Vitamin B1 or thiamin is an essential micronutrient that the body requires to correctly carry out vital functions. It is a water-soluble vitamin (water-soluble), this implies that it is absorbed quickly, however, in a short time it is also eliminated through the urine, hence the importance of ingesting it daily in sufficient quantities. You should know that our body does not produce it, therefore, we can easily obtain it through a varied and balanced diet, since thiamine is present in many foods, both of plant and animal origin.
What are the foods rich in vitamin B1
Fortunately, there are many foods that can provide us with the necessary dose of thiamine to avoid its deficiency. Cereals, especially whole grains, meats, nuts, vegetables, seeds, etc. The different food groups offer this nutrient in their composition, therefore, you must eat a healthy and varied diet so that thiamin is present. Among the foods that provide the most vitamin B1, the following stand out:
- Pork meat. Pork meat is one of the main natural sources of thiamine, which is concentrated, above all, in lean pieces, those that contain less fat, which can provide up to 0.89 mg/100 grams.
- Eggs. The chicken egg is considered a superfood, precisely because it contains countless essential micronutrients, including vitamin B1, especially in its yolk, in amounts ranging between 0.1 and 0.2 mg/100 grams.
- Sausages. Sausages are proof that there are no “good” or “bad” foods. In moderation, they can perfectly be part of a balanced diet, as some are rich in this essential vitamin. The ones that contain the most are: sausage loin (0.8 mg.), Serrano ham (0.75 mg.), mortadella (0.33 mg.) and bacon (0.43 mg.).
- Whole grains. Whole grains are one of the food groups richest in vitamin B1. Heading the list we have wheat germ with 2 mg/100 grams and, following, we find: whole oats (0.76 mg.), brown rice (0.39 mg.), whole wheat and corn (0 .40mg). Of course, products derived from whole grains, such as bread or pasta, are also a source of thiamin.
- Nuts and seeds. In general, nuts are small “capsules” with a host of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, therefore, in moderate amounts, they are an excellent complement to any diet. Regarding the content of vitamin B1, the richest are pistachios with 0.69 mg/100 grams and hazelnuts with 0.45mg. Regarding seeds, we must highlight those of flax and sunflower seeds, with 1.7 mg/100 grams.
- Legumes. An essential source of fiber, legumes also provide thiamine. Broad beans with 0.50 mg./100 grams and lentils with 0.62 mg. Although white beans are also a good source.
- Vegetables and vegetables. Garlic (0.16 mg.100/grams), as well as cauliflower, asparagus, artichokes or mushrooms (0.12 mg) stand out among the vegetables that provide the most vitamin B1 to the body.
- Fish and shellfish. Food from the sea contains good amounts of thiamin together with important fatty acids such as omega 3 and 6. Oysters with 0.15 mg/100 grams and fish such as: sardines, sole or sea bass with amounts around the 0.12 mg are foods that cannot be missing from a balanced diet.
Functions of vitamin B1
As you can see, there are many essential foods to obtain vitamin B1, even if you follow a vegetarian diet. Are you wondering what vitamin B1 is for? Well, including them in the diet is important, since thiamine fulfills essential functions in the body, especially with regard to the metabolic process. These are the most important functions of vitamin B1:
- It is essential to be able to transform carbohydrates into the energy we need on a daily basis, both to carry out our vital functions and daily activities.
- Thiamine is responsible for breaking down sugars so that vital energy reaches our organs (including the heart and brain) and also our muscles and nervous system.
- The correct absorption of the different nutrients depends, to a large extent, on maintaining adequate levels of thiamine in the body, in fact it is essential in the development and growth of the human being.
- The correct conduction of the nerve impulse, the contraction of the muscles, which make it possible from the heartbeat to the movement, depends largely on the presence of thiamine in adequate amounts.
What can cause a lack of vitamin B1
The daily amount of vitamin B1 necessary for good health varies depending on age, sex and special conditions, such as: pregnancy, however, in general, it should not be less than 1 mg / day in adults. The lack of vitamin B1 can cause the following pathologies:
- Insufficient amounts of thiamine can manifest as abnormal tiredness.
- Concentration problems or muscle weakness.
- Weight loss and symptoms of malnutrition.
- Cases of severe deficiency can trigger the disease called beriberi, which affects the proper functioning of the heart and the nervous system.
- The lack of sufficient thiamine can cause Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a complex pathological process that involves encephalopathy and brain damage, especially in the thalamus and hypothalamus.