Biotin is a common ingredient found in hair growth supplements to fight hair loss. But there’s no need to spend hundreds of dollars on these medications if you’re looking into increasing your biotin intake. One of the easiest ways to do it and save a couple of bucks is to add biotin-rich food to your diet.
So what are the best biotin-rich foods you should eat for healthier hair growth? Biotin is usually found in many types of food, such as nuts and seeds, legumes, liver, egg yolk, spinach, sweet potato, yeast, and salmon. You need biotin for your hair because it helps you grow thicker, longer hair shafts. Furthermore, increasing your biotin intake has multiple health and aesthetic benefits.
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Biotin (or vitamin B7) is an essential nutrient in the body that helps the body convert food to energy. This water-soluble B vitamin also plays an important role in keeping the skin, nails, and hair healthy. A lack of biotin in the body might lead to different issues, such as skin rashes and thinning hair.
According to a clinical study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, the majority of the participants who increased their biotin intake experienced clinical improvement in terms of hair growth in the areas affected by hair loss within 90 to 180 days. Biotin is abundant in many types of food, but they’re also an active ingredient in hair growth supplements.
If you’re considering taking additional biotin but don’t want to spend extra money on expensive supplements, here’s a list of the best biotin-rich food to take for healthier hair growth and other amazing health benefits:
Nuts and seeds are rich in unsaturated fat, fiber, and protein. While they’re an excellent source of B vitamins, it’s good to note that different kinds of nuts and seeds contain different amounts of biotin. A quarter cup of roasted sunflower seeds can give about 2.6 mcg of biotin. The same serving of roasted almonds has 1.5 mcg.
Eating a variety of nuts and seeds is a great way to increase the biotin intake, but almonds and sunflowers are the best ones out of the bunch. They’re usually enjoyed raw, mixed into pasta, or blended into a homemade nut or seed butter.
Beans, lentils, and peas are rich in fiber, protein, and a ton of micronutrients that the body needs to function better. Soybeans and peanuts are the 2 best legume sources of biotin. An ounce of roasted peanuts contains 5 mcg of biotin while 3/4 cup of whole soybeans has up to 19.3 mcg of biotin.
Legumes are boiled and used as a base for salads, entrees, and other dishes. They may also be included in baked dishes or stir-fried food because of their texture and flavor.
Most of the body’s biotin is stored in the liver, which is why the liver and other organ meats of certain animals are a rich source of biotin. It only takes 3 ounces of cooked beef liver to fulfill about 103% (or 3 ounces) of the estimated daily intake of biotin. Cooked chicken liver is even richer at 138 mcg of biotin per 3-ounce serving. This is equivalent to up to 460% of the daily value for biotin.
Cooked cow or chicken liver is usually mixed with onions or minced into homemade burgers. They may also be chopped, cooked, and added to different pasta dishes.
Eating raw egg whites is one of the reasons why some people experience biotin deficiency. Egg whites contain avidin, a protein that blocks the absorption of biotin in the body. It’s important to always fully cook the egg to reduce the risk of having salmonella poisoning and improve the body’s biotin absorption.
Eggs are full of different B vitamins, phosphorus, protein, and iron but the yolk is especially rich in biotin. Eating an entire cooked egg gives about 10 mcg or 33% of the daily intake value of biotin. They’re usually cooked in different ways – scrambled, hard-boiled, or sunny side up. Eggs and their yolk are also ingredients of different baked goods like waffles or muffins.
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Spinach is good food to add to a diet if you’re looking for additional iron, protein, and folic acid. But what most people don’t know is that this leafy vegetable also offers a good amount of biotin for hair growth and other health benefits. ½ cup of boiled spinach contains about 0.5 mcg of biotin.
Aside from its biotin content, spinach is also a versatile vegetable that fits well with most cooking styles. Whether you want them in salads, shakes, soups, side dishes, or even on top of pizza, you won’t run out of different ways to eat them.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals. They’re considered the best vegetable source of biotin – half a cup of sweet potatoes contain up to about 2.4 mcg biotin. This takes up to around 8% of the estimated daily value of biotin intake for adults.
Sweet potatoes are usually enjoyed baked or microwaved. They’re also peeled, boiled, mashed, or added to plant-based homemade burgers.
Brewer’s yeast and nutritional yeast are great sources of additional biotin, but the specific biotin content varies depending on the brand used. Brewer’s yeast (or dry active yeast) is used for baking bread and brewing beer, while nutritional yeast is utilized for creating non-dairy cheese.
Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast have up to 21 mcg biotin (about 69% of the estimated daily intake). On the other hand, a packet of dry active yeast used for bread and beers has about 1.4 mcg of biotin.
The famous pink-colored fish is added to different dishes. It’s a favorite among health enthusiasts because of the essential nutrients it offers, such as biotin. A 3-ounce serving of cooked pink salmon contains about 5 mcg of biotin.
Salmon is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that offers a ton of health benefits – including improved hair and nail health.
People who are low on biotin may experience thinning hair along with other symptoms. These signs gradually build up over time and are often confused with other symptoms, which is why it’s important to follow a healthy and balanced diet to prevent biotin deficiency.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t really have a standard Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for this vitamin. A person’s RDA depends on their age, gender, and overall health, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional about recommendations for biotin dosage. However, the estimated adequate nutrient intake is about 30 mcg for adults over 19 years old.
People usually get enough biotin even without changing their daily diet because tons of different food contain adequate levels of biotin. It’s also rare to overdose on biotin – since it’s a water-soluble vitamin, the body only needs to flush out the extra biotin.
Biotinidase deficiency is a rare condition as most people get the everyday dosage they need through a healthy and well-balanced diet. Many common foods contain large biotin doses of the vitamin to prevent biotin deficiency. But if a patient’s biotin levels decline drastically, they might experience common symptoms like:
The problem with diagnosing biotin deficiency is that the symptoms are often confused with other health conditions. The only way to confirm that a patient has biotin deficiency is to perform blood tests and compare biotin levels with other components in the blood.
If you think biotin-rich food is still not enough to increase the dietary intake for healthy hair growth, then biotin supplements might be the best option. They’re available over the counter as tablets or capsules, but it’s important to consult with a doctor first to know more about the needed dosage and how to take them.
Biotin supplements rarely have severe complications. Minor adverse side effects are common, but they’re easy to treat, like diarrhea, nausea, and cramps. The best way to minimize them is to take supplements with food.
Without enough biotin in the body, the hair starts thinning and becomes more brittle. While biotin-rich food helps improve hair growth by increasing biotin levels in the body, it might not be enough for more severe cases of hair loss. Doctors and hair loss experts may also recommend taking biotin supplements to help boost biotin levels quickly. They may also recommend other treatments to directly address the cause of hair loss.
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