Vitamins and minerals are very important for proper functioning of the body. But, how many choose the right food in their diet to get all the essential nutrients? Moreover, the preference for supplements is increasing than the proper food. Let us learn the importance and the best foods rich in vitamin B2 to include in the diet.
Importance of Vitamin B2:
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is an important B-vitamin that is needed by the body for proper energy metabolism and performing a wide variety of cellular functions. This water soluble vitamin is found in our major body organs, i.e. kidneys, liver and heart. As the name suggests, it is a key component of two enzymes in our body called flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and flavin mononucleotide (FMN). Both these enzymes are used by the cells for energy production. FAD enzyme is utilized by other enzymes to protect your body against damage by free radicals. This vitamin also helps to maintain the health of your skin, hair and health. It lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases by lowering the homocysteine levels.
Deficiency of Vitamin B2:
Deficiency of vitamin B2 can cause cracking or reddening of the lips (cheliosis), burning and itching of eyes, appearance of blood vessels in the white portion of the eyes, scaly skin rashes, sore throat, mouth inflammation and ulcers and even iron deficiency anaemia.
Hence, a certain amount of riboflavin is required for the maintenance of overall health. The best way to get the required intake of vitamin B2 is to consume foods that are rich in this vitamin as synthetic riboflavin is only absorbed at a rate of 15% when taken on an empty stomach. Besides, it is readily eliminated from your body through urine.
Recommended Daily Allowance:
The table given below shows the recommended intake of vitamin B2 for people of different age groups.
|Recommended Dietary Allowance for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) - 1998|
|Life Stage||Age||Males (mg/day)||Females (mg/day)|
|Adults||19-years and older||1.3||1.1|
Top 10 Vitamin B2 Rich Foods:
The foods given below are some of the best sources of riboflavin and they should form part of your diet.
Nuts are categorized as nutrient dense foods which are rich in vitamins and minerals. Among the nuts, almonds are the best vitamin B2 rich foods providing 1.10 mg or 60% of the daily value (DV) of this vitamin in a 100 grams serving. Other nuts that contain riboflavin in smaller amounts include pistachios, pine nuts and cashew nuts, each providing 4% DV of vitamin B2 in an ounce serving. Nuts are easily portable and can be consumed as snacks at any time of the day.
2. Beef and Lamb:
As far as meats are concerned, beef contains a lot of vitamin B2 along with other B-complex vitamins. A single lean steak contains 1.51 mg or 89% DV of this vitamin. Lamb is also a good source of riboflavin with a 3 oz serving of cooked lamb leg providing 21% DV of this vitamin. This is followed by veal which provides 20% DV of vitamin B2. Beef liver is also a good choice for increasing your intake of vitamin B2 and other vitamins.
Mushrooms are available in several varieties which contain varying amounts of vitamin B2. A serving of 100 grams raw brown Italian mushrooms contains 0.49 mg or 29% DV of vitamin B2. Other varieties of mushrooms that contain significant amounts of vitamin B2 include stir fried white mushrooms (29% DV), grilled Portabella (29% DV) and dried shiitake (22% DV) in a serving of 8 mushrooms.
4. Oily Fish:
Oily fish is a rich source of vitamins as well as omega-3 fatty acids. As far as vitamin B2 is concerned, mackerel is the best source providing 0.58 mg or 34% DV of this vitamin in a 100 grams serving. Other oily fish also contain significant amounts of vitamin B2 such as smoked salmon (27% DV), wild salmon (24% DV), trout (21% DV), tuna and herring (15% DV) and salmon (11% DV) in a 3 oz. serving. So, ensure to have fish at least once in a week to boost your vitamin B2 intake.
Eggs are an amazing source of protein and other nutrients, vitamin B2 being one of them. A single hard-boiled egg provides 0.26 mg or 15% DV of riboflavin. Similarly, raw, fried or scrambled egg provides 13% DV while poached egg provides 11% DV of vitamin B2. Thus, a great idea to improve your vitamin B2 intake is to have an egg on your breakfast plate!
6. Lean Pork Sirloin:
Pork is an excellent source of B-vitamins and vitamin B2 is no exception. A piece of lean pork sirloin contains 3.11 mg which is equivalent to 183% DV of vitamin B2. Other varieties of pork that contain significant amounts of riboflavin include ground pork (24% DV), pork shoulder (23% DV) and pork loin (22% DV).
Seeds are an important source of vitamins and minerals. Sesame seeds are the richest source of vitamin B2, providing 0.47 mg or 27% DV in a 100 grams serving. They are also rich in monounsaturated fatty acid oleic acid. They also contain minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, selenium, zinc, and manganese. Other seeds that contain vitamin B2 include sunflower seeds (6% DV), chia seeds, pumpkin & squash seeds (3% DV).
8. Green Vegetables:
Green veggies are an amazing source of nutrition. Spinach is a super food when we talk about its nutritional value. It is also quite a good source of vitamin B2 with 100 grams serving providing 0.24 mg or 14% DV of riboflavin. Other green vegetables that are high in riboflavin include beet greens (24% DV), asparagus (14% DV), drumstick leaves (13% DV), collard greens (12% DV), dandelion greens (11% DV) and broccoli (8% DV). Thus, you can have a dish of steamed vegetables or enjoy them in salads to get the recommended amount of nutrients including vitamin B2.
Cheese is also a good source of vitamin B2. There are several varieties of cheese of which Gjetost is the best with 100 grams serving providing 1.38 mg or 81% DV of vitamin B2. Other varieties of cheese that are good sources of riboflavin include hard goat cheese (20% DV), feta (14% DV), Roquefort (10% DV), Brie (9% DV), camembert and grated parmesan (8% DV). Cheese is quite versatile and can be used in a variety of recipes apart from sandwiches and pizzas.
Milk is also a good source of vitamin B2 as well as other B-complex vitamins along with calcium and other minerals. A cup of whole milk with 3.25% milk fat contains 0.4 mg or 26% DV of riboflavin. It is advisable to go for low fat and reduced fat milk as whole milk also contains high amount of saturated fat. Dairy products are also good sources of riboflavin and should be included in your diet.
These vitamin B2 rich foods are nowhere difficult to find and include in your regular diet. Isn’t it? Apart from providing the body with vitamin B2, they also work wonders on proper functioning of metabolism and cellular processes. Feel free to share your feedback in the comment section if any.