Vitamin B3 (Niacin) & the Paleo Diet deficiency supplement nutrition-min

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) & the Paleo Diet

An expert at aiding your body to convert carbohydrates into energy, Vitamin B3 or Niacin plays an important role in the metabolic functions. Good digestive function, detoxification processes, and the creation of hormones – all of these have to say a word of thanks to Niacin as well.

But how do you know if you’re missing this important vitamin in your paleo diet? Niacin deficiency can be characterised by digestive problems, skin infections, lack of appetite, and generalised weakness or muscular weakness. In addition, you might be prone to Niacin deficiency if you’ve suffered from stress, physical trauma, long-term fever, and excessive consumption of alcohol.

It’s quite impressive how Vitamin B3 can benefit your body in adequate amounts. Just look at this list of medical conditions that it may help to prevent or treat – Alzheimer’s, depression, diabetes, gout, hallucinations, headaches, hyperactivity, hypothyroidism, insomnia, inflammatory bowel disease, menstrual pains, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, pellagra, smelling and taste disorders, vertigo. Let’s focus on Alzheimer’s for a moment – in a research from 2004 it was found that elderly subjects who consumed most Niacin in their food were 70% less likely to have Alzheimer’s than those who consumed the least. What an illustration for the power of food in achieving good health until old age. This is what makes the Paleo Diet so fantastic – it shows that delicious whole foods can be the best medicine for your body.

How much Vitamin B3 should you consume?

The recommended daily amount is 20mg, and there are no toxicity symptoms reported to be connected to Niacin consumption from whole foods. However, a tolerable upper limit from supplements is set at 35mg.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) & the Paleo Diet deficiency supplement nutrition-min

Which foods can you get Niacin from?

Now, your body can produce some Vitamin B3 from an amino acid called tryptophan, but this is really inefficient. The Paleo Diet is a great source for adequate Niacin consumption, since it includes a variety of natural food sources. Here are some of the best!

  1. Liver – If you’re looking for a “comprehensive health supplement”, liver is one of the best, and Vitamin B3 is no exception here. A portion of 100g of lamb liver will provide you with 83% of your daily Niacin need, with other animal livers providing just slightly less than that.
  2. Chicken – Lean meats are a great source of Niacin, with chicken at the top of the list. A serving of 100g provides you with 68.6% of your daily need.
  3. Tuna – A protein-rich portion of tuna is another good source for Vitamin B3, as a 100g portion covers 15.7% of your daily intake need. Tuna salad, anyone?
  4. Turkey – Another lean meat, turkey provides 37% of your daily need of Vitamin B3 in a serving size of 100g. If you’re used to preparing a lot of chicken, try turkey on some of the nights instead for a slightly different micronutrient profile.
  5. Venison – Yes, Vitamin B3 seems to be all about lean meats… Venison provides you with 37.1% of your daily Niacin need in a 100g portion. Might be time to ring up that hunter you know!
  6. Halibut – This fish that makes for a lovely dinner along with some veggies provides 35.6% of your daily Niacin need in 100g.
  7. Shiitake mushrooms – These mushrooms that provide a rich taste for any dish cover 19.4% of your daily Niacin need in a 100g portion. That’s a good enough reason to search for some Asian recipes for your next dinner!
  8. Sweet potatoes – Not just a source of carbs to fuel your activity, sweet potatoes also provide some great nutrition. One cup of baked sweet potatoes will cover 8.5% of your daily need of Vitamin B3, so feel free to add them to your preferred piece of meat or fish.

What else should you know about Vitamin B3 consumption?

One of the most stable water-soluble vitamins, Niacin is only minimally influenced by air, light, and heat, and thus you shouldn’t be worried about losing the vitamin B3 content of the food you are cooking or storing.

So, what do you think? Are you planning a meaty (or fishy) Niacin-rich dinner already? Share your thoughts about this vitamin in the comments!

Paleo Diet Primal Gut Health Flora Healthy Probiotics-min

How Is Your Gut Health?

After the stress and perhaps over indulgences of the festive season – how is your gut health?

Our ancestors were surrounded by dirt – and certainly won’t have washed their hands in antibacterial soap before touching everything! Today, everyone is terrified of germs and dirt. Children aren't allowed to get dirty – people can’t even make food without wearing those horrible blue plastic gloves – yuck!

Paleo Diet Primal Gut Health Flora Healthy Probiotics-min

So many factors in our modern lifestyle are stacked against maintaining good gut flora. The antibiotics given out by so many doctors kill off most bacteria (good as well as bad). Stress hormones also do a good job of killing of gut flora. It’s probably therefore little wonder that so many of us don’t have good gut health.

Having good gut health promotes a good immune system, which is why some people never seem to catch the germs going around the office. Healthy gut bacteria is also essential in proper, good digestion. Healthy gut flora enable you to properly absorb the nutrients in the food you’re eating (after all, we are what we absorb, rather than what we eat)

Whilst yoghurts with live cultures have become extremely popular as a method of improving gut health, they don’t appear to be the best solution, given that many people don’t tolerate dairy – and of course the pasteurisation has an significant impact on the amount of live culture left in the finished product. A lot of these yoghurts also have a lot of sugar added.

One of the better options to improve your gut health is taking probiotic supplements. When you compare the ingredients, you’ll notice huge variations between the different brands. For this reason, I like Primal Flora, as it’s been created with an ancestral diet in mind.
Primal Flora
What do you do to improve your gut health? Do you take probiotics? Please share, in the comments below!

