Biotin: The Benefits & Best Food Sources.
What Is Biotin?
Biotin (also known as vitamin H) is a B complex vitamin that helps our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin which means our bodies don’t store it, and as a result, we need to consume it regularly to maintain adequate levels. While most of us will get the biotin we need from eating a healthy diet alone, there have been numerous claims that say consuming more biotin can be beneficial.
Hair, Skin & Nail Health
Biotin is commonly known for its positive effects on hair – there has been research that has shown biotin improves all-over hair health, including shine, volume, and scalp coverage in those who suffer from thinning hair or breakage.
There has also been research that shows biotin can help to improve skin’s hydration levels, smoothness and general appearance. On top of this, biotin can also strengthen fingernails and promote faster growth.
Some pregnant women might become biotin deficient – to help promote baby health, it might be wise to take a prenatal vitamin that contains both folic acid and biotin during pregnancy. It is important to note, however, that high doses of biotin can be harmful to the baby, so be sure to consult with a doctor beforehand.
It Helps Manage Diabetes Symptoms
There have been some studies that have shown biotin might be beneficial in helping to manage symptoms of diabetes. It does this by helping to regulate blood sugar levels in some people who suffer from diabetes.
Additionally, the B vitamins help to promote healthy brain function, which can help to manage the neurological symptoms of diabetes such as neuropathy.
Biotin Rich Foods
Eggs are loaded with B vitamins, iron, protein and phosphorus – but the yolk is what is an especially rich source of biotin.
A whole, cooked egg (which is about 50 grams) can provide around 10 mcg of biotin or 33% of the RDA. It is important to ensure you cook eggs fully, both to reduce your risk of salmonella, and also improving biotin absorption.
The biotin from eggs can be absorbed from all kinds of cooked eggs, including hard-boiled, scrambled, or even when used in baking muffins, waffles etc.
Nuts & Seeds
Nuts and seeds are a really great source of fibre, protein and unsaturated fat. Most nuts and seeds also provide biotin, but the exact amounts differ depending on the type.
20 grams of roasted sunflower seeds can contain 2.6 mcg of biotin, which is 10% of the RDA, while 30 grams of roasted almonds contains 1.5 mcg or 5% of the RDA.
Nuts and seeds can be eaten, raw, blended into nut butters or smoothies, or mixed into your favourite recipes!
Not only are they delicious, but sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals, carotenoid antioxidants and fibre. Sweet potatoes are also one of the best vegetable sources of biotin.
125 grams of cooked sweet potatoes contain around 2.4 mcg of biotin or 8% of the RDA. Sweet potatoes can be baked until soft, boiled, mashed, or turned into sweet potato fries – and all are equally yummy.
Legumes such as beans, lentils, peas etc are very high in protein, fibre and numerous micronutrients. They also have some of the richest sources of biotin, especially peanuts and soybeans.
28 grams of roasted peanuts can contain just under 5 mcg or around 17% of the RDA, while 100 grams of whole soybeans contain 19.3 mcg or 64% of the RDA.
Legumes are usually enjoyed boiled, in a stir fry, baked into dishes or simply enjoyed in salads.
Particular organ meats, especially the liver, are extremely high in biotin – this makes sense when you realise most of your body’s biotin is stored in your liver.
Just 75 grams of cooked bovine liver can provide almost 31 mcg of biotin – or 103% of the RDA.
Cooked chicken liver is even richer and can provide 138 mcg per 75-gram serving, which is an incredible 460% the RDA.
Although liver is an acquired taste, you can enjoy it fried, minced, chopped into dishes or cooked into pasta dishes!
Mushrooms are very rich in nutrients and offer a number of health benefits – including adequate amounts of biotin.
120 grams of canned button mushrooms contain 2.6 mcg of biotin, which is 10% of the RDA, while fresh button mushrooms contain almost 5.6 mcg which is 19% of the RDA.
Mushrooms make a great addition to any dish – they are even great in sauces, gravies and on pizzas. They can be baked, blended, fried, sauteed or eaten raw.
Both brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast provide great amounts of biotin – but the amounts will vary depending on the brand. Brewer’s yeast – also known as dry active yeast – is used to leaven bread and brew beer, nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is generally used to make non-dairy cheeses.
Nutritional yeast can contain up to 21 mcg of biotin or 69% of the RDA per 16 grams. On the other hand, a 7-gram pack of active dry yeast for baking can contain 1.4 mcg or 5% of the RDA.
If you are not getting enough biotin from diet alone, you can also speak to a healthcare professional about taking biotin supplements.
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Biotin is recommended for those low in Vitamin B7 (Biotin) and showing signs of thinning hair, brittle nails and skin rashes. Biotin helps the body convert food into energy and manage blood sugar levels. Flavour: Orange and can be diluted or added to juice.
Biotin Recommended Daily Allowance
The RDA of biotin is between 30 and 100 mcg (micrograms) per day for adolescents and adults. As biotin is water soluble, any additional biotin will simply pass through your body when you urinate – and while most people can safely handle additional biotin supplements, there are some people who have reported mild nausea and digestive issues as side effects.