Riboflavin, also known as vitamin B2, is a water-soluble member of the vitamin B complex. Riboflavin is one of several B vitamins involved in the production of red blood cells. It is also responsible for producing energy from carbohydrates, the absorption of iron, nervous system function, eyesight, and skin health, according to the UK National Health Service.
As reported by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, the recommended daily intake of riboflavin is 1.1 milligrams for women, 1.3 milligrams for men, 1.4 milligrams for pregnant women, and 1.6 milligrams per day for women who are breast-feeding. There are no side effects associated with excess amounts of riboflavin and no upper daily limit has been established. Foods high in riboflavin include several vegetables, meats, dairy products, and fortified grains.
Vegetables and fruits:
Vegetables are some of the best foods high in riboflavin. Green and leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin B2. A serving of spinach contains about 0.2 milligrams of riboflavin. Mushrooms contain high levels of riboflavin as well; each ounce contains five to ten percent of the daily requirement.
Dairy and eggs:
Milk is a great food high in riboflavin with a single cup of skim milk containing more than 0.3 milligrams. An ounce of certain cheeses including cheddar and feta contain about ten percent of the daily value in each ounce. Eggs are great foods high in riboflavin with a single egg containing about a quarter of the recommended daily intake.
Meat and fish:
Various meat products are good foods high in riboflavin. Red meat is a better source of riboflavin than white meats. A three ounce serving of beef or dark chicken meat contains 0.1 and 0.2 milligrams of the vitamin. Meat livers are great sources of vitamin B2 and all other B vitamins. Among fish, clams, mackerel, and cuttlefish are some of the best sources of riboflavin.
Grains and other foods:
Some of the best foods high in riboflavin are those in which it is not naturally occurring. Fortified cereals can contain between a quarter and the whole of the day’s intake. Two slices of wheat bread or enriched bread contains about one tenth of the recommended daily intake of riboflavin.
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is one of eight B vitamins and an essential nutrient in a healthy diet. It is naturally abundant in a variety of foods including green vegetables, milk and dairy products, eggs, and dark meats. Certain cereals and breads are also fortified with the vitamin. Getting adequate foods high in riboflavin is important to the skin, eyes, and nervous system.