Eating a well-balanced meal each time is very important as it allows you to obtain your daily dose of vitamins and minerals necessary for the proper functioning of the body. Otherwise, you may end up with all sorts of condition brought about by nutritional deficiencies. One of the most important nutrients you need to supply your body with is niacin.
Also known as vitamin B3, this nutrient is important for energy production, regulation of both cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and even efficient joint mobility. According to medical experts, even the slightest deficiency in niacin can already cause symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, inability to focus, restlessness and fatigue. If the body fails to get sufficient amounts of the said nutrient, a condition known as pellagra may occur. This may cause dementia, amnesia, inflammation of the oral cavity and dermatitis. If left untreated, the patient’s life is at risk.
Clearly, it’s imperative for you to make sure that you are getting good amounts of niacin on a daily basis. The following are some of the best food sources of niacin:
Some of the best sources of niacin are those that come from the sea — fish! Aside from niacin, the likes of tuna, mackerel, halibut, sardines and salmon are also packed with protein, but without those artery-clogging saturated fats. The benefits of eating fish do not stop there. These excellent sources of niacin are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your brain, nerves and heart.
If you are trying to lose weight or build muscles, it is a wonderful idea to opt for chicken. Especially when you go for the breast part without the skin, you can get high quality protein from it. Chicken is an excellent source of niacin too, allowing you to dodge health problems associated with deficiency in the said nutrient.
Just as good as consuming chicken is turkey because of the niacin and protein content, but without much of those saturated fats. Experts say that turkey is also a great source of potassium that’s good for regulating the blood pressure heart contraction, as well as iron that helps in iron-deficiency anemia prevention.
Another excellent source of niacin is liver. The best of the bunch is lamb liver, followed by beef, chicken and pork liver. Other nutrients that you may get from including liver in the diet are protein, iron, vitamin C and lots of vitamin A that’s good for the eyes. However, don’t consume liver all the time because it is also high in cholesterol and saturated fats.
You can obtain sufficient amounts of niacin simply by snacking on a handful of peanuts. Aside from niacin, there are many other good things that you may get from peanuts. For instance, they are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids that are necessary for proper brain functioning as well as normal growth and development. Also found in peanuts is vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the cells and tissues.
Other good sources of niacin are seeds. Munching on sunflower, squash or pumpkin seeds can help in preventing conditions due to deficiency in niacin. You may also sprinkle sesame and flax seeds on your oatmeal, breakfast cereals or yogurt to get your daily dose of the nutrient. Like nuts, seeds are also wonderful sources of free radical-fighting vitamin E.
Green peas are some of the few plant-based sources of niacin. Other than this nutrient, green peas also supply your body with good amounts of protein. It’s no wonder why vegans regularly include green peas in their diet for muscle building and maintenance. Green peas are also loaded with dietary fiber, manganese and vitamin C.