Biotin or vitamin B7 (also called vitamin H) is a B vitamin that has a key role in eye, brain, hair and skin health. Unlike many other vitamins, biotin deficiency is so rare and therefore enough scientific evidence is lacking to establish a Recommended Daily Allowance of the same.
Being a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin H isn’t kept stored in the body and hence you have to take it every day at required levels.
Why Is Biotin Important?
Biotin is one of the B vitamins that play a key role in some of the important body functions. It supports a number of enzymes that play a key role in the breakdown of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Basically, biotin plays a significant role in helping the body derive energy from food.
Biotin is involved in gluconeogenesis that is the synthesis of glucose from non-carb sources including amino acids. It also helps in fatty acid synthesis by supporting the enzymes that are involved in fatty acid production.
Biotin is important in nail health and brittle nails could be a sign of biotin deficiency. Being deficient in biotin can also affect your hair health adversely.
Plant Foods Containing Biotin
Here are some plant foods that are good sources of biotin.
Legumes are equally popular in plant-based diets and animal-based diets as they are rich sources of fiber, protein and several micronutrients. Soybeans and peanuts are some of the legumes that are well known for their biotin content.
28 grams of roasted peanuts contain about 5mcg of biotin that is 17% of the DV.
Sweet potatoes are one of the best vegetable sources of biotin. They contain 8% of the DV when the serving amount is 125 grams.
Sweet potatoes can be steamed, boiled, baked and fried. In addition to being a rich source of biotin, sweet potatoes also contain carbs, fiber, sugar, and many vitamins and minerals.
If you are asked to name a fruit that can be eaten the easiest way, you would mostly name a banana. Bananas are rich sources of B vitamins, fiber, potassium and carbohydrates.
A small banana provides about 0.2 mcg of biotin that is almost 1% of the DV.
Bananas can be eaten raw or added to smoothies and ice creams.
Both brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast contain biotin but the exact amount varies from brand to brand.
Nutritional yeast is inactive unlike brewer’s yeast and is commonly used to make non-dairy cheese. Brewer’s yeast called dry active yeast is used in breweries and bakeries.
16 grams of nutritional yeast contains about 21 mcg of biotin that is 69% of the DV.
7 grams of brewer’s yeast contains about 1.4 mcg of biotin or 5% of the DV.
Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds contain biotin, however, the percentage contents vary according to the type of nuts. Nuts are also rich sources of fiber, protein and unsaturated fat.
20 grams of sunflower seeds provide 2.6 mcg of biotin that is 10% of the DV. Meanwhile, 30 grams of roasted almonds contain 1.5 mcg of biotin that is 5% of the DV.
Nuts and seeds can be eaten raw, added into salads, blended into seed and nut butters and mixed into pasta dishes to make the dishes tasty.
Mushrooms are rich in various nutrients including biotin. Their rich biotin content protects the mushrooms from the attack of parasites and predators while they grow in the wild.
120 grams of canned button mushrooms have about 2.6 mcg of biotin, which equals to about 10% of the DV. 70 grams of chopped button mushrooms contain about 5.6 mcg of biotin that is about 19% of the DV.
Fresh mushrooms can be baked, sautéed or added to salads while canned mushrooms are excellent ingredients in sauces, gravies, and homemade pizzas.
Avocados are more known for their rich (unsaturated) fat content but they also contain biotin.
200 grams of avocado has about 1.85 mcg of biotin that is 6% of the DV. Avocados can be eaten raw or can be added to salads to make salads tasty and nutritious.
Avocado is also known as butter fruit as it has a rich creamy texture. It is the most nutritious fruit in the world and is packed with about 20 vitamins and minerals.
Avocados can support heart health and improve your eye vision.
A vegetable of high nutrient density, broccoli is rich in fiber, vitamins C and A, and calcium. It also contains biotin. Broccoli can be eaten raw, steamed, roasted, sautéed, blended into soups and added into pastas.
Growing deficient in any nutrients will lead to many health issues. Ensure that your diet has enough biotin-containing foods so that you will not develop biotin deficiency.