Some foods are especially good sources of just one B vitamin, while other foods contain vitamin B, Luckily, B vitamins are widely distributed throughout the food supply, so if you’re eating a varied, balanced diet that includes foods from all food groups, you’re most likely getting as many vitamins as you need.
Milk and milk products such as yogurt and cheese are rich in riboflavin. Asparagus, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables, chicken, fish, eggs and fortified cereals also supply significant amounts of riboflavin to the diet.
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Chicken, turkey, salmon and other fish including canned tuna packed in water are all excellent natural sources of niacin. Fortified cereals, legumes, peanuts, pasta and whole wheat also supply varying amounts.
Leafy greens such as spinach and turnip greens and other fresh fruits and vegetables are all excellent sources of folate. All grain products such as breads, pastas and rice are fortified with folate.
Some of the best sources of vitamin B6 are poultry, seafood, bananas, leafy green vegetables such as spinach, potatoes and fortified cereals.
Animal foods are the only natural source of vitamin B12, but many products, including soy products and cereals, are fortified with B12 so it is widely available in the food supply. Other good natural sources include shellfish, such as clams, mussels and crab, fin fish and beef.
Liver and egg yolks are the richest dietary sources of biotin. Salmon, pork and avocado are good sources; most fruits and vegetables contain a little biotin, as do cheeses and grain foods.
Yogurt and avocado are both excellent sources of pantothenic acid, a vitamin needed for enzyme function, but it is also available in a wide variety of foods such as legumes including lentils and split peas, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and broccoli.
The best dietary sources of the B vitamins, especially B 12, are:
- Animal products (meat, poultry)
- Asparagus, broccoli, spinach, bananas, potatoes
- Dried apricots, dates and figs
- Milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt
- Nuts and pulses
- Brown rice, wheat germ, wholegrain cereals