Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 — just like the rest of the family in the B-group of vitamins — is primarily known to help metabolize carbohydrates so that they may be used by the body as fuel. Vitamin B6 also serves a handful of other roles, including the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of healthy nerves and brain cells. Experts add that this nutrient is important, too, for the liver’s detoxification and the suppression of inflammation.
Deficiency in this water soluble vitamin is known to result in depression, confusion, convulsions, skin inflammation and anemia. Recently, medical authorities had found that a diet lacking in vitamin B6 may also increase heart attack risk. To ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of this vitamin daily, there are certain foods that you should incorporate in your everyday diet. The following are some of the most excellent sources of vitamin B6:
They may be tiny but each sunflower seed is actually packed with vitamin B6. A 100-gram serving of sunflower seeds actually provides 67% of your daily recommended dose of the said vitamin. Sunflower seeds also contain vitamins E and B1, iron and folate. Other seeds that are loaded with vitamin B6 include sesame, flax, squash and pumpkin seeds.
If you want to ensure that you are getting sufficient amounts of vitamin B6, simply go nuts for some nuts. The likes of walnuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, cashews and peanuts supply your body with the nutrient. Pistachio nuts, however, are the best sources of the nutrient of all nuts, providing as much as 56% of your daily vitamin B6 needs in a 100-gram serving.
Tuna and Other Fish
Among all the goodies that come from the sea, it’s tuna that provides the most vitamin B6. You can get 52% of your daily vitamin B6 needs just by consuming 100 grams of tuna. Halibut, salmon, herring and swordfish also supply the nutrient, as well as good amounts of vitamins B3 and B6, selenium, magnesium, phosphorous and omega-3 fatty acids.
Chicken, Turkey, Pork and Beef
You can get as much as 40% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 by eating a 100-gram serving of chicken or turkey breast. Eating 100 grams of lean pork cuts supplies your body with 39% of all the vitamin B6 it needs per day. A 100-gram serving of lean beef provides 34% of your everyday vitamin B6 requirement.
Adding dried fruits to your salads, trail mix, yogurt or oatmeal allows you to get sufficient amounts of vitamin B6. For instance, consuming a total of 100 grams of dried prunes provides you with 37% of your daily vitamin B6 needs. Dried apricots and raisins are also great sources of the nutrient, as well as vitamin A, calcium, iron, potassium and copper.
It’s no secret among athletes and fitness enthusiasts that bananas are excellent sources of energy. That’s because it is loaded with vitamin B6 that helps convert carbohydrates into fuel. A 100-gram serving of bananas is known to yield 18% of your everyday requirement of vitamin B6. As you may already know, bananas are also loaded with potassium.