Vitamin B Rich Foods

Vilma Ruddock
Reviewed by Terri Forehand RN
Vitamin B-rich foods

The vitamin B family has many benefits, so including a variety of foods rich in these vitamins in your diet is smart. In addition to being an immune system booster, the B vitamins keep the brain and nervous system healthy and help maintain energy levels and other vital functions.

Foods Rich in Vitamin B

The eight vitamins that make up the vitamin B-complex are present in varying amounts in all the major food groups. Of important note, vitamin B12 is present only in animal-based foods, fortified cereals, and other vitamin-enriched plant foods.

The following tables list the foods that contain the highest amount of each B vitamin. The recommended daily allowances (RDAs) are from the Institute of Medicine's Dietary Reference Intakes guide. The vitamin B content of each listed food comes from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database.

NOTE: mg = milligram, mcg = microgram, gm = gram, oz = ounce, tbsp = tablespoon

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

The RDA for women is 1.1 milligrams (mg) and for men 1.2 mg.

Food Serving Size B1 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Women Men
Brewer's yeast 1 tbsp 1.9 mg 172% 158%
Enriched whole grain cereal 3/4 cup 1.5 mg 136% 125%
Lean pork 3.5 oz 0.81 mg 74% 67%
Wheat germ, raw 1/4 cup 0.55 mg 50% 46%
Lentil, cooked 1 cup 0.34 mg 31% 26%
Salmon 3.5 oz 0.28 mg 25% 23%
Beef liver 3.5 oz 0.19 mg 17% 16%
Oats (cooked) 1 cup 0.18mg 16% 15%
Beef kidney 3.5 oz 0.16 mg 15% 13%
Potato, cooked 1 medium 0.12 mg 11% 10%
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 0.10 mg 9% 8%
Green beans, raw 1 cup 0.10 mg 9% 8%
Squash, cooked 1 cup 0.10 mg 9% 8%
Milk, nonfat 1 cup 0.10 mg 9% 8%
Cantaloupe, cubes 1 cup 0.07 mg 6% 6%
Beef, chuck 3.5 oz 0.07 mg 6% 6%
Eggs, boiled 1 large 0.03 mg 3% 2.5%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

The RDA for Vitamin B2 is 1.1 mg for women and 1.3mg for men.

Food Serving size B2 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Women Men
Beef liver 3.5 oz 3.4 mg 309% 262%
Beef kidney 3.5 oz 3.0 mg 273% 231%
Enriched whole grain cereal 3/4 cup 1.7 mg 155% 131%
Almonds 1 cup 1.4 mg 127% 108%
Soy milk 1 cup 0.51 mg 46% 39%
Salmon 3.5 oz 0.49 mg 45% 38%
Yogurt, Greek, nonfat 6 oz 0.47 mg 43% 36%
Milk, nonfat 1 cup 0.43 mg 39% 33%
Brewer's yeast 1 tbsp 0.34 mg 31% 26%
Avocado, pureed 1 cup 0.33 mg 30% 25%
Egg, boiled 1 large 0.26 mg 24% 20%
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 0.22 mg 20% 17%
Chicken breast 3.5 oz 0.21 mg 19% 15%
Beef, chuck 3.5 oz 0.19 mg 17% 14.6%
Lentil, cooked 1 cup 0.15 mg 14% 12%
Wheat germ raw 1/4 cup 0.15 mg 14% 12%
Potatoes, cooked 1 medium 0.08 mg 7% 6%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

The RDA for vitamin B3 is 14 mg for women and 16 mg for men.

Food Serving Size B3 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Women Men
Enriched whole grain cereal 3/4 cup 20 mg 143% 125%
Beef liver 3.5 oz 17.5 mg 125% 109%
Chicken breast 3.5 oz 11.8 mg 84% 73.8%
Wild salmon 3.5 oz 10.1 mg 72% 63%
Tuna, canned 4 oz 10.0 mg 71% 62.5%
Turkey breast 4 oz 7.1 mg 51% 44%
Lean pork 3 oz 6.3 mg 45% 39%
Almonds, whole 1 cup 4.8 mg 34% 30%
Beef, chuck 3.5 oz 4.7 mg 34% 29%
Avocado, pureed 1 cup 4.4 mg 31% 26%
Beef kidney 3.5 oz 3.9 mg 2% 24%
Chicken breast 3.5 oz 3.4 mg 24% 21%
Brewer's yeast 1 tbsp 2.9 mg 21% 18%
Clams 3 oz 2.9 mg 21% 18%
Potatoes, cooked 1 medium 2.3 mg 16% 14%
Lentil, cooked 1 cup 2.1 mg 15% 13%
Wheat germ, raw 1/4 cup 2.0 mg 14% 12.5%
Banana, crushed 1 cup 1.5 mg 11% 9.4%
Cantaloupe, cubes 1 cup 1.2 mg 9% 7.5%
Kidney beans 1 cup 0.94 mg 7% 5.9%
Broccoli, raw, chopped 1 cup 0.58 mg 4% 3.6%

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

The RDA for vitamin B5 is 5 mg for women and men.

Food Serving Size B5 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Enriched whole grain cereals 3/4 cup 10 mg 200%
Brewer's yeast 1 tbsp 6.9 mg 138%
Beef liver 3.5 oz 6.3 mg 126%
Avocado, pureed 1 cup 3.4 mg 68%
Wild salmon 6 oz 3.0 mg 60%
Eggs, hard boiled 1 large 1.9 mg 38%
Pork lean 3 oz 1.23 mg 25%
Potato 1 large 1.14 mg 23%
Yogurt, plain, low-fat 6 oz 1.0 mg 20%
Sweet potato 1 medium 1.0mg 20%
Milk, nonfat 1 cup 0.93 mg 19%
Turkey breast 3 oz 0.77 mg 15%
Salmon 3 oz 0.71 mg 14%
Beef, chuck 3 oz 0.52 mg 10%

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

The RDA for vitamin B6 is 1.5 mg for women and 1.3 mg for men.

