Biotin, also known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is a B complex vitamin and essential nutrient in the diet. Biotin is involved in the use of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It also plays a role in the health of the hair, skin and nails.
Though it plays a part in several essential functions in the body, biotin is not required in large quantities. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University reports that the average adult requires at least 30 micrograms of biotin per day. Biotin is adequately obtained from a balanced diet as it is found in many foods including eggs, nuts, vegetables, fruits, fish, meat, and some dairy products. Fresh foods contain more of the vitamin than processed foods.
Nuts and grains:
Various types of nuts and legumes are some of the best foods high in biotin. Almonds, peanuts, and filberts all contain a whole day’s worth of vitamin B7 per half cup serving. Peanut butter contains as much as the full 30 micrograms per serving as well. White breads are not good sources, but whole grains tend to contain a decent percentage of the daily requirement.
Eggs and dairy:
The best foods high in biotin are eggs, containing between 13 and 25 micrograms of the nutrient, depending on their size and method of preparation. Eating raw egg whites, however, can actually inhibit the body’s ability to absorb biotin, consuming raw eggs is counterproductive and extended consumption should be avoided to avoid a vitamin B7 deficiency. The yolk of the egg is what contains the bulk of the vitamin. Milk, various cheeses, yogurt, and other dairy products contain moderate amounts of vitamin B7.
Vegetables and fruits:
Several vegetables are great foods high in biotin. Broccoli and cabbage are good sources of biotin. Leafy green vegetables in general tend to be some of the best sources of biotin in the diet. Mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower are also rich in the nutrient. Some fruits that are good sources of biotin include bananas, avocados, and raspberries.
Meat and fish:
Ample sources of all of the B vitamins, almost all varieties of meat and fish are foods high in biotin. Chicken, turkey, and beef are all good sources of biotin. A three ounce serving of pork contains about three micrograms of vitamin B7. Meat livers contain an entire day’s worth of the vitamin in each serving. The best fish sources include tuna, haddock, salmon, and sardines.
Biotin, or vitamin B7 or vitamin H, is required by the body for the metabolism of various nutrients. It can be found in a wide variety of food sources including nuts, vegetables, fruits, eggs, and meat, and it is generally adequately obtained in any balanced diet.