Nourish your hair, skin and nails with these 20+ biotin-rich foods

Read on as we get to the bottom of which foods are the best sources of biotin.
Written by
Julia Hammond
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Last updated on
June 3, 2024
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20+ Biotin Rich Foods To Include In Your Diet | Kin Fertility
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You know that saying, 'You are what you eat'? Well, it's mostly right. The food we nourish our bodies with has the power to keep us healthy.

When it comes to hair, skin, and nails, it's biotin that you want to be eating. From nuts and seeds to beef liver and even dark chocolate; read as we get to the bottom of which foods are the best sources of biotin, as well as how much biotin you should consume while pregnant and breastfeeding.

What is biotin?

Biotin is 1 of the 8 B-group vitamins that your body needs to stay healthy. It's also known as vitamin B7 and sometimes, vitamin H [1][2].

What are the health benefits of biotin?

Biotin helps support your energy metabolism, fat synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and glycogen synthesis [1]. That all sounds super scientific, so let us break it down into a few easy-to-understand health benefits for you.

It helps your body convert food into energy

The main purpose of all the B vitamins — like folic acid, vitamin B6, and biotin — is to help your body produce energy. They support the functions in your body that turn food into fuel [2].

That means when your diet has enough B vitamins, including biotin, you should feel that extra pep in your step throughout the day. 

It helps maintain hair, nails, and skin health

Have you ever checked the ingredients list on your favourite hair, nails, and skin supplement? It’s highly likely that you’ll find biotin in there.

Biotin is, indeed, known to help maintain healthy hair, skin and nails — but it’s not clear yet whether it can be used as a treatment [2].

It’s kind of a reverse-engineered situation — we know that being low in biotin can lead to brittle nails and hair loss, so we assume that biotin supplementation can be a quick fix [3].

There are some studies looking at its potential as a treatment, but they are kind of weak [3][4]. For example, many of them don’t take base biotin levels before they start. That makes it hard to measure how much higher the biotin levels are at the end of the study, which in turn means it’s hard to link any benefits to levels of biotin at all.

But here’s what we can say with confidence: having a daily diet full of foods that are high in biotin can help maintain skin, nails, and hair health.

If you suffer from skin rash, brittle nails or weak hair; biotin might also help. If it doesn’t, we recommend talking to your preferred health professionals so they can determine whether another deficiency or condition is to blame.

It may help restore your sense of taste

Here’s an extra one, just for fun. There is one study that suggests biotin might be useful for people who have lost their sense of taste — a good example of all the health benefits we are yet to discover about our friend vitamin B7 [2].

How much biotin do you need per day?

Fun fact: almost all of the B vitamins (and yes, biotin too) are water-soluble, meaning your body doesn’t store them, so you need to consume them each and every day for optimal health [1][5].

The only exceptions are folate and vitamin B12, which are kept in the liver [1].

This is important to note because it means you do need to eat biotin-rich foods every single day, but how much exactly? Here’s what we know.

Understanding adequate intakes

First off, we need to explain that there’s no official recommended daily intake for biotin. Instead, we have what is known as an adequate intake [3].

In simple terms, a recommended daily intake (RDI) has been proven by evidence, whereas an adequate intake (AI) is a general estimate that seems to work [3].

Both are acceptable measurements, but an AI is more like a guess, so you might need more dietary biotin than they say. In fact, about a third of pregnant women are found to be deficient in biotin even when they eat the right amounts (more on that soon) [3]. 

How much is enough for an adult?

The AI for an adult woman in Australia is 25 micrograms (mcg) of biotin per day. For an adult man, that jumps to 30 micrograms of biotin [6].

It is estimated that most adults actually consume 40-60 mcg of biotin per day — more than enough based on that adequate level [7].

The good news is, there's no such thing as too much biotin. As a water-soluble vitamin, your body will naturally release any excess when you go to the bathroom [3].

But, as we said before, these adequate levels are kind of estimated, so it is possible that you’ll need more than what is stated.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more biotin

It’s already known that pregnant and breastfeeding women are at risk of a biotin deficiency [7]. Strangely, many prenatal vitamins don’t contain biotin either (just so you know, Kin’s Prenatal Vitamin does, as well as 11 other highly bioavailable ingredients to promote the healthiest pregnancy).

The AI levels for pregnant and breastfeeding women are higher, to help compensate for this [6]:

  • Pregnant women are recommended to have 30 micrograms of biotin per day
  • Breastfeeding women are recommended to have 35 micrograms of biotin per day

This extra 5 micrograms of biotin is to help support your baby who needs their own stores of biotin for healthy development [4].

One study took a scientific approach by testing the biotin intake of 75 women — a mix of healthy adults, pregnant, and breastfeeding women. Each participant was given prepared meals to eat which averaged 57 mcg of biotin per day [7].

They found that being pregnant or breastfeeding seemed to interfere with your biotin absorption. So, even on almost double the daily AI, these women were absorbing less biotin than the healthy adults.

The researchers believe that 2-3 times the daily dose could be beneficial for pregnant women and especially for breastfeeding women [7]. 

Truth is, breastfeeding women are dealing with a lot — from postpartum recovery to postnatal depletion and more — so a little extra support can go a long way; which is why Kin developed the Postnatal Vitamin.

This daily supplement includes 18 essential ingredients that were chosen to support new mums for up to 6 months after birth. It contains a nice high dose of biotin, which is safe as the body will simply reject any excess it doesn’t need.

What else is in store? Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and folate — a highly bioavailable form of folic acid — and more, all in the optimal dosage to support you and the little one through the postpartum journey.

Where is biotin found?

Biotin is found in so, so many foods. The best part? Most of them are delicious, which should make it easy for you to reach that daily threshold for your health [2].

Biotin can also be found in the intestines. Because of this, having issues with your gut — for example, if you’ve been on antibiotics for a long time, recently had a gastro-like illness or any kind of gastrointestinal surgery — could lead to a deficiency [2][5].

You can always chat with your doctor about any vitamin deficiencies or concerns, and they might suggest filling up your plate with some tasty biotin-rich foods, like the ones below. 

Biotin foods to incorporate into your diet

Biotin is available in almost every food you eat, but not all share the same nutritional value. Here are 20+ good sources of biotin to fill your plate. 

Meat and fish

If you can stomach it, cooked beef liver has the highest biotin content at 30.8 mcg for a 3-ounce serving [8]. That’s 100% of most adults’ daily intake!

But, we know it’s not many people’s favourite dish. Don’t worry, other meats and fish are also good sources of biotin.

A cooked pork chop has around 3.8 mcg of biotin, 3 ounces of canned salmon has 5 mcg, and chicken and sardines are also rich sources of this essential nutrient [2][8].

Fruits and vegetables

Yet another reason to get your 3 and 5 per day — many fruits and vegetables are a good source of biotin.

On the fruit side, try bananas, raspberries, and avocado (technically a fruit) [2][3][9].

For veggies, think cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes [1][4][8].

But it is cooked mushrooms that come out on top, with the highest biotin content of 15.2 mcg per 100g served, or half cup [9].


We call this one a blessing and a curse when it comes to biotin. Eggs, especially egg yolks, are the blessing with 10 mcg of biotin per cooked egg [1][8]. That means 2 eggs per day and you’re well on the way to your daily biotin content. 

Here comes the curse — raw eggs can lead to biotin deficiency. They have a protein called avidin which stops biotin absorption. Luckily, once cooked, this protein goes away and you get all the goodness [1].

You might be thinking; yuck, I don’t eat raw eggs. But they can be hidden. Did you know, for example, that recipes like mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressing, and eggnog all contain raw eggs [3]?

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds make a perfect afternoon snack, as well as being a good source of biotin. Peanuts have the highest biotin content of the nuts, but many others will do — think pecans, walnuts, cashews, and pistachios. Nut butters count too [9].

How much biotin are we talking? Well, a quarter cup of roasted sunflower seeds has 2.6 mcg, while a quarter cup of roasted almonds has 1.5 mcg [8]. Not exactly a game changer but definitely better than nothing.

Instant coffee

Here’s a fun one — instant coffee is actually a pretty good source of biotin with 100 mcg per 100g. This applies to both regular and decaf [9].

You’re likely to use around 1 teaspoon (~6g) per cup, so that’s about 6 mcg of biotin. Having 3 of those per day is getting close to your daily intake.


Start every morning the right way; with some fibre and biotin. Muesli is a great source of biotin, whether natural or toasted. 

For 100g of natural muesli (that's a half cup), you’ll gain 19 mcg of biotin. The same amount of toasted muesli has around 15 mcg of biotin [9]. Time to make yourself some Bircher?

Sweet treats

A tasty treat every now and then is all part of a balanced and varied diet, and if you choose the right ones, it can also help your biotin intake.

Black liquorice, dark chocolate, and Nutella all contain small amounts of biotin and hey, while they may not cover your entire daily intake, they can bring a smile to your face [9].

What are the symptoms of biotin deficiency? 

Since biotin is found in so many different food sources, deficiency is very rare. But, it is still possible.

People on restrictive diets, such as vegetarians or vegans, may struggle to get enough biotin and other nutrients [5]. Plus, as we mentioned before, pregnant and breastfeeding women are also at risk of deficiency, as well as people with gastrointestinal issues [5][7].

The symptoms of a general deficiency in any B-group vitamins include fatigue and weakness, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, slow reflexes, and difficulty keeping balance [10].

More specifically, for biotin or vitamin B7, the signs of deficiency include [4]:

  • Thinning hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Rash around the eyes, mouth, and nose
  • Conjunctivitis or pinkeye 

New mums should also be aware of the symptoms of low biotin in infants, which include weak muscle tone, sluggishness, and delayed development [4].

If you’re worried about a deficiency at any time, be sure to speak with your doctor.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Next-Gen Prenatal - 1 Month Supply

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Postnatal - 1 Month Supply

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