Vitamin B1 is also known as thiamine and is an essential nutrient needed by the human body for the normal functioning of several organ systems. It was the first B vitamin discovered (out of eight B vitamins) and thus, was named vitamin B1.
Vitamins are classified according to the materials they dissolve in. Some dissolve in water, and others dissolve in fat. Water-soluble vitamins are carried through the bloodstream. Whatever the body does not use is eliminated in urine.
Along with vitamin C and other B vitamins, thiamine plays an important part in liver detoxification which can help with the clearing of many chemical and food sensitivities. Early symptoms of thiamine deficiency include muscle weakness, impaired memory and appetite.

Vitamin B1 Sources

The best way to get your recommended intake of vitamin B1 and prevent or cure the deficiency of this vitamin is to incorporate foods rich in vitamin B1 in your diet. The food items given below are some of the best sources of vitamin B1 and hence, should be included in your diet.

1. Nuts:

Nuts fall in the category of nutrient dense foods and contain vitamin B1 as well. Macadamia nuts are the best source of vitamin B1 with 100 grams serving providing 0.71 mg or 47% of the Daily value (DV) of this vitamin. Other nuts that are good sources of vitamin B1 include pistachios (13% DV), Brazil nuts (12% DV), pecans (9% DV) and cashews (7% DV). So it is time to give up unhealthy processed snacks and start munching nuts for a nutrition boost.

2. Fish:

Fish are known for its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Most of the fish are good sources of vitamin B1 as well. Yellow fin tuna contains the highest levels of vitamin B1, contributing more that 35% of the daily requirement. Apart from this, trout fish provides 0.43 mg or 28% DV of vitamin B1 in a 100 grams serving. Other varieties include salmon (19% DV), shad (10% DV) and mackerel (9% DV). Hence, if you are a fan of seafood, you can consider having any of these fish on your meal plate to get the requisite amount of vitamin B1.

3. Lean Pork:

Lean pork is another non-vegetarian source of vitamin B1. It provides 1.12 mg or 74% DV of vitamin B1 in a 100 grams serving. Other cuts of pork that contain significant amounts of vitamin B1 include lean pork loin (58% DV), lean pork tenderloin (57% DV) and lean pork chops (51% DV).

4. Green Peas:

Even if you are a vegetarian, you need not worry about your vitamin B1 intake because there are certain vegetables that are good sources of this vitamin. Green peas are one such example, which provides 0.28 mg or 19% DV of vitamin B1 in a 100 grams serving. Fresh green peas are an excellent source contributing 28% DV in a cup serving while an equal amount of frozen sweet corn contributes 19% DV of vitamin B1.

5. Squash (Acorn):

Squash is available in several varieties and some of them are good sources of vitamin B1. For instance, acorn squash is the best source providing 0.17 mg or 11% DV of vitamin B1 in a 100 grams serving. Other varieties include cooked butternut and Hubbard Squash each contributing 10% DV of vitamin B1 in a cup serving.

6. Beans:

All varieties of beans, including navy beans, black beans and pinto beans contain high levels of vitamin B1 as well as heart healthy proteins. The navy beans are the best sources providing 0.24 mg or 16% DV of vitamin B1 in a 100 grams serving. Other beans that are good sources of vitamin B1 include pink beans (29% DV), black beans (28% DV) and mung beans (22%).

7. Dry Roasted Soy Beans (Edamame):

Apart from being rich in protein, dry roasted soybeans or edamame are a great source of vitamin B1, providing 0.43 mg or 28% DV of this vitamin in a 100 grams serving. However, it should be consumed in moderation as it is also high in calories. An ounce serving of edamame contains 126 calories.

8. Seeds:

Various seeds are also good sources of vitamin B1. Sunflower seeds have the highest concentration of vitamin B1 providing 1.48 mg or 99% DV in a 100 grams serving. Sesame seeds come second with 100 grams serving providing 1.21 mg or 80% DV of vitamin B1. Other seeds that contain significant amounts of vitamin B1 include chia seeds (16% DV) and pumpkin and squash seeds (5% DV each).

9. Cooked Asparagus:

Among the green vegetables, cooked asparagus is a good source of vitamin B1. 100 grams serving of cooked asparagus provides 0.16 mg or 11% DV of this vitamin. Canned uncooked asparagus provides 5% DV in a half cup serving while an equal amount of cooked frozen asparagus contributes 4% DV of vitamin B1.


Bread made from wheat flour also contains significant amounts of vitamin B1. A single slice of this bread provides 0.14 mg or 9% DV of vitamin B1. Other varieties of bread that are good sources of vitamin B1 include wheat bagel (26% DV), wheat English muffin (16% DV) and rye bread (9% DV).

