Best Natural Sources of B Vitamins

Sign that says b vitamins surrounded by b vitamin rich foods

B vitamins are essential nutrients that play a role in many body functions. For example, they are necessary for immunity, energy, cellular health, metabolism, etc. This article will discuss B vitamins and the best natural sources of B vitamins.

 

What Are B Vitamins?

 

B vitamins are a class of water-soluble vitamins that play essential roles in cell metabolism and the synthesis of red blood cells. While B vitamins share a similar name, they are chemically unique compounds. However, they tend to often coexist in the same foods. Therefore, they have been grouped under "B vitamins."

 

There are 8 B vitamins in total:

  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6
  • B7 (biotin)
  • B9 (Folic acid)
  • B12

 

B vitamins are essential in the body's process of obtaining energy from the food you eat. They also play a critical role in red blood cell formation. B vitamins have been shown to benefit many body functions and systems, including:

 

  • Energy
  • Metabolism
  • Immunity
  • Nervous system health
  • Bone health
  • Wound healing
  • Cellular health

 

As crucial as B vitamins are for health, many people are not getting enough of them in their diet. This is because B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they are not stored in your fat but are utilized by the body and then eliminated. Because of this, they must be consumed in the right amounts daily. Those that are not intentional about their diets can easily miss out on their daily B vitamin needs.

 

This is why we recommend supplementing with a high-quality vitamin B complex and focusing on eating more food sources of B vitamins. Below, we'll discuss the best sources of B vitamins in food and how you can get more B vitamins in your diet.

 

What Are Good Sources of B Vitamins in Food?

 

There are many good sources of B vitamins. While many B vitamin foods are animal foods, there are vegan sources of B vitamins that we will also discuss. 

 

Below are the best sources of B vitamins in food:

 

1. Meat

 

Different types of steaks set. Assorted raw meat on a black chalk board background. Rib eye steak on the bone, veal shank (ossobuco), fillet with cherry tomatoes, hot pepper and herbs.

 

The top food sources of B vitamins are animal foods. This is because they contain the highest B vitamin content and are the easiest way to obtain sufficient B vitamins from food. Among the animal sources of B vitamins, meat is among the highest—organ meats like liver. 

 

Just a 3.5-ounce serving of beef liver contains:

 

  • 12% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin B1 
  • 201% of the RDI of vitamin B2
  • 87% of the RDI of vitamin B3
  • 69% of the RDI of vitamin B5
  • 51% of the RDI of vitamin B6
  • 138% of the RDI of vitamin B7
  • 65% of the RDI of vitamin B9
  • and an impressive 1,386% of the RDI of vitamin B12

 

Beef, chicken, and turkey are also excellent sources of B vitamins—though they do not compare to the nutrient density of organ meats.

 

2. Fish

 

Wild-caught sockeye salmon fillets on a white background

 

Fish and seafood also provide notable amounts of B vitamins. Salmon, in particular, is one of the best sources of B group vitamins. 

 

A 3.5-ounce serving of salmon contains:

 

  • 18% of the RDI of vitamin B1
  • 29% of the RDI of vitamin B2
  • 50% of the RDI of vitamin B3
  • 19% of the RDI of vitamin B5
  • 47% of the RDI of vitamin B6
  • and 51% of the RDI of vitamin B12

 

Other fish are also high in B vitamins, as are other types of sea foods like oysters, clams, and mussels. These shellfish are excellent sources of vitamin B12, with a 3.5-ounce serving of oysters providing 480% of the RDI, clams providing 1,648% of the RDI, and mussels providing 400% of the RDI.

 

Vitamin B12 plays a critical role in blood cell and DNA formation and the function and development of brain and nerve cells.

 

3. Eggs

 

Organic chicken eggs in metal box on wooden background in a row. Organic household concept with eggs from free-range and pasture raised hens

 

Eggs are another excellent source of B vitamins. They are particularly rich in vitamin B7 (biotin). One large egg contains:

 

  • 15% of the RDI of vitamin B2
  • 7% of the RDI of vitamin B5
  • 33% of the RDI of vitamin B7
  • 5% of the RDI of vitamin B9
  • 9% of the RDI of vitamin B12

 

Eggs are also a great source of choline, a nutrient similar to B vitamins, and plays a significant role in brain and nervous system health, particularly mood, memory, muscle control, and nerve function. For example, one cooked egg contains 27% of the RDI of choline. 

 

4. Bee Pollen

 

raw organic bee pollen over wooden board

 

Bee pollen is a pellet of field-gathered flower pollen packed and made by worker honeybees. It is used as the primary food source for the hive. It is rich in amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and beneficial compounds. Bee pollen is also a great source of B vitamins.

