A list of top 60 foods high in riboflavin (vitamin B2)

There are many animal-based and vegan foods high in riboflavin. Meat, dairy, eggs, almonds, sunflower seeds, kale, spinach, and whole grain bread significantly contribute to the daily intake.

Health benefits of vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 is also known as riboflavin. It’s a water-soluble B-vitamin. The body can’t store high amounts. So, we need to take it from food or supplements daily.

Bacteria in the gut produce small amounts of riboflavin. But, these amounts aren’t enough to meet our daily needs.

Vitamin B2 plays a key role in energy metabolism and in the metabolism of fats. Hence, it’s essential for people who want to lose weight.[1]

Also, vitamin B2 is necessary for the conversion of the amino acid tryptophan to niacin (vitamin B3).

Furthermore, vitamin B2 is important for the proper function of many enzymes in the body. Thus, a deficiency might cause health problems.

Additionally, riboflavin helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation of nerves. Hence, it seems to prevent headaches and migraines. According to studies, a daily dose of 400 mg of riboflavin for a couple of months seems to reduce the frequency of migraines. But, beneficial effects of riboflavin start only after the first month.[2]

Furthermore, riboflavin has potent antioxidant properties. It boosts the immune system and also, keeps the hair strong and the skin elastic.[3]

Most noteworthy, vitamin B2, along with vitamin B6, folate (vitamin B9), and vitamin B12 are crucial for maintaining normal levels of homocysteine. Elevated levels of homocysteine may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and stroke! People who follow a poor diet have an increased risk of elevated homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid naturally present in foods from animal sources, such as meat.

What’s the recommended daily intake?

The recommended daily intake of riboflavin is 1.3 mg and 1.1 mg for men and women, respectively. Pregnant women need 1.4 mg, while lactating women need 1.6 mg of riboflavin a day. Children need lower doses between 0.5 and 0.9 mg, depending on their age.

What’s the maximum safe dosage?

Actually, there hasn’t been established a maximum safe dose of riboflavin. Even extremely high doses of 400 mg a day, for a couple of months, don’t seem to cause any adverse effects. Neither from foods nor supplements. Actually, the gut can absorb a limited amount of riboflavin at a time. Excess is excreted in the urine.

Always consult your healthcare provider before taking any supplements.

Can I get enough riboflavin from food?

Certainly, healthy people who follow a well-balanced diet can get more than enough riboflavin from food. There is no need for supplements.

In fact, most people in the United States consume the recommended daily intake of riboflavin. Only about 6% of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough riboflavin. It’s estimated that the average daily riboflavin intake from diet is 2.5 mg in men and 1.8 mg in women.

Although, riboflavin deficiency is rare in the United States, certain groups of people may have a higher risk of developing deficiencies. People who follow a poor diet, people with thyroid disorders, pregnant and lactating women, as well as vegan or vegetarian athletes should be extra cautious about their riboflavin intake.

Milk, meat, and enriched cereals are the largest contributors of riboflavin for people who follow the standard American diet.

Animal-based foods high in riboflavin

Actually, lamb is the richest animal-based food in riboflavin. A serving of lamb provides about 350% of the Daily Value!

Eggs are also good dietary sources of riboflavin. Just an egg provides about 17% of the DV.

beef liver3.42
Greek yogurt0.23
cow’s milk0.14
Animal-derived foods high in riboflavin.

Milk and kefir are also great sources. They provide about 25% of the DV per cup.

Vegan foods high in riboflavin

Certain seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans are good vegan sources of riboflavin.

Seeds & nuts

Among the richest foods in riboflavin are almonds. A handful of almonds provides about 30% of the DV.

Additionally, tahini, which is made of sesame seeds, is a good source of riboflavin. Just a tbsp provides 5% of the DV.

Furthermore, sunflower, hemp, chia and flax seeds are high in riboflavin.

sunflower seeds0.51
hemp seeds0.29
pine nuts0.23
chia seeds0.17
flax seeds0.16
peanut butter0.11
Brazil nuts0.03
Seeds & nuts high in riboflavin.

Beans contain moderate amounts of vitamin B2

Actually, green peas are the richest beans in vitamin B2. A serving contains about 20% of the DV.

green peas0.15
navy beans0.07
kidney beans0.06
pinto beans0.06
black beans0.06
Beans contain moderate amounts of riboflavin.

Vegetables & fruits with riboflavin

Vegetables also contribute to the daily riboflavin intake. Kale is the richest green vegetable in riboflavin. Spinach, asparagus, broccoli and winter squash contain moderate amounts as well.

winter squash0.11
sweet potato0.05
orange juice0.03
Vegetables & fruits high in riboflavin.

Avocado, apple, banana, orange and kiwi also contribute to the daily intake. For instance, a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice contains about 5% of the DV.

You should prefer steaming your vegetables, instead of boiling them. Riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin. Thus, a huge amount of riboflavin leaks into the water when we boil vegetables.

Furthermore, you could boost your daily intake, consuming spirulina. Just a tbsp provides 20% of the DV!

Additionally, spices may contribute to the total intake of riboflavin. For instance, a tbsp of dried parsley contains about 3% of the DV.

Grains are good sources of riboflavin

Whole grains significantly contribute to the daily riboflavin intake. For instance, a slice of bread provides about 8% of the DV.

Moreover, cereals, pasta, and flours are often fortified with riboflavin. For instance, just a cup of enriched corn flakes provides about 35% of the DV.

corn flakes,
bread, rye0.34
bread, barley0.25
bread, wheat0.17
rice, brown0.07
Grains are good sources of riboflavin.

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