The best Vitamin B3 food sources (Meat and plant-based)

Vitamin B3, also known as Niacin, plays a crucial role in our body, supporting functions that keep our skin healthy, our brain sharp, and our metabolism running smoothly. It’s one of those nutrients we hear about often, but many of us don’t pause to consider just how essential it is for our well-being.

Whether you’re a meat-lover, a vegetarian, or someone who likes to mix things up, getting enough vitamin B3 through your diet is key to avoiding deficiencies that can lead to less-than-ideal health outcomes.

Our goal is to provide you with practical, easy-to-implement advice so you can make informed choices about your diet. After all, food is more than just sustenance; it’s about nourishment, enjoyment, and taking care of your body from the inside out.

So, let’s explore together how to keep your vitamin B3 levels in check through the foods you love.

What meat has vitamin B3?

If you’re wondering about meat sources rich in this essential nutrient, you’re in luck. Many meats are excellent sources of vitamin B3. 

Meat is an excellent source of vitamin B3 or niacin when it comes to increasing your intake [1]. This important nutrient is necessary for our body to use food as fuel, to keep our skin healthy, and to support our nervous system.

Chicken, turkey, beef, and pork stand out as particularly rich in niacin. Let’s discuss further what meats are excellent Vitamin B3 food sources.

1. Chicken and turkey

Think of a succulent grilled chicken breast or the comforting taste of turkey in your favorite sandwich – these aren’t just delightful to eat but are also doing wonders for your well-being.

Imagine the aroma of chicken or turkey seasoned with herbs and spices coming off the grill. This cooking method preserves flavors and vitamin B3 content for health benefits.

From salads and sandwiches to stir-fries and roasts, chicken and turkey can be the star of any meal, contributing significantly to your daily vitamin B3 needs.

With these poultry options, you’re not just enjoying a delicious meal; you’re also feeding your body with crucial nutrients. It’s about making smart, tasty choices that benefit your health. 

2. Beef

Beef isn’t just a powerhouse of flavor; it’s also a robust source of vitamin B3, making it a valuable player in your diet for supporting energy levels and mental health. 

Lean cuts of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin, are particularly rich in this essential nutrient, offering a savory way to meet your daily needs.

Opting for leaner cuts doesn’t mean sacrificing taste. Marinating and grilling can elevate the natural flavors of beef, making it a satisfying and healthy option.

Pairing a juicy steak or a tender beef stir-fry with colorful vegetables makes for a visually appealing plate and ensures a nutrient-dense meal rich in vitamin B3.

Incorporating beef into your meals is about more than just indulging in its rich, satisfying taste. It’s a smart choice for boosting your vitamin B3 intake, which is essential for a healthy body and mind. 


3. Pork

Pork often flies under the radar, yet it’s a fantastic source of vitamin B3, which is vital for our body’s energy production and nervous system health. 

Lean cuts like pork tenderloin not only offer a mouthwatering taste but also pack a punch of this essential nutrient.

Pork tenderloin is as lean as a chicken breast and can be just as versatile in the kitchen. Whether you roast, grill, or stir-fry, it’s a choice that’s both delicious and good for your vitamin B3 intake.

From savory pork chops to a flavorful pork roast, incorporating pork into your meals can add a new dimension of taste while contributing significantly to your daily nutritional needs.

Pork is more than just a tasty alternative to chicken and beef; it’s a valuable source of vitamin B3 [2]. By including lean pork in your diet, you’re not just treating your taste buds; you’re also supporting your health with every bite. 

4. Liver

This organ meat from beef, chicken, or pork isn’t just rich in nutrients; it’s off the charts, making it one of the most potent sources of vitamin B3 you can find. Its impressive profile supports everything from energy production to brain health.

A small serving of liver provides more than enough daily vitamin B3, alongside a wealth of other vitamins and minerals.

Whether you enjoy it as a spread in the form of pâté or sautéed with onions, liver can be a delicious addition to your diet.

Including liver in your meals might seem daunting if you’re new to it, but its nutritional benefits are worth exploring. 

5. Fish and seafood

The ocean offers a bounty of fish and seafood that are not only delightful to the palate but also brimming with vitamin B3. 

  • Tuna: Grilled or seared, tuna steaks provide a delicious and potent source of vitamin B3, perfect for a nutritious meal that satisfies.
  • Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B3, salmon is a versatile fish that can be baked, grilled, or added to salads for a healthful boost.

Beyond these, shellfish like shrimp and lobster offer smaller amounts of vitamin B3 but are still valuable parts of a nutrient-dense diet. 

What is a plant-based source of vitamin B3?

