Vitamin B2, also called riboflavin, is present in many foods and it is more than likely that we eat many of them daily, but we do not know that they provide us with vitamin B2. This vitamin is very important especially for the heart, the immune system and the creation of tissues.
We are often looking for certain vitamins and it is much more likely that we think of other vitamins such as A, C, D, E, K for example than B2. And even within group B there are others better known than riboflavin such as B12 or B9, which is the famous folic acid.
To be honest, if we have a well balanced and varied diet, we should not have problems with vitamins and minerals, since we will be perfectly nourished, especially if we eat vegetables, fruits, legumes, seeds and cereals in large quantities, leaving aside meats. and greasy foods, ultra-processed ones, industrial sweets, sugary drinks, etc.
Why is riboflavin so important?
Vitamin B2 is really important and that is due to the functions it does in our body. B2 favors the formation of antibodies and red blood cells, maintains mucous membranes and epithelial tissue, especially the cornea, is involved in the production of energy for biological processes, is a precursor of enzymes as key as FMN (digestive process ) and FAD (respiratory process).
A deficiency of B2 produces skin problems, sores in the corner of the mouth (mouth sores), hair loss, headaches, sore throats, liver disorders, reproductive problems, anemia, shortage of red blood cells, weakness, tiredness, etc. .
As we can see, this “simple” vitamin is quite key, so we should not ignore it. In addition, the importance of a vitamin is given, almost always, by the daily amount that is needed.
For example, adult men need 1.6 mg per day and women 1.3 mg per day, while if they are pregnant the amount rises to 1.6 mg per day and in lactation 1.7 mg of B2 per day.
It seems small amount, but the fact is that the foods that contain this vitamin do not even reach 50% of what is needed each day, that is why we place so much emphasis on a varied and balanced diet.
Main foods rich in vitamin B2
We have seen how important B2 is in our day to day, because now we have to know how to consciously add this vitamin to our daily or weekly diet. Although we should not obsess over it, we repeat that a well-varied diet gives us access to all the nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis.
Chicken liver, kidneys and meat
They are 3 key foods to get enough B2 in a day. So much so that beef liver provides 1.44 mg per 100 grams of product and chicken liver 1.78 mg per 100 grams of product.
As we say, beef kidneys are also a good option, and even free-range chicken and turkey meat is also a good option, but the liver undoubtedly wins by a landslide. The closer we get to the original product, the better, but let us know that liver patés also have a good amount of b2 exceeding 0.85 mg per 100 grams of product.
Trout, mackerel and salmon
Fish have a very high nutritional index and among all these nutrients we have blue fish, among which we highlight salmon, mackerel, trout and anchovies as the main sources of riboflavin.
The importance of fish is that it must be of good quality and cooked well to avoid infections, so we recommend either buying packaged fish or buying them fresh and eating them that same day to avoid breaking the cold chain too much.
Dairy and eggs
These foods are a bit weak in B2 , but they are still necessary in the daily diet. For example, some cheeses, such as goat, usually have 1.19 mg of B2 per 100 grams of product, feta cheese is close to 0.9 mg, Roquefort cheese is close to 0.6 mg, cheese Brie 0.52 mg and Camembert cheese almost 0.5 mg per 100 grams of product.
On the other hand, there are the eggs that the yolk provides 0.53 mg per 100 grams and the white 0.44 mg per 100 grams. In short, eating eggs also contributes B2 and if we combine it with dairy products and other foods on the list, we get a lot of riboflavin.
Green leafy vegetables
All vegetables are excellent for any time of the day, because an omelette with spinach in the morning and sliced tomato is a breakfast that will help us face exams, the workday, stress or go out to play sports.
The best are dark green leafy vegetables, those are the ones that have the most amount of B2 inside such as, for example, spinach, broccoli, chard, or green asparagus. But even so they do not reach the levels that we have specified in previous foods, although they do serve as ideal complements on a day-to-day basis.
There are other vegetables such as tomatoes that provide 0.38 mg, peas with 0.15 mg as well as chickpeas and mushrooms that give us 0.40 mg per 100 grams.
Nuts and seeds
Who doesn’t like nuts? Or, rather, natural nut creams … Well, those foods are also on this list because they have decent amounts of B2.
For example, almonds provide us with 1,138 mg per 100 grams , the bad thing is that we cannot eat as many or we would have adverse effects such as diarrhea. Pistachios provide 1% riboflavin per 100 grams, and we return to the same, we can not eat so many at once.
With regard to creams, almond butter is a food very rich in B2 since it provides 0.34 mg per 100 grams.
Sunflower seeds, that is, pipes, provide us with 0.35 mg per 100 grams and buckwheat provides 0.43 mg per 100 grams. Soy provides 0.87 mg per 100 grams of product, but we can eat it in milk, dehydrated, transformed into tempeh, edamame, etc.