 

Bee pollen contains all 8 B vitamins. Exactly how much of each vitamin it contains varies, however, depending on the types of flower pollen that are gathered by the bees.

 

5. Dairy

 

A bottle and glass of milk on a wooden table on blue background

 

Dairy products can also provide a good amount of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B2 (riboflavin). One 8-ounce cup of milk provides:

 

  • 7% of the RDI of vitamin B1
  • 26% of the RDI of vitamin B2
  • 9% of the RDI of vitamin B5
  • 18% of the RDI of vitamin B12

The good thing about the B vitamins in dairy, especially in raw milk, is that they have high absorption rates, making milk an excellent bioavailable source of B vitamins.

 

6. Legumes

 

Spoons with different legumes on white background

 

Legumes are another excellent food source of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B9 (folic acid). Some of the legumes with the highest B vitamin content include:

 

  • Lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Black beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Green peas
  • Edamame

 

Legumes are among the best vegan sources of B vitamins, along with the following foods mentioned below.

 

7. Brown Rice

 

Cooked brown Basmati rice in a bowl, selective focus

 

Another good vegan source of B vitamins, a one-cup serving of brown rice, contains:

 

  • 12% of the RDI of vitamin B1
  • 15% of the RDI of vitamin B3
  • 6% of the RDI of vitamin B5
  • 14% of the RDI of vitamin B6

 

Brown rice is also rich in other essential nutrients, such as amino acids, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium.

 

8. Avocado

 

avocado on a dark wood background. tinting. selective focus

 

Avocados are a superfood, rich in vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Just one medium-sized avocado provides:

 

  • 40% of the RDI of vitamin B2
  • 44% of the RDI of vitamin B3
  • 112% of the RDI of vitamin B5
  • 60% of the RDI of vitamin B6
  • 82% of the RDI of vitamin B9

 

Aside from providing these essential B vitamins, avocados are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins C, E, and K, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper.

 

9. Leafy Greens

 

Spring vitamin set of various green leafy vegetables on rustic wooden table. Top view point.

 

Leafy greens are a good source of vitamin B9 (folate) but do not provide many other B vitamins. However, each type of leafy green will provide different nutrients. The leafy greens with the most vitamin B9 content are spinach, collard greens, romaine lettuce, and turnip greens, with 3 cups of raw spinach providing 41% of the RDI of vitamin B9.

 

10. Nutritional Yeast

 

Nutritional Yeast, Vegan Cheese.

 

Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is rich in nutrients. It is among the best sources of B vitamins for vegans. It naturally contains B vitamins but is often fortified with more B vitamins as well. 2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast provides:

 

  • 640% of the RDI of vitamin B1
  • 570% of the RDI of vitamin B2
  • 280% of the RDI of vitamin B3
  • 10% of the RDI of vitamin B5
  • 480% of the RDI of vitamin B6
  • 60% of the RDI of vitamin B9
  • 130% of the RDI of vitamin B12

 

Getting B Vitamins in Your Diet Daily

 

As mentioned, B vitamins are water-soluble, meaning the body uses them as consumed and passes what it doesn't need. In addition, these vitamins are not stored in fat like the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. As a result, we must consume B vitamins daily to meet the recommended daily requirements that our body needs.

 

This isn't always easy and requires one to be on top of their nutrition. As you may have noticed, getting enough B vitamins in the diet is especially challenging for vegans, and B vitamins tend to be the group of nutrients in which vegans are most commonly deficient.

 

Unless you are eating beef liver, fish, or nutritional yeast every day, likely, you are not meeting your body's B vitamin needs each day either.

 

Because B vitamins are a nutrient group that is vital to proper health and functioning and are also a nutrient group that many people are deficient in, we have created a one-of-a-kind Coenzyme B Complex formula that not only provides the RDI of B vitamins in just two capsules but also provides other necessary B vitamin-like nutrients like choline.

 

Taking two capsules of this B vitamin complex each morning is a quick and easy way to ensure that you meet your body's B vitamin needs daily. Plus, they contain no additional fillers, preservatives, or toxic ingredients. They are also highly absorbable, unlike many other B vitamins on the market.

 

B vitamins are essential nutrients that play vital roles in nerve functioning, cellular health, red blood cell production, and much more. Therefore, it is essential to ensure you consume enough B vitamins each day for optimal health, whether through whole foods, supplements, or a combination of both.

 

 

 

 

References:

https://medlineplus.gov/bvitamins.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770181/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4772032/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548710/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114324/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586559/

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