Medically reviewed on May 17, 2022 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Like all vitamins, vitamin B6 (also called pyridoxine) is essential to a healthful lifestyle. So how much B6 should you have? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that adults aged 19–50 consume 1.3 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B6 every day . For people over 50, that recommendation increases to 1.7 mg for males and 1.5 mg for females.
What exactly is vitamin B6 good for? B6 vitamins promote red blood cell production and a robust immune system, among other critical activities . Thus, taking in the right amount of B6 is a must for health.
If you don’t know what foods have B6, it’s easy to find out. To help you bring more vitamin B6 into your diet, here’s this list of the 12 best food sources of vitamin B6 (and if you'd like to supplement your diet with B6, try Everlywell B6 vitamin supplements which are vegan and non-GMO).
Without a doubt, animal products are the richest source of vitamin B6. Whether you’re a red meat fan or you prefer poultry, you can source plenty of vitamin B6 as a carnivore.
Cows themselves need the water-soluble vitamin B6 to maintain their bodily functions. When you eat beef, a portion of the cow’s intake makes its way into your system. Even a single burger is a good source of B6, with a three-ounce ground beef patty boasting 0.3 mg .
You can enjoy your Thanksgiving leftovers with even more excitement this year—turkey is a top source of vitamin B6. Just three ounces of roasted turkey meat provides 25% (0.4 mg) of the daily vitamin B6 requirement .
Aside from burgers and chicken breasts, you can also consume above-average amounts of vitamin B6 food intake by frying up your favorite organ meats or giblets. Case in point: three ounces of beef liver gives you more than 50% (0.9 mg) of the daily value of B6 .
If it lives beneath the waves, there’s a reasonable chance it contains a hearty helping of vitamin B6. It is more common to find B12 in fish than B6, but certain fish have high amounts of B6.
Whether you enjoy it canned or in sushi, tuna is a good source of B6. Three ounces of cooked yellowfin tuna carries 0.9 mg of B6 .
All varieties of salmon contain ample amounts of vitamin B6. For example, three ounces of cooked sockeye salmon gives 35% of your B6 daily requirement—that’s 0.6 mg .
Clams, whelks, and other shelled sea creatures are nutritional treasure chests. A three-ounce serving of cooked whelks, for example, has 0.55 mg of vitamin B6 .
For vegans and vegetarians, consuming enough B6 while avoiding animal products can be challenging. Fortunately, there are several meat-free options with a high concentration of the vitamin.
Most meat alternatives packed with B6 supplements are made from legumes, as these beans are some of the best sources of pyridoxine. For example, a half-cup of soybean-based tofu contains 0.1 mg of B6 . Tempeh—another soybean-derived alternative with roots in Indonesia—contains 0.17 mg of B6 per half-cup .
If you prefer to eat your legumes in their original form, you don’t have to miss out on the B6 benefits. In fact, chickpeas are one of the best sources of vitamin B6 around. One cup of canned chickpeas gives you 1.1 mg of B6, which clocks in at more than 65% of your daily value .
Chickpeas are also versatile—you can enjoy delicious dishes like chili or chana masala, or snack on some fresh hummus with veggies.
Although fruits and veggies are a vital part of a balanced diet, they’re not generally known for their high concentration of vitamin B6. Still, you can increase your B6 intake by favoring certain greens over others.
Some of the best fruits for anyone looking to consume more B6 include:
For the highest dose of vitamin B6, seek out leafy greens and other vegetables, such as:
While large amounts of vitamin B6 don’t occur naturally in grains, many suppliers will add it to their foods. Whenever you see the words “enriched” or “fortified” on the box, there’s a significant chance you’ll find bountiful amounts of B6.
By Eating fortified foods like enriched cereals, you can start your day with a kick of vitamin B6. One serving of fortified breakfast cereal can contain 0.4 mg of B6 .
Looking for the perfect side dish for meat and veggies? Piling these foods high on a bed of rice or bulgur can give you a double dose of B6. One cup of cooked bulgur contains 0.2 mg of vitamin B6, while a cup of enriched white rice has 0.1 mg .
Vitamin B6 supplements offer an easy, convenient way to help ensure you're getting the amount of B6 the body needs. Learn more about Everlywell's vegan, non-GMO vitamin B6 supplements.
What is the difference between vitamin B6 and B12?
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1. Vitamin B6: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. National Institutes of Health. URL. Accessed May 17, 2022.
2. FoodData Central Search Results: Mollusks, whelk, unspecified, cooked, moist heat. United States Department of Agriculture. URL. Accessed May 17, 2022.
3. FoodData Central Search Results: Tempeh. United States Department of Agriculture. URL. Accessed May 17, 2022.