A roundup of B vitamins and what they do for your health

VitaminBFoods_LRWe have talked about the importance of specific B vitamins and how they function in your body in earlier posts.

Today we will describe each one of them and how they work together for our health.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)—Thiamine is called the anti-stress vitamin, as it helps the body make new cells and repairs damaged ones, thus supporting the immune system.

Foods containing B1 include peanuts, beans, spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses, wheat germ and whole wheat grains, particularly sprouted.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)—Riboflavin is a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that damage cells, helping to prevent early aging and heart disease through red blood cell production and transporting of oxygen throughout the body.

Food sources include almonds, wild rice, eggs, milk, yogurt, Brussels sprouts, spinach.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)—Niacin helps boost good cholesterol (HDL). The higher the level of good cholesterol, the less bad cholesterol there is in the blood.

Good sources of Niacin are red meat, eggs, green vegetables and beans.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)—Small amounts of B5 are found in nearly all food groups. This vitamin breaks down fats and carbs for energy and aids in the production of sex and stress-related hormones, including testosterone. It also promotes healthy skin. B5 is found in avocados, yogurt, eggs, meat and legumes such as beans, peas and lentils.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)—B6, along with 12 and 9 helps regulate levels of the amino acid homocysteine which produces serotonin, melatonin and norepinephrine. It is an anti-stress vitamin and is a major player in mood and sleep. B6 is found in chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, lentils, cheese, brown rice, carrots and sunflower seeds.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)—B7 is often called the ‘beauty vitamin,’ as it promotes healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as helping to control high blood glucose levels. Adequate B7  is especially important during pregnancy. Good food sources include barley, liver, yeast, fish, potatoes, cauliflower, egg yolks and nuts.

Vitamin B9 (Folate)—Folic acid or Folate helps keep depression at bay and aids in preventing memory loss. It is also especially important for pregnant women as it helps prevent neurological birth defects. Food sources include dark, leafy greens, asparagus, beets, salmon, root vegetables and beans.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)—B12 is a real team player, bringing together all its fellow Bs. It is ONLY available from animal products, so vegetarians are more likely to be deficient in this important coalescing B vitamin.

Keep in mind that the many chemicals in today’s food (especially processed), medicine and environment may interfere with the body’s ability to fully utilize these vitamins.

So… it is always advisable to eat whole and organic foods as much as possible and use only quality, whole food supplements when needed.

 

 

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