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Foods containing vitamin B1. Indispensable in your diet.

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Do you know which foods contain vitamin B1? This vitamin is essential for our heart and nervous system to function correctly. This article tells you which products have the most vitamin B1.

What is vitamin B1, and what is it for?


Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is one of the eight B-complex vitamins, a group of water-soluble vitamins needed in small amounts for the body to carry out multiple functions. 

Vitamin B1 is necessary for the following functions:

  • It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins and is therefore essential for generating energy from nutrients.
  • It is necessary for proper growth and development.
  • It also contributes to the proper functioning of the heart, the communication of nerve impulses between neurons and muscle contraction.
  • It is an essential coenzyme for gas exchange between the body’s tissues and the blood.
  • It is involved in the synthesis of nucleic acids such as DNA.
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Foods containing vitamin B1

In a complete and balanced diet, many foods contain vitamin B1. These are the foods with the highest intake:

  • Brewer’s yeast is the food with the highest amount of vitamin B1, with 9.7 mg/100 grams.
  • Wholegrain cereals. Products made from these cereals, such as pasta and bread, are a source of vitamin B1. Wheat germ stands out with 2 mg/100 g, whole oats with 0.76 mg/100 g, whole wheat and maize with 0.40 mg/100 g, brown rice with 0.39 mg/100 g.
  • Seeds. Flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are particularly important, with an intake of 1.7 mg/100 g.
  • Pork. Thiamine is concentrated in the leaner cuts, which provide up to 0.89 mg/100 grams.
  • Sausages. Consumed in moderation, they can form part of our diet. The most important are cured pork loin, with 0.8 mg/100 g., Serrano ham, with 0.75 mg/100 g, bacon, with 0.43 mg/100 g and mortadella, with 0.33 mg/100 g.
  • Nuts. In addition to the goodness of these foods, they also provide vitamin B1. The nuts richest in this vitamin are pistachios, with 0.69 mg/100 g, and hazelnuts, with 0.45 mg/100g.
  • Pulses. In addition to their high fibre content, these products also provide thiamine. The most important are broad beans with 0.50 mg/100 g, lentils with 0.62 mg/100 g, white beans with 0.50 mg/100 g and chickpeas with 0.41 mg/100 g.
  • Eggs. Another important source of vitamin B1 especially the yolk. The contribution is 0.29 mg/100 grams.
  • Although not particularly rich in this vitamin, vegetables also contain some B1. Most notably garlic, with 0.16 mg/g, and mushrooms, artichokes and asparagus, all with a similar intake of 0.12 mg/100 g.
  • Fish and shellfish are another source of B1, especially oysters, with 0.15 mg/g, followed by sole, sea bass and sardines with 0.12 mg/100 g.

Vitamin B1 requirements

These are the vitamin B1 requirements according to age and gender.

Infants – Adequate Intake (AI)

  • AI 0-6 months: 0.2 mg/day
  • AI from 7 to 12 months: 0.3 mg/day

Children – Recommended Daily Intake (RDA)

  • RDA from 1 to 3 years: 0,5 mg
  • RDA from 4 to 8 years: 0.6 mg
  • RDA from 9 to 13 years: 0.9 mg

Adolescents (14 years and older) and adults – CoR

Men: 1.2 mg


  • RDA 14 to 18 years: 1.0 mg
  • RDA from 19 years of age: 1.1 mg
  • RDA during pregnancy and lactation: 1.4 mg

Regular physical activity must be considered to achieve an adequate intake of this vitamin, as the higher the amount, the higher the vitamin B1 intake will be needed.

The importance of vitamin B1 for sports performance

B vitamins contribute to protein assimilation through their catalytic function, which accelerates the necessary biochemical reactions. For this reason, a complete diet with an adequate supply of nutrients is essential for the optimal regeneration process of muscle fibres.


In addition, as mentioned above, the body needs vitamin B1 to obtain energy from the metabolism of nutrients. The energy intake acquired through carbohydrates is essential for endurance sports such as long-distance running or cycling, where the body needs a minimum amount of energy to sustain the exercise.

Thiamine is necessary for obtaining energy (ATP) from carbohydrates. It is therefore essential in endurance sports such as cycling, long-distance running, etc., as the higher the carbohydrate intake, the greater the requirement.

What diseases vitamin B1 helps prevent

Insufficient vitamin B1 can lead to these pathologies:

  • Abnormal tiredness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Concentration problems
  • Weight loss

In cases of severe deficiency, beriberi disease can develop, a malfunctioning of the nervous system and heart, and Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, a complicated illness leading to encephalopathy and brain damage.

We hope we have helped you understand the importance of vitamin B1 and why it is essential to include foods that contain it in your meals.

A balanced and varied diet is sufficient to meet the daily requirement of vitamin B1.

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