Vitamin B1 Foods

Foods which are good sources of Thiamin

Vitamin B1, or Thiamin/thiamine as it is otherwise known, is one of 8 ‘B’ vitamins. As with other vitamins and minerals, it is crucial to good health though it has specific roles within the human body. While we only need a very small amount of this vitamin each day, its importance to wellbeing cannot be underestimated.

This page will provide you with a list of vitamin B1 foods, so you can see how best to incorporate foods high in thiamine into your diet. There is only about 30 mg of thiamine in the human body, but its importance cannot be underestimated. It was discovered in the early 1900s when scientists noticed that chickens fed on a diet of white rice became ill with beri-beri. This is a disease caused by thiamine deficiency. However when they were fed brown rice they stayed healthy. Thus the scientists discovered Vitamin B1 and its importance in nutrition.

Thiamine is a water soluble vitamin so it cannot be stored within the body. This means it is important for you to consume it every day, either through vitamin B1 foods or else via supplements. Although some sources suggest the RDI for both adult men and women to be as much as 1.4 mg per day, the most usually recommended daily intake is shown in the chart to the right.

Thiamine is needed to release energy from proteins, carbohydrates and fats so it can be used by the body. It is also vital for maintaining the central nervous system and keeping the heart healthy, and is essential for growth in children and fertility in adults.

RDI Vitamin B1

  • 1.2mg Men
  • 1.1mg Women
  • 1.4 mg Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • 1.2mg Boys 14-18 years
  • 1.1mg Girls 14-18 years
  • 0.9mg Children 9-13 years
  • 0.6mg Children 4-8 years
  • 0.5mg Toddler 1-3 years
  • 0.3mg Infants 7-12 months
  • 0.2mg Infants 0-6 months

List of vitamin B1 foods

Foods high in Thiamine

If you feel that your diet could do with a little more vitamin B1, here is a list of some it’s best dietary sources. The best thing about all of these foods is that they are highly nutritious and provide you with so much more than just a great dose of Thiamin. This is where you miss out by taking supplements, as these will never provide you such a wide range of nutritional benefits as a healthy food can.

Top Vitamin B1 Foods

  1. Multi Grain Cheerios

    A serving of multi grain cheerios is a great way to start your day. As well as being high in vitamin B1 they also contain a host of other B vitamins, vitamin E and iron. Fortified cereals are a great way to get vitamins into fussy kids as well! Please note that many other cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals, so this is given mainly as an example. You can always check the cereal packet label to check how much thiamine and other vitamins it contains.

    100 g of multi grain cheerios contains 5.2 milligrams (mg) of vitamin B1, nearly 400% of your recommended daily intake (RDI).

  2. Flaxseed

    The nutritional goldmine that is flaxseed is a wonderful source of vitamin B1. You can exceed your daily thiamin requirements with a single portion of it. Flaxseed is also rich in the minerals magnesium and manganese.

    100 g of flaxseed has 1.6 mg of thiamin.

  3. Sunflower seeds

    Another rich source of thiamine, sunflower seeds are also a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, magnesium and manganese.

    100 g of sunflower seeds contains 1.48 mg of vitamin B1, more than 100% 0f your RDI.

  4. Pine nuts

    Another excellent source of vitamin B1, pine nuts can easily be incorporated into a variety of tasty recipes. They are also a great source of manganese.

    100g of dried pine nuts contains 1.24 mg of vitamin B1.

  5. Sesame seeds

    Yet another seed that acts as a brilliant source of vitamin B1. Sesame seeds can give you a huge chunk of the Thiamin your body needs daily, and they are also loaded with phosphorus and calcium.

    100g of sesame seeds has 1.21 mg of Thiamin, 100% of the total your body requires in a day.

  6. Pork (lean)

    If you are unable to eat cereal products or dislike nuts, the good news is that lean pork is an excellent source of thiamine. It is also high in the mineral selenium.

    100g of lean pork contains 1.12 mg of vitamin B1, over 90% of your RDI.

  7. Pistachio nuts

    Nuts are also a good source of vitamin B1, and one of the best sources is pistachio nuts. These nuts can give you well over half of the thiamin you require in a day, together with a good helping of potassium and dietary fibre.

    100 g of pistachio nuts contain 0.9 mg of Thiamin, 58% of your RDI.

  8. Oats

    It’s oats so simple to get a brilliant dose of vitamin B1 via plain oats, as these are one of the best thiamin foods that you will come across. On top of vitamin B1, they also offer a huge dose of other B vitamins as well as iron.

    100 g of oats contain 0.76mg of vitamin A.

  9. Macadamia nuts

    Another nut that features on our list of top vitamin B1 foods. Macadamia nuts are also an excellent source of manganese and iron.

    100g of macadamia nuts contains 0.71 mg of thiamine, over half your RDI.

  10. Granola

    Granola cereal is also a great dietary source of Thiamin, with 100 g containing half the thiamin you need in a day. In addition to this granola will give you a healthy dose of manganese and vitamin E.

    100 g of plain granola cereal has 0.7 mg in it, 49% of the total required in a day.


These are not necessarily the ten foods highest in vitamin B1, but they are all good examples of how you can get the Thiamin you need through your diet.

More foods high in vitamin B1

As well as our top ten vitamin B1 foods, there are many other tasty ways of getting this important vitamin into your diet, and we include several of them here. All quantities are per 100 g (3.5 oz)

  • Yeast extract (marmite) – 23.38 mg
  • Seaweed (spirulina, dried) – 2.38 mg
  • Pecans 0.7 mg
  • hazelnuts – 0.6 mg
  • Brazil nuts 0.6 mg
  • Sun dried tomatoes – 0.53 mg
  • Tuna (yellowfin, cooked) 0.5 mg
  • Wholewheat pasta – 0.49 mg
  • Peanuts – 0.44 mg
  • Trout (cooked) 0.43 mg
  • Edamame (roasted soy) beans – 0.43 mg
  • Cashew nuts – 0.42 mg
  • Walnuts, english -0.3 mg
  • Peas (green, frozen) -0.28 mg
  • Lentils (boiled)- 0.2 mg
  • Brown rice (boiled, long grain) – 0.1 mg

It is important to note that vitamin B1 is easily destroyed through food preparation and cooking, as it is sensitive to heat and oxygen in the air. One suggestion is to serve vitamin B1 foods with garlic or onions, as these contain substance called allinin that increases the absorption of this vitamin. Finally while you may find some sources suggesting bacon as containing high levels of thiamine, we have not included it here. This is because the sulphur dioxide that’s often used in meat processing can inhibit the absorption of vitamin B1.