Supercharge Your Health With Vitamin B Foods

Aditi Shenai

November 15, 2023

The B vitamins comprise eight of the thirteen essential vitamins that the body needs. B vitamins help in metabolism as well as cell and DNA formation, including red blood cell formation. The diet you consume must provide B vitamins regularly because the body cannot hold onto or store B vitamins (aside from vitamin B12) for an extended period as they are water soluble and get flushed out of the body daily.

Leafy green vegetables, dairy products, legumes, and animal proteins are good sources of B vitamins. However, for any food to be deemed high in a vitamin, it must supply at least 20% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) in each serving. This article offers recommendations for healthful foods that are rich in one or more B vitamins.

Types of B Vitamins

The B-complex vitamins, or B vitamins, are a set of eight water-soluble vitamins. They are: 

  • B1 (Thiamine): By assisting in the conversion of nutrients into energy, thiamine plays a crucial part in metabolism.
  • B2 (Riboflavin): Plays a role in food energy conversion and antioxidant activity. 
  • B3 (Niacin): Niacin helps with cellular signalling, metabolism, and DNA synthesis and repair, among other processes.
  • B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Aids in hormones and cholesterol synthesis, in addition to helping the body use food as fuel.
  • B6 (Pyridoxine): Red blood cell formation, amino acid metabolism, and the synthesis of neurotransmitters are all impacted by pyridoxine.
  • B7 (Biotin): It helps the regulation of gene expression and is necessary for the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
  • B9 (Folate): It is essential for healthy cell division, red and white blood cell production, amino acid metabolism, and cell growth.
  • B12 (Cobalamin): Possibly the most well-known of the B vitamins, B12 is essential for the creation of red blood cells, DNA synthesis, and nervous system function.


The eight water-soluble vitamins that form the B group are essential cofactors for several cellular metabolic processes, neurotransmitter production, and axonal transport. These include thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12). A large number of vital enzymes involved in the production of RNA and DNA depend on B vitamins as cofactors. 

Recommended Doses for Vitamin B

Although most individuals with a diverse diet obtain adequate B vitamins from food, some individuals are more likely to experience a deficit, specifically:

  • Individuals who are older than 50
  • Breastfeeding or pregnant women 
  • Vegans
  • Alcoholics

For each of the eight B vitamins, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers the recommended daily intakes (RDI) shown below. Preventing deficits in B vitamins can be achieved by maintaining your RDI.

Vitamin B ComplexMalesFemalesDuring pregnancyDuring breastfeeding
B1 (Thiamin)1.2 mg1.1 mg1.4 mg1.4 mg
B2 (Riboflavin)1.3 mg1.1 mg1.4 mg1.6 mg
B3 (Niacin)16 mg14 mg18 mg17 mg
B5 (Pantothenic acid)5 mg5 mg6 mg7 mg
B6 (Pyridoxine)1.3 mg1.5 mg1.9 mg2.0 mg
B7 (Biotin)30 mcg30 mcg30 mcg35 mcg
B9 (Folate)400 mcg400 mcg600 mcg500 mcg
B12 (Cobalamin)2.4 mcg2.4 mcg2.6 mcg2.8 mcg


Age, gender, and specific health requirements are among the variables that affect the recommended daily consumption of each B vitamin. Maintaining a balanced diet that contains enough B vitamins is crucial for ensuring general well-being. For various B vitamins, the recommended daily intakes generally range from approximately 1.1 mg to 2.4 mcg. Maintaining optimal health and unlocking vitality requires consuming the right amount of B vitamins.

The Health Benefits of B Vitamins

Every B vitamin helps in the body’s energy production from meals. Each component has a unique set of health advantages of its own. But the B-complex vitamins also have other benefits, like boosting immunity, improving mood, improving memory, producing red blood cells, improving skin and hair health, and raising energy.

Regulates Digestion

For optimal operation, the digestive system needs the vital vitamin B complex. It controls several processes in the digestive tract, including how carbohydrates, lipids, and alcohol break down.

Promotes Weight Loss

A shortage of vitamin B12 may be one of the causes of obesity in those who are overweight. On the other hand, getting enough vitamin B12 has been associated with a decreased risk of obesity and weight gain. Taking B12 supplements helps in the body’s increased metabolism. It thereby helps in preventing the buildup of extra fat.

Beneficial When Expecting

During pregnancy, the vitamin B complex helps in foetal growth. Vitamin B9 or folate is essential for the proper development of an infant’s brain, spinal cord, and nervous system.

Enhances Brain and Nerve Function

B complex vitamins are essential for the brain’s regular operation. As a result, eating enough vitamin B can help avoid symptoms like dementia, sadness, and memory loss.

