Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is required by the body for various reasons. Check out the benefits and sources of riboflavin in this article.
Without vitamins, our body takes a longer time and more energy to carry out its basic functions. If vitamins are not made available to the body for a longer period, it can lead to abnormal functioning of certain organs, leading to diseases and disorders. Therefore, people are advised to have a balanced diet in order to gain all the essential nutrients. Vitamins are classified as vitamin A, B, C, D, E, and K, and each of them carries out specific functions in the body.
What is Riboflavin
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is one of the types of B complex vitamins. It is yellowish in color. All the types of vitamin B are water-soluble, and hence, cannot be stored in the body. Riboflavin is found in a variety of foods.
Health Benefits of Riboflavin
Similar to all the B vitamins, riboflavin is essential for maintaining good health. The following are its other benefits:
- It helps in energy production. It helps in converting carbohydrates to sugar, which acts as a fuel to carry out bodily functions.
- Riboflavin is an excellent antioxidant, which aids in slowing down the process of aging.
- It is essential for growth and proper functioning of the red blood cells.
- It is required for healthy skin, hair, and nails. Hence, deficiency of the vitamin leads to scaly, dry skin, lips, and lesions around the mouth.
- Riboflavin also plays a major role in proper functioning of the other B complex vitamins like vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine). Therefore, lack of riboflavin in the body can hinder the activity of other vitamins.
- It is believed that riboflavin is used in iron therapy for the treatment of sickle cell and iron deficiency anemia.
- It is also believed that riboflavin can lower the risk of cataract in people. However, the theory has not been proven yet.
As there are several health benefits, one should include foods rich in this vitamin in the diet regularly. Whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, eggs, dairy products, and fish are good sources of vitamin B2. Crimini mushrooms and spinach, specifically, have the highest amount of riboflavin. As it is found in a large number of foods, riboflavin deficiency is quite rare. However, chronic vitamin B2 deficiency can lead to a disease known as ariboflavinosis.
The recommended dietary allowances of vitamins is based on the age and sex of the person, and changes accordingly. Although supplements of the vitamin are available, it is recommended to go for supplements only on consulting the doctor. Take care!