The 30 Best Vegan Sources of Thiamin

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Thiamine is a water-soluble B vitamin, that has an effect on your brain, muscles, and cardiovascular system.

A thiamine deficiency can lead to weight loss, along with memory loss, confusion, muscle weakness, and heart issues.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of thiamine is 1.2 mg for males, and 1.1 mg for females.

thiamin-rda

There’s no upper limit, as your body flushes any extra thiamine through your urine.

Some of the “best” sources of thiamin are animal products, so it’s harder to get on a vegan diet. However, there’s still many vegan foods that have a significant amount of thiamin.

The Best Vegan Thiamin Sources

Using the USDA’s database, I retrieved the amount of thiamin in over 120 vegan whole foods.

Below is a table of the top 30, in order from best per serving to worst.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Thiamin (mg)
Oats 1 cup 607 1.19
Durian 0.5 durian 442 1.126
Macadamia nut 0.5 cup 481 0.801
Sesame seeds 0.5 cup 413 0.57
Pistachio nuts 0.5 cup 344 0.535
Rye grain 1 cup 571 0.534
Soybeans 1 cup 254 0.468
Peanuts 0.5 cup 414 0.467
Hazelnut 0.5 cup 424 0.434
Navy beans 1 cup 255 0.431
Black beans 1 cup 227 0.42
Brazil nut 0.5 cup 438 0.41
Peas 1 cup 117 0.386
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp 166 0.383
Buckwheat groats 1 cup 567 0.367
Flaxseed 2 tbsp 110 0.339
Lentils 1 cup 230 0.335
Mung bean 1 cup 212 0.331
Pecans 0.5 cup 342 0.327
Wheat flour (whole-grain) 100 g 332 0.297
Kidney beans 1 cup 225 0.283
Adzuki beans 1 cup 294 0.265
Spinach 1 bunch 78 0.265
White potato 1 large 255 0.262
Pine nuts 0.5 cup 454 0.246
Lima beans 1 cup 209 0.238
Corn 1 ear 123 0.222
Eggplant 1 eggplant 137 0.214
Pummelo 1 fruit 231 0.207
Walnut 0.5 cup 383 0.199

Certain grains are excellent sources of thiamin. Oats are the best per serving, and rye grain isn’t much lower.

Two other types of food really stand out:

  • Legumes – Multiple types of beans (navy, black, soy, kidney), as well as lentils, peas, and peanuts are all in the top 15 vegan foods. Beans have a great amino acid profile and are a great source of plant-based protein.
  • Nuts and seeds – Macadamia and pistachio nuts are both in the top 5, and multiple types of seeds show up on the list (sesame, flax, hemp).

The Top Vegan Thiamine Sources Per 100 Calories

If you’re watching your calories, oats, seeds, and legumes might not be your best choice for thiamine.

Instead, here’s a list of the best vegan foods for thiamin per 100 calories.

Food Serving Energy (kcal) Thiamin (mg) Thiamin (mg) per 100 calories
Seaweed (dried) 1 tbsp 20 0.167 0.835
Asparagus 4 spears 13 0.097 0.7461538462
Rapini 5 stalks 21 0.154 0.7333333333
Watercress 10 sprigs 3 0.022 0.7333333333
Okra 8 pods 31 0.19 0.6129032258
Lettuce (red leaf) 0.5 head 20 0.099 0.495
Spinach 1 bunch 78 0.265 0.3397435897
Peas 1 cup 117 0.386 0.3299145299
Kale 2 cup 15 0.047 0.3133333333
Bok choy 1 cup 9 0.028 0.3111111111
Flaxseed 2 tbsp 110 0.339 0.3081818182
Mustard greens 1 cup 15 0.045 0.3
Brussels sprouts 1 cup 56 0.167 0.2982142857
Squash 1 large 52 0.155 0.2980769231
Green bell pepper 1 large 33 0.093 0.2818181818
Green bean 10 beans 17 0.045 0.2647058824
Zucchini 1 large 55 0.145 0.2636363636
Durian 0.5 durian 442 1.126 0.2547511312
Gourd 1 gourd 36 0.089 0.2472222222
Cabbage 1 cup 22 0.054 0.2454545455
Hemp seeds 3 tbsp 166 0.383 0.2307228916
Orange 1 orange 69 0.151 0.2188405797
Turnip greens 1 cup 18 0.039 0.2166666667
Lotus root 1 root 85 0.184 0.2164705882
Swiss chard 10 leafs 91 0.192 0.210989011
Broccoli 1 cup 31 0.065 0.2096774194
Red bell pepper 1 large 43 0.089 0.2069767442
Tomato 1 large 33 0.067 0.203030303
Cauliflower 1 cup 27 0.054 0.2
Oats 1 cup 607 1.19 0.1960461285

Other than flaxseed and peas, almost every other top food from the top chart fell off this list.

These foods have more thiamin per calorie, the catch is just that you’ll have to eat multiple servings to hit your RDA.

Almost all of the foods in this table are vegetables, with multiple leafy greens (spinach, watercress, lettuce, kale, etc.) near the very top.

About the author

Dale C.

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance writer. Trying to do my small part in making the world better by writing about the wonderful world of veganism.

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