These days, it is very seldom to hear about a biotin deficiency in the Western world. Even though our soils are getting more and more depleted from the nutrients we need, if we eat well, we still get enough in our diets to keep us healthy.
While you might get the recommended biotin amount for adults based on the daily DRI/DV (depending on some of the factors below), for healthy hair and nails you want to go above that minimum for maintenance recommends.
Factors that Decrease Biotin Amount in Foods
There are certain factors that decrease the amount of biotin you get from foods, such as:
- the soil is a major source of nutrients, but what if the soil from where your food came is declining in nutrient content?
- environmental toxins that sap your body of vitamins
- medicines that affect your B vitamin absorption (and biotin is a B vitamin)
- food processing technique (e.g. canning reduces all vitamin levels of a food)
That’s why try to eat (as much as possible) organic foods and avoid GMO foods at all costs! As a quick example, use only pasture-raised organic free range eggs.
There are many diets out there that exclude some certain food from the meal plan, so the more you vary what you eat and incorporate all these foods mentioned below, the more biotin you are getting.
To see whether your diet includes the most biotin-rich foods, you want to read further to check these best foods for your hair against your own diet plan.
Here are some of the best foods high in biotin that help with hair loss, increase the volume of your hair, and repair your brittle nails.
Foods High in Biotin
Many people consider almonds as the healthier alternatives to junk foods like potato chips. You can munch on almonds every day.
It is said that roasted almonds have an even higher concentration of biotins.
Another reason to eat almonds regularly is that in addition to vitamin B7, they also include vitamin C (40% of DRI), vitamin B12 (18% of DRI), and several minerals such as magnesium, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorus, and copper.
An important point worth making is that almonds are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which along with biotin and vitamin E, help enhance your hair, skin, and nails even more, not to mention that monounsaturated fats help with lowering cholesterol.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are not for everyone (for example, I hate sweet potatoes).
However, if you don’t mind eating them every now and then, or might even love them, here is what you need to know.
In addition to biotin, baked sweet potatoes also are rich in vitamin (214% of DRI), vitamin C (52% of DRI), vitamin B5/pantothenic acid (35% of DRI), vitamin B6 (32% of DRI), vitamin B3/niacin (19% of DRI), as well as various other nutrients such as manganese, copper, potassium, fiber, and phosphorus.
If you are a picky eater like me when it comes to sweet potatoes, here are a few ideas on how to prepare them:
- quick-steam them for a few minutes and add flavors (cinnamon, nutmeg, or clover) for extra flavor
- make some mashed sweet potatoes
- make chips by slicing them as thin as possible
- prepare morning waffles
Eggs are some of the healthiest foods around, and if you are not a vegan, you will have plenty of opportunities to eat them prepared in many different ways.
That’s why it’s important to have free range pasture-raised eggs.
Biotin is most intact in eggs if they are cooked rather than fried. Also, avoid eating raw egg whites for a long time, as they interfere with biotin absorption.
Additional nutritional vitamins and minerals that eggs contain are choline, selenium, vitamins B2, B5, B12, D, A, molybdenum, iodine, and phosphorus. They are also a source of high-quality protein.
Onions are very rich in biotin as well.
Eat 4 onions a day, and you have your daily recommended intake amount from food.
Onions also contain many other vitamins and minerals needed for the body. They are rich in vitamins B1, B6, C, manganese, copper, dietary fiber, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, and folate.
In fact, the sulfur-containing compounds in onion are what make it so useful for combating hair loss along with biotin.
Sulfur is responsible for most of the health-promoting benefits of the common onion.
Not only that, but the sulfur compounds in onion also help with cardiovascular health through their anti-clotting capacity, which aids in the prevention of blood platelet cells clumping together. They can also lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Oatmeal is a very popular food and with good reason. Oats and oatmeals help our digestive system, but they are also high in biotin.
If you feel it’s too much, eat half a cup for 51%, or a quarter of a cup for 27% of your DRI.
In addition to vitamin B7, oats also contain vitamin B1 (25% of DRI), manganese (83% of DRI), molybdenum, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, chromium, zinc, fiber, and protein.
Some recent studies have given additional benefits of eating oat as a smaller waist, lower BMI, decreased risk of metabolic syndrome in adults, all which lead to a lower risk of obesity overall.
Tomatoes are also a rich source of biotin, and since it can be prepared in many different ways and added to all sorts of different foods, this is one fruit (yes, tomatoes are fruits) that will give you quite a lot of biotin per day.
In addition, tomatoes are also very rich in vitamin C (33% of DRI), vitamin K (16%), molybdenum (20% DRI), and a whole host of other vitamins, minerals and nutrients like vitamins A, B1, B3 (niacin), copper, manganese, potassium, and magnesium.
All you need is have one big tomato with your meal each day for getting plenty of nutrients in your body for optimal health.
7. Beef Liver
I should have probably added beef liver higher on the list because this food is truly one of the biotin richest foods.
To put it into a more manageable measurement, a cooked, 3-ounce size of beef liver will give you no less than 30.8 mcg of B7.
If you don’t mind eating liver (I love it!), there are great health benefits from ingesting it as it contains also iron, protein (which also helps with hair growth), calcium, magnesium, vitamins A, C, D, E, various B vitamins, potassium, folate, and zinc.
Based on Weston A. Price, beef liver is nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A, and due to its high content of iron, it is a good way to prevent anemia, and a good cure for it as well.
Everyone knows that carrots are a rich source of beta-caroteen which helps with eye health, but it is also a good source of biotin.
Raw carrots have the highest content, but even boiled will retain some of its biotin content.
Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to prepare carrots, such as simply eating them raw, adding them to salads, soaking them in vinegar and honey, steam and then chop in foods.
These vegetables are also rich in vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, B12, C, E, and a whole host of minerals including potassium, folate, manganese, and, of course, fiber.
Generally speaking, all fish have high levels of biotin.
Salmon, however, is probably the highest.
While salmon is rich in biotin, it is even richer in other nutrients. It has 27% of vitamin B12 DRI, 14.6% DRI vitamin D3 (the sunshine vitamin), and 9% of selenium. It is also rich in omega 3 fats (many popular fish oil supplements are made from it), vitamin B6, iodine, B5, and choline.
We only eat fish once a week, but for us Friday is fish day, and usually it is salmon.
The avocado is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. People mostly know it for its healthy fats, but it also has biotin in relevant enough amounts to be worthy of mentioning.
Besides eating avocado, for healthier and longer hair you can also apply avocado oil directly on the hair. The oil stimulates collagen and elastin production, both of which aid hair growth.
To make your own avocado oil for healthy hair, check out the DIY video below.
Other Foods Rich in Biotin
While the foods listed above have the highest concentration of biotin, there are many other foods that have a bit of biotin in them too. If you eat enough of these foods, you will get plenty of vitamin B7 per day.
As the amounts are much smaller, I will not include actual numbers next to the foods. If you eat enough of these, you will get plenty of additional biotin in your diet.
- pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- green leafy vegetables
- hazelnut butter
- pork chops
- Cheddar cheese
All these foods are rich in biotin and they help with a healthy diet for your hair. However, if you are suffering from hair loss, to speed up the healing process, a biotin supplement is the best way to go until your cells repair what they need to fix in your body.
Don’t forget, sometimes, hair loss is simply caused by a lack of vitamin or nutrient such biotin or sulfur.