B Vitamin Food Sources
You can find most B vitamins in animal products, like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. But some of the best sources are plant-based and include whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, leafy greens, fortified foods, bananas, mushrooms, avocado, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli.
More specifically, below are some of the best places to find each of the 8 B-complex vitamins from plant-based foods:
- Vitamin B-1: beans, peas, lentils, and sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin B-2: almonds, tofu, mushrooms, avocado, and spinach.
- Vitamin B-3: brown rice, nuts, seeds, legumes, and bananas.
- Vitamin B-5: mushrooms, avocado, nuts, seeds, potatoes, brown rice, oats, and broccoli.
- Vitamin B-6: chickpeas, dark leafy greens, papayas, bananas, oranges, and cantaloupe.
- Vitamin B-7: sweet potatoes, nuts, seeds, and avocado.
- Vitamin B-9: dark leafy greens, beans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, and oranges.
- Vitamin B-12: fortified nutritional yeast and breakfast cereals, as well as enriched plant-based milks and yogurts.
B Vitamin Supplements
Most of the B vitamins (other than B-12) are in a variety of whole foods. But you may want to supplement with certain ones if you don’t think you get enough from your diet, or if you fall into a category of people who may be at higher risk for deficiencies.
You may want to consider supplementing with folic acid — the more bioavailable synthetic form of folate — if you fall into a group that’s at higher risk for folate deficiency, like pregnant women and people with a history of chronic alcohol use.
Vitamin B-12 also deserves extra attention because it’s harder to get from plant foods. Still, it’s not just plant-based eaters who are at risk. In fact, one study conducted a while back by researchers at Tufts University found that nearly 40% of Americans (including omnivores) may be deficient in this B vitamin. As such, supplementation is recommended for most people, especially vegans. For more on B-12 see our article here.)
If you choose to supplement, you’ll most often find all the B vitamins combined as a B-complex. Alternatively, you can get individual supplements for each of the B vitamins, but this isn’t usually necessary. The exceptions are if you know you’re deficient in certain ones or are wanting to maximize a specific B vitamin and not the others.
It’s also worth noting that if you choose to take a daily multivitamin with minerals, it likely contains all the B vitamins.
(Excerpt taken from The Food Revolution Network)