Health Benefits of Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

1. Boosts Energy Production

Sugar is the primary energy source in our body, where it is oxidized to create an utilizable form of energy owing to the presence of vitamin B1. It is part of a complex enzyme mechanism known as the pyruvate dehydrogenase system, which basically assists in sugar oxidation. It is also needed for the operation of this enzyme mechanism, which releases energy for a range of bodily functions.

2. Safeguards The Nerves

Thiamine helps enable proper development of myelin sheaths around the nerves. A lack of this vitamin may lead to the degeneration of these coverings, which can result in nerve damage and even death.

3. Offers Powerful Anti-Aging Qualities

Thiamine acts as a potent antioxidant, which helps safeguard your body against aging signs such as age spots, wrinkles, and other similar conditions that normally impact the organs.

4. Stimulates Digestion

Vitamin B1 helps in releasing hydrochloric acid, which is fundamental for a thorough digestion of food bits.

5. Prevents Alzheimer’s Disease

Thiamine is well-known for slowing down the development of Alzheimer’s. when treated with thiamine supplements (100 milligrams each day), patients suffering from this disease reported relief. There are also placebo-controlled tests that are currently in progress that will uncover more information about the system through which this happens.

6. Enhances Memory

Thiamine is also famous for improving concentration power and memory. It is also used to manage numerous nervous system dysfunctions like Bell’s palsy and multiple sclerosis. Thanks to its memory enhancing qualities and ability to positively impact the health of the nervous system, the vitamin is commonly referred to as “morale vitamin”.
The vitamin also helps in increasing energy, combating chronic tension, and possibly even preventing memory loss. Research has associated vitamin B1 deficiency to problems acquiring and retaining information. A study concluded that vitamin B1 resulted in faster reaction times and clear-headed sensations in those taking stressful tests.

7. Improves Appetite

In addition to improving mental alertness, vitamin B1 is also effective in significantly improving appetite. It is a water-soluble vitamin and thus discharged via urine. Thus, it is important for you to maintain a well-balanced diet that packs the much-needed amounts of vitamin B1.

8. Boosts Immunity

Vitamin B1 helps maintain your muscle tone along the walls of the digestive tract, a place where much of the immune system is located. The health of your digestive system is extremely important for vitamin B1 absorption since a healthy digestive tract enables your body to derive nutrients from food better, which are then used to boost immunity and prevent you from falling ill. Vitamin B1 helps release hydrochloric acid, which is important for the full digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.

9. Treats Alcoholism

Vitamin B1 helps minimize the risk of developing a particular brain disorder known as Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a condition characterized by nerve damage, reflex muscle movement fatigue, and difficulty walking. This disorder can be traced back to thiamine deficiency and is typically found in alcoholics, specifically those who also have a poor diet. Alcohol has an adverse impact on the body’s ability to properly absorb vitamin B1 from foods.

10. Helps Keep A Positive Mood

Vitamin B1 helps enhance the body’s capacity to combat stress, which is one of the reasons why B vitamins are typically referred to as the “anti-stress” vitamins. Low levels of energy can lead to poor motivation and bad mood. However, thiamine can help defend you against anxiety and depression as well as improve your mood owing to its positive impact on the brain.
It is capable of warding off inflammation and also helps maintain a healthy brain function that is in charge of decision making in the brain. Healthy functioning nerves are incredibly important for managing anxiety and stress, as well as boosting your mood.

11. Helps Prevent Eye Problems

Some studies suggest that vitamin B1 can actually help minimize the risk of developing vision problems, such as glaucoma and cataracts. This is due to its ability in influencing muscle and nerve signaling, which is crucial in conveying information from the eyes straight to the brain.

Deficiency symptoms

A deficiency of vitamin B1 commonly leads to beriberi, a condition that features problems with the peripheral nerves and wasting.

Vitamin B1 deficiency signs

Abnormal eye movements
Anxiety and/or depression
Burning/hot feet
Loss of appetite
Muscle loss (atrophy)
Pins and needles or numbness
Poor circulation
Rapid heartbeat
Diabetes (type 2)

Side Effects & Safety

Thiamine is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in appropriate amounts, although rare allergic reactions and skin irritation have occurred. It is also LIKELY SAFE when given appropriately intravenously (by IV) by a healthcare provider. Thiamine shots are an FDA-approved prescription product.
Thiamine might not properly enter the body in some people who have liver problems, drink a lot of alcohol, or have other conditions.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Thiamine is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in the recommended amount of 1.4 mg daily. Not enough is known about the safety of using larger amounts during pregnancy or breast-feeding.