Which foods are high in biotin?
Dr. Aysha Butt is the Medical Director of FROM MARS, and is a GP Partner at Woodcote NHS Medical Practice.
Biotin is a natural vitamin that keeps your hair in good health and can even help fight hair loss. You can find it in plenty of foods. Which means that eating biotin-rich meals is a great way to keep your hair in good condition.
Here we’ll tell you what foods have biotin in large amounts and how you can get them easily into your diet.
What is biotin?
Biotin is a member of the B vitamin family, and in most countries it’s vitamin B7, although in some it’s classified as vitamin B8. It’s sometimes also called vitamin H, with the H standing for haar and haut, the German words for hair and skin. This is because biotin is needed to keep your hair and skin healthy.
Why is biotin good for your hair?
Your body uses biotin in a wide range of processes and to make various substances it needs to stay healthy.
One such substance is called keratin, which is the main ingredient of hair (and also finger and toenails). Keratin gives your hair structure, it makes it flexible and supple, and it forms a protective layer around each strand of hair.
If you don’t eat enough biotin, your body can’t make enough keratin. And if you don’t have enough keratin (a keratin deficiency) it can damage your hair and it can even make it fall out.
Can biotin help with hair loss?
If you’ve started to lose your hair, biotin may be able to help.
The science on biotin and hair loss is still in its early days, but the results are very promising. In a review of 18 studies on biotin and hair loss, all 18 found that using biotin supplements helped to return lost hair and to make hair thicker and fuller. The patients in the studies all had hair issues, like thinning and hair loss, so increasing your biotin intake may help you if you have similar problems.
How can I get biotin naturally?
Biotin is a natural vitamin that’s found in some food. If you want to make sure you’re getting enough biotin, you can eat biotin-rich foods.
Foods high in biotin
So, which foods are rich in biotin?
There are a lot of foods with biotin in them, but the following are particularly rich. We’ve grouped them by meal too, to make it easy, but you can obviously eat these foods when you want and in the meals you want.
You can find a lot of biotin in eggs, particularly in egg yolks. They’re a good way to start the day and a great way to get a biotin boost. Spinach is also rich in biotin, as are dairy products, which makes a cheese and spinach omelet a biotin triple hit.
- Whole wheat bread
Most oily fish are rich in biotin, particularly salmon. Avocados and whole wheat bread are also good sources of biotin, and you could combine these three into a biotin boosting grilled salmon and avocado sandwich.
- Beef and chicken liver
- Pork chop
- Sweet potatoes
Organ meats are especially rich in biotin, with beef and chicken liver among top biotin foods. If you’re not keen on the liver, pork chops are also rich in biotin. Sweet potatoes and broccoli are also good sources and great accompaniments to your meat.
- Sunflower seeds
Lots of nuts and seeds are high in biotin, but you’ll find the most in almonds and sunflower seeds. Bananas are not only a convenient snack that comes in its own packaging, but there’s also a decent amount of biotin in bananas too. Most dairy products are good sources and you can find biotin in milk, so adding it to coffee or drinking it with cookies can help you squeeze more biotin into your diet.
Which fruit contains biotin?
Although a lot of fruits aren’t particularly rich in biotin, avocados, bananas, and raspberries are all good sources of biotin.
How much biotin is in milk?
This can vary depending on the brand and the fat content of the milk you drink. On average, however, one cup of 2% fat milk contains around 0.3 micrograms (mcg) of biotin, 1% of the recommended 30 mcg a day for adults.
What about biotin supplements?
If you’re worried that you’re not getting enough high biotin foods in your diet, you can boost your biotin intake by taking a biotin supplement. They’re a quick, easy, and safe way to make sure your hair is getting the biotin it needs.
How much biotin can you take in a day?
In the US, the recommended biotin intake for adult men and women is 30 micrograms (mcg) a day. This is a recommended daily adequate intake though, the minimum amount needed to stay healthy, not a maximum amount.
There’s no recommended upper limit for biotin, as there’s no evidence it can become toxic when taken in larger amounts (as some vitamins can). Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it isn’t stored in your body. If you consume large amounts, more than you need, your body can expel it easily.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get biotin rich!