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Best Foods with Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 or Thiamine is one of the 8 B vitamins that our body needs. It is essential for the growth and development of body cells and plays an important role in energy metabolism. Deficiency of vitamin B1 can lead to Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome ( a neurological disorder) and beriberi. It can also cause degeneration of the nervous and circulatory system. If left untreated, the condition can be life-threatening. So, it is important to ensure that you take the recommended levels of vitamin B1 every day in the form of vitamin B rich foods.

You need to have 1.1 to 1.2 mg of vitamin B1 daily which is the recommended intake to stay healthy. There are many foods that contain vitamin B1 and you should include these in your regular diet. Here is a list of the best foods with vitamin B1:

1. Pork


Pork is loaded with vitamin B1 and other minerals like zinc, selenium, and others. It is vital for the growth and repair of the body muscles and nerve tissues. Pork provides other health benefits as well that are mentioned below:

  • It contains riboflavin which is good for the skin as it can repair damaged tissues.
  • It has vitamin B6 that helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system.
  • It also contains iron that provides energy.
  • It is rich in zinc which boosts the immune system and so your body will be resistant to many diseases.

You can grill or bake pork and serve it with vegetables. You will find various delicious recipes to cook pork for your lunch or dinner.

2. Beans


If you are a vegetarian, then you can include beans in your diet to get the necessary dosage of vitamin B1. These contain protein that helps to build muscles. Beans are antioxidants which fight the free radicals in the body. You can choose from black beans, kidney beans, and other types of beans. Black beans are high in protein and fiber. Only half a cup of boiled black beans contain 27% of the daily intake value of vitamin B1. You can add the vegetables in stews, bean soups, etc.

3. Fish and Shellfish


Seafood can boost your thiamine intake. You can choose mussels, trout, tuna, salmon or other fishes. Here are some health benefits of these fishes:

  • Salmon is rich in protein, vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids which help in fighting inflammation and losing weight.
  • Mussels contain protein, vitamin B2 and B12, and other minerals like manganese, selenium, and phosphorus which are essential for good health.
  • Tuna is a good source of vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and selenium. These help to lower blood pressure and improve heart condition.
  • Trout is rich in omega-3 and vitamin B6 that are needed for healthy aging.

You can include these fishes in your regular diet and get the minimum daily vitamin B1 intake from them. You can grill, bake or fry these fishes for your lunch or dinner.

4. Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash

You can roast acorn squash and eat it along with your main dish or make an acorn squash soup. It is cholesterol free and contains various important vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and C. Including acorn squash in your diet will reduce the chances of stroke and it will improve your immune system as well.

5. Green Peas

Green Peas

Green peas are rich in vitamin B1. It contains fiber and can help in managing diabetes. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and so is good for the heart. It is also rich in other important minerals and vitamins that are needed for a healthy body. You can add it to your pasta, risotto or other dishes.

6. Edamame


Edamame is rich in vitamin B1 and it should be part of your diet. It is also known as vegetable soybeans. These are sold frozen in the market and you can have them fried, steamed or roasted. You can add it to your snack or appetizer as well. Apart from vitamin B1, it is also rich in protein. However, it is high in calories and should be eaten in moderation.

7. Asparagus


One cup of cooked asparagus contains about 24% of the recommended vitamin B1 intake. It can help to lower your blood pressure and keep your blood sugar level controlled. Including asparagus in your diet will reduce the chances of certain cancers as well. You can sauté or grill it with some garlic, olive oil, pepper, and salt or add them to your pasta, pizza or soup.

8. Seeds


Seeds are one of the best sources of vitamin B1. You can have sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia or sesame seeds as snacks or add it to the smoothies. You can also scatter some over oatmeal or cereal. Sunflower seeds have the highest content of vitamin B1. It also contains vitamin E and other minerals such as manganese, copper, and selenium that are important for a healthy body.

9. Sweet Potato

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is nutritious and it contains a high content of vitamin B1. It has an antioxidant called beta-carotene that reduces the risk of cancer. It is also good for the digestive system. Instead of eating the regular potato mash, you can make sweet potato mash. You can also make oven-baked sweet potato fries if you like it better.

10. Nuts


Nuts contain vitamin B1 and have a lot of health benefits. Macadamia nuts have the highest concentration of vitamin B1. These are good for the bones and can also help in weight loss. You can also try almonds, pistachios, cashews, Brazil nuts, etc. Have these nuts as snacks or add them to your brownie or chocolate tart.

You should know that certain habits like drinking too much tea or coffee can reduce our body’s ability to use vitamin B1 efficiently. So, you should change these habits so that you can have a sufficient amount of vitamin B1 in your body to perform at your best. Vitamin B1 is essential for health as it can prevent heart disease, metabolic disorders, glaucoma, and several other diseases. It is also known as ‘anti-stress’ vitamin as it can reduce your stress and anxiety. You should try to include some of these foods in your diet so that you never have to suffer from vitamin B1 deficiency.

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