Food Sources of Niacin

pumpkin seeds, vitamin b3, niacin

Niacin is a water-soluble B vitamin also known as vitamin B3. This means that niacin is not stored in the body. You need to eat foods rich in niacin every day.

Niacin helps your body use fat, protein and carbohydrates from foods to make energy.

Niacin helps over 200 enzymes (natural chemicals in the body) to function normally in your body by helping your body use other B vitamins, and make DNA.

Our bodies need niacin

The table below will show you how much you need:

    Niacin recommended intake (NE/day)     Don’t exceed  
Man, 19 years or older     16   35  
Woman, 19 years or older     14   35    
Pregnant, 19 years or older     18   35  
Lactating woman, 19 years or older , 19 years or older     18   35  

Which foods have niacin? 

This table will show you foods that are a source of niacin. Meats and alternatives are the richest sources followed by fortified enriched grains.

Food   Serving Size   Niacin (NE)  
Meat, poultry, fish  
Liver (beef, pork, chicken, turkey), cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   10-17  
Chicken, various cuts, cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   8-15  
Pork, beef or lamb, various cuts, cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   6-14  
Turkey, various cuts, cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   6-9  
Back bacon, cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   8  
Anchovies, canned   75g (2 ½ oz)   19  
Tuna, cooked or canned   75g (2 ½ oz)   10-20  
Salmon, cooked or canned   75g (2 ½ oz)   11-17  
Mackerel, cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   7-12  
Rainbow trout, cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   8-10  
Sardines, canned in oil   75g (2 ½ oz)   7  
Soy, nuts, seeds and legumes  
Soy burger/vegetarian meatloaf or patty, cooked   75g (2 ½ oz)   10  
Pumpkin, squash seeds, without shell   60 mL (1/4 cup)   8  
Tempeh/fermented soy product, cooked   150 g (3/4 cup)   8  
Peanuts, without shell   60 mL (1/4 cup)   7  
Tofu, cooked   150 g (¾ cup)   3-4  
Beans (adzuki, navy, cranberry, great northern, kidney), cooked   175 mL (3/4 cup)   3  
Egg, cooked   2 large   10  
Milk and Alternatives  
Cottage cheese   250mL (1 cup)   5-6  
Cheese (cheddar, gruyere, Swiss, blue, gouda, mozzarella, edam, provolone, brie)   50g (1 ½ oz)   3-4  
Processed cheese, slices (cheddar, swiss)   50g (1 ½ oz)   2-3  
Whole milk   250mL (1 cup)   3  
Fortified soy beverage   250mL (1 cup)   3  
Grain Products  
Cereal (100% Bran, All Bran, bran flakes)   30 g (check product label for serving size)   3-6  
Oatmeal, instant, cooked   175 mL (¾ cup)   3-5  
Pasta, enriched, cooked   125 mL (1/2 cup)   2-3  
Bread, whole wheat   1 slice (35 g)   2  


You may also be interested in:

What You Need to Know About Vitamin A
What You Need to Know About Vitamin E
What You Need to Know About Vitamin B12


Last Update – October 17, 2018

Phone Icon

Dietitians look beyond fads to deliver reliable, life-changing advice. Want to unlock the potential of food? Connect with a dietitian.