Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is required by the body for different cellular functions and energy metabolism. The vitamin is found in high concentrations in the organs of the body including the kidney, heart, and liver.
Vitamin B2 is a primary component of two enzymes in the body that are involved in metabolism processes. The two enzymes include Flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) and Flavin mononucleotide (FAM). Body cells rely on these enzymes for the production of energy.
What Is Vitamin B2?
Besides power generation, FAD is also utilized by other body cells to protect themselves from free radicals. Riboflavin has other roles including maintenance of the skin health, hair, and general body health.
The vitamin is also known to minimize the risks associated with various conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinsonism, stroke, and cancer, among others.
Deficiency of riboflavin in the body is linked to various illnesses. Vitamin B2 deficiency presents with cheilosis. It involves cracking and reddening of the lips. The patient may also complain of itching of the eyes, sore throat, mouth inflammation, and scaly skin rashes.
A standard amount of vitamin B2 is required by the body to maintain its health. The best way of supplying the body with sufficient amounts of riboflavin involves consuming a diet that is rich in the vitamin.
The recommended intake of vitamin B2 for adults is 1.3 mg/day for males and 1.1 mg/day for females. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are supposed to take 1.4 mg/day and 1.6 mg/day respectively.
Children between one and three years should be administered 0.5 mg/day for both males and females. Children that fall between nine and thirteen years old should be given 0.9 mg/day for both males and females.
Infants that are between zeros to six months old should be administered 0.3 mg/day for both sexes. Those that are between seven and twelve months old should be given 0.4 mg/day for both males and females.
Top 10 Foods That Are Rich In Vitamin B2
1. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts are categorized as foods that are rich in minerals and vitamins. Almond is the most popular nut that is rich in vitamin B2. Almond nuts provide the body with 1.10mg of vitamin B2, which equals to 60 percent of the daily value of the vitamin in a 100-gram serving. Besides almond, other nuts contain vitamin B2.
However, the amount of the vitamin in these nuts is lower compared to almond. The other nuts include cashew nuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, oats, soybeans, and pine nuts. The consumption of these nuts provides the body with 4 percent daily value of the vitamin in a one-ounce serving.
Nuts are advantageous in that they are easily portable and they can be consumed in the form of a snack.
2. Beef And Lamb
Beef contains the highest percentage of vitamin B2 compared to other meats. A single steak will provide the body with 1.51mg or 89 percent daily value of riboflavin.
Another type of meat that is rich in vitamin B2 is lamb. A three-ounce serving of cooked lamb meat will provide the body with 21 percent of vitamin B2. Besides lamb and beef, veal can also provide the body with 20 percent daily value of riboflavin.
There are different species of mushrooms. Each of these species contain different amounts of vitamin B2. The raw brown Italian mushrooms will provide the body with 29 percent daily value of riboflavin in a 100-gram serving.
Milk is a great source of vitamin B2. A cup of milk can provide the body with 26 percent (0.45g) of riboflavin. It is advisable to take milk with a little fat content. Besides whole milk, dairy products also form an excellent source of vitamin B2.
Green vegetables provide another great source of vitamin B2. One of the most recommended green vegetable is spinach. Spinach is known as a superfood when it comes to the provision of nutrients to the body.
A serving consisting of 100g of spinach provides the body with 14 percent daily value of riboflavin. Besides spinach, other green vegetables that are rich in riboflavin include drumstick leaves, asparagus, and dandelion greens.
Eggs are known to be rich in various nutrients, with vitamin B2 being one of them. One hard-boiled egg will supply the body with 15 percent daily value of riboflavin.
Scrambled, raw, or fried egg will provide the body with 13 percent of vitamin B2. A poached egg gives 11 percent daily value of vitamin B2.
8. Beef Liver
Another good source of vitamin B2 is beef liver. Beef liver is rich in vitamin B2 and other B-complex vitamins. Beef liver weighing three ounces can provide the body with 2.9mg, which is equivalent to 100 percent daily value of riboflavin.
9. Natural Yogurt
Natural yogurt is one of the milk products that is good at providing the body with the required amount of riboflavin. One cup of natural yogurt will provide the body with 0.57mg, which is equivalent to 34 percent daily value of vitamin B2.
10. Salmon (Wild)
Three ounces of salmon has 0.285mg of riboflavin. This is equivalent to eight percent of daily value of the vitamin.
Top Health Benefits Of Vitamin B2
· Cancer Prevention
The antioxidant activity of riboflavin is capable of preventing cancerous cell growth. Cancer is thought to arise from the existence of free radicals that form oxygen. Adequate consumption of vitamin B2 will reduce the risk of developing cancer cells in the body by getting rid of the free radicals.
· Migraine Headaches
Studies have revealed that riboflavin may play a role in the management of migraine headaches. When a high dose of riboflavin is given to a patient, the frequency of migraines is likely to reduce. However, the high dose of the vitamin should be administered under the supervision of a medical professional.
· Riboflavin Gives Rise To Healthy Skin And Hair
The effect of vitamin B2 on collagen enables it to provide a healthy skin and hair. Collagen is essential for the removal of wrinkles in the skin.
Vitamin B2 Review Summary
There are no studies that illustrate the toxicity that may arise from the intake of vitamin B2. The National Academy of Sciences has not published a tolerable upper limit of riboflavin intake due to lack of evidence showing its toxicity. However, it is important to note that high intake of vitamin B2 may cause urine to appear yellow.