Vitamin B3 or niacin is necessary to regulate irregular cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It also helps process fat in the body. A deficiency in vitamin B3 causes mouth inflammation, delirium, dermatitis, amnesia, dementia, depression, loss of concentration, pellagra, fatigue, and irritability. What are the natural sources of vitamin B3? Let’s find out.
Foods that are High in Vitamin B3
Who doesn’t eat fish? Well, I rarely did too, until I learned its health benefits. Let’s talk about fish. A grilled or stir fry fish fillet provides vitamin B3. Serve it with salad and chips, with some tomato ketchup, or any other amazing ways you might have realized to enjoy its goodness. What would fish do for you?
- maintain cholesterol levels
- treat damaged scalp
- promote respiratory health
- treat insomnia
- enhance muscle growth
- promote cardiovascular health
- aid blood production
- provide instant energy
- nourish the skin
Brown rice will nourish you with 2.59 mg of niacin. Serve it with chicken or sautéed vegetables to enjoy its goodness.
Brown rice is a low-calorie variety of rice, so you’re sure of some fitness end result. What would brown rice do for you?
- puts depression in check
- controls blood sugar levels
- prevents constipation
- provides energy
- anxiety relief
- reduces symptoms of asthma in children
Whether consumed in baked or mashed form, sweet potatoes provide up to 2.4 mg of vitamin B3. But keep the consumption low, because this food is high in calories.
Potatoes are particularly known for:
- weight gain
- treating scurvy
- treating rheumatism
- reducing inflammation
- reducing blood pressure
- improving brain function
- preventing cardiovascular diseases
- treating kidney diseases
- preventing cancer
- supporting digestion
- enhancing the skin
Who else knew that red meat contains some amounts of vitamin B3? Asides the vitamin B3 content, red meat:
- prevents anemia
- maintains cardiovascular health
- supports psychological health
- treats insomnia
- delays cataract
- provides energy
- maintains healthy skin
- balances cholesterol level
- treats rickets
- strengthens muscles
A handful of sunflower seeds contains 2.36 mg of niacin, just about 14.8% of your daily requirement. Wondering how to make these seeds a part of your diet? It’s pretty easy, here’s how: Simply sprinkle some on your porridge or oatmeal. They blend well in smoothies too. So when are you getting these seeds? Perhaps you’ll decide after you read this:
Sunflower seeds have got some splendid health benefits such as
- detoxifying the body
- enhancing skin health
- making bones health
- supporting hair growth
- maintaining blood sugar levels
- promoting hair growth
- making weight loss easier
- preventing cancer
Beef liver provides 14.0 mg of niacin: your daily requirement. Consuming it at least twice a week is just perfect. Moderation is key here because the beef liver is high in fats. I’m sure you don’t want high cholesterol levels, yeah? One more thing! Have you got cardiovascular disorders? Well, you might want to consult with their doctor before consuming beef liver. Beef liver is super at:
- hair and nail improvement
- aiding blood production
- skin care
- muscle health support
2.61 mg of vitamin B3 awaits you in avocado. What else? It promises
- weight loss
- arthritis treatment
- improved liver function
- fiber supply
- diabetes management
- skin care
- improved eye health acting as an aphrodisiac
A chicken fillet contains 11.79 mg of vitamin B3. Do you enjoy eating roasted chicken? Then congrats, as that’s the healthiest form of the obtaining vitamin B3. Have you tried adding thin slices of chicken to your sandwiches or salads? Food just got tastier. But before I get carried away in my love for chicken, I should tell you its health benefits.
- it boosts the immune system
- it promotes cardiovascular health
- it promotes psychological health
- it Improves nail health
- it treats anemia
- it aids weight loss
From a cup of fresh green peas, you can get 3.23 mg, of vitamin B3. Now that just settles you for the day. Asides being easy to cook, green peas settle well in a number of recipes. Talk about pasta and risotto recipes. And lots more.
Turkey breast has got a whopping 9.99 mg of niacin to offer — in just a serving. Let’s get our soups and stews ready! I like my turkey roasted though. Turkey:
- maintains psychological health
- enhances weight loss
- promotes cardiovascular health
- provides protein
- strengthens the immune system
- boosts metabolism
- treats anemia
- nourishes the skin
- strengthens teeth and bone
- maintains cholesterol levels
- manages diabetes
When you eat stir-fry white mushrooms, you get 4.31 mg of vitamin B3. However, grilled portobello mushroom supplies 7.57 mg of the vitamin. Mushrooms can also be used as pizza toppings.
Roasted and salted peanuts provide above 3.42 mg niacin. You’ve got the roasted variety, peanut sauce, and West African peanut soup to get some vitamin B3 added to your body.
Peanuts are nutritious enough to:
- stomach cancer
- prevent diabetes
- promote healthy pregnancy
- reduce the risk of stroke
- prevent gallstone development
- support weight loss
- combat depression
In 3 ounces of lamb shank (roasted) is 5.43 mg of vitamin B3. Amazing, isn’t it? Every time you consume that well-spiced lamb stew, what you get is:
- enhanced skin health
- improved cardiovascular health
- better muscle growth
- repaired cell tissues
- better blood production
What does Vitamin B3 Do?
It Prevents Heart Disease
It reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are involved in atherosclerosis, the hardening of the arteries.
It Treats Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease which involves the body attacking and destroying cells that create insulin in the pancreas. Niacin protects those insulin-creating cells.
It Reduces Arthritis Symptoms
Niacin eases some symptoms of osteoarthritis — it improves joint mobility and reduces the need for NSAIDs.
It Treats Pellagra
People with low niacin intake suffer a deficiency called pellagra. Niacin supplements are reliable in treating pellagra.
It Protects Brain Function
The brain needs niacin to form part of the necessary coenzymes in order to get some energy to function properly. To buttress this, brain fog and some psychiatric symptoms have been associated with niacin deficiency. What else? Some types of schizophrenia brain cell damage have been linked to vitamin B3 deficiency. It also keeps the brain healthy in cases of Alzheimer’s disease.
It Lowers LDL Cholesterol
For over half a century, vitamin B3 has been used to treat high cholesterol issues. It actually lowers LDL, the not-so-good cholesterol.
It Increases HDL Cholesterol
Asides lowering LDL cholesterol, niacin raises the relatively good cholesterol — HDL — by 15-35%. This is possible because it hinders the breakdown of apolipoprotein A1, a protein that helps make HDL.
It Improves the Skin
Vitamin B3 protects the skin cells from sun damage, whether applied to the skin in lotions or taken orally. That’s not all, as it prevents some types of skin cancer too.
Is an Overdose of Niacin Possible?
It’s only possible to overdose on niacin supplements or niacin-based medication, but not a niacin-rich diet, definitely. Niacin is often included in daily multivitamins. It is also an ingredient in prescription medications used to treat high cholesterol and triglycerides.
When taken in prescribed amounts, niacin isn’t harmful. But if taken unnecessarily, an overdose is certain and has its risks.
What’s the Prescribed Dosage?
A number of prescriptions for niacin begin at 100 milligrams (mg). This is usually split between three doses taken throughout the day.
The dose may be sometimes increased to 1,000-2000 mg, as required, but definitely not beyond 2000mg.
Symptoms of Niacin Overdose
A niacin overdose can cause mild to severe symptoms, depending on how much the overdose is, body chemistry, drug interactions, and some other factors.
- severe facial flush
- severe itching
- severe stomach pain
- breathing difficulty
- peptic ulcers
- rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
- severe hypotension