Good Food Sources of Vitamin B6
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Good Food Sources of Vitamin B6

Here's Why:

Vitamin B6 image Vitamin B6 is involved in many functions in the body. It helps your immune system and nervous system, and aids in the metabolism of essential nutrients. It is also found in many foods, and will be easy to fit in your diet if you need to increase your intake.

Along with folate and vitamin B12, vitamin B6 is helpful in lowering the level of the amino acid homocysteine in the blood. At high levels, homocysteine can damage coronary arteries or make it easier for blood clotting cells to clump together and form a clot. This can increase your risk of heart attack or stroke.

Recommended Intake:

AgeRDA (mg)
1-3 years0.5 mg0.5 mg
4-8 years0.6 mg0.6 mg
9-13 years1.0 mg1.0 mg
14-18 years1.2 mg1.3 mg
19-50 years1.3 mg1.3 mg
51 and older1.5 mg1.7 mg
Pregnancy1.9 mgn/a
Lactation2.0 mgn/a

Here's How:

FoodServing size Vitamin B6 content
Fortified breakfast cereal3/4 cup0.5-2.0 (check Nutrition Facts label)
Oatmeal, instant1 packet0.74
Potato, baked with skin1 medium0.70
Banana1 medium0.68
Chicken breast, skinless, roasted3 ounces0.5
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)1/2 cup0.57
Pork loin, broiled3 ounces0.39
Top sirloin, broiled3 ounces0.39
Halibut, broiled3 ounces0.34
Rainbow trout, cooked3 ounces0.29
Brown rice, cooked1 cup0.28
Sweet potato, baked with skin1 medium0.27
Sunflower seeds, dry roasted1 ounce0.23
Avocado1/2 cup0.20
Kidney beans, cooked1/2 cup0.18
Lentils, cooked1/2 cup0.18
Tuna, canned in water3 ounces0.18
Peanut butter2 tablespoons0.15
Lima beans, cooked1/2 cup0.10
Soybeans, cooked1/2 cup0.05

To increase your vitamin B6 intake:

  • Sprinkle kidney beans or garbanzo beans on a salad
  • In the morning, opt for a fortified breakfast cereal
  • Slice a banana into your oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt
  • Have fish for dinner a few times a week
  • Choose brown rice instead of white, and mix lentils with the rice
  • For a different sandwich, try peanut butter and banana
  • If you take a vitamin supplement, make sure it contains vitamin B6—but no more than 100% of the RDA. Also, talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement.


American Dietetic Association

United States Department of Agriculture


Canadian Council on Food and Nutrition

Dietitians of Canada


The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. Chronimed Publishing, 1998.
Bowes & Church's Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. 17th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1998.

Last reviewed May 2008 by Dianne Scheinberg MS, RD, LDN

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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