Niacin or Vitamin B3 is one of the most important vitamins in the B complex family. It is needed for the proper metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is required in turning food to energy through complex biochemical reactions taking place in cells. It is also used in DNA repair and in the production of hormones. The nervous system uses niacin to function properly. Niacin has the ability to lower the concentration of bad cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins) in the blood. Bad cholesterol is deposited in the inner linings of arteries producing plaque that obstructs blood flow. Obstruction of blood flow in coronary arteries causes heart attack and obstruction of blood flow in arteries going to the brain causes stroke.
Pellagra is a disease caused by niacin deficiency. To avoid this disease, a person should take the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of niacin. The RDA is 2-12 mg/day for children, 1 mg/day for women and 18 mg/day for pregnant or breast-feeding women. It is necessary to follow the RDA since side effects of too much niacin have been reported.
Combat niacin deficiency by eating foods high in niacin. There are many types of food that contain adequate amount of niacin to meet the RDA. If you are suffering from niacin deficiency right now, your physician may have prescribed you niacin supplements. Besides from taking those supplements, it would be great to design your diet to include foods high in niacin. It’s a natural way to treat vitamin B3 deficiency. Below is the list of food groups that contain niacin, just choose among them.
What are the Foods High in Niacin?
-Beef, poultry, pork, and seafood are foods high in niacin. Animal organs such as the liver and kidney contain adequate amount of niacin to meet the RDA.
-There are many vegetables that contain large amounts of niacin. Choose green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale; the greener the vegetable is, the higher the niacin it is likely to provide. Other vegetables that contain niacin include celery, broccoli, and asparagus. Fungi like mushrooms and yeast also provides niacin.
Eggs and Dairy Products
-Egg is a good dietary source of niacin. Niacin can also be obtained in the milk of cow, goat, and ewes. Breast milk is the best source of niacin for babies; breastfeeding mothers need to consume foods high in niacin or take niacin supplements to ensure that their babies are getting the RDA. Milk products such as cheese, buttermilk, butter, and yogurt contain good amount of niacin.
-Almost all types of edible legumes contain niacin. Examples of legumes that you can consume to meet the RDA are lentils, lima beans, peas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, edamame, peanuts, and chick beans. Adequate amount of niacin can be obtained in soybean and soybean products such as soybean milk and oil.
Grains and seeds
Grains such as rice and wheat contain niacin. You can add to your diet cooked rice and wheat foods such as bread and cereals. Niacin can also be obtained in sunflower and pumpkin seeds as well as almonds.
Foods fortified with niacin
There are laws that require food manufacturers to put vitamins (including niacin) to their products for the health of their consumers. Fortified foods have packaged labels that they are fortified with vitamins and other nutrients.[ad#afterpost]