Vitamin B3 is a term used for a large family of vitamins, which include niacin and nicotinic acid. As a result of its many forms, vitamin B3 is also known as niacinamide, niacin and nicotinamide. Vitamin B3 plays an important role in your body. It helps maintain the health of your skin, nerves, digestive system and more.
Vitamin B3 deficiency can cause pellagra, which is characterized by dermatitis (or inflammation of the skin), diarrhea, and dementia. Pellagra can be fatal if left untreated.
But do you know that some foods can help you load up on this nutrient?
- Peanuts: Peanuts are high in niacin and can be eaten raw or roasted. They can be eaten along with other nuts, or on their own as a snack. Roasted peanuts are available as a snack at most cafes and restaurants. They can be used to prepare salads and other dishes as well.
- Mushrooms: Mushrooms are not only tasty but also rich in flavourful taste. But apart from that, mushrooms are also a rich source of Vitamin B complex vitamins, including the Vitamin B 3 (Niacin). Mushrooms are also a rich source of antioxidants such as selenium and phenolic compounds that can help in fighting against cancer and heart ailments.
- Tuna: Tuna is a very good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It is a rich source of niacin, which helps release energy from carbohydrates by acting on the digestive system. It is suggested that tuna should be a regular part of your diet for its various health benefits.
Unlike most other vitamins, your body can make vitamin B3 from tryptophan (an amino acid) as well as from niacin-rich foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes. Tryptophan is converted into niacin by the body when it has enough iron, riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and vitamin C available. However, you need adequate amounts of these nutrients in the first place to make niacin from tryptophan.