When I was in college, I went through a vegetarian phase and my mom flipped out saying I wasn't going to get enough vitamin B12. While it's true that this vitamin is mostly found in meat and fish, it's also found in dairy products, eggs, and nutritional yeast as well.
Why do we need B12? It's necessary to maintain healthy nerves, red blood cells, and to metabolize protein. Your body needs about 2.4 mcg of B12 a day, and since your body can store several years' worth of this vitamin, a deficiency is rare unless you're not getting it in your diet.
So how much vitamin B12 is found in the foods you eat? To find out
|Food||Amount||Amount of B12|
|Chicken breast||1 piece||.6 mcg|
|Turkey (dark meat)||3 ounces||.3 mcg|
|Shellfish||3 ounces||84 mcg (whoa!)|
|Shrimp||3 ounces||1 mcg|
|Trout||3 ounces||5.4 mcg|
|Haddock||3 ounces||1.2 mcg|
|Tuna||3 ounces||1 mcg|
|Pork||3 ounces||.6 mcg|
|Beef||3 ounces||2.4 mcg|
|Plain yogurt||1 cup||1.4 mcg|
|Milk||1 cup||.9 mcg|
|Cheddar cheese||1 ounce||.2 mcg|
|Egg||1 whole||.6 mcg|
|Red Star nutritional yeast||1 tbsp||4 mcg|
|Fortified cereal||1/2 cup||2.4 mcg|
|Fortified soy milk||1 cup||1.2 mcg|
|Tempeh||1 cup||.1 mcg|
As you can see, most of the sources of vitamin B12 come from animals, so if you're vegan, it may be a good idea to pick up some B12 supplements.