If you're looking to get healthier and smarter about what you eat, it's time to introduce biotin rich foods into your diet. But what is biotin exactly, why do our bodies need it, and where can we get it from?
Biotin is a B-vitamin that helps us maintain healthy hair and nails. If you don't get enough biotin in your diet, you might suffer from thinning hair, a dry scalp and even – gulp – outright hair loss. Not cool!
Biotin helps to break down carbs, fats and protein during the metabolic process. It's prominently found in protein rich foods, such as vegetables, dairy and meat, and this can make vegans the most at risk of being biotin deficient. This can lead to weak nails and, as mentioned, hair loss.
It's recommended that adults get at least 30mcg of biotin per day or as much as 500 mcg. If, on the other hand, you're struggling with unhealthy hair at the moment, you should look to boost your intake to 1000mcg. That said, you also need to be careful that you don't consume too much. Some people get their biotin from supplements, but because food tastes better, let's take a look at 20 fabulous biotin rich foods to include in your diet.
Eggs are one of amazingly versatile biotin rich foods. We can boil them, scramble them, fry them … we can do what we want with them! They're also a key source of protein and biotin, and you shouldn't underestimate their importance. A complete protein, eggs are rich in amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. They help to fire up your metabolism in the morning and can fill you with enough energy to last the whole day. Other nutrients eggs contain include vitamin D and selenium.
Salmon is another one of great biotin rich foods and it's one of the healthiest fish you can eat. A three ounce serving contains 5 mcg of biotin. Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and these are key to a healthier you. Omega-3 fatty acids look after your heart and brain, and they also help to lower inflammation. There are lots of different ways you can eat salmon. One way is to include it with your scrambled eggs at breakfast for optimal biotin intake. Another way is to eat it with some vegetables for your evening meal. Alternatively, you could make it the star attraction of a cream cheese bagel. Delicious!
Pork chops are hardly the healthiest food you'll ever eat and we're not recommending that you go crazy with them. But we need to give pork more credit, as it has a far better nutritional profile than a lot of people give it credit for. Pork chops are stuffed with protein, zinc and biotin. They can help you maintain healthier hair and nails, and they also give your immune system a big boost. It's easy to overdo it with pork chops though, which we don't reccommend, but adding a few slices to your salad is a fab idea.
Even some meat eaters are a bit grossed out by the thought of eating liver, even if it's one of amazing biotin rich foods. It's not exactly the most enticing of meats but it is a bit of a working class hero. It's cheap, works well with onions and potatoes, and it's a very good source of biotin. In fact, you can get 30mcg of biotin per every 3 ounce serving of liver. Kidney is another organ meat that's biotin rich. And just so we're clear, a three ounce serving is actually really small (no bigger than a deck of cards).
Sweet potato is the sweetest of all potatoes and one of the most popular. Indeed, sweet potato fries are hot right now – and with good reason. As well as being super tasty and looking divine, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives it its colour (it's the same with carrots and squash). Beta-carotene looks after your eyes and can prevent macular degeneration. But biotin is the real reason we're here, and half a cup of sweet potatoes contains up to 2.4mcg of this key nutrient. Sweet potato fries are a great way to get your fix. Alternatively, mashed sweet potato anyone? We think so!
Nuts and Seeds
Different nuts and seeds will, of course, have different amounts of biotin. But you can't really go wrong with whichever nuts and seeds you choose to eat, as they all have high levels of biotin and they're also all stuffed with all kinds of other nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, the latter of which provides benefits for your hair and skin.
For best biotin results, we recommend adding the likes of pecans, walnuts, peanuts and almonds to your diet. Almonds are also part of amazing biotin rich foods, with a quarter cup offering around 1.5mcg. Sunflower seeds, meanwhile, contain 2.6mcg of biotin per each quarter-cup serving. Nuts and seeds can be eaten by themselves out of your hand or you can add them to your smoothies, oatmeal or yogurts.
Tuna is probably second only to salmon when it comes to healthy oily fish and it's one of fabulous biotin rich foods. Arguably just as popular, there's nothing quite like a tuna mayo sandwich, right?
Tuna doesn't contain quite as much biotin as salmon, with a three ounce serving containing around 0.6mcg of this nutrient. That's still good, though, and like salmon this fish also contains lots of heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. These can lower the amount of bad cholesterol you have in your body, and they also boost the functioning of your blood vessels. Best way to eat tuna? A tuna mayo sandwich, of course!
Avocados are very possibly the Fruit of the Year. Everyone's been eating avocado, from your best vegan friend to your mom. Even grandma was caught chopping one up!
There are good reasons for this, of course. Not only is avocado an incredibly versatile fruit that compliments a variety of dishes, from sandwiches to scrambled eggs to guacamole, it's also rich in good fats and fibre, both of which help to keep you full for longer.