Boosts Immune Function

The body’s immunological response becomes enhanced by the function of B complex vitamins. Vitamin B6, B12, and folate are known to improve the synthesis of antibodies, reduce inflammation, and fortify immunity.


Numerous health advantages of vitamin B include boosting the generation of energy from food, preserving brain function, encouraging good skin and eye health, and guaranteeing healthy nerve function. These vitamins that dissolve in water are essential for many biological processes and are the unsung heroes of health as they keep the body functioning at its peak.

Sources of Vitamin B Foods

Here is a list of foods high in vitamin B:


Niacin (Vitamin B3) and Vitamin B12, in particular, are abundant in salmon, which is a nutritional powerhouse. Including salmon in the diet can be a tasty and nourishing way to increase your intake of vitamin B while also taking advantage of its other health advantages, such as heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.


Eat spinach raw or cooked, and it will give enough of different B vitamins. Folate (vitamin B9), which is essential for cell division and the avoidance of birth abnormalities during pregnancy, is abundant in dark leafy greens like spinach. Including spinach in the diet can also help with heart health and cognitive enhancement.


Legumes, which include beans and lentils, are a great source of folate (Vitamin B9) and thiamine (Vitamin B1). These vitamins are essential for the synthesis of energy and cell division. If your diet is lacking in vitamin B, increase your intake of beans, lentils, and chickpeas.


Biotin, often known as vitamin B7, is abundant in eggs and is essential for keeping skin, hair, and nails healthy. They are also a good source of choline and riboflavin, or vitamin B2.

Not only do eggs contain these B vitamins, but they also offer a host of other vital components that contribute significantly to nutritional value, like protein and healthy fats. Particularly in the yolk, there is a concentration of these B vitamins.

Fortified Cereals

For those who enjoy cereal for breakfast, fortified cereals contain thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, folate (synthetic folic acid), and B12. Make sure the fortified cereals you select have the exact B vitamins you need by reading the nutrition label. They are also a convenient option for those with a busy lifestyle.


Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12, and Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) are three B vitamins that are abundant in milk. One easy method to include these B vitamins in your diet is to have a glass of milk. Milk is an easy and natural way to get these vitamins, which are vital for general health and well-being. It also supports proper bone development and ensures a good supply of vitamin A.


Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is found in avocados and is essential for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, cholesterol, and fatty acids. It is also well known for promoting healthy skin.


Vitamin B6 is abundant in bananas. This B vitamin is essential and promotes immunological response, brain development, and the synthesis of dopamine and serotonin, among other neurotransmitters. Other B vitamins, including vitamin B9 (folate) and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) may be present.

Sunflower Seed

One of the best plant sources of pantothenic acid is sunflower seeds. The Greek word “pantos,” which means “everywhere,” gives this B vitamin its name because it’s present in most plant and animal diets, albeit typically in trace levels. 

It has significant levels of niacin (Vitamin B3) and thiamine (Vitamin B1). Sunflower seeds include a variety of minerals, fibre, and healthy fats in addition to these B vitamins. Including seeds in your diet might be a straightforward approach to increasing your intake of B vitamins and other vital nutrients that support general health and well-being.


Riboflavin is a prominent vitamin B in yoghurt. Yoghurt may include vitamin B12. That is especially the case for varieties that have probiotics added. It is a healthy dairy product that is well-known for the probiotics it contains, which improve gut health.


Foods high in vitamin B are nutritional powerhouses that offer a range of B vitamins that are vital to human health. These meals have numerous advantages, ranging from energy production to brain function and skin health. They include lean meats, dairy products, whole grains, leafy greens, and more. Whether you like leafy greens for folate or salmon for B12, these meals are the key to a life full of vitality, health, and well-being.

HealthifyMe Suggestion

The ideal way to pack in your B vitamins for the day is to add proteins and veggies at your major meals. Another option is to make yogurt based, fruit and veg smoothies for your mid morning or evening snack. You can also make amazing mixed salads that combine veggies along with proteins such as chicken or tofu or legumes like chickpeas and kidney beans as well as seeds and use these to get your daily vitamin fix!


The B complex vitamins are involved in several vital functions within the human body. Therefore, it’s critical to keep a balanced diet and make sure you’re getting enough vitamin B. The eight vitamins that make up the B-complex, namely B1, B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12, may appear identical and have similar purposes. All vitamins, however, perform essential functions and differ in their molecular makeup. Sustaining a well-balanced diet comprising different foods high in B vitamins is necessary to guarantee adequate nutrient intake.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information, please contact our certified nutritionists Here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What are the different types of vitamin B?

A: Eight different water-soluble vitamins make up vitamin B; each has unique qualities and advantages of its own. Thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12) are some of these vitamins. 

