Vitamin B12 is an incredibly crucial nutrient and often one of great concern, especially on a plant-based diet. This vitamin is responsible for a lot of internal functions, including red blood cell production and proper nerve function. The reason it is discussed so heavily within the vegan community is because there has not been a clear plant-based source of B12. People have often gotten it as a byproduct from animal consumption. The funny thing is, animals do not produce B12. B12 is made by bacteria found in soil. Before food and water sterilization was a thing, people would obtain it through untreated water and soil residue on foods. The good news is, today you can easily get all the B12 you need through supplements and fortified foods! *As of January 1, 2020, scientists have discovered a naturally occurring, plant-based source of B12. Water lentils (or duckweed) appear to have a sufficient source of B12. This product is available in whole foods form or through a powder called Lentein. Cool, right?
Regardless of your diet, vitamin B12 is a micronutrient you should keep track of. In fact, many people are deficient in this vitamin despite eating animal products. Below is the recommended daily dose of B12:
- 25mg-100mg daily
- B12 supplements should be either chewable or dissolved under the tongue
Good Karma Yogurt (30% Of Daily B12 Needs)
First up is Good Karma Strawberry Yogurt. Perhaps it is no surprise with a name like Good Karma, that this option is the most balanced and inclusive/allergen friendly option. One container of this sweet treat offers 30% of your daily B12, 15% of your daily calcium, 130 calories, 2g of fat, and 5g of protein. It is made with flax milk, making it a nut and soy friendly option. Flax milk is also a great source of omega-3s! In other words, you get B12, calcium, protein, and omegas, plus it is allergy-friendly. Be sure to pick this one up next time
Daiya Yogurt (40% Of Your Daily B12 Needs)
For those familiar with plant-based foods, you’ve probably heard of Daiya. In addition to vegan cheese, their vegan yogurt offers a lot for a little. Daiya’s Peach Coconut Yogurt contains 40% of your daily B12! It is a bit higher in calories and fat (150cal, 7g), but it also offers 6g of protein. This creamy yogurt alternative is full of flavor and real pieces of fruit! If peach isn’t your favorite flavor, they also offer strawberry, blueberry, cherry, vanilla, and plain flavors. The perfect reason to start your day with a creamy treat!
Silk OatYeah Yogurt (50% Of Daily B12 Needs)
For the health nuts, this oat-based yogurt is a great option! Silk OatYeah Oat Milk Yogurt comes in four different flavors: strawberry, vanilla, mango, and berry. These little containers are only 80 calories each, and provide 50% of your daily B12 intake! They are also fat free, contain 3g of protein, and give you 10% of your daily calcium needs. Essentially, these are a great, low calorie option for ensuring your B12 needs are met. Plus, with no gluten, dairy, or nuts this is a great option suitable for most diets! Definitely give these a try!
Violife Mozzarella Shreds (30% of Daily B12)
We all love cheese! Violife offers consumers plant-based alternatives to some of their favorite cheesy products. Specifically, Violife Mozzarella Shreds are a great addition to just about every meal. Whether you’re hosting a pizza night or just need a cheese fix, these shreds melt like the real thing. A serving (1/4c) is only 80 calories and gives you 30% of your daily B12 needs. This product is a bit higher in sodium (190mg) and fat (7g) than the rest of the lineup, but a little in moderation is a delicious and nutritious addition to your meals!
Silk Unsweetened SoyMilk (120% of Daily B12)
Last but not least, we present Silk Unsweetened Soymilk. Like the header implies, this stuff is a B12 boss! Just one cup gives you 120% of your daily B12 needs! And it will only cost you 80 calories. This milk also gives you 7g of protein per serving, only 4g of fat, and 20% of your daily calcium needs! But wait, that’s not all! Soymilk is a good alternative in loads of products, like lattes and teas, and even baking recipes. Not only will this help you with your B12 needs, but you can use this product in so many different ways! Be sure to grab some the next time you’re out!
Red Star (133% Of Daily B12 Needs)
If you’ve never heard of “nooch” (nutritional yeast), you’re missing out! Many vegans use it as a parmesan replacement over pasta, or in cheese sauces to up the cheesy taste. So basically, these savory flakes will enhance the flavor in your meals and provide you with tons of vitamin B12. Our favorite brand, Red Star, has 133% of the recommended daily intake! We love sprinkling this stuff over everything!
The Wrap Up
Alright, there you have it; five plant-based, vegan sources of B12. Again, B12 is an essential vitamin for all people. Whether you are vegan or not, it is worth understanding where this vitamin comes from and ensuring you are getting enough. To your vegan success!