Vitamin B12: the best food sources

It is estimated that between 1.5% and 15% of the Western population is deficient in vitamin B12, and the risk of deficiency increases with age. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can include depression, confusion, poor memory, balance problems, tingling and numbness in the hands and feet, etc. If you suffer from any of these problems, you may need more foods that contain vitamin B12 in your diet.

What is vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the production of red blood cells, proper brain and nerve function, and DNA synthesis. Even a mild deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to impaired mental function and low energy. Vitamin B12 also plays a role in the formation of red blood cells, so a deficiency can result in the production of large, immature cells that cannot transport oxygen properly. The benefits of vitamin B12 are wide ranging and include increasing energy, reducing depression, decreasing sugar cravings, and reducing neurological degeneration. It’s definitely a B vitamin (one of eight) that you don’t want to miss out on for many reasons.

How to get B12 in your diet?

By consuming foods naturally rich in vitamin B12, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
Are you ready to check out some of my top picks for healthy B12-rich foods?

List of the best foods rich in vitamin B12

Here are some of the vitamin B12-rich foods you can eat regularly to ensure you get enough of this essential vitamin in your diet:

Beef liver: 30g: 20 micrograms (over 300% DV)
Sardines: 90g: 6.6 micrograms (over 100% of the daily value)
Atlantic mackerel: 90 g: 7.4 micrograms (greater than 100% DV)
Lamb: 90 g: 2.7 micrograms (45 percent DV)
Wild salmon: 90 g: 2.6 micrograms (42 percent DV)
Nutritional yeast: 1 tablespoon: 2.4 micrograms (40% of daily intake)
Feta cheese: 0.5 cup: 1.25 micrograms (21 percent of the daily value)
Grass-fed beef: 90 g: 1.2 micrograms (20 percent DV)
Cottage cheese: 1 cup: 0.97 micrograms (16 percent DV)
Eggs: 1 large: 0.6 micrograms (11 percent of the daily value)

1. Beef liver

The main benefit of eating liver is its very high content of B12. It only takes one ounce of beef liver to far exceed most people’s daily vitamin B12 needs.
Just be sure to buy the highest quality beef liver. That means organic liver from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows. Consuming beef liver can help prevent pernicious anemia because it is not only rich in vitamin B12, but also iron and folic acid. These are three nutrients that can help the natural recovery from anemia.

2. Sardines

Sardines have a very high content of vitamin B12 and an impressive content of another vital element for human health: omega-3 fatty acids. Research has shown that the omega-3s in sardine nutrition may have all sorts of important health benefits, including improving heart health, lowering inflammation, and helping with asthma.

3. Atlantic mackerel

Atlantic mackerel (not king mackerel) is on the list of the healthiest fish because it is not only very high in vitamin B12, but also because it is high in omega-3, low in mercury, and is ranked among the best fish to eat. health and sustainability.

4. Lamb

Lamb has an impressive nutritional content. It is one of the best foods for vitamin B12, and it is also very rich in protein, iron, selenium, and zinc.
Selenium and zinc are two main nutrients that support the immune system.

5. Wild Salmon

Wild salmon is one of the healthiest and most nutritious sources of protein. Of course, you should choose wild, not farmed, salmon to get the most health benefits from this fish. Wild salmon contains vitamin B12 and vitamin D, another common vitamin deficiency these days. Research has shown that 800 to 5,000 international units of vitamin D daily can improve musculoskeletal health, naturally slow skeletal aging, and reduce the rate of fractures and falls in people over 65 years of age.

6. Nutritional yeast

If you are a vegetarian or vegan looking for a way to get more B12 into your diet, nutritional yeast is a great option. It is usually fortified with B12 and other B vitamins. Nutritional yeast is also considered a complete protein, as it contains at least nine of the 18 amino acids that the human body cannot produce.

7. feta cheese

Feta cheese is an excellent source of vitamin B12 and many other nutrients, such as riboflavin (vitamin B2) and calcium. Traditionally, feta cheese is made from sheep’s milk or a mixture of sheep’s and goat’s milk. While you can find feta cheese made from raw sheep/goat milk, the nutritional and health benefits are still the best. Its high riboflavin content is excellent for headache sufferers, as studies have shown that riboflavin can significantly reduce the frequency of headaches, including migraines.

8. Grass-fed beef

Grass-fed beef isn’t just the best choice when it comes to food sources of vitamin B12. It is also one of the best animal sources of protein. Compared to grain-fed beef, it’s a much healthier option. Research has shown that grass-fed beef is richer in vitamin A precursors, vitamin E, and cancer-fighting antioxidants than grain-fed beef.

9. Cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is rich in vitamin B12, as well as protein and calcium.

10. Eggs

Eggs are an excellent non-meat source of vitamin B12. They also contain choline, which our liver needs to function properly. Research has linked low choline levels to liver dysfunction and even an increased risk of cancer formation. If you still want to boost your dietary B12 levels, you can take vitamin B12 supplements, in addition to getting these forms of B12 from foods that contain vitamin B12.

Foods rich in vitamin B12 to avoid

Although the vitamin B12 content of these foods is high, they are considered unhealthy and should be avoided. Fortified foods that contain refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and artificial ingredients are not healthy sources of vitamin B12 and should be consumed in moderation.

These foods include:

– Fruit juice
– Processed meats (such as sausages with ham)
– Margarine or spreads that are high in trans fat.
– Unhealthy fish (tilapia, Atlantic flounder and farmed salmon)

Dangers of vitamin B12 deficiency

The recommended daily value for vitamin B12 (based on a caloric intake of 2,000 calories per day for adults and children 4 years and older) is six micrograms per day. Sometimes a vitamin B12 deficiency can be masked by taking high doses of folic acid. Vegans and vegetarians are more at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because vitamin B12 is mainly found in foods of animal origin. Similarly, people with leaky gut and digestive malabsorption may be at risk for deficiency. Taking certain prescription medications is another serious risk factor that can lead to a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Possible dangers or side effects of low vitamin B12 levels include:

– A type of anemia in which red blood cells are fewer but larger.
– Balance and gait disorders
– Nerve damage
– confusion
– Loss of vibration sensation
– Dementia (in advanced stages of deterioration)
– atrophied muscles
– Low levels of vitamin B12 in pregnant women shortly before or after conception have been associated with a significantly increased risk of neural tube defects in their babies. Therefore, the consumption of foods containing vitamin B12 is particularly important for pregnant women.

If you have a vitamin B12 deficiency and decide to take a vitamin B12 supplement, it’s important to know that it can interact with certain medications. Tell your doctor if you are currently taking medication or have any chronic health conditions.

Medications known to lower vitamin B12 levels in the body include:

– Anti-seizure medications
– Bile acid sequestrants
– Chemotherapy drugs
– Colchicine
– H2 blockers
– Metformin
– Proton-pump inhibitor
– Antibiotics, especially tetracycline.

B12 injections are also an option if you have a vitamin B12 deficiency.


The best way to get enough vitamin B12 is to eat a healthy diet whenever possible. It is not a difficult task when you know which foods contain this essential vitamin. The main foods rich in vitamin B12 are foie de boeuf, sardines, maquereau de l’Atlantique, l’agneau, sauvage, la levure alimentarire, feta, boeuf nourri à l’herbe, le fromage blanc et eggs.

* The information and services available on are in no way a substitute for consultation with competent healthcare professionals.

Do you like our content?

Receive our latest publications for free and directly to your mailbox every day.


Leave a Comment