Did you know that Niacin is an important water-soluble vitamin and is a part of the Vitamin B complex? That’s right, Niacin (or Vitamin B3) provides several health benefits and helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, metabolism, brain function, and skin formation while also helping to fight against diabetes. Read on to learn more about the health benefits of Niacin and food sources of this important B Vitamin.
This week’s Nutrients by the Alphabet: Niacin
That’s right, in this new series – Nutrients by the Alphabet – you will learn all about important nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants), their health benefits, and easy and delicious ways to get more of the good stuff with a fun recipe to try each week (courtesy of my awesome student-intern from Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School – Shelby Persechino)!
So, what are the health benefits of Niacin?
Niacin improves cholesterol levels by boosting levels of good HDL cholesterol and lowering bad LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides. Niacin can help treat diabetes because of the role it plays in balancing blood sugar levels. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels is the first priority in treating diabetic patients, and Niacin has been proven to do that. Furthermore, Niacin lowers cardiovascular disease risk by reducing atherosclerosis, reducing inflammation and the production of histamine, and lowers the risk of a heart attack. Niacin can also help maintain skin health since it helps with inflammation, flare ups, irritation, redness, and more. Niacin supports proper brain function and helps protect against Alzheimer’s Disease and decreases the risk of many problems regarding poor brain function (like memory loss, migraine headaches, chronic brain syndrome, depression, insomnia, motion sickness, and even alcohol dependence). Niacin helps with joint mobility and to treat arthritis since it lowers levels of joint pain, enhances muscle strength, and decreases symptoms associated with muscle or joint fatigue. For males, Niacin can help prevent impotence (erectile dysfunction) since it acts as a vasodilator that helps improve blood flow to the genital region. And for females who are trying to conceive or are currently pregnant, Niacin is a very important nutrient for your future baby since it helps prevent birth defects. Now that’s a lot of wonderful health benefits!
So, how much Niacin do you need and where can you find it?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adult men is 16mg daily and for adult women is 14mg daily. You can find Niacin in beef liver, chicken breast, tuna, sunflower seeds, grass fed beef, lamb, salmon, split green peas, sardines, turkey, mushrooms, tahini, etc.
Looking for a quick and tasty recipe to increase your niacin intake? Try this mushroom soup from Dr.Axe!
Now that looks like a perfect side dish for dinner tonight!