Do you know what vitamin B is important for? Sure, it helps in making sure the body’s cells function properly but what else? Well, it is also important for the body to convert food into energy which results in increasing your metabolism. A very crucial vitamin for the body, it helps in creating new blood cells and also maintains the healthy cells present, including other tissues in the body.
Have you ever wondered why doctors always tell you to maintain a balanced diet? It is because this is one of the most vital nutrients required for a healthy living. For example, if you love pineapple chicken – it will be the best because they are both good and great sources of vitamin B. There are a variety of foods to build blocks for good health, even if they are from the same family of nutrients. A key player in maintaining cell health, this allows you to stay energized and also increase metabolism.
Not all types of vitamin B are the same or give you the same sort of nutrients. There all differ. The different types such as vitamin B-12, for instance, are primarily found in meat and dairy products. Other types such as B-7 and B-9, B-1 and B-2 are found in fruits and vegetables. Hence, it is very important that you maintain a balanced diet in order to get enough of these vitamins.
Any deficiencies of vitamin B can lead to health problems and if not taken care of, can lead to serious problems too. Sometimes, your doctor will prescribe a supplement if they think you’re not getting enough vitamin B. So, let’s understand the different types of vitamin B:
Types of Vitamin B
There are 8 types of vitamin B, each with their own function:
- vitamin B-12
- thiamin (vitamin B-1)
- riboflavin (vitamin B-2)
- niacin (vitamin B-3)
- pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5)
- vitamin B-6
- biotin (vitamin B-7)
- folate (vitamin B-9)
Every type of vitamin have their own benefits. Let’s check it out.
1. Vitamin B-12
This vitamin contains a mineral named cobalt and you need to know how our body uses this for – creating new blood cells, brain and neurological function, DNA synthesis and improves fat and protein metabolism. Foods you can consider with vitamin B-12:
- beef liver
- milk and yogurt
2. Thiamin (vitamin B-1)
This vitamin type is mainly important for the heart, liver, kidney, and brain as it contains high amounts of thiamin and our body uses this for – breaking down sugar molecules from food, creating certain brain chemicals, producing fatty acids and improving the functioning of certain hormones. Foods you can consider with vitamin B-1:
- whole grains – bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles
- black beans and soybeans
3. Riboflavin (vitamin B-2)
This type of vitamin is essential to create energy production in the body and also helps in breaking down fats. B-2 also helps in converting vitamin B-6 into a coenzyme which everybody needs. Foods you can consider with B-2:
- organ meats
- oatmeal, yogurt or milk
4. Niacin (vitamin B-3)
Vitamin B-3 is very necessary for the body as it converts niacin into a coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) which is necessary for the body. It helps in converting energy into carbs, fats, and proteins increases metabolic processes in the body and improves the expression of DNA in cells. Food you can consider with B-3:
- poultry, and fish
- grains and cereals.
5. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5)
Highly important for the body to create new coenzymes, proteins, and fats, vitamin B-5 should be well consumed as it processes for energy and metabolism. Food you can consider with B-5:
- beef liver
- sunflower seeds
- fortified breakfast cereals
6. Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-6 plays an important role in more than 100 enzyme reactions. Your body requires this vitamin for increasing metabolism, breaking down carbs, fats. B-6 vitamin also helps in brain development and immune function. Foods you can consider with B-6:
7. Biotin (vitamin B-7)
An important addition, biotin is usually added to many hair, skin and nail supplements. However, consuming the right amount should be sufficient. Our body requires adequate amounts of biotin which helps in breaking down carbs, fats, and protein, and regulates the DNA and also improves communication among cells in the body. Foods you can consider with B-7:
- organ meats
- sunflower seeds
8. Folate (vitamin B-9)
The natural form of this vitamin is called folic acid and is present in foods and some supplements that can be very beneficial for your health. Most of you cannot consume enough leafy or green vegetables but eating a varied diet that has folate is very important. Especially, if you are pregnant, maintaining the levels of B-9 is very essential. It also helps in DNA replication, metabolism, and proper cell division. Foods you can consider with B-9:
- dark green leafy vegetables
- orange juice
Deficiency of Vitamin B
Every type of vitamin B has its own deficiency which can cause serious problems to the health if not taken care of. With foods and supplements, you can prevent and take measures to avoid deficiencies. For example, vitamin B-12 deficiencies can lead to anemia and confusion in older adults. Deficiency of vitamin of B-9 can lead to headaches, weakness, heart palpitations, irritability, sores on the tongue or in the mouth, skin, hair, or nail changes, etc.
Thus, to avoid symptoms and deficiencies caused by vitamin B, you must maintain a balanced diet or can even consider some multivitamin supplements for your daily needs for each vitamin. However, do consult your doctor for recommendations and the amount of vitamin B you will need as you would surely benefit from a high-dose B-complex supplement.
Sources of Vitamin B
As mentioned above, it is important to understand that each of the vitamin B has its own sources of foods that can help you have a healthy body. Do follow the sources listed above and maintain a balanced diet. But some of the good dietary sources to remember are:
- fish, especially tuna
- dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- some nutritional yeast products
It is always advised to maintain a balanced diet and receive healthful amounts of nutrients before active treatment is required. So, take care folks!