Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin. It is an essential micronutrient produced from the amino acid tryptophan. It can be obtained from both plants and animals.
It is also called nicotinic acid and nicotinamide because it acts as a precursor to the nicotinamide coenzyme, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP). These coenzymes are essential for the proper functioning of the body. That’s why it’s important to consume niacin-rich foods to keep your body healthy.
Niacin, or vitamin B-3, is found naturally in some foods. It acts as a cofactor, with over 400 enzymes dependent on it for many reactions. Vitamin B-3 helps convert nutrients into energy.
It is important for the metabolism of macronutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats. They also aid in cell signaling, DNA repair, cellular metabolism and respiration.
In addition, it helps in maintaining healthy skin, digestive and nervous systems. Niacin is also prescribed as a medication to treat dyslipidemia. Studies It is indicated that this micronutrient lowers cholesterol levels by about 25 percent and increases good cholesterol levels by 15 to 35 percent.
Niacin deficiency causes serious conditions characterized by 3D – diarrhea, dermatitis and dementia. Diarrhea in pellagra is usually associated with anorexia, nausea, sedation and dysphagia. It is caused by inflammation that spreads throughout the gastrointestinal tract. In dermatitis, there is severe redness of the skin that resembles a severe sunburn, especially on the hands, feet, and neck.
These sores usually darken and peel off, leaving a bleeding site. The mobility of the affected areas decreases. leads to dementia Mood changes and irritability. Chronic deficiency of niacin causes developmental abnormalities and can also lead to neoplasms.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of niacin for adults is 16 mg/day for men and 14 mg/day for women. For pregnant women, 18 mg/day, and for lactating women, 17 mg/day is recommended.
Health Benefits of Niacin
1. Regulates Digestion
Niacin is beneficial to the digestive system because it helps convert nutrients such as fats and carbohydrates into energy. Its deficiency makes it difficult for one to digest food and eventually leads to gastrointestinal problems.
2. Enhances Mental Health
Niacin is necessary for the brain to function efficiently and provide energy. Its deficiency adds to mental fog and even mental problems. Niacin may help repair brain cell damage, making it an effective treatment for some types of schizophrenia. It also helps in maintaining brain health in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Supports Heart Health
The involvement of this vitamin in controlling your body’s cholesterol levels further reduces the risk of heart disease. Additionally, it reduces inflammation and oxidative stress, damages to the heart as they cause hardening of the arteries and obstructing blood flow. It opens the blood arteries and improves blood flow. And thus reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke in the long term.
4. Treats Pellagra
A severe vitamin B3 deficiency is indicated by people with weak muscles, digestive problems, skin conditions or pellagra. Pellagra disease occurs due to deficiency of Vitamin B3 in the body. As part of treatment, it is important to include more vitamin B3 in their diet or supplements.
The HealthifyMe Note
Vitamin B3 is an essential nutrient required for good health. It is essential for various cellular functions. It also enhances brain health, eases digestion, supports heart health or prevents cardiovascular problems, and treats pellagra.
Foods to Increase Your Niacin or Vitamin B3 Levels
1. Brown Rice
According to USDAThere is about 4.31 mg of niacin in 100 grams of brown rice. Brown rice is much more nutritious than white rice because the bran and germ are removed from white rice. Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus and selenium and is high in fiber.
Peanuts are high in niacin. According to USDA, There is about 12.1 mg of niacin in 100 grams of peanuts. Peanuts can be consumed in many ways. They can be consumed directly after roasting or boiling.
Peanut oil is often used in cooking and is highly aromatic. Peanut butter is usually made from ground and roasted peanuts. Peanut butter sandwich is a popular snack among kids, but mix it with whole wheat bread to make it healthier.
Potatoes are highly versatile and are eaten as mashed potatoes and in curries. according to USDAThere is about 5.63 mg of niacin in 100 grams of potatoes.
They are rich in starch and have negligible fat content. They are also a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. However, avoid excessive consumption of potatoes as it can lead to poisoning.
4. Sunflower Seeds
According to USDAThere are about 7 milligrams of niacin in 100 grams of sunflower seeds. These are usually eaten as a snack instead of being included in the meal.
These are usually roasted and eaten plain or salted. Give preference to salted sunflower seeds. Sprouted sunflower seeds can be used in salads or puddings, a popular dessert in Asian countries.
5. Pumpkin Seeds
According to USDA100 grams of pumpkin seeds contain about 5 milligrams of niacin. They are consumed in the same way as sunflower seeds. These seeds are generally rich in calories and nutrients and contain particularly high amounts of fat, protein and dietary fiber, along with excellent amounts of zinc, manganese and phosphorus.
6. Whole Wheat Bread
According to USDA100 grams of commercially purchased whole wheat bread contains 4.43 milligrams of niacin. Whole wheat is generally better than regular white bread due to its low glycemic index and high dietary fiber. Individuals can eat whole-wheat bread with scrambled eggs or peanut butter, depending on their preference.
