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Wellness and healthy eating give us the option to live fuller, happier lives but sometimes they can also leave us scratching our heads. There are so many superfoods, supplements, and vitamins on store shelves that it’s hard to know what we actually need.
Biotin supplements can often be found on the shelves of health food stores, frequently marketed for healthy hair and skin. So do we need to take supplements or should we be asking what foods is biotin found in?
The first step is always education. Taken in high doses, some supplements can harm us, especially if we’re already getting the right amount in our diets. Of course, you’d like healthy hair and skin, so biotin sounds like something we should all be taking.
As dietary sources of nutrients are almost always recommended over supplements, we’ll be looking at what foods you’ll find biotin in and how to get enough. Keep reading to get the lustrous locks you’ve always wanted.
What Is Biotin?
Biotin is one of the B vitamins and naturally occurs in many foods. It’s also known as vitamin B7 and used to be called vitamin H.
How come? Well, it got its “H” name from the German “haar und haut” which translates as “hair and skin”. As you can see, biotin’s reputation for giving you healthy hair has been around for a long time!
This essential vitamin is responsible for more than just shiny locks and beautiful skin though. It aids the function of several enzymes which, in turn, are responsible for transforming the food you eat into energy.
Pregnant women usually require a slightly higher intake of biotin than the average person as it’s used in the development of a healthy fetus. Readily available in a variety of foods, getting biotin from dietary sources is usually easy and deficiency is rare.
When you start to add in specific foods or supplements to your diet, you might be concerned about weight gain. So does biotin cause weight gain? There doesn’t seem to be any indication that you’d experience an increase in weight by upping your biotin intake.
What Foods Is Biotin Found In?
Biotin is found in many foods and, as a result, even eaten in small doses it will accumulate throughout your daily meals. Thanks to its frequency, it’s easy for you to get enough biotin in a healthy diet whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or a meat-eater.
1. Organ Meats
Biotin is found in high quantities in organ meats such as beef liver. Meats such as kidneys are also rich in biotin.
For those who eat meat, organ meats are a rich source of several nutrients. They’re usually far higher in nutrients than other types of meat and are often more affordable as well. Beef liver alone contains vitamins A, E, D, and C as well as many other nutrients like calcium, riboflavin, and phosphorus.
Fish such as salmon, mackerel, cod, and tuna are all good sources of biotin. Adding these fish into a well-balanced diet is a great idea as they contain many nutrients that are key to health.
In addition to biotin, oily fish especially contain vitamins and minerals that are essential for health. High in omega-3, vitamin B-12, and selenium, you get a lot of nutrients for your money when it comes to good quality fish.
3. Sweet Potato
Of all the vegetables, sweet potato contains one of the highest amounts of biotin with 1 cup providing almost 30% of your daily recommended allowance. This versatile root vegetable is delicious and is a great alternative to white potato.
Sweet potatoes are rich in many other nutrients too. Vitamins C, A, K, and E are all found in sweet potato and it’s an excellent source of fiber.
4. Nuts and Seeds
Small and tasty, nuts and seeds are powerhouses of vitamins and nutrients including biotin. Nuts and nut butters are good sources so get spreading that almond or peanut butter. Sunflower seeds are particularly high in biotin and are great on salads.
These foods are rich in other B vitamins, vitamins E and C as well as nutrients like potassium, calcium, selenium, and protein.
Eggs are a major source of biotin but you must cook them. This is because they also contain avidin which binds tightly to biotin, preventing it from being used by the body.
While this will happen in raw eggs, avidin becomes inactive during cooking and doesn’t affect biotin’s beneficial effects. So be sure to cook those eggs.
As if we needed another reason to eat avocados! Biotin is found in high quantities in avocado, just one of the many nutrients you’ll get when you have smashed avo on toast in the morning.
Also high in fiber, healthy fats, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin E, avocados are definitely a superfood. They can also boost the absorption of other vitamins, allowing your body to get the most out of all the food you consume.
What Happens If You Eat Too Much Biotin?
Biotin is water-soluble and your body will only use what it needs. If you eat more than the daily recommended allowance, your body will simply excrete excess biotin through your urine.
This means there’s no benefit to consuming more than you need. In some cases, biotin overdoses from supplementation have also been said to trigger acne.
Include Biotin in a Well-Rounded Healthy Diet
When each week seems to bring a new food or vitamin to our attention, it can be hard to keep up. But the truth is, when you eat a varied, healthy diet, you will be getting the right amount of nutrients. Now you know the answer to “what foods is biotin found in”, you can add them into your diet.
By including more of these foods in your everyday life, you’ll be benefitting from biotin’s power as well as the many other vitamins and minerals that these foods contain.
As deficiency is so rare, you shouldn’t need to worry about not getting enough biotin. Instead, focus on eating healthily and you might just see your hair getting shinier.
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