Foods Rich in Vitamin B2, Riboflavin
Sometimes when we have eye or skin problems or mouth ulcers, the doctor prescribes a tiny Riboflavin tablet. What is this Riboflavin and why it is very important for our good health? In what ways can we stock up on this vitamin without popping pills? Well, it’s going to take you just a few more minutes to discover the magic of Riboflavin or Vitamin B2. Indeed, each of nature’s nutrients is a wonder ingredient for our body!
Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, enables you to get usable energy from the foods you eat. Basically, it gets energy from the carbohydrates, protein and fat you eat and converts it into energy in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). The breakdown of ATP frees energy, which can be used by the body's tissues, such as muscles.
It also enables the development and maintenance of red blood cells (RBCs) – another factor that contributes to your energy levels. The more red blood cells you have, the more energy you have. Athletes who exercise regularly need to be aware that heavy exercise can remove the Riboflavin from your body. Athletes with low RBC find themselves getting tired quickly and need to up their iron intake. Having a diet rich in Riboflavin can keep up the RBC count!
Since it is a water soluble vitamin, it is flushed out of the body daily, so it is important to replenish it in the body through diet to avoid any nutrient deficiencies. As it is required for the proper functioning of all the cells, consuming good sources of vitamin B2 is essential.
How does Vitamin B2 work?
Vitamin B2 works in combination with other B vitamins. It is converted to folic acid and Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) so that it can be used by the body.
11 Health Benefits of Riboflavin :
1. Maintains energy level
2. Protects healthy skin and hair
3. Promotes development and growth
4. Increases blood flow
5. Prevents diseases like migraine, dermatitis and arthritis
6. Promotes healthy development of fetuses
7. Protects the digestive tract
8. Offers a powerful punch of antioxidants
9. Treats anaemia
10. Helps prevent cancer
11. Prevents AIDS/HIV
What happens if you are deficient in Riboflavin?
Usually, the Riboflavin deficiency is not very common because a lot of foods are good sources of riboflavin. But it can still occur in many individuals who are underweight and in the individuals who avoid milk and milk products and are choosy in eating vegetables.
Vitamin B2 also happens to be an Antioxidant, which prevents free radical damage and improves skin and eye health. It reduces the risk of cataract and glaucoma. Likewise, a deficiency of this nutrient can lead to blurred vision. Riboflavin can make our skin and hair healthy by maintaining collagen levels. This keeps away unsightly wrinkles too! Riboflavin is also required to regulate thyroid activity.
8 Symptoms of Vitamin B2 deficiency –
1. Angular stomatitis, or cracks at the corners of the mouth
2. Dry skin
4. Cracked lips
5. Nerve damage
6. Inflammation of the mouth and tongue
7. Sore throat
8. Changes in the mood such as increased anxiety and depression
People who drink excessive amounts of alcohol are at greater risk of vitamin B deficiency.
What is the daily requirements of Riboflavin?
As per Dietary Guidelines of NIN, the Recommended Dietary Allowances of Riboflavin for –
Men - 1.4 -2.1mg/day
Women - 1.1 – 1.7 mg/day
For Pregnant ladies the requirements increases by 0.2mg/day and for lactating women the requirement increases by 0.3mg/day
Best sources of Vitamin B2 –
You should be aware that it is not difficult to have a diet that is rich in vitamin B2. You can improve your vitamin B2 levels by cleaning up your diet and including some healthy ingredients your diet.
These are the food sources that you should be eating regularly:
If you are a non-vegetarian, you can definitely avoid your chances to get riboflavin deficiency by consuming – liver, beef and fish.
6 Best Vegetarian sources of Vitamin B2
1. Dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese
3. Green leafy vegetables (spinach, Kale)
4. Whole grains (Barley, Bajra, Jowar, whole wheat flour and wheat germ)
5. Beans and legumes
6. Nuts and seeds(Almonds, Walnuts, pistachios, Sesame Seeds andsunflower seeds)
Also a lot of cereals and their products can be fortified with riboflavin to meet the daily requirements.
All these sources can be incorporated in your daily diet in many interesting ways, ranging from a porridge to salads to a healthy snack. Here we share some of our recipes rich in vitamin B2 which will definitely help you improve your health.
This makes it pretty clear that Riboflavin is quite an essential nutrient that should not be ignored while making food choices. While supplementing with Vitamin B can be of help to some extent, it is always best to aim to consume a lot of whole foods that naturally have Riboflavin and other key nutrients so that you can fulfill your requirements from diet!