The B-vitamins are as busy as the bees.
B-vitamins are always active, always helping, swarming with energy and vibrant life! Each one is essential to the others, and they are all irreplaceable cofactors in many different body functions!
What is “Vitamin-B”?
The B-Vitamins are a complex group of essential nutrients that are not stored and need to be consumed frequently. This group works synergistically in your body, and they are all critical for many vital functions. Each unique nutrient is worth its own article, and each of those is coming soon, but remember that they work together to “help” all the other nutrients function optimally.
- B1 – Thiamine
- B2 – Riboflavin
- B3 – Niacin
- B5 – Pantothenic acid
- B6 – Pyridoxine
- B7 – Biotin
- B9 – Folate
- B-12 – Cobalamin
What does the Vitamin-B Group do?
- B vitamins act as “helpers,” called coenzymes, assuring optimal cellular enzyme function
- Essential for normal immune system function
- Support red blood cell production
- Contribute to healthy skin, hair, nails (B3 and B7 especially)
- Optimize metabolism and energy levels
- Assist neurotransmitter function
- Can minimize symptoms of anxiety and stress
- Optimize detoxification pathways
- Help to optimize hormone function
- Optimize healing of injuries
- Critical for mitochondria health
- Balance oxidative stress
- Help protect myelin sheaths of the nervous system
- Help support and maintain new cells
- Optimize homocysteine metabolism, which is critical for brain and heart health
How do I know if I need more B-Vitamins?
Many symptoms can indicate B-Vitamin deficiency, but there are a few common themes.
You’ll need more during times of increased stress, increased alcohol or caffeine consumption, or if you follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet. Fatigue, “brain fog,” tingling in the hands or feet, anxiety, and depression are all common symptoms for people with these deficiencies.
Your health care practitioner can test blood levels to assess your body’s specific needs.
How do I get more?
Getting the B’s from a variety of organic, whole foods is always best, however, supplements may still be needed. When choosing a supplement, make sure it is the “Activated” or “Methylated” form of the nutrient, because this will assure optimal utilization with fewer side effects.
Foods rich in these nutrients:
- greens (supply B9) – broccoli, spinach, mustard greens
- Liver (beef liver supply substantial amount of B3 and B12)
- lean pork
- dairy – organic milk and pastured eggs
- clams – rich in B12
- rainbow trout
- wild salmon
- sweet potatoes
- potatoes – loaded with B3, B1, B9, B6
- beans (kidney, chickpeas, black eyed peas) – supply B9, B5, B6
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- fermented foods – kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, tempeh, miso
- nutritional yeast
- papaya & cantaloupe
- squash – acorn, butternut, pumpkin
- brown rice – B1
- sun dried tomatoes – B3