The vitamin B complex family works to keep your body running efficiently. B vitamins as a whole help your body convert essential nutrients to fuel so that you can groove through your busy life. Part of this larger spinning gear is vitamin B1, which serves its own unique functions. Here’s why incorporating vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, into your diet is so important. This is How Vitamin B1 Helps Your Metabolism and Nerves.

Vitamin B1, or thiamine, is a coenzyme that is needed to extract nutrients from the foods you are eating and repurpose them into ATP energy. The ATP energy molecule is necessary for the transfer of chemical energy within cells. Without thiamine, molecules found in protein and carbohydrates cannot be used to their fullest potential to carry on their necessary functions.


According to Dr. Sherry Ross of Providence Saint John’s Health Center, vitamin B1 is involved in many bodily functions. It works with the heart, nervous system, and muscles, and additionally aids in carbohydrate metabolism and enzymatic processes. The two best reasons to consume vitamin B1 are for proper energy metabolism and central nervous system functioning. Without it, a thiamine deficiency could cause complications to the brain, muscles, heart, and gastrointestinal system. So, what foods should you eat?

1. Cheesy Garlic and Onion Tofu ScrambleCheesy Garlic and Onion Tofu Scramble

Vitamin B1 plays a major role in the metabolism of energy. This is because it works to metabolize carbohydrates, turning starches into sugars to give you a boost of energy. The best plant-based sources of vitamin B1 can be found in certain seeds, nuts, beans, and enriched grain products. Nutritional Yeast contains 790% of your DV of thiamine in a 1/4 cup serving. Nutritional yeast is also rich in other B vitamins, including B12! So, try this yeast covered Cheesy Garlic and Onion Tofu Scramble for breakfast.

2. Coconut Spirulina Superfood SmoothieCoconut Spirulina Superfood Smoothie

Seaweed (especially Spirulina)has a DV of 216% of B1 in just one cup! It is also a good source of Vitamin K, Magnesium, and Potassium. This Coconut Spirulina Superfood Smoothie is an easy way to boost energy and protein intake with real food.

3. Spelt-Flax Crackers With Sunflower Seed PateSpelt-Flax Crackers With Sunflower Seed Pate

Sunflower Seeds contain 82% of your DV in 1/2 cup serving. These Spelt-Flax Crackers With Sunflower Seed Pate have the perfect crunch. The pate is creamy, with just the right amount of tanginess. Serve these crackers and pate alongside any other spread, like hummus or cashew cheese, as an appetizer at parties and they’ll be a guaranteed hit.


4. Coconut Snowballs With Macadamia CoreCoconut Snowballs With Macadamia Core

Macadamia Nuts have 132% of your DV of B1 in one cup. So these Coconut Snowballs With Macadamia Core are a great and tasty option. They do not hold back on coconut flour! The snowballs only require 7 ingredients and are grain-free and refined sugar-free.

5. Tempeh Black Bean Burgers With Creamy Dill SauceTempeh Black Bean Burgers With Creamy Dill Sauce

These Tempeh Black Bean Burgers With Creamy Dill Sauce are perfection. Black beans contain 48% of your DV in just one cup, and are also loaded with fiber and protein! This tempeh burger is perfected by mixing black beans and tempeh and it’s baked, not fried. Pair with the homemade creamy dill sauce for the perfect flavor combo!

6. Protein-Packed Breakfast Quinoa BowlProtein-Packed Breakfast Quinoa Bowl

Enriched Grain Products (rice, pasta, oats)contain added doses of thiamine. So, this Protein-Packed Breakfast Quinoa Bowl will work wonders. Morning Quinoa is a filling vegan and gluten-free breakfast that will keep you feeling full for hours. It is topped with protein-packed seeds and nuts for extra staying power.

Supplementing with a B-complex vitamin which includes vitamin B1, will ensure you’re getting what you need. Some brands to consider that offer a vegan B-complex vitamin is VegLifeGarden of Life, and EZ Melts!


For more information on B1 like B Vitamins: How to Get Them in a Vegan Diet, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

Lead image source: Cheesy Garlic and Onion Tofu Scramble