Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

The Definitive Guide to Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Characteristics, Health Benefits, and Top Food Sources

Vitamin B2, commonly known as Riboflavin, is an indispensable part of the B-vitamin family that significantly impacts various facets of health. From aiding in energy production to preserving skin integrity, Riboflavin is a micronutrient with massive benefits. This guide aims to break down its characteristics, enumerate its health benefits, and list the foods that are abundant in Riboflavin.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Characteristics of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Basic Properties

  • Water-Soluble Vitamin: Quickly absorbed and excess is excreted through urine.
  • Chemical Forms: Includes Riboflavin-5′-phosphate (a more active form) and plain Riboflavin.
  • Color: Bright yellow, often responsible for the color of vitamin supplements and fortified foods.

Stability and Absorption

  • Light Sensitive: Riboflavin degrades when exposed to light.
  • Heat Stability: Moderately stable at high temperatures but can be lost in boiling water.
  • Storage: As it’s water-soluble, continuous intake is necessary for maintaining levels.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs)

  • Adult Men: 1.3 mg/day
  • Adult Women: 1.1 mg/day
  • Children: Ranges from 0.3 to 1.3 mg depending on age
    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Health Benefits of Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Energy Metabolism

Plays a crucial role in breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to produce energy.

Antioxidant Support

Works as a co-factor in enzymatic reactions that neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress.

Healthy Skin and Eyes

Maintains the health of the skin and mucous membranes, and improves eye health by aiding in the repair of tissues.

Neurological Function

Involved in the development and function of cells in the brain and nervous system.

Hormone Regulation

Helps in the regulation of thyroid activity and the balancing of adrenal hormones.

Extended List of Foods Rich in Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Dairy Products

  1. Milk: 0.4 mg per cup
  2. Yogurt: 0.6 mg per cup
  3. Cheese (Cheddar): 0.4 mg per ounce
  4. Cottage Cheese: 0.3 mg per cup
  5. Buttermilk: 0.5 mg per cup

Animal Protein

  1. Liver (Beef): 2.9 mg per 3 oz serving
  2. Chicken: 0.2 mg per 3 oz serving
  3. Eggs: 0.3 mg per egg
  4. Salmon: 0.4 mg per 3 oz serving
  5. Turkey: 0.2 mg per 3 oz serving
  6. Pork: 0.4 mg per 3 oz serving
    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Plant-Based Foods

  1. Almonds: 0.3 mg per ounce
  2. Mushrooms: 0.3 mg per cup
  3. Spinach: 0.2 mg per cup cooked
  4. Broccoli: 0.2 mg per cup cooked
  5. Asparagus: 0.2 mg per cup cooked
  6. Brussels Sprouts: 0.2 mg per cup cooked

Cereals and Grains

  1. Fortified Cereals: Up to 2 mg per serving
  2. Whole Wheat Bread: 0.1 mg per slice
  3. Brown Rice: 0.1 mg per cup
  4. Quinoa: 0.2 mg per cup
  5. Oats: 0.1 mg per cup cooked
  6. Barley: 0.1 mg per cup cooked
    Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Avocado: 0.2 mg per cup
  2. Banana: 0.1 mg per medium banana
  3. Beet Greens: 0.2 mg per cup cooked
  4. Kale: 0.1 mg per cup cooked
  5. Peas: 0.2 mg per cup cooked
  6. Tomatoes: 0.1 mg per cup chopped

Additional Sources

  1. Soy Milk (Fortified): 0.3 mg per cup
  2. Tofu: 0.1 mg per 3 oz serving
  3. Lentils: 0.1 mg per cup cooked
  4. Clams: 0.2 mg per 3 oz serving
  5. Mackerel: 0.2 mg per 3 oz serving


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is a fundamental micronutrient with a multitude of benefits ranging from energy production to skin health. Incorporating a mix of Riboflavin-rich foods can help you reap its diverse benefits. Always consult your healthcare provider for personalized dietary advice.


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