Food Serving Size B6 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Women Men
Brewer's yeast 1 tbsp 6.0 mg 400% 462%
Enriched whole grain cereal 3/4 cup 1.5 mg 100% 115%
Wild salmon 6 oz 1.5 mg 100% 115%
Beef liver 3.5% 1.0 mg 67% 77%
Chicken breast 3.5% 0.8 mg 53% 62%
Bananas, mashed 1 cup 0.8 mg 53% 62%
Avocado, pureed 1 cup 0.7 mg 47% 54%
Potatoes, cooked 1 medium 0.6 mg 40% 46%
Beef, chuck 3.5 oz 0.4 mg 27% 31%
Beef kidney 3.5 oz 0.4 mg 27% 31%
Lentil, cooked 1 cup 0.4 mg 27% 31%
Wheat, germ, raw 1/4 cup 0.38 mg 25% 29%
Chicken breast 3.5 oz 0.15 mg 10% 12%
Milk, nonfat 1 cup 0.10 mg 7% 7.7%
Yogurt, Greek, nonfat 6 oz 0.10 mg 7% 7.7%
Cantaloupe, cubes 1 cup 0.10 mg 7% 7.7%

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

The RDA for vitamin B7 is 30 micrograms (mcg) for women and men. According the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI), the biotin content of foods is difficult to measure accurately. The following small table of foods is from the LPI as there is no data in the USDA National Nutrient Database cited above.

Food Serving Size B7 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Liver 3 oz 27-35 mcg 90-116.7%
Egg, boiled 1 large 13-25 mcg 43-83%
Salmon 3 oz 4-5 mcg 13.3-16.7%
Avocado 1 whole 2-6 mcg 6.7-20%
Pork 3 oz 2-4 mcg 6.7-13.3%
Yeast 1 packet (7 grams) 1.4-14 mcg 4.7-46.7%
Cheese, cheddar 1 oz 0.4-2 mcg 1.3-6.7%
Cauliflower, raw 1 cup 0.2-4 mcg 0.1-13.3%
Raspberries 1 cup 0.2-2 mcg 0.1-6.7%

Vitamin 9 (Folic Acid)

The RDA for vitamin B9 (folic acid or folate) is 400 micrograms (mcg) for women and men.

Food Serving Size B9 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Enriched whole grain cereals 3/4 cup 400 mcg 100%
Lentil, cooked 1 cup 358 mcg 89.5%
Beef liver 3.5 oz 253 mcg 63%
Avocado, pureed 1 cup 205 mcg 51%
Brewer's yeast 1 tbsp 90.3 mcg 23%
Beef kidney 3.5 oz 83 mcg 21%
Wheat germ, raw 1/4 cup 80.8 mcg 20%
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 79 mcg 19.8%
Almonds, whole 1 cup 71.5 mcg 17.9%
Spinach, raw 1 cup 58 mcg 14.5%
Broccoli, raw, chopped 1 cup 57 mcg 14%
Green beans, raw 1 cup 40.7 mg 10%
Potatoes, cooked 1 medium 45 mcg 11%
Cantaloupe, cubes 1 cup 34 mcg 9%
Salmon 3.5 oz 29 mcg 7%
Eggs, boiled 1 large 22 mcg 5.5%
Oats, cooked 1 cup 14 mcg 3.5%
Milk, nonfat 1 cup 12 mcg 3%

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

The RDA for vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg for women and men.

Food Serving Size B12 Per Serving Percent of RDA
Clams 3 oz 84.1 mcg 3,504%
Beef liver 3.5 oz 70.6 mcg 2,941%
Beef kidney 3.5 oz 24.9 mcg 1,038%
Enriched whole grain cereals 3/4 cup 6 mcg 250%
Wild salmon 3.5 oz 3.1 mcg 129%
Soy milk 1 cup 3.0 mcg 125%
Beef, chuck 3.5 oz 2.9 mcg 120.8%
Tuna, canned 4 oz 2.0 mcg 83%
Yogurt, nonfat Greek 6 oz 1.3 mcg 54%
Milk, nonfat 1 cup 1.0 mcg 42%
Eggs, boiled 1 large 0.5 mcg 21%

Vitamin B Supplements

supplement tablet

The best source of B vitamins is from the foods you eat. However, if you find it difficult to get enough from your diet, add a vitamin B complex or a multivitamin supplement. Vitamins are available at your local grocery store or pharmacy, or from online stores. Only buy well-known, long-standing, trusted brands to ensure you are getting reliable, quality products.

Why Vitamin B Is Important

The B complex vitamins help maintain a host of your body's essential functions. Important roles include:

  • Metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fat and conversion into energy
  • Maintain a healthy nervous system and food digestion
  • Production of blood cells, DNA and RNA synthesis, and cell division
  • Maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails, normal immune system, and normal wound healing
  • Support normal fetal development

Adequate intake of B vitamins decrease the risk of anemia, diabetes, heart disease, and nervous system and other dysfunctions. On the other hand, vitamin B deficiencies can cause such disorders as anemia, berberi (a nerve disorder), fatigue, acne, cheilitis (cracked corners of the lips), mouth sores, and mood disorders.

Well-Balanced Diet for Maximum Health

Even a minor deficiency of vitamin B can affect your health. Be sure to eat a well-balanced diet of a variety of healthy foods. This will ensure that you get the recommended amounts of vitamin B, other essential vitamins and minerals, and other nutrients.

Vitamin B Rich Foods