The Benefits of Niacin and 15 Foods that Contain It
Niacin can play an important role in the overall health of an individual. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that is just one of the eight B-vitamins the body needs. It is necessary for almost all of the body’s cellular processes. That includes converting food into usable energy. It can also be beneficial for a variety of things like the heart, cognition, and the nervous system.
Benefits of Consuming Foods with Niacin
- Promote a Healthy Heart. Approximately a little over 31% of the world’s death each year are attributed to heart disease. Research has begun to indicate that niacin may benefit heart health. It might help reduce some of the risk factors that possibly lead to the development of heart disease. It turns out that eating niacin-rich foods may help reduce both high cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Help Treating Arthritis. Common symptoms of arthritis include pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints. Traditionally, the condition is treated with a variety of medications and physical therapy. Severe cases often require surgery. Recent research has discovered that niacin might be an effective natural treatment for the symptoms of arthritis. Niacin supplements have reportedly decreased some of the symptoms of osteoarthritis, improved flexibility, decreased the need for pain relievers, and reduced inflammation.
- Boost in Brain Function. Niacin helps the body supply the brain with the energy it needs. Those who suffer from dementia often have signs of a niacin deficiency. Eating foods that contain niacin help optimize brain function and may be a useful treatment for treating other mental health conditions such as schizophrenia. Research and evidence is somewhat limited, but niacin may prevent damage to brain cells as well as protecting cognitive function.
- Maintaining Healthy Skin. Dermatitis is characterized by symptoms like dryness, peeling, and rashes. There are a lot of different types of dermatitis, but it can also indicate a deficiency in niacin. Eating foods rich in niacin can help prevent or treat dermatitis. It may also be able to protect the skin from damage from the sun and help reduce the risks of developing skin cancer.
- Protect from Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in young adults and children. It is an autoimmune condition and occurs when the immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. The result is fluctuating blood sugar levels and symptoms such as fatigue, weight loss, increased thirst, and excessive urination. Niacin might be beneficial for preserving the function of cells that produce insulin in children with the condition.
- Might Help Prevent ED. Niacin might be beneficial for treating and preventing erectile dysfunction due to its ability to act as a vasodilator. ED can be caused by the lack of blood flow throughout the body and niacin’s ability to increase blood flow may help. In one study, taking 1500 mg of supplemental niacin improved ED in participants.
15 Foods with Niacin
If you want to eat more foods that contain niacin, here are 15 that can help meet your body’s daily needs of the nutrient. The top 15 niacin-containing foods include:
- Beef (grass-fed)
- Sunflower seeds
- Green peas
- Brown rice
- Sweet Potatoes