10-biotin rich foods and why you need this vitamin

In pursuing vibrant health and well-being, we often focus on the major players in our diet, like proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. However, a lesser-known but equally essential nutrient is crucial in various bodily functions—biotin, also known as vitamin H. 

Biotin belongs to the B group of vitamins that assists enzymes in metabolizing glucose, fats, and proteins. While needed only in small amounts, deficiency of biotin can result in loss of appetite, depression, and fatigue. 

In this blog, we will delve into the world of biotin, exploring what it is, why it’s essential, and how you can ensure you’re getting enough of it in your diet. We’ll also introduce you to the top 10 biotin-rich foods that should be on your plate regularly.

Is biotin really necessary?

Known as one of the B vitamins, it has been identified to promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. Biotin is likewise critical during fetus development and involves brain development and proper functioning.

It helps in brain development in infants and children, and lacking this vitamin can result in poor learning and memory during adulthood. Biotin forms an essential component of the myelin sheath, the outer covering of nerves. 

In the brain and spinal cord, nerves have critical roles in transmitting essential messages from the brain to different body parts. Hence, the destruction of the myelin sheath due to biotin deficiency could impact the nervous system and its functions. 

Your body only requires a small amount of biotin to function correctly. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for biotin is 30 micrograms daily for adults and 35 micrograms daily for pregnant and lactating women.

However, a very high dose of biotin at 300 mg per day is still tolerated and found to be safe in a study [1] that examined the efficacy of high-dose biotin in managing symptoms of multiple sclerosis. 

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Although the authors found that this dosage was safe, there are still no studies examining the long-term effects of high-dose biotin on the overall health of individuals. Establishing the safety and efficacy of high-dose biotin over time would help patients with multiple sclerosis. 

You can obtain biotin mainly from the diet that you eat. Further, the gut’s microbiota sufficiently produces biotin, which the body absorbs and uses. 

10-biotin rich foods and why you need it

What are food sources rich in biotin?

Now that we understand the importance of biotin in maintaining our health, let’s explore the top 10 biotin-rich foods [2], [3] that can help you meet your daily requirements.

Incorporating these foods into your diet can go a long way in ensuring you have an adequate intake of this essential vitamin:

1. Eggs

Eggs are a true nutritional powerhouse, and when it comes to biotin content, they are among the top sources. Biotin is primarily found in the yolk, making it an essential component of this versatile food.

In fact, just one large egg typically contains around 10 micrograms of biotin, which is roughly 33% of the recommended daily intake for adults [4].

Beyond biotin, eggs provide an array of essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals. This combination makes eggs an ideal choice for those looking to increase their biotin intake while supporting overall health.

The biotin in eggs plays a vital role in various bodily functions, such as converting food into energy and maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Whether enjoyed scrambled, poached, boiled, or as part of a delicious omelet, eggs offer a convenient and satisfying way to meet your biotin needs. 

2. Almonds

Almonds are a beloved snack and a fantastic source of biotin. These versatile nuts are packed with nutrients, and biotin is one of their standout components.

Just a small handful of almonds can significantly boost your daily biotin intake. On average, a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds contains approximately 1.5 micrograms of biotin [5], making them a convenient and delicious way to support your biotin needs. 

The biotin found in almonds plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, such as converting food into energy and promoting the health of your hair, skin, and nails. These nutrients collectively contribute to your overall well-being.

3. Salmon

Salmon, a delectable and nutrient-rich fish, is not only known for its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids but also for its significant biotin content. This combination of essential nutrients makes salmon an excellent choice for those looking to boost their biotin intake while enjoying a delicious meal.

A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked salmon typically provides around 5-6 micrograms of biotin, a substantial portion of the recommended daily intake for most adults. Beyond biotin, salmon offers various health benefits, including supporting cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation.

The biotin found in salmon is essential for several metabolic processes, including the breakdown of macronutrients like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into energy. It also contributes to the health and strength of hair, skin, and nails.

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4. Avocado

Avocado, often celebrated for its creamy texture and healthy fats, is also a noteworthy source of biotin. This fruit contains approximately 2-6 micrograms of biotin per whole avocado, depending on its size.

The combination of biotin and healthy fats makes avocados a valuable addition to your diet, whether you enjoy them sliced on a sandwich, mashed into guacamole, or spread on whole-grain toast.

Moreover, the biotin found in avocados is essential for various bodily functions, such as converting food into energy and promoting the health of your hair, skin, and nails. It complements the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in avocados, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

5. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes not only delight the palate with their natural sweetness but also offer a noteworthy source of biotin. These vibrant root vegetables typically contain around 2-2.5 micrograms of biotin per medium-sized sweet potato.

In addition to biotin, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, making them a nutritious choice for those looking to support their overall health while enjoying a flavorful and satisfying meal.

Whether you prefer them baked, roasted, or mashed, sweet potatoes are a delicious way to incorporate biotin into your diet, enhancing both taste and nutrition.

