Vitamin B complex includes 8 water soluble B vitamins- B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. All B vitamins are important for keeping our body healthy and help it function well. Some of these essential micronutrients help convert our food into fuel; some of them promote healthy skin and hair, while others prevent memory loss and migraine. For optimal health and well-being, vitamin B-complex should be consumed from their food sources or through supplement in moderate concentration. These nutrients have minimum toxicity as excessive doses are excreted through urine. Here we will discuss why each B vitamin is so important and how you can choose the right foods to get enough of them in your diet.
Vitamin B1 helps our body to make healthy new cells and aids energy production. Moderate deficiency of this vitamin affects our immune system and metabolism of food which leads to fatigue, irritability and weakness. The food sources of this vitamin include whole grains, spinach, kale, peanut, beans, molasses, blackstrap and wheat germ.
Vitamin B2, which is an antioxidant vitamin, helps in energy production, helps fight free radicals and thus prevent premature aging as well as staves off migraine attacks. B vitamin is essential for optimal functioning of the body as it helps in processing fats and amino acids. This vitamin is also required for red blood cell production which is needed for transporting oxygen to the body and for breaking down the carbohydrates and help in producing energy. It plays significant role in keeping the nervous system, skin and hair in optimal condition. A member of B complex family, it is found in every living tissue. Riboflavin can be obtained from eggs, almonds, milk, yogurt, Brussels sprouts, soybean, spinach etc.
Vitamin B3, also called niacin, has many significant health benefits. This vitamin is often prescribed to lower the level of bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol. This vitamin lowers the risk of heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis, cataracs and type1 diabetes. Studies show that vitamin B3 helps in energy production and is required for proper functioning of nervous system and digestive system. Food sources of this vitamin are red meat, yeast, milk, green vegetables, beans, eggs etc.
B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B5 known as pantothenic acid is found in organ meats, wheat bran, milk, eggs, rice, whole grains and broccoli etc. B5 vitamin is help in metabolizing and synthesizing carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This vitamin helps in production of sex and stress-related hormones and also promotes healthy skin. This is why this vitamin is widely used in beauty treatment. It also helps in balancing sodium and potassium level in our body. This vitamin is often prescribed to patients who are suffering from infections or allergy. You can get this vitamin from avocado, eggs, yogurt, legumes and meat.
Vitamin B6 helps in maintaining healthy brain function. This vitamin plays crucial role in synthesizing antibodies that are essential for fighting diseases. Vitamin B6 is also need for normal nerve function. It plays a key role in mood and sleep pattern because it helps our body in producing serotonin, a stress hormone; Vitamin B6 also helps to form red blood cells. This vitamin also aids in digesting protein. Food sources from which you can get this vitamin are salmon, tuna, turkey, chicken, lentils. cheese, brown rice, sunflower seeds and carrots.
Vitamin B7 helps in maintaining healthy hair, nails and skin. Besides this, Biotin helps in retaining metabolic activity, weight loss, maintaining healthy blood sugar level, as well as aids in treatment of heart problems. This vitamin is vital during pregnancy for the growth of the baby. This vitamin also helps in treatment of many other health issues like Parkinson disease, peripheral neuropathy and vaginal candidiasis. The food sources of this vitamin are yeast, barley, liver, pork, chicken, fish, cauliflower, potato, egg yolks and nuts.
Another name of this vitamin is folic acid. This vitamin is highly important for pregnant women because it prevents neurological birth defect in babies and supports growth of the baby. This vitamin also helps to treat depression and memory problems. The foods from which folate can be obtained are milk, dark leafy green vegetables, root vegetables, beet, asparagus, salmon, beans and wheat.
Vitamin B12, which is a water soluble vitamin, keeps red blood cells and nerves healthy. It helps the body in performing several body processes smoothly. Deficiency of this vitamin shows off the symptoms of fatigue, This vitamin is needed for fighting fatigue, reducing stress and depression, maintaining healthy digestive system, improving cholesterol level and lowering the risk of heart diseases and is also essential for healthy hair and skin. Incorporate these foods in your daily diet so that your body can get enough of this vitamin. Eggs, milk, liver, meat, cheese and fish etc. are high in vitamin B12. Strict vegetarians should supplement their diet with vitamin B12.
If you are not getting enough B vitamins from your diet, you may develop symptoms like tiredness, loss of appetite, anemia, muscle cramps, abdominal pain, depression, hair loss and eczema. Consult your physician to know whether you need B-complex supplement.
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