Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is an important nutrient. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that the body cannot store it and it needs to be regularly obtained through diet. vitamin B6 supports the nervous system by being responsible for the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters play a crucial role in mood and behavior regulation.
It can also inhibit inflammation and support the immune system as it aids in the formation of antibodies. In metabolism, it assists in converting nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats into energy. Additionally, it can regulate hormone production, particularly in women during the menstrual cycle. To ensure an adequate intake, you can refer to the above vitamin B6 food table.
Who Has A Higher Vitamin B6 Requirement?
The vitamin B6 requirement can be easily met with a balanced diet. However, the following groups of people should particularly ensure sufficient vitamin B6 intake:
- Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers require more vitamin B6 than other individuals. It plays an important role in the development of the fetus's nervous system during pregnancy.
- Older people often have poorer nutrient absorption as their bodies work less efficiently. Adequate intake of vitamin B6 may potentially reduce the risk of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
- Athletes should also provide their bodies with vitamin B6-rich foods. Athletes who regularly engage in intense physical activities require more vitamin B6 to sustain their energy production.
- Individuals taking certain medications, such as birth control pills or antidepressants, as these medications can lower vitamin B6 levels in the body.
- People who regularly consume large amounts of alcohol have an increased need for vitamin B6. Alcohol affects the metabolism of the vitamin in the body.
- People suffering from certain conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease or kidney disease, can also have impaired vitamin B6 metabolism.
Vitamin B6 Foods - Sources
Vitamin B6 is found in many plant-based foods. This list provides some examples based on food groups:
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, and arugula are excellent sources of vitamin B6, according to the table. They are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other important nutrients. For example, a serving of spinach contains about 0.1 mg of vitamin B6. Other vitamin B6 vegetables include potatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots, and tomatoes.
- Legumes such as lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas are rich in vitamin B6. These foods are also a good source of plant-based protein and fiber. For example, half a cup of cooked lentils contains about 0.2 mg of vitamin B6. You can view the table of vitamin B6 in legumes here.
- Nuts and seeds are very rich in vitamin B6. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pistachios, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are all high in B6. Additionally, they provide you with proteins, healthy fats, and fiber. For example, a handful of almonds contains approximately 0.2 mg of vitamin B6. In this table, you can see more nuts and seeds with vitamin B6.
- Whole grains such as whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice are also rich in vitamin B6. For instance, a slice of whole wheat bread contains about 0.1 mg of vitamin B6. This table shows the vitamin B6 content in cereals and cereal products.
- Fruits like bananas, avocados, and mangoes are also excellent sources of vitamin B6. Bananas are particularly high in vitamin B6, with a medium-sized banana containing approximately 0.5 mg of vitamin B6. Other fruits such as lychees, kiwis, grapes, oranges, and apples also contain lower amounts of vitamin B6. This table reveals which fruits contain vitamin B6.
- Herbs and spices like dill, cumin, basil, thyme, oregano, paprika powder, and mustard seeds also contain vitamin B6. Use our vitamin B6 table with herbs and spices for reference.
- Fruit juices and other beverages can also be a source of vitamin B6. According to the table, soy milk and almond milk have a higher presence of vitamin B6. Acai juice, plum juice, pineapple juice, lemon juice, orange juice, and tomato juice are beverages that provide a lot of vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 Is Heat-Sensitive
Heating foods containing vitamin B6 at temperatures above 100 °C can result in the loss of up to 50% of the vitamin B6 content. Other factors that can affect the content in foods include storage and processing. Freezing, for example, can reduce the vitamin B6 content by up to 30%.
To preserve the presence of vitamin B6, it is advisable to consume the foods raw or prepare them gently (such as steaming, simmering, or eating them raw).
Vitamin B6 In Your Diet
Here are some examples of how you can easily incorporate vitamin B6-rich foods into a vegan diet:
- Avocado Toast: Toast whole grain bread, spread ripe avocado on top, and add spices like paprika and cumin.
- Smoothie Bowl: Blend frozen berries, bananas, and almond milk in a blender and top it with nuts, seeds, and fruits.
- Yogurt with Nuts and Fruit: Put a yogurt alternative in a bowl and add nuts like walnuts and almonds, and fruits like bananas and berries.
- Quinoa Salad: Cook quinoa and put it in a bowl. Add vegetables like avocado, cucumbers, bell peppers, and tomatoes, and season it with dressing made of lemon juice, olive oil, and spices like oregano and thyme.
- Hummus with Veggie Sticks: Blend chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon juice in a blender and serve it with veggie sticks like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers.
- Breakfast Granola: Put oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and plant-based milk in a bowl and mix it together.
- Chia Pudding: Mix chia seeds, plant-based milk, and sweetener, and let it sit overnight in a glass jar in the fridge. Serve it with fruits and nuts.
- Broccoli Salad: Cut broccoli into small pieces, add almonds, raisins, and dressing made of lemon juice, olive oil, and spices.
- Tabbouleh Salad: Cook bulgur and add it to a bowl with tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, mint, and dressing made of lemon juice, olive oil, and spices.
- Guacamole with Corn Chips: Mix avocado, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and lime juice and serve it with corn chips.