Vitamin B and the many health benefits you want to know.
Few vitamins are as vital and impactful to your body as the B vitamins. These water-soluble nutrients, collectively known as vitamin B, are crucial in maintaining overall health and well-being.
There are many health benefits to B vitamins that you need to know. The first has to do with energy metabolism. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B7 are necessary to convert food into energy. B vitamins also perform as coenzymes which are needed for energy production at the cellular level. They assist in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. I check for vitamin B deficiency when a client struggles with weight loss, brain fog, or fatigue.
What is the Function of Vitamin B in the Body?
Vitamin B is a complex of eight specific vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin). While they are often grouped together due to their similar roles and coexistence in various food sources, each vitamin B plays a unique role in the body’s functioning. Here are a few examples of their functions.
Vitamin B1, called thiamine, is essential for maintaining a healthy nervous system. I look for B1 deficiency when a client has nerve pain anywhere in their body.
B6 and B12 are needed for your body to make the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, which regulate mood.
Vitamin B12 and B9 (folate) are my favorites and are needed for producing red blood cells. They both help lower the cardiac protein called homocysteine, which causes heart disease and emotional problems like OCD and depression. If either B12 or B9 is low, it can lead to megaloblastic anemia, which is seen as a larger than normal red blood cell.
When I think of all the brain fog and poor cognitive health clients, I have to check for vitamins B6, B9, and B12, essential for optimal cognitive function and brain health. All of these support the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are crucial to regulating mood and helping focus and memory.
Vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, has a few important roles. B5 is required for the production of hormones and the function of a healthy adrenal gland.
Why Do We Need B Vitamins?
B vitamins play a vital role in several functions of our body and metabolism. One of the primary reasons we need B vitamins is their role in energy production. Several B vitamins, B1, B3, and B5, help convert food into energy. That way, we have the energy for the physical and mental activities we accomplish every day. Without taking the optimal level of B vitamins that your body needs, you may become fatigued, weak, and unable to achieve the necessary tasks you have.
B Vitamins are also crucial for a healthy nervous system. This includes you having proper nerve function, optimal neurotransmitter levels, cognitive function, and a good mood. Many times when I test vitamin levels on a patient, they think their B vitamins are at healthy levels, but they are not. Many clients discuss having nerve pain in their feet or other parts of their body. They are tired, have brain fog, and seem depressed. When I give them the proper amount of B vitamins their body needs, the symptoms and quality of life improve.
My favorite B vitamin to discuss is B9 of folate. We need this B vitamin for optimal cardio health. The worst thing I hear from clients is that they had a sudden cardio episode. When I run bloodwork, their homocysteine is elevated. This is easily supported with folate and b12, both cardio-supportive and mood-support. I won’t go without them.
B9 or folate is also essential during pregnancy to prevent certain birth defects and supports the healthy development of the fetus.
What Foods Are a Good Source of Vitamin B?
Each B vitamin has a unique role in your body. And they can be found in a wide variety of food. These include whole grains, leafy greens, meats, and dairy. Here is a list to show you how to easily incorporate B vitamin-rich foods into your daily diet.
Vitamin B Grains: Brown Rice, Millet, Barley, Fortified Grains,
Vitamin B Legumes: Lentils, Black Beans, Chic Peas
Vitamin B Nuts & Seeds: Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Walnuts, Pistachios, Almonds, Chia seeds, Flaxseeds,
Vitamin B Dairy: Milk, Cheese, Yogurt, Eggs
Vitamin B Vegetables: Leafy Greens, Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
Vitamin B Meats: Salmon, Pork, Lean Meat, Poultry, Tuna, Salmon, Liver
Vitamin B Fruit: Avocado, Citrus Fruits,
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Hey! I’m Alane Wincek. I grew up on sugar and plenty of junk food and had no clue how my diet effected my health.
I changed my life and have worked as a holistic nutritionist and naturopath, for over the last 30 years. I help people get healthy, fit and lean, find hormone happiness and recover from all sorts health challenges.
Obsessed With: my family, my dog, my clients, loving life, and living it to the fullest!