Vitamin B6 foods: The most important questions and answers

Vitamin B6 Lebensmittel: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Surely you came across this article because you want to know which foods contain vitamin B6. And you've come to the right place: In our article we want to inform you about foods with vitamin B6 and answer all your questions about them.

What is vitamin B6? Why should I eat foods with vitamin B6? And we want to answer some other questions for you here in our article. With our table, which shows which foods contain how much vitamin B6, you will certainly be well prepared for your future daily vitamin B6 intake.

the essentials in brief

  • Vitamin B6 is a natural coenzyme that is involved in over a hundred metabolic processes and is therefore needed by every living being. In addition to its role in metabolic processes, it also serves as an antioxidant and is responsible for DNA synthesis.
  • Since everyone needs to take a small amount of vitamin B6 every day, you should pay special attention to foods with vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is found in abundance in meat, fish, soybeans, potatoes, walnuts and bananas.
  • If you eat a varied and balanced diet, you don't need to worry about consuming too little or too much vitamin B6. Pregnant and breastfeeding women in particular have an increased need for vitamin B6.

Vitamin B6 foods: What you should know

Before we show you which foods are rich in vitamin B6, we first want to explain what vitamin B6 is and why your body needs a small amount of vitamin B6 daily. We also answer the most frequently asked questions about vitamin B6 food.

What is vitamin B6?

Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine(7), is required by every living thing. It is a molecule involved in a variety of metabolic, physiological, and developmental processes. The properties of water solubility and strong reactivity when phosphoylated make it very suitable for many biochemical processes.(1,2)

As a coenzyme, vitamin B6 can catalyze more than 150 enzymes, which among other things regulate the metabolism and synthesis of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and important bioactive metabolites. Since it is indispensable as a coenzyme, living things should consume a certain amount of vitamin B6 daily.(5)

Why does the body need vitamin B6?

Since vitamin B6 is involved in many biochemical processes in our body, you should consume vitamin B6, which is contained in various foods, every day. This vitamin is very important for the various metabolic processes and ensures the well-being of every living organism.(2)

In addition to its important role as a coenzyme in the metabolic processes of cells, vitamin B6 has a second important function: its role as an antioxidant.(3) It also serves as an anti-inflammatory agent and modulates gene expression.(4)

Foods with vitamin B6

In this section we have categorized foods containing vitamin B6 and listed them in tables. Both vegan and vegetarian foods with B6 are included. In each category , the foods marked in bold are the richest in vitamin B6 in their group.

Vegan foods with vitamin B6

We have combined grain products, legumes, fruit and vegetables into one group for vegan foods. Vegan foods that are high in vitamin B6 include: bran, lentils, soybeans, bananas, potatoes, carrots, and Brussels sprouts.

Vegan Food Group Groceries mg of vitamin B6 per 100 g of food
grain products Oatmeal, rye bread, wholemeal pasta, sugar-free fruit muesli, rice, crispbread, bran Approx. 0.16-0.73
legumes Peas, Kidney Beans, Chickpeas, Lentils , Soybeans Approximately 0.12-1.00
Fruit Peaches, sweet cherries, plums, strawberries, blueberries, watermelons, grapes, pineapple, raspberries, apples, oranges, bananas Approx. 0.03-0.37
vegetables and salads Cucumbers, asparagus, kohlrabi, tomatoes, courgettes, cauliflower, spinach, savoy cabbage, lamb's lettuce, kale, leek, peppers, broccoli, potatoes , carrots, Brussels sprouts Approx. 0.04-0.30

Vegetarian foods with vitamin B6

In addition to the vegetarian foods include the dairy products and eggs. However, in contrast to other food groups, they contain a relatively small amount of vitamin B6. We have listed the dairy products below, with the numbers representing the vitamin B6 content per 100 grams of food:

  • Buttermilk, yoghurt (3.5% fat), cow's milk (3.5% fat), quark (40% fat) with approx. 0.04-0.08
  • Quark (lean), egg, Bavaria Blue (70% fat), Brie (50% fat) with approx. 0.10-0.15
banana curd

