It is an important B complex vitamin that aids many physiological and enzymatic functions in the body. Even a slight deficiency of this vitamin can lead to irritability, fatigue and restlessness. This vitamin is well regulated by the human body and cases of over dosage are very rare. Over dosage can occur when the supplements are taken in excess. Overdosage leads to skin rashes and digestive problems. This vitamin is responsible for a multitude of functions. Since this is a water soluble vitamin, it can be lost by discarding water containing the dissolved form of the vitamin.
A person who has a well balanced diet everyday has no reasons to be worried about niacin deficiency. It can be synthesized from the amino acid tryptophan in our bodies. One milligram of niacin can be obtained from around 60mg of tryptophan. There are a wide range of food rich in it. Animal sources are richer in niacin than the plant sources. The recommended daily intake is around 14 to 16 mg for women, 16 to 20mg for men and 10 to 12mg for children. Here are some of the food sources rich in niacin.
Meat and meat products
Lean red meat and organ meat such as liver and kidney of mammals are very rich sources of it. Around 100 grams of organ meat provides 10 to 15mg of niacin. Chicken, beef, ham turkey and rabbit meat are moderately rich. Poultry breast is a rich source of niacin and proteins. Meat can be consumed in the form of grills or steaks or stews or roasted, canned and sausages and pies. Most kinds of meat are the richest sources of this vitamin.
Fish are a good source of this vitamin. While tuna is the richest sources with 100 to 150 grams of tuna having 13mg, sardines, salmon, anchovies are also rich in this vitamin. Bream, cod, crab, lobster and oysters are moderately rich in it.
Wheat bran is one among the richest sources of niacin; 100 grams of wheat bran provide around 25 to 30mg of niacin. Whole wheat, rice bran and crude rice are also rich sources. To get the most of this vitamin, it is good to consume whole food like brown rice and whole wheat, as refined food lack the bran. Cereals like corn flakes and wholemeal are good sources of niacin. Yeast, either dried or baker’s yeast or in the form of extracts or spreads is also an abundant source of this vitamin.
Peanuts are loaded with this vitamin; 100g of these nuts provide 15 to 16mg of niacin. These nuts can be consumed either in the roasted form or salted. Almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews and walnuts are moderately rich in niacin. Sesame seeds are also packed with niacin. Peanuts can also be consumed in the form of peanut butter, which is also loaded with it.
Vegetables and fruits
Mushrooms like crimini mushrooms and Shiitake mushrooms are loaded with niacin. This vitamin is also abundant in soy, sun dried tomatoes, paprika, asparagus, Romaine lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, green peas, raw carrots, steamed broccoli and spinach. Turnips and yam are moderately rich in niacin. Dates, avocados, peach and prunes are moderately rich in niacin.
Our body needs sufficient levels of energy to accomplish its daily tasks. Eating the right food can provide all the essential nutrients to the body, without the need for supplements.