Q. Why is vitamin B important for the body?

A: The body needs vitamin B for many vital processes, making it an absolute necessity. The metabolism of food into energy, the preservation of healthy skin, eyes, and nerves, and the support of brain function all depend on these water-soluble vitamins. They also support general health, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell creation.

Q. What are some common vitamin B deficiency symptoms?

A: Fatigue, weakness or a general lack of energy, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, weakened muscles and slow reflexes, shakiness when walking, or trouble maintaining balance are common signs of vitamin B insufficiency.

Q. What are the best sources of vitamin B1 (thiamine) in foods?

A: Whole grains, including brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, wholemeal bread, and oats, are the finest sources of vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 is also present in almonds, beans, and yeast extract.

Q. Which foods are rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin)?

A: The primary sources of vitamin B2 are fortified meals and organ meat. Eggs, avocados, almonds, pork, mushrooms, and beef are foods high in vitamin B2.

Q. How can I increase my vitamin B3 (niacin) intake through my diet?

A: The most significant natural sources of vitamin B3 are liver, tuna, and turkey. You can also obtain it from plant-based foods, including brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, muesli, and peanuts.

Q. What are some vegetarian sources of vitamin B12?

A: Since animal products are the primary source of vitamin B12, it can be difficult for vegetarians and vegans to consume enough of it. But there are also plant-based sources of B12, such as nutritional yeast, plant-based milk (like soy or almond milk), and fortified meals like cereals for breakfast. If you have chronically low levels of Vit B12 and cannot increase the levels through food intake, you will require supplementation.

Q. Which foods are high in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)?

A: A wide range of foods are high in pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5. Avocados, mushrooms, lean meats (such as turkey and chicken), dairy products, and legumes are a few of the best choices.

Q. Are there natural food sources for vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)?

A: Yes, there are a variety of naturally occurring dietary sources that are high in pyridoxine, or vitamin B6. Top choices include fish (tuna and salmon), potatoes, bananas, sunflower seeds, and poultry (turkey and chicken). Eggs, ricotta cheese, and goat’s milk are examples of dairy products.

Q. What are some vitamin B7 (biotin) rich foods for hair and skin health?

A: In order to support healthy skin and hair, vitamin B7, often known as biotin, is necessary. Eggs, sweet potatoes, spinach, and nuts—especially almonds—are a few foods high in biotin. Biotin aids in lipid metabolism and promotes strong hair, skin, and nails. Because they contain this essential B vitamin, these foods can help you keep your skin and hair looking young and vibrant.

Q. How can I get more vitamin B9 (folate) from my diet?

A: Legumes, asparagus, eggs, and leafy greens are good sources of folate. You can increase your daily intake of B9 vitamins by including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, lettuce, and cherry tomatoes in your diet.

Q. Which foods are good for obtaining vitamin B5 (cobalamin)?

A: Cobalamin, another name for vitamin B5, is present mainly in animal products. Lean meats (such as beef, poultry, and pork), fish (especially salmon and shellfish), dairy items (like milk and cheese), and eggs are good sources of cobalamin.

Q. Can vitamin B-rich foods help with energy levels?

A: Yes, foods high in vitamin B can help to maintain and increase energy levels. For the body to be able to use the food one eats as energy, the B vitamins are necessary. They are essential for metabolism and the synthesis of ATP, the body’s primary source of energy. Rich in these critical B vitamins, foods such as leafy greens, dairy products, lean meats, and whole grains are a great complement to any diet for long-term energy and general health.

Q. Are there specific vitamin B foods that support nerve health?

A: Yes, certain foods high in vitamin B can help maintain nerve health. The vitamins B1 (thiamine), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin) are essential for the proper operation of nerves. These B vitamins are present in foods such as dairy products, eggs, salmon, and lean meats. Keeping up a diet high in these items promotes nerve health and guarantees good nervous system performance.

Q. What is the daily recommended intake of vitamin B for adults?

A: For adults, different B vitamins have different daily suggested intakes. Generally speaking, it falls between 1.1 mg and 2.4 mcg. Individual health demands and factors like age and gender have an impact on these suggestions. Maintaining a balanced diet that contains enough B vitamins is crucial for ensuring optimum health.

Research Sources

Riboflavin and health: A review of recent human research



Inverse Association Between Serum Vitamin B12 Concentration and Obesity Among Adults in the United States

B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy–A Review

Vitamin B₆ and Its Role in Cell Metabolism and Physiology

Yoghurt and gut function

About the Author

M.Sc in: Dietetics and Applied Nutrition from Manipal University. Worked: All over India and have been involved in helping set up nutrition departments in start ups. Interested in lifestyle based nutrition. Mantra: A healthy lifestyle isn't a choice to be made or discarded, it's a way of life!

Related Articles


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your health is our priority. Talk to one of our experts and get the best plan for you today.
Chat With Us