10 Superfood sources of biotin to help boost your overall health By Zoey Sky for Nutrients
You may have already seen biotin supplements at the supplement aisle of a grocery store. They can be sold independently, but biotin can also be included in multivitamin blends, such as prenatal vitamins.
If you want to boost your biotin intake or prevent deficiency, it’s important to know which foods are rich in this beneficial nutrient.
Why is biotin important?
According to Amy Shapiro, a registered dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition, biotin (vitamin B7) has a role in the conversion of food into energy. Biotin is crucial for keeping your skin, hair, eyes, liver and nervous system healthy. (Related: Stages of hair growth and superfoods that promote hair health.)
During pregnancy, getting enough biotin is even more important because the nutrient has a role in embryonic development, added Shapiro.
According to Jessica Cording, also a registered dietitian, the average adult needs 30 micrograms (0.03 milligrams) of biotin each day. But if you are pregnant or lactating, you need at least 35 micrograms.
These are the baseline daily levels (i.e., Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)) issued by the National Academies.
Biotin is important for your overall well-being because it has many functions ranging from blood sugar to beauty benefits. Biotin may help normalize blood glucose levels, a role that has been supported by preclinical research demonstrating the nutrient’s ability to support pancreatic beta-cell function and improve glucose tolerance.
Biotin’s most notable role is linked to cellular energy production. Vitamin B7 is a coenzyme for carboxylases, enzymes that help metabolize macronutrients.
Carboxylases are involved in the process of insulin release and gluconeogenesis, or the synthesis of glucose.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, getting enough biotin is important for your well-being. Below are 10 superfoods that will help boost your daily intake of biotin to prevent deficiencies.
While bananas contain less biotin than the other superfoods on this list, the benefits of this fruit go beyond their biotin content.
Additionally, you can eat bananas raw, which is important when it comes to biotin consumption. According to Shapiro, cooking methods may break down biotin and consuming some of these foods in their raw forms prove more bioavailable.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable with a muted flavor, making it a great ingredient for any side dish.
Like bananas, cauliflower doesn’t contain a high amount of biotin. However, you can make it part of a balanced diet to reap many benefits.
If you want a quick snack, dip raw cauliflower into your favorite healthy dip. During the holidays, prepare roasted cauliflower with your go-to seasoning blend.
You can also use cauliflower to make delicious cauliflower gnocchi.
Certain nuts like almonds, peanuts, pecans and walnuts also contain biotin. Nut butters can also be a great source of biotin, along with protein and healthy fats.
Egg yolks are a great source of biotin. The average cooked egg yolk contains at least 10 micrograms of biotin, which is equivalent to about 33 percent of the recommended daily intake of biotin for the average adult.
Egg yolks are also great for brain health. Start your day with a nutritious breakfast and prepare some cooked eggs.
To make a biotin-rich meal, saute vegetables like cauliflower, mushrooms and sweet potatoes. If you use at least one cup of fresh, chopped button mushrooms, you’ll be adding 19 percent of the daily recommended value of biotin to your meal.
Saute mushrooms, stuff them with your preferred ingredients like lean meat and other vegetables or eat them raw as a savory salad topping.
If you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet, oats are a great plant-based option for biotin.
But if you think oats are too bland, here are some suggestions on how to make oats taste better:
- Make oatmeal pancakes if you’re craving a tasty breakfast option.
- Make overnight oats or a yogurt bowl for breakfast.
- Prep homemade granola for a healthy snack.
- Bake oatmeal muffins.
- Try making baked oatmeal.
- Add oats to a morning smoothie to boost your fiber intake.
- Replace breadcrumbs with oats and make savory dishes like chicken tenders or meatballs.
Organ meats contain a significant amount of biotin. A three-ounce serving of beef liver contains 103 percent of the amount of biotin you need daily.
Salmon, which is part of the popular Mediterranean diet, offers many health benefits. A three-ounce serving of canned pink salmon contains 17 percent of the daily recommended biotin value.
Salmon is full of healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids.
Sweet potatoes are a staple vegetable that’s full of nutrients like beta-carotene, biotin, fiber, iron, potassium and vitamin B6.
Sweet potatoes are another versatile vegetable and you can easily incorporate them into a balanced diet. Roast chopped sweet potatoes and toss them into a salad or rice bowl to make it more satisfying.
Alternatively, you can coat sweet potatoes in maple syrup and cinnamon for a sweet treat.
A one-fourth cup serving of sunflower seeds contains nine percent of the daily recommended value of biotin.
Additionally, savory sunflower seeds are rich in magnesium. This is important because according to studies, at least 43 percent of Americans don’t meet their daily baseline needs for magnesium.
Add sunflower meals to savory dishes for extra crunch and serve them seasoned and roasted or raw.
While most people living in developed countries with access to unprocessed foods can meet the daily recommended biotin value, it’s always good to know which superfoods are full of this beneficial nutrient.
If you are concerned about consuming enough biotin or you want to boost your daily intake for key aspects of health, you can also use a high-quality supplement with biotin.