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.

FoodServingEnergy (kcal)Thiamin (mg)
Oats1 cup6071.19
Durian0.5 durian4421.126
Sunflower seeds0.5 cup4091.036
Macadamia nut0.5 cup4810.801
Sesame seeds0.5 cup4130.57
Pistachio nuts0.5 cup3440.535
Rye grain1 cup5710.534
Soybeans1 cup2540.468
Peanuts0.5 cup4140.467
Hazelnut0.5 cup4240.434
Navy beans1 cup2550.431
Black beans1 cup2270.42
Brazil nut0.5 cup4380.41
Peas1 cup1170.386
Hemp seeds3 tbsp1660.383
Buckwheat groats1 cup5670.367
Flaxseed2 tbsp1100.339
Lentils1 cup2300.335
Mung bean1 cup2120.331
Pecans0.5 cup3420.327
Wheat flour (whole-grain)100 g3320.297
Kidney beans1 cup2250.283
Adzuki beans1 cup2940.265
Spinach1 bunch780.265
White potato1 large2550.262
Pine nuts0.5 cup4540.246
Lima beans1 cup2090.238
Corn1 ear1230.222
Eggplant1 eggplant1370.214
Pummelo1 fruit2310.207
Walnut0.5 cup3830.199

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.

FoodServingEnergy (kcal)Thiamin (mg)Thiamin (mg) per 100 calories
Seaweed (dried)1 tbsp200.1670.835
Asparagus4 spears130.0970.746
Rapini5 stalks210.1540.733
Watercress10 sprigs30.0220.733
Okra8 pods310.190.612
Lettuce (red leaf)0.5 head200.0990.495
Spinach1 bunch780.2650.339
Peas1 cup1170.3860.329
Kale2 cup150.0470.313
Bok choy1 cup90.0280.311
Flaxseed2 tbsp1100.3390.308
Mustard greens1 cup150.0450.3
Brussels sprouts1 cup560.1670.298
Squash1 large520.1550.298
Green bell pepper1 large330.0930.281
Green bean10 beans170.0450.264
Zucchini1 large550.1450.263
Durian0.5 durian4421.1260.254
Gourd1 gourd360.0890.247
Cabbage1 cup220.0540.245
Hemp seeds3 tbsp1660.3830.230
Orange1 orange690.1510.218
Turnip greens1 cup180.0390.216
Lotus root1 root850.1840.216
Swiss chard10 leafs910.1920.210
Broccoli1 cup310.0650.209
Red bell pepper1 large430.0890.206
Tomato1 large330.0670.203
Cauliflower1 cup270.0540.2
Oats1 cup6071.190.196

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 Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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