Are you deficient in vitamin B2 supplement deficiency-min

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) & the Paleo Diet

If you’re aiming for optimal health, you shouldn't overlook Vitamin B2 – also known as Riboflavin. A supporter of cellular energy production, it helps the body to metabolise carbohydrates. What is more, it plays an important role in the normal development of tissues – especially connective tissues like those that make up your skin and hair. Thus, it is an important component in the diet for feeling AND looking healthy.

A deficiency of Riboflavin can be noted by a variety of symptoms often related to skin issues like soreness around the lips, mouth and tongue, cracking of skin at the corners of the mouth, peeling of the skin (particularly around the nose), burning and itching around the eyes, and also a sensitivity to light. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself, the Paleo Diet can be a great help by providing adequate Vitamin B2 from natural sources.

There are more benefits to Riboflavin than relieving these symptoms, however! Vitamin B2 helps along in the absorption of iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B3 and vitamin B12, and it may play a role in preventing or treating a variety of health conditions, including anaemia, migraines, rosacea, carpal tunnel syndrome, cataracts, and vaginitis. If you’re doing heavy exercise (crossfit anyone?) your need for Vitamin B2 might be up to 10 times the ordinary amount.

How much Vitamin B2 should you consume?

The suggested daily amount is 1.7mg. There is no reported upper limit of consumption from natural food sources.

Are you deficient in vitamin B2 supplement deficiency-min

Where can you get Riboflavin from?

  1. Liver – Now this is a superfood! Whether you prefer beef, chicken or lamb liver (or any other animal for that matter), you can be sure of getting a good dose of Riboflavin. Lamb liver provides the most, with 270% of your daily need in a 100g serving. Great reason for sautéing some liver or having pate for dinner after a heavy workout! Or if you’re not accustomed to the taste of liver just yet, try adding some to your mince/ ground meat mixture when you make meatballs or burger patties to enjoy the health benefits without the strong taste.
  2. Almonds – If you’re looking for a Riboflavin-rich snack, almonds should be on the top of your list. A 100g serving covers 60% of your daily need. Feel free to eat this in the form of almond butter, if you wish!
  3. Mackerel – The best fish source for Vitamin B2, mackerel provides 32% of your daily need in 100 grams, or 56% per fillet. An easy way of adding mackerel to your diet is buying the canned variety – great on top of a green salad or eaten straight out of the tin!
  4. Eggs – Another reason to keep eating those eggs for breakfast! One pasture-raised egg provides 15.3% of your daily Riboflavin need.
  5. Spinach – Perhaps you want some spinach beside those eggs or with that mackerel fillet? 1 cup of cooked spinach provides 24.7% of your daily need of Vitamin B2.
  6. Sun-dried tomatoes – The rich-tasting sun-dried tomatoes that make sauces and salads stand out, are also a great source of Riboflavin. With 29% of your daily need covered in a 100g serving, they’re a healthy addition to your meals.

What else should you know about Vitamin B2 consumption?

Vitamin B2 is stable when heated, but if you’re boiling Riboflavin-rich food, a relevant amount of the vitamin will stay in the water – thus it is best to consume the broth as well to not let good micronutrients go to waste. In addition, exposure to light also affects the quantity of Riboflavin, so it is suggested to keep foods that are rich in it in opaque containers, and to cover pots with lids when cooking.

So, my Paleo friends, are you convinced of the benefits of Vitamin B2? Do you have any good suggestions for including it in your diet? Do share in the comments!

Vitamin B1 Thiamine & the Paleo Diet-min

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) & the Paleo Diet

Thiamine – it is not a vitamin you hear about often, but yet it is vital to the functioning of your body. You see, Vitamin B1 is used in the body to maintain cellular function, and it is important to keep all the organs working as they should. It helps along in producing energy from carbohydrates, and also supports the working of the nervous system.

People who consume a lot of highly processed foods, sweets and sodas are at a higher risk of Vitamin B1 deficiency – which is one reason why the Paleo Diet is great for maintaining health. In addition, a deficiency can occur because of alcohol abuse, liver disorders, kidney dialysis, and over-dieting, and you might need more B1 if you have chronic stress, or are a smoker. How do you know you might be deficient? Aspects that can indicate that are a feeling of numbness or muscle tenderness (especially in the legs), loss of appetite, and frequent “pins and needles” sensations. Vitamin B1 deficiency also causes the syndromes of beriberi, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and optic neuropathy.

But let’s look at the bright side! Sufficient consumption may play a role in the prevention or treatment of a number of health conditions, including alcoholism, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, congestive heart failure, depression, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, Korsakoff’s psychosis, multiple sclerosis, and Wernicke’s encephalopathy. But knowing that it supports muscle function, brain health and learning capacity, and acts as an antioxidant should be a good enough reason to include more of it in your diet!

How much Vitamin B1 do you need?

The recommended daily amount is 1.4mg, and there appears to be no upper limit you should be worried about, since high doses do not appear to carry a risk of toxicity.

Vitamin B1 Thiamine & the Paleo Diet-min

Where can you get thiamine from?

The Paleo Diet is a great way of getting optimal levels of Vitamin B1. Below are some of the best sources of Thiamine – do you already include them in your diet?

  1. Sesame seeds and tahini (sesame butter) – A staple in Middle-Eastern cuisine, sesame butter provides 106% of your daily need of thiamine in 100g, one tablespoon providing 15%. An easy way of including tahini in your meals is to make a simple sauce from it – mix it with a bit of lemon juice and salt, adding water to reach a good consistency – then eat it with roasted or grilled vegetables.  Sunflower seeds that provide 7.5% of daily Thiamine in a tablespoon, are a great addition to salads and stir-frys. Yum!
  2. Tuna – Here’s a great reason for adding tuna to your salad or cooking a tuna steak for dinner –  just 120 g of tuna will provide as much as 40% of your daily need of Thiamine.
  3. Sunflower seeds – Another great addition to your salads or home-made trail mix you can have on the go, sunflower seeds provide 6% of your daily need of vitamin B1 in two tablespoons.
  4. Pork chops – Trying to decide what meat you want to have for dinner? Why not go for pork chops?  A serving of just 100g  provides 83% of your daily Thiamine need.
  5. Asparagus – This micronutrient-dense spring vegetable is also a great source of Thiamine. 1 cup of asparagus stalks will cover 12.7% of your daily need.
  6. Spinach – Yet another reason to add spinach to your diet! 1 cup of cooked spinach provides 11.3% of your daily Vitamin B1 need. If you’re not a fan of spinach by itself, try adding it to smoothies – you’ll be surprised at how much of it you’ll be able to eat.
  7. Pineapple – A cup of pineapple pieces will provide you with 8.7% of your daily need. This is a great reason to end your meal with some juicy slices, or using pineapples to prepare an exotic smoothie.
  8. Oranges – Just one fruit provides you with 7.3% of your daily Thiamine need, making oranges a great snack to have on the go. Also, you can try adding orange slices to salads – delicious!

What else do you need to know about the consumption of vitamin B1?

The adequate absorption of Thiamin requires a good supply of vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid, so it is important that you get good overall nutrition from whole foods – for which the Paleo Diet is a great solution.

So, what do you think – are you going to include more B1-rich foods into your diet? Maybe you have good recipes to share for using these specific foods? Do share in the comments!