Vitamin B2 – Health Benefits and Food Sources

Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is essential for energy production, maintaining healthy blood cells, facilitating in healthy metabolism, as well contributing to the growth and repair of tissue. Riboflavin also works as an antioxidant, fighting damaging particles in the body known as free radicals. Vitamin B2 is required to be used in combination with the other B vitamins for them to all fulfill their functions in the body properly.

Characteristics of a Vitamin B2 Deficiency

A riboflavin deficiency is characterized by anemia, fatigue, sluggish metabolism, nerve damage, dry cracked lips, skin inflammation and disorders often visible around the nose and face, inflamed mouth and tongue, sore throat, swelling of mucus membranes, numbness and itchy eyes and mood swings characterized by anxiety and depression. A vitamin B2 deficiency is rare but can occur in people with compromised digestive systems caused by surgery or severe chronic illness.

Vitamin B2 Food Sources

Vitamin B2 food sources include animal products like eggs, fish, milk, yogurt and cheese; as well dark leafy greens, almonds and a few vegetables.

Nutrient-Rich Whole Food Sources for Vitamin B2

This chart lists the best food sources for vitamin B2, along with that food source’s single serving size and the amount of vitamin B2 in that single serving.

Vitamin B2 Daily Intake Recommendations for Child and Adult

These figures are referenced from the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) 2005 system; used in Canada and the United States. The DRI system provides the minimum daily intake requirements of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for child and adult; males and females.

To find out what your daily intake requirements are for all of the essential nutrients, see the article Essential Nutrients and Beneficial Foods, posted January 16, 2017.

Try our Wild Mushroom and Spinach Soufflé recipe! Eggs are an excellent whole food source for the essential nutrient vitamin B2.


Written by: J. Marshall


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