Vitamin B5 is also known as pantothenic acid. Its function in the body is to help convert food to glucose, which is then used as energy, as all of the B vitamins do. Vitamin B5 is water soluble, which means that any excess is not stored in the body but excreted from the body through the urine. Consuming vitamin B5 daily is essential to maintain adequate levels, necessary for body functions. There are several food sources of vitamin B5, hence its name pantothenic acid, because "panto" is Greek for "everywhere."
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Crimini mushrooms is one of the best sources of vitamin B5, with 5 oz. of raw mushrooms containing 2.13 mg. The DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) for pantothenic acid is 5 mg per day for those 14 yrs of age and up. Pregnant or nursing women should have between 6 and 7 mg per day. Other excellent vegetable sources of vitamin B5 are cauliflower, broccoli, yellow corn and leafy greens such as collard, turnip, and Swiss chard and tomatoes. Legumes and vegetables such as beans, split peas and sweet potatoes are good sources of vitamin B5.
Not many fruits make a good source of vitamin B5, although strawberries and grapefruit are two options. One cup of fresh strawberries contains 0.49 mg of vitamin B5, while 1/2 of a grapefruit contains 0.35 mg.
Nuts and Seeds
Sunflower seeds and mixed nuts are good snack choices for consuming vitamin B5, with sunflower seeds coming in at first place. A 1/4 cup serving of sunflower seeds contains 2.43 mg of B5, while it takes 1 whole cup of mixed nuts to get 1.7 mg.
Wheat germ and brewer's yeast also contain pantothenic acid.
Meat and Dairy
Meats that are good sources of vitamin B5 include beef, turkey, lobster, salmon, duck and chicken. Beef organ meats are especially good sources. Calf's liver contains 2.59 mg in a 4-oz portion. Dairy products with B5 include eggs, milk and low fat yogurt.