7. Portabella Mushrooms
Portabella mushrooms are an excellent source of vitamin B complex. It is also rich in riboflavin, selenium and many other nutrients. According to USDA100 grams of portabella mushroom contains 4.49 milligrams of niacin. Include it in the diet by grilling and steaming it. It can also be consumed raw.
8. Chicken Liver
Chicken liver has many health benefits, including prevention of heart disease, stroke, hypercholesterolemia, etc. USDAThere is 9.73 mg of niacin in 100 grams of chicken liver. You can include chicken in your diet, for example, chicken soups, salads, sandwiches and chicken curry.
Red meat is a good source of niacin. According to USDAThere are 6.68 milligrams of niacin in 100 grams of pork. It is rich in other essential nutrients like vitamin D, selenium, phosphorus and thiamine. In addition, it is a good source of protein. Pork is a suitable food for weight gainers.
10. Beef Liver
Beef liver is rich in nutrients and has many health benefits. It has the highest amount of niacin per serving. according to USDAThere is 13.2 mg of niacin in 100 grams of beef liver. It also contains many other nutrients like iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, vitamin D, folate, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, selenium, vitamin A and vitamin E. Liver can be boiled, fried or eaten. Why curry?
Tuna is an excellent source of B3 vitamin. According to USDA100 grams of tuna gives 18.5 milligrams of niacin. It is an extremely versatile ingredient in sushi, sandwiches and salads. There are various health benefits of this healthy fish; These include preventing heart health, supporting the immune system, boosting metabolism and promoting weight loss.
Salmon is rich in vitamin B3. According to USDA100 grams of salmon contains 7.8 milligrams of niacin. Salmon is a rich source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, widely consumed in Scandinavian countries and Japan. Omega-3 fatty acids positively affect heart health, diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The HealthifyMe Note
Vitamin B3 is high in red meat (beef liver, pork), tuna fish, salmon, brown rice, peanuts, potatoes, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chicken liver, whole wheat bread and portabella mushrooms. It is also present in green peas, avocados, peaches etc. Including these foods in your diet can help prevent niacin deficiency.
Niacin is an important nutrient that has a variety of roles in maintaining good health. It should be consumed in proper quantity to avoid deficiency leading to many health problems.
Its deficiency causes pellagra, a serious condition characterized by 3D: diarrhea, dermatitis and dementia. Niacin is found naturally in various food sources and can be included in the diet.
However, anything in excess can be injurious to health. However, consuming high levels of vitamin B3 can cause dizziness, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, gout, abdominal pain, itching, nausea and severe skin flushing.
most frequently asked questions
Q. Which fruit contains the most niacin?
A. In general, fruits are not high in niacin. However, avocados, papayas and raisins contain niacin. Quantities range from 1.74- 0.766 mg per 100 g. In addition, they are also rich in good fats, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin K. The high fiber content makes it excellent for gut health. They also help maintain the lipid profile and promote heart health.
Q. Which vegetable contains the most niacin?
a. Green peas, portabella mushrooms and potatoes are good sources of niacin. According to the USDA, potatoes contain 5.63 milligrams of niacin per 100 grams. Therefore, adding them to your diet can increase your niacin levels.
Q. Which is rich in niacin?
A. Niacin is widely available in red meats such as beef liver, beef and pork. In addition, it is also present in chicken, tuna and salmon. Peanuts, brown rice, mushrooms and potatoes are great vegetarian sources of niacin. Trace amounts are also found in tomatoes and strawberries.
Q. Does oatmeal contain niacin?
A. Oats or oatmeal contain very less amount of niacin. This nutrient is found in almost negligible amounts. 100 grams of niacin contains only 0.23 milligrams of niacin, which is 2 percent of the daily requirement.
Q. Are eggs high in niacin?
Eggs contain a negligible amount of niacin. There is only 0.075 mg of niacin in 100 grams of eggs. However, they are rich in protein, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and phosphorus.
Q. Do sweet potatoes contain niacin?
A yes. 100 grams of sweet potatoes contain 1.5 milligrams, or 10 percent of the daily niacin requirement. They are also high in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese. These are best consumed in boiled or roasted form.
Q. Do blueberries contain niacin?
A. Yes, blueberries contain niacin but in very small amounts. There is only 0.418 mg of niacin in 100 grams of blueberries. However, they are rich in phytochemicals. They are a good source of vitamins C, K, and manganese.
Q. Do strawberries contain niacin?
A. The amount of niacin in strawberries is negligible. There is only 0.386 mg of niacin in 100 grams of strawberries. However, they are a good source of vitamin C and manganese.
Q. Are tomatoes high in niacin?
A. Tomatoes are not high in niacin. They contain the amount of niacin, that is, 100 grams of raw tomato contains only 0.594 mg of niacin. Tomatoes are generally high in vitamin C, folate, potassium and antioxidants.
Q. How much niacin is in peas?
A. Green peas (100 grams) contain 2.09 milligrams of niacin. They are also a good source of vitamin K as well as vitamin B-1 and vitamin C. They are also high in dietary fiber, which is good for gut health.