For those looking to boost their vitamin B3 intake with plant-based foods, there’s good news [3]. Nature offers a variety of sources that are not only rich in this essential nutrient but also delicious and versatile in the kitchen. 

Foods like avocados, whole grains, mushrooms, peas, and nuts and seeds stand out as excellent options.

These ingredients not only diversify your diet but also ensure you’re getting the necessary vitamin B3 for optimal health, all while enjoying the flavors and benefits of plant-based eating.

From the creamy texture of avocados to the crunchy delight of nuts, these foods can make meeting your nutritional needs a joyful experience.

Now, let’s discuss further what plant-based food sources are best for their vitamin B3 content.

1. Avocados

This makes them a fantastic choice for anyone looking to boost their intake of this essential nutrient, which supports energy levels and brain health.

Whether you’re spreading it on toast for a quick breakfast, slicing it into a salad for some added creaminess, or blending it into a smoothie for a nutrient-packed snack, avocados are as versatile as they are nutritious.

Beyond vitamin B3, avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber, and other vitamins and minerals, making them a great addition to a balanced diet.

Their unique flavor and texture can enhance various dishes, making healthy eating both delicious and satisfying. So, why not mash up an avocado for your next meal? It’s a tasty step toward better health.

2. Mushrooms

They come in various types, each offering a distinct taste and texture, making them a versatile ingredient in many dishes.

Shiitake, portobello, and button mushrooms are just a few examples that can boost your vitamin B3 intake.

Whether sautéed, grilled, or added to soups, mushrooms can enhance any meal with both flavor and nutrients.

In addition to being a tasty addition to your diet, mushrooms are also incredibly healthy. Packed with vitamins and minerals, they promote general health and are a fantastic choice for people on a plant-based diet

3. Peas

These vibrant green gems are a fantastic addition to any meal, offering both flavor and a host of health benefits.

Beyond vitamin B3, peas are filled with fiber, protein, and vitamins that support overall health [4].

Whether blended into a refreshing pea soup, mixed into salads for a pop of color or simply steamed as a side, peas can elevate a meal with their sweet, slightly earthy flavor.

Adding peas to your diet is an easy way to boost your intake of essential nutrients, including vitamin B3. Their versatility makes them a simple yet effective ingredient for enhancing both the nutritional value and taste of your meals.


4. Nuts and seeds

From the creamy texture of almonds to the satisfying crunch of sunflower seeds, these small but mighty foods are essential for anyone looking to boost their nutrient intake.

Almonds, peanuts, and sunflower seeds are particularly high in vitamin B3, making them a perfect snack or addition to meals.

Sprinkle over salads, blend into smoothies, or enjoy a handful as a snack—there are endless ways to enjoy the benefits of nuts and seeds.

Incorporating nuts and seeds into your diet is an easy and delicious way to up your intake of vitamin B3, along with other essential vitamins and minerals. Their versatility and health benefits make them an invaluable addition to a balanced diet.

5. Whole grains

From the hearty texture of brown rice to the nutty flavor of quinoa, whole grains are as versatile as they are healthy.

Brown rice, barley, and quinoa are just a few examples of whole grains that can help you meet your daily vitamin B3 needs.

Use them as a base for bowls, as side dishes, or incorporate them into bread for added nutrition and depth of flavor.

Incorporating whole grains into your meals is not just good for your vitamin B3 intake; it also supports overall health with fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients [5].

In closing

Boosting your intake of vitamin B3 is crucial for maintaining good health, supporting energy production, and ensuring the proper functioning of your nervous system.

Fortunately, both meat-based and plant-based foods offer abundant sources of this essential nutrient, making it easy to incorporate into any diet.

Eating well is about making informed choices that fit your lifestyle and preferences. By diversifying your diet with both meat-based and plant-based sources of vitamin B3, you’re not just nurturing your body; you’re also enjoying the vast array of flavors and benefits these foods bring.

Start exploring the delicious, nutritious world of vitamin B3-rich foods today and take a positive step towards better health and well-being.


What is the best food source for vitamin B3?

Liver, particularly beef liver, is among the richest sources of vitamin B3. Plant-based eaters can find substantial amounts in foods like avocados and whole grains.

Can you get vitamin B3 from plants?

Absolutely. Plant-based sources like avocados, mushrooms, peas, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are rich in vitamin B3. These foods can easily meet your dietary needs.

What meat has vitamin B3?

Chicken, beef, turkey, and pork are all excellent meat sources of vitamin B3. The liver from these animals provides the highest concentration.

How can I increase my vitamin B3 intake?

Incorporate various foods such as meats (especially liver), fish, avocados, mushrooms, peas, and whole grains into your meals. Additionally, consider fortified foods and balanced supplements if necessary.


Photograph: LightFieldStudios/Envato
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