cannot create on its own. Without enough of it, we can develop a condition called vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, where the body cannot produce sufficient healthy red blood cells. So, how can we make sure we're getting enough of this nutrient? It's all in our food choices! Read on to learn about the right foods to eat and those to steer clear from.

Top Vitamin B12 Foods to Add to Your Diet

Vitamin B12 deficiency is widespread in India, and research studies have revealed a significant prevalence of vitamin B12 deficiency in India, with high rates ranging between 70% - 100%. This deficiency is particularly prevalent among children. The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin B12 is 2.2 mcg/day.

Here are some of the best vitamin B12 foods you can consume to ensure you get the right amount:

Food source Food type Amount of B12 (mcg) in 100g Benefits Recipes
Dairy products Milk 0.5 Milk is one of the most prominent vitamin B12 rich foods, especially for growing children. It’s an excellent protein source, packed with essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12. Kesar milk,
Fruit yoghurt
Non-fat Yoghurt 0.8
Cheese 0.8
Non-vegetarian foods Eggs (boiled) 1.1 Eggs are one of the easiest vitamin B12 foods to prepare and another great source of complete protein and vitamins. Egg potato curry, Boiled egg bhurji
Sardines (canned in oil) 8.94 Fish is one of the best vitamin B12 foods, and is also an excellent source of omega fatty acids. Tuna salad,
Spinach tuna pancake
Tuna 2.2
  Lamb meat 2.6 Lean meats reduce the risk of b12 deficiency and offer nutrients like protein, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, zinc, and iron. Lamb chops,
Chicken curry, Chicken masala
  Chicken liver 16.5
Nuts and Seeds Dates 4.79 Nuts and seeds are packed with vitamin B12 along with other nutrients like protein, fiber and minerals Dry fruit bar,
Halim kheer,
Garden cress ladoo, Cashew pistachio milkshake
  Garden cress 6.19

These rich vitamin B12 sources of food will ensure you get the nourishment your body needs. The next section covers the best vitamin B12 foods for vegans in particular.

Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegans

With their exclusion of all animal products, vegans may be more susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency anemia. Listed below are some vegan vitamin B12 foods you can consume to ensure you get this vital nutrient:

● Fortified Cereals:

These are a great vegan-friendly option for tackling vitamin B12 deficiency. These products undergo a process called food fortification, which involves incorporating nutrients like B12 that aren't naturally found in the food.

● Fortified plant-based milks:

Options like soy, oat, and almond milk that are fortified with essential vitamins like B12 are a good dairy milk-substitute for vegans with vitamin B12 deficiency. You can use these to make nutritious dishes like oats, almond milk porridge.

● Nutritional yeast:

This is a beloved ingredient in the world of vegan cooking. 100g provides a whopping 150 mg of this essential nutrient, making it one of the best vegan vitamin B12 rich foods. You can use it as seasoning with popcorn and pasta.

Foods and Drinks to Avoid

There are certain foods and drinks you should avoid if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency, as they may hinder vitamin B12’s absorption by the body.

● Caffeine:

Avoiding caffeine is crucial for individuals with vitamin B12 deficiency anemia as it hinders the metabolism of B vitamins, resulting in their increased excretion into the urine.

● Alcohol:

Alcohol acts as a barrier to the absorption of critical nutrients, including vitamin B12 and B1, folic acid, and zinc.

● Ultra-processed foods:

Ultra-processed foods, such as fruity drinks and packaged snacks, contain minimal amounts of vital nutrients, making them unfit for people with vitamin B12 deficiency.

If you have vitamin B12 deficiency anemia, talk to your doctor about developing a health plan tailored to your needs, helping you make sure you get enough of the essential nutrients your body requires.


It's important to make conscious food choices that ensure we're ticking all the boxes when it comes to taking care of our bodies. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia can be a serious condition, but the silver lining is that you have the power to manage it better with proper nutrition and the right dietary habits. Rather than blindly trying food supplements, it's important to manage what goes into your body and consume nutritious, vitamin B12 rich foods in controlled proportions.