Avocados are also one of amazing biotin rich foods, with a whole avocado containing as much as 6mcg of this key nutrient. It's also a good source of vitamin E. Forget worrying about looking like a hipster and get yourself some more avocado in your diet!
However you pronounce tomatoes, here's the deal that non one can argue with: Tomatoes are lush, luscious and rich in amazing nutrients. A single cup serving offers just over 7mcg of biotin, while its antioxidants help to prevent heart disease and cancer. QUEEN.
Few of us ever look at spinach and think “OH, I NEED SOME RIGHT NOW.” It might not be the sexiest vegetable ever but it has a lot of advantages. It's rich in iron and a half cup serving contains 0.5mcg of biotin. Spinach is also low in cholesterol and fat, while its antioxidants can help to prevent the likes of diabetes and even some cancers.
There are lots of ways you can add more spinach to your diet. The most obvious option is to add it to a sandwich or a salad, while adding it to a pasta soup is a great idea.
Not everyone likes mushrooms but if you happen to love them, it's time to enjoy them even more because they're one of fabulous biotin rich foods; mushrooms are also rich in iron, which means they're good for your hair and energy. A perfect mix, then!
Cheddar cheese is often overlooked these days in an age where eating haloumi is trendy. But the thing is that there are so many different types of cheeses to choose from and cheddar will never go out of fashion altogether. It's always there when you need it!
Cheddar is tasty, versatile, makes for a fabulous sandwich, and it's one of great biotin rich foods. Indeed, one ounce of the stuff contains around 0.4mcg of biotin. It's a complete protein too, and is super duper rich in the macro nutrient. It's also rich in phosphorus and calcium, the latter of which is good for stronger bones and better muscle function. Make yourself some cheddar cheese on toast and get your fix!
How do you feel about cauliflower? Granted, not everyone likes this cruciferous vegetable. For some, the smell of cauliflower still reminds them of the times their grandma would cook them steamed vegetables that they always hated as a kid. “Here comes the cauliflower!”
Indeed, who liked cauliflower when we were kids!? However, as our tastebuds mature we tend to get a taste for the finer things in life. We even find that we can stomach cauliflower! It's a healthy vegetable that's easy to cook, and which contains 4mcg of biotin per a one cup serving. That's not bad at all!
are well known for their potassium content, but what's less well documented is that they are also one of amazing biotin rich foods. A single, medium banana contains just over 3mcg of biotin, which makes it an awesome snack food. Get on it.
Some people can't drink milk by itself, but if you can stomach it it's now time to drink even more of it! Milk is a fab source of calcium, but it's also part of nutritious, biotin rich foods. It helps to strengthen your hair, nails and teeth, and it also repairs muscles. Drink it by itself or add it to your morning cereal.
Are you ready for this one? Because there's gonna be tears! Onions are a bona-fide source of biotin that, though not hugely popular (they do kinda smell and their scent literally won't leave your fingers for a week, talk about being the clingy sort!) are rich with lots of health benefits. See, onions leave a bit of a unpleasant smell behind but the thing is that they love you to bits. In fact, they love you so much that a single cup of them contains almost 8mcg of biotin. That's pretty great, and onions are good for hair growth and strength. Add them to your burgers and hot dogs for extra sizzle and taste.
Less polarising than onions, carrots are one of those vegetables that most people like. There's just not a lot to dislike about them, is there? They contain a compound called beta-carotene which is responsible for their eye-catching orange colour. It also provides some cool health benefits. For example, it improves your vision and can help prevent macular degeneration.
Turns out mom was right about carrots helping us see in the dark after all!
Carrots are one of amazing biotin rich foods too, with a single cup getting you just over 6mcg of the nutrient. What a babe! Carrots can be eaten raw or they can be boiled and added to a lovely roast dinner. They're also antiseptic and antibacterial. No wonder we love them so much!
We mentioned nuts earlier but we thought peanut butter deserved its own section because, well, IT'S PEANUT BUTTER! Anyone who's tried peanut butter will tell you how amazing it is and how they would marry it, if they could. But aside from its obvious seductive taste (it's SO amazing), peanut butter also brings a few health benefits to the table. It's rich in protein and a quarter cup serving of peanuts contains 6.4mcg of biotin, which is HIGH.
On the flipside, peanut butter is also calorie dense so be careful not to eat too much! We know that's gonna be hard.
Lentils are one of those rather maligned foods that get ignored because people either don't like them or won't give them a chance because they're perceived to be a bit boring. Okay lentils hardly look like the most fun thing ever and they're not going to rock your socks, but they're super duper nutritious and they're also low in calories. Moreover, a 100g serving contains 2.5mcg of biotin. Try lentil soup and see what you think.
Soybeans are ideal for vegans and vegetarians because they're a good source of protein. They're also one of great biotin rich foods, with a 100g serving containing a whopping 60mcg of the nutrient. That's off the scales!