Of all types of fruit, bananas have the highest vitamin B6 content. (Source: Unsplash/ Gabrielle Henderson)

Meat and fish with vitamin B6

Meat and fish are neither vegan nor vegetarian, which is why we have grouped them together in a separate table for you. Both types of food are particularly rich in vitamin B6, with fish and seafood having a very high vitamin B6 content. The further back listed, the higher the vitamin B6 content per 100 grams of food.

food type Groceries mg of vitamin B6 per 100 g of food
Meat, poultry and sausages Escalope, chicken , beef , goose , chop , pork liver Approx. 0.39-0.59
Fish Plaice, eel, halibut, herring, tuna , kipper , mackerel , sardines , salmon , lobster Approx. 0.22-1.18

Various foods with vitamin B6

In our various food group, we have listed foods such as nut-based spreads and different types of nuts. The numbers stand for vitamin B6 content per 100 grams of food:

  • Nut-based spread, almonds, hazelnuts with approx. 0.14-0.31
  • Peanuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts with about 0.44-0.87

Nuts are rich in vitamin B6. Walnuts in particular have a very large proportion of vitamin B6. (Source: Unsplash/ Maksim Shutov)

Overall, foods rich in vitamin B6 include potatoes, carrots, soybeans, nuts, and chicken, pork, beef, and fish.(10)

How Much Vitamin B6 Should I Consume?

It is common to calculate how much vitamin B6 you should be consuming based on how much protein you are consuming. A reasonable amount is 15 micrograms of vitamin B6 per 1 gram of protein. You should consume at least 11 micrograms of vitamin B6/gram of protein, below which a vitamin B6 deficiency occurs. The daily recommended vitamin B6 intake is between 1.5 and 2.2 milligrams per day. (11)

  • Vitamin B6 requirement in women : Approx. 1.4 mg/day
  • Vitamin B6 requirement in men : Approx. 1.6 mg/day

Who has an increased need for vitamin B6?

Pregnant women and nursing mothers in particular, as well as older people, have an increased need for vitamin B6.(11) Pregnant women should not have any problems if they consume an increased amount of vitamin B6. It is often prescribed for pregnant women to treat nausea and vomiting.(8,9)

pregnant woman

Pregnant women in particular have an increased need for vitamin B6. (Source: Unsplash/ Ignacio Campo)

Below is a table with the recommended increased vitamin B6 requirements for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Who daily vitamin B6 requirement
Pregnant women in the 1st trimester About 1.5 mg
Pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester About 1.8mg
breastfeeding About 1.6 mg

How do I store and process foods with vitamin B6?

You should not cook food with vitamin B6 in too much water due to its water solubility(2), as the vitamin B6 content in the food is simply washed out or cooked. The water in which the food was cooked can also be used as a base for soups or sauces.

Since the vitamin is sensitive to heat, you should try to protect foods such as vegetables and cook them as little as possible. Not much vitamin B6 can be lost when you chop vegetables. It is best to store your vegetables, especially potatoes, in the dark.

What happens if you overdose on vitamin B6?

If you take in vitamin B6 through food, it is very rare for an overdose to occur. However, this is different with dietary supplements, where a high dose is often possible. While vitamin B6 has only a minor level of toxicity, overdose can cause external nervous disorders.(12,13)


You learned that every person needs a small amount of vitamin B6 every day

through certain foods. You don't need to worry about overdosing, as this is very rare if you eat an adequate and balanced diet. In addition, you now know that pregnant women in particular should consume more vitamin B6.

Foods that are particularly rich in vitamin B6 are meat, fish, nuts, soybeans, potatoes and bananas. In our tables and lists you can quickly find out which foods contain vitamin B6 and how much is contained in 100 grams of food. All in all, a varied and balanced diet is important in order to be able to cover your daily vitamin B6 requirements.


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