Yes, you can get all the nutrients you need from a vegan diet. But while vitamins and minerals such as iron, protein and vitamin D are readily found in foods like spinach, tempeh and almonds, vitamin B12—a nutrient vital for cell division and metabolism—is trickier to obtain from plant-based sources.

Vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy are in luck, as a large egg contains around 9 percent of your daily value of vitamin B12 and a cup of milk contains 19 percent of your daily needs. If you’re strictly vegan, however, consider taking a daily vitamin B12 supplement. Also try sprinkling 1 to 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, a savory, fermented food seasoning, atop soups or salads for an additional shot of vitamin B12. Some brands of nutritional yeast deliver 40 percent of your daily value of vitamin B12 in just 1 tablespoon.

  1. B12 is only found in foods of animal origin.

  2. B12 contributes in red blood cell formation.

  3. B12 helps with normal cell division.

  4. B12 aids in normal energy metabolism.

  5. B12 contributes to heart health.

  6. B12 helps with normal neurological and psychological functions.

  7. B12 reduces tiredness and fatigue.

  8. B12 helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.

  9. B12 helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia, which makes people tired and weak.

  10. Beef liver and clams are the best sources of vitamin B12.