After explaining within yesterday’s article all the various benefits riboflavin (aka vitamin B2) provides our bodies, along with exposing the array of detrimental consequences associated with being riboflavin deficient, we’re now left with the question of where to get the riboflavin our bodies require.
As I mentioned in my introductory article to this mini-series on vitamin B2 last week, many processed foods are artificially enriched with riboflavin to make up for the less-than-nutritious diet typical of today’s children. And, as you’re about to see, there are a number of infinitely healthier options available to us that provide far greater nutritional benefit than simply spiking junk foods whose nutritional value has all but been processed out of them.
As with most other micronutrients, some of the best sources of vitamin B2 are leafy greens. You may have heard that dairy foods are excellent providers of riboflavin and this is absolutely true. Eggs, milk and yogurt all contain considerable amounts of vitamin B2.
In fact, just 5 eggs or 3 cups of milk provide enough riboflavin to meet the daily needs of anyone who’s not pregnant or breastfeeding (read about the recommended daily requirements of riboflavin here).
If you’re eating a diet that’s rich in natural whole foods it’ll be highly unlikely for you to become deficient in riboflavin – or any other micronutrient, for that matter. This aspect of superior nutrition is part of what makes following a whole foods diet so healthy.
The other component has to do with the fact that whole foods also aren’t laced with the toxic ingredients found in processed foods like artificial coloring agents, refined sugars (see HFCS), hydrogenated oils, synthetic artificial sweeteners, and myriad preservatives.
Disease is primarily the consequence of the body accumulating toxins, lacking nutrition, or some combination of the two. So a diet that predominantly consists of whole foods is the best insurance against both of these scenarios, but I must digress to get back to the task at hand.
What are the absolute best nutritional sources of riboflavin / vitamin B2?
For your information and convenience, I’ve provided a consolidated table that lists the best natural sources of vitamin B2 / riboflavin below. 1
The table shows the type of food, serving size, amount of vitamin B2 each serving size provides (in milligrams), and the % daily value of vitamin B2 contained in each serving (assuming a daily requirement of 1.3 milligrams, which covers the needs of most people).
Vitamin B1 Amt.
% of 1.3 mg
|Soybeans||1 cup||0.49 mg||38%|
|Spinach||1 cup||0.42 mg||32%|
|Beet Greens||1 cup||0.42 mg||32%|
|Tempeh||4 Oz.||0.40 mg||31%|
|Yogurt||1 cup||0.35 mg||27%|
|Crimini Mushrooms||1 cup||0.35 mg||27%|
|Eggs||1 each||0.26 mg||20%|
|Asparagus||1 cup||0.25 mg||19%|
|Almonds||1/4 cup||0.23 mg||18%|
|Turkey||4 Oz.||0.23 mg||18%|
|Cow’s Milk||4 Oz.||0.21 mg||16%|
|Green Peas||1 cup||0.21 mg||16%|
|Sweet Potato||1 cup||0.21 mg||16%|
|Sardines||3.2 Oz.||0.21 mg||16%|
|Collard Greens||1 cup||0.20 mg||15%|
|Broccoli||1 cup||0.19 mg||15%|
|Tuna/span>||4 Oz.||0.16 mg||12%|
|Swiss Chard||1 cup||0.15 mg||12%|
|Winter Squash||1 cup||0.14 mg||11%|
|Green Beans||1 cup||0.12 mg||9%|
|Shiitake Mushrooms||0.5 cup||0.12 mg||9%|
|Brussels Sprouts||1 cup||0.12 mg||9%|
|Bok Choy||1 cup||0.11 mg||8%|
|Grapes||1 cup||0.11 mg||8%|
|Turnip Greens||1 cup||0.10 mg||8%|
|Kale||1 cup||0.09 mg||7%|
|Mustard Greens||1 cup||0.09 mg||7%|
|Cabbage||1 cup||0.09 mg||7%|
|Bell Peppers||1 cup||0.08 mg||6%|
|Carrots||1 cup||0.07 mg||5%|
|Summer Squash||1 cup||0.07 mg||5%|
|Romaine Lettuce||2 cups||0.06 mg||5%|
|Cauliflower||1 cup||0.06 mg||5%|
|Celery||1 cup||0.06 mg||5%|
|Chili Peppers||2 tsp||0.05 mg||4%|
With that, I now feel content wrapping up this mini-series devoted to vitamin B2 / riboflavin. I’ve covered everything that would be required to know when testing to become a Certified Sports Nutritionist, and then some.
The goal of these articles, like all others on CraigLeonardFitness.com, is to educate my followers so they can use what they learn to improve their health, physical appearance and overall quality of life. I don’t write to “give a man a fish”, but to teach him to fish for himself.
The difference between the man needing a fish to survive and the typical health conscious individual is that, unlike the man who knows exactly why he needs the fish (i.e. for survival), the health conscious are often ignorant as to the litany of ways their lives can be enhanced by properly nourishing the one and only body they’ve been given.
This has been one of the most pronounced observations I’ve made in my years of coaching and it’s the inspiration behind my decision to write extensively about the nutritional elements that are oft-ignored to the detriment of otherwise well-intentioned individuals.
If you’ve found any of these articles eye-opening, I ask you to please share them via email and social media to pay it forward. You never know who in your circle of influence may need the information and motivational content found on this site to improve – or, perhaps, even save – their lives.
In case you missed them, here are links to each of the 2 previous articles included in this vitamin B2 / riboflavin mini-series:
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