Many people take a B complex vitamin for energy or for a healthy metabolism, yet contrary to belief, there are plenty of foods rich in B vitamins found abundantly in nature. B vitamins are important for a healthy metabolism and mood, but they’re also important for other functions, such as memory, digestion, and focus. B vitamins also help relieve stress in the body and can help reduce blood pressure. Load up your diet with these foods rich in B vitamins and you’ll be sure to feel your best around the clock!
Cashews are one of the tastiest foods rich in B vitamins, especially in the form of cashew butter! Cashews contain high amounts of Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), and Vitamin B6. Enjoy them in trail mix or even make cashew cream sauce to use in place of a dairy cream cheese sauce.
Spirulina is a deep sea algae, which is essentially where fish get their nutrients. Spirulina contains 150% of your daily Vitamin B12 content and 50% of your daily Vitamin B6 content in just one teaspoon. Add it to a smoothie with a banana or berries- you’ll never taste it!
Oats contain Vitamins B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6. Oats are also a good source of fiber and can help reduce cholesterol. Eating one bowl of oatmeal every day for breakfast is a great way to get the benefits.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds contain most all B vitamins, except Vitamin B12. They’re also a richer source of B vitamins than any other seed, not to mention omega 3 fats and iron. Have a couple tablespoons a day and you’ll be set!
Bananas are abundant in Vitamin B5 and B6. They’re also plentiful in potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, and water. Enjoy a banana next time you feel a little stressed- it'll calm you down in no time!
Pumpkin, butternut, acorn, kabocha, zucchini, and yellow squash are all rich in Vitamin B6. They’re also all a great source of potassium, fiber, and water- not to mention downright delicious!
7. Sweet Potatoes
Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes, right? They're not just incredibly delicious but they're also like a package of nutrition all in one veggie. Sweet potatoes have a large amount of Vitamin B6, not to mention magnesium, potassium, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C.
This leafy green veggie is rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and Vitamin B9 (folate). Spinach is also rich in iron and Vitamin C, so it’s a fantastic source of nutrients all the way around.
9. Peanut Butter
All nuts and seeds have B vitamins, but peanut butter stands out above the rest. Technically peanuts are a legume, though they're considered a nut by many. Whatever you want to call them, peanuts are extremely rich in Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and VItamin B9 (folate). Peanut butter is also a good source of vegetarian protein and rich in heart-healthy fats.
Chickpeas are one of the most nutrient-rich legumes and they’re also a good source of protein. They’re rich in Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B9 (folate). They’re found in hummus but also taste great in salads, soups, wraps, and veggie casseroles.
11. Almond Milk
Almond milk is fortified with B vitamins, such as Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12, so it’s a good source of nutrients for vegans and vegetarians looking for a little extra insurance. Be sure to buy unsweetened varieties without added sugar for the healthiest option.
Asparagus contains Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B9 (folate). It’s also a great source of potassium, fiber, protein, and chlorophyll. Enjoy it grilled or just nosh on it raw- either way, it's worth a spot in your diet and it's easy to pair with any dish you please.
13. Nutritional Yeast
Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast, unlike the kind used to make beer and bread. It's derived from the soil so it’s a rich source of nutrients, including Vitamin B12, which comes from bacteria in the soil. Nutritional yeast is also a great source of Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and protein. It has a delightfully cheesy taste so it’s a perfect vegan alternative to dairy cheese.
Almonds contain Vitamin B1 (thiamin), VItamin B2 (riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (niacin), Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B9 (folate). Almonds are also a rich source of Vitamin E, protein, iron, and magnesium. Enjoy them raw, roasted, or made into a delicious almond butter- just be sure you take advantage of them as much as possible!
Walnuts are the only nut to contain omega 3 fatty acids in a substantial, measurable dose. They’re also a great source of Vitamin B1 (thiamin), Vitamin B5, and Vitamin B6. Walnuts are also lower in saturated fat than all other nuts and they even help the body produce the hormone melatonin.
Tomatoes are a powerhouse of B vitamins, especially Vitamin B6. They’re also a great source of potassium and Vitamin C. Tomatoes also help the body produce glutathione, a natural antioxidant that aids in liver detoxification.
Avocados are the perfect replacement to butter because they’re rich in heart-healthy fats, help lower cholesterol, contain large amounts of Vitamin E, magnesium, and B vitamins. Avocados contain Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and B6. They also help the body produce the antioxidant glutathione and are a great food to relieve stress by lowering blood pressure and combatting bloat due to high amounts of potassium.
All of these foods are easy enough for anyone to include in their diet and a little goes a long way. Try to have one or two at each meal for more energy, less stress, and better health all day long! What’s your favorite of all these foods?