Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Riboflavin

RIBOFLAVIN / VITAMIN B2

If you've got cracks at the corners of your mouth and a red sore tongue you probably are deficient in riboflavin. This vitamin B2 forms part of the process that converts your food into the energy that every cell in the body has to have in order to function. It's also important for normal growth and development in babies and children and helps keep the mucus linings of lungs, mouth and digestive system in good working order. Your nervous system also needs this vitamin for protection and to transmit vital messages. Healthy nails, skin and hair also require adequate amounts of riboflavin and it's also thought to be necessary for good vision, fertility and preventing stress.

For the most efficient absorption it's best to have riboflavin together with some of the other B vitamins and in nature the best food sources also contain a spread of the vitamin B complex. Your body also needs adequate amounts of selenium and unfortunately few people manage to get enough from their diets. Make sure you eat Brazil nuts, wholegrain cereals and red meat to boost your intake.

There are some medicines which interfere with the amount of riboflavin your body absorbs, especially the tricyclic antidepressants, anti-malarials and some chemotherapy treatments. If you're taking any of these type of drugs, speak to your doctor about taking extra B2. The same is true for all smokers and women on the pill or HRT, or if you drink large amounts of alcohol which also interfere with absorption. Zinc or iron supplements should be taken at opposite ends of the day to riboflavin. As a supplement you shouldn't take more than 2 mg daily as your body doesn't store this vitamin, any surplus of which is excreted in the urine, which turns a dark yellow colour with large doses.

Although riboflavin is important for protection against cataracts, too much works in reverse. If you have a family history of this condition or you already have it, do not exceed 10 mg daily as this can speed up the development of cataracts. In principle it's best to get riboflavin from your food but processed foods tend to be short of this nutrient so try to eat plenty of good fresh produce. Sunlight also destroys this vitamin and as milk is a good source don't leave it on the doorstep all day.

People who need extra riboflavin are pregnant or breastfeeding women, heavy drinkers, anyone who has a chronic illness or has recently had surgery, people with physically demanding jobs or play serious sport, anyone with long term bowel diseases or women on HRT or the pill.

Vegans are at risk of deficiency and long periods of stress means you're likely to lose a lot of this vitamin. Obviously if you're on any form of restricted diet for health or weight reasons you probably aren't getting enough either, so take a supplement.

BEST SOURCES

RDA - 1.3 mg daily; 1.6 mg during pregnancy; 1.8 mg if you're breastfeeding

MARMITE
Love it or hate it, Marmite is a good source of B vitamins, but it also has a very high salt content so don't overdo it. A very important addition to vegetarian and vegan diets
Riboflavin content: 11.9 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 77% from two slices Marmite soldiers
Riboflavin score: 8/10

FRIED LAMBS LIVER
Riboflavin content: 5.65 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 652% from 150 g portion
Riboflavin score: 10/10

VEGETABLE PATE
Riboflavin content: 1.3 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 77% from average portion
Riboflavin score: 8/10

ALMONDS
Almonds are extremely healthy as long as they're not cooked in oil and salted. Use them as nibbles and add them to your cooking - they're great in stir fries and go very well with chicken and trout. Also use ground almonds added to crumbles and cake mixtures
Riboflavin content: 0.75 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 29% from 50 g portion
Riboflavin score: 3/10

WHEATGERM
Wheatgerm is also extremely rich in vitamin E and it tastes great sprinkled on porridge, breakfast cereals or stirred into yoghurt, milkshakes and smoothies
Riboflavin content: 0.72 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 14% from 25 gm portion
Riboflavin score: 1/10

MUESLI
Riboflavin content: 0.7 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 54% from 100 g
Riboflavin score: 5/10

SOFT GOAT'S CHEESE
Riboflavin content: 0.63 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 29% from 60 g portion
Riboflavin score: 3/10

GREEK YOGHURT (SHEEP'S)
Riboflavin content: 0.33 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 50% from 200g pot
Riboflavin score: 5/10

EGGS
Riboflavin content: 0.35 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 40% from 3 egg omelette
Riboflavin score: 4/10

 

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