There are many natural ways to add thiamine-rich foods to an everyday diet. Food sources of thiamine include beef, liver, dried milk, nuts, oats, oranges, pork, eggs, seeds, legumes, peas and yeast. Foods are also fortified with thiamine. Some foods that are often fortified with B1 are rice, pasta, breads, cereals and flour.
Cereals and Grains
Food made from unprocessed cereals and grains provide high amounts of thiamine compared to processed foods. This is because most of the vitamin is lost during processing. Examples of cereals and grains that are high in thiamine include long-grain brown rice, wheat germ, whole wheat bread, brewer’s yeast, and fortified breads, cereals, and pastas as leading sources of dietary vitamin B-1. Processed grains and cereals provide considerably less vitamin B-1 than unprocessed grains, because of this, many foods made with white flour and white rice are fortified with vitamin B-1.
Meat and Dairy
Most meat products like poultry, pork, liver, kidney, and fish are excellent sources of vitamin B1. Lean meats are rich in vitamin B-1, with lean pork containing more of the vitamin than any other meat. Fish, liver, beef, dairy products, and eggs also provide vitamin B-1, with one serving of yellow fin tuna containing nearly 40 percent of the daily value of B-1. Roasting, stewing and broiling meats tends to reduce B-1 content more than frying.
Beans, Nuts and Seeds
Apart from being rich in protein, nuts, beans and seeds are an excellent dietary sources of vitamin B-1. These foods make ideal meat replacements for vegetarians or those on restricted diets. One serving of raw sunflower seeds provides more than half of the daily value of vitamin B-1, with cooked black beans and navy beans providing 25 percent.
All varieties of beans, including navy beans, black beans and pinto beans contain high levels of vitamin B1 as well as heart healthy proteins. Pinto beans, soybeans, lima beans, Brazil nuts and pecans are also good sources of the vitamin.
Fruits and Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are another great and healthy source, although at much lower levels than whole grain foods. Although they are significant foods high in thiamine, they are considered to contain low levels of thiamine. However, to acquire high levels of thiamine from these foods, you must be willing to consume them in large quantities.
Experts recommend fresh fruits and vegetables as they contain more of the vitamin than dried or frozen ones. Best fruits and vegetables high in thiamine include pineapples, oranges, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, eggplant, and Brussels sprouts among others. Romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, green peas, eggplant, oranges, cantaloupe, brussels sprouts and tomatoes are all good sources of vitamin B-1. Long-term refrigeration can result in a significant loss of vitamin B-1 content.