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Here’s how to get NIACIN from FOOD. 🍲😋

I recommend getting a half gram to a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight (double this if you measure your weight in kilograms), which contributes to your niacin status, as well as 20 milligrams of preformed niacin from food per day.

So, here are your foods, arranged in five tiers.

Tier 1 supplies close to 15 mg or more per serving.

Fresh yellowfin or shipjack tuna, anchovies, liver (beef, lamb, pork), unfortified nutritional yeast in the amount of 3 heaping tbsp.

Tier 2 supplies 7-14 mg per serving.

Peanuts and peanut butter, liver (veal, chicken, turkey), most fresh meat products from typical farm animals and game if they are lean cuts, certain fish (canned or fresh bluefin tuna, salmon, mackerel, yellowfin, halibut, American shad, sturgeon, cod, mahimahi, and bluefish), certain seeds (hemp, chia, sunflower).

Tier 3 supplies 3-6 mg per serving.

Most but not all other finfish (but not shellfish); sesame seeds and tahini, pumpkin and squash seeds, pine nuts, almonds, chestnuts, flax seeds, peas, cuts of meat that are not muscle or liver or are fattier, many mushrooms (white, portabella, shiitake, oyster, crimini), coffee (caffeinated, Italian “heavy” roast, 10 g/cup).

Tier 4 supplies 1-2 mg per serving.

Bulking up on these “don’t hurt” your niacin status.

Most beans, most crustaceans, processed meats, white and sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, cabbage, coffee (caffeinated, 10 g/cup, French “dark” roast, at high end or New England “light” roast at low end).

Tier 5 supplies less than 1 mg per serving.

Virtually all other foods that are not mostly fat, mostly sugar, or unenriched refined flours contain some niacin. They are harmless if you eat abundantly from tiers 1-3 first, but harmful if you do not, especially if they also serve to stop you from bulking up on tier 4 foods, which is necessary if you don’t meet your requirement from tiers 1-3.

Just bad for niacin status.

Fat, sugar, and unenriched refined flours are the most displacing. The more of these foods you eat, the lower your niacin status will be.

Most enriched flours are in tier 2 or 3.

Traditionally processed whole grains are likely to occupy tier 4.

Honorable Mentions

Some foods are rich but not consumed in enough quantity to be relevant: dried spirulina, chilli powder, coriander, paprika, parsley, ginger, tarragon, red or cayenne pepper would all occupy tier 2 at 100-gram servings.

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This episode is brought to you by Vitamins and Minerals 101. This is my new, free, 30-day course that covers the basics of each nutrient, including why it’s important, how to get it from food, how to know if you need more, when you should think about supplementing, and concerns for special diets or special populations. You can get it delivered by Facebook Messenger or email. The Messenger version is taught by Chris Masterbot, my baby bot, is more interactive, and has more jokes and emojis. This requires no background beyond high school and is made for the beginner, but even many experts find it a great refresher and find little golden nuggets in each lesson. Sign up for free at

This episode is brought to you by Testing Nutritional Status: The Ultimate Cheat Sheet. I've been through the pain and suffering of embracing a diet because I *thought* it was healthy, only for it to wreck my body and mind. I've been through the path of healing, only to make the mistakes of thinking that what worked best for me would work for everyone, and that what I did to heal would be something I would need to do forever. I've learned the hard way that each of us is unique, and that we all change with time. Your needs are not mine, mine are not what they were ten years ago, and yours won’t be in ten years what they are now. That’s why we need a recipe to know exactly what’s missing, what’s there in excess, and what’s out of balance. It is my mission to empower you to know exactly what your body needs, and to make exactly the right decisions to nourish it. Make the cheat sheet your secret weapon, and use the code LITE20 to get 20% off, at

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Here’s a massive 2-part podcast series I did on niacin with Alex Leaf, which has 52 scientific references:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Here are other recent episodes on niacin:

Should You Inject Yourself With NAD+?

The Best Form of Niacin for Anti-Aging

How to Safely Take Nicotinamide Riboside for Anti-Aging

How To Know If You Need More Niacin

Coffee! How to Free the Locked-Up Niacin

How to Free the Niacin in Grains and Seeds

Do Women Need More Niacin Than Men?

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