Before providing you with a list of vitamin B foods I want to give you a brief description of the vitamin B complex family and the role these essential vitamins play in maintaining a healthy body and mind. Nutrition is essential for ensuring we remain fit, healthy and free from disease. However, acquiring the best nutrients from our diet is becoming more difficult with the increase of processed, fast food and people living busy lifestyles. Processed foods are nutrient deficient and lack many of essential vitamins including the B vitamin complex family. These foods are also high in sodium and use many chemicals and preservatives. The worrying trend is that processed foods are increasingly becoming the staple diet for many in the western world. The adverse effect of eating a diet that consists mostly of high fat and processed foods is already been seen with increased rates of obesity, diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
There are actually 8 vitamins that make up the vitamin B complex family and some you will recognize more than others. Each vitamin plays an important role in maintaining and improving the health of the human body. They can work separately while certain B vitamin’s work together as a team. Vitamin B is involved in the formation of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body in-order to feed our vital organs. B vitamins help maintain the functioning of the bodies central nervous system. Recent research studies have found that people who have elevated levels of homocysteine have low levels of vitamin B12 in their body. According to Patrick Holford from his excellent book New Optimum Nutritional Bible, Patrick Holford goes on to explain that people who do not eat a diet that is rich in vitamin B foods are at a greater risk of having higher levels of homocysteine in their blood.
The good news is there are many vitamin B food sources that can be derived naturally from food or vitamin B supplements. Below is a vitamin B food sources list: Vitamin B1 also known as Thiamine B1 is essential for converting the food we eat in to energy. It also plays a role in brain functioning and the bodies digestive system. It can also aid the body to utilize protein. Vitamin B1 works with other B vitamins including minerals such as manganese and magnesium. Alcohol, antibiotics and caffeine can reduce your levels of B 1. Signs You Could be Deficient: tingling and numbness in the hands Vitamin B2 – Also Known As Riboflavin Plays a similar role to B1 in that it converts the bodies fats and sugars for energy production.
B2 is needed by the body to ensure skin, eyes, nails and hair remain healthy. B2 also helps to neutralize excessive acidity in the body. Riboflavin works with other B vitamins including minerals such as selenium. Signs You Could be Deficient; Vitamin B3 – Also Known As Niacin Needed of energy conversion and regulating the bodies metabolism. Has other roles related to the functioning of the brain, maintaining healthy skin and reducing inflammation. Niacin works with other B vitamins as well as chromium. Alcohol, contraceptive pills and caffeine can reduce your levels of B3.
Oily fish such as tuna and mackerel Signs You Could be Deficient; Vitamin B5 – Also Known As Pantothenic Acid B5 has the ability to breakdown carbohydrates and lipids. It controls the bodies fat metabolism. Vitamin B5 is also a essential for the bodies brain and central nervous system and is needed for maintaining the health of hair and nails. It works with folic acid to aid the digestion of foods and the absorption of nutrients. Levels can be reduced through a high intake of caffeine and alcohol. Signs You Could be Deficient; Vitamin B6 – Also Known As Pyridoxine B6 also has a vital role in energy conversion. It is also essential for the digestive system especially when it comes to use of proteins.
B6 is used in the treatment of PMS and the menopause because its aids the body in regulating sex hormones. It assists the functioning of the brain and is considered a natural anti-depressive. Vitamin B6 works with other members of the B complex family and the minerals zinc and magnesium. Many nutritional experts recommend that vitamin B6 is taken with zinc to get the best results. Again alcohol , processed foods,smoking and contraceptive pills can reduce B6 in the body. Signs You Could be Deficient; numbness and tingling in the hands Vitamin B9 – Better Known As Folic Acid (folate) Folic is essential for pregnant women and the development of the unborn child. B9 is also important for the brain and central nervous system.
Folic acid works with vitamin B-12 in the formation of red bloods cells and DNA. Folic acid assists the body in breaking down and utilizing proteins. Signs You Could be Deficient; Vitamin B12 – Also Known As Cobalamin The above vitamin B food groups is not exhaustive as there are many other B vitamin foods available. However, from just looking at the list above there are a few specific food types that do stand out as having high levels of vitamin B. These include natural vegetarian sources such as mushrooms and green vegetables while oily fish such as mackerel and tuna are quite high in certain B vitamins. Your best source of vitamin B foods are ones that are fresh and organic. Many B vitamins can be sourced from a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, fish and lean white meat however, B12 cannot be found in plant food. For these reasons vegans and vegetarians are often deficient in B12.
As foods rich in B12 tend to be red meat and dairy products vegans and vegetarians may have to use dietary supplements to ensure they are receiving their recommended daily dosage. Disclaimer: All material in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.