8 biotin-rich foods you should be eating
By Jessah Robinson, Adv Dip (Nut Med)
Biotin aka vitamin B7 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is an essential nutrient that helps to convert food into fuel for the body and aids the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In addition, biotin is also associated with having shiny hair, glowing skin and strong nails. As biotin is water-soluble, it is not stored in the body. However, it can be produced by gut bacteria, taken as a dietary supplement, or be obtained from certain foods. These are 8 sources of biotin that can be easily incorporated into your diet:
1. Egg yolk
Egg yolks are an excellent source of biotin with 1 whole, cooked egg providing up to 10 mcg. Eggs should be cooked before eating as raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin which binds to biotin, stopping it from being absorbed by the body. Thus, cooking causes the avidin to separate from the biotin, allowing it to be properly absorbed.
Almonds, peanuts, walnuts and pecans contribute to biotin intake, with almonds being a particularly good source. Almonds can be consumed raw, salted or roasted for a high dose of this vitamin. Nuts are an excellent snack option, and a great way to boost your intake of protein and biotin.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the benefits of salmon, as this fatty fish is not only rich in protein and omega 3s, but also biotin. An 85g serving of cooked salmon can contain up to 5 mcg of biotin.
Not only are avocados super versatile and an excellent source of quality fats, they are also a great source of biotin. One whole avocado contains between 2 to 6 mcg of biotin, so don’t be afraid to eat more of this unique fruit.
5. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are one of the highest biotin-containing vegetables, with a half-cup of cooked sweet potato containing approx. 2.4 mcg of biotin. Sweet potatoes are an excellent lower-carb replacement for regular potatoes, and are excellent mashed, roasted or as fries.
This is another vegetable that contains a significant amount of biotin, with one serving of raw cauliflower containing 17 mcg of biotin. For an easy way to consume raw cauliflower, blitz some your food processor to make cauliflower rice or roast it in the oven.
The amount of biotin in mushrooms protects them from parasites and predators while they are still growing. To maximise biotin content, prepare mushrooms in a saute or consume them raw. Mushrooms are an excellent addition to salads to beef up the vitamin content.
Among the green leafy vegetables, spinach is one of the highest sources of biotin. Fresh spinach is preferable due to how nutrient-dense and high in fibre it tends to be. To maximise biotin intake, add spinach to your next salad or smoothie/juice.