“Vitamin B” is an essential vitamin that plays a variety of very important roles in supporting your body’s regular functions to keep you healthy. More commonly referred to as “Vitamin B complex”, vitamin B is actually made up of eight distinct vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12. While most people who eat a healthy diet (i.e., a good balance of foods from all four food groups) will get enough vitamin B from the foods they eat, many of us struggle with eating a balanced or healthy diet (those who eat a diet consisting of more processed foods may be lacking in one or more B vitamins). Also, since vitamin B12 is only found in animal-based foods (meat, eggs, milk, etc.), those who follow a strict vegan diet will need to rely on foods fortified with B12 or take a B12 supplement in order to get the vitamins they need. Here are some of the benefits of vitamin B:
- PROMOTES HEALTHY BODY FUNCTION: B vitamins help your body convert food into energy. They also help boost your immune system, contribute to healthy nervous system function and strengthen the body.
- SUPPORTS HEALTHY GROWTH: Folate or folic acid (which is also known as vitamin B9) helps your body create new cells, which promotes healthy development and growth. It also helps your body produce red blood cells. In addition, folate helps protect against birth defects in pregnant women.
- LOWERS CHOLESTEROL: Vitamin B3 (also called niacin) has been shown to lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) and may prevent hardening of the arteries. This leads to a reduced heart disease risk for many people.
- REDUCES STRESS & ANXIETY: A number of different B vitamins help lower stress and anxiety and help your body cope with stress. For example, vitamin B6 helps your body create neurotransmitters that help you cope with depression, anxiety and stress. Vitamin B1 helps your body stabilize your mood and improves concentration.
- PROVIDES PMS RELIEF: Thiamin (B1) and Riboflavin (B2) are both associated with a significantly lower risk of PMS and they help ease PMS symptoms.
- OTHER BENEFITS: There are a number of other benefits as well, including increased energy, healthier skin and hair, a reduction in migraine symptoms and much more.
The various B vitamins can be found in a number of different foods and in foods of all four food groups. Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) is found in whole grains, beans, peanuts, spinach, kale, blackstrap molasses, etc. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), is found in almonds, wild rice, milk, eggs, yogurt, spinach, soybeans, etc. Vitamin B3 (Niacin), is found in red meat, yeast, eggs, green vegetables and beans. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is found in almost every food, but especially eggs, yogurt, avocados, meat and legumes. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) is found in lentils, sunflower seeds, cheese, brown rice, tuna, salmon, turkey, chicken, etc. Vitamin B7 (Biotin) is found in liver, pork, chicken, fish, potatoes, cauliflower, eggs, nuts, barley, etc. Vitamin B9 (Folate) is found in leafy green vegetables, salmon, beets, root vegetables, milk, etc. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is found in dairy, pork, beef, fish and shellfish.
To learn more about Vitamin B or if you need help with creating and maintaining a balanced diet, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Remember, at Physiomed…Healthier Starts Here.