Paleo Diet Primal Vitamin H Biotin Deficiency-min

Vitamin H (Biotin) & the Paleo Diet

Biotin – also known as Vitamin H – actually belongs to B-complex vitamins. This means that its main function in the body is to help along in the production of energy from carbohydrates, fat and protein. But that’s not all, Biotin also aids in the regulation and production of certain amino acids and glucose. If you’re interested in looking healthy, adequate Biotin consumption can help, since it contributes to the strength of your hair and nails, and to the health of your skin.

But how do you know you might be deficient? If you have skin problems, that might be sign of Biotin deficiency. Also, hair loss, muscle cramps, and lack of muscle tone or coordination can point to the need of more Biotin in your food. Extended use of antibiotics and anti-seizure medications can increase the risk of deficiency. Worry not, however, there are a number of great sources for Biotin that you can get from whole foods under the Paleo Diet, to support your health in a natural way.

And if you decide to do that, there are a number of medical problems you may be preventing by consuming a good amount of Biotin, including neuromuscular conditions like seizures, intestinal conditions like IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and chronic diarrhoea, as well as a number of skin conditions and hair loss.

How much Vitamin H do you need in your diet?

Biotin deficiency is very rare, since intestinal bacteria usually produce high amounts of Biotin by themselves. The needed daily amount is 35 mcg per day, but if you aim to address certain medical issues or strengthen your hair and nails, you can go much higher than that. Since the body easily gets rid of excessive Biotin through urine, you shouldn’t worry about excess consumption from whole foods.

Paleo Diet Primal Vitamin H Biotin Deficiency-min

Which foods can you get Biotin from?

There are a number of great natural sources of Biotin that you are encouraged to consume under the Paleo Diet – below are some of the best.

  1. Eggs – A daily dose of Biotin is another reason to keep eating eggs, with Biotin provided mostly in egg yolks.
  2. Liver – Biotin is among the many micronutrient benefits you will get from eating liver. Whether you prefer to fry it up by itself, make pate, or add it to your minced meat, liver is a great addition to your diet.
  3. Almonds – For a Biotin-rich snack, grab a handful of almonds or indulge in some almond butter!
  4. Walnuts – Another nut rich in Biotin is the walnut, which is great as a snack, but also a wonderful addition to salads.
  5. Swiss chard – As a side to those eggs, why not have some Swiss chard? Leafy greens are a good source of Biotin, with Swiss chard as the forerunner among them.
  6. Carrots – Grab a carrot or prepare a salad for another kick of Biotin!
  7. Strawberries and raspberries – To add Biotin to your dessert course, add a few handfuls of berries – preferably strawberries or raspberries that have the highest amount.
  8. Halibut – If you crave fish for dinner and wish to increase your Biotin consumption – go for halibut!
  9. Mushrooms – Mushrooms are another good source for Biotin in your diet, so feel free to add them to your salads, soups and stews!

What else do you need to know about Vitamin H consumption?

Biotin is a stable vitamin, and exposure to heat, light and oxygen doesn’t lessen its content in foods. Therefore you shouldn’t worry much about cooking and storage methods when focused on Biotin consumption. However, strong and acidic conditions can lessen a food’s Vitamin H content. Also, there is a protein present in raw egg whites – called avidin – that disrupts Biotin absorption, so if you’re concerned about your food’s Vitamin H content, you shouldn’t combine it with raw egg whites. Cooking eggs eliminates this issue.

Are you thinking of increasing your Biotin consumption? Do you have any recipes to share with the specific ingredients? Share them in the comments!

FODMAPS & Paleo diet Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols-min


FODMAP is a term that seems to be associated more and more frequently with the Paleo diet. Some people chose to minimise FOMAP’s, in alongside their Paleo diet to help resolve gut issues. In particular a low FODMAPS diet seems to help resolve gut issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) it appears Crohn’s Disease too.

Whilst removing grains, dairy and legumes in a Paleo diet often marks significant improvement, going one step further and undertaking a low FODMAP diet can make all the difference in Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders

So, what exactly are FODMAPS?

“FODMAP” is an abbreviation standing for: Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. These are all types of carbohydrate which Dr Sue Shepherd’s research identified as being poorly absorbed by susceptible individuals, causing gut issues.

How does a Low FODMAPS diet fit with a Paleo diet?

FODMAPS & Paleo diet Fermentable, Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols-min


Fructose is already considered on a Paleo diet, so avoiding high fructose fruit such as apples and pears is not too difficult. Berries are a far better choice, with the added benefit of antioxidants.


Fructans are high in fruit such as watermelons and vegetables such as cabbage, leeks and particularly onions; so these should be avoided in favour of vegetables such as carrots, parsnip and pumpkin. Wheat and other grains are high in Fructans, so on a Paleo diet, these are already avoided.


High levels of Polyols are contained in fruit like avocados and peaches and vegetables like mushrooms and cauliflower.


Legumes such as beans and soy are high in Galactans – so by following a Paleo diet these are already eliminated.


By avoiding dairy a Paleo diet already cuts out Lactose.

How To Start

If you have any unresolved issues (such as gut issues) on a Paleo diet, it is worth trying a low FODMAP’s diet for a 30 day elimination period. After the 30 days, much like a Whole 30, you can slowly reintroduce foods back in to pinpoint exactly which foods are an issue for you. Everyone is different, so it’s important you find out exactly which foods you don’t tolerate well and remove those from your diet. Fortunately your Paleo diet has already removed the bulk of the high FODMAP foods – so identifying the foods you don’t tolerate will be much easier.

Have you tried a low FODMAP’s diet? Did it help? Let me know in the comments below.