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Food Sources High In Vitamin B1 Thiamine

Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Vitamin B1 Thiamine Requirements

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) is vitamin that is required by your body to turn carbohydrates into a form of energy usable within your cells. The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin B1 is 1.5mg per day. Because Thiamine is a water soluble vitamin, any that is consumed in excess of the body's daily needs is removed in urine. For this reason, Vitamin B1 must be consumed each day to meet your body´s needs.

Whole Gain foods are the healthiest source of Vitamin B1 Thiamine

The healthiest and most common food sources of Vitamin B1 are whole grains and cereals. Because the majority of Thiamine is located in the outer layers of grains, much of it is lost during the refining process used to make flour and sugar. Many cereals that are made from processed grains have the Vitamin B1 restored via fortification. For this reason, processed cereals are usually as good of a source of vitamin B1 as their whole grain counterparts. However, it is important to note, that other nutrients or health benefits of whole grains are lost and not replaced, so it is generally healthier to eat whole grain cereals for reasons other than vitamin B1.

Other Food Sources Rich in Vitamin B1 Thiamine and nutrient loss during cooking

Vitamin B1 is found in many different foods, unfortunately it is easily destroyed by different types of cooking. Vitamin B1 is not only destroyed by the heat of cooking, but much of it can also be removed if the foods are boiled and the water discarded. Finally, as mentioned, much of the Vitamin B1 found in whole grains is removed during the refining process. Besides whole grain foods and fortified cereals, there are plenty of other food sources of Vitamin B1. Beans, potatoes and brown rice all contain large amounts of Vitamin B1. The major issue with these three sources of vitamin B1 is that much of the nutrient ends up in the water in which these foods are usually boiled. If the water is not part of the meal, such as in soups, then usually it is discarded along with most of the nutritional value of these foods. Many vegetables contain lower amounts of Vitamin B1, and similar to beans, rice and potatoes, much of the nutritional value is lost if the food is boiled. Many meat and dairy products contain extremely high amounts of Vitamin B1. Eggs, liver, and many fish like tuna contain large amounts of Vitamin B1. While heating and cooking these foods destroys some of the Vitamin B1, there is still plenty left to provide for your body´s daily needs.

Funtions of Vitamin B1 Thiamine

Another important point regarding Vitamin B1 is that because this nutrient is necessary to convert carbohydrates into energy, athletes and active people will generally require more carbohydrates and energy than an average person, and thus will need more Vitamin B1 than the recommended 1.5 mg per day. Preliminary research has also indicated that higher doses, up to 50mg per day can increase mental functions. This makes sense since the brain uses a large amount of energy to function, and usually a deficiency in carbohydrates, or the vitamins necessary to converty carbohydrates to energy results in impaired mental functioning and drowsiness.

Alcohol Consumption and Vitamin B1 Thiamine

Besides the issues of cooking, and especially boiling foods, reducing the amount of Vitamin B1 in food, another important issue is alcohol consumption. Alcohol greatly reduces the amount of Vitamin B1 (as well as many other nutrients) that are absorbed during digestion.

Summary of information regarding Vitamin B1 Thiamine Food Sources

Vitamin B1 is used by the body to convert carbohydrates into useable energy, which results in proper muscle and brain functioning. Thiamine is found in large amounts in whole grain foods and certain meat and dairy products, however, refining, cooking and boiling can all greatly reduce the amount available in the final food source. The required amount of Vitamin B1 is 1.5mg/day, however, health benefits exist for consuming as much as 50mg/day with no side effects since excess amounts are easily removed from the body.

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