Foods Rich in Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12 is found in foods that come from animals, including fish and shellfish, meat (especially liver), poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products.  Eggs are often mentioned as a good B12 source, but they also contain a factor that blocks absorption.

The recommended vitamin B12 dose for an adult ranges from 2 to 3 µg per day but there are vitamin B12 benefits at higher doses.  Don’t worry – vitamin B12 side effects are extremely rare.

Liver –  Liver most often shows up on our plates as pâté, but it can also be served fried (often with lots of onions and herbs).  The liver of basically any animal is going to be packed with vitamin B12 but the highest on the list are: Lamb, beef, veal, moose, turkey, duck, and goose in that order.  Lamb liver provides 85.7μg (1428% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving, or 72.85μg (230% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving.

Oysters –  Oysters (actually all shellfish) are a great source of vitamin B12 and can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, fried, or made into chowder. In addition to vitamin B12 shellfish are a good source of zinc, copper, and iron. Clams provide the most vitamin B-12 with 98.9μg per 100g serving, accounting for 1648% of the RDA. That is 84μg (1401% RDA) per 3 ounce serving, and 187.9μg (3132% RDA) in 20 small clams, or 9.4μg (156.6 %RDA) in one small clam. Mussels and oysters are also good sources of B12 providing 600% RDA and 400% RDA per 100 gram serving.

Cheese –  Despite being relatively high in cholesterol, cheese is a good source of calcium, protein, and Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). The amount of vitamin B12 in cheese depends on type and variety but Swiss cheese provides the most with 3.34μg (56% RDA) per 100g serving.

Beef –  Beef is another great source of vitamin B12 rich, but it’s also a good source of protein, zinc, and iron. The amount of vitamin B-12 in beef varies but beef generally has about 6.18μg (103% RDA) per 100g serving.

Eggs –  The raw yolk of chicken eggs has the most of the vitamin B-12 with about 1.95μg per 100g serving (33%), but this is just 6% of the RDA. The eggs of other animals offer a higher dose with a goose egg providing 7.34μg (122% RDA) of vitamin B-12 per 100g serving, and a duck egg providing 3.78μg (63% RDA).

Note: Liver, Fois Gras, Whole Milk, Clam Chowder, Liverwurst, Salami, Cheese, Caviar, Lamb, Shell Fish, and Beef are high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts and avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.

Foods rich in Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Certain foods are very high in folate:

  • Leafy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, turnip greens
  • Legumes such as dried or fresh beans, peas and lentils
  • Egg yolks
  • Baker’s yeast
  • Fortified grain products (pasta, cereal, bread); some breakfast cereals (ready-to-eat and others) are fortified with 25% to 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for folic acid
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Liver and liver products also contain high amounts of folate
  • Kidney

The following foods contain moderate amounts of vitamin B9:

Certain fruits (orange juice, canned pineapple juice, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, grapefruit juice, banana, raspberry, grapefruit and strawberry) and vegetables (beets, corn, tomato juice, vegetable juice, broccoli, brussels sprouts, romaine lettuce and bok choy), beer.