Biotin has become popular these days. It’s in numerous health and beauty ads promising shiny hair, gorgeous skin, and overall wellness. While biotin supplements are available in local drugstores, there are many foods that can provide biotin. Biotin is not only good for the hair, it also offers plenty of health benefits.
It supports metabolism: Biotin plays a vital role in metabolism. It functions as an enzyme in the initial digestion of amino acids. Biotin also helps with the digestion and absorption of other nutrients, such as carbohydrates and fat.
It reduces bad cholesterol: Animal studies have shown that biotin helps decrease low-density lipoprotein levels. By reducing the absorption of excess fat, biotin prevents bad cholesterol from entering the bloodstream. High levels of bad cholesterol can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
It helps control blood sugar: Biotin helps regulate blood sugar when paired with chromium. A study published in Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Review reported that supplementation with biotin and chromium can help obese patients manage their blood sugar levels. Other studies have also found that biotin deficiency leads to impaired glucose tolerance and decreased glucose utilization.
It improves adrenal gland and thyroid function: Biotin is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid and adrenal glands. A deficiency in biotin can lead to hormonal imbalance, which affects a person's mood, weight, sleep, and energy.
It prevents neuropathy: Biotin influences the activity of the enzyme pyruvate carboxylase. Insufficient amounts of biotin can increase pyruvate levels, which can lead to nerve damage. According to studies, biotin can help diabetic people reduce nerve damage caused by dialysis.
Natural sources of biotin
Biotin is available in a variety of foods. It is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and animal products. Some examples of biotin-rich foods are:
Swiss chard -- This leafy green is one of the richest plant-based sources of biotin. This versatile green can be added to dishes and salads to boost biotin levels.
Almonds -- Almonds contain high levels of biotin. They can be enjoyed either raw, salted, or roasted. Almonds can also be added to yogurts and salads to provide a little bit of texture and crunch.
Carrots -- This healthful vegetable is rich in vitamin A and biotin. Carrots can be used in various culinary preparations such as stir-fries and stews.
Avocados -- A single avocado contains up to six grams of biotin. This fruit is a great ingredient for pasta and sandwiches. Avocados can also be made into delicious smoothies.
Cold water fish -- Cold water fish like halibut, herring, sardines, tuna, and trout contain lots of biotin. Consuming them also boosts the intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
Raw milk -- Drinking raw milk from cows or goats can increase the levels of biotin in the body. Milk is also an excellent source of calcium, which helps with the formation of strong teeth and bones.
Berries -- Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are not only great sources of antioxidants, they are also rich in biotin. They can be mixed with plain yogurt to increase its nutrient content and improve its flavor.