The Top Vitamin B2 Rich Foods + Recipes
Why is Vitamin B2 important? How much do you need each day? What do deficiencies look like? Which foods and recipes contain it?
What is Vitamin B2?
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) was first recognized as a greenish yellow pigment in milk in 1879. It is a water-soluble vitamin with no known toxic effects. Riboflavin cannot be stored and must be replenished regularly from food or from supplementation. Any surplus is excreted in the urine which may give the urine a yellow/green fluorescent color.
Why is Vitamin B2 important and what does it do in the body?
Like many B vitamins, vitamin B2 is very important for the success of many body reactions. It forms part of two important enzymes called FMN and FAD which help manufacture energy, primarily from carbohydrates, but also from fats and proteins. It's commonly known as one of the energy vitamins for this reason! Our DNA and RNA are comprised of nucleic acids and riboflavin is required to make these. In combination with vitamin A, it also contributes to good vision. B2 helps maintain healthy skin, nails and hair and promotes growth, fertility and the uptake of iron (assimilation) as it promotes iron binding capacity and serum ferritin levels. It may also benefit individuals suffering from migraines and sickle cell anemia. Glutathione is one of the body’s main protectors against free radical damage and oxidative stress and riboflavin is involved in regenerating this essential substance.
What amount of Vitamin B2 do you need each day?
Recommended daily allowances are given as a guide to prevent illness. If you are active and expend more energy then you will use more Vitamin B2 and you will require a higher intake than someone who is sedentary.
The DRI (Daily Recommended Intake) /RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of dietary vitamin B2 are listed below:
Please Note: By definition, the DRI/RDA recommendations apply only to 98% of healthy individuals and are not sufficient for those with higher nutrient requirements based upon their biochemical individuality, genetics, health status, medications, deficiencies, lifestyle, and toxic exposures.
Daily recommendations for Vitamin B2 are listed below.
- Infants birth - 6 months: 0.3 mg (adequate intake)
- Infants 7 - 12 months: 0.4 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)
- Boys 14 - 18 years: 1.3 mg (RDA)
- Girls 14 - 18 years: 1 mg (RDA)
- Men 19 years and older: 1.3 mg (RDA)
- Women 19 years and older: 1.1 mg (RDA)
- Pregnant women: 1.4 mg (RDA)
- Breastfeeding women: 1.6 mg (RDA)
Riboflavin is best absorbed when taken between meals. People who do not eat a balanced diet every day may benefit from taking a multivitamin and mineral complex.
Recommended Daily Allowance 1.7mg/Day but may be increased under stress and therapeutically to 200mg/day
Optimal Daily Allowance 35mg/Day
What are possible Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) deficiency conditions and symptoms?
Congenital birth defects
Impaired red blood cell formation
Mouth lesions - angular stomatitis ( lesions at the angle of the lips)
Red, itchy or gritty eyes
Scaly skin on face
Sensitivity to light
Slowed mental response
What are possible Vitamin B2 excess symptoms?
None known. Excess is secreted: may color the urine with a greenish/yellow fluorescent glow.
What steals Vitamin B2 from the body?
Bile acid sequestrants: Cholestyramine (Questran) and Colestipol (Colestid)
Gout medications: Colchicine (Colbenemid) Probenecid (Benemid)
Anti diabetic drugs: Metaclopramide HCL (Reglan)
Psychiatric medications:Tricyclic antidepressants, Amitriptyline (Elavil), Nortriptyline (Pamelor), Imipramine (Tofranil), Desipramine (Norpramin) and Doxepin (Sinequan)
Antipsychotic agents:Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Thiothexane (Navane), Thioridazanine (Mellaril) and Fluphenazine esters (Prolixin)
Broad spectrum antibiotics – which kill the colonies of beneficial gut bacteria.
Nutrients: boron or boric acid (displace Riboflavin binding and increases excretion)
What tests can be used to assess Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) levels?
Alpha–Keto acids in urine
Ethylmalonate in urine
What foods contain the highest amounts of Vitamin B2?
TOP 10 Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) rich foods per 100g are:
1) Yeast extract 14.3mg/100g
Recipe: Creamy Cheese Sauce
Recipe: Cauliflower Popcorn
2) Liver 4.6mg/100g
3) Dried chilies 2.26mg/100g
Recipe: Carnitas Tacos
4) Paprika 1.74mg/100g
Recipe: Chicken Tikka Masala
Recipe: Fish Sticks
5) Almonds 1.01mg/100g
Recipe: Chewy Granola Bars
Recipe: Almond Butter Cups
6) Mackerel 0.54mg/100g
7) Atlantic salmon 0.49mg/100g
Recipe: Pesto Crusted Salmon
Recipe: Creamy Tomato Salmon
8) Sun dried tomatoes 0.49mg/100g
Recipe: Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Chicken
9) Sesame seeds or tahini 0.47mg/100g
Recipe: Beef Shawarma Bowls
10) Trout 0.42mg/100g
Recipe: Paleo Asian Trout
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
+ 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!
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.
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