Who doesn’t love the idea of eating certain foods to get gorgeous skin, nails or hair? Although, there’s no magic food for any of the above, biotin may benefit the body in record-speed time. As you may already know, biotin is a B vitamin, also called vitamin B7 (and even vitamin H). It is one of the B complex vitamins that can convert food into energy.
Okay, why is this nutrient so important?
The Benefits of Biotin
According to recent studies, biotin helps to promote healthy skin, nails, and hair, and even control blood sugar levels. Additionally, it helps pregnant women have healthy babies, supports metabolism, repair muscles, protects the heart and lowers cholesterol levels.
Biotin is essential to the body. And so, we’ve covered the foods rich in the vitamin.
Foods Rich in Biotin
Here are the major foods rich in biotin:
- Whole grain bread
Eggs are whole foods; complete protein with amino acid. The protein in them supports muscle growth and keeps the body active all day. The importance of eggs cannot be overlooked—an egg contains 10 micrograms of biotin. Eggs are also rich in vitamin D and selenium, which are nutrients that are good for thyroid health.
Spinach is low in cholesterol and fat, but rich in iron. The antioxidants in it can help in treating cancer, diabetes and other inflammatory diseases. The iron in spinach helps in preventing anemia.
Salmon fish contains biotin (or vitamin B7) and omega-3 fatty acids which keep the body at optimal health levels. The biotin in salmon fish helps in protecting the heart, keeping the skin healthy, reducing inflammation caused by daily pollutants, and improving brain health.
Similar to the functions of salmon, tuna is also has ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower cholesterol levels in the blood and arteries – ultimately preventing coronary heart disease. Canned tuna is also known to support the proper functioning of blood vessels.
Pork chops offers a complete protein package which supports muscle building and the maintenance of tissues. Pork chops are also particularly rich in is zinc, which helps in strengthening the immune system.
Beef liver has huge amounts of high-quality protein. The other essential nutrients found in beef liver include vitamin B and folate. The protein in liver builds muscle mass the vitamin B sustains the body’s energy levels, while folate supports heart health.
Sweet potatoes are also rich in biotin and beta-carotene – a strong antioxidant responsible for enhancing the appearance of the skin. Beta-carotene is also popular for its ability to improve sight and prevent macular degeneration.
Some of the highest concentrations of biotin are found in vegetables like sweet potatoes. In fact, in improving the skin’s appearance, sweet potatoes are great as they contain beta carotene.
Apart from biotin, almonds are also rich in vitamin E, magnesium and fiber. The fiber in them suppresses appetite and support weight loss.
The superfood known as broccoli is called so for the simple reason that it contains several nutrients. Aside biotin, it is rich in vitamin c for tackling cancer and vitamin K for promoting bone health.
While growing, you must have been told countless times how beneficial milk is to the bones and teeth and the body as a whole. The protein in milk repair muscles, while the potassium protects the heart and maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
Bananas contain biotin and great potassium levels. They help to boost energy levels when necessary. Bananas also contain fiber that improves digestive health and aids weight loss.
Plain yogurt is very rich in calcium, biotin and vitamin D. You must have heard how a deficiency in vitamin D can result in hair breakage, weakness, and other severe conditions if ignored.
Did you know that per serving of raw cauliflower contains 17 micrograms of biotin? This is possible because biotin is water-soluble and eating raw cauliflower would give you the needed nutritional benefit.
Growing mushrooms are often protected from parasites by their biotin content. It is better to eat mushrooms raw is than any other way.
Cheddar cheese is super rich in complete protein and all the vital amino acids. The cheese is a good source of phosphorus and calcium too. Calcium is important for muscle function and bone development, while phosphorus play a major role in DNA production and kidney function.
People say oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast options available, and they may have a point. Oatmeal is basically whole grain, and whole grain can eliminate the risk of obesity, diabetes, and even cancer. Oatmeal is also effective for lowering cholesterol levels and protecting the heart.
Now that you know some of the top foods rich in biotin, we have a question for you – are you getting enough biotin?
Are You Getting Enough Biotin?
A deficiency in biotin is rare – because most of the foods that we usually eat naturally contain biotin. However, there are certain symptoms that indicate that a person is not getting enough biotin. They include:
- dry or scaly skin
- brittle hair and hair loss
- loss of appetite
- muscle pain
- difficulty in walking
- stomach upset
- cracking in the corners of the mouth
- burning sensations in the hands and feet
- dry eyes
Alright, how do you make sure you aren’t deficient in biotin? Simple–by consuming it in the right amounts daily.
How About Biotin Supplements?
Biotin is available in supplements that contain biotin alone or combinations of B-complex vitamins. It is also available in some multimineral/multivitamin supplements.
Potential Risks and Side Effects of Biotin
Biotin is capable of interfering with certain drugs and medications. Pregnant or nursing women and people taking medicine for seizures should consult their doctors on whether it is okay to take biotin supplements.
Like we mentioned, biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, implying that the body does not store it in its organs. When taken first thing in the morning, biotin supplements might improve the body’s energy level. However, if taken late at night, B vitamins are capable of interfering with sleep cycles. So it is important to be mindful of the timing of taking any vitamin B supplement.
The Bottom Line
Most people aren’t really biotin deficient, but infusing more biotin in your diet wouldn’t hurt. Just remember that if your nails are brittle or your skin looks dull, it’s probably not due to a biotin deficiency. Several reasons could be responsible– it is important to determine the cause of your biotin deficiency so that you can take appropriate medical measures.
You should also know that biotin supplements often come in three amounts – 10, 50, and 100 mcg. As always, discuss with your doctor about the interactions that biotin supplements might have with some other medications.