6. Sunflower seeds

Sunflower seeds are a tiny yet potent source of biotin, offering approximately 2-2.5 micrograms of this essential vitamin per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving [6]. These seeds are convenient and versatile, making them an excellent addition to your diet.

Whether sprinkled on top of yogurt, oatmeal, or salads, sunflower seeds provide a delightful crunch and a boost of biotin. 

Incorporating sunflower seeds into your daily snacks or meals can be an enjoyable way to support your biotin intake and promote healthy hair, skin, and nails while benefiting from their other nutritional attributes.

7. Spinach

Spinach, a leafy green vegetable celebrated for its health benefits, also contains biotin. While the biotin content in spinach is relatively modest, it contributes to your daily intake, providing approximately 0.5-2 micrograms of biotin per cooked cup. 

Incorporating spinach into your diet, whether in salads, smoothies, or sautés, can be a delicious and nutritious way to increase your biotin intake while benefiting from its overall nutritional value.

This versatile leafy green supports your biotin needs and contributes to maintaining your overall health and well-being, making it a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

8. Broccoli

Broccoli, a versatile and nutrient-packed vegetable, is also a source of biotin. It may not contain as much biotin as other foods, but a cooked cup of broccoli can provide approximately 0.4-2 micrograms of this essential vitamin. 

Whether steamed, roasted, or stir-fried, including broccoli in your meals can be a delicious and nutritious way to increase your biotin intake while enjoying its numerous other health advantages.

This cruciferous vegetable not only supports your biotin requirements but also promotes overall well-being, making it a valuable component of a balanced diet.

9. Pork

Pork, particularly lean cuts like pork chops or tenderloin, is a valuable source of biotin. A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cooked lean pork provides approximately 0.4-2 micrograms of biotin, depending on the cut.

Although it may not be the highest biotin-containing food, pork offers protein and other essential nutrients, making it a versatile and nutritious meal choice.

Incorporating pork into your diet diversifies your biotin intake while enjoying the savory flavors of various pork-based dishes. Beyond biotin, lean pork contributes to muscle maintenance, energy production, and overall well-being, making it a valuable addition to your balanced diet.

10. Whole grains

Whole grains, such as oats, barley, and wheat germ, not only provide essential dietary fiber but also contain biotin.

Even though whole grains are not the highest biotin-containing foods, they offer a range of health benefits, including approximately 0.1-0.4 micrograms of biotin per 1-ounce (28-gram) serving.

Incorporating whole grains into your diet can provide a steady release of energy, support digestive health, and offer a variety of vitamins and minerals, making them an integral component of a balanced and health-conscious diet.

In closing

Biotin can be sourced from foods ranging from animal meat and liver to vegetables such as broccoli. However, animal liver and meat contain the highest amount of biotin per gram compared with nuts. If you are a vegan, increasing nuts in your diet will ensure you meet the biotin RDA. Eating 100 grams of nuts daily would prevent a biotin deficiency risk. 

You can also combine some foods rich in biotin to make healthy dishes for yourself and your family. For example, you can mix beef meat or liver with vegetables such as broccoli for a tastier and more nutritional meal. 

People deficient in biotin can take biotin supplementation to optimize their health and reap the benefits of biotin. Always consult with your doctor when planning to take biotin as a supplement. Only take this supplement under the supervision of your doctor. 

To date, the high-biotin dosage is still regarded as safe based on current data. Although the RDA is only 35 micrograms daily, taking high doses to manage symptoms of multiple sclerosis and other health conditions could help people live a higher quality of life. 

Finally, it is essential to remember that even when taking high doses of biotin due to the food you eat, food sources of biotin are not harmful and do not have toxic doses. The body only breaks down excess biotin and excretes this through the urine. While biotin may be stored in the liver, the amount held in this organ is only sufficient to meet the body’s demands. 

FAQs

What is biotin, and why do we need it?

Biotin, or vitamin B7, is vital for metabolism, energy production, and the health of hair, skin, and nails, making it an essential nutrient for overall well-being.

What are biotin-rich foods?

Biotin-rich foods contain significant amounts of vitamin B7, such as eggs, almonds, salmon, avocado, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli, pork, and whole grains. These foods support overall health and provide essential biotin for various bodily functions.

What are the markers for biotin deficiency?

Biotin deficiency is rare, but signs include thinning hair, brittle nails, and skin rashes. If you suspect a deficiency, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.

How much biotin is safe per day?

The recommended daily biotin intake varies by age and gender but generally ranges from 30 to 100 micrograms for adults. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may need higher amounts.

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[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34332461/  
[2] https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-biotin 
[3] https://bebodywise.com/blog/biotin-rich-foods-for-hair-growth/ 
[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/biotin-rich-foods 
[5] https://greatist.com/health/biotin-rich-foods 
[6] https://nutrivore.com/foods/sunflower-seed-nutrients/

Photograph: ssvetasokolova/Envato
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