There are many vegan foods high in niacin. Whole grains, seeds, nuts, beans, fruits, mushrooms, and nutritional yeast are good natural sources. Vegans can get more than enough niacin from diet.
Health benefits of niacin
Niacin is another name for vitamin B3. Niacin is important for our health. It’s involved in the function of more than 400 enzymes. Also, niacin is necessary for the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. It helps the body obtain energy from the food.[1,2]
Moreover, niacin plays a key role in the metabolism of cholesterol, improves insulin resistance, fights metabolic disorders, promotes weight loss, and has antioxidant properties!
How much do we need a day?
The recommended daily intake of niacin is 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women. We can get these recommended doses of niacin from a healthy, well-balanced diet. But, we shouldn’t get too much from supplement. High dosages may lead to side effects.
Vegan foods high in niacin
Foods from animal sources, such as fish, poultry, and beef, are the main dietary sources of niacin for the standard American diet. But, we shouldn’t depend on these foods to get the recommended daily intake. Actually, there is a wide variety of plant-based foods high in niacin.
Above all, nutritional yeast is the richest food in niacin. It has 100 mg of niacin per 100g, or 15 mg per a 3 tbsp serving! Hence, eating nutritional yeast is the easiest way to boost our daily niacin intake.
Seeds & nuts
Moreover, we could eat 1–2 handfuls of seeds and nuts per day in order to meet our daily needs. Peanuts, chia, hemp, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds are great natural sources of niacin!
Peanut butter is pretty rich in niacin as well. A serving of 2 tbsp contains about 4.3 mg, or 26% of the Daily Value.
Beans contain moderate amounts of niacin
Furthermore, consuming beans could help get high doses of niacin. In fact, green peas and lentils are the 2 richest beans in niacin.
Other common vegan foods high in niacin
Mushrooms are also excellent sources of niacin. Portabella mushrooms have 6.26 mg, while maitake mushrooms have 6.58 mg of niacin per 100g, respectively. Additionally, dried shiitake mushrooms contain 14.1 mg of niacin per 100g!
Moreover, whole grains help us meet our daily needs. For instance, whole wheat bread (4.4 mg per 100g), brown rice (2.5 mg), and pasta are excellent sources of niacin. Just a slice of whole wheat bread provides 10% of the DV.
Avocado and potatoes are also common vegan foods high in niacin.
For instance, half of a California avocado provides 8% and a banana provides 5% of the DV, respectively.