Releases Energy

Thiamin, also called Vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as a coenzyme to help release energy from the foods you eat. It is generally better to get your vitamins from foods, rather than pills, but many healthy experts recommend that you take a daily vitamin/mineral supplement as a safety net to fill in the gaps in your diet.

Many foods contain small amounts of Vitamin B1, but here is a list of foods that are a more significant source.

Click here for a printable copy of this list.

Thiamin (Vitamin B1) Foods


Fortified cereals

Fortified and enriched grains and products made from them, including bagels, biscuits, breads, crackers and pasta

Soy milk

Tomato juice

Split peas


Sunflower seeds

Macadamia nuts



Winter squash - including acorn, butternut, Hubbard, buttercup

Lima beans

Navy beans

Sweet corn

Green peas

Wheat germ





Pineapple canned in its own juice

B vitamins are water soluble.

Water-soluble vitamins, as the name suggests, can be dissolved in water, so they are absorbed directly into your blood stream. They travel freely though the blood to the sites in your body where they are needed and any excess can be removed by the kidneys and excreted through the urine.

Vitamins in foods can be destroyed by light, heat and oxygen.

Storage methods and food preparation techniques will affect the amount retained by the foods. To minimize this problem, refrigerate produce in airtight containers, and during preparation, steam or cook vegetables lightly, avoiding high temperatures and extended cooking times whenever possible.

Note: Alcoholics are at particular risk for a B vitamin deficiency, since alcohol inhibits the ability of the body to absorb vitamins. This means that even if an alcoholic is eating lots of nutrient-rich foods, the body may not have access to enough B vitamins to maintain good health. There could also be a deficiency, if alcohol is replacing food in the diet.

Click here to go from Thiamin Foods page to Vitamins page.

It is generally agreed that the best way to get vitamins in your diet is from the foods you eat. Even if you take a vitamin supplement, the idea is to do just that—supplement—the foods in your diet, not replace them.

The vitamins in food seem to be more accessible to your body, than vitamins from pills because they are not isolated, but surrounded by other substances that work with them to keep you healthy. This is not to say you should not take a vitamin supplement; many health experts recommend that you do. However, do not make the mistake of thinking that a pill can replace nutritious whole foods in your diet.