Apart from the regular vitamin A and vitamin C, B- complex vitamins also play an important role in overall health. It is very essential to know the importance of every vitamin so as to include them in your diet rightly. This article will let you know the importance and food sources of Vitamin B6.
Importance of Vitamin B6:
Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, is one such B-vitamin which is one of the most important nutrients in the human body. It is basically a water soluble vitamin which plays an important role in the chemical reactions taking place in the body. It assists the formation of heme in red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body and help to metabolize foods into energy. This vitamin also helps to treat stress, depression, high cholesterol as well as decrease the symptoms of PMS and lower the risk of dental cavities. It is vital for nerve health and brain function.
Deficiency of Vitamin B6:
Deficiency of vitamin B6 can lead to tongue inflammation, weakness, fatigue, depression, irritability, seizures and scaly formations on your skin and mouth. Most of us get panicked on experiencing any of these symptoms without realizing that these are a result of vitamin B6 deficiency. So the proper intake of this vitamin through food is extremely important to meet its requirement and prevent deficiency.
Top 10 Vitamin B6 Food Sources:
Given below is the list of foods which are rich sources of vitamin B6.
Most of the vegetables contain high levels of vitamin B6 and spinach is one of them. A serving of 100 grams cooked spinach provides 0.24 mg or 12% of the daily value (DV) of vitamin B6. It is also a healthy option for your diet as a cup of cooked spinach contains just 41 calories and 0.47 grams fat. Other veggies that contain significant levels of vitamin B6 include broccoli, bell peppers, baked potatoes, green peas, yam and turnip greens.
2. Cooked Lean Beef (Rib):
Vitamin B6 is commonly found in meats. Lean beef is an amazing source, providing 0.68 mg or 34% DV of vitamin B6 in 100 grams serving. Other beef varieties that are good sources of vitamin B6 include sirloin steak (29% DV) and filet steak and rib eye (28% DV). You can boost your vitamin B6 levels by incorporating beef in simple recipes.
3. Chicken and Turkey:
Other non-vegetarian sources of vitamin B6 include chicken and turkey. A 100 grams serving of chicken or turkey contains 0.81 mg or 40% DV of vitamin B6. Other similar varieties of poultry that are high in vitamin B6 include fat free ground turkey (46% DV), chicken breast (28% DV) and chicken wing (26%). Chicken and turkey are extremely light and can be easily incorporated in simple recipes and snacks like sandwiches.
4. Cooked Lean Pork:
Cooked lean pork is also a good source of vitamin B6 with 100 grams serving providing 0.79 mg which is equivalent to 39% DV of this vitamin. Other pork varieties that contain significant amounts of vitamin B6 include ground pork (36% DV), pork tenderloin (31% DV) and pork chops (30% DV).
5. Sunflower Seeds:
Even if you are a vegetarian, you need not worry about your vitamin B6 intake as there are several varieties of seeds that are rich sources of this vitamin. Among these, sunflower seeds are the best with 100 grams serving providing 1.35 mg or 67% DV of this vitamin. Other seeds that contain vitamin B6 include sesame seeds (11% DV), flaxseeds (7% DV) and pumpkin & squash seeds (2% DV) each in an ounce serving. So munch on these seeds as snacks or add them to popular recipes to increase your vitamin B6 intake!
Just like meat, certain varieties of fish are excellent sources of vitamin B6. Yellowfin tuna is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin B6 with 100 grams serving providing 1.04 mg or 52% DV of this vitamin. Other varieties of fish that are rich sources of vitamin B6 include wild salmon (40% DV), salmon (29%), halibut (27% DV), swordfish (26% DV) and herring (22% DV). Apart from vitamin B6, they are also good sources of heart healthy monounsaturated fats.
Among the fruits, bananas are particularly rich in vitamin B6. A medium sized banana contains 0.43 mg or 22% DV of vitamin B6. It is high in calories containing 105 calories, but it contains just 0.39 grams fat. You can eat this yummy fruit directly or blend it into a smoothie. Being high in calories, it also provides an energy boost.
Avocados are other fruits that are rich sources of vitamin B6. A single avocado contains 0.39 mg, contributing 20% of the DV of vitamin B6. But it should be consumed in moderation as it is high in calories with just half an avocado containing 114 calories and 1.4 grams saturated fat.
9. Dried Fruits:
Apart from fruits, certain dried fruits are great sources of vitamin B6. A 100 grams serving of dried prunes contains 0.75 mg or 37% DV of vitamin B6. Other dried fruits that contain this vitamin include dried apricots (16% DV) and raisins (14% DV) in a half cup serving. Thus, you can replace those unhealthy sugary snacks with these dried fruits for a nutrition boost.
Nuts fall in the category of nutrient dense foods and contain significant amounts of vitamin B6 as well. Among the nuts, pistachios are the best sources of vitamin B6 with 100 grams serving providing 1.12 mg or 56% DV of this vitamin. Other nuts that are important in this regard include hazelnuts (9% DV), walnuts (8% DV), peanuts (6% DV), macadamia nuts (5% DV) and cashews (4% DV). These nuts can be excellent snacks to boost your vitamin B6 levels.
Now that you have understood the importance of Vitamin B6 and the food sources, you can easily include them. Is it that difficult to take them in your diet? Not at all, right! Do not forget to share your feedback with us.