Vitamin B3 Foods

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 09/11/2023

Vitamin B3, also called niacin, is one of the 8 B vitamins. Your body uses it for proper metabolism, antioxidant protection, and nervous system function. Since your body does not produce vitamin B3, you must obtain it from food.

You must also note that niacin is water soluble and excreted via the urinary tract system. Hence, it is essential to replenish the supplies by regularly consuming niacin-rich Indian foods.

While uncommon in the developed parts of the world, it might be possible to develop vitamin B3 deficiency. Symptoms of niacin deficiency may include poor circulation, tiredness, canker sores, stomach issues, fatigue, and depression. Severe deficiency of vitamin B3 may also cause pellagra.

Therefore, here will discuss some commonly available vitamin B3-rich foods you can consume.

Benefits of Vitamin B3

Here are a few health benefits of vitamin B3:

  • It helps regulate cholesterol and protects heart health.

  • It acts as an antioxidant and helps reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

  • It plays an essential role in breaking down carbohydrates and fats.

  • It helps prevent pellagra which causes digestive problems.

  • It helps protect your skin cells from sun damage. It also prevents some types of skin cancer.

  • It helps your brain to function properly. Its deficiency can lead to brain fog and may even cause schizophrenia.

Vitamin B3 Rich Foods: Non-Vegetarian

Here is a list of foods that contain vitamin B3 that you must try including in your diet if you are a non-vegetarian:

Animal Liver

Beef and chicken liver are the best sources of vitamin B3. 85gm of beef liver stores 14.7 mg of niacin which provides 91% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for males and over 100% of the RDA for females. It is also rich in other nutrients such as iron, vitamin A, choline, protein, and other B vitamins.

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is rich in niacin and lean protein. Around 85 gm of boneless, skinless chicken breast has 11.4 mg of niacin. This is 71% and 81% of the RDA for males and females respectively.

Tuna

Tuna is a good source of niacin for those who consume fish and not meat. 165 gm can of light tuna contains 21.9 mg of niacin which is over 100% of the RDA for males and females. Tuna is also rich in protein, vitamin B12, B6, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Turkey

Turkey has less niacin than chicken. However, it has tryptophan, an amino acid that is converted into niacin by your body. 85 gm of cooked turkey breast contains 6.3 mg of niacin and some tryptophan. Together, they provide around 50% and 60% of RDA for men and women respectively.

Salmon

Salmon is another good source of niacin, especially wild-caught. 85 gm cooked wild Atlantic salmon contains 53% and 61% of the RDA for males and females respectively.

Salmon also helps obtain omega-3 fatty acids which are effective in combating inflammation and reducing the risk of autoimmune disorders and heart diseases.

Pork

Lean cuts of pork are excellent vitamin B3 sources. 85 gm of roasted pork tenderloin for example has 6.3 mg of niacin. It provides 39% and 45% of the RDA for males and females respectively. While fattier cuts of pork also contain niacin, they have lower concentrations.

Anchovies

Anchovies are another great source of niacin. These are small fish rich in selenium which helps in reducing the risk of developing cancers. Eating a single anchovy can provide 5% of the RDA for males and females. So, 10 anchovies can give you half the vitamin B3 daily value.

Ground Beef

Another in the list of B3-rich foods is ground beef. Leaner portions contain more niacin than fattier ones. 85 gm of cooked lean ground beef for example provides 6.2 mg of vitamin B3.

According to some research, grass-fed beef provides more omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants when compared to grain-fed beef.

Vitamin B3 Foods: Vegetarian

Here’s a list of foods that contain vitamin B3 that you must try including in your diet if you are a vegetarian:

Potatoes

If you are looking for vegetarian foods containing niacinamide, white potatoes can be a great option. You can obtain 4.3 mg of niacin through a large baked potato.

This amounts to 25% of the RDA for males and 30% of the RDA for women. Sweet potatoes can also provide you with the same amounts of vitamin B3.

Green Peas

Green peas are excellent sources of highly absorbable niacin. 3 mg per cup or 145 gm contains about 20% of the RDA for males and females. Green peas are also rich in fibre, antioxidants, and other compounds. They help in reducing the risk of cancer and promote the healthy growth of gut bacteria.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the most excellent sources of vitamin B3 for vegetarians. Half a cup of chopped and boiled broccoli provides 3% of RDA. Broccoli is also rich in vitamins A and K, potassium, and manganese.

Mushrooms

Vegetarians or vegans looking for rich sources of niacin can consume mushrooms. 2.5 mg per cup or 70 gm can provide 15% and 18% of the RDA for males and females respectively.

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomatoes are another good B3-rich food. You can get 3% of niacin’s daily value by consuming half a cup of cherry tomatoes. You can also obtain vitamins A, C, and K by consuming cherry tomatoes.

Bananas

Bananas are the best niacin-rich Indian foods that are available easily. They can provide 5% of niacin’s daily value and are good sources of potassium and magnesium.

Avocados

Avocados are one of the best vitamin B3 fruits. You can obtain 3.5 mg of niacin by consuming a medium-sized avocado. The fruit is also rich in fibre, minerals, healthy fats, and other vitamins.

Mangoes

Adding mangoes to your diet can help replenish vitamin B3. Mangoes can provide 7% of niacin’s daily value and are also rich in vitamins A and C.

Peanuts

Peanuts are rich in vitamin E, B6, protein, magnesium, and many other nutrients. 32 gm or two tablespoons of peanut butter stores 4.3 mg of niacin providing 25% of the RDA for males and 30% for females.

Whole Wheat

It is recommended to add whole wheat products like pasta and whole wheat bread to your diet as they are high in vitamin B3. Whole wheat flour contains the niacin-rich outer layer of wheat kernels called bran. This layer is removed in refined white flour.

Apart from the vegetarian options mentioned above, some other food sources of vitamin B3 include spinach, lentils, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, milk, butter, etc.

Daily Requirement of Vitamin B3

Consuming a required amount of vitamin B3 is essential as it is excreted via urine. Here’s a table that shows the daily requirement of niacin according to different age groups:

Age group  RDA (mg/day) 
0-6 months  2
6-12 months  4
1-3 years  6
4-8 years  8
9-13 years  12
14-18 years (females)  14
14-18 years (males)  16
19 years and above (females)  14
19 years and above (males)  16
Pregnant women  18
Lactating women  17

Niacin or Vitamin B3 Supplements

While every individual must add B-complex vitamins to their diet, a few may require additional supplements. Here’s a list of people who might need niacin supplements:

  • Individuals with high cholesterol

  • Lactating women

  • Pregnant women

  • Aged men

Wrapping Up

Vitamin B3 or niacin is a crucial nutrient for your body. However, your body cannot synthesise or store the vitamin. This is the reason why you should consume vitamin B3-rich foods regularly.

While animal products like fish, poultry, and meat have high amounts of niacin, you can obtain it from fruits like avocados and bananas, and other plant sources like mushrooms, whole grains, peanuts, potatoes, etc.

Disclaimer / TnC

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