What foods are high in niacin

what foods are high in niacin

Niacin is also known as vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid), niacin is one of the 8 B vitamins. Like all B vitamins, niacin plays a role in converting carbohydrates into glucose, metabolizing fats and proteins, and keeping the system healthy. The nerves work well. Niacin also helps the body make hormones related to sex and stress and improves blood circulation and cholesterol levels. So what foods are high in niacin? Let’s find out!

What is Niacin (Vitamin B3)?

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is a micronutrient that participates in many body processes, including metabolism, nervous system function, and resistance to oxidation.

Niacin is an essential micronutrient, which means that the body cannot produce it on its own and is completely dependent on the food we consume on a daily basis. Because niacin is water-soluble, excess niacin in food is excreted in the urine rather than stored in the body. Therefore, the most important thing is to regularly add foods rich in niacin to your daily diet.

The recommended daily intake of niacin is 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women, which is enough to meet the niacin needs of about 98% of adults.

What does vitamin B3 do?

Niacin has many effects, but two of them and also the most mentioned that characterize niacin is its ability to support energy biosynthesis and antioxidants.

Energy biosynthesis

Like other B vitamins, niacin is important for energy biosynthesis. Two special forms of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP) are essential for converting proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into energy for the body to use. In addition, niacin is also involved in the synthesis of energy in the form of storage in the muscles and liver to use for other purposes.


Niacin-containing enzymes involved in energy metabolism, NAD and NADP work by neutralizing free radicals. This process is not only involved in energy biosynthesis but also helps protect the body against tissue damage caused by oxidation. While most people often overlook the antioxidant effects of niacin, scientists are aware of this and have conducted extensive research, particularly in people with diabetes.

Foods that are high in niacin

The human body cannot synthesize niacin on its own but must be supplemented by daily food sources. Therefore, how to choose foods to ensure the necessary amount of niacin is very important. Here are foods high in niacin you can choose to include in your daily diet.

Meat organ: Liver

Liver is one of the richest natural food sources of niacin. Every 85 grams of cooked beef liver provides about 14.7 mg of niacin, which is 91% of the recommended daily requirement for men and 100% for women.

Chicken liver is also a good source of niacin. Every 85 grams of chicken liver provides 73% of the recommended daily requirement for men and 83% for women.

In addition, the liver also contains many other essential nutrients such as protein, iron, choline, vitamin A and other B vitamins.

Chicken breast

Chicken, especially breast meat, is a good source of both niacin and lean protein. Every 85 grams of cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast contains 11.4 mg of niacin, which is 71% and 81% of the recommended daily requirements for men and women, respectively. In comparison, the same amount of boneless, skinless chicken thighs contain only half of that.

Chicken breasts are also a good source of lean protein with about 8.7 grams per 28 grams cooked, making them a great choice for a low-calorie, high-protein diet designed for weight loss.


Tuna is a good source of niacin and is a great choice for those who love to eat fish. A 165-gram can of tuna provides 21.9 mg of niacin, which is more than 100% of the recommended daily requirement for both men and women. In addition, tuna is also rich in protein, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.

There is some concern about mercury toxicity because the metal can accumulate in tuna meat. However, one can of tuna per week is considered safe for most people.


Although turkey contains less vitamin B3 than chicken breast, it provides high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid capable of synthesizing niacin. 85 grams of cooked turkey breast provides 6.3 mg of niacin and a sufficient amount of tryptophan to synthesize approximately 1 mg of additional niacin. Combined, they provide about 46% of the recommended daily requirement for men and 52% for women.

Tryptophan is also used to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin and the hormone melatonin, both of which are important for mental health.


Salmon, especially from wild-caught sources, is also an ideal source of niacin. Every 85 grams of cooked salmon provides 53% of the recommended intake of niacin for men and 61% for women, compared with 42% and 49% for farmed salmon, respectively.

Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory effects and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and autoimmune diseases. In addition, salmon is listed as one of the foods that help burn belly fat.


Anchovies are a good source of affordable niacin. Just 10 anchovies are enough to provide you with half the recommended amount of niacin per day. In addition, anchovies are also an excellent source of selenium, which helps reduce the risk of cancer, especially breast cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer and prostate cancer.


Lean pork is also a good source of niacin. Every 85 grams of lean pork provides about 6.3 mg of niacin, which is 39% and 45% of the recommended daily intakes for men and women, respectively.

In addition to vitamin B3, pork also provides another B vitamin, vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 is very important in the body’s metabolism.


Lean beef is not only rich in niacin but also contains many other important nutrients such as protein, iron, vitamin B12, selenium and zinc. Every 85 grams of cooked lean beef contains 6.2 mg of niacin.

Some studies also show that beef is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, especially grass-fed beef.


Peanuts are one of the best plant-based sources of niacin. 32 grams of peanut butter contains 4.3 mg of niacin which is about 25% of the recommended intake for men and 30% for women.

Peanuts are also rich in protein, monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. Although peanuts have a relatively high amount of energy, studies show that consuming them daily has many health benefits such as reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Also consuming peanuts daily does not lead to weight gain.


One medium avocado contains 3.5 mg of niacin, which is equivalent to 21% and 25% of the recommended daily requirements for men and women. Avocados are also rich in fiber, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals. In fact, an avocado contains twice as much potassium as a banana.

Avocados are also an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce the risk of heart-related diseases when consumed regularly.

Brown rice

One cup of cooked brown rice (about 195 grams) contains 18% of the recommended intake for men and 21% for women. However, some studies show that only 30% of the niacin in whole grains can be absorbed by the body, making them a less optimal food source than other foods.

In addition to niacin, brown rice is also rich in fiber, thiamine, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium. These nutrients play an important role in fighting inflammation and improving heart health in overweight and obese people.


Whole wheat products such as bread or pasta contain relatively high levels of niacin, especially the wheat crust. However, like brown rice, only about 30% of the niacin in wheat products is digested and absorbed.


Mushrooms are one of the best plant-based sources of vitamin B3. Every 70 grams of mushrooms provides about 15-18% of the recommended daily requirement. That makes mushrooms an ideal choice for vegetarians.

Mushrooms grown in sunlight are also capable of synthesizing vitamin D and are one of the best plant-based foods that contain this vitamin.

Green bean

Mung beans are also a plant source of niacin that is effective and easily absorbed by the body. In addition, like other legumes, green beans are also rich in fiber. Each cup of chickpeas provides about 25% of your daily fiber needs.

Other studies also show that chickpeas are high in antioxidants and other compounds that have the potential to reduce cancer risk, lower cholesterol levels, and promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.


Potatoes are also a good source of niacin. One potato provides 4.2 mg of niacin or 25% of the recommended intake for men and 30% for women.

According to a review study, brown potatoes contain the highest levels of vitamin B3 of all potatoes with 2 mg of niacin per 100 grams. Sweet potatoes are also a source of niacin equivalent to white potatoes.

Final thought

Niacin or vitamin B3 is an essential nutrient that cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained through the diet. Niacin is directly involved in the metabolism and functioning of the nervous system in the body.

Many foods are rich in niacin, especially animal products such as meat, fish, and poultry. Plant sources of niacin include avocados, peanuts, whole grains, mushrooms, chickpeas, and potatoes. There are also some foods that are fortified with niacin to make them the main source of niacin in the diet.

Top News hopes this article can help you learn more about what foods are high in niacin and wishes your health is always in good condition!

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