5 Delicious Recipes Rich in Niacin

Niacin's in the news for helping bust cholesterol, but the vitamin can do more than that.

November 17, 2009

Asparagas and salmon make a tasty, niacin-rich combo.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Niacin is in the news this week, thanks to a study finding that a prescription version worked better than a newer, well-marketed drug at boosting the effects of cholesterol-lowering medication. A form of vitamin B3 that’s involved in the process of releasing energy from carbohydrates, niacin helps your body regulate cholesterol levels. At high doses that need to be professionally monitored by a physician, niacin can lower the risk of heart disease by lowering harmful cholesterol and raising good cholesterol. At these supervised high doses, niacin can lower LDL cholesterol by 5 percent, cut triglycerides by 20 percent, and raise HDL cholesterol by 15 percent. Although more research needs to be done, the belief is that the B vitamin limits the liver's ability to produce cholesterol.


Niacin supplementation may also help limit asthma-related wheezing, perhaps by preventing the release of histamine. And getting the highest daily amount of niacin from food (the recommended intake for adults is 20 milligrams daily) reduced the risk of Alzheimer's disease in a study done at Rush Institute for Healthy Aging in Chicago. Study participants with a daily intake of 22.4 milligrams (mg) had an 80 percent lower risk than people getting 12.6 mg daily.

Great niacin food sources include beef, salmon, tuna, chicken, cremini mushrooms, asparagus, peanuts, eggs, and whole grains. Read on for some easy recipes from the Rodale Recipe Finder, and you’ll find it's easy get your daily dose of niacin in a truly tasty way.

#1: Pan-Cooked Cremini Mushrooms. Sauté some rich, coffee-hued creminis to get a great dose of niacin.

#2: Seared Herbed Chicken Breast. Pair those 'shrooms with these easy and delicious seared chicken breasts. Using that jar of herbes de Provence in your cupboard makes seasoning them a snap. Or substitute your favorite herbal combo.

#3: Grilled Tuna with Peanut Sauce. Add to the niacin in tuna with a peanut butter–based sauce. The entrée is loaded with protein, to boot.

#4: Wild Salmon with Rosemary Sweet Potatoes and Lemon Asparagus. This meal pairing niacin-rich salmon and asparagus with seasonal sweet potatoes will be ready quicker than you’d think—on the table in 45 minutes. For an Asian-inspired alternative, try Miso Soup with Asparagus and Broiled Salmon.

#5: Savory Beef Tenderloin. Crowd-pleasing lean beef tenderloin is enhanced with an herb and spice rub.