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.
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.
- Eggs – A daily dose of Biotin is another reason to keep eating eggs, with Biotin provided mostly in egg yolks.
- 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.
- Almonds – For a Biotin-rich snack, grab a handful of almonds or indulge in some almond butter!
- Walnuts – Another nut rich in Biotin is the walnut, which is great as a snack, but also a wonderful addition to salads.
- 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.
- Carrots – Grab a carrot or prepare a salad for another kick of Biotin!
- 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.
- Halibut – If you crave fish for dinner and wish to increase your Biotin consumption – go for halibut!
- 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!