Vegan Vitamin B6 Foods
Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin that must be consumed daily through diet. Sufficient vitamin B6 is present in plant-based foods to meet the daily requirement.
Plant-based foods containing Vitamin B6 often have pyridoxine in a bound form (pyridoxine glucoside) 1. In this form, vitamin B6 is less easily absorbed by the body. This means that foods high in vitamin B6 are not necessarily the best sources. Cruciferous vegetables, especially, contain these poorly absorbable compounds 2. Cruciferous vegetables include all cabbage varieties such as cauliflower, kohlrabi, and broccoli. The bioavailability of vitamin B6 in these foods is only 50 to 20% 3 4 5. Also, dietary fiber reduces the bioavailability of vitamin B6 by 5-10% 6. This table shows which foods contain dietary fiber.
If vitamin B6-rich foods are cooked in an acidic environment (vinegar, lemon, and tomato sauce), it slightly reduces the heat-induced degradation of vitamin B6 7.
For the table of vitamin B6-rich foods, click here.
We have compiled a list of selected foods rich in vitamin B6 that should be regularly consumed as part of a healthy and vitamin-rich diet. These are plant-based or vegan foods high in vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 in Fruits
Some plant-based foods such as banana (367 µg per 100 g) and avocado (257 µg) are low in absorption-inhibiting glucosides and therefore serve as very good sources of vitamin B6. 8 9 10. Other fruits high in vitamin B6 include: cantaloupe (163 µg), mango (119 µg), fig (113 µg), pineapple (112 µg), persimmon (100 µg), lychee (100 µg), kiwi (63 µg), coconut (54 µg), watermelon (45 µg), and strawberries (47 µg).
Dried fruits can also be used to supply the body with vitamin B6. Good sources include dried plums (745 µg), dried apricots (520 µg), banana chips (440 µg), raisins (323 µg), dried apple (280 µg), and Medjool dates (249 µg).
Citrus fruits like lemon (80 µg), mandarin (78 µg), and orange (60 µg) also contain some vitamin B6.
Vegetables with Vitamin B6
Above all, starchy foods such as baked potatoes (311 µg), baked sweet potatoes (286 µg), and parsnip (90 µg) contain higher amounts of vitamin B6. When baking, for example, potatoes only lose about 5% of their vitamin B6 content 11. On the other hand, the losses of vitamin B6 are significantly higher through cooking and freezing of potatoes 12.
In addition, red chili peppers (506), red bell peppers (291 µg), shallots (345 µg), leeks (233 µg), and onions (130 µg) are also rich in vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6-rich foods also include dark green vegetables such as lamb's lettuce (273 µg), watercress (247 µg), and spinach (195 µg).
Carrots contain a relatively high amount of vitamin B6 at 138 µg. However, they are rich in pyridoxine glucosides. Approximately 51% of the Vitamin B6 content is bound and thus less absorbable in the small intestine 13.
Interestingly, raw broccoli and raw cauliflower contain significantly lower levels of poorly absorbable pyridoxine glucosides compared to frozen broccoli and cauliflower 14. The scientists speculate that enzymes release vitamin B6 in its raw state, which no longer exist in frozen and processed states.
Vitamin B6-Rich Grains
Grains are rich in vitamin B6. However, it should be noted that they also contain higher amounts of pyridoxine glucosides (approximately 40% of the vitamin B6 content) 15 16. However, corn (622 µg), brown rice (509 µg), millet (384 µg), rye (294 µg), and spelt (230 µg) are still good sources of vitamin B6.
Pseudo cereals such as amaranth (591 µg), quinoa (487 µg), teff (482 µg), and buckwheat (210 µg) are also rich in vitamin B6.
Ground grains, in the form of flour, contain about 75% less vitamin B6 than whole grains 17.
Even in sprouted form, grains are a significant source of vitamin B6. Wheat sprouts contain a high amount of vitamin B6, about 1.3 mg per 100 g.
The table with other grain varieties and products that contain vitamin B6 can be found here.
Lentils (540 µg), chickpeas (535 µg), peanuts (348 µg), and white beans (318 µg) are still good sources of vitamin B6.
Nuts and Seeds with Vitamin B6
In this group, walnuts (537 µg) stand out as a very good food source of vitamin B6. The available vitamin B6 is highly absorbable by the body. 19.
Other good sources of vitamin B6 include pistachios (1.7 mg), sunflower seeds (1.35 mg), sesame seeds (790 µg), beech nuts (684 µg), hazelnuts (563 µg), hemp seeds (600 µg), flaxseeds (473 µg; see note in the next section), macadamia nuts (275 µg), pecans (210 µg), pumpkin seeds (143 µg), and almonds (137 µg).
However, it should be noted that flaxseeds contain small amounts of linatin, which is an antivitamin (anti-pyridoxine factor) that can combine with vitamin B6 to form pyridoxal hydrazones. This inhibits the conversion of vitamin B6 into its active form (pyridoxal phosphate) in the body. 20 21.
For more information on nuts and seeds with vitamin B6, check out the table.
Herbs and Spices
Although herbs and spices are consumed in smaller quantities, they can still contribute to meeting the daily requirement of vitamin B6 to some extent. Ground sage (2.69 mg), dried dill (1.71 mg), fresh garlic (1.24 mg), matcha green tea powder (960 µg), dried parsley (900 µg), and fresh thyme (348 µg) are rich sources of vitamin B6 in this group.
Check out the table of vitamin B6-rich herbs and spices.
Veggie sausages (tofu/seitan sausages 828 µg), bulgur (342 µg), hummus (399 µg), and cashew butter (252 µg) are rich in vitamin B6.
Bran also contains a significant amount of vitamin B6. It's worth noting that bran has high fiber content, which, as mentioned earlier, can reduce the absorption of vitamin B6. Nevertheless, rice bran is a good source of vitamin B6, with 4.07 mg per 100 g.