The Top 10 Vitamin B1 Rich Foods + Recipes

Why is Vitamin B1 important? How much do you need each day? What do deficiencies look like? Which foods and recipes contain it?

Bella Grace
The Top 10 Vitamin B1 Rich Foods + Recipes

What is Vitamin B1?

Vitamin B1 is also known as Thiamin or Thiamine. It is a water soluble and therefore is not likely to cause toxicity in the body, as any surplus is commonly excreted. The body finds it challenging to store large amounts of vitamin B1 and a constant supply is needed from the food we eat (the top ten Vitamin B1 rich foods are listed below) or from a supplement.

Why is Vitamin B1 important and what does it do in the body?

Like many B vitamins, Vitamin B1 is very important for the success of many body reactions. It helps make energy from the burning of carbohydrates, fats and protein and is commonly known as one of the energy vitamins. It is required to ensure that there are appropriate levels of oxygen in the blood for optimal release of energy by the body’s cells.

What amount of Vitamin B1 do you need each day?

This is always a challenging question, as recommended daily allowances are really only to prevent illness and disease from occurring. If your body is very active and requires more energy to be made then it will use up more Vitamin B1 and therefore your intake will be greater than an individual who is in large sedentary or inactive. Women who are lactating, and individuals under more stress, illness or recovering from surgery require additional Vitamin B1.

As a basic rule of thumb...


  • Newborns - 6 months: 0.2 mg (adequate intake)
  • Infants 7 months - 1 year: 0.3 mg (adequate intake)
  • Children 1 - 3 years: 0.5 mg (RDA)
  • Children 4 - 8 years: 0.6 mg (RDA)
  • Children 9 - 13 years: 0.9 mg (RDA)
  • Men 14 - 18 years: 1.2 mg (RDA)
  • Women 14 - 18 years: 1 mg (RDA)


  • Men 19 years and older: 1.2 mg (RDA)
  • Women 19 years and older: 1.1 mg (RDA)
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women: 1.4 mg (RDA)

Daily recommendations for dietary vitamin B1 according to the National Academy of Sciences are listed below.

Recommended Daily Allowance 1.4mg/Day

Optimal Daily Allowance 35mg/Day but may be increased to 200mg/day.

What are possible Vitamin B1 deficiency symptoms?

Nervous disorders such as Neurasthenia (nervous exhaustion), irritability, depression, anxiety or confusion, noise sensitivities, Beri Beri, low thyroid function (Hypothyroidism), constipation, fatigue, muscle loss, appetite loss and loss of reflexes, foot/wrist drop, insomnia, headaches, myopathy, PICA, heart palpitations, poor vision, fatigue, memory loss, calf tenderness and limbic dysfunction.

What are possible Vitamin B1 excess symptoms?

Headaches. Seizures and Arrhythmia. Thiamine is generally safe however very high doses may cause stomach upset.

What steals Vitamin B1 from the body?

Heating and cooking can reduce the availability of Vitamin B1 as it may damage it during the process. 

Taking other single B vitamins over a prolonged time may disturb the levels of vitamin B1 so it is recommended that additional B vitamins such as B2, B3, B5, B6, Biotin, Folic acid and B12) are taken together as a complex multi B vitamin.

Alcohol reduces Vitamin B1 levels in the body, as will certain drugs such as Diuretics (Furosemide (Lasix), Bumetamide (Bumex), Torsemide (Demadex) and Ethacrynic Acid (Edecrin) and Dilantin. 

Broad spectrum antibiotics (as these kill of beneficial bacteria in the gut that actually make B vitamins) and certain foods and drinks such as sulfites, tea, coffee and decaf coffee can inactivate Vitamin B1.

What are the best foods to eat that contain the highest amounts of Vitamin B1?

TOP 10 Vitamin B1 (Thiamine/Thiamin) rich foods per 100g are;

1. Yeast Extract 9.7mg/100g

Recipe: Creamy Cheese Sauce

Recipe: Cauliflower Popcorn

2. Sesame seeds or Tahini 1.6mg/100g

Recipe: Beef Shawarma Bowls

3. Sunflower seeds 1.48mg/100g

Recipe: Cinnamon Spice Baked N'Oatmeal

Recipe: Rosemary Raisin Crackers

4. Pork chops 1.2mg/100g

Recipe: Pork Chops with Braised Apples

5. Pine nuts 1.2mg/100g

Recipe: Chicken & Pesto Spaghetti Squash Boats

Recipe: Bella Grace Staple Salad

6. Pistachio Nuts 0.87mg/100g

Recipe: Pesto Baked Chicken

7. Macadamia Nuts 0.7mg/100g

Recipe: Grain-Free Granola

Recipe: Freshly Baked Bread

8. Pompano Fish 0.68mg/100g

Recipe: Grilled Pompano Fish

9. Pecan nuts 0.66mg/100g

Recipe: Pecan Pie

Recipe: Blueberry Crumble Bars

10. Tuna 0.5mg/100g

Recipe: Paleo Tuna Salad

This article was written by Jonathan Tommey, clinical nutritionist and Bella Grace, NTP. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Content should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

Beef Bulgogi Bowls

Makes 2 Large Bowls


1 lb. grass-fed rib eye or sirloin steak

2 tablespoons cooking oil of choice

2 tablespoons coconut aminos

2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic

1 tablespoon raw honey or sweetener of choice

2 stems of green onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

4 cups dark leafy greens

2 cups roasted broccoli

3 large carrots, roasted

3 cups cauliflower rice

Homemade Mayo

+ hot sauce (to taste)

= spicy mayo!


1) To make the roasted vegetables, throw frozen broccoli and carrots onto a baking sheet, drizzle in cooking oil of choice, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 375F for 30 minutes or so. Remove and set aside.

2) Place the steaks in a large bowl with coconut aminos, minced garlic, raw honey, salt and pepper. Let marinate for 10-30 minutes.

3) In a large skillet, add cooking oil and saute the steaks (along with sauce) over medium high heat or until the steak is medium-well done.

4) Set the beef aside and slice into thin pieces.

5) Using the same pan, heat up your cauliflower rice in the skillet until piping hot.

5) To each bowl, add 2 cups of greens. Top greens with 1-2 carrots, 1 cup roasted broccoli, 1 1/2 cups cauliflower rice, 1/2 lb of steak and chopped green onion. Add a dollop of spicy mayo on the side, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy!

Bella Grace

Isabella Grace is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner focusing on toxin-free, natural living to its fullest extent. Her mission is to provide personalized integrative health solutions to create sustainable, lifelong change and enable you to live, love, and serve at your fullest health potential.

Read Full Bio

Related Posts