Did you know that there is a B vitamin that also has antioxidant properties within the body? That’s right, Riboflavin (also known as Vitamin B2) helps maintain healthy blood cells, helps regulate energy production and boost energy levels, helps prevent headaches, and provides many more benefits. Read on to learn more about the awesome health benefits and natural sources of Riboflavin.
This week’s Nutrients by the Alphabet: Riboflavin
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 Riboflavin?
Riboflavin plays a large role in energy production and is used by the body to metabolize food for energy and to maintain proper brain, nerve, digestive, and hormone function. Riboflavin is also needed to regulate proper thyroid activity and adrenal function. It is useful in calming the nervous system, battling chronic stress, and regulating hormones which control appetite, energy, mood, temperature, and more. Riboflavin also acts as an antioxidant that controls the presence of damaging free radicals within our body. Riboflavin plays a part in defending against disease by maintaining a healthy lining within the digestive tract, where much of the immune system is stored. Riboflavin has also been proven to help prevent headaches (including migraines) and helps prevent eye disorders including cataracts and glaucoma by increasing the strength of the cornea. Riboflavin can help prevent and treat anemia by helping increase red cell production, the ability to carry oxygen to the blood, preventing blood loss, and lowering high amounts of homocysteine in the blood which cause anemia. Riboflavin also plays a role in maintaining collagen levels, which makes up healthy skin and hair. You could say that B2 is kind of like the Fountain of Youth, so make sure you have enough Riboflavin in your diet so that you will look youthful for a long time.
So, how much Riboflavin do you need and where can you find it?
The RDA for males age 14 and older should have 1.3mg per day while females age 19 and older should have 1.1mg per day. You can find Riboflavin in liver, seaweed, organ meat, mollusks, cuttlefish, organic feta cheese, almonds, grass-fed beef, tempeh-fermented soy, mackerel fish, eggs, organic goat cheese, tahini.
Looking for a delicious and easy recipe to increase your Riboflavin intake? Try this Lemon Garlic Mackerel recipe from Genius Kitchen.
Looks like this is going to be tonight’s dinner with some veggies and brown rice for a balanced meal that will boost your